As I illustrate in my novels, "freaks" came – and still come – in many varieties. For some in the '60s and '70s, for example, the most intensely hippie experiences came while living in celibate, drug-free, vegetarian spiritual communities. One thing I'll attest: the daily life was nothing like the mass-media stereotypes.
Whatever an individual's role, the movement transformed American culture forever, pro and con. Just look at today's concerns for environmental responsibility, clean energy, sustainable economics, racial and sexual equality, peace and social justice witness, natural and organic foods, human-powered outdoor adventure, alternative health practices, yoga and Zen, the Internet – even before you get to the laid-back music and "rags" – and you'll see the hippie legacy's still in action.
My writing reflects that radical variety – sometimes mellow, sometimes groovy, sometimes surreal, sometimes outrageous. It's all part of the scene.
Each of my books is unique. You'll find no cookie-cutter formula of commercial genre but rather a restless desire to explore where the language and action want to go. Even when I revisit the same scene, as I do in "Hippie Drum" and "Hippie Love," each work has its own voice and style.
Here's an invitation to revive the vibe. Feel free to come along on the trip.
Where to find Jnana Hodson online
Although the local newspaper has been central to the identity and life of American cities large and small, few readers know what goes on inside its newsroom. Hometown News takes you behind the scenes as a new generation takes command and brings vision to a mid-American industrial city. But more and more, this colorful team discovers the bottom line battles the deadline. Who wins in the end?
After appearing widely as selections in literary magazines around the world, the 80 love poems in this series now stand for the first time complete. Just listen and sway to their blues and rock. Perhaps even admire their diamond. It's passion, after all, and sometimes betrayal. Frequently, they play out in two voices in different keys that ignite in the rocky night or distill in the blue morning.
When Jaya arrives in small-town America after living in a rustic yoga ashram, she hopes to jump start her career and move on. The only complication is Erik, a young waiter in the corner restaurant. As they discover in the cyclone that follows, living out a dream includes nightmares as well, even when they resettle in their own Promised Land of apples and snowy volcanoes.
As he enters the ranks of subway hitchhikers in their wild journeys throughout the big city, one Midwestern youth's quest for his innate identity and purpose culminates in colorful encounters and liberating perspectives, even as he lives on a mountaintop farm hours away. It's a Mixmaster trip of ideas, images, jokes, philosophy, and playful nonsense – a novel unlike any other.
Even with its traditional pranks and rituals, a picture-postcard university is no match for the eruption that rocks the campus when hippie-infused anti-war protests, marijuana highs, and sexual liberation hit Daffodil, Indiana. One small dormitory becomes an epicenter of upheaval, and its seemingly sophomoric episodes run all the way to the state capitol. Nobody remains untouched.
During the hippie years, many daring souls moved to spiritual hermitages called an ashram to live with a guru. Here's the story of one renegade mountain farm where eight residents discover their quest for transcendence and enlightenment has everything to do with baking bread and mixing cement, plus headstands. As for the guru, she's both earthy and demanding. It's Om, Sweet Om, in the end.
A single word voiced or a simple gesture exchanged sometimes makes a whale of a difference in what follows. Humorous and sexually explicit, this recasting of Hippie Drum investigates what happens when "almost" instead becomes "yes." As a heartbroken hippie-boy discovers on the road to recovery, each new lover becomes a unique and often surprising encounter.
Long hair, marijuana, and draft resistance aren't the only ways to identify a hippie. As DL learns when he accepts Nita's invitation to lodge in a ramshackle farm shared by a dozen other free spirits, the Revolution of Peace and Love is a testing ground for youthful dreaming and promise. It runs, especially, through ongoing introductions and friendships.
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