A Planet With One Mind

WHEN I WAS a freshman in college, still living at home and didn’t know nothin,’ with no idea who I was or where I was going, someone who heard me play the guitar told me I should listen to the Moody Blues. I bought an album with a cool cover and interesting title. “To Our Children’s Children’s Children.” I put it on my little bedroom-size turntable stereo, and this is what I heard–the very first thing. It is called “Higher and Higher,” and it blew me AWAY.

Fans of my book “Old Turtle” might be interested to know that an evocative phrase from this song, ‘butterfly sneezes,’ found its way, 21 years later, into that book, though I did not consciously remember where it came from. One day I got a phone call. A British accent. “Hello, is this Douglas Wood?” Yes, I said, it was. “Is this the Douglas Wood who wrote ‘Old Turtle?'” Yes, it is. “Well, this is Michael Pinder, of the Moody Blues.”

And suddenly it came to me.


Well, he couldn’t have been nicer. Turns out he LOVED the book. And said a phrase like that couldn’t be ‘owned,’ and was meant to be used. And it also turned out he was calling me to ask MY permission to record his own reading of ‘Old Turtle,’ which I, of course, granted. (It can be found with a Google search of Mike Pinder, ‘A Planet With One Mind.’ Or ‘Old Turtle.’ Beautifully done.)

Meanwhile, this track still brings back fond memories–one of the sparks that started me on my creative and philosophical path. And still a high energy, fabulous way to kick off a day. Or a weekend.

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