Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead is dead, as are The Who's bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. The band's guitarist Pete Townshend, 64, after years of "Tommy Can You Hear Me?" is mostly deaf.Twenty-one years ago Saturday, 19 years after the 3 Days of Peace and Love, my first child, my baby daughter Sarah, was born. My wife had gone into labor the night before and I had been up all night with her and the assorted medical personnel at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, coming and going, worrying and relieved, then worrying again, all culminating with me along side a drugged out split-open and conscious spouse, as Sarah Michelle Harris slipped out into the light of life, with smiling, loving faces and hands all around.
David Crosby, 68, had a liver transplant and former band mates Neil Young and Stephen Stills, 64, have survived brain and prostate cancer, respectively.
To celebrate the 21st anniversary of this seminal event, Sarah and her friends are flying out from South Carolina to Las Vegas this weekend where I will meet up with them from Phoenix for another 3 Days of Peace and Love, Drinking and Debauchery and a Father & Daughter moment that will mark the beginning and an end, a cathartic phenomenon of my own life, my own living, breathing, feeling and all to human, Woodstock Nation.
Already there are persons that were a part of life long ago who have passed. Some I just knew from afar, others nurtured and taught me, getting me ready for the 40 and 21 year cycles that no one knew would come, and then one who but for the grace of happenstance would have been the mother of my children, who passed too early, inexplicably and alone.
Those were reckless days, we were reckless people and our time was filled with reckless wonder.
Swooosh.......What stays with us along this understated path? Family, memories, mysteries, happiness and sorrow. So we cling to vestiges that keep us connected, photographs, music, the Detroit Red Wings, headstones, Thanksgivings, tears and of course, the rain.
What was that?
That was your life, mate.
Can I have another.
Can you imagine us
Years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange
To be seventy.
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fears.
This will probably be my last Blog for a few days. Bigger themes demand my attention, a spontaneous romp with a younger generation, balanced all the while by the common celebration of this group, many of whom weren't alive, or even contemplated, in the time of those muddy fields of peace and love, some 40 years ago. All brought together by my first born daughter who for awhile, maybe longer, will be the center of our universe.
Life can be wondrous and innocent, it can be tragically dismissive and so full of sadness I can hardly breathe. As it was in a rain soaked field in New York in 1969 and in a bustling hospital in North Atlanta in 1988, life can be a sublime adventure, filled with the beauty of spectacle that reaches deep into your heart, into your soul.
But the ending always comes at last
Endings always come too fast
They come too fast, but they pass too slow
I love you, and that's all I know
That's all I know