japonisme: 4/24/11 - 5/1/11

24 April 2011

earth day

Sai Baba died today.


the reason this fact is so notable
besides, of course, all the regular reasons,
is that i first heard about him, even saw a film about him,
40 years ago... today.

i had to double- and triple-check to believe my eyes --
that the one time i look him up is the day he dies.

but i get ahead of myself.

If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear
some flowers in your hair

If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet
some gentle people there

For those who come
to San Francisco
will be a love-in there

In the streets of San Francisco

Gentle people
with flowers in their hair

All across the nation
such a strange vibration

People in motion
There's a whole generation
with a new explanation

People in motion people in motion

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear
some flowers in your hair

If you come to San Francisco

Summertime will be a love-in there

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

and so i went. the first commune i lived in was called "free city," wherein among many other things, a young man named David Lloyd-Jones transcribed, printed up, and circulated a speech by R. Buckminster Fuller. he, like so many others of that moment, could see further into the future than many republicans can see to this day. he could see that it was a world of abundance, and that it could be made to work for every soul on the planet.

skip to one day early in 1971, i began to hear commercials on the then very cool KSAN, fm radio. they were for this thing called, "World Game," a series of workshops, and classes and discussions, all about ways to make the world work, a brainchild of R. Buckminster Fuller.

and it was indeed very cool. to simplify to the extreme, Bucky had worked it out so that if all nations would cooperate (yeah, right) in allowing there to be an international grid, there would be more available energy for each person on the planet to have what americans have today.

the sources of all this power: tidal, solar, and wind. it's all there; it's just not hooked up right.

to the left is his Dymaxion Map (or Globe). Bucky believed that to view the planet from this perspective, not only was it more accurate, but it also relieved the viewer from having to try to figure out what's up. for, of course, there is no up, or down for that matter. only in and out.

very quickly we students formed a gang, and did all and sundry things. we dropped acid and had profound discussions out on the grass. we had massive thanksgiving dinners in a Russian Hill mansion someone had donated for the duration.

we went to the Institute of Ability where we attended Enlightenment Intensives. we had dinner at the Swami Satchidananda ashram which was right up the hill from where i lived.

and, forty years ago today, we went to University of California at Davis's first Whole Earth Festival, held on the very first Earth Day. it was concerts, and dancers, and craftspeople and lectures and yoga and huge "Om" circles and so much more.

there was the woman who had come down from the mountains, who walked around all day with a green parrot on her shoulder, wearing nothing but a green crocheted bra-top, and a large piece of yellow satin wrapped around her hips.

she sold earrings she had made with feathers from her parrot; i still have one green feather earring today.

and there was the Fairfax Street Choir (hear them here).
singing full-of-light songs and dancing, even tap dancing; how heavenly.

and, in a classroom, in a building a bit away from the rest,
we saw a movie about Sai Baba.

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