Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Watts Up?

I'm 66. I started using cannabis recreationally, on a regular basis (every day, when I had it), since I got out of the Service (USAF) and went back to university in 1968. I still do (I just did!)...

 I met Alan Watts once; it was the fall of '70. Spent a week-end in a literature/philosophy retreat as part of a seminar, my first year on my first Masters (which I never completed), at which he was the featured guest.

Fot the class, we'd read Psychotherapy, East & West, and The Book (On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are). The gathering was held at someone's house, a sprawling place along the River, by the bosque, in the near North Valley. There were about a dozen or so of us, perhaps 15: faculty, students, and locals with connections with the profs or the hosts. It was informal, but serious, long-lasting, but good-natured discussions ensued.

This was the height of the '60s: Meals were prepared, cooperatively; everybody pitched in, washed dishes, emptied ashtrays, rebuilt the fire, whatever.  We students had sleeping bags and crashed wherever, whenever.

 The conversations occurred amid a gentle swirl of foods, snacks, wine, beer, and weed, over a Friday night, and all day (and night) Saturday, and then all day Sunday. I now wish, of course, that I'd had the ability to record those sessions.

Watts had to catch a plane Sunday evening, and I drove him to the airport. Upon delivering him, he shook my hand and remarked: "You're a remarkably clever young man." Which I took and still take, as a compliment.

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