Shuffle Synchronicities 247

"Home Is Where The Hatred Is" by Gil Scott-Heron - 09/21/21

Welcome again to Shuffle Synchronicities by me, Dave Cowen.

An unusual mix of music & memoir.

Every day I Shuffle my Spotify Liked Songs playlist (41,249 and counting), then write how the song Synchronizes with my life and maybe yours ;)

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"Home Is Where The Hatred Is" by Gil Scott-Heron

I shuffled this song after having breakfast with the friend who married me and my (ex?)-wife, and the friend who introduced us, who is also his close friend and mine.

It was a wide-ranging conversation about all of our lives.

But at one point I couldn’t help myself from asking him if he’d recently seen her.

I had texted him during the Esalen trip about the vision I had about paradoxically winning her back without winning her back.

And he said he hadn’t talked to her in a while, and didn’t know what her situation was, but we could talk about it when I got back.

Then a few days later I saw that his girlfriend was now following her on social media, and she was now following her too.

I already know how this sounds. And it was a big subtextual part of our conversation today.

I’ve sort of become the pathetic antagonist character in her main character story.


This Gil Scott-Heron song, like a lot of his work, is about the difficulty of quitting drugs and escaping from his pitiful situation.

Like perhaps Juice WRLD of this generation…

“Man Of The Year” by Juice WRLD

Gil in the 70s served as a martyr for people going through ups and downs like him:

You keep saying, “Kick it, quit it, kick it, quit it.”
God, but did you ever try?
To turn your sick soul inside-out
So that the world, so that the world can watch you die?

In a similar way, I seem to be unable to quit this relationship.

Part of the goal of the project is to just really say whatever the Shuffle Synchronicities seem to evoke happening within me in a completely candid way.

“to turn my soul inside-out so that the world’ can see.

Sometimes that soul is sick.

And sometimes that soul isn’t.

Sometimes that soul is embarrassing.

Sometimes it is inspiring.

Or sometimes it’s both/and.

Our mutual friend reported that he had indeed seen her later in August.

He reported that she had seemed to him to have fully processed the relationship.

I joked that she had lopped it off.

But he said he really did think she had moved on.

I love this friend because he is so blunt.

There’s some quote that’s something like:

True friends see our blind spots so we see them too.

Or maybe I’ll just take credit for that one.

I Googled it with no results!

Anyway, at the end of this part of the conversation, the friend who married me and her used a very funny analogy for the situation.

He said something like:

I think she feels like…

When you’re driving and someone is in front of you going really slow with their left turn signal on and they’re not turning left.

And it’s so annoying.

And you’re just like please turn left.

But then you can’t wait anymore.

So you just drive around them.

And you keep going.

Then my other friend at some point with his perfect comic timing said something like:

And there wasn’t even a place to turn left there!

He can’t turn left there!

There’s just a wall there!

Why would he want to turn left there?!

I’m not turning there!

Then the first friend finished the story/joke by saying something like:

But then she sees that your tire is blown out now too.

And she’s like Aw, Fuck!

Do I really have to be the one to go help him out again now?


I’m not going to this time.

And so she keeps driving.

There was a lot of laughing over this joke.

And some crying.

I still don’t think it really makes any ‘sense’.

But maybe that’s why it was so funny.

And maybe it is true that on one level, or on many levels, I am that mess of a driver through life.

And perhaps she is better off in hers without me wrecking hers.

But you could also say that there really was something to turn left into.

That if I didn’t slow down to turn left, there might have been a much worse situation.

For both of us.

Or that if she had turned left with me it would have resolved it.

But that she didn’t and that’s OK too.

But, most importantly, that there really was something beyond the wall.

It might not seem like it to most people.

But I’ve been there.

And it’s helped me.

I’ve been changed for the better for it.

It’s where I was supposed to go.

And there’s yet more to discover there.

So I’ll do my best not to moan so much about how she didn’t come back to ‘help me’.

And I’ll say that whatever there is beyond the wall…

It doesn’t necessarily have to include her anymore.

Because the end of this Gil Scott-Heron song resonates a lot right now:

Tried to heal my broken heart
And it might not be such a bad idea if I never
If I never went home again, home again, home again, home again
Kick it, quit it, kick it, quit it, kick it, quit it, kick it
Can't go home again, home again, home again
You know I can't go home again

Which in meme form might be:

Then again…

I accidentally let the next song play.

And it was:

“Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West

Oh, Kanye, LOL.

Okay. that’s the two hundred and forty-seventh Shuffle Synchronicities.

Today, in Other! Substacks, in honor of these friends I wrote about, whom I normally analyze NBA basketball with when we hang out but didn’t today, check out Marc Stein’s Substack and his recent post on the also a mess Ben Simmons situation.

Also: Thank you to the readers who reached out recently after reading some of the recent somewhat dire LOL posts. You know who you are ;)

A friend from Esalen shared these lyrics from a song by Jon Hopkins and Ram Dass after reading about me reading Alan Watts yesterday:

“Everything in you That you don't need You can let go of You don't need loneliness For you couldn't possibly be alone You don't need greed Because you already have it all You don't need doubt Because you already know The confusion is saying "I don't know" But the minute you are quiet You find out that in truth You do know For in you You know Plane after plane will open to you I want to know who I really am As if in each of us There once was a fire And for some of us There seem as if there are only ashes now But when we dig in the ashes We find one ember And very gently we fan that ember ... blow on it ... it gets brighter And from that ember we rebuild the fire Only thing that's important is that ember That's what you and I are here to celebrate.”

The next lines of the song he left out of his communication, but they’re my favorite:

“That though we’ve lived our life totally involved in the world. We know, we know, we’re of the spirit.”

He also let me know that there is going to be the 50th Anniversary of Ram Dass’ book Be Here Now party in person here in LA on Sunday, October 24th featuring Jack Kornfield, Pete Holmes, John Forté who worked with the Fugees (who are re-uniting for a tour BTW) and others.

I bought tickets and I welcome other readers to join me!