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domingo, mayo 29, 2011

Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky

When you're as lost as we are right now, maybe the best idea is to go back and to find out where we went off course. August, 1969, at Woodstock seems as good a starting point as any. First, there are the iconic performances. This Jimi Hendrix performance set the standard. But as important, everyone, whether they were there or not, has decided that it's ok to lie and proclaim in solidarity, "Yeah, I was there." There were about 500,000 people there. Why is it that 2.3 million or more now claim to have been there? Why indeed. Because it was one of the very few moments when what appeared to be everybody was on the same page. It was one of the few moments when everybody wished they were there. That makes it a good place to begin the search.

I'm not suggesting that you fill your brain with blotter acid to do this. Or some other entheogen. No. I'm just asking you to imagine this. Imagine you are back there, 42 years ago, standing in the mud at the end of Woodstock. What did you want? Where did you want to be in 40 years? Can you remember? Do you remember wanting there to be peace? Did you want the war in Vietnam to be over and for the troops to come home? Do you remember wanting to have a life filled with love? Do you remember thinking about justice and how everyone is entitled to fair treatment and an end to so very many kinds of discrimination? Do you remember thinking about how the nation's vast abundance could be shared so that poverty could be ended? Do you remember thinking about what would later be called ecology and concerns about destroying the earth? What was it that you were thinking?

What happened? Where did you make a turn away from those aspirations? When did your idealism become impracticable? When did you sell out? When did you begin to suck it up and go along? I'm not making accusations. How could I? I'm not pointing fingers. I'm just asking us to wonder: what happened to us? And yes, I acknowledge some of us have kept on keeping on. But those are a very small minority.

Where, I want to know, did so many of us fall into such a deep trance? Where did so many of us become distracted? Where did we lose our way? Where did we give up? Where did we "grow up"? When did we quit? When did we stop hoping?

And I wonder, can we accept all of this and change now? Can we again find in the middle of our chests our beating heart and our battered soul?

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