You can be born more than once per life.

In the 80's I traversed 2-D cartoon landscapes. Faced poorly drawn monsters. Flailed at fourth dimensional cinderblock dorm room walls in vain attempts at escape. Lived the quest of the disembodied soul to become flesh.

There was a Ken Russell movie called Altered States that I adored and paid to see five times. In the film's climax, a young William Hurt has come face to face with the genesis of the soul itself, and having encountered the infinite force of creation and survived, struggles to descend to three-dimensional earth from the astral plane.

And we know he will fail until true love opens the door to rebirth.

That movie enabled me to articulate in human language the nearly unfathomable philosophy I'd been living with most of my years. The universal property we have labeled "love" is the enabler for all construction. The ignition of stars. The formation of stellar systems. The hanging catenaries of suspension bridges. Photosynthesis. The natural fit of the diadem upon the head of the anointed. A perfect couplet. Birth and the soul-shaped light in her eyes when she says, "Yes."

Some of us go through a time where we're sure we're somewhat less than completely incarnate. When I first saw the video for Take On Me, I was in that state. Played synthesizers in a failing rock band. Wrote stories nobody read. Made grades in college I hoped would make me money that I prayed would make me real.

It took about 20 seconds to figure out the keyboards to the song, and about five for the rest of the band to say, "We're not fucking playing that." So that was it. Silly, senseless pop song.

The MTV video was a rotoscoped idea and rotoscoped was how I felt. Imprisoned by my own imperfect imagination. Dodging amateurishly scribbled id monsters who lumbered from place to place, destroying my ramparts with pink Eberhard-Faber eraser claws, devouring my archers, guzzling my rocket fuel, reminding me daily of my overall unattractiveness to a well-formed universe.

Musical Harkett pounds his way into existence to his true love in a scene identical to protoplasmic celluloid William Hurt morphing to human. Both "H" boys have real high-res women saviors. I figured salvation was being able to reach out from the written page and touch the first interested being who happened by.

I thought all I had to do was to bring someone into my chaotically constructed world and the whole thing would resolve to clarity. Because like Altered States Eddy or a-ha Harket, I was doomed to rotoscoped birds and dream villians until someone cared to be brave enough to forgo her own accurate definition to rescue me.

Doesn't everyone deserve to be saved?

It didn't happen that way. It doesn't in the song or the movie or the video, either, only I couldn't understand it then. You see it differenly when you've got the distance of a few decades. Perspective. From these heights you wonder how you got stuck at all.

One day, a perfectly painted hand came through a wall. Leonardo's enigmatic virgin. A limb constructed by a mind who knew you have to put in dabs of blue when painting a yellow cornfield. And she couldn't carry a tune into open space. She swam like one who'd just given up her flukes. She was as crazy as I was most of the time.

She said, "Yes. Yes I will."

But nothing is so simple to be how it looks.

"I'm not coming in there," she said in the theater darkness the sixth time we saw Altered States. The twentieth time we witnessed the a-ha video she told me, "You have to come out of there."

Don't know why I hadn't figured it out before. Why it seemed so hard to crash through the half-materialized sheetrock prison. Now realizing that until her, I never wanted to.

I remember when I finally got out. Standing there, covered in dust, muscles still spasming from the exertion. Spitting out tiny Pacific islands.

She said, "I knew it," when I took my first breath of real air. She brushed the cometary fragments from my hair. The solidifying magma from my ELP tour shirt. The carbonized tyrannosaur bones from my eyelashes. "I knew it."

Then, she gave me the first kiss I ever felt.

When the last note faded we got married.

Over the years I've asked her what she thought she knew. She always answers with the same smile and I go back to what I was doing.

Learning new songs.