wild goose

I’ll be camping in a few weeks, at glorious Shakori Hills in North Carolina.  To my surprise, we haven’t camped since last year’s inaugural Wild Goose Festival.  How did a whole year go by with camping plans remaining only in the dream stage?  (Well, Sandy did start a new job, and we did buy a house.  We have been pretty busy!)

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to camping.  Which is nice to reflect on…

I am, however, somewhat ambivalent about joining a gathering that’s rooted in the Christian tradition, no matter how progressive, gay-affirming, and open to other faiths it claims to be.  Lately I find myself reluctant to assign any labels to my thinking, but it’s not so far off to say that my journey currently camps on the shores of agnosticism and panentheism, and looks out on the sea of atheism.  I don’t believe I’ll ever embrace atheism (drown in that sea), but reading those tides and watching the dance of those waves holds my interest these days, while talk of salvation and eschatology and Christian theology and biblical hermeneutics kind of nauseates me.

There are upsides awaiting me at this festival.  In no particular order:  there’s a lovely field on which to play frisbee.  My partner and I may be filming a project, which should be interesting.  It will be nice to have some significant hang-time with several friends.  I’ll likely feel summery-clean inside and out from the sun and tent sleeping and eating sparsely for four days.  As far as food goes, we’re again doing the “minimalist” camping thing, as we coined it last night in a preliminary camping meeting with a local friend who will be joining us.  That same friend is open to learning how to play hacky-sack.  I’ll get a chance to hear some good (and quite possibly some great!) live music.

Not least, I might get an opportunity to sit with and look at and get to know a few of the myriad of feelings that bubbled up at last year’s Wild Goose that I never really did articulate, either on paper or in my head.  The only thing I ever managed to put words around was this: it was remarkable to be with my partner, sometimes holding hands, sometimes sitting nestled together, in a public place, for four days, with a noted absence of attention.  No one did a double take, startled.  No one seemed to awkwardly try not to look.  No one openly celebrated our open hand-holding.  No one really noticed.  It was lovely, the absence of feeling as though I were in a fishbowl.

For that gift alone, I am glad to be going to Wild Goose (East) 2.

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2 Responses to wild goose

  1. Have you tried Quakers? Panentheists welcome, we do not think about the dogma much, we seek the experience of the Spirit/ Life Force/ Whatever together, in silence.

    On “Openly celebrating” hand holding in public, I would, actually. Is it that bad? I might be secretly hoping to get chatting and get a wee bit of encouragement.

  2. Mindy says:

    Ah — no, no, it’s not bad at all. Openly celebrating can be glorious! Thank you for saying you would do so. 🙂 I would hope to do the same for you, in a larger than wee way!

    At last year’s Wild Goose, I was still pretty raw from a lingeringly toxic fishbowl feeling… No stranger was trusted (a devil behind every bush ha!), so if someone brought loud attention to our being a couple, who knew what sneering could wait lurking behind it! I suppose as time continues to carry me further from the beloved-church-community-rejection my partner and I experienced, I’m less vulnerable, less inclined even to think suspiciously that any smiles directed our way are gratuitous or pained. (BTW, in the recent days after NC’s Amendment One passed, that raw feeling arose again. Pah! But it’s getting better.)

    And no, I haven’t tried Quakers. I like the idea of the welcome intentional silence in a Quaker meeting but for now, I’m not seeking any particular belief system or group. I’m oh-so label-averse these days… perhaps to my detriment but I’m giving it time, letting it be for now. Heck, we even went to an Ethical Humanist Society group (talk about open!) but I found their very non-dogmatic “dogma” too much to commit to. We are however finding that we have a small but growing (and diverse!) community, and that is really what I want.

    And new online friends are wonderful! 🙂

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