Today marks the forty-something wedding anniversary for me and Ms Ché, closer to fifty than forty these days. We're a bit vague on which anniversary year it is because we lived together for several years before we were officially wed, and whether we count those years or not depends on mood as much as anything else. At any rate, we're getting closer and closer to fifty years together, and it feels fine.
Of course we've had quite a life together and many, many adventures over the decades. We've always lived relatively simply, never -- till rather late in our lives -- aspiring to what's taken as normal and expected by most folks. Even as we adopted some measures of a more or less typical middle class lifestyle -- what with government employment, a little house in a fancy neighborhood, two cars, cats and dogs in the yard, computers and devices and so forth (and we had enough disposable cash to buy another house in New Mexico where we now live in "active retirement") -- we were and to a large extent still are, rebel hearts.
We were hippies of a sort when we were young, but even hippie-dom had its own set of norms, some of which we simply couldn't accommodate. Use of substances was one of them. We just couldn't do it. Marijuana puts me right to sleep, and practically every other substance I tried made me squirrely as heck. No good. Ms Ché had no better experiences than I did, so... no drugs for us.
Later on in life I was around and often working with people were
either in recovery from substance abuse or were badly fucked up by one
substance or another -- meth being the worst I saw -- and I was glad we
didn't fall into that realm.
I'm not anti-drug-use so
much as I am for living "high" without them. "High on Life" is cliché,
but there is an element of truth and possibility to it. On the other
hand, not everyone can handle it!
The communitarianism of hippiedom was always in tension with liberationism, and after a while, the liberationists predominated in the public eye while the communitarians faded. Rather than face that quandary head on, we opted to go for a life in the Theatre, one that required extraordinary dedication and hard work, but which was -- for us -- both liberating and community-based.
Our lives in the theater are subjects for another post, though, so I won't go into detail now.
We moved to New Mexico and our present day "active retirement" a year ago, so we're celebrating that as well today. We had really amazing experiences in New Mexico for decades before we moved here, and since we've moved here, it's really been astonishing for both of us. We knew we would be entering a very special and unique world here -- we'd already encountered many aspects of it in our many past visits and vacations. But we really didn't understand how thoroughly it would penetrate our beings.
I feel like I'm far more a New Mexican than I ever was a Californian, but at the same time, I know that since I'm still a newcomer here (!), I'll never be taken as a native -- although I have been by all kinds of people already. Because of her Indian heritage, it's a little easier for Ms Ché to be taken for a native New Mexican -- except for the fact that her tribe (Cherokee) is not a local one. Oh well...;-)
As rebels, we feel like we fit right in!
Today we're off to Santa Fe for some adventures and maybe a quiet celebration dinner. We have much to celebrate, much to be grateful for, much to reminisce over...
What a long strange trip it's been...