Friday, July 10, 2009

Blissfest and other hippie bullshit

So here I am in Northern Michigan, once again, and it's the weekend of the Bliss music and arts festival. I guess to a lot of my friends and colleagues this is a big deal. It's like Rothbury had a little baby in Good Hart, Michigan. I've gone before and I'm not sure that I'll go again. Besides, it's sort of dubbed a 'hippie' festival now and I think somehow the definition of being a hippie has changed drastically since its origin.

I guess the term hippie means basically a person who is opposed to many of the conventional standards and customs of society, especailly one who advocates extreme liberalism in sociopolitical attitudes and lifestyles. I get this. I feel like I fit pretty well into that all natural liberal attitude.

I think it can be defined in many ways - having long hair in the 1960's meant something very diffrent that in does now. Then, it was a statement against the war. As people were being drafted and sentenced to a likely death in Vietnam, it was more a trend, it isn't really a philosophy like John and Yoko made it out to be back in the counter-culture days. I guess in my mind the modern age of 'hippies' isn't much like its 60's ancestors. It's a soul and life philosophy above everything else. Choosing to support local business or music, over corporate ones. Buying organic, harvesting your own food, political activism, meditation - everything externally simple and internally rich. Instead of man v. nature, it's about the power of co-existing; hemp clothing, plant based diets, alternative medicine and so on. Seeking to live in harmony with the Earth and those around you without confrontation and conformation.

I hope that if people are going to cling to this sterotype of being a modern hippie; they do, in fact, understand the mentality that all those civil activists that started this movement lived and breathed for us to know it to this day. The biggest part, I'd say is becoming the change that one wishes to see in the world. In order to start a revolution, you've got to first be the revolutionary.

So, to those of you setting up your hammocks and hanging your tapestries this weekend, you won't see me. If Bliss really is about following your own personal 'bliss' it wouldn't be slapping a price tag on Mother Earth, music or art. At any rate, to those of you going; have fun, you dirty bare-footed hipsters.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


When all there is is just cigarette smoke and hope filling the room, what can you do? What can you do but to feel like you want to laugh and cry and scream and you feel like it should last forever. What can you do but to feel a little upset because you know it has to end sometime - it just has to.

Every good thing comes with that price. With that lump in the back of your throat (that lump that you get when you know the feeling you have is the absolute best kind of bad).

Walk to the park. Lay in the middle of the road. Listen to the sound of perfect - to those laughs, that you just know are real. You don't have to wonder, think twice, second guess those laughs. Climb a tree. Those moment when you go outside and huddle together or walk while embracing because even though it's warmer inside, it feels better this way. Nothing can compare to sugarhoney kisses and one last cigarette.

To picture lifeless trees, living skies, tombstones of babies that died in eighteen thirty-three, , concrete floors and beautiful people whom you have nothing but love for - capturing things that you don't think should be memories yet. No, not just yet.

I like to capture them like yesterdays clouds and make believe that nothing can stop me from making them stay forever. And I dance and sing to the soundtrack of my future nostalgia hoping to put it in my pocket and hang onto it like it's something tangible.

I think sometimes that maybe this feeling is the feeling of happiness, something that I've never held before, never really experienced. I figure it's like being in a tornado - not the eye, where everything is peaceful, no. Instead it's like swirling around feeling things I never knew I was capable of feeling. I am a million shades of crazy, one hundred layers of calm, a mile of chaotic beauty.

And there isn't anything a thing that can be done to stop this. To end it. I know that it doesn't matter if I never feel this way again. It doesn't matter because I've had it once. This isn't an ending at all. Remember? We're feeling; we're living.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Something to fill some space

There was a pilot who crashed, wrecked his plane (and lived). He said he'd never fly again. I guess that words don't mean a thing if you can throw some together with the hope that it turns out okay, and then let anyone read it to see what he or she will say. Sometimes I feel like that 'anyone' is my only friend. Anyone is everything, you know? Me, us, them, him, her, no one at all. I just write words to words and hope that someone might discover the diffrence betewen 'listening' and 'hearing'.

I kind of laugh at the way I lie awake and let darkness seep in through my open windows, gathering under my eyes and bruising them a dingy purple.

I don't really have an inability to sleep, it's not that. I guess I'm just tired of devoting myself to something only to have it turn into a vapor and dissipate into the atmosphere - miles away - leaving me with empty clentched fists and damp eyes. And I do this to myself all the time until I'm raw with ignorance and nauseous with rejection.

I think I upset a lot of people and I know that I upset myself. And maybe I don't want that.

As for today, I'll just stick to my grey skies. It's like that feeling I got the first time I was soaked with rain and didn't even bother getting dry and warm. Once you've had lightning and thunder shake the walls around you, you might as well expect more because it's coming.

Sometimes rainstorms are so beautiful it hurts but it's not as bad as the times when I hurt so badly that it's beautiful. That's how it's been, licking envelopes and only tasting glue, not something enjoyable. Not something memorable. But I love those memories anyway, of sending letteres the old-fashioned way; and sometimes, when it's wet and grey or I can't handle the weather, I pull out an envelope and seal it shut without a letter inside because I think I've run out of words and I've been relying on touch ever sense.