The first McDonald’s opened its doors under bright golden arches.
Walt Disney threw open the gates to “the happiest place on earth.”
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus and started the Civil
And a year of sad endings.
The Cold War split the world into two opposing camps. East against West. Democracy against Oppression. The threat of nuclear holocaust prompted terrified Americans to build bomb shelters in their basements. In South Vietnam, civil war began. In the United States, the House Un-American Affairs Committee raged on, issuing “contempt of Congress” citations to any citizen accused of anti-America activities.
In Washington, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking and Currency concluded that “less than one percent of all publicly held stocks [are] owned by individuals.”
Beatnicks howled in coffee houses hazy with smoke.
And in the midst of all of this, I was born. Rebellious, angry, contentious, afraid, confused, seeking social justice and equality for people I did not know, condemning the status quo, rejecting old values and mores, fighting for something new and things I did not understand . . .
Chaos and confusion. Inner turmoil and ambivalence. Foggy, drug-induced dreams. Sweaty, free-loving sex.
The fear-mongering fifties bounced into the free-wheeling sixties, the violent, clashing Age of Aquarius. Poetry and politics became my royal couple, my release, my escape. Anger ruled the world into the seventies and beyond.
And all of this shaped me as a person, as a writer, as a thinker. Nature vs. nurture. Environment DOES take its toll on our psyche and well-being.
We may not understand the world, but we are part of it, and we are caught up in its rhythms and flow whether we want it or not.
I did not choose to be rebellious and angry. I merely reflected the world around me.
And it took many years and a lot of heart-rending experiences to teach me to look inward, inside myself, for the peace and rationality that I craved.
Copyright 2012 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.