Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Solstice ritual

The night is full of a million stars. Last night was the summer solstice. We had a ritual and it made my cry. They put all of the fathers in the middle and cheered them and I imagined my father in the middle with them and wept with a kind of love and grief for all these amazing community things that I do with strangers and never with my own friends and family, and my parents friends, the people who have been my elders all my life. I long for a consistency of community and flit about like a fly. One day I want to do things like this in a real community that I stay in and burrow into and feed and feed from for years and years.

A man who came to dance camp 7 years ago after being in jail stood in the circle and said amazing things about what a mess he felt back then and how much he feels that he belongs now, and the 'healing' that he's experienced in this community.

The whole ritual was about values. It was great. Volunteers had prepared together during the afternoon, selected the community's top 8 values, and people came forward and did something in or with the circle for each value. Then we paraded noisly and irrevenerntly down to a big fire. Everyone had something to make noise with. I had a plastic bottle filled with grain. Great rattler. We circled the fire. The drummers were men. I was one of the dancers. Woman. Women. One woman was bear breasted, another in an orange fishnet catsuit with tiny orange g-string beneath. Loads of us wiggled, stomped on our bare feet, writhed on our bare knees, to the pound of the drums in the in the heat and light of the fire. I finally understood the point of didgeredoos. They create a powerful deep earth sound in ritual and it calls to the guts and the wildness in you.

After a couple of hours the wildness calmed to sitting around the fire with people stepping on the stone and telling moving stories about their lives and thoughts. We sang and finally put the fire out and went up to the lush carpeted Nirvana Cabana where gorgeous Californians were contact improvising sensuously around one another. I collapsed in the corner cushions with my friends, tired cudly, giggly allies. Gradually we began to dance, rolling slowly and lazily around one another on the soft dance floor. A bunch of people doing something very similar rolled into us and we ended up in a pile of 6 and then 7 people all lying on top of one another for ages and ages, stroking (non sexually) and uming and ahing and giggling and playing the Wow game where you all point at someone's chin / hands / hair / elbows and say Wow! And come up for a reason why it's great and the whole thing was very Californian but also, delightful.

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