I know I titled the last post "Grace", and I was thinking it might be fitting to title this one "Faith", then I was thinking of looking for a really sick image of George Michael's ass to post under the title, you know, the one where he is wearing that wonderfully fagalicious rhinestone jacket that says "FAITH" across the back? I love that one. But I decided instead to talk about Woodstock. And in doing so, bring it back to the subject of faith. Sorta.
So my friend Jeremy and I went up to Woodstock yesterday on kind of a whim...the weather was to be gawgeous and we had a whole Saturday to spend however we wanted. So we hopped into the Hyundai and hit the thruway, my vagina music blasting on the ipod, him being a really good sport about the vagina music, nary a complaint the whole way.
It had been a really long time since I'd been to Woodstock. The place is saturated with memories...all good ones. Kind of from a past life. It was cool to be there with a new friend, to traipse up and down the slushy streets, popping into the crystal shops and funky vintage clothing stores with someone who wasn't as familiar with the town as I was. I always love to lead.
Though my feet are planted pretty squarely in New York City, I still have wild and tangled roots that reach all the way up to the Hudson Valley - Woodstock in particular. The minute I hit Tinker street I can just breathe better. I know it's the mountains that really calm me down. But it's also all the tie-dye and Bob Marley, the musky smell of incense and vegetarian food that simply hangs in the air and seeps into the walls of every funky head shop along the main drag; it's the chimes and the tarnished silver jewelry and the Dansko clogs and the buddha statues and the artists and protesters on the village green. It's all of it. I go to Woodstock, and I'm just home.
So, we pulled into the municipal lot and parked the car, snickering and goofing around, and didn't realize that the place we were supposed to be going was like totally 2 miles outside of town. We started to walk, and had gotten pretty far before we realized how fucking far we still had to go. The town fell away and we were alone on a cold, wet country road with our destination too far ahead to see. We were late for our rendezvous with some people Jeremy knew, and it started to feel heavy and intense. I started to feel bad, like I'd fucked up somehow, even though it was nobody's fault.
Then I did something. I just kind of let it all go. I looked around me. To my left was a big blue mountain, to my right was a dense expanse of winter-naked trees. Behind us was the town of Woodstock and the promise of hot coffee and soup and some light, frivolous impulse spending later in on. It was a beautiful day. And I was just happy to be there. So I just let go. I said, fuck it. And I just believed that we'd get where we were going, and that we'd find a ride back to town after so we wouldn't have to walk. And do you know what? We did. We got where we were going. A little bit late, yes, but nobody minded. We had a great time. Jeremy's friend had a brand new car and offered us a lift back into town. And Woodstock, all woodsmoke-smelling and colorful and busy, was waiting for us with good food, silly incense and fake tattoos to buy, and interesting hippie shopkeepers to talk to. And it was really all okay.
So, thanks, George Michael. With your rhinestone bomber jacket and moussed hair and ridiculous sunglasses. Sometimes it's true, you just gotta have faith.
2 days ago