I got to shake Pete Rollins’s hand! But that’s beside the point.
Yesterday I finally peeled off my neckerchief (whose ice had melted hours before), rinsed off several layers of dust and sweat, scrubbed the sticky out of my hair, and lay down in air conditioned luxury for the first time in four days. Today, sandal-tanned feet still a little dusty, rainbow yarn bracelet still wrapped childishly around my wrist, good friends further and further behind us, I am making the long trek north toward home.
This was B’s and my second trip to the Wild Goose Festival. Held on the Shakori Hills festival grounds near Durham, NC, it’s a mostly Christian, mostly progressive festival of music, art, spirituality and justice. You can check it out here. Last year, during the inaugural Goose, B and I were very ambitious – we scheduled ourselves for something nearly every hour of every day and were haunted by a continuous feeling of missing out. Until I suffered heat stroke on the third day and had to lay down and sip water and munch cheerios for 11 hours. Thus chastened by the limits of my body, this year was a much different, much lazier, and much more satisfactory Goose. I committed myself to putting forth the least effort necessary to feel that the trip had been worthwhile. The result: a little art, a little dancing, a little music, and a lot of long, meandering conversations. I feel that I came out very much ahead.
Here are some things I learned while doing next to nothing at the Goose:
1. You can never have too much bug spray.
2. Cookies and beer make a really excellent communion.
3. Rock-Paper-Scissors is so much more interesting when it encounters gamma radiation and morphs into Rock-Paper-Scissors-DoubleClaw-Meercat:
4. Dance might be the most purely incarnational of the art forms.
5. Being an Honorary Queer at a Queer Party is fa-habulous.
6. I really really really really need to learn how to fire dance:
7. Pimento Cheese (it’s a Southern thing, if you’ve never encountered it) is so divine that when you put it on the table, you have instant church. Cheese Church. Come worship at the plate of Cheesus. We are radically inclusive.
8. Painting your arm is more awesome than painting on paper.
9. Sometimes one is forced to make compromising moral decisions. For example: DEET is very bad. But ticks are so much worse. Therefore, you can never have too much bug spray.
10. Hummus-munster-tomato-avocado on a challah roll is my new favorite summer sandwich and deserves its own blog post (stay tuned).
11. Despite recent loud protestations to the contrary, it turns out that I still enjoy hanging out with children. As long as I’m not responsible for improving them in any way.
12. Faith takes many, many forms.
13. Face painting is much more difficult when you don’t have a brush.
14. There are Bloody Mary’s, and then there are Bloody Mary’s from Provence, which had to be re-named and classified as their own super-species. Thus: The Provence Fainting Mary’s.
15. “Provence Fainting Mary’s” is a bookable band name.
16. So is “Whiskey Tango and the Leftover Unicorns.”
17. So is “My Asian Hillbilly.” You’re welcome.
18. Ticks suck. Literally.Therefore, you can never have too much bug spray.
19. The older I get, the clearer it becomes that hippie communes and carnival freak shows are probably my natural habitat:
20. The People’s Mic is alive and well in progressive Christendom.
21. Beer and Hymns should be a monthly institution. Everywhere.
22. You should never be afraid of the truth.
23. Spiritual directors with tangerine hair and tattoos give very sage advice.
24. “Faitheist” is my new favorite word.
25. Hot buttered biscuits are my new favorite breakfast.
26. Really, truly, you can never have too much bug spray.
It’s really amazing how much I got out of doing mostly nothing for four days. Praise be to Cheesus!….(Biscuits, anyone?)