4/23/2020: Woodstock

Last night I had a dream I was watching a movie about Woodstock (the legendary 1969 music festival in Bethel, NY). When the movie ended, I woke up in real life to replay it from the beginning; in my dream the movie was already about halfway through. However, upon awakening, I realized that I wasn’t watching a real movie, I dreamed a movie about Woodstock.

I would like to preface this story by telling you that I did recently watch a Woodstock documentary on Netflix and my dream clearly pulled scenes from the documentary together to create this whimsical journey.

It went something like this:

A young girl sneaks out of her house and steals a car from a dealership and makes her way to Bethel, NY with the throngs of hippies, music lovers, and artists alike. She arrives the evening of the August 15th, wide-eyed and innocent. Unable to contain her joy, a single, perfectly round tear streams down her fresh face; not yet soiled from three days of peace & music (and mud). The girl, around 14, wears a flowing dress that hugs her small curves in the light breeze. Her short blonde hair adorned with a crown of flowers looks gold as the sun sets over Max Yasgur’s dairy farm; the rolling green hills rimmed with thick forest. She stands over a crowd of hundreds of thousands and weaves her way to center front of the stage. There she meets a gang of good-hearted misfits who welcome her to their tribe with tanned, open arms.

They sit Indian style in the grass waiting for the first act. Everything is calm yet there is an energy of excitement pulsing through the crowd. When suddenly, a circa-1960s Mustang tears through the fence to their right and a mob of hitchhikers flood the field. No one panics, everyone is too stoned, as thousands more pour onto the farm claiming stake wherever they can. The crowd swirls and moves together as one; bringing the field to life. The first act, a lone guitarist takes the stage and everyone immediately loses sight of all reality; life melting away as the music took hold of their minds, bodies, and hearts. The leader of the misfits effortlessly picks up the girl and places her in the center of their circle; she has never felt so at ease.

Cut to: a scene in a deserted parking lot where another girl with a black bowl cut stands, frantically trying to flag down anyone who crosses her path. The sun is long gone and save for a few stadium lights and the glow from the festival in the distance, the scene is dim. A car spins into the lot and scoops up the girl, knowing without asking who she is and where she needs to go. They arrive backstage and the girl springs into action.

Cut to: the tribe of hippies and the blonde-haired girl are still blissfully embracing every sweet second of the music when the next act comes on: Pink Floyd (now, at this point I knew I was dreaming because Pink Floyd did not attend Woodstock). Dressed in wildly vibrant and lavish costumes, they settled in to play Dark Side of the Moon start to finish, the bowl-cut girl singing lead while playing guitar (the second indicator that I was in a dream; there are no ladies in Pink Floyd).

When the set was over, the bowl-cut girl (and lead singer of Pink Floyd) cut through the crowd to the blonde girl, a mix of emotions wash over both of them. They are sisters. The blonde was supposed to meet bowl-cut after the festival in California (let me remind you that in Dreamland, this is perfectly normal and made total sense). Bowl-cut’s subdued anger quickly subsided as the first night of the festival came to a close.

The music-stunned fans slowly drifted away from the stage to find a place to rest until morning. The sisters left with the tribe of misfits and hopped into a car to drive into town and grab some drinks. However, it was late and nothing was open in Bethel and now ferment creeped over the group. They decided to drive back to the farm and get some rest. Little did they know that they would not be returning to Woodstock.

Instead, they drove fervently through the sleepy town of Bethel. Driving faster and faster with each winding curve of the road. They raced so quickly, they didn’t seem to notice the car picking up speed behind them. Before they could think, the car began firing at them, relentlessly and without cause. The misfits swerved, screaming, confused.

Cut to: the last day of the festival, after the storm, after the shooting, all was forgiven. As if washed with holy water, all was restored. Warm sunlight drenched the muddy farm revealing dirt-caked faces with genuine, carefree smiles. Nothing could break down the spirit of Woodstock.

As if time was stuck on a loop, the blonde-haired girl stood exactly where she started at the top of the hill. Her newly trashed dress still flowing unfazed in the wind. Her once fresh face, now covered with imperfections, showed no signs of distress, only pure authentic bliss.

As Jimi Hendrix graced the stage for the final performance, the screen that is my mind went dark, prompting me to stir in bed, only to discover the wondrous world of Woodstock consuming my body was nothing but a dream.

The Blonde-Haired Girl

While the quality is messier than Woodstock’s mud-caked hippies, the happiness captured in this picture is everlasting.

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