In advance of our new interviews with Art Garfunkel we are bringing you this week, we wanted to set the stage first with this. From the archives, this is a discussion over breakfast in Manhattan in 1993, when Garfunkel was joining Simon for a series of shows.
SIMON AND GARFUNKEL are rehearsing. We’re at the Paramount theatre in Manhattan on an October afternoon, 1993, about halfway into their unprecedented 21-night series of sold-out shows, a retrospective of Simon’s career that begins and ends with a Simon & Garfunkel reunion, and is connected by all the facets of Simon’s extraordinary career: folk, gospel, doo-wop, jazz, rock, plus the invigorating, beautiful rhythms of his African and Brazilian- based songs.
But right now Paul and Artie are going over and over one line in the song that first made them world-famous, “The Sound of Silence”. The line is “Take my arms that I might reach you” and the two men are settling into a new phrasing, turning the ascending line into a descending one, starting after a half-beat pause and changing the lyrics slightly to “that I may reach out to you.”
At first their combined phrasing is slightly askew, …reminding the listener that these are, after all, two separate singers with two separate voices, a bit of a revelation after hearing the perfection of their blend for all these years. But after a few times through the line in which both Simon and Garfunkel hesitate slightly, they settle at last on identical phrasing, with Simon’s lower harmony beautifully matching Garfunkel’s melody.
That night, before an ecstatic crowd of 1500, they sing the line as they always have, leaving the new phrasing for a different show.
Later Paul mentions that at the last minute he decided not to change the line. Though neither he nor Artie are quick to accept the label of “perfectionist,” in truth both are so accustomed to the perfection of their miraculous vocal blend that a small change like this one is not to be rushed into, even after rehearsing it many times that afternoon. Three weeks later, performing at Neil Young’s Bridge School concert in San Jose, California, Simon and Garfunkel sing the line with the new phrasing. And it sounds perfect.
Today Artie shows me around his spacious apartment on the east end of Central Park in Manhattan, and introduces his two-year old son James, who has a head of wild curls like his famous father. Artie also introduces his wife, Kim, who says, “Don’t write anything negative about Artie, because there is nothing negative about him. He’s a completely wonderful person.”
We look into James’ playroom, a colourful carnival of toys with windows overlooking the autumnal park. “The thing is,” Artie notes, “that he thinks this is normal. He doesn’t understand that everybody’s life isn’t like this.”
It’s an understanding that Artie does have, that his life is blessed. Blessed not only by an angelic voice and a profound gift for harmony singing, but also by a lifetime musical alliance with one of the world’s greatest living songwriters, Paul Simon.
Though Simon & Garfunkel have had their famous fights and disagreements over the years (somewhat touched upon in the following interview), one thing they do seem to agree on is that the blend of their voices in harmony is a sound sweeter than most things heard on this earth. Though they are consistently drawn apart over the years by the diverging paths of their artistic tastes, when they come together the sound they make is unmistakably their own.
We spoke to Artie over breakfast at a little diner near his home on a grey Manhattan morning. Wearing a Boxing Helena cap that hid his head of curls, he ate eggs and onions, : drank coffee, and spoke about the way he and Simon achieve their famous sound. “He also spoke about a world of other subjects, since we covered much of the history of Simon & Garfunkel with him during our first interview.
While he explained that people rarely recognized him except when he wanted to be recognized, he failed to see two young women standing behind him who were pointing and hiding none of their excitement at sighting him.
“I don’t have a glamour trip going on in my head,” .he said in response to a question about fame. “I don’t feel like I’m Art Garfunkel, I feel like I’m this amorphous person who doesn’t have a name because names are funny tags. I’m just a guy in the moment who is late for the movies or walking my kid in the park. It has to do with the persona you’re giving off, and I give off a non-persona.”
American Songwriter: How do Simon & Garfunkel rehearse? When you’re onstage together you rarely look at each other. When you rehearse do you face each other?
Art Garfunkel: Much more. It’s a good question. When we were kids rehearsing in our basement in Queens, we’d rehearse face to face. And I’d be glued to where the tongue hits the teeth on his ‘t’s and we’d face each other a lot. In those days we really established our blend and our style. Now we’ll rehearse sort of caddy-corner, diagonally. We’re leaning in, occasionally I’m checking —
No, seated. When the song gets high [softly sings the bridge from “El Condor Pasa”] “Away, I’d rather sail away, like a swan…” I’ll stand up for that when we’re rehearsing because I can’t get any quality if it’s really high without more lungpower, and that goes with standing up. But we’ll sit diagonally. We’ll both look for a room that has some reverb so that it will flatter our sound a little — plaster walls or tile.
