Saturday afternoon, fall 2004, Southern Illinois. We are at an "event," "festival" or whatever this truly is. As we first arrived, we felt fairly comfortable, feeling "this is it." Most of the crafts are beautiful as is most of the art. Then as the younger people, bikers and hip older folks continually arrived and made their grand appearances, their numbers continually increased. The music, like the crowd, became harder and harder and feeling more and more uncomfortable, we wondered why this wasn't really "it."
Then I saw a young lady who appeared comely to me, and I wondered what made her that way. Maybe, like the late Audrey Hepburn, she dresses simply, modestly and elegantly. Odd, different, outrageous dress attracts attention but is not necessarily attractive. It eventually begins to fall into categories, modes of dress, style of music and art, like some of the currently popular mass-produced supposedly elegant paintings you can purchase. It is not truly a genuine unique means of self-expression and being different, since it is at its roots, really all the same and becomes somehow ugly.
I guess some people don't mind or maybe even like to "fit in." I certainly do, but only to a certain extent. I think good taste is the key. True creativity, like Michelangelo, Beethoven, Hepburn didn't allow themselves to fall in a certain category. Einstein first sought simplicity and elegance in his search for truth. We may in the beginning be common, but we can all be unique by searching for our own truths - they may be the same as others', but we found them for ourselves. We may study other people, but as we mature we should make our own sensible decisions. Add to common sense love, consideration for other people, modesty and good taste, and you are a beautiful person.
I hope we leave soon, this scene is increasingly ugly. Supposedly there is to be no alcohol, but it will clearly be the norm, along with all sorts of drugs, free love and foul language - that had to be these folks' reason for coming here.
Are the bare belly button, odd dress, cowboy hat and boots, strange-colored hair, etc., really unique? Come on - you can be different.
Name withheld by request