I have led a complicated life. I didn’t really know as a child that being raised by syncretic vaguely nomadic hippies looking for utopias wasn’t really all that relatable. Aside from the general revivalism ethos of America, most folks tend to ride middle of the herd.
There I was not realizing I had a nose for powerful evangelism. I missed that boarding schools and colleges were meant to put you in a certain place in society. Then I didn’t know that spending time inside cultural institutions like fashion was an aspiration. I didn’t really clock that startups, or venture capital, or fucking around online would be a nexus of power either. I just thought all those places looked cool so I showed up.
Maybe I was simple. Maybe I just flowed like water towards the chaos before it became the big show for everyone. I am someone who understands the Thursday Styles problem of timing and I like to get there a little bit ahead of time. Get good seats and sell picks and shovels. From there it’s just a matter of having the stomach for the ride.
But knowing where the boundaries on consensus are is what keeps you from being swept up in the madness, as a movement meant for small mysteries and initiates suddenly sees the harsh glare of vox populi.
And so I am called to remember it is a gift to be simple. It’s a Shaker tune if you recall. Speaking of religious revivalism. The internet’s second brain tells me they were a millenarian restorationistChristian sect with a dualist view of God and equality between the sexes. Quakers and Shakers clearly impressed American’s hippies with this catchy tune. I know I learned it by heart as a child’s.
Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,Joseph Bracket
‘Tis the gift to come down where I ought to be;
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed;
to turn, turn, will be my delight.
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
Maybe you also live a complicated life. Or maybe you are working to simplify your life. Whatever you do remember you can have more agency than you think. I’m sending you that message from the valley of love and delight that is Gallatin Valley.