Over the last several weeks, we've asked Day to Day listeners to share their California Dream with us. Fame, health, satisfaction, blue sky or innovation — what defines your version of the California Dream? Is the economy forcing that dream to change? Every Tuesday we'll be sharing your responses both on-air and here on Daydreaming. In this installment, Kim Alexander writes in to say: My California dream is freedom.
My California dream is freedom. The freedom to be who you are, to revel in and practice liberty. I learned to appreciate my California freedom when I was 24 and traveling in the Middle East. I learned there that baring your shoulders or tossing a water bottle back to your lips was not ladylike or acceptable. But in California, this is life. I feel free in California. I am free in California. As a woman, with opinions, with rights, I get to express my freedom in a way that most women all over the world, all through time, have been denied.
My favorite way to express my freedom is through music. I love to get together with my friends and sing rebellious folk songs. I love a great music jam where everyone gets lost in a bluegrass song. I love making music with people. And I think the spirit of California that lives in me, through five generations, compels me to exercise my freedom, to revel in it, cherish and protect it. So by day I work to improve the government in my state, while at night, and on weekends, I get together with my friends and play music. In someone's backyard, in a park, in an art gallery or on the streets. Usually there are more men then women participating in our music jams. But the men I play with, who range in age from 20-65, are never sexist or dismissive of women who want to play music. They encourage everyone equally, and the result is pure joy.
Although including this means I'm exceeding your word limit, I thought you all might like to read this quote that inspires my feelings of freedom about California, delivered by the the character of Ben Rumson, played by Lee Marvin in the musical film, Paint Your Wagon, about life in California mining camps during the Gold Rush era:
"You know, out here we make up our own rules as we go along. A man arrives in town with two wives, wants to sell one of them at auction, nobody thinks twice about it. And if a town needs female companionship, hijacking them seems the natural thing to do. And if two partners want to share the same wife why not? This ain't Michigan! It's gold country. Why hell, it's the golden country! Untouched and uncontaminated by human hands! It's where people can someday look civilization straight in the eye and spit! And you don't have to please anybody! You'd don't have to love thy neighbor! You leave the bastard alone! It's wild, human and free. And all over this nation they preach against it every Sunday. But I don't think God's listening. You know why? Because He's here! In glorious California!"
Kim also shared this Youtube video of one of her jams:
If you'd like to share your California Dream, use the contact page provided here.