Friday, July 24, 2009
What A Long Strange Trip It's Been
Yes, the Revolution of Love was and is, for some of us, real...and real hippies still do exist. I'm not talking about those who wore a hippie style, lost themselves to drugs, or denegrated good soldiers in an impossible situation. I'm talking plain-speaking, big-loving, individual-styling, tuned-in...*GASP*...Liberal (with a capital Luh) hippies.
There was a magic to flashing someone a peace sign and immediately being involved in philosophical discussion. There was a beauty in barriers coming down between young people of different cultures, especially in the wave striving for civil rights and equality. There was such movement in a generation on the road to self-discovery. Yes, there were dipsy-doodles...but name me an Age where funky li'l gene pools haven't spilled into the river!
I lived communally, north of the 49 Medicine Line and we often housed young American men, traumatized by the peace in their hearts slamming into the Draft and an insane war half-way round the world. I will never in my life forget the night I held a young man as he cried. He came from Mississippi and had actually volunteered for Vietnam, with his best friend and his brother-in-law. The best friend was killed...the brother-in-law badly injured...and then this young man was also injured and sent home. After recovery he tried to return to life, one night stopping into a bar for a cool beer. He was told, "We don't serve N*****s in here boy!"
He tore the bar apart and headed north.
There were never less than twelve for dinner at our house, so dinner was often whatever variation of brown rice and veggies bought in Chinatown. Sometimes a guest, traveling into Vancouver from up-island, would bring with them a huge, fresh-caught salmon. We also gladly fed and housed anyone for three days at no cost. Participation in house-chores was a must though and all was organised through weekly house-meetings by the residents.
Here's a little economic misty memory for you: The rent for this five-bedroom house was $250/month. Each of us living there paid $6/week for food...and we ate really well. When you only had to cook once a week, you put a little extra effort into it. Our entire back yard was used for a veggie garden; the soil fed by a rockin' homemade compost bin. We recycled everything we could, amazing the neighbours with the small bag of garbage put out every week.
We had no TV or radio...but we had live music every night...and I mean EVERY night. There was the possibility of theatre every day...and there was love and laughter in a tie-dyed swirling smile. We got naked together...and physically was the least of it. I burned my bra...I stopped shaving and wearing make-up...oh sweet comfortable freedom!
That's what this blog is about...sweet comfortable freedom to be who I am. Perhaps I'll be serious...perhaps I'll get a li'l slapstick. It's gonna be, like, real man...and if that's too much for you...peace...and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. For those who wear Big Boy/Girl pants (and they may be Depends!) and who feel Love may be free but the responsibility is work, I hope you'll do a li'l truckin' with me.