It was a week in August 47 years ago, when I was only 18. On one end of the spectrum it was the Manson murders. On the other, it was the epitome of peace and love with the Woodstock festival. In-between, it was the Vietnam War. Emotions ran up and down that week and much of that era for me. I find it happening to me again.
In this month, the news has been of police shootings, terrorist attacks, and more terrorist attacks. I am upset not because it is happening but because it is happening in the same way the Manson murders took place – by a misguided soul who believes they were justified in their actions of mass killing to support a maniacal concept that they are carrying out the work of a higher power. Someone is either lying to them or they are delusional. I think both.
The Manson girls survived to live their days in prison and after so many years, they admitted they were wrong in their actions. The perpetrators of the recent mass killings have not survived and so we are unable to get the satisfaction of their remorse. The Dallas lone shooter, the Orlando vigilante and the Nice truck driver had to be killed to be stopped. Had they been captured, there might have been some insight into their warped sense of duty. Maybe we could find a way to have closure on these crimes such as with the Nuremberg Trials. It is not to be. We are left to mourn and question.
But where is the other end of the spectrum – our Woodstock, our love festival to remind us that there is peace and love in the world. Unfortunately, gatherings like that do not happen anymore. I know for me, the fight has dwindled down. I’m not willing to get out there and voice my opinion. First of all, I’ve done that and second, I’m too old to make that much of an effort. My Woodstock is in a less crowded venue, within the bubble I call my life.
My peace and love is being around my family and friends whom I love and love me back. Over time, that group has changed. Some within my bubble have gone out and others have entered anew. Some I appreciate more and my bond with them has grown stronger. Others have moved onto a different bubble or life got in the way and the effort to get them back was overwhelmed by obstacles.
This past weekend, Tony and I were at the wedding of a dear friend’s daughter. The wedding was beautiful in so many ways but the affair also brought together some friends we hadn’t seen in awhile. It was a great reunion and we are going to try hard to keep up the friendship even if for only once or twice a year.
My festival of peace and love does not include a half a million people I don’t know. It is with a few people I have in my life that are in my bubble. My bubble residents may and probably will evolve over the years, but I’m okay with that. Today my Woodstock festival is homegrown and offsets the violence in the world. And without the mud.P