LB: Live! From Paradise #209 “My Sweet Angel”

(The intro to this column in a recently successful incarnation here on the web)

by Larry Brody

Back in the day, I worked for Glen A. Larson, the most prolific writer, producer, and TV series creator in Hollywood history.

Glen was responsible for shows such as B.J. And the Bear; Quincy, M.E.; Battlestar Galactica; The Fall Guy; Magnum P.I.; Knight Rider.

But his imagination always was tempered by practicality.

“Our job isn’t to make the best show possible, it’s to get the best show possible on the air,” he would say.

Because nothing counted if it wasn’t finished in time for Wednesday night at 9 pm.

“You’re overthinking,” Glen would tell me as we worked down to the wire, often finishing an episode within as little as half an hour before airtime.

I’d argue that I was doing only what needed to be done. And argue. And argue.

Until—

Well, until I moved outward and upward and found my way to Paradise.

Where I can overthink to my heart’s content and no one comes down on me with as much as even a breathy little, “Un-uh.”

This week’s overthink has me pondering issues that very easily could’ve been raised in one of Glen A.’s shows.

Am I alive or am I dead?

And if I’m dead, am I in heaven or hell?

Because of a song that keeps repeating in my head.

Not the whole song, just two lines from a real Golden Oldie, Jimi Hendrix’s Sweet Angel.

“And I said, ‘Fly on, my sweet angel. Fly on through the sky….'”

When the sweet angel first began flying through my mind, I knew I’d heard it but had no idea when or where. I didn’t know it was a Hendrix song. Or any of the other lyrics or music.

Some midnight Googling cleared up a little of the mystery, but even after downloading and listening to the tune a dozen times I still can’t hold onto any of it but:

“…’Fly on, my sweet angel. Fly on through the sky…'”

It’s as though the angel angle is all that matters.

Which ties in with a dream I reported here about a month ago. A dream in which I, Good Ole Larry B, was an angel.

Why would I dream that?

Why would anyone see him or herself as an angel unless–ah, it’s starting to make sense now, isn’t it?–unless that particulary anyone was…erm…dead?

I’ve used this space to question the nature of life and death before. I’ve even written about times I was sure I was supposed to have died but obviously didn’t because, hey, here I am.

But what if what happened wasn’t so obvious, after all?

What if way back in the earliest of my “deaths,” the myocardial infarction over 30 years ago when my heart literally stopped and I floated in the tunnel toward the light, I didn’t come hurtling back into the material world the way I’ve always thought?

What if I got lost and rushed forward unknowingly instead?

Rushed right into the mouth of

Hmm, could be the mouth of heaven. I mean, look at all I’ve got. A wonderful wife. A haystack high pile of children and grandchildren. The profoundest sense of pure joy every morning when I awaken and feel the room, the house, the land, the trees, the entire world of which I’m such a small part say, “I love you.”

But it also could be hell. Family medical problems. An endless treadmill of bills. Deadly storms. Anguish. Stress. Hope for an end to suffering—not just mine but the whole world’s—held out and then yanked away. Over and over

The Larry Brody who was rushed to the E.R. while an invisible elephant stood on his chest never would’ve been able to imagine either the good or the bad of my current life. His was so very different. All about “sophistication” and impressing the right people the right way at the right time.

The Larry Brody who died and then thought he’d been reborn had no desire to live close to the earth and be encompassed by the Wind of Mystery. No awareness that it could, or should, even be done.

The Larry Brody who looks back at those times and overthinks these thoughts has no need for what’s “sophisticated” and no desire to live any other way but the way I do now.

If this is death, then my death is life.

If this is hell, then my hell is heaven.

“…Fly on, my sweet angel….”

Fly I will.

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