Do you go to a studio to rehearse?
No. Around the house. My kitchen or his apartment. We’ll run down a tune five or six times. We’re saving a lot of the performance and the finesse of it while we just learn the notes as if… The older I get the more I realize performance is about meeting the moment when the moment comes.
“Tonight is everything.”
Yeah. It’s when the show starts, can you then arrive at wonderful? You don’t really have to arrive there for all rehearsal. You just have to keep stockpiling all your notes. All the information that you need to simply know and remember. That’s rehearsal: stockpile. Remember. And you almost want to save the fun of making it really sound good for showtime. Because if we use it up in rehearsal, we will have peaked and come down the hill by the time show one arrives.
Do you both lead the rehearsals?
Yeah, we’re very fifty-fifty. Both of our personalities come forward. You can’t shut me up in terms of a very strong musical point of view. My ears know what good is. I know when it’s right. I wish I could be more deferential but I’m too objective about what right is.
That could be a good thing.
It is. It doesn’t really lead to friction. There’s a lot of mutual respect. I know how strong he is musically, he knows how strong I am. If you would see us rehearse, you would see a very healthy… you could say two swords carving quality. They don’t carve each other. They’re carving this third thing called the arrangement, the best way the song can go, the right key, the right phrasing. Again, we’re both serving our notions of what the artistry is here as we both see it and it’s not personal, it’s impersonal.
Do you discuss song choice?
Song choice? Ah, that’s difference. That is personal. To be honest that’s much more of a tug-of-war. Now you’ve moved from the artistry of the arrangement and the best way to do it to more of a power game. That’s a little squirmier, the right song to do.
As you know, Paul isn’t that crazy about much of his older work, which must make the choice of Simon & Garfunkel songs a little difficult.
That’s a good point. I fight very hard for what I think is mass taste. The sweet, folky, really lovely melodies that give you goose-bumps. He’d like to feel, “I’m beyond that and you can never get me to go back.” I want to say, “You’re not beyond that. You’re everything you were and are. So tap some of the stuff you were. And as an entertainer, bring it forth with feeling. Go back there and re-experience it.
To me, an entertainer does that. He doesn’t like to do that. And I fight very hard to get “Kathy’s Song” in the conceit. That’s a real source of difference of opinion. I’m very willing to make these songs live and breathe again as if they were just written last Tuesday. I want the “Sound Of Silence” to get angry at the end as if it’s timeless, you know? The impoverished are screaming, “Fuck this unfair system,” just like they’ve always screamed it. It’s a timeless thing. It lives, if you can make it live, onstage tonight like it did when it was written in ’64.
You’ve changed some of the arrangements on the old songs?
A bit. “Homeward Bound” is silkier. Most of the chants that we made had to do with places where I wasn’t happy with what I did on the original. I’ll go hack and say, “Was that really the best harmony?” [Sings his original harmony from “Homeward Bound” and then a new harmony, a third above the original “Home, where my thought’s escaping…”
It’s a simple Everly Brothers harmony. It had one note I never- really loved and I began to reconsider. So I’m just sort of taking my best shot in the present tense as if the past is not dictating what’s the present. Only my present ears are dictating what should be. So to a 95% degree I agree with the original choice, but to some degree, through the years I’ve gained a more subtle appreciations for certain dissonances. I love ninths more than I ever did. I love major sevenths as much as I did but I love them more than ever.
When choosing harmonies, are you actively thinking of intervals as opposed to just working with the sound?
I feel them. When I analyze them later they turn out to be ninths. Or major sevenths. I do this stuff by feel. I appreciate the unison of Paul and Artie more than l ever used to and I love when I get a really congruent sound. I love when we trade verses more than I used to.
There’s a wonderful quality when you two sing unison, because the voices can sound awfully close — [Sings] “And walked off to look for America…” That has a real upright, earnest quality because we both have the identical soul at that moment. We come from the identical place in our attitude, and the spine that’s holding us up, we are the same person. Singing, “walked off to look for America…” Same college kid, striking out.
And there’s a real beauty when you sing unison and then you diverge into the harmony part, as if one voice is suddenly split. How have you arrived at your harmonies?
