Returned to the Event Horizon last night, following the nearly nine hundred mile drive home from the Sooper Sekrit October Pagan (SSOP) festival. This marked my sixteenth year attending, and eighteen for my beloved cheshcat
, who starting going two years before me. We have moved around quite a bit in that time, living in different states and different countries... but we always make the October pilgrimage. The SSOP is my spiritual home, and the people that attend are my extended logical family.[*]
This year, cheshcat
and I were organizers again, like we were in 2010
. Back then, we did it all on our own; this time, we were part of a team of six -- working with the ever-awesome jeneralist
and three others, we put together a pretty spectacular gathering... if I do say so myself!
On the long drive home yesterday, I had plenty of time to mull over the long weekend just passed. It was quite spectacular, in many ways... and just what this doctor ordered! There was, of course, all the usual excellence -- like the various rituals, some great workshops, going canoeing, the fire circle, taking in the breathtaking Autumn foliage, going to the Sunday night dance, et cetera, et cetera, and so forth. I did not find time to make it to the sauna this year, but I did spend some lovely time in both of the Sacred Sexuality spaces -- the Temple of Aphrodite[**] and RG's Dark Temple.
As always, there were many awesometacular new people at the festival. I want to make a particularly special shout-out to my newest LJ-friend, the lovely creativexangst
-- welcome aboard, sweetie!
In addition to the parts that are the wonderful staples of the SSOP, there were certain extra bonuses that made this year even more special than usual. For instance, I received multiple heartwarming comments about how well cheshcat
and I had handled the community crisis of 2010, which unexpectedly exploded into our laps during the year that the two of us had been entrusted with the stewardship of the community. Our efforts at the time
sucked up enormous time and energy; two years later, however, it is clear that they were a success. This acknowledgement was immensely gratifying. I did the WORK as a labour of love... but it is a nice surprise to see the fruit of said labour recognized.
Another unexpected moment involved finding out that I am a movie star! Okay, a really really
minor movie star... but still. Has anyone ever heard of a 2005 film called "The F Word"
? I had heard of it before but, not being much of a movie buff, never seen it. Then, at dinner one evening, CR comes up to me and asks if I knew that I was in said film. Um... what?? As it turns out, the movie uses interview footage taken of me shortly after I was released from jail following my arrest at the 2004 Republican National Convention
in New York City. I very vaguely remember giving that interview, but I never followed up on it after. The film intersperses the footage of me with a press conference by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, using my words to put the lie to his. Excellent!
Perhaps the most touching moment of all came from the wonderful bloodsong1
.[***] I met this fantastic woman only last year but -- as is so often the case in poly-friendly community -- we have a bit of a strange relation. She is the widow of the ex-husband of my first poly partner, from waaaaaay back in the mid-90s. That's right, my ex-secondary's ex-primary's wife. I very much enjoyed meeting her and was rather pleased that she returned to the SSOP this year. This time around, she brought her two children: IDK (aged 12) and the Cuteness (aged 5). IDK glommed onto me immediately, wanting to play with boffer swords and go canoeing together and eat his meals with me. I was really touched by this bond... and further honoured by a request that his mother asked of me regarding IDK. Without bloodsong1
's explicit permission, I won't mention details in a public forum, but I can say that I was delighted to accept.
This was most likely the final SSOP to be held in the buildings that have been our home for twenty-two years.[****] By next year, the current buildings may be beneath one billion gallons of water; we will be on the same site, but in new structures currently under construction on higher ground. The gathering ended with a procession from the old buildings to the new, bringing our essence with us to transfer to our new home. It was a most fitting ending.
Of course, every ending brings with it the promise of new beginnings. In this case, the SSOP ended with multiple invitations, to visit HY and EB in NYC, to visit with AB and rbdarkly
in Kingston, and so on. As we urgently needed to get back to the Event Horizon to start packing up the house, we had to defer these invitations until we return to the States in December. However, they were still very much appreciated; it feels good to have a community where one fits in so well and just belongs.
With all these amazing happenings, I was feeling very well balanced and grounded on the car ride home -- a most welcome change from the drive out, where I was feeling rather un
grounded about some matters that have nothing to do with the SSOP. I was thinking how very good this year's SSOP was for me... until, sitting down to write this entry, I happened along a post
written just after the 2010 festival. Ah, it looks like this may not be the first year that I have come away from the October Festival feeling refreshed, rebalanced, and rejuvenated. I guess that
is why P**T*** is home!
I will wind down this entry now with a picture, taken on Sunday afternoon by your friendly neighbourhood Nomad. Tis the famous Wiggly Bridge that is such an icon of the site where the SSOP takes place. Enjoy!Sunday October 7th 2012: A Bridge Over Peaceful Waters
(click for full-sized version)
There is much to do in the next two weeks before I head back to Merry Olde England. However, that doesn't mean that there will be no time for fun. Having just connected strongly with my East Coast community, I am very much looking forward to connecting with my Chicagoland community at the final Event Horizon party this weekend!
[*] "Logical family", in contrast to "Bio-Logical family".
[**] A great many thanks are due to kenshardik and CG for making this happen on short notice. At the last minute, the person who was supposed to serve as the Priestess of Aphrodite could not come. After a hurried organizer conference to discuss suitable replacements, I tapped kenshardik and CG each on the shoulder as they arrived and asked if they could run this Temple. It is very much to their credit that they did not run screaming in horror... and thus the "Acolytes of Aphrodite" were born.
[***] bloodsong1's own quick synopsis of the weekend can be found here; it features an outfit that I really need to get.
[****] The SSOP goes back over ten years further, but it was at a different location before 1991.