“We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden”
My muse lead me back to the garden. I actually had time for a little walk where I stumbled upon this scene.
This was the scene in my mind.
From the minute I walked into this little place, the words in those first three sentences came into my head. They are the bridge to an old song called. Woodstock. Joni Mitchell wrote it. And played it. Crosby, Still, Nash and — sometimes — Young brought it global fame.
I suppose you had to be alive in 1969 to understand the song. We were at the edge. Pretty much like we are now. In August, there was a music festival in Upstate New York. It’s historical. Today, it is simply just called Woodstock. Three days of music. And, rain, And mud. It was a paid festival. Eventually so many people came that the promoters made it free. It was the symbol of the era.
Did I go? Oh no. I’m not one of the 589,897,654,000 people who have claimed to be there over the years. I was riding on an eastbound train with my family going from Long Beach to Brooklyn. But, the radio was on in the lounge. We could hear bits and pieces of it. I knew right then…
That’s what going for a walk can do. I saw this little place. All of the memories came back at just about the time I clicked the shutter button. That’s how you clear your head of the cobwebs that interfere with your art. That clears the so-called emotional flatness. That cures writer’s block. In my case, I’m not suffering from any of that. But, my walk sure opened me up.
Oh. The version of Woodstock that’s in my head? A later version that came as Joni was transitioning for folk to jazz. She played with a band called LA Express. They released a live album called Miles of Aisles. Spotify tells me it was released in 1974.
Like my pictures, the song took some time to teach her how to play it. To marinate.