Monday, December 13, 2010


BRAND-NEW WORLD
 
On the train the other morning I saw a poster for one of the local ski resorts, boasting that it has been in business since 1964. Noting that the poster featured a picture of two women in the style of the 1930s or so, I at first laughed inwardly at the designer's naivete in thus interpreting the 60s, until it struck me that it was I who was being naive: this was very likely the way most skiers now, who are predominantly in their 20's and were born in the 1970s, view the 1960s; they view that quaint, pre-life time period in the same way I, who was born in 1940, have always viewed the 1930s.

Then came the exponential rush that this same realization washes over each generation in its turn, and is what gives older folk that distant look they sometimes have in their eyes. I never knew what that look was until now, when I felt it in my own gaze: it is the look of having once lived in a lush land that is no more, that is now only reported upon, less and less accurately, as time goes by-- the 60s were now ancient history.

That immediate and ineffably memorable and exciting time of my life-- indeed of all life subsequent, whether it knows it or not-- that post-Screamin' Jay Hawkins-Little Richard-Buddy Holly-Elvis rock'n'roll booze Beatles politics Dylan Benzedrine Hendrix civil rights LSD Stones Vietnam war Joplin sexual liberation Doors mescaline college madness summer of love Woodstock Washington protest march marijuana melange was now ranked with the dallyings of Antony and Cleopatra.

So it was exciting there on this morning's train - suddenly become the express train of history - to sit there looking out of time-rich eyes at the world rolling by in a newness all my own.


5 comments:

steveb said...

Soon anthropologists will be seeking us relics out to ask what it felt like to dial a telephone, buy a 45rpm record, drive a stick shift, and, inevitably, to read a book printed on a tree.

Let's just hope they glorify our age in some small yet satisfying way.

DJ said...

I had a similar thought the other day while hearing what my son was listening to on his ipod. It sounded like screaming with no musicality to it at all. I imagine that is what my parents thought of my music, and what their parents thought of their's. Life goes on...

Robert Brady said...

And the past becomes even better than when you were actually there! Music-wise, especially...

Maggie said...

Yup, my sixties were much like yours add "Military, bands living with you, art everywhere, camera's everywhere, marching, marching." I found myself in my antique truck toodling down the streets of Ocean Beach CA this week with my truck radio cranked up on high. Suddenly the truck was spritely. My toes tapped to the tunes coming out of KGB hard rock and I could sing along with all the music at top volume. Until the homeless kids looked at me very oddly. Maybe the kids today don't daydream.

Gina said...

@ Steveb: love the expression of a "book being printed on a tree"