A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Grassroots Festival 2012

I got back from the Grassroots Music Festival yesterday afternoon after going for three days with my brother.  I took these photos on Saturday in the late afternoon when the weather was good because it hadn't been good the first day and part of the second day.  I took a bunch of photographs, most of which did not come out, but I thought these were pretty good and could give a feel for the festival and some of the types of people there.  I especially loved watching and photographing the children, most of whom were at a gleeful high energy stage at that time of the day, running around, playing frisbee and soccer and tag.

Rob and I have been going to this festival every summer for many years.  This year's festival was good, but not great.  No real headliners, some bad weather yet still enjoyable.  The festival has gotten progressively larger over the years while the music has gotten less challenging.  There's been some infusion of traditional and pop country that doesn't stir me up.  In past years we've gotten to see some great performances by Los Lobos, Lucinda Williams, The Avett Brothers, Eilen Jewell and several excellent African and Latin bands.  My brother is a music junky and a master at making up original music mixes of his favorite artists and he relies on going to this festival each year to get his dose of live music.  Truth is we don't get to see a lot of live music around here in part because I'm not too keen on driving at night time.  There is some live music at the local bars and the main coffee house mainly during the school season.  Rob stays in touch with the rest of the world by buying CDs that have come out recently and staying in touch with a Facebook group of a radio station called The Loft on satellite radio, one of the few DJ controlled, free form radio station out there.

Except for getting anxious as we headed out to the festival, which is about an hour and forty minutes away, I was mostly relaxed.  I even talked with a few people for a little bit, which is something I wouldn't have been able to do comfortably several years ago.  I enjoyed being outside, listening to music, eating some good food from the vendors and watching the continual parade of people of all ages (though mostly caucasian and middle class).  I also love my brother very much and enjoy his company. He is really mensa bright and knowledgeable and has a good sense of humor too.  We get along.  I'm very grateful to have him in my life; he's provided me with comfort and refuge when I've needed it.

So I've successfully gotten through the festival and am now in the process of preparing for my elderly parents' visit in five days.  Because they live so far away and also because I have seven cats to take care of, I only see them twice a year for about eight days each time.  That means that the time I do spend with them has to be quality time.  I love that they are still alive and in relatively good health.  They are good people, smart, sensitive, caring and very generous.  They taught my brother and me to be good people, too.  I know I need to prepare for the day when they won't be here, but for now I'll just stay grateful and attentive.
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