Hey you guys!
I finally have a little down time to write a bit for you. We are peacefully ensconced in a Marriott hotel in upstate New York with our friend Kellianna, enjoying some much needed down time and a chance to use fast internet, to wash ourselves thoroughly and sleep on a cushy bed.
I enjoy the extremes of first being in festival mode, getting dusty and sweaty, and living closer to the land where everything is just a bit more difficult, and then shifting into a few days of luxury.
Of course, it may be a bit rich to describe our modest hotel as “luxury” but that is part of the beauty. Compared with standing in line for a cold shower and then being sweaty and dusty again in an hour, it really is luxury.
The dusty festival of which I speak was the New York Faerie Festival. This is truly a magickal event, and the closest I have yet come to running away with the circus. Based on the Renaissance faire model, but much more fantasy than period, this festival is a fine example of a group of people coming together to create a magickal alternate world for folks to hang out in. It was on a gorgeous piece of land with lots of trees, a river, and little glens everywhere. It had the usual “day pass” vibe, with vendors and performances of all types – we played 4 shows on several stages throughout the festival – and also had the camping/after party element, with folks sharing stories and arts, jamming together and showing off their talents. Being part of the performer’s camp was really a treat, with hundreds of costumed festival goers spontaneously entertaining each other into the night.
We had the luxury of camping with the swankiest camp, which made for a very “gypsy wagon around the fire” feel. It was so much fun to get myself dolled up in front of a mirror propped up against a huge apple tree amidst a circle of huge tents and hanging candle holders of colored glass.
One of my favorite pieces of this is the traveling musician tribe that we find ourselves a part of. We end up at similar shows by sheer luck of the draw, hang for a while, tell stories and make fun, watch each other’s shows and often sit in, then we are off to our respective adventures until serendipity has it that we end up in the same place again.
We find ourselves travelling with Kellianna for the next week, as we were booked at consecutive festivals. Wendy Rule was also at NYFF, and we will rejoin with her later in the year for the New Orlean’s Witch’s Ball.
Another cool thing that has happened on this journey is that www.couchsurfing.org rocks! If you like to travel and meet folks, you have got to know about this. It is a website whereby people offer their homes to travelers. And it isn’t just couches, it is often a spare bedroom with a private bath. This has saved us a lot of money as we’ve gotten started on this musician road, and has many times made the difference between whether we make a profit or not.
We had a fantastic experience in St. Paul with some folks from couchsurfing.org. They had a beautiful home with wonderful soft, clean pets to snuggle with. They came to our show, and even organized a couch surfing meet-up group at a charming rooftop sake brewery. We would have never discovered this place if they hadn’t taken us there, which is a big part of the beauty of friending some locals.
It renews my faith in humanity that people are willing to extend such trust and goodwill to one another that they open their homes to strangers. It hearkens back to a more innocent time, and bears witness to the possibility that the world can be a friendly place where we all look after each other and strive to make life better for each other. Certainly there are those times when you need down time away from people, but if you are up for an adventure in meeting new people, couch surfing is a very cool way to do it.
Well, it gets late, and we are off to Canada again tomorrow, so time to close the computer. I am glad I had a chance to jot a few things down before internet access gets dubious again. I am so glad to have had a chance to share this part of the journey with whomever may be reading.
All the best to you, and may your journey be sweet and full of unexpected gifts.