Waking this morn I realized that there existed the optimal state of being for a writer. I read my prayers books and settled into my daily meditation with an odd sensing that there was something to be accomplished this day. I must rethink the ideal that something was odd in that the stimulation in me was quite familiar. I knew this mood and I welcomed it with open arms and a smile on my face. I had been, once more, given the gift of muse. Hallelujah!
A few nights ago I watched the end of a film that I have previously watched. There were fifteen minutes to wait before the next installment of the latest season of a vampire/porn show on cable. Vampire shows have always been a fascinating escape for me, and the newer versions are not bashful where it comes to dishabille and sensuality. (The elderly seek excitement where they can find it!) I tuned the film in and caught enough of the film that it stayed with me.
It was the film version of a book about the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. It was more or less a reporting, in fictional terms (you know, “based on a true story”) of how that famous event came into existence. The logistics of the occasion took precedent and it quite realistically also portrayed the feeling of the time. This was an important happening in my life and remains so. I have an old Traffic song ringing in my head that won’t go away, and I am starting to wish I had someone to go skinny dipping with. Nostalgia is, as most know, the last refuge of the elderly.
What is sneaking into my head and soul is the overwhelming loss of the principle of the event. I remember when the movie came out and the soundtrack hit the stores. There were people everywhere that lined up to make money off the event and there were those who just kept doing what they had been doing all along. I recently turned a late night talk show on and watched Wavy Gravy come out dressed like a clown. For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Gravy, he was the leader, or Head Hippie at Woodstock who gave us the ever famous/infamous “Whole lots freaks!” saying that so described the day(s). He is still doing what he ever did, social and political activism that yearns for the continuance of rugged individualism and unconditional peace and love. Not entirely bad ideals for this tired old man to remember…or anyone else for that matter.
That which I find in me today is memories of the improbability of the event. There is a scene in the movie where the main character tries to walk from his house/motel/event headquarters to the concert and a state trooper tells him that it would be futile. The cop informs him that his original intention was to be able to club a few hippies’ over the head, but that he had probably got a contact high and could really care less. He tells the kid to get on the back of his police motorcycle and they ride off into the psychedelic sunset with a flower dandelion sticking out of the visor on the cop’s helmet. How cool is that?
There were a group of church ladies making sandwiches. How Christian is that? What would Jesus do? Probably grab a spot in the production line and spread mayonnaise or mustard on bread. The kid walked up on a couple in a mini-van and they showed him the futility of trying to get to the stage and invited him to share their van…and the drugs they had. Not a fan of psychedelics, even in my misspent youth, I recognized the emotion and not the debauchery. Drugs are bad (at least for me, that is) but the sentiment is not lost. Community and not the devalued obsession with self the world currently suffers with.
Yes it was a long time ago, and many reading today might think that I seek to immortalize the incident and negate the negative effects of the weekend. I wonder if the blessing of hindsight is but a phantasm or is the ghost of Jimi Hendrix actually channeling words through me right now? I do not participate in many or any of the activities re-counted in the film. I did at one time. I eschew the notion that what is necessarily evil today has always been evil. I know that “three days of peace and love, and nothing but peace and love” as Max Yasgur said is not a bad thing. I think that at the time there was a need for something like the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. I think there is a dire need for it to happen today. At least, that is, the peace and love part.
I will be brief today and end this piece. I spoke of the improbability of the event. I did some research as part of writing today (memory not being what it once was). I wondered if there were any ideas or ideals not included in the planning. Apparently not. The final act was to be, before he declined, Roy Rogers singing “Happy Trails.”
Peace…oh, and love