Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devils bargain
And weve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden.excerpt, Woodstock, by Joni Mitchell
In August 1969, I was 14 years old, and spending the summer with my cousins and aunt and uncle outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. One of my cousins suggested that we go up to the music festival in Woodstock. This was vetoed by my uncle in explicit terms, ‘It’s no place for a 14 year old.’
He knew something I didn’t know. In truth, I was not a hippie at the time, wasn’t much in tune with the tie-dyed times, and was not anywhere near as motivated as my cousin, a college student.
However, noting this reminds me of how much on the cusp I was at the time. By the fall of 1969 I had undergone various initiations and soon was long-haired and full of authority-questioning notions. Etc.. As it turned out, in my new school, several of the seniors and juniors had made the trek to Woodstock. It sounded fun and I understood from their tales what my uncle must have meant.
Counter-culture. Thank goodness for it. Survived it; learned a ton; got some of the current in my cells; had many adventures; continued to be informed by the transformative ripples.
It was a tough time–full of wreckage for greatest generation parents. There’s much I might say, doors of perception and stuff, but, instead I would like to introduce a map showing in what locations the counter-culture took hold (in blue).
By the way, this also is a map of the Presidential vote in 2008. Red=not hippies.