Archive for the ‘ougthabiography’ Category

Since Arlo Guthrie is here in Portland today with his whole family, children and grandchildren, I thought it would be fun to reflect on something he wrote twenty years ago. He called it “My Oughtabiography,” and starts out with, “I was born with a guitar in one hand in Coney Island, which is the good part of Brooklyn, New York…” After bringing us up to date, he goes on to say, “My personal life is somewhat of a mystery, even to me. Although it’s fun to be mysterious at times, it isn’t always convenient. People always want to know what you are, as if it made some kind of difference. Lots of people want to have something special in common with folksingers. They’d like to share their views on religion, pollution, nuclear power, human rights, truth, justice, and the American way with someone who sees things the same way. I have come to the conclusion that we are all one person with a few billion faces so we can see things in lots of different ways. I guess there really isn’t any mystery to me at all, unless I think of myself as being all alone…”

Now you know what an “oughtabiography” is, right? Wait a minute, what is Arlo really saying, anyway? Have you ever felt like “we are all one person with a few billion faces”? What in the world does that feel like?

An 11th way to review your life story –  If we all are one person with a few billion faces, does that mean your soul’s “oughtabiography” would be the same as, but from a different perspective than, someone else’s? Arlo gives voice to his soul in his own natural style, by expressing himself, his own inner qualities, and his own personal experiences. What have you acquired along your journey that makes you who you are? What conclusion have you come to about what it all comes down to for you?  Take a stab at telling the kernel of your soul’s story, in a way that expresses most who you are, in one sentence. Let’s see how many one sentence soul “oughtabiographies” we can share here.

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