Updated: Sep 9, 2020
I had a really strong feeling the other day. It's 82 degrees in Kentucky on April 8th. I haven't physically been to school in a month... it was a real taste of summer coming early. I was sitting in the passenger seat hanging my legs out of the window of the Bronco at a gas station. Sun, shorts, cold beverage, cruising the road with new Purity Ring album... that open place in my heart where things are funnier and brighter. For a moment, it felt as though I was on the annual cruise to Manchester. Then it hits... I'm at least a year away from the farm. Of course my head zooms with all the things that I/we have possibly taken for granted through the years, but truly, the hit of this emptiness made me go numb.
For me, Bonnaroo is an essential recharge. It's the place where the cultivation and carry of positivity first truly presented itself to me. I've learned a lot about the world here. My fascinations, my passions, the importance of friends and strangers, and the feeling of freedom in those fields. It's not the party I crave. It's the heat, the hugs, the high fives, the dancing, the singing, and the smiles that I really struggle living without. It's seeing all of your favorite bands for 5 days and getting in the farm funk, where you carry that taste of living into the default world. After 360 days away from those smiles and that energy, the recharge is necessary.
I have 9 years of Roo in my heart; 9 years of friends and chosen family; 9 years memories that I hope to really revisit in this time of locking away. But memories are what they are and what they are not is new experiences. I don't actually even know what this feels like.
People are dying and it is human interaction that's killing us. We are fed information through the media and money holders and it all just feels grim. I even feel guilty for grieving the loss of summer celebrations. The positivity in me wants to be eager to discover new forms of happiness, but the scared side wants to refuse the possibility of positivity in change. The scared does not want to release the enjoyment in routine and the scared isn't ready to live in a digital world that isn't ready for a digital world. It's a mindfuck. It's one that's going to take a while to wash off.
Immediacy. I blink and swallow and that's the word that surfaces.
In this phase, this week, of quarantine I am bitter. I am bitter towards the mindset that I had prior to this virus. I don't think I fully felt the impact of the life I have been creating. What this has done for me. How this has been a real source of happiness and that even though the world isn't perfect, I've been fortunate in the life I lead. It's now, the feeling of not being able to live the same if I wanted to, it's scary. The fact that change in heart can happen in a second.. the true lesson on impermanence. It's something I fear and respect. We fall into it without choice and must swim... there is no sink.
I'm happy where I am. I am secure with a partner and kitties and a house and food and the essentials to make me live. But I miss walking out my door and going anywhere, doing anything. Of being busy outside of my house and visiting many houses of friends and family. Hugging strangers and trying new things in new places.
I am positive in the feat that moving forward, I can only become more thankful. Exploring new, more isolated and private forms of entertainment will present itself. Just like the shift from day to night, the shift from wet to dry, we'll start to experience this as natural as seasons. However natural that is.
I share these feelings because it isn't always rainbows and butterflies. It's overwhelming to think that everyone is seamlessly and happily transitioning into a different way of life. It's hard to feel motivated and even harder when you feel alone. So...
Know you aren't alone. Even us, the ones who preach positivity and live to have a good time, are allowed to be scared. We're allowed to feel down. That only makes feeling good, feel better. Don't repress the dark feelings. Ball your eyes out in a gas station parking lot on the most beautiful day of the year. Those feelings of longing have to happen. A warrior learns from this and starts smiling again.
Whatever you do, just don't stop dancing. We'll all dance together again.