Still right here.
I’m ready to do it again.
I would like to call attention to something that some of you have failed to notice in the intervening years. All of the reasons you gave us for not completing the revolution have turned out to be false. All of the justifications that straight culture offered to choose it over the breakthrough of the flower children have proved bankrupt.
You said you would go into the system and change it from within, and the system swallowed you whole. You said you needed security for your children, and alienation, addiction and suicide continues to lure them away year after year. You said you were going to work to support your art, and your art withered and your consciousness narrowed.
You thanked god you didn’t get STDs. You laughed about your dirty hair.
You were beautiful then. And not just with the beauty of youth — but the young are so much more beautiful when they let their hair grow and wear bright colors. When they don’t just surrender like meat falling off of an assembly line. But you are just as beautiful now when you smile with your whole face.
Come be beautiful again. Nothing that you have offered me since then touches me like the things you said laying in the grass of Golden Gate park in the summer.
Come be beautiful again. You got angry, you got sophisticated, and now you are just lost. I see you — stop lying! I pass you on the streets every day. I see your children wandering around on the University Campus. You opened the gates, but then you got scared. You peaked through, and then you tried to run back to the 50s. But then doesn’t exist, and the 50s don’t work any more.
I think it was because you were raised to think that you weren’t going to die. You are. The whole Jesus thing was a mistake. You embraced the now, and your bodies, and your vision of the starlight — and then you said to yourself “But things die.” and you got scared, so you pulled back.
But everything you saw was true.
The rainbows in the mist are real, and so is the beauty of youth, and the inspiration of your half formed ideas. And you will still be poor, and you will still get sick and you will still get old and you will still die. But that is beautiful too. You have to look into old faces and sick faces and dead faces and see the beautiful young faces that are in them too. You have to because nothing else that you have tried has fixed the evil in the world either.
You left the inspiration of the moment for the illusion of security — but you aren’t secure, are you? You huddled alone because other people were frightening, and you found out that solitude will betray and kill you as fast as a circle of friends.
You turned your own highest moment for a false promise. But the moment that spoke to you then is still here now. You can, at any time, choose to be present and to affirm the beauty of your own life. You can at any moment start taking risks, start choosing what you want instead of what you think you need. And yes, you will lose things. You will be hungry. You will face humiliation, and loneliness and suffering and death. You will be dependent on others.
You thought when you were young that you can escape all that. But you can’t escape them any other way either. So come back. Come back to who you are and where you are, and realize that loneliness and suffering and death are just more of your friends. Embrace them, especially when they come about from making the right decisions.
Embrace them along with spontaneity, and pleasure, and humor and kindness. And above all embrace us — because we never left. We have been watching this whole time, waiting right here and now. Close your eyes and turn around and look — you will find yourself somewhere, in some moment. We are right there with you, come outside, come look for us. No matter who you are or where you are, we are right there. We are “something to do.”
You’ve been away, looking for something that doesn’t exist, but we never left you.
We’ve been right here the whole time.
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