Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hippie Days

As P.D. Ouspensky posited in A New Model of the Universe almost a hundred years ago, time has 3 dimensions, and moves in a spiral fashion. I'll leave it to you to read his argument.

But I believe his theorizing to be accurate because it matches my experience of life: while there is a mostly-linear continuum of events, there are also moments of transcendent presence, and there are the cycles, large and small, in which a turn of the spiral takes us back along a path in many ways familiar, but new. This cycling is a way of gauging one's progress (or lack of it) in life. 

This weekend, we came around a big circle, returning to a part of the world where the Fred & Marigold Odyssey became official in 1981, tying us into a world one might have thought vanished.

Hippie Days? Hippies don't exist any more -- do they?

As it turns out, and as one might have suspected, hippies have just found niches in off-the-beaten-track communities, where the cooperative spirit that animated this counterculture still thrives. Gardner, Colorado is one such place. Hippie Days isn't on the internet, but it is on the grapevine. And so we found out about it, months ago, and by some luck figured out when it was scheduled. We came down from Denver with optimism, copies of Karmafornia to hawk, and a 1970's era book about alternative communities, titled Shelter.

Fred's cousins lived at a commune in the vicinity of Gardner, where he visited them in maybe 1975. At the Hippie Days festival this historical artifact-book connected us with the denizens who shared space there, partied there, and in some cases still live nearby.

 The music was great: Middle Eastern, with belly dancing; a Grateful Dead tribute band; Cajun, with zydeco fun; and the guy in the green head-wrap is the impresario & drummer of the band Planet O which rocked the place with rock'n'roll, reggae and funk with his band: sax, trumpet, keyboards, vocals, lead guitar & bass.

 The festival rule was No Bad Vibes, and we encountered none. People of all descriptions, from gray and arthritic 60's flower children to toddlers, vaqueros to bikers, and even the cops, were having a fine time. The teenagers especially gave me hope for the future: these young-uns were cheery, dressing each with his or her personal flair without fear of the Style Police whose insistence on conformity is surely a major contributor to the typically dour & sour teenage state of mind.

Oh, and it was a good day for Karmafornia sales as well.
Fred and Marigold's big cycle tapped us back into the tribe, with a smile.

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