Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Jarring Juxtaposition

Got the day off today (Yes Thank You Jesus) and was settling into the recliner for some tea and reading.

Morning Joe was still on the tube. Carol has it on every morning over her morning cereal and I stumble across it depending on my wild and varied work schedule.

I hadn't shut down the TV yet, and as I nestled myself into the anti-ambition chair they were doing a piece on SXSW.

The South by Southwest Music and Media Conference.

2016 marks the 30th year this event has been held and it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. It is huge and attracts a