Daughter and I were driving down to the old library on Friday night, listening to a program on WPR about Woodstock. A person named David called in, blaming Woodstock for everything that is wrong in society today, and yeah, I’m paraphrasing, not exaggerating. “There were six kinds of STD’s before Woodstock, and they were all bacterial and could be treated, and now there are 30 different kinds and 22 of them are viral, and once you get them that’s it!” I didn’t know they were doing germ warfare on Yazgur’s farm. There was some interesting nonsense about Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix dying of heroin overdoses; you get the picture. Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll, yada yada. There were a couple of callers who were living in other countries on other continents at the time, and how word filtered through to them, and how the event changed their lives, caused them to stand up, to be heard. How the United States was this beacon of hope in the dark world, that this could happen.

So the program ended, and we rode along listening to music for a bit, and Daughter asked me what I thought about that, what I thought about Woodstock. I made a joke about how I was there, and then had to backtrack and explain that it was a cultural joke, that there were so many people there nobody could prove you weren’t there, that it was a status thing. I said that it couldn’t have been that great, and then backtracked again and said that I’d never heard anybody that was there say anything other than how wonderful it was, so maybe it was, and how looking back, it seemed like the calm in the middle of the storm.

I dropped a crabby comment somewhere, saying have some mercy or some such pushy thing, and stopped to think about mercy and what it is to me, the thinking of how everybody’s trying, trying as hard as they can, and there’s good choices and bad choices and good and bad luck, and how we all end up somewhere, only to be pushed along again.

Let it go.

This morning I woke up to rain and wind and cool, a little break in the heat, thinking how quiet it was in my bedroom, listening to the wind pushing and fading in the whir of the box fan, and the chimes in the south window making a bright barrel of sound.

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