Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Man in the Mirror

My son said something about "quality time with his sister". Even my pleas were to no avail. And thus my fleeting thoughts of attending the Mighty High Music Festival vanished.

Late last evening  I heard the apartment door creak open. From under the covers, in my darkened bedroom, I half screamed "How was it?". The answer was one word."Woodstock". As my children entered the room, my daughter did the head weaving, arms waving, body twisting movements demonstrating what she had just witnessed. Grateful Dead, welcome to Tuxedo Park. There was, of course, the obligatory "Jerry" siting. And the marijuana. Everywhere. It permeated the clothing, enveloped the sky, and made an unmistakable statement.

"And was there anyone like me?"

 My son smiled. "Well, there were people your age, but none of them were anything like you. They were long haired and bearded." It was clear that much more than a physical difference separated us.

 The problem is that the face with the crow's feet, the lines in the forehead, the shadows, the gravitational downward force of  everything, the eyes that have witnessed 60 years and hair that is holding on for dear life in the few remaining places it has not long since abandoned, none of that is me.

While the truth is I was a disappointment as a hippie, my locks too wispy, my drug use too limited, my commitment to any cause too fleeting,  this did not alter my vision of myself.
I was the young face in the middle of that crowd last night. I was the one traveling the country chasing the music. I was the one swaying back and forth, the living embodiment of my own image stuck forever in my head.

I was at the Mighty High Music Festival even as I lay in bed, mostly asleep, waiting for that door to open. And though no one saw me there it is only because they were looking for the man in the mirror.

No comments: