I realize I haven’t been posting much recently…in fact I haven’t been on-line that much over the past three weeks. It all started with me asking the question “Where did I go?” and subsequently trying to come up with the answer. This started me on a bit of a self-awareness journey through time.
I remember the Sixties which (according to current wisdom) means I wasn’t there…but I was. Mostly I remember my attitudes from back then. My group was a part of what most refer to as the hippie generation but we were all experiencing our last throes of teendom or in our early twenties. We still hung onto a bit of the fifties attitude and this “love and peace” philosophy came along at a perfect time for us.
We had seen the other side and while kids thirteen and up were quick to embrace hippiedom…grow their hair, do a little weed, and live the “free” life…we could understand how this movement came about and we appreciated what it all meant. We also knew that nothing was free.
We all had to work because someone had to pay for the freedom we experienced living together in an old house or our weekend romps up at the old cabin on a property owned by the grandparents of one of the guys. It was an idyllic if somewhat brief existence that taught each of us a lot about life and the people that share that life. We had differences but they only served to make us appreciate the commonalities which far outnumbered them.
When it was all over and each of us moved on to more traditional lifestyles (mortgages, kids, pets, etc.) we found inner conflict waiting in the wings.
Yes I still had the same job but everything else had changed. It was difficult maintaining the outlook on life to which I had become accustomed and soon it sank into the murkiness along with the tie-dye shirts, granny glasses, and torn-out jeans. Okay I still wear torn-out jeans but now it’s a choice.
Over the past few years I’ve found myself becoming the grouchy old man that used to live next door and I don’t like it. I’ve been told this comes with age but I don’t buy into that. Somewhere in my 67 year-old body is that guy who used to puff his pipe, sip wine, play guitar, and read for hours beside the pond at the bottom of a clearing.
Three weeks ago I set out to find him and eventually I did. In doing so I realized why he went away.
As noble as it is I feel that we perhaps spend too much time thinking about other people and not enough time thinking about ourselves. What I do…what I enjoy doing…isn’t necessarily what other people see as important. I have long had the philosophy that you don’t have to support what I do…just don’t keep me from doing it and we’ll get along fine. The same goes for the philosophy itself…you don’t have to agree with me just don’t try to change me but it seems a lot of people don’t understand the concept. You have your own beliefs and ideals and far be it for me to try to change them. I respect the differences we may have and I only ask the same in return.
It’s also important to not let this “think about yourself” become the end all yet many people have and thus the “entitled” generation was born. We are all part of this thing called life and like it or not our paths will cross at some point. How we handle relationships with others is based a lot on how we feel about ourselves. If we are comfortable with all that we are both physically and mentally then we can more readily accept what other people have to offer. Sometimes it’s enriching and sometimes it’s not but it’s all a learning experience if you’re open to it.
So where have these rambling thoughts taken me? To my backyard on my recently built deck with a couple of books on the table, guitar on my lap, and a bottle of Baroness Von Hinder-Faarten 1986 by my side. The pond at the bottom of the clearing has become an oscillating sprinkler but that’s fine. With my renewed old outlook on life I’m far more flexible than the me I had become.