Today I’m feeling like I may finally begin to get back to work. I trumpeted in the sunrise this morning, for the first time since getting home, then listened to Terri Gross interview Ray Manzarek, formerly keyboards player for the Doors. He was explaining how “Light My Fire” came about, describing the creative process the band members went through the day they first worked on the song. It reminded me of the milieu of creativity, joy, liberation and hope that was typical of the time. Suddenly, almost inexplicably, I burst into tears.
Well, almost inexplicable to those who weren’t there.
Our generation came so very close. But now, Americans are right back where we were at the start of that era our grandchildren only know of as a mythical time of wild partying, and our children resent because it too often stole the tradition of family support they, like all children, deserved. An era that had many very bad down sides, if the truth be admitted to.
But I misspoke: we’re not anywhere near back to where we were before the Sixties. Now we (i.e., we Americans) torture our perceived enemies. Or, if we don’t have the stomach to do it ourselves as thoroughly as we’d secretly like to, we arrange for more severe torture by foreigners.
And it’s our generation doing it.
How did we miss so badly after being so close?
Well, as Yogi Berra once famously said, “It ain’t over, ‘til its over,” so it may be too early to say we’ve missed. I’m a classic example. I’m retired. Not comfortably, because of doing it early, but the days, and my money, have never been so much in my control–not even before I settled into a career. I’m not dead yet, so it ain’t over for me yet.
Same for you. We’ve (i.e., those of us who identify with the sixties) never had as much power as we do now. Let’s start exercising it! We only have to band together.
Okay, I know the travelogue is over, because I’m not currently on the road. But I’m going to be on the road a lot in the near future, so this is probably largely a hiatus. But we’re all on a journey all our lives, so I feel justified in continuing this mostly monologue (by the way, thanks to all those who’ve occasionally responded via e-mail, turning it into a dialogue). Besides, it’s the best I’ve been at anything resembling correspondence in years and I don’t want to break this new habit, so I hope a lot of you will stay with me, at least for awhile.