I do a lot of walking. In the old days, I’d go off to Europe or I’d go to the Alps and I’d take a walk. And I’d see that Paul would tease me and not understand and say, “Artie’s out walking.” What I was doing is I’d have a Walkman, I’d be dealing with one of Paul’s new songs, and I would put myself in the frame of mind that was a little off the planet. To go chasing odd harmonies. The unexpected suspension that comes out of left field. Ravel would come up with that or Debussy would come up with that. But because I’d transport myself to another frame of mind, I’d be tuned to another station. I would just be elsewhere and from that place I would do very. valuable homework in preparing harmony parts. And I have found many interesting upper harmonies with sets of notes that you wouldn’t think of that really come out of the Alps, or some other place.
When you’re walking and thinking of parts, how do you preserve them? Do you tape them or write them down in any way?
I have a pen and a paper always. I take the notes of the scale — [sings an ascending major scale] one, two, three, four, five, six, seven eight — and start writing out, in terms of numbers, what the phrase is.
[Sings opening of “America “] “Kathy, I said, as we…” So that’s five-eight-three-five-one-three. I start sketching out with numbers what my melody is. I don’t use the bars or the actual time-signature because I’m too much in a rush of the thrill of my phrase that I like so much to spend the time to carefully get my dotted quarter notes. So I just put more spaces so I can see the longer held notes and the quicker eighth notes. So I schematically use numbers for the do-re-mi.
You write your harmony numbers above the melody?
So you bring your mathematical prowess to harmonies.
It’s just a number scheme because I know notes and the staff and all but I’m not facile with it. So it’s a cheater’s way of not dealing with the G-clef and the notes.
In songwriting there is often the sense of finding the right line or melody, of following it where it wants to go. Do you find that in devising harmony parts?
One doesn’t always feel like one knows the answer: the Music God knows the answer. And I as a human being will be full of human disturbance, cramping, forced-ness. And so my job is to listen to what it wants to be and get out of the way, and serve what it tells me. To be a receiver of the muse as if speaks to me. Whatever is written already has a vector and that vector is going somewhere and where is it going? You must listen and the only human thing you’re doing is being a receiver to what comes next.
But if you try to be a human being shifting and pulling it, it’s what’s messy about us human beings. We’re clunky. We’re full of gravity and full of ego. And the brain is really an overrated organ. But the nervous feeling centre, the antenna, in an underrated one. The invisible antenna trying to receive things that are beyond five senses that come from feel has to be respected. And you as a receptacle is really where you need to be coming from. When singing you often look quite transported, as if you’re not there onstage but completely in the music. Yeah, I’m in the music. I’m waiting for the song to start. And when it does, my heart, my ears, are very active as I listen to the moment to moment, and shape it.
How do you warm up for a concert?
Number one, you get your sleep. It’s your best friend. There is no buoyancy of the music without eight hours of- sleep minimum. That’s your number one thing. Then I sing softly to myself though the day. I have my warm-up tapes. They have a little bit of scale-work at the beginning. Then I have a lot of James Taylor. James is a bass-baritone. In the early part of the day, to sing in exact unison with James is to tap the lower part of your register and have beautifully accurate pitch. I’ll sing “Sweet Baby James,” That’s very natural and very singable. I’ll fall in love with the act of singing a song in its simplest, most unaffected way. It starts getting the heart going.
Then the tape has “Kathy’s Song.” I love “Kathy’s Song.” I sing it with Paul’s very early version of “Kathy’s Song” from The Paul Simon Songbook. Paul’s voice in the really early days appeals to me a lot. Unison with that sound is something that works for me. The tape has some Randy Newman on it because Randy Newman is a whole other kind of narrative, expressive singer who makes the most out of what is being said and not the holding of the notes. It’s affecting and helping me sing that way.
What songs of Randy’s do you sing?
[Sings, from “Texas Girl at the Funeral of her Father”] “Here I am, lost in the wind, round in circles…” I like clipping the syllables and doing the opposite of what I usually do, holding the notes and singing legato. Then there’s some Sam Cooke because Sam Cooke is a very throaty, ballsy singer. So that’s my warm-up tape and I’ll do an hour and a half in the afternoon. It feels like lubricating the voice, getting the finesse going, moving from note to note.
