When the guys walked off stage from Oracle Park Sunday night on the 16th of July in San Francisco, I knew from years of in-depth writing about Victor Turner’s “Ritual Process” what they had accomplished. But even I’m dumbfounded. Deadheads knew it, too, in their souls. We just experienced it. It’s a stupendous moment. And by ‘stupendous’ I mean all the meanings of the word—from how ‘extremely impressive,’ to what is still to be realized about what’s happened in “astonishment, wonder.” That’s one reason why I write, to tell what that astonishment and wonder is, to give it words and therefore realization, to tell what this momentous occasion actually is, what has happened. What Bobby, Mickey, and Bill stepped into bringing the Grateful Dead into Dead and Company with John was a precise act to accomplish the unimaginable: what was intended from a line of art and music stretching back through the Homer, a deep pain and injustice that had happened and a cultural course, even through Michelangelo, to the 1960s. I don’t mean figuratively. I mean literally that they picked up this art music lineage, knew what Homer showed could be accomplished because I wrote it out meticulously over these years from 2013 until now, how Homer told how to do it, and now Dead and Company have literally and spiritually done it. This isn’t just a ‘thank you,’ this is a Holy Moly. I just watched the unimaginable happen before my eyes. And here it is. It is here.
I have to go back a ways to talk about what I started writing in 2013 to John. But the difference in talking about it now is that at that time it was a deep, deep dive. Now it has to be fully accessible. It has been accomplished. This has happened at this very moment. I’ll try to bring it out to make it easy to see, instead of anyone having to read a 1500 page book of daily writing to John.
Here’s a little bit of backstory: As a child I had to take a deep dive into books and writing because of circumstances, and I was intense with finding big structural answers for what felt so punishing and wrong. Like why my name was in the Hebrew Bible, but they hated girls. I was a girl. The deepest dive had to come in 2013 when those circumstances worsened on a broader scale–a huge injustice and false voice, Taylor Swift, that was taking over the voice and narrative of music (changing it to self, greed, and ability to abuse and generate hate) based on falsely using John’s name (and life and lyrics), his undeniable realness and spirit, and his early earth-shattering accomplishments. He was going to have to prove his realness in the face of the loud, false accusations. He knew he could do it because he knew what he was made of. That’s how my Coyote Weaves a Song: A Mythological Song from the Beginning of Time was written: a statement like John’s: if you try to squash me, I will take the deepest dive and come out with profound, sublime beauty because I know how to find it, no matter what the world is doing. No matter what hell has been created. I learned I must as a little girl trapped in a harsh religion. Yes, we even had a bus in the 70s with the words my dad painted on the back “Follow me I’m going to see Jesus.” I know how to find the magic. I know how wonder is created. That’s the gift of the deep dive across a lifetime. When John sets into one of those deep dives, well, now you’ve seen what he brings . . .
I discovered in writing Coyote that Homer was playing a trick as Odysseus in his own songs, showing what he himself was doing in altering a course of culture from its downfall from all-out war at Troy.
What started the Trojan war and held purposefully in the mythology is that core values (and obvious lack thereof) had become skewed to that “beauty” and “love” (fundamental to a culture, like the sublime music) had become falsely based on surface values–the inside Being didn’t matter anymore. A sense of Beingness in the feminine had been lost, purposefully destroyed, in Ancient Canaan. And so when the apple is thrown into the mix “To the fairest” that caused the Trojan War--well, it must be decided “What is the fairest?” What “Love” meant of Aphrodite was then shown in that moment in her offered prize, Helen: surface appearances and where that leads. It is not a good thing to “launch a thousand ships.” It means suffering, war, and death, turmoil, starvation, upended realness. It’s a horrible joke of mythology, the crux of civilization. It means lies and manipulation, Homer shows. That’s why Penelope stays in her “inner chamber” which is also significant of the internal intimacy with Odysseus that is never daunted, the inner deep stillness that knows, and is also their “bedroom chamber.” They match: her inner chamber, their intimacy, their inner Beings, their trust and understanding of each other regardless of time and space, in other words, eternal–and always alive. It’s what is inside that matters. Okay, that’s another deep dive. But Helen, with only surface beauty and born of a rape of a violent god Zeus is shown to be an empty shell of a bird.
