Monday, July 23, 2007

Beware the Killer Tents (Moxy Fruvous)

I do not even know where to begin to describe the feelings/memories/sensations regarding the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival - to quote Joni, it is "in my blood like holy wine". This will be my *ninth* year - seems like forever... and just yesterday at the same time.

I became a fan of singer-songwriter Dar Williams and subscribed to her online discussion group in July 1997 (hey, I just realized it's been ten years this month!) - I would read posts about the festival that summer and the next with complete envy, wishing that one day I would be able to join everyone. In the meantime, I had begun e-mail friendships with a few people through the list - when the opportunity presented itself for me to attend FRFF 1999, I jumped (metaphorically speaking!).

It was amazing to finally put faces to names and spend a three- (now four-) day weekend with people who shared the importance of music, values and traditions - whether Dar is performing or not (this year she is!), we have a Camp Dar/Dar Camp/Damp Car area which can attract as few as 30 or as many as 100. My routine is to fly into Boston on Tuesday and meet up with a friend who lives there - we make the 3-hour-ish drive to Hillsdale New York the next day, arriving mid-afternoon to set up our tents. We count on dinner at the diner the Wednesday night before and a Sunday evening decompression at Four Brothers Pizza after the festival - there are song circles, loaves-and-fishes brownies and hugs abounding. I have a favorite food vendor and a preferred coffee tent and I, so used to an overflowing Day-Timer, pride myself on going into non-decision-making mode for the entire festival. Oh okay, I do have to choose between coconut almond and expresso (we have ice cream for dinner every night)... and the pesto quesadilla or the tempeh reuben - talk about win/win... :-)

As I explained to "the people back home", going to Falcon Ridge that first year and meeting other Dar-listers was akin to attending a reunion of people I felt I knew intimately, but had never seen before - oh, the blessings for this lovely extended family (which continues to grow each year... <3>

I jokingly say that Falcon Ridge is chiseled in stone on my life calendar and, if I'm not there, I'm dead - actually, I'm serious...

POEM: The Prayer by Richard Jackson

Blessed be the year climbing its cliffs, the month crossing the fields
of hours and days, the bridges of minutes, the grass where we stood
that first moment, the festival music keeping our time, the hood
of the season's sky above us, the moment's fictive shield
against history, her tattered glance, her broken smile, everything real
or imagined, bless the rivers I invented to carry us, the woods
I planted as our own, bless even the sweet hurt, even the herd
of stars that trample my real heart which she has taught to heal.
Blessed be these trackless words running downstream
following the remote valleys she has cut through my life,
and blessed be the sounds they cannot make, but mean,
and blessed be all these pages watermarked with her name,
these thoughts that wander the unmapped roads of strife
and love, her blessed world whose dream is always a dream.

QUOTE: "We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free." ~ Starhawk

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