Today is not going to be about making art, at least not directly.
As I sat on top of the hill this morning, tears streaming down my face, shoulders shaking, gasping for air as I mouthed the words "this is my home, this is my only home, this is the only sacred ground that I have ever known" along with Vance Gilbert I had a realization that I can only have at Falcon Ridge. This was the most alone I had been all weekend, but the choir of fellow music fans below me made me feel like I was one with everyone there (despite what my body language would have told you at the time). That Dave Carter song, the anthem that I repeat to myself during turbulent times, the one I have tattooed over years of self abuse, is what Falcon Ridge is to me. It's a simple beautiful tune with an iconic chorus and a little bit of political action.
I was waiting for it all weekend, it happens every year whether I like it or not. The spirit of the ridge moves me to tears and afterwards I feel like a new person. I don't cry much in my "real" life, so it's actually something I look forward to. For me, this festival is both the end and the beginning of my year, a way to start fresh and get the energy to go into September, this year was a little different. I'm not going back to school, so I have to learn to channel this energy and peace into a different type of success. Hopefully one that will allow me to do better this year. Be better physically. Make better and more art. Take care of my mental health.
I think what it comes down to is love, there is nothing more powerful and few things as abundant on the hill (with the exception of maybe dirt). I found myself thinking quite often, how can I feel like this all year round? There's not one answer, or two. I suppose trying to keep the peace in my mind as long as possible would be the first one. Breathe. And take care of myself and others. There is an ideal way to live and that way is short and only exists once a year, but it exists.
So treat each other well, smile when you pass someone, say hello, offer cold water for sweaty people, cry when you need to, and love each other like we do at a folk festival.
Special thanks to my Budgiedome family, if I could tell you how much it means to me when I receive a warm hug when I greet you, and a smile every morning no matter how tired you all are. There wouldn't be enough words.
Oh and I'm going into town for 51 weeks. I'll be back soon.