Thursday, August 17, 2006

More on hippies

My friend Sara O writes to tell me... (please excuse the unforgivable young person's abbreviations and punctuation - lol)

"What a strange day, a 2 sides of a coin sort of day really.

"Went to an old friends funeral today; it was one of those green ceremonies, where u are buried in a woodland setting and a tree is planted on the grave along with a small plack. But thats not the strange thing. When someone u know passes away, its a huge reality check, particularly if the person has always been in fantastic health and lived life to the full etc, and you realise that whoah! this is going to happen to me someday, and you begin to wonder who will be at the ceremony, what will they say about you, maybe in muffled tones standing in small groups, almost whispering as though you may be listening with some kind of hearing device from within the wooden box!

"or even worse, they may be at the graveside in spirit, imagine that, listening to your words or even reading your mind! now that is something to think about!

"Anyway that wasn't the weirdest part of the day; I sat and watched the newest film version of 'Peter Pan', which was as far from reality as you can get really. I completely lost myself for 2 whole hours, immersed in the colours and sparkles, the beautiful soundtrack and fairydust. And the film really made me think, we really do need to rid ourselves of reality from time to time, otherwise we drown in it.

"The story of Peter Pan has so much to say about life, the simplest yet most effective is the fact that happy thoughts can lift us up and make us fly (metaphorically) and sad thoughts can push us downwards. I realise that this is a pretty obvious statement to make, but I don't think enough people really think too much about it; their lives are all about making money, and more money, having the best things in life, even their hobbies can be about impressing certain people, i.e, playing golf with this client or that boss, always striving to be the best in show, until they are all-consumed with work.

"So, basically in my world, I believe that people should just take time out, enjoy the simpler things in life and stop striving for anything that they feel is going to make their lives easier, better, because the one thing that makes life better is to just simply live it."

And all this made me think of a humanist wedding I went to once out in the middle of Hatfield Forest (where I happened to work at the time) between Bev, who I went to college with, and some bloke she was marrying (whose name I've forgotten, cough).

Reconstruction - may not have looked exactly like thisThere were lots of aspects that were a hundred times better than the church weddings I've attended (not least the absence of being lectured on moral virtue). The 100% control the couple had over the process, the inclusion of their friends; playing guitar (rather embarressingly I seem to remember), reading poems and giving little, loving speeches.

However, there was also an overwhelming self consciousness to the event. Whilst having a wedding in a forest looks good on paper unless your going to have the ceremony in the middle of the night with participants naked bar painted pagan symbols (and there is no harm in suggesting these things) at the end of the day Hatfield Forest is not a mystical and spiritual place - it's a big wood in Essex.

Even when we try to escape convention we can sometimes end up defining ourselves in opposition to it, which leaves us trapped within its boundaries - even when we're breaking them.

Despite all this I love weddings for their romance, their dew-eyed niavity and the ritualised palarva. Sighs, stares into the distance and wishes on a star, choke, vomit.


stroppybird said...


I think Louise and I will have to come round and give you a slap !! You are getting very hippie drippy.
You are in danger of ending up on our who to shoot list :-)

Is this the Green party influence ?

Jim Jay said...

I don't think talking about hippies and being a hippy is the same thing.

Anyway - I've always been on the spreading the love side of socialism rather than the list of those we'll hang after the revolution side.

Louisefeminista said...

"Anyway - I've always been on the spreading the love side of socialism rather than the list of those we'll hang after the revolution side."

Nah Jim, for me, it is all about shooting the fuckers sky high and love doesn't come into it..
Says a lot about me.

Jim Jay said...

Maybe, but it says more about the left where machismo and aggresive posturing never gets questioned.

Not my cup of tea frankly - although I'm not a pacifist or hippy or anything.

Louisefeminista said...

"Maybe, but it says more about the left where machismo and aggresive posturing never gets questioned."

Yeah and I'm a woman. Macho to the core me!

I remember hearing a story about a guy (somewhere in his teens) who joined the IMG in the early 80s and his first question was:

"When do I get my gun"?

He was being serious and he assumed as well as the theory there would be practical issues taken on such as how to use a gun and shoot people. I think he was a tad disappointed cos he believed that's what revolutionaries do....

He did have a point though in my opinion.