Oddly enough, the latest commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken brought to mind one of the songs that defined an age, a place, an event, a dream for love and peace: The Youngbloods – Get Together.
I was one of those at Woodstock and heaven help me, I do not remember much. My Cousin Billy and I were doing fine until the announcement blared out: “…That the brown acid that is circulating around us isn’t too good. It is suggested that you stay away from that. Of course it’s your own trip. So be my guest, but please be advised that there is a warning on that one, ok?”
I haven’t a clue if it was bad, I just know at one point, my consciousness merged with lots of other people and it was….epic. Years later, years older, years wiser, I look back at that time in my life as endless sunshine and beauty. Of course, most of the time it was pharmaceutically enhanced but….deep in my heart, that song has stayed with me through the years. It has defined me. I have shared the song with those I love either by recording or my poor little voice singing along while I play the tune on the violin. I must add, the drugs are long gone but the love still remains.
I took my husband with me to the 40th anniversary. He watched clips, gazed at photos, talked to folk like me. He is 10 years younger than me and was not old enough to be affected. In fact, he could have been one of the many children there with their parents!
In 1984, an ex-lover and I had gone camping to an almost deserted place on the shore of a huge, beautiful lake. The first morning, I awoke an hour or so before him. I walked out of tent and dissolved into the perfect and beautiful silence. The lake was mirror smooth. I went to the car and brought out the case with my violin, went down to the shore and sat down. At first, soft random melodies and then, it all came flooding back to me. I began to play this song. I gazed at the birds and clouds in the sky, listened to the waves softly lapping the shore. My lover came and sat beside me. “What is that song?” I began to sing the words and played softly. When I was through, I looked at him and his cheeks were wet with tears. We sat in silence and then he said, “Please, again. I remember this song when I was in university in Tokyo. But it means more now.”
It means more to me now. With all the hate, war, indifference, it opens my heart anew to loving one another; to doing those small acts of kindness that only another person is aware of, to do something to help another person. I don’t know who said this, but there is a quote: “No matter how small, no act of kindness is ever wasted.” You hold the key to love and fear in your trembling hand.