High Atop the Elephant
“Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona, for some California grass...” McCartney/Lennon, “Get Back,” 1969
I will warn you at the outset of this post that the villagers are in a tizzy, with the news that there is an errant elephant, rampaging in the immediate vicinity. Recent history indicates that elephants on the loose, have been drifting closer and closer to the delicate china aisle of the FineLine Salon, an area heretofore designated as off-limits by the powers that be. One last insignificant detail is that, though boundaries and states’ borders do not come into play in this cyber-age, the fact is that the Salon is located in California.
I have a fair amount of control over the goings-on of my blog, but there is very little even I can do, when the keepers of the tranquility and peace pen, leave their venue for parts unknown, and the thrumming drums of discontent, rumble through the neighborhood, unable to contain themselves any longer.
This particular elephant, like the fabled elephant visited by the six blind men, has a particularly checkered past, and is viewed by different people, from different parts of our great nation, as either a rabid leviathan, or gentle giant. Here in California, there has been a special committee in place since sometime in the sixties, to help this particular elephant remain content and docile.
What do the six blind individuals “see” when they encounter this elephant? The first to approach has “eyes” only for the dimensions of the four mighty tree trunks that hold the elephant upright. He/she encircles the lower leg as it attaches to the foot, and concludes that this behemoth is dangerous and must be confined away, out of our sight, never to be a threat in any way, shape or form. Many people never get past this one element of the elephant. “We must protect the children.”
The second approaches this same beast, but she/he is a youth, in the prime of shape, and encircles the colossus excitedly, eventually clawing her/his way to the top, and moving around quite comfortably as the elephant tolerates this intrusion placidly. The climber stands high atop the elephant, and crows, “This is too sick, man. How can I get ahold of some of this shit?”
The third has heard many fables about the good that has been derived in the past by native peoples, and seeks to investigate the medicinal attributes of this elephant. Whether utilizing the tusks, the oils, or any other aspect of the elephant, there is abundant reason to rejoice. Overwhelmed by the unlimited applicative elements, which provide relief for a gamut of maladies, ranging from physical, to mental, emotional, and psychological, this person comes away from the elephant claiming that the elephant must be available to the community because so many people benefit. “We would be fools to ignore that this is nature’s way of telling us we do not need corporate America’s assistance when it comes to “healing ourselves.”
The fourth is an elder, from the old school, and notes that there are many components of the elephant that can be used in a pragmatic manner around the village, once the elephant has passed on to the great stockade in the sky. “Why should we ignore all of the positive qualities, just because some people are afraid of the size and strength of this creature? We need to regulate these benefits and tax them, so that the state can also be on the receiving end of revenue.”
The fifth is a holy person and has experienced the soul-stirring advantages of being able to include the elephant in the religious expression of his faith. He finds that the elephant provides an umbrella of serenity over his faith, and serves as a salve for matters pertaining to the abrasions of the flesh. “Without the elephant, the members of my church would be depressed, anxiety-ridden or just plain, in pain.”
The last heard all of the arguments, investigated the elephant from every angle, and walked away saying, “Whatever, Dude.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of these people in the last category, so sometimes it’s a few people making a lot of racket, that get these people swayed one way or another.
“What does all of this have to do with the Salon?” you may be asking. It’s easy to answer the question, but will take more time than what I have today, so I will address the question, from one angle, tomorrow. As with all things elephant, the issues are cumbersome, pervading and frequently overwhelming. Better to open this particular door in the wall gingerly, lest we frighten the visitors away.