The songs are climbing higher and higher in pitch. There’s some Michael McDonald, which is some very good high-energy stuff, some high-range. Then I put it aside and relax, take a bath, go down to the rehearsal at 4:30, 5:00; I’ll sing with Paul, do a little warm-up on mike, make sure the hall feels familiar. Pick the one tune that I wasn’t quite so happy with on the last show.
Why is “Scarborough Fair” on the last verse getting a little too self- conscious? How can we maximize the flow. It never ends, the desire to keep refining. And the livingness of it all. And then you want to rest the voice. It’s a mixture of warming up and cooling it. It’s a motor that you don’t really want to ‘ drive until the show starts but you want to be on a nice idle and the machinery is -purring along.
Do you eat before a performance?
No. No, I stay hungry. It’s great to be hungry. I used to think a little water was okay but even water creates a touch of a bubble. It interferes with the apparatus that you want to have going on in your throat. You don’t want anything there. A really hungry, growling stomach is just fine. That hungry feeling is an excellent way to go to work.
Is physical exercise necessary?
I want to do physical exercise to look upright onstage. I’m involved in singing but also being someone they’re going to watch for a while. So I want to get my sleep and get sunshine and get the Vitamin D into the sinuses when it’s a sunny day. I do my reach for the ceiling, touch the toes before the show starts, so that my spine is straight. I do sit-ups to flatten out the gut. I do push-ups to make sure the chest can contain lungs that want to take a lot of deep breaths. And I’m a huge walker. I do miles and miles of walking. Lungs is what I’m dealing with.
Have you ever done anything like this before, so many nights in a row at the same venue?
No. It’s an absolute first. Every set of shows I’ve ever done has been town to town. I’ve never done a run, even a week’s run, at one location. It’s nice — once you do your sound check and you get it down, your sound is set for a while.
Yet you still do a sound check every day?
Paul keeps wanting to come in every day. But he’s using the sound check to refine the show, to change things and learn new stuff.
People think of both of you as perfectionists. Yet when I mentioned this to Paul he said that it was you and Roy Halee, more than himself, that were the perfectionists. His desire to do sound checks every day suggests that maybe it is he who is more of a perfectionist.
It was gracious of Paul to say that. I know what he means in that I always say that Paul was the fountainhead of ideas and Roy and I consolidated a lot. And so there’s a lot of perfectionism in taking the spouting of good ideas that Paul would come up with and editing, refining, putting them in the record, making them work, picking the take, and having that patience to do that synthesis work. I guess it’s not the perfectionist in Paul who is doing all these sound checks. It’s the designer changing the design of his part of the show.
I found it fascinating on his new boxed set to hear his early demo of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” which is followed by the famous recorded version of the song, and to realize that he sang it in a way that made it clear he had your voice in mind.
I remember when he showed it to me on East End Avenue, his old apartment. And I was very pleased to hear such a rich song intended for me. I always felt he did some of his best writing when it came in the form of a gift. When people get outside of themselves and say, “This is for you,” it taps the better part of themselves. And I loved it.
And my part is made to receive that kind of thing with a return gift. I remember saying to him, “Your falsetto on this is so flutey and pretty and under-exploited that you could do this song great yourself.” And he said, “No, no, I wrote it for you,” and I said, “Cool, okay, great.”
And that little dialogue I am describing I have seen in print get so out of hand through the years as if we fought over who should do it. I know the reality was graciousness trying to one-up graciousness. It’s such a joke to me to see in print that we fought over who should sing that song. You bet I wanted to sing that song. I simply chose to be a nice guy and let him know how nicely he also sounds on it and when he goes into a falsetto he has such a nice, soft touch that we never used on our records, and I always wanted to see Paul’s falsetto exploited and I thought this might be the tune.
He wrote it with me in mind and instead of me taking two minutes to decide to do it, it took twelve.
It’s fascinating to hear his original demo without the famous third verse and the huge production and climax of that verse.
Credit Phil Spector. Paul and I were great Phil Spector fans. We loved the Righteous Brothers’ “Old Man River.” In that record Bill Medley signs with just a piano through the whole record. And finally in the last verse, still one voice and one piano, and then when he’s approaching the last line, Spector brings in everything; the girl choir, the maracas, rhythm, bass, celli, and enormous production sets in on the final line. And to me the thrill of opening up the record and making it, eight times the size that the record just was through 98% of the record was a fantastic piece of restraint. And that stuck in both Paul’s and my mind.
