Saturday, October 4, 2008

"FREEDOM" Big Sur Festival in the Forest

I'm reminiscing of my last weekend and it’s wonders in Big Sur, with a euphoric sense of "how-the-hell-is-it-over?" But, in all seriousness, is it really over?

Never before have I transcended such a sense of freedom in this reality, or in any others for that matter, than during the forty-eight hours I spent at Festival in the Forest in Big Sur, California in 2008,where a estimated three hundred attended. It was truly the closest I've ever felt to the word freedom, in its bear text, experiencing the idea philosophically, spiritually, and physically. There weren’t any institutions of rules and responsibilities that followed. Walls did not exist in this reality, the only boundaries were gravity, the inevitable humanly urges to eat, drink, and (eventually) sleep. Otherwise everyone on the campground was all totally permitted to do as we pleased with the unspoken rule that it didn't harm others (and that we should enjoy ourselves.) And permit we did! It was apparent about half way thought the second day of the festival, that the majority of the festival-goers had introduced their bodies to a substance called LSD. Everyone was very psychedelic. These people dressed as natives, minimalists, tree huggers, and fashion aficionado's of the year 1969. It was a woodstock scene, no doubt. Might I remind you, we're still in the time frame of 2008 years after Jesus' death. A mere four decades from these infamous scenes of woodstock which are most even notably inconceivable to most of us born after that particular generation.

Admittedly, and potentially regrettably, I did not partake in the ongoing of any psychedelic droppings. I had the idea that I wanted to be in my best possible state of communication with these beautiful people, in hopes of meeting, and of building relationships with. Well, that's sort of how it turned out, a dance party was organized both friday and saturday night after band performances at the fernwood bar, which was more than a great social gathering. I met a remarkable amount of compassionate people, which I do regret not more seriously getting contact information from, especially the female types that had interesting things to say about the world and had themselves impressively well-established. Ah yes, the old female situation again, it always seems to revert back into our basic human instincts doesn't it? Yes, I presume the laws of attraction are established for good reason, and especially in great cases like these, how lonely I must sound. At times it seems that all we (individually) ever really have is ourselves, yet, should we really be asking for more? Is there not enough fulfillment in total solitude? Must we continue our instinctual sexual practice of reproduction? There’s an overpopulation problem! Great and almighty God, Let us escape our condition! Independent-asexual must rise! My lame sense of humor is evidently still intact, it's most likely compensation for something else I'm not willing to admit. Regardless of all my babble, the amount of enchantment involved in the forty-eight hours supremely enjoyed at the festival will forever mask my apparent loneliness, at least I can hope, and hope is everything.

Have I continued thus far without any mention of musical performances? Yes indeed, I have. The Entrance Band was incredible, they were the only band scheduled both nights, thank a god they did. Both Friday and Saturday night they completely owned the night, they played loud, thunderous cries of WTF is going on in this world today-type of political prayers, and that of contemplating death. My god, they were great! Saturday I was personally a little more into it, the freedom energy had thankfully worked its way into me, and free I became. Most attended would probably recognize me from the descriptions that follow, when entrance played I flailed my limbs like a crazed jittering cockabee practically overdosed on crack cocaine. As someone who drums things, I'm familiar with where the beat lands, so I suppose I just throw myself to that point, attempting to reenact the notes through my limbs. It’s actually a huge enjoyment, some call it dancing, but I'm afraid that would be too huge a compliment. I really fucking enjoyed this part.

In reflection of my bathing habits, which I attempted to maintain at the festival, I try to imagine looking through a more natural, non-human perspective, which I find that I'm still a cultural slave to the institution I've born into. I've adapted to the cultural norms of smelling 'nice' and 'clean' when in matter of fact, my body could be trying to tell me something about my an unhealthy diet through these seemingly 'bad' body odor smells. Again, questioning the institution in dramatic detail.

