I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
August 08, 2017 - 3:47 p.m.
I'm home from Falcon Ridge and ready to write. I got home early yesterday but still didn't have the energy to write all day. Then I fell asleep again this morning before I could write. After all that today still won't be detailed, this is prologue. It will not include the idiot stories; there are idiot stories starting before I left the house. I will not write details of the music. I'm not going to even write about food. Today will be about people and feelings and magic.
People experience the festival in diverse ways, I always tease Lori not LORi that she has not been to the real Falcon Ridge because she doesn't camp or hang out late night at the camps. It's not true, her Falcon Ridge is as real as mine but it is not my Falcon Ridge. Falcon Ridge is not a festival or an event; it's an idea in the minds of those that go there.
The festival starts before I get to Dodd's Farm. It starts when Fred picks me up and we start the drive up. I see Fred all the time but that's not Falcon Ridge Fred and I'm not Falcon Ridge Horvendile.
This was our first time arriving on Wednesday. That used to be my routine but when the Festival lost the Thursday night main stage I started coming up on Thursday. Never again, Wednesday is now our tradition. It's one more day at the happiest place on earth, a day of transition from the so-called real world to the true real world.
The one sad thing this festival is that Steve and LORi, the hosts of the The Budgiedome could not attend. The Budgiedome lives in their garage. When we arrived the Budgiedome was up? How? Because even though he could not attend Steve drove the dome up to the farm the weekend before with the help of Paul and Phil set it up. The Budgiedome being up is a true miracle so we have expedited the beatification process and henceforth Steve shall be known as Saint Steven of Budgiedome, hallowed be his name.
Falcon Ridge is a community with many sub-communities. I spend half my time there talking to people. My mean free path, the average distance between encountering someone I know, is about 100 feet. That means it takes forever to get anyplace, I have to stop and at least acknowledge someone's existence. It started before we even entered the main gate when I met Jake, Mayor Bill, and Trunger. Fortunately, I arrived before many of my friends including the entire Camp Steeple. Unfortunately, that didn't mean I got my tent set up quickly as the Steeple People supplied me with my tent.
The cities of Buda and Pest on opposite sides of the Danube merged to form Budapest. In a similar vein, The Budgiedome and Camp Steeple merged to form The Budgiedome and Camp Steeple. Our name combination is not as euphonic as Budapest. How about Kibbutz Budgiesteeple? We are a kibbutz, a true socialist community. It can work when everyone is united by a common interest, likes each other, and only lasts six days.
I don't know everyone's age but I believe the age range is one-and-a-half to 64. The professional clusters are STEM and the Arts. Sitting around one night I asked, "how many people took calculus?" The majority raised their hand.
At this particular festival, I had four fiancés, Ethan, Emily, a second Emily, and my newest one Cassie. I just met Cassie this year. She worked security at the backstage area. The highlight of going backstage was seeing Cassie. The highlight of the festival is when I ran into her on the Midway. I took a picture to memorialize that. As I was doing that Emily came by and called me her fiancé Cassie accused me of two-timing her, I explained that I was four-timing her. Hey this is Falcon Ridge. I took a picture of Emily and next time I saw Ethan I took a picture of him so I could make a photo gallery of my Falcon Ridge Fiancés. Not there were Susan Werner and Sarah. Sarah and one of the Emilys are my bacon wives; our relationships are based on them feeding me bacon. Emily is Joe's having four daughters together wife. They are my bacon daughters. The other Emily gave me chocolate ganache. See Cassie, you are special; you did not give me food.
The main reason I go to Falcon Ridge was not at the Festival this year. I almost turned around and went home. I'm talking about Taste Budd's chocolate. I always tell them they are the reason I go to the festival. No other food vendor won my heart. I said there wouldn't be food. Taste Budd's chocolate doesn't count, it is one of my fiancés.
I feel bad, I want to mention all the people that I love that I saw at the festival. The danger is that I'll forget someone I think I can cover everyone in Camp Budgiesteeple but I'm sure I'd skip others. So much of it is not good friends that I talk to on and offline all year but those that I only see there. I have to check in at press credentials to talk to Kathryn and at the lost and found to talk to Crystal. That's nice because I know where to find them just as people know to find me at the Budgiedome.
Falcon Ridge is about hugs. I think my relationship with Becca and Billie is based on hugs. Until I get my hugs it's not Falcon Ridge Fulfilled. When Ethan came up to visit us up the hill I got great transitive hugging. Ethan envelops me when we hug because he's so large. Carolyn was there and I envelop her because she's so slight. Falcon Ridge is a place where people will come up behind me and hug me. It's a place where I hug people I meet for the first time.
Speaking of meeting for the first time Heather brought her parents and fiancé to the festival for the first time. I told her that have to approve of Richard before they get married. I approve. I almost revoked it when I saw her in the outfit she wore for the Emerging Artist Showcase but that would be selfish. I have plenty of fiancés.
I was going to say that's it for today but I didn't mention Bri. I can't not mention Bri, the official Budgiedome Gordon wrangler. They also bring friends expanding the Budgiedome community. There were years that Paul and I were the only ones that camped at the dome. This year we had 15 people even though the glue that holds us together, St. Steven and LORi weren't there. Let's see if I can name them all. I know there is one I can't.
I haven't left the house since I was home but one of my friends said that people aren't as nice outside of Falcon Ridge. It's true. I'm tempted to not leave home until next year. I even suggested that Joe and Emily pack me up with the other Falcon Ridge equipment and just unpack me for Thanksgiving and Falcon Ridge. There's a lot to be said for that. And it's what Falcon Ridge is about. I could go on and on. I didn't get into the WFUV people. I helped set up the booth. I always stop by when I'm in their neighborhood. I also didn't get into the performers and most of the volunteers and the people whose names I don't even know that I see every year. When you wake up or head to bed and walk around people you pass will say, "Hi." It's an acknowledgement that we are all sharing something, that we are part of a whole. When the outside world feels that way we'll have peace.
It's already too late for me to get into the City before the post office closes. That means I'll stay in the Bronx today and go food shopping. Then maybe I'll get to my back messages and maybe even start editing photos. Unpacking would be a good idea too.
As long as it's too late to make the post office I should thank Anne and Bub and all the people that make Falcon Ridge possible. For five days Brigadoon rises in the foothills of the Berkshires and time stops. If you think I'm taking poetic license you haven't been there.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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