Monday, August 23, 2010

One Girl's Festival Review.

Upon returning from this year's Summerland Festival, I must say that I am rather changed internally. Leading up to the festival with preparation for Isaac Bonewits' Memorial Service, I should have known I was in for something big. Not only did I have the privilege of joining the Bards for the Memorial, but also of  serving as Bard for the Sumble and for the Unity Rite--as well as a performance spot on Saturday night! I was one tired Bard on Sunday morning, but I still had enough left in me to join in the singing while we made breakfast for the rest of the camp.
Summerland 2010 will henceforth be known as the festival at which I began to internally believe that I am a functional ADF Bard. 

I spoke with several folks who were trying to figure out why I am so "overly modest" in terms of musical ability. After much thought, I think that there are several reasons for this. Primarily, I have always been a comparatively lower-caliber musician among my musician friends. Many of them are semi-professionals who play for pay. I tend to look forward to where I am going without recognizing how far I have come. I look to them for motivation when the learning gets hard, but I've ignored the hindsight that shows that I have already learned a lot. I've never really believed in myself, and that held me back quite a bit. I realize there are still a bazillion people better than me, but that doesn't mean I don't have any talent of worth. It just means I have more to learn, and I always will.

Another factor is my innate desire to play and sing and to try to involve others in that activity. The sheer joy I receive when I hear other people singing a song that I wrote is almost indescribable. It's previously never felt like work, and I've always viewed performing at a 3CG function as them allowing me to play because of the depth of my desire to do it. It feels like them providing a service to me in the form of an outlet. The Cranekin are my family, and they love me and want me to be happy. They are uplifting and supportive, and I think the word "family" has made me infer that they support me and compliment me because it's their job. At Summerland, I was asked to "serve as a Bard" in a way that made me have an epiphany (ha). There is a big internal difference between feeling like you are being placated and feeling like you are being called on for service. Seamus reminded me that receiving joy from the work doesn't mean it is not service. What more reward can there be than enjoying the work? (I can almost hear half of you shaking your heads and saying, "It's about time!")

Much like at Dublin Irish Festival, I was pushed HARD as a Bard. I'm not used to it being so much work, and in some sick and masochistic way, the fact that it wasn't easy made me enjoy it even more. When someone says, "Do this right now," and I find that I actually can, my heart fills enough to make my eyes water. I have much to process from this festival. There will be more posting!
There were many opportunities for conversation and much revelry to be had around the nightly fire circles. One of my favorite memories is from Friday evening. You see, after the Sumble, there were several drummers around the fire, but no Ian to lead them. I asked where he was, and I was told he was down at the dining hall where the keg was. We devised a plan, and a minion and I took the wagon to the dining hall where I pronounced: "I have come to collect the keg. Ian, if you are not at the drum circle in ten minutes, I'm bringing the wagon back for you!" When we put the keg on the wagon, Rb jumped in and tried to save it!  Eventually, as was likely to happen, all the Drunken Druids followed me, as though I were the Pied Piper. Much hilarity ensued, and a good time was had by all.
We Ordained a Chaos Magician. It rained from the moment he was called forth to the moment the stole was placed around his neck, after which the sun began to shine. Since I was asked to sing for him in the middle of all of that, I totally get to say that I was singing in the rain. This is one of those incidents that won't be forgotten for many, many years to come.
Saturday evening, which was rough for everyone, I forgot the lyrics to a song I spent most of the weekend teaching to other folks so they could sing with me from the audience. I asked if anyone knew the next line, and then all of a sudden, one "Rev Enchantingly Direct" gave me a giant kiss on the lips. I asked "How the heck is that supposed to help me focus?" He replied quite simply, "It helped me!" Priceless and very funny. Bardic Minion came forward with sheet music, because I am that kind of Bard. Song was played, roughly, but I made it through. I would feel bad had Awen not had several mishaps during their set as well. Did I mention we Ordained A Chaos Magician?! So much fun, and so many good memories!
Finally, there were folks who were either not present that were greatly missed or present for too short a time for me. I carry you in my heart.

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