So, a quick summary of my former rant - It's 4:20 today, most folks that are looking to honor the day as a celebration are about getting high as hell - why wouldn't that be high as heaven?? Built-in shame??
I spent years living on Dead tour, in my noble Subaru wagon sleeping in the back until she crystalized at 148K miles, then in either my VW Bus ('71 Westphalia, with a '70 Super Beetle engine) or other friends VWs as we wandered coast to coast following the boys. It was a blast, a four to five year run where we spent our spare time making shirts, then going on tour and supporting ourselves by selling them.
I learned a lot on tour - cooperation, business sense, collaboration, community, resourcefulness, independence, interdependence, how to change a VW engine, that you can pay for hot showers at KOAs, and that you can still find joy, optimism and camaraderie in the hearts of fellows. It was a vibrant community, a tribe. And for all the shows I didn't get in, many I did, and some for free. I wore a skirt and danced and was a basic freak - and, I spent years not talking about it, when I 'got over it'.
Ever had that thing, where there was something you really loved, and then dedicated yourself to? Then, sometime, somewhere, it wasn't hip or cool or acceptable, or you grew up, or moved on? I kinda left the Dead for dead, stopped playing shows, didn't wear my tie-dyes and 'moved on'.
Great part of iTunes is shuffle - it makes you remember all of those choices. And, iTunes DJ or simply shuffle is where I start most of my playlists. Sometimes, for fun, I search one word in the library; e.g. flow, shine, move, etc. Then, I see what comes up, and build a list on that. Just fun. So, last night, in honor of 4:20, I thought I'd spin on "stone". Well, after factoring out 100s for the Rolling Stones, there just wasn't enough to really factor into a sweet mix.
Pondering the issue, I thought, what was getting high as heaven and stoned as hell about, and I thought of the boys, Good Ole Grateful Dead. Poor students, there were some who were home, maybe for the first time in years. There were a few who had made it thus far in life without knowing the sound; well, I screwed that up for them!
3 songs, 75 minutes, couldn't even offer the 'don't like the song, give it 5 minutes it'll change' option! But flow and expand, and groove and maybe space out a little, they did. It was the right music at the right time - alternately annoying and falling apart - Dark Star crashed up in there.... Terrapin provided some symphonic and narrative charm; Good Mornin' Little Schoolgirl is just down and dirty and deep.
So, props to the rockstars, and props to who you were, which made you all of who you are. Give thanks and praise for your embarrassing moments, bad haircuts, questionable high-school fashion choices, whatever! It made you you, and that must be celebrated. So, thanks to the Dead, and getting me high as heaven, so I could get here. While it didn't make today's playlist, let me finish with some words that still resonate with me, one of my favorites from the shows:
"Small wheel turn by the fire and rod,
Big wheel turn by the Grace of God,
Every time that wheel turns 'round,
You're bound to cover just a little more ground,
Bound to cover just a little more ground.
Wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
You can't let go and can't hold on,
Can't go back and you can't stand still,
If the thunder don't get you,
The lightning will!"
Give thanks and praise, and include all of yourself, your experiences, and your history to serve you!