“Only lunatics and children speak before noon on July 4th” so goes the wisdom of the old timers at the Gathering. The morning of the 4th is for contemplation, prayers for world peace, and only the quietest and most necessary of verbal communication. At noon, the silence is broken every year, by an enormous hand to hand circle and a 1/2 hour of OM ing. After a quiet breakfast, I left camp in the direction of “Magical Warrior” camp navigating the dirt moguls, the swampy bit, the bridge and (quiet) troll, only to come upon an obnoxious yelling young man, (mouthing off to impress a giggling blonde.) I chastised him saying “don’t be such an ass” he responded by saying “I AM an asshole!…. nice boots, wanna fuck?” Of course I didn’t dignify that with an answer but our exchange gave me a few things to think about (and 2 revelations.) Arriving at my intended “quiet spot” I listened to the breeze in the pines, frogs in the stream and observed the sweet people all around me: praying, doing yoga, being. I felt very connected to it all of it. I had the profound feeling of BEING ONE (no, I wasn’t stoned) which means, of course, that #1. I too am an ass and #2. I could have sold 100 pairs of those boots.