The bald fellow is Jason. He has come with a cohort today from the local station to assess the situation. After I took the snap I walked round to join his chat.
This festival is completely sober. I haven’t seen a spot of booze, which is helpful considering my proclivities and the resolution I made recently. The only substances I’ve come across have been CBD oil, and Cacao. People are basically dancing on chocolate and winding down on cannabis. I have no doubt at all that mushrooms are involved in the mix somewhere, since most of the food is from that kingdom anyway. But I haven’t seen any. Everybody has just been solid, respectful and connected to the ground.
As a result of this sobriety, Jason and his chums don’t have much to do. No lagered up lads molesting and fighting. Nobody indiscriminately selling poison drugs to desperate minors. Nobody needing to be rushed to hospital because he thought they weren’t working and had six. Jason is strolling around in the sun dappled woodland, listening to the music on the air.
Because the sun has finally deigned to show up. I’m lying in it, or where it is when it pops out from behind the cloud. I’ve just chatted to Jason the cop and now I’m under a tree, near a dragon, writing to you. There’s somebody praying behind the tree. Normally he’d be emptying his bladder.
Jason was a curious fellow. “We’d much rather do anything other than take away somebody’s freedom,” he is saying as I enter the chat. That’s party line of course. “This pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetime,” is another phrasebook utterance and I’m wondering where he’s gone. But then it shows.
“This is lovely, you know?” His eyes change and he breathes out as the sun shows up through the trees. “It reminds me of a holiday … a holiday I had … in North Carolina …” For a second I see authentic Jason. Then his escort cuts across him, and he snaps back on duty. But it was a lovely flash of Jasontruth, and I think of him for a moment in North Carolina. There he sits by a river in a forest with the fire burning. He’s wearing his shorts and holding hands with somebody. “This is the life, eh?” he says, and for a moment he looks like 8 year old Jason, on the beach making sandcastles. Somebody squeezes his hand.
For the rest of the day though, Jason and his friends will have so little to do that they’ll have to spend their time chatting with us hippies, or ensuring we don’t get too close to one other. It’s a big area for 600 people. But there’s lots of dancing and singing going on.
There’s a peace here. There’s a lot of good intention. I’m very happy to be here, and feel lucky to be part of such a small tribe for a few days.
It’s only just gone noon. I’m going to switch off my rational brain now, find some sort of ceremony, maybe cry a bit at nothing and then go and dance like a maniac.