|The Festival and The Battle|
|by David Eide||.|
I was watching a film on a folk festival down along Big Sur in 1970. It was late at night and I was impressionable. But watching the film; the beautiful songs, the happy, milling crowd and so on brought back some of the spirit of that time. There was a medieval quality to the desire; the simple joy, simple optimism. Judy Collins sang Woodstock that sent shivers up and down my spine. This was, above all else, a spiritual time, an awakening, a bursting forth from the categories imposed
I would say that from 1969 to 1972 those rock and rollers had tremendous sway and were in sync, carrying the spirit of the day.
That was a haunting song by Judy Collins. It's so magnificent to see the spirit moving in its own optimism, in its own buoyancy.
The Year of the Festival equaled the desire for community, just as the old medieval festivals in Champagne and other places had centuries ago. Difficulties arise when you are given that much power over a generation as the singers and groups had; it's hard not to believe that the power is actual and eternal and will change everything. By 1972-1973 that spirit was definitely gone. It was driven by the desire to overcome the harshness of the world which can be a very dangerous thing to do. The world does not want to be reminded that it is harsh and will attack all such pretensions as a matter of fact.
The spirit of that generation trickled out, then, to religious cults, to "back to the country" movements, eventually to the computer field. There was much destruction along the way.
And there was destruction because the rebellion and effort seemed so right and it was so easy to plunge into it and identities were established there. And for a brief moment it all appeared to be more majestic and authentic than the machine it was competing against. It was necessary to articulate the feeling that the "machine" presented to the innately optimistic mind.
A young woman, in a blue dress, with long brown straight hair, dancing slowly with her arms up, her head turning slowly and then breaking out of that pose to a strikingly different pose. That, to my mind, epitomizes the spirit of that period.
Early in the evening I had seen a documentary on the battle of Guadalcanal in WWII. I was especially interested in it since my dad had been stationed at Henderson Field for a time. Veterans went back to the scene of the fighting, the beaches and jungles and documentary films showed the raging battles on land, air, and sea. And I just felt a great feeling of respect and honor for those men. It is easy to forget that the generations previous to my own went through this experience. And you have to respect them for it and they should be honored for it. And I can see why that older generation resented the young generation making light of it and not showing respect for it and, even, denying the significance of it.
The 40's decade was far more significant than the 60's. The 40's were really one of the most significant in history. The 60's were more like the 20's. The 70's were like the 30's. The 80's were like the 50's.
© 2016 David Eide. All rights reserved.