When asked about the hippy days, Chris Bettini the talented maille artist behind IkowDesigns: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5288811 said ‘I was 3 years old in '72, but my mom tells me I was all out the hippies. She said I used to go around doing the peace sign and saying "two peaces (pieces)".’
Wayne Elkin, a self described aging hippy posted a picture of a peace sign on a barn in Marin. In the past two days, I have received e mails on the Department of Peace and an Art Czar in Washington.
Well FAR OUT. Hippy days are here again! This warms my old rabble rousing heart.
There is a new awakening in our country, where a voice means more than just going to the polls on election day and sitting back with your arms crossed over your chest. These extraordinary times call for a more than a wait and see attitude. It is time to take it to the streets or to the internet, shout it from the roof tops. We want change. What does that look like? This is yes, a peaceful revolution maybe even an evolution. We can’t just elect leaders and leave them out there without direction… waiting for them to mess up. We have to participate more and we have been offered that chance, in fact reminded of our rights to free speech by our president a man steeped in the traditions of grassroots community organizing. It is good to be reminded because free speech in this country is largely taken for granted. There are places in this world where people lose their lives engaging in free speech. There have been times when our free speech here has been threatened by say the patriot act and McCarthyism. Free speech is a hard won right and deserves to be valued more.
After speaking with friends, relatives, and townspeople as well as looking at on line blogs and NINGS, I have come to the conclusion that your average citizen does not know what true democracy looks like. Maybe that’s because we actually live in a republic here in the US or at least that is what I have heard over the years. The average person needs to look back to when people were speaking out more visibly at :sit ins, marches, letter writing campaigns. Give your ideas flight! We have permission to engage in a true democracy. Carpe Diem . Yes now that the universal pendulum is swinging back to a more liberal and creative space, that decries the greedy excesses of top executives and the madness of senseless wars. Throw off weighty mantle of W’s fear driven regime and the decades of complacency.
Louise Dunlap, in her book Undoing the Silence: six tools for social change writing , likens these times to those of the early 60’s where people are once again finding their voice. I believe that when hope and change come to the fore, empowerment and joy are definitely close behind. We can end the wars, we can bring respect for the arts back. We can build a greater sense of community.
The new optimism in the air has given us a new responsibility to speak to power and actually be heard. After all it is not exactly peaches and cream. The economy is far from pretty but our collective spirit is richer and unshackled. Fear does lurk in surprising places. There are many concerns and a lot of work to be done. It is up to us to help find solutions to situations that need to be set right. The people that we elected to represent us are just that. We are in charge of them, they are not in charge of us. Sounds childish but sometimes the simplest things are the truest. I think that we can move beyond our collective fears and repair injustices. It is a healing process for society as a whole.
While it is very tempting just to ride this joyous wave while the energy is fresh. Responsibly, we must use this power to repair the damage and move to another level. It isn’t easy to change a nation, a world but now is a really good time to try. The guys and gals we have elected can’t do it alone they need our voice as cheerleaders and informed citizens. Once upon a time peace was not an outlandish notion and art was not a bunch of nonsense. That time is now.
Speak out! Speak up! Call your representatives tell them what you support and what you don‘t support. Go to these house meetings sponsored by the Democratic National Party or if you think that’s too partisan (I am a die hard independent voter myself), make up ones of your own design. But do gather, put your heads together for the changes you think are needed. We the People are empowered.
my next post will feature the hippies of etsy!