The coming of Biden and Harris reminds me of one of the most beautiful and evocative songs ever sung, SAN FRANCISCO. It was written and composed by John Phillips and sung by Scott McKenzie. Implicit not only in its writing and composing, but also in its singing, SAN FRANCISCO emotes the most powerful message that can ever be delivered to and absorbed by humankind: LOVE.
I would have been in Haight Ashbury in June, July, and August of 1967, but I was a patient at the famous Menninger Foundation at that time, the best help of its kind in the world, and expensive (my father was a rich man). But it was my mother who finessed my way into Menninger’s, not my father. He wanted me to become an attorney on Wall Street and make millions (now billions). That is, after all, why he had gladly paid a fortune to send me to the best schools in the world: Phillips Andover Academy (prep school) and Columbia College, Columbia University. I attended law school after college, but began to have problems sleeping that only grew worse during my first semester. The less sleep I got, the more difficult it was to study. Finally, I couldn’t sleep at all. I dropped out of law school right before first-semester finals, an act for which my father never forgave me.
But my sleepless nights continued even after I dropped out, which ******* up my mind and my life terribly. I had no idea why this was happening to me. If my mother had not surreptitiously intervened and got me into Menninger’s, I no doubt would not be writing this to you. Psychotherapy not only saved my life, but also allowed me, for the first time in my life, to realize I had feelings--my own feelings--my hopes, my dreams, my wishes, my needs. And after months, something magical happened when I unconsciously married my intellect with my new-found feelings: out of me popped a poem, and I have remained a poet to this very day.
What does what I’ve just shared with you have to do with Biden and Harris? The answer is that both brought, and now bring, great promise, great hope. Out of total darkness comes the bright light of a new beginning--a caring, a compassion, the lack thereof almost brought me to my death, and our nation, democratically speaking, to the same. Now there are, metaphorically speaking, flowers in our hair once more.
TOD HOWARD HAWKS