Jerry Garcia died today, fourteen years ago. The baby born that day is a teenager now. I imagine that to those and knew and loved him it sometimes feels like yesterday and sometimes like an entire lifetime ago. Jerry Garcia — troubled troubled Jerry, wonderful player, full of such bright and wonderful songs, and clearly, some daring, some edge, some pain that needed to be assauged, and was assauged, and no restraints, and no controls, and there he went, and there he goes — and half his life, gone, in the fluid from the needle.
But he died clean. That’s what his biographer said. He died clean. Some consolation, but something to be proud of, sure. What was the meaning and dark secret of his pain? Or was it just the natural end of the simple good-seeming road he walked? Mysteries within mysteries, and wheels within wheels, and this is the secret Odin whispered into Baldur’s unhearing ear.