Saturday, 16 May 2009

Where were you?

Yesterday in these pages I posted a small part of a David Hockney computer-painting, today the whole thing.

I chose it because the subject of the painting included rain and rain was a significant part of my personal experience of the Chernobyl accident about which I was musing recently - as the anniversary of that event is upon us.

This year is also the fortieth anniversary of the Woodstock festival of which I have no direct personal experience except for listening to its music and in some vague way feeling part of something that I couldn’t articulate that was going to, possibly, change the world.

It was certainly messing up the powers to be.

Which was what it was all about. In those days teenage years were filled with the conscious or subconscious – depending on your progression –desire to change the world.

That’s what we were going to do.

Here in France in 1968 they really had a go at it, In England we were not always so direct.

I have only consciously met and know one person who was AT Woodstock – his name is John (like everyone I seem to write about) – and I lived and worked with him at the start of my twenties, a time together that was enriching, frustrating, traumatic and triumphant. A bit like Woodstock too I imagine.

It rained a lot at Woodstock and it has been raining incessantly everywhere I have been standing in the last four days. Like the crowd at Woodstock I have stared at the sky and chanted –“No Rain, No rain”.

But in the meadows the frogs have been singing “Bring it on –ribbet”

In every persons life there are PUBLIC events that touch us in a personal way. TIt is sometimes hard to define why but the memory of them stays with us forever and we "remember the day...."

Woodstock was not such an event for me, there were others. Some of them are vague memories, significant in the event but for which i can't say where i was or what i was doing and so they are not on my list - though they may be as important.

1. The day someone stepped on the moon.

3. The day Russia invaded Afghanistan.

4. The day the Berlin Wall opened.

5. The day the French won the football world cup.

6.. The day the Twin Towers crumbled.

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