Monday, August 17, 2009

and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden

I'm sick of the concrete jungle this week, kids. It's so hot. And yes, I know it's hot everywhere . . . but there's something extra oppressive about summer in the city. Every surface seems to absorb as much heat as possible and then radiate it back like a giant convection oven.

I'm pretty sure I'm sizzlin' at medium-rare right now.

In my 'hood, people go to the dog-park for relief. It's the closest expanse of green space available -- and even that little mecca of grass looks out on the shopping plaza and a McDonalds.

As Kermit the Frog once said: "Green can be cool and friendly-like." Unfortunately, our green space is more: "humid and full of homeless drunk people."

I digress.

So tonite, whilst making sweet love to my air conditioner, I stumbled upon a documentary on the History Channel called Woodstock: Now & Then. Which reminded me . . . oh yeh, it's hippie month!

I've always had a thing for Woodstock. I went thru a hippie-lust phase in high school, around the time most of my friends were enjoying N'SYNC and shopping at Abercrombie. I kept my unruly curly hair long (mistake!) and wore a lot of baggy shirts. And I had a lot of crap from The Body Shop. Not much of a counter-culture statement.

I think what has always captivated me about true-blue flower children is their uninhibited approach to living. Hippies were free. On a lot of drugs, yes -- but free to do those drugs, make love and art, dance naked in the mud, start communes, start movements. They lived in the moment, and in that moment their lives had meaning. Just by simply existing, they were part of something much bigger than themselves.

Look at the music that came out of that era. People had shit to say -- they expressed themselves through art in hopes that they could change the effed up world around them.

We're living in effed-up times too, people. And so I sit and watch America's Best Dance Crew and Toddlers and Tiaras. I freak out about my weight and tell myself that once I lose 15 pounds -- then I can go take on the world.

God, I'm a terrible hippie.

But I'm trying. I'm recgonizing the things that keep me from being as free as I want to be.

This weekend I went to a Healthy Living Summit sponsored by some of the darlings of the food/healthy lifestyle blogging community. It was inspirational in a few different ways. I've started thinking a lot about what I want my ideal "lifestyle" to be . . . and I smell a new blogging project on the horizon. As if don't have enough blogs going at the moment -- but this is an exciting one, kids! I'll say no more now. Stay tuned.

So anyway, one of the speakers at the Summit was a woman who runs an organic dairy farm in Vermont. She gave a talk on organic farming and agriculture, and showed pictures of her farm -- green rolling pastures, happy cows heading out to graze, her super adorable family. They all work together on the the farm. They know each of their cows and their distinct personalities. They work super hard -- but their work is tangible, it has meaning.

I don't know if my work has ever had meaning.

But Tea -- surely you aren't suggesting you're going to go become an organic dairy farmer, are you? You can't even commit to taking care of an effing hamster!

That's a fair point, readers. And while the likelihood of me becoming a farmer of any sort in the forseeable future is slim to nil . . . my next career move needs to be a more meaningful one. I want my life to have some substance -- I want to get up in the morning and have a purpose, to do something I actually care about. The trick is figuring out what that is. And once I do that, maybe then I'll get a little taste of that hippie-freedom.

Or do I have it backwards? Do I need to just let go and be free in order to discover what it is that makes my heart happy? Isn't that what this month was supposed to be about?

Luckily, life is a journey, not a race. I've got more than the 31 days of August to set free my inner flower-child and head out on the road. This right here? This is me just trying to figure out which way I'm holding the map.

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