Dennis Hopper died this morning. He was 74, best known as the director of Easy Rider, the best known film about the counterculture of the 1960's. Breaking the boundaries of life and art, he lived as radically as one of the characters he created for many years, before going into de-tox and joining AA in the 1980's. He continued to work in movies and television for many years, proving that there indeed are second acts to American lives.
I always felt an affinity for the man. He wore his recovery lightly, honest and willing to discuss it, if asked. But he also did not seem to feel the need to completely repudiate his life prior to recovery as so many people do when they get sober. He clearly enjoyed some of his adventures even as he recognized the need to change his ways. At least, that's how it seemed to me.
Now, in that world of coincidence that I really do not believe in, I feel compelled to mention this. This Memorial Day Weekend is also the 33rd anniversary of my Recovery. I am clean and sober 33 years this weekend, my date is Memorial Day 1977. What does that mean? Not much if you are looking for something tangible, but in the intangible world of my eccentric spirituality, it means that someone I have never actually met, but felt close to, crossed over during a very special weekend to me. I'm just getting over a long hospitalization and a life threatening illness. I felt cold winds at my back, too, but as it turns out they weren't for me, at least this time.
Jung called it synchronicity. I don't know what to call it, but trust that more will be revealed.
Anyway, I used to joke that my dream 12th Step call would be for me and Dennis Hopper to get a call to take Keith Richards to a meeting. Looks like that's probably off the table now. So Dennis, wherever you are, I hope the coffeepot is full and they have a Cohiba waiting for you.
Save me a seat.
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