I envisioned it before it happened. The details were vivid and clear; there was a subway station turnstile under white fluorescent lights in a tiled hallway. It cost 15 Czech Korunas for a non-paying customer to use the public bathroom at the petrol station just outside of Prague. I dreamt of this while sleeping upright with the weight of my head drifting sideways in a cherry red Ford Transit en route to the Folk Holidays Festival in Namast Nad Oslavou. We were to be a token American band.
The Entrance to the Charles Bridge in the Daytime
Photo by Dango Rose
Why would I utilize the power of my intuition to dream of such a menial thing? Perhaps I could’ve foreseen a chance encounter at the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians of Old Prague, or of a lyric of a song yet to be sung. Yet, here I am, in the heart of Europe, dreaming of a urinary obstacle machine.
This is my reminder…. The premonition of paid to pee.
Back in Ireland on January 27, 2014 while on tour with Elephant Revival, I dreamt that I had taken my seat at an Arthurian round table with my old bandmates from The Mammals. The point of discussion revolved around how to carry on the legacy of Pete Seeger. I awoke moments later, checked my phone, and found a text message informing me that Pete Seeger had passed away.
In July 2006, I sat on top of Sparrow Hawk Mountain in Tahlequah, OK. I’d been living in the Ozark Foothills by the Illinois River and knew that it was time to move on. Nederland, CO was calling me home, and it was apparent that the path was to be through music. As I sat in meditation, I asked for a sign. The vision came to me — It’s time for The Great American Elephant Revival Concept to come into form. At that precise moment, a bald eagle spread its wings, nearly knocking me from my perch on the bluff. A rush of energy pulsed through me like a titanium conduit in a lightning storm. I knew that it was time to call together the elephant tribe.
“Its so good to meet you!” Encounters in the Old Town Square
Photo by Dango Rose
When I was younger, it was easy for me to access my intuition. So much would fall right into place. Hitchhiking out of Las Vegas at the tender age of 19, I held a cassette tape of Neil Young’s Harvest, a teardrop mandolin and a vile of psychedelics. Three 21-year-old women from the U.K. pulled over and scooped me up into a stolen 1981 Ford Station Wagon from Vancouver with a buffalo skull on the hood sporting a Mexican flag. I became the chauffeur on this timeless caravan through the great American desert. I drove them to the Grand Canyon where we listened to Neil Young, fed peanut butter to squirrels and explored the dormant potentials of our minds. One of the women imparted to me her desire to fall in love, weave hammocks and build picture frames on the beaches of Belize. On a bright sunny afternoon in southern Arizona, I relinquished my seat behind the wheel, and dropped the ladies off 37 miles from the Mexican border. Thirteen months later, I received a fine-print letter saying that my friend was to be married, and that her dream of selling hammocks and picture frames on the beaches of Belize had come true.
A common sight on the Street of Prague
Photo by Dango Rose
These types of experiences didn’t require much effort on my part. Everything seemed to just fall into place. The art of manifestation was simple; I followed the signs and cultivated patience through stillness. Yet, as I’ve grown older, and the cassette tape has faded from our societal consciousness, it’s taken more and more effort to return to these states of pure connection; the ones that help us glimpse the allusive states of grace that we all strive to achieve. There’s a discipline involved in cultivating our highest potential. We must courageously engage in the work that we’re meant to do, otherwise our access fades, and we begin to feel like we are caught on a temporal merry-go-round in the parking lot of a never-ending carnival charade.
We can never give up on the sincerity of our dreams. Sometimes these reminders come in the strangest of places, about the strangest of things. I’ll forever be grateful for the bathroom turnstile at the petrol station en route to Namest Nad Oslavou…. Because it reminds me, that sometimes in this ephemeral world, you’ve got to pay to pee.