...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

MICHFEST 2005 (DAY 6 & 7)

One of the defining moments of the week: standing near a campfire, breath chilled and hanging just slightly in the air, women dragging tarps taut across an open patch of grass, a wagon full of cans of what looks like paint but actually is chocolate pudding, cans spilled out in splashy blotches on tarps, squishy toys thrown in pudding, and then butt-nekkid chicks, skin steaming in the cold, slip-sliding their way out onto the tarps and then body-slamming, head-locking, crashing, smashing, plopping, pulling other nekkid chicks into the pudding with them, skin slick with brown, grinning, sweet chocolate snack in every crack you can think of (and perhaps ones that you can't) all under the spotlight of a couple dozen flashlights jittering on them until 2:30 am. Hard NOT to sleep like a baby after THAT.

Today I dragged my ass out of bed at 7:45, despite getting less than 5 hours of sleep. Amazing. In the three years I've been here, I don't think we've ever stayed up past 1 am or so. Which is actually kinda lame. Heh heh. I am glad for this change. My eyes and body are not happy about it this morning, barely able to stay open. But dammit, it's the last full day so I figure I really should just take advantage of the last remnants of workshops and get my tush moving. So I get to make some books. Out of junk. And they are pretty damn cool. And life is good.

Last day, I am sitting awaiting the start of the drum circle, typical of my last-day routine. Gah. The real world. I am not ready to go back, but I hope to take these energies back with me and couch myself with them, nicely and comfily, for a good long time. And share them with others--let them spill out some splashy bits of goodness on them as well.

What I think amazes me most about this place is that its beauty comes from something so unconcrete, so changing, and yet so dependable--not a piece of scenery, not a person or a face, but a SPACE, an ENERGY. There is something about returning to a space that you know and grow in knowing over the years, something that you know and that knows you as well. It is like returning to the warm smile of an old old friend that you only see once a year for a week, and it's like basking in that fantastic glow and warmth and energy but not just in that brief moment of greeting each other again, embracing, and exchanging that love, but the WHOLE TIME you're together. It's changed and grown, the connection and love between you, different and yet the same because it's ALWAYS there to run back to and it reminds you why you should feel good about yourself, what it is to be happy in yourself, what it is to feel comfortable (really goddamn comfortable) someplace, completely unjudged, no baggage and messiness, just there to be. That's a fucking AMAZING thing. There is something awe-inspiring in the familiarity of the place, like coming home or the comfort of sitting in your mom's lap as a child, that doesn't unravel into staticness because each time is the same place, the same energy, but different ways that this is achieved. The ritual of it all, the fact that it is a rock, a solid abstraction that resides unchangeable despite the fact that everything within in it is in a constant state of change, this is beauty, this is home.




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