Friday, July 03, 2009

Living In A Hippie Dream

It doesn't take too much to make me happy. I came home from work yesterday and found a package on my front porch. It was the "Woodstock Experience" Box Set. It contained CD's with the complete performances of Jefferson Airplane (pictured above), Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, Johnny Winter, and Janis Joplin. I've heard bits and pieces of these performances over the years but I have never heard the complete performances, unedited, like they went down 40 years ago at the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August of 1969. It blows my mind that 40 years have passed. That's a lot of water under the bridge. I'm all for living in the moment but it's a wonderful thing that we have the technology to relive great moments from the past over and over again. I love it that Thomas Edison invented the ability to record words and music. I love it that Gutenberg invented the printing press so books would be accessible to millions of people. It's not likely that I would have the opportunity to hear live in the moment music everyday. That's why it's so wonderful to have recordings whether they were recorded last month in a state of the art recording studio or in near primitive conditions 40 years ago in a field on Max Yasgur's farm. Music and books have given me many joyful moments. Listening to these exciting, and occasionally ragged performances, brings back so many memories of a time when I was much younger, more energetic, and perhaps more hopeful since I was yet to be beaten up by life. A lot is said about how age is all in the mind. For the most part I believe this. My 58 year old body has had it's share of life's hardships. Even my mind has had it's share of struggle as I try to control its tendency towards negativity and cynicism. However, my mind is my only hope as I try to maintain some sense of youthfulness as old age attacks me from every side. Assisting my mind are the sounds of my youth when life seemed free and easy and full of possibilities. Today I will sit in my music room, enjoying my holiday weekend, and, at least in my mind, I will imagine that I am sitting cross legged in a farmer's field, surrounded by my friends, as we groove on the rock and roll sounds of our generation. Soon enough the weekend will be over and I will be back in the office returning to the illusory world of business where I am expected to be a adult.

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