Medicine Festival Day 2

In the morning I went for a walk in the woods surrounding the festival. With all this rain I thought there might be some delightful mycological extrusions. Sure enough I stumbled on a fine Chicken of the Woods, but with no kitchen to clean and cook it, and no solo experience yet in preparing that particular delight, I thought it best to leave it where I found it and drop a pin. Then I can roll in on Monday morning before I go back to London and see if there’s a new one or if it’s still good. After all, there’s more rain to come. Lots more rain. Another bag of soup, by the look of the BBC weather forecast. Here we go.

I’m safe and dry in Flavia’s bell tent ####////#### he writes as he lies back in a puddle that has stealthily been filling from a badly pinned guy rope fuckitall. Having sacrificed my towel and gone out to re-peg the guys I am NOW safe and dry in Flavia’s bell tent. I hope.

Earlier today I went to a grief and gratitude circle run by Fiona Shaw. She trained as a medicine woman of the totem of the red tail hawk. I found it a lovely circle and never stopped being impressed that an actress as lauded as Fiona Shaw was also so adept at holding a circle and working with plant medicines. How did she find the time to train and practice? AND she’s a midwife. I sat next to Tash. Tash is part of our group – I met her yesterday and drove her down. She sat behind me in the car so I’ve not seen her face a huge amount.

At the end of the circle I asked Tash if she was thinking of heading back to the tents for coffee. She looked at me silently, and then wordlessly got up and walked to the other side of the circle. At the time I put it down to her still having some inner work to finish. It was only much later that I realised my two mistakes. The woman holding the circle wasn’t the famous actor Fiona Shaw, despite a resemblance. That would be bad enough. But much worse, the woman I’d asked if she wanted to go back to the tents for coffee … she was a complete stranger. So basically she thought I was massively hitting on her directly after we all sat in a circle and spoke with vulnerability about loss and life. Bugger.

I went back to the tents for that coffee. That non-euphemistic coffee. I’m mildly concerned that she might lose time and energy avoiding me from now on. “For fuck’s sake,” she might be saying to her friend. “I can’t even sit in a grief circle without some guy hitting on me.”

The rain is easing a little but it’ll come back I have no doubt. Off to my right people play pipes and string things and sing and cheer. Now I’m blogged up I can leave my phone and drop my responsibilities for the rest of the day, go listen to something interesting and beautiful.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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