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May 18, 2006

Father Charley

"Are you a singer?" Charley asked the waitress in the San Jose cafe after she had taken our order.

"No I'm not. Why?"

"Your voice is very nice. It sounds like you're a singer." He said. She smiled nervously and looked a little embarrassed as she walked away.

"Charley," I said, "that's no way to chat a girl up. You need to be more direct, like this: I couldn't help but notice how your voice is as sweet and mellifluous as the finest honey. There is an exquisite delicacy to your dulcet timbre. I am enthralled by you in a most tantalizing way. May I enquire what your telephone number is so that I might, perchance, dial it and become enraptured once more in this heavenly world of auditory succulence?"

Charley grinned and said nothing.

Charley is in his fifties and has one teenage son. He started out as an architect and then changed career in his twenties. Now he's a musician, singer, songwriter, composer, poet, producer, and record label executive; he has his own record label. He travels the world playing music at workshops and seminars where people get together to open their hearts and love each other.

We walked back to our cars in the multi-storey car park. Charley pulled his guitar out of the trunk and started to play one of his songs. We both sang and looked into each others eyes; Charley has beautiful brown eyes; I feel totally safe with him.

"Stairway!" Shouted a guy driving past in a white mustang with the window wound down. We sang another couple of songs about love, our voices and the guitar echoing through the concrete structure.

I really enjoy the way that Charley plays the guitar: gently tapping a very clear percussion on the sounding board as he strums. He sings in groups and people gather around him like Gopis to Krishna.

We sat, naked, in his hot-tub in Santa Cruz, California. He looked up at the stars, "Look at all of them. Imagine how enormous that all is; light years to the nearest star. And it's not just two dimensional; there are stars out there that look like they're next to each other but they're actually separated from each other in the direction away us from by millions of light years."

"Wow! I've never thought of it like that. It's immense." I said.

He continued, "Now make a connection with one of the stars. Imagine that there is a chord running from your heart all the way out to the star and the love is passing from you to the star and from the star to you."

"I can feel it. I can feel the difference. It feels like I'm connected to the star. I can really feel the channel between my heart and the star. That's amazing! It's like my awareness is exponentially telescopic: I go out ten meters, and then jump out a thousand meters, and then a million; like that until I get to the star."

"Now close your eyes and imagine that all those stars are inside of you."

I closed my eyes and felt the immensity of the universe, "That's really amazing. I feel full up with stars."

After a while he said, "Look up there at the moon." Some very tall eucalyptus trees were silhouetted against the full moon. Sparse clouds were drifting between the moon and the trees.

"That's really beautiful." I said.

Charley gives me feedback on my writing and my videos. He loves to spend time with me; he loves to see me. When I do something that I am proud of, like playing When The Saints Come Marching In on the piano, he's excited and proud of me, and he congratulates me.

Charley is my father; I am very grateful for that. He gives me so much love and encouragement. He's teaching me how to be a real man.

"Duncan, you are a truly special person. Surround yourself with positive loving energy and you will keep growing. Keep connected with Charley-like people and just accept that there will be people trying to offload their crap onto you. Just let it pass and know you are exceptional ... To be full of stars is just so amazing; next time we meet we must look up and ingest as many as we can!" — Carol

"I sure enjoy it to the max when you write the way you do about people you love, and it really fills me up when I know and love them too! I love this piece about Charley; it makes me feel like I just had a nice visit." — Rosie


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