Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Flash Back and Forward

Who knows what will trigger a flood of memories? We expect to be awakened by the wafting fragrances of something, even by hearing a song, but by patching the butt end of an old pair of jeans? Hardly. Yet, there I was, holding my old Levi's with a failed ironed-on patch I'd tried a year or two ago. The patch had started to pull away from the worn tear the first time I washed them, so I just folded the pants and put them away. For some reason, I picked them up on Monday to sew the blue patch down. I threaded the needle, and held the fabric taut while I pulled the needle through the pants and down into the patch.

When I was a hippie teenager in the late 60s I wore patched jeans and embroidered everything I could get my hands on. I had wooden embroidery hoops in various sizes. The hoops held the fabric in place while I stitched with thread the design I had drawn on to the cloth. I embroidered suns, redwood trees, flowers, peace signs. While I sewed the patch on Monday, I thought about how I had embroidered what I might have committed to my skin with a tattoo, and how glad I am that I hadn't. I remembered patching my boyfriend's pants, and using embroidery thread to make a design at the borders. I remembered embroidering the most beautiful redwood tree on the sleeve of his light blue denim work shirt. I drew the redwood from a photograph that we had taken together in Yosemite. Those were heady days of love and the absolute significance of little details.

Maybe it's just that it's August, and the 37th anniversary of Woodstock just passed, but I was reminded of that fragrant air and the dreams of 1969. How we ended a war. I once thought that my memory was rose-colored, but I don't anymore. I see now how this present administration is still afraid of that generation. It makes me happy, and it makes me laugh. Even the trash talk about Ned Lamont's campaign and victory resorted to code-talk comparisons to freedom-loving hippies of the 60s. Just the other night Roger and I were wondering what the heck they're so afraid of. What do you think? What is so scary about the 60s Woodstock generation that it's raised like a frightening specter? What did we want? What universal human rights did we ask for-- food, shelter, education, health care, and political representation. Or that every form of discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability be perceived as a violation of basic human rights.

Is that so scary? Why recoil from equality and human dignity?

I may have to patch more often.

No comments:

Post a Comment