I grew up in the 60s with a helluva lot of rebellion and ideals. Fifty plus years on I often try to assess what degree of change I’ve been through and whether that has compromised those ideals.
Obviously, I’ve changed.
I used to be very naive and idealistic. I think I’m a shade more realistic now. I’m more despondent than I used to be.
I grew up in the 60s – the best time for me. But then I suppose everyone is nostalgic for the times of their youth. For me it was special. I was inspired, set on fire by the likes of Roy Harper, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Woody Guthrie and Captain Beefheart. They mirrored what was in my head. I felt that we were part of a worldwide movement – antiwar, anti-establishment, anti-racist, opposed to the incipient racism, sexism and elitism of the society I was stranded in. There were lots of us and it really felt as if we could make headway.
I wanted a life that was exciting, adventurous, hedonistic, fulfilling and meaningful. I didn’t see how I was going to get that following the tenets of the society I was born into. That seemed to run on hypocrisy, dishonesty and arrogant superiority. You joined the club, made loads of money and pissed on everyone who was not part of your elite. I hated it with a vengeance. I dropped out, intent on doing things my way.
I’d been reading Kerouac, Burroughs and Miller. I’d been listening to Harper, Dylan and Guthrie.
There had to be another way.
The bohemian life I wanted was only open to those with some talent who could make a living out of creativity. I lacked the skills.
Life was a compromise. I needed money to exist and bring up a family. I ended up in education and became a headteacher (working on my real passion, my writing, into the hours of night).
Did my compromising change me? Obviously, it did. But I still hold firm to most of my views, only the spirituality has slipped by the wayside. My philosophy and ideals informed my teaching.
I still work towards a better future – a world of equality, freedom, harmony and creativity. I want an end to sexism, racism and nations. I want a global outlook. I want to live in nature and be part of it.
As being a Native American of the 17th Century is no longer open to me I simply try to do the best I can, make life as meaningful and positive as I can manage and do as little harm as possible.
I write. I live. I breathe. Love is a protective shield. Life has meaning and purpose. Creativity is fundamental.
I accept that I am now a pointless relic.