It’s all going by so fast! Time moving by you swiftly is likely the best indicator of time well spent, in that you are unaware of the minutes or hours motioning by, for whatever it is that you’re doing that is hastening your attentions away from linearity is temporarily more powerful than what is more normatively the oversee’r of all things.
Singing your way through a life is such a strange experience. Wondrous and visceral but strange nonetheless. We are having a conversation each night, but it’s coupled with amplification, dramatic gestures and a delightful (though dizzying) display of sound and lights. (Among so many other things.) And lest I forget, there is also the intoxicating influence of many thousands of people all around us, deeply invested in this same conversation.
Now that I am in this thread, it reminds me of my cultural anthropology class from when I was a kid, and the one of many things gleaned from that exposure. It seems us human-kind are pre-wired for this sort of thing. We need to commune together, tell stories, sing songs, dance ecstatically, imbibe in one way or another and do so by the light of a metaphorical, technological or literal fire. We make meaning out of these experiences, we find community here, we mark time by these rituals, even if it goes by so fast we occasionally feel robbed of something precious. It’s anomalous to me when it goes by slowly, which I suppose is a good sign. If it did so regularly I think perhaps I’d need to start looking for a new church. But thankfully this cathedral still glistens with glee! It moves like a gargantuan murmuration, pulling, pushing and flowing until the last note bends and we roar in unison at the midnight moon!
To some who attend, it’s just a concert. They know a couple of songs and it reminds them of high school. That’s fine, no pressure to stumble into a transcendent state in public, maybe you’re self conscious about your bliss face and don’t like being vulnerable around strangers. We can all relate to that to some degree. But if any part of you, my reticent holdouts, has any inkling to shake that shit off and sing out at the top of your lungs, we are SO here for you! That is sort of what this event is for, to simultaneously remember and forget. To hold tightly and to surrender, and what a thing it is to have literally thousands of friends be there to catch you if and when you decide to show up in ways you didn’t think you had the willingness and or the capacity to! See how this starts to sound suspiciously similar to a religious outing? This is what I am alluding to when I say that this is “strange”! Wondrous and visceral, but strange. Some people go to church, some do mass sporting events, some bang on drums around camp fires, some go to Burning Man, some of us do all of those things. But all of us find something to fill that void. That “space” we are (once again) pre-wired with as people born of this world. I wonder if humanoids born of other worlds also come pre-packaged with a deep need to get naked and boogie down to thunderous rhythms by the light of their moon(s). I wonder if they’d have fun at an Incubus show. Hmmm …
They’re invited, regardless. Ha! Well, we are bringing this campfire story hour to Camden, NJ tonight and everyone in our world is about as stoked as you could be living out of suitcases, and hoarding our single serve soaps. These gentle inconveniences pale by comparison to the glorious fire-light emanating from our nightly ritual. You’re invited! See you guys soon,
Photos by Christaan Felber