Monday, May 09, 2011
Starting to prepare for MichFest
I got up this morning, filled out the forms that I need to send to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festive (hereafter referred to as MichFest. I cannot remember ever being more joyous as when I called Walhalla and spoke with a womon named Terril. She was very patient with me. I told her that I had waited 33 years to come to MichFest, that when I checked their Web site to see if they could accommodate a visually impaired, hearing impaired, mobility impaired lesbian. I broke down when I saw all the wonderful supports that were in place to enable those of us who need them to attend. I felt a wave of memory wash over me. I was instantly back in 1979 in Montana helping distribute "The Amazon Spirit," a statewide monthly newsletter published by local lesbian feminists. I was down in Stone Mountain, Georgia, watching Melissa Etheridge perform onstage at RhythmFest in 1989, feeling tearful gratitude for Holly Near who works so hard to make the venues where she performs accessible. It's like a cocoon. The lesbian womonenergy is addictive. It is a place apart where my sisters care about each other and actively advocate for each other.
On Sunday, I bought the tallest air mattress that would fit my budget, a battery-powered inflation pump, and a bunch of D batteries. I also got an 8 X 10 tarp.
I was a bit anxious about how much energy it would take to do my two proposed workshops. To my delight, when I opened my MichFest folder I found detailed outlines for both of them. I did them a month or two ago, but formot all about doing them. The first one will be about sharing my experiences as a native Appalachian lesbian. How I try to keep the best parts of my culture while struggling mightily against the oppression of patriarchy that is the very matrix of Appalachian culture. I quilt. I crochet. I can. I make apple butter. I can. I can pass some good Appalachian culture down to my grandchildren without buying into the old boy Christian shoulder-patting submissive female role that engulfs many Appalachian straight women and lesbians as well.
The second one will be about the emotional roller coaster that occurs in many of our lives when our mothers die. I am an old hand at this one. My mother died in 1971. I was 19. The ogre to whom she was married called her into his private office, threw a red jacket over her head, and shot her six times. The pain is indescribable, but I have learned to live without her. I'm hoping that a group of wimmin will provide an opportunity to give and get support around this issue.
I'm ready tor some good womon energy, bonfires, rock and roll. sweet acoustic guitars, intensive intensives, sharing and meeting my sisters from all over the world. I cannot wait to get to The Land. I will put down my walking stick, kneel down on my one good knee and will lay a big one on the Holy Terra. This has been a long time coming.
Photo credit - Sam Bays
False Solomon's Seal in my front garden