Very much just another blog

Maybe I am a hippy

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I have a friend named Graeme who hates hippies. He used to hate France too but that changed because of a woman with long legs and some particularly nice cheese. He still hates caravans. But who can be blamed for that? No one. That’s who.

Last week, just before stepping into a meeting, Stuart, my colleague suggested to me that I was a hippy. I wasn’t impressed; hippy to me conjures up images of Neil from the Young Ones and, for some reason, people who like caravans. I hate caravans and, like my friend, I cannot be blamed. In retrospect I’m not sure what they have to do with hippies, but I know we were fairly determined on this point.

I met Graeme when we worked for an arts festival and sometimes, in the crazed runnings around of backlines and artists’ demands and a several week diet of only miniature food, our view of the world became a little skewed. I can remember sitting alone in a huge venue: the sound system for the evening’s performance was stuck in a traffic jam on the other side of town, the back up sound system was stuck behind a tractor a little closer, but not close enough to be of any actual use. I’d sent the choir and actors off to break and was gazing glassy-eyed at the ceiling when Graeme arrived. He’d made me a cup of tea. What a bastard. I cried then and there and wished he’d yelled instead because it would have been easier to cope with than kindness. Fortunately tea making was never Graeme’s forte and the teabag he’d left in fell onto my face as I gulped the dregs. Fitting: I felt better.

The next day we were running a street festival which I had programmed. I regretted the naked people when we lost them and I had reports from the police that the act was bottle necking a small area of the high street. When I found them, one bare arse hanging in the air, a bald head skirting around the edge of the crowd and then a whip slashing a sparkler from between the clenched naked cheeks, I wondered about lots of things: did I have the best or the worst job in the world; how was it informing my view of life; when was I going to get something to eat that wasn’t brushed lightly onto brioche and nestled under a single basil leaf; who *are* these people who make their living from bare-arsed sparkler gymnastics?

So, to return to my point, we called all these people hippies. I’ve no idea why, it’s not a fair definition – for them or indeed for hippies who, of course, ultimately are born of the Beatnik era… and whom I admire. But you can’t call yourself a Beatnik because you sound less like a hipster and more like a tosser. No one likes a tosser either.

Why do you think I’m a hippy; I don’t think I’m a hippy. I said to Stuart.

That depends how you define hippy. He replied. What about if it’s someone who is in touch with their emotions, who thinks about the world both physically and philosophically.

My physical and emotional approach to living has been more on show since I’ve begun to blog. And it’s true: I’m made to feel before I think or, rather, I find it difficult to separate the two. Today I began to think about why that might be. I imagined the way a person is made: by chemicals, atoms, molecules, linked to form proteins and fats and then animated by electricity that sparks connections in my brain and organs and limbs. Beyond this, or perhaps in between this, is my soul. I imagine it lies amongst the bits you can see or taste: something that is made of the parts of me, of my suggestions, of my links and engagement with those things I encounter or construct. I can’t, though, really separate my body and soul; to me there are intrinsically linked: I feel what I think: I don’t hear a song, I feel it, I am not stressed but I watched a rash crawl over my wrists last time things were hard.

Maybe Stuart was right and I am a hippy – maybe the whole bunch of us are –  but, whether I am or not, a label doesn’t really serve my endeavor: I am looking to find the deepest way to live while still sporting a light and happy heart. I am an extremist and dramatic, I rarely feel something quietly, even if the feeling only lasts a moment.

And now I remember why I programmed the naked guys. Because when I watched the showcases in that tiny theatre in the arse end of nowhere, they made me laugh. They made me laugh really hard: they were gifted with a stage which they tore across in their own way, liberated and happy. That’s pretty much the way I like to feel life.


Written by elikafm

June 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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