So I'm sitting here with my giant cans (Sennheiser HD-555s) on and squeeing in bassy goodness, and luckily all my colleagues are wearing jandals so I can still hear them flip-flopping up to me, even when they're in stealth mode. Also, I remember declaring somewhat belligerently that when I got new and decent phones, I would go all Office Space on my old crapped-out PX-100s. Part of me really wants to do this. Part of me is struggling with the idea of destroying anything. So - should I toss a coin? Ask the internet? Just do it and take photos of the carnage? Keep them for posterity? Convince me, oh internet!
Canaan Downs is a beautiful place. It's limestone country, which means rock outcrops, tomos, ground that thumps hollowly as you walk over it, and lush lush growth. It's also a great place to go and have adventures, so on the afternoon of New Year's Day, we did.
This involved taking some hoops. Because no adventure is a true adventure without a hoop (even if you don't use it - doh). So we grabbed some hoops and intrepidly set forth. The adventure itself was, well.. adventurous (ask richdrich about barbed wire and kilts sometime) - but this isn't about that. It's about what happened to the four hoops we left behind. They disappeared.
They were in our communal kitchen tent, leaning up against a wall. Two fire hoops, my psihoop and the pink one that I cart around for other people to use. And at some point while we were out in the boonies, someone went into our tent and took them. We didn't discover this until the next day, at which point I went "Oh noes!" and went off in search.
Side note: last time something went missing like this, it was the Pink Moa tent which had been stolen from the Pony Club shed prior to Kiwiburn, and the discovery of its loss led to me being extremely angry and having something of a meltdown - I hate dishonesty, it pushes all my buttons.
So anyway, I had two choices - I could assume they'd been stolen, or I could assume some kids had come and 'borrowed' them to play with and then forgotten to put them back. I decided to operate on the latter, and took a walk around the campground in the hopes of stumbling across them. I had this churning horrible feeling in my insides when I set off, like an explosion about to happen.
But then something weird happened. As I walked around, I found myself approaching strangers (mostly strangers with hoops), and talking to them. Normally I have trouble with this because despite appearances I'm innately quite shy. But now I had a purpose! So I talked to these people with whom I had something in common. And as I told my story again and again, I found myself letting go of any attachment to finding the hoops.
The fire hoops, I can rebuild in a couple of hours. The pink hoop, I never use and don't really care about. The psihoop, while expensive, is something that's given me and my friends more enjoyment than the money it cost and if I'm to be realistic, I can afford to replace it if I want to. So for me, the loss of the material objects themselves was not that great. And as for the dishonesty, whoever took them would have to live with the knowledge that they are a dishonest person. Karma works. Etc. And that was good enough for me. So suddenly, that part of it wasn't winding me up any more.
The other thing is that I met a whole bunch of people in my travels, and talked with them. I met other hoopers, festivalgoers and performers of all kinds, a lot of whom were interested in Kiwiburn. I had conversations with people about hair, music, the festival, travelling, and one very strange one with an elderly man that involved a place called Hoopum, an old Buick and how to avoid getting arrested by being good at juggling. O.o
So I didn't find the hoops, but by the time I returned to camp I was ok with not having them. The churning feeling was gone, there was no emotion at all really, and I felt fine about the whole thing. Not only that, I'd met some neat people, overcome my shyness, and connected with the community. The missing hoops had turned out, for me, to be a positive thing.
Can we say "Whoah shit holyfuck what the hell just happened?" I did.
And the hoops did turn up. Someone had found them or seen them or something, and when we returned from Tom's closing set, there they were - leaning against a post by the road, where someone had put them so we'd see them on the way past.
I wonder, in my secret newage hippie place, if there's some kind of cosmic lesson in this. If I'd stormed around the camp accusing people of dishonesty or been all negative or made my camp-mates uncomfortable with barely suppressed anger (the way I did with the Pink Moa tent), would people have been disposed to place the hoops back in my path? Or would people have gone "What a wanker, why should I help you?"
Also, my inner idealist is leaping about in happiness, because I really think that at that sort of event where everyone is sleeping in tents, we should be able to trust each other - and evidence that we can, just fills me with joy.
Cool things Tats never expected to happen but somehow ended up being profound in the midst of total hedonism #56.
Tonight, after hooping, I go back into Essay Land. My hindbrain's been working on it over the holiday (yes it has, shut up). The rough plan goes on paper tonight, along with highlighting of relevant referencey stuff. Tomorrow there'll be note form outlining. Then on one of the three following nights I'll drink a lot of coffee and write the bloody thing, which leaves me four days to edit. In between I shall have a life, damnit. Yes I will.