Bird Droppings June 26, 2021
Trying to find a way back to normal or is it abnormal
“Your son or daughter may be flashing warning signals that he or she will soon drop out of society and join the “hippie” movement. If you know what to look for, you may be able to prevent it.” Jacqueline Himelstein, How To Tell If Your Child Is a Potential Hippie and What You Can Do About It, 1970 P.T.A. Parent Education Pamphlet
I noticed a post on Facebook to a rather interesting website, Word of Mouth Critical Pedagogy that I am a member of and post to. It caught my attention being a post for parents to catch warning signs of their children becoming hippies which I have been called over the years many times. Matter of fact yesterday was decade day for homecoming week, and I pulled out a tie dyed short. As I read through, I found it most interesting and actually having been involved to a degree in that era of change seeing the reminders from back in the day struck a chord. The first sign is “a sudden interest in a cult, rather than an accepted religion”. I found this intriguing as so many of our large churches literally are cult followings sort of thing and now considered mainstream. The second followed the first with “the inability to sustain a personal love relationship drawn more to group experiences. In so many instances I see being part of a group now more significant than individuality for so many people. One of my favorite musical artists in Neil Young and falling right into that period of time seems about right.
“Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we’re finally on our own. This summer I hear the drumming, four dead in Ohio. Gotta get down to it soldiers are cutting us down should have been done long ago. What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground how can you run when you know?” Neil Young
Perhaps it was just a wandering thought of it has been about eight years since the shooting in Arizona of a congresswomen. But while I was sitting thinking and pondering now a few days back one afternoon listening to Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall, the song Ohio played and stuck with me. It has been a long, short week getting ready for a few days of vacation with my wife. We are all still trying to get back in a routine since my surgery. I was thinking back to before I retired where we had a three-week scheduled break and a week for snow and ice we had were out over a month over during Christmas break. It is literally trying to find my way back to normal and it is taking a few days or more to do it. As lunch time rolls around I keep thinking I might have to escape the house for a bit. Not being able to drive is a hinderance. The first thing after my surgery was thinking about my grandbabies and then I remember they are not there. Adding to my new routine I am amazed at how quickly we change our lifestyle and focus, post-surgery and as grandparents. Anyhow back to my original thought I was listening to “Ohio” by Neil young and the song sort of stuck with me and as I pondered how you ever get to normal after an event like that. Incidentally one of the shooting victims from the Arizona shooting was at Kent State nearly forty plus years ago and lost a friend. I went looking for a few notes on the song and borrowed from Wiki-pedia the following:
“’Ohio’ is a protest song written and composed by Neil Young in reaction to the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970, and performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It was released as a single, backed with Stephen Stills’ ‘Find the Cost of Freedom,’ peaking at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Although a live version of the song was included on the group’s 1971 double album Four Way Street, the studio versions of both songs did not appear on an LP until the group’s compilation So Far was released in 1974. The song also appeared on the Neil Young compilation album Decade, released in 1977. It also appears on Young’s Live at Massey Hall album, which he recorded in 1971 but did not release until 2007.” Wiki-pedia
“There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things: for the reformer has enemies in all who profit by the old order and only lukewarm defenders from all those who would profit by the new order. This lukewarmness arises partly from the fear of their adversaries who have the law in their favor, and partly from the incredulity of mankind who do not just believe in anything new, until they have actual experience of it.” Machiavelli (1469 – 1527)
My mother years ago sent this Machiavelli quote to me and back in the day and today so many similarities in our public awareness on both sides of the fence. I skip back to this past holiday season and for us as teachers in our county an extended break with a shortened calendar year and longer days to save money and then an extra week due to ice and snow. I find I am seriously a creature of habit and being out of routine for so long it is very hard to get back to normal. As I look at the national scene in politics and legislation I often wonder if we ever will actually do things for the people of the country and no longer for sponsors of politicians. On a passing thought maybe, politicians should be required to wear stickers like in NASCAR of sponsors.
“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” Henry David Thoreau
It has been some time since I came back to Thoreau. I recall reading about him and Walden back in high school, but it was just an assignment at that time. I as a student was living this quote. I was going through the motions of a being student but never quite really understood what it was I was doing there or why. Somewhere in Macon Georgia at Mercer it clicked, and I became a student and found that being a student and learning were two completely different things. This is sort of like realizing how engrained our routines actually are in our daily lives. Getting used to limitations after surgery while I heal my personal writing time was affected in the morning and now not having all day to run errands it is confined to a narrow window in the afternoon when I have a driver available and then home to cook dinner and rest for another day.
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. “ Henry David Thoreau
I took a picture on January 4, 2013, at sunrise and posted on facebook like so many images I post. I used it with a Thoreau quote to make a poster on my “Wall of Fame”, at school and in looking through my images this sunrise was so intense it just seemed right and so it had to be a poster for my photo wall at school. As I read over several times this quote from Thoreau started to sink in. I need to think over and over those deep thoughts that I want to attain and accomplish and rather than procrastinate go about following my pathway to completion. So, I am slowly getting back to normal and just emailed a friend after a long break it takes four or five days to get back in the groove. We have as a nation, state, county, school, and family so many things ahead of us we need to begin working through and around and over so we can get back to normal. Then of course I really do not think normal is where I probably ever will be according to many. Please keep all in harm’s way on your minds and in your hearts and always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)