And so we live in that culture, so it makes a difference. Who sings the bird song? Homer was telling us how to change it. For a fact. Actually, what has to happen to alter it, to subvert a valueless culture where Being doesn’t matter and isn’t recognized. Politically and charitably we can only do so much. This is about altering the deep structure, the underpinnings, and looking to the core, which Dead and Company has just revealed.
Homer was showing how to get home, home from a culture of war, and home meant a kingdom of realness, based on the character, wisdom, and divine nature of that kind of king. How would you know his divine nature? Isn’t that just something the ancients made up to give themselves more power over humanity? It isn’t. There’s a realness that they understood that was white-washed out of our acculturation. We’ve even been forbidden to touch it.
And also at the core of that was the feminine, the internal chamber, more precisely, and showing what kind of nature was in that internal chamber. And so now we have it, a cultural situation based on what’s on the inside. The goal, speaking succinctly, is to break it open to showing that nature, that divine, that cosmic, all interconnected in the bards’ words. Like what we experienced with Jerry and the Grateful Dead–what did we witness? Well, Homer says, let’s break this open again, and transform culture by demonstrating the eternal again.
Does it make a difference? It makes the complete difference in a culture–with music its central spiritual force and voice of how to transform that culture in its underpinnings. It is kind of like, “Let’s find the fault line and blow it and get real.” Let’s see what we’re made of. (My last name is the earthquake Richter scale, and yes, San Francisco has been known to jolt that scale.)
And so I would like to try to articulate what has happened, from having written about it, what is in the spirit now of what has happened.
The men in Dead and Company have reopened the sacred. Here’s how that happened. By bringing in John, Bob, Mickey, and Bill were “lowering” themselves to a public scandal. John, despite his immense spirit and talent, had been smeared into being a “playboy” by a liar who needed internally to kill his beauty and his beautiful spirit. Dante shows through Virgil (Bob) in the Inferno, “Show the lure of the divine, and the fraud will show up.” It happened to John. He showed his divine. But his divine had to be proven. John, in public opinion, was taking too high a role by stepping into Jerry’s footsteps in the Grateful Dead. Everybody on the outside was screaming. But Bob, Mickey, and Bill knew what they were doing. By “lowering” themselves, according to Victor Turner’s The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, they were showing trust, they knew what John was made of internally–the headlines just being unknowing hearsay (a poor replacement for the voice of music), damaging to everyone, including their own roles in music. The music has to be more powerful than the voice of false and harmful rumor or we’re all lost to their created hell on earth. The guys recognized John’s spirit. They could risk that “step down” to popular culture in order to break it open. John had to dissolve everything about himself and through dedication and quest come to fill that naturally high role spiritually and through the gift of music answer not as an ego who wanted that “high” position, but as a spirit who understood the magnificence of what was being offered and opened to him from that recognition of spirit and trust. This is the “gold bond.” This was actually shaman to new initiate, willing to prove his mettle. And now we know this profound outcome: not only do we now see John’s divine spirit, proven through the music itself, the true voice of the ages that speaks beyond rumor, but also the true—more true—stature of Bob, Mickey, and Bill (and Phil, and all the rest of the band here and beyond) in an astounding new light: that “sacred” that we knew in the 60s of the band and Jerry just got reopened in 2023, just like Homer said it could be. We aren’t looking at Bob, Mickey, and Bill the same way we were in 2015 with just a “historical legacy” of the past that made them famous and Jerry gone. The very spiritual and cultural power of that band was reopened from the 1960s into the present moment bringing with them everything from before. This is no longer about “what happened in the past,” but that very alive past that Jerry helped bring to life, without at all being “replaced,” is so much more alive and well in this moment, the past opened, Jerry not dead, the divine re-opened. That’s showing the eternal. Jerry’s as much on that stage as anyone else. Have you ever seen that happen? What does all this mean? It means we’re not talking about something that happened just in the past, but that music just moved past all cultural limitations and Bobby, Mickey, and Bill are aware of what they’ve just done, not in a “haughty” way, but that they’ve just participated in the most real participation of the voice of eternity coming through and dissolving time and human assumption. They aren’t boasting, they are in awe, too, astounded that their music is more alive and real in what they created, and that they got to play it. We’re all astounded. Right through their fingers and instruments. We’re all flabbergasted at the sublime beauty.
That also means that when Homer said, “Here’s what the eternal voice of music is, and I’ll tell you the future through it, to future musicians,” he’s showing he’s alive, not just the past either, can see the eternal, knows it, and just as alive on that stage as Jerry, arrived there at the promise of that West Coast that we’ve all internally felt and could not quite articulate what it all meant. It isn’t just the past. The past just got opened and now there’s no such thing. Homer said, “here’s how to navigate this in the future, and how to overcome it. Here’s what will happen.” And he was exactly right. That makes him an eternal voice. Like Jerry. Like Bobby. Like Mickey. Like Bill. And we just got to see it. Taking a lower position? Hardly. But in spirit that willingness is everything. And real to the core.
From that, secondly, now the voice of the false narration of music itself turned to lies, unhealable pain, hatred, and abuse and John’s identity, is proven wrong.
Just as Homer said would happen, the empty perpetrator (let them scream in hell about that, as they will, the hostile, pent-up energies on social media without a face, used by the perpetrator to purposefully generate that hate to try to control the beauty coming forth) now is completely, irrevocably tied to the past by her own doing, and in that now tied to the very big lie in the past and repeating it in the hollowness and evil intent of that lie in order to maintain that voice that intends to harm (also by setting herself up as a victim of her own crimes).
But with Dead and Company, she cannot. They’ve just opened the sacred and proved it. Bobby sang with such delight, “I might be going to hell in a bucket, babe, but at least I’m enjoying the ride” because he knows what he’s actually doing. He’s altering it. I was getting a wild ride just hearing him say it. He was transforming hell and I knew it. John knew it. We were watching wonder at work. We were watching Bobby knowingly wield it. What a freaking trip. We thought “what a long, strange trip” and it has just gotten magnified, wildly opened. People are looking for where this goes, and I know that eternity just got opened. There is no limit. Acculturation is no limit. They just broke past it, quietly, with mind-blowing music. We witnessed it. It happened right before our eyes.
There’s another step, and it has to be John’s doing. Remember that internal chamber and defining identity and the feminine? What does John do with it now? It was the inwardly false feminine that accused him, that mimicked my words (plagiarizing) and altered the voice of music to untruths to harm him and his reach. The music most definitely matters. Do I? So I’ve been spending my whole life writing, trying to get to the core of it, the roots of it, the eternal truths. What the band members knew and trusted of John is what John knows and trusts of me. What he does with that is called love.
Just like in Dante’s Inferno and the spewing hate and slurs, Taylor Swift believes she can create enough hate against me to keep John from being able to be public with me, just as she has been able to generate hate and anger in people for a long time. There’s her anonymous “smear campaign” on Reddit started by her and details added by her trying to put down the expose I had to do in 2020, which is a very long collection of legal documentation of her abusive plagiarism documenting over more than ten years of abuse. So yes, it’s a bit lengthy. And yes, I had to do it to bring justice. I had to do it to show what happened to John. That slander is what they do in hell, they spit hate and slurs. It isn’t new. Dante wrote about it. They never come out of hell, Homer shows. It’s internal, which is eternal, always hate. And in the Odyssey, they talk about Penelope in the underworld. How’s that for an eternal voice.
Taylor Swift’s plan is now to record and release an album coming from my new material of La Madeleine of which I’ve been writing. It’s the abusive pattern she’s repeated since I first wrote to John in 2010. She’s going to push the abuse and lies as long and far as she can. That’s what she’s made of.
But what I’m writing is about identity and the cosmos answering it.
Thank you Bob, Mickey, and Bill for providing the portal for the beauty and the sublime to come through. Here’s a little girl now on the exact day of age of Jerry’s own Days Between, 53 years and eight days, standing amazed at you and the cosmos. “I love you so. I love you so. Thank you. Thank you. This peaceful moment is for you.” You did it. The miracle of the ages.