Some of you have seen these photos already on Facebook, but a few of them demand more than a quick caption. Sometimes events like these festivals are only about the music, or the silly things you do as a group. (I’m thinking of youth group days, where the time seemed to spent laughing and pulling pranks, and the talks and worship were secondary.) This festival seemed to overcome the “event high” and while there were some sweet moments, the entire experience has been part of my thoughts and reflections.
So here goes…
This scene spoke to me of the hidden issues that were at the forefront of the Wild Goose Festival. Issues of justice can quickly be ignored (or replaced with that all-too-human obsession with our own day-to-day schedules, lists, demands and wants.) The vey real human pain that I heard and considered during the festival is either glossed over by the mainstream thought, or shouted down because it’s “wrong” or “unbiblical” or whatever limiting assessment you care to make. There’s just been too many times when I know that I’ve shrugged off someone else’s pain in their story, in the interests of doing my own thing.
These comtrails floated above the main stage where the serious conversations occurred (Jim Wallis and Richard Rohr were on that morning.) The people in those planes had not a clue what was unfolding below them. Quite honestly, I don’t think any of us did.
I don’t ever want to “rise above” so far that I forget to listen for the voices of those who are ignored or squelched in the usual conversations.
The geodesic dome… a wonderful place, but woefully overpowered by the big venues with the highly amped music and talks. I sat here, squeezed in with many others, around the poison ivy (geez! it was everywhere!!!) and parades of ticks (I relocated four during one talk!) I stayed because the level of the questions and conversations were so stimulating I didn’t care about the lack of creature comforts. The speakers and panel I heard here were amazing. The setting was beautiful.
I took this shot through the branches of the dome, looking up at the sky and the trees towering over us. The dome gave us a structure to talk around. The trees were deeply rooted, shading and giving me perspective. I got it. Even in that moment of our intense personal questions and discussion, we were grounded in the power of the written Word.
Ed Dodson spoke to my chaplain’s heart. How many conversations have I had with families and friends who are struggling with loss and grief? As the one who sits beside, prays and listens, I found his story compelling. He was honest in sharing his own journey from depression to acceptance and forgiveness of his daily life struggles. Two of his quotes rang true with me:
“The more I live, the more I want to live.”
Every “terminal” patient I talk to says the same thing. And it is always ironic to me that a patient is labeled as “terminal” when all of us are…
“I’m not afraid of dying, it’s the getting dead that I don’t like so much.”
True, clear, and real. And a good reminder in my life’s work.
Genuinely kind, gentle, friendly folks were everywhere. Reedy Girl was joined by several small members of her fan club as we waited for an afternoon concert to start. She had crayons and a coloring books. They all had popsicles. A friendship was born!
If you just took the time to start a conversation, you could quickly make a new friend. Even without coloring books.
Strange bedfellows… Yeah this was a bit creepy, but we found this beetle/insect/critter sharing our living space when we woke up on Sunday morning. It was about 6 inches long. (yes. EW) Thankfully it was OUTSIDE our tent and we never saw it INSIDE. But it was a reminder to me…
In this world, we don’t always get to choose our neighbors. In fact, most of the time, if we are living as God asks, we are engaged in working, talking, serving and loving people very un-like ourselves. At one point it was a bit surreal to me — what IS this 50ish, white, female, pastor/chaplain, Midwest girl doing at a progressive, emerging, edgy place like Wild Goose?
Simple! Growing, learning and loving — just like everyone else. And learning that all God’s creatures deserve a place at the table… but even if I don’t want to share my ‘Big Tent’ with them, it’s what God asks!
This was on a neighboring camper’s car. It kinda sums up the feelings I had as we left on Sunday. There’s a million ways to live out my faith, to show that justice, spirituality, art and music and change the way we view one another and care for each other. That’s more a DESCRIPTIVE life goal for me than PRESCRIPTIVE because as soon as one starts defining what it looks like to “set the world on fire” then we are committing the same error that previous generations of Christians have done. Whether it’s fundamentalism, relativism, or racism, the Church hasn’t done a very good job of living what we say we believe. (I’m talking to myself, here.)
So… yeah. Figuring out where and how and what and when… that’s where I am.