When “Bridge” used to have two verses and we had sketched out the first two verses, I think it was me who said, “Let these two verses be a set-up for an imagined third verse that takes off like a rocket. Let’s slowly bring in strings, slowly bring in rhythm, and I’ll pole-vault over the top and take it where it wants to go.” And it worked out with Larry Knechtel — his piano turnarounds that would finish the verses and then settle down. So on a production level that became a really exciting thing.
It seemed like a great tribute on the boxed set to hear what you did with this song that we first hear in its most simple and skeletal form.
There is great affection between Simon and Garfunkel.
Have these shows been a positive experience for you?
Yes. They’ve been good, audiences have loved it. I simply love to sing. When the show starts and I fall into that chasing the loveliness of the next line game, I am a very happy guy, very involved in the present tense. And working acoustically makes the fun of singing quite possible. I can hear myself well. It’s not like I’m fighting a brass arrangement behind me, which was the case when I first worked with Paul extensively in the late eighties.
I love the unplugged, the Paul and Artie blending with one guitar. He does play fine guitar; he plays so caressingly and so breathingly. And we go back so many years together that we’re so in sync with what he’s really doing with the weaving and the motion of the guar. So I just instinctively feel how to ride along on that carriage.
There is a sense when hearing the two of you that you have a strong psychic connection.
It’s mind-boggling. It’s bigger than the two of us. We meet somewhere in the air through the vocal cords and we’re very close. We’re real brothers, somehow, in that moment. We -both respect the good, you know? In this crummy world where the mediocre is good enough, we really chase after something better. In a sense we have a good work ethic about serving a fine image of what you’re doing. We meet in that place trying to get the blend really right and the pitch really right and the-balance really right and we play the finest nuances trying to get that. So it goes beyond my personality and his. It’s about our standards at work and we find ourselves in that same nice place.
Your music was such an integral part of so many of our lives. Do people often attempt to express to you how deeply your music has meant to them?
Yes. I could say I’m nonplussed but maybe that’s coy. I feel fabulous. I lucked out. I could say that once upon a time I was in college trying to pick what I was going to do for a living, and the bloody pressure of that question was a killer. To have thought that I fell into singing for a living and being appreciated and heard in this self-expression, is a dream come true. Number one, it answers the pressure of “What will I do?” This is what I do.
It feels like this always was my calling even more than my mind figured it out. The circumstances of my life fell into this organic place. This is my calling. I’m here to be a singer. And to think of the luck of singing in this part of the 20th century, an electronic age that can enhance one afternoon’s vocal performance and make it seem wonderfully rich and deep, and then in this corporate age make ten million copies of it and distribute it from South Africa to Finland to Santa Fe, is an extraordinary combination of factors.
Add to that the college kid in his dorm at two in the morning who comes home and is on the couch with earphones and has got the volume cranked up and he’s truly connecting with what I meant with that performance and he’s on the receiving end four years later or twenty years later, it’s magnificent, this connectedness, the quantity of it. You can’t imagine a luckier place.
There’s a lot of trying to hold to a standard of fineness going on, that’s all it is. It’s above and beyond what you need to do that you actually go crazy for the love of doing it beautifully, become non-cost effective. You become a nut who has really fallen into the place of trying to get it right no matter how many people say it’s good enough. Those records, they took an amazing amount of the powers of work and care. Because it’s fun to make something truly beautiful. Period.
You mentioned how your work gets reproduced and distributed around the globe. I was wondering how that affects your soul, if like an aborigine who is afraid of having his soul stolen in a photograph, you feel that this diminishes you in any way.
Well, I’m the first to feel, when the camera is pointed at me, like the aborigines, I don’t want my image stolen. Because I can’t control it and it wi11 be wide- ad and it is what I look like and I didn’t agree to the bargain. So it has that rape side to it. But you only get into the business when you have made some kind of peace with this factor and you realize I’m going to address the microphone now with the idea that I am in control and I’m going to send them the right take and not the outtake because I can control that and once I have that control, which is the key word, then I feel okay about pulling forth the best in me because I trust in my lucky talent and that on my lucky days I can do something fine and soothe people, inspire people, touch people. I believe in it in myself, in a sense.
So I guess the key is if you can control the communication, you can then stay clear of that feeling of “They stole my soul,” because I offered myself. It makes all the difference. I’ve done some acting. When you act you soon realize you are asked to cry tears or to be emotionally sad. As a person with a conscience and an ethical sense, part of me would like not to be able to simulate emotions. As if I’d rather be a person who only can exhibit what he truly feels. I don’t want the skills of being something I don’t feel. And yet that’s what acting asks you to do. If I knew how to create sympathy by creating a real sorrowful dilemma that was a pure fiction, wouldn’t I be so much the worse as this facile human being who can jerk people around that way. It’s tricky.
Yet with music is it ever that way? When you’re singing are you always genuinely connecting with the real emotion of a song or do you ever go through the motions?
No. You have to believe in the lyric. The lyric has to have intelligence. And you have to feel touched by what you’re singing because you cannot play ‘touched.’ You really are or aren’t. It’s all communicable on the record. The modern microphone and the modern camera grabs the truth so intimately that there’s just not faking it,.
Has it been satisfying for you over these years to sing Simon’s songs?
That’s a psychiatric question. If I were my own analyst I would say, “Not really. Something in the back of your mind felt stifled by accepting that bargain.” But that’s in the back of my mind. I wasn’t really aware of that. I was happy enough to sing appealingly in this two-part blend and do these songs that he was writing. That felt like an acceptable bargain.
I have a feeling that if I was to probe the back of my mind I would find as frustration there. I mean, that imbalance and frustration led to me accepting Mike Nichols’ movie offer. As if — I don’t want to hurt George Harrison’s feelings — I bet George or Ringo felt a slight imbalance in the Beatles in the old days, and Ringo took that acting role. If one can build up the identity of he who is less defined in the group, it’ enriches the identity of the two- part. I had that in mind with the acting that I did.
Do you enjoy singing solo as much as you do singing with another voice?
Oh yes. I love to sing. The more other elements will clear out and the more minimal the supporting music is, the more I have fun showing off. I believe in my ability to sing and to shape the notes intimately and skilfully moment to moment. So I’m almost at my best singing a cappella. Frankly, just give me one element and let me go to town with a strong lyric.
When singing, are you conscious of choices and references that you are making?
I’m very cerebral and there’s always concepts and ideas and, references bangs around in my head. But all of that is after the fact analysis. Whereas the fact is a hard thing and it’s a flow and it’s instinct. When I sing, I don’t think. I shake out tension and I try to subtract my personality, my human condition, my gravity. I subtract everything so that I’m left with a prayerful, humble, hopeful visitation. It’s what you said when you write songs, you look for where this thing is heading. It’s about subtracting yourself from this equation so you’re left just with the spirit. It feels pretty religious.
Do you consider yourself a happy person?
Yes. 1993 has been tricky for me. I’m carrying a lot of work energy and feeling kind of turtle-like this year. My agenda is full of hard work and if I carry on this way there are going to be some real creases in my brow. But generally my ability to be entranced by being alive is very high. I come from a loving family, I have a good backdrop in my nature and it doesn’t take a lot for me to be happy. I take great pleasure in reading a book in the. park on a sunny day. I love to people-watch. When I see a family and kids playing with their dad, my heart really expands.
Are you religious?
In my way, quite. I’m not a believer in organized religion and I like to minimize things that are about us and them. We’re all one human being and we’re all it. I like to feel we belong to the human race, period.
Do you think being Jewish has affected your spirit or talent or intelligence in any way?
That’s a tough question. That question asks you to ponder this: Is there a generality that goes with the Jewish soul? And I suppose the answer is yes, but it’s tricky ground. Are they more intense than other people? Are they more like minerals, where other groups are more like liquids?
Maybe the answer is yes. You’re dealing with words now that grope very unsatisfyingly toward truths. I can grope with you on this notion but I don’t think we can pin anything down. Wisdom is beyond what words or even the brain can quite capture. I do have a great love of work done well. Is that the Jewish achiever thing ? Maybe. Maybe.
Do you believe in reincarnation?
I believe in healthy doubt. I believe in suspending the answer to all such questions and living comfortably with the sense of not knowing. As if to not really know but to move toward knowing is what life is. Move toward increased understanding, and don’t believe there is no reincarnation, and I don’t believe that there is. I remain in a state of wonder, interested in more data, ready to read about people with near-death experiences who say, “I died for thirty seconds, and they brought ne back on the operating table and I’m here to tell you about the fantastic lights, the opalescent colours you see when you give up life, because I’ve been to the other side.” This stuff is fascinating to me. I’ve never decided what I feel so I’m really open to increasing my understanding.