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Showing posts from April, 2011

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Your Tribe May Be Next Door

Seeking respite from the concrete jungle and cacophonous vibes of Santa Monica, today I rolled a mere fifteen minutes to a country redoubt.   Landing in Topanga Canyon, I posted outside of the Waterlily Café (hippie style stained glass lettering) in the cool air and bright sun.  My short journey was ten miles and forty years.  The air was fragrant with the scent of patchouli and I surveyed a truly unique scene.  Posters advertised the upcoming Topanga Days festival with a roster of local and international bands.  A guy walks by in cowboy hat, another jumps in his old, big pick up truck.  A middle aged couple speaking in Persian and wearing leather get on their Harley and roll off.  A small pop-up tent is pitched in a corner of the parking lot next to yucca and cactus mixed among the sage and palm trees.  A 50ish woman dressed in full horse riding regalia gets out of her Lexus SUV. At the table next to me are a young, bearded guy with big shells poking through his left and right ear lo…

Them Changes

Today I was hit by the spirit of the ‘good old days.’   Back in Berkeley and sipping a dark roast sitting at a café on San Pablo Ave.  It is a great 21st century coffee house with fine organic, fair-traded coffee, ample room, classic knick knacks, and free wi-fi.  An empty bottle of Lancer’s circa 1966 sits on the window sill as nostalgic decoration. Surrounded by old stuff, the café seeks to evoke a calmer, simpler time.  For us back in the 60s and 70s they were anything but simple and calm.  They were times of great rebellion and conflict in society.  We wanted a change and we wanted it now.  The song that was a harbinger of what was to develop was Dylan’s ‘Times They Are A Changin.’  We got some changes; the lowering of the voting age, end of the draft, civil rights for woman and so-called minorities and the impeachment of Nixon.  Buddy Miles reflected the stress of those many changes in his 1970 song ‘Them Changes.’  In systemic changes we demanded such as stewardship of the envir…

Remembrance, not Nostalgia

Lately I have been reconnecting with some old keepsakes from my teens and twenties.  I had simply thrown letters, reports, awards, photos, birthday cards, and journals into a cardboard box.  Stored in the attic for many years, I was looking for some old sports equipment and discovered mice had begun to feast on my treasured memories.  Salvaging the majority of them, I decided to store the stuff in a plastic carton to protect them.  In the process of repacking I read a few letters, journals etc and discovered key qualities and ideals of my young self.  In some ways, it was affirming of my ongoing essence is very similar over the course of nearly fifty years and I also noted the areas of growth.  Finding those parts (or members) of my self inspired me to look at the old days with confidence that I can re-member without fear of falling into a 'good old days' syndrome.  With the clarity of distance and age I read and rediscovered the rich ore of my timeless self.  My …