Sometimes, if I had read every available comic, I would take to reading the letter pages (not that interesting) or other bits and pieces of text - the small print at the bottom of page one for example - or some kind of short story thing - never that interesting, really. Just to pass the time. But if I was passing the time, one way I really enjoyed was gazing at advertisements for posters, stickers or patches - like the one above.
The tiny artworks were like portals. Each had a message and a sentiment. Spoke of an ideology. Stood for a cause. Symbolised an attitude. I was a kid, I was forming my identity. Solidifying my beliefs. Anything was possible and although I couldn't click on these icons and open them up with a computer, I could with my mind.
When I stumbled across this page on the net this morning, it brought back all kinds of memories. Just like you would learn every song on a favourite album, I recognised ever patch from this advertisement. I had stared at it and studied it so many hundreds of times - selecting my favourites and choosing my top five, top ten, etc. A few times I even thought of sending in for them - but we lived in Tokyo and it seemed too difficult. I did have a favourite jacket at around the age of thirteen that was adorned with some of the patches above and others - most memorably the peace sign and smiley.
There are quite a few good ones out of the thirty six pictured. And they have stood up well with the test of time. Very much a sixties/seventies vibe - but, hey, those were the decades that formed me.
Peace, love, ecology, equality.... all my bag. I grew up listening (over and over) to Sgt Peppers (from the age of six or seven) as well as Cat Stevens, Joan Baez and The Mammas and the Pappas. I revered the peace symbol. I believed in love - loving everyone. I believed in humanity and goodness and compassion. My vision for the world was aligned with the hippies and the revolutionists of the time.
Sadly, it didn't come about. In fact, in many ways the planet is in much, much worse shape now than it was then. At least there was simplicity then. And integrity. The shinning glow and warmth of the candle lit by activists and creatives of the time was not bright enough to illuminate the majority towards enlightenment. Cut to: today's world. Hmmm...
Peace? Love? Soul? More like... Money. Power. Glory.
Being young, too, and impressionable and with a big imagination - I created a vision of a future full of all the good stuff. I had absolutely no idea of the adult world, really, but I believed that surely, people would want to encourage harmony and justice and strive for unity and compassion.
In some ways, I am extremely disappointed. But I can't complain. I have a life. I am here to witness what is unfolding. It was never going to turn out the way I envisioned in my naive and hopeful state. I was a dreamer. And I still am. As are many. It's what keeps us sane. And in attendance. Dreams and hope.
Never lose hope. We could just be going through a rough patch, after all. In fact, I do believe this to be true. There will be tipping point and higher consciousness will permeate through humanity. Eventually.
Until then, let's stay true to our better selves, our good intentions and our aspirations for creating a world of love and peace.