Monday, May 5, 2014

The Hippy File

I went to an event this weekend that has me thinking quite a bit, about myself, my dreamplaces, my judgementalness, my own place in the universe, etc. 
Ridiculous, yes?  yes.  

I messed with the colors a bit because it is so far from capturing the reality, i just opted for surreality...

It was a May Day celebration at the farm of a man we go to Quaker Meeting with... J** is 80plus years old, a cantankerous character, who frequently nods off in the midst of all that quiet worship.  When he does speak it is during announcements to tell us of a choral group meeting somewhere and doing oldschool singing in the round or something similar.  He and his wife have been having May gatherings for the 12 years they've been married and the gatherings have been going on for two decades before that.  There was a MayPole and everything.  I've never actually seen one done before, as far as I can remember and man, the fluttering of the ribbons at the start is one of the more beautiful things I have ever seen.  ever.  (and i have seen a lot of beauty, babies, a LOT...i know you have too...:)  it was like a movie of a hippy production, a throwback to what i vaguely remember of the childrens' events of my early youth... my kids wandered and wove and lost track of things as they moved in the circles they moved in. . . it is thrilling to see their lives, sometimes.
There was a play with puppet horses, sculptural pieces with floating shimmery bits, and linen rag manes... there were fiddles, there were maybe a hundred people and it was a potluck.  (really, a potluck! ... hippy, lots of glutenfree, beanoriented dishes, and someone even brought fish..:) but there were also brownies and juiceboxes, and snapple.
There was a barn, kids in the hay... there was a house, with door open to the chill ... superwarm low-ceilinged kitchen, smelled of bread, wide worn floorboards, golden warmth, joe in the corner with dog at his feet, some kids ate at the table, maybe grandkids, maybe strangerkids... the porch of the house had so many tools, and doodads, and old comfortable chairs.. and an exercise bike that was just a bike on a stand, so it was trapped from motion... the tomatoes had been planted which made me leap at the bit and try to plan when i'm going to do that this week. two huge glass jugs, huge! for what? .. a picnic table, a skateboard, 4 loppers, a skull of a cattle cow that J** had once raised.
there was a wood-fired kiln to bake pottery, and a whole building for all the other steps.
there was a tractor parked next to a car. a whole mess of chainlink fencing in a heap grown over with grass.  it was freaking gorgeous. really.

there were many women comfortable in themselves, of an age beyond my judgementalness...
and the wife of J**, i had been looking forward to meeting for ages, and found myself tonguetied by my own flightiness, unconnectedness.  I felt my tentative hold on the world at this event.  this was a place of rootedness, calamity and mess of decades, decisions made and followed through and abandoned.
there were so many gardens left unplowed, waiting a cycle of the moon.

In my judgementalness, There were many there that i found hyper annoying, but that is my own problem, yes?  the hyper dancing for the drums, the drunken linenpant wearing energy worker, the adults pissed off at my kid because he went his own direction decorating the maypole and didn't 'follow the rules'... the german lady who was just being german when she yelled at me for setting my trash down next to her... had my hands full with moving the kid, the bag, the blanket, etc out of the sudden downpour... german.

But what is really the pendulum my thoughts are pinging towandfro is a love and longing for connectedness like that, or maybe its a need for more authenticity.  as much as i loved that place, i imagine that in winter, when empty of the community , it is truly at its most breathtaking... and breath-allowing.  so am i looking for the community or the communion? are they exclusive of one another?

i found the place moving, almost heartbreaking to be there.  the kids were out of my purview, the babe was going up and downstairs, getting dirty, finding paths near the tulips, planted a dozen years ago, if not a generation.  even after this writing, i'm not sure what it was that moved me so, although i think i will dream of that kitchen many times more.


Forever Engaged said...

Sounds amazing! I love a good maypole!
And yeah, Germans can be, well, abrasive. I should know. :p

Kate Hall said...

i know she meant no harm, really, it was just her mannerisms.. which were german... it is something to learn how to deal with- for me.. there is also much that is wonderful about the few that i do know personally... good luck!