Saturday, August 15, 2009

On The Road Again Through Space And Time

I took Friday off from work. Since my son is home from school and could keep my wife company I thought I would take advantage of that and stay overnight with my friend, Fr. Dennis. I got up early, dropped my wife off at her office, and headed down the highway. I met Dennis for breakfast and then we spent much of the day driving around the beautiful back roads of the Kentucky countryside admiring nature and occasionally stopping at small country churches. The part of Kentucky where Dennis lives and where the Abbey of Gethsemani is located is very historical, especially if you are Catholic. Late in the afternoon when we returned to Dennis's home I decided to take a nap. It was about 3:00 PM when I laid on the bed. I woke up briefly about 4:00 PM. The house was perfectly silent. Thinking Dennis might also be taking a nap I made no attempt to get up. The next thing I know it was 6:00 PM and Dennis was standing in the doorway of my room going, "You getting up, bro"? I had been sleeping like Rip Van Winkle. It felt so good. When I got up we went out again for a brief drive in the Kentucky twilight. Later, when it was bed time, I had no trouble falling asleep again and I slept like a baby until Dennis's two Basset Hounds woke up and began yelping. It just showed how tired I was and what a good sleeping environment a quiet home in the country can be. After waking up and having breakfast I spent most of the morning at the monastery where I met with a group of friends, attended mass with the monks, and had a delightful lunch. I am blessed to have such friends and such a place as the monastery in my life. Since I once lived there as a young novice, it still feels like home.

I've been taking another trip this weekend. I say that with some hesitation. This weekend is the 40th anniversery of the famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969. When I got home this past Thursday there was a musical dream on my door step. The new six CD, eight hour, musical retrospective of Woodstock titled "Woodstock, 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm" had arrived. I have been in hippie heaven. It's obvious that a lot of love and care went into this musical collection. Much of the music has never been heard before. The six CD's and all of the performances are sequenced in the exact running order of the actual festival. It includes not only musical performances but many of the now famous stage announcements and the sounds of the massive thunderstorm that turned the festival grounds into a sea of mud. This collection really gives you a sense of being there. I did not attend the Woodstock Festival. The next summer, in 1970, I did attend an event just as big called the Atlanta International Pop Festival. A little while ago I received a call from my long time friend, Tom, reminding me what we were doing 40 years ago during the Woodstock weekend. It was the summer of our high school graduation. While Woodstock was occurring in New York the two of us were taking the acid trip of a life time. 40 years later we are still trying to piece together the events of that weekend. Now we are still friends who are much older and preparing to attend our 40th high school reunion in a few weeks. All of us from the Woodstock generation are a lot further down the road these days.

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