I lived through the sixties. By the hour. By the minute. By the second. I was not distracted by devices -- only of my own making. The music of the moment informed us. Educated us. Moved us. Bonded us. It was our universal language. Lyrics were poured over. Melody was felt. Harmony was sung.
Our clothes were the uniforms of our peaceful army. We signaled each other with peace signs. There was magic and there was realism in the form of an unfathomable war. If you were under 30 you belonged to the exclusive club whose rules were dismantle all rules.
Our bodies blissfully peeked out (from everywhere) and emerged and we were not ashamed. We were our bodies and we claimed them all as our own. We gathered to be a part of the gathering. Today tragedy is almost always the reason that crowds form.
We were pioneers who were galled by cultural shackles and we all made that abundantly clear.
Love was our currency and we felt it deeply. We were part of a growing and thriving tribe whose everyday rituals were our way of expressing whatever God was.
We were conscious -- even when we were unconscious from all the pharmaceuticals that we bathed our brains in. We did not get high to escape. We got high in order to elevate our souls.
We flew together in the world of knowing. We held onto each other so that we would never fall.
We did not live in the past. We crushed the past into smithereens, remixed the particles and in the act, in the moment, reinvented our lives.
The music was always in the air. From open windows. From a passing radio. From someone strumming a guitar in a gathering park or street corner. It was our form of the telegraph. We were always sending out short, clipped-message lyrics that only the heart could hear.
We were young and therefore we were forever. Or so we thought. We cascaded on invisible waves that sent us soaring and made us giddy and blissful because that is all we ever demanded.
We rejected formality. We rejected the trappings of our parents. We rejected anything that was traditional or obvious or preordained.
We understood the now without every getting a lesson. We meditated. We lit candles. We basked in the glow of transparent youth.
We walked as barefooted as Jesus and listened to wisdom that was dispensed as freely as candy.
The '50s and early '60s clung on as long as they could until Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated our innocence and it took the hand-clapping giddiness of the Beatles to reinvent and return it for us in copious amounts. Their sound, which seemed to come from the exclusive channels of Planet Teenager was a soothing voice (and directive) that could only be heard from deep within the eye of the storm. It was a memo from the universe that reminded us that everyday could be your re-birthday and you were once again given permission to repeatedly enjoy spontaneous bliss. Irreverence and cheekiness came at us like a Tsunami and drenched us in delicious irony, and just like that we were once again set free.
We were all aflutter once upon a time. Our hearts, our souls, our toe-tapping toes -- all rhythmic, all keeping time of the times.
After a day like today, I found myself, as I usually do, returning to days gone by which went by as if they would never be gone.
I'm reminded of the downpour of love that drenched us. The feeling that everyone in the world was our friend, our cousin, our sister, our brother.
It's a place that we all need to return to, I think. Back to the garden. Back to a time where thought trumped information. Where knowing everything was not as important as feeling the sheer luxury that comes with every moment. Where paperback books hid quietly in the back pockets of our tattered jeans, ready to be opened on demand and escaped back into.
In this world of endless magical realism we are finally at a tipping point where there is now way too much realism and simply not enough magic.
I invite you all to return to your souls which hide, like once upon a time paperback books, deep beneath your lung breaths and thoughts and wade in the stream of remembrance, and follow the invisible and always there river to where you... me... all of us... need desperately to return.