Upon arrival at the camp grounds friday afternoon, friends and I set up our sleeping bags on the dirt and started romanticizing about the drugs and fun we might run into, and the beauty of the whole festival. I should add that the people I had come with weren't actually 'friends,' I had met the girl the previous night because someone else had told me she had an extra ticket, she sold it to be half price, and I pitched a few bucks on gas. She came with her brother, and we stuffed the three of us into a mid 90s honda hatchback with food, drinks, sleeping bags, and all intact. We were friends. In is this one minor detail and many others that played into the utter magnificence of the entire weekend.

Once we'd unpacked we heard guitar wails in the distance, it started to sound good, then better, then "oh my god, what the hell are we waiting for?" We marched ourselves to the stage which was a little under three minute walk, the first act playing was called SLEEPY SUN, mind blowing music. So soft and soothing, yet at time the sabbath influence was quite apparent, and very fittingly so. Not only was I witnessing some of the best live music to date, I was also discovering what this whole thing was about, the people all around were stoked to be there, while the psychedelic hippies were only half way psychedelic at that point, everyone else was from four decades ago. SLEEPY SUN was great.

Although I acknowledge there's much more noteworthy bands that played throughout the festival, I should only mention one more that really caught my ear, they're called FOOLS GOLD. They play an afro-pop infused funky, truly grooving, array of "love for the world" easily listening and very pleasing kind of sound. With at least six to nine members on stage at once, they had a section of percussion, a sax, drummer, bassist, three guitarist, and the Big Sur mountains as a back drop. Not one, no one, was sitting or standing still or could even if they wanted to, and it was mid-afternoon. Every one in sight was grooving on this stuff, hard. It was freedom, flail your body every which way! No judgments or condemnations, you're free! By god, I hoped that moment never ended.

And ended it has not, through the course of the two hours invested, what little understanding of writing I've exhausted, an empty stomach, and the bitches brew album, I've re-lived the festival, and re-discovered my love of life. This festival had a deep impact on everything I know. For this, for reading, and for everything else, I thank you, you've influenced this thing to happen either one way or another, and so rest in the fresh canals of my memory it stays, dancing and frolicking all gay-like only to present it self in the most psychedelic of dreams. With this experience I can now say I've experience a hint of what freedom must taste like. And what a intoxicatingly most-beautiful taste it was:

When I pushed out, the air reacting was not trapped or concealed by a cage, a wall, a barrier, but it took flight with the rest of the wind, elegantly soaring and flowing with the rest of the air molecules, this, in all aspects, is freedom. Music is freedom, freedom is happiness.

1 comment:

stephanie said...

what a wonderful capturing of a feeling so rarely felt. You write very well, and should probably do it more often.
I should have liked to go, but then, how long have we known each other? 10 years? and theres nothing particularly free about being faced with a piece of your past. All the same, so much time has passed we could have, and most likely did, reinvent ourselves so many times we've become unrecognizable to each other. (theres a better word than unrecognizable but its escaping me, perhaps unknown or unpredictable?)... The last time we were kicking it for example, you were bobbing your bleached head to Blink182 (sorry to make that public, sort of, mainly in case you have any dirt on me) and these days Everett doesn't even know you when he's looking you in the face. So maybe expectations of how one another might conduct ourselves aren't there. I guess that I don't like to get silly dancing with onlookers who have years of preconceived notions of me was the point really. Not that all this hypothesizing and philosophizing does any good. This particular festival is over and here I am on another continent. I'm beginning to fear that such a complicated and ironical idea of coming to together to be free by more or less suspending the idea that certain things aren't decent in public, is uniquely American -or at the least not happening in Africa. Which means you'll just have to tell me when the next ones going on and then we'll pretend not to see each other the whole time.
And on a last note, generally if you make a reference or two to being lonely, without than painfully analyzing it, no one notices. And if you're given to theories of evolution, no you can't escape mate finding drives. People don't give up sex when faced with something as uncute as AID's, why would something (occasionally/eventually) cute like a baby make them stop? Population control ought to just be another word for birth control. And ought might not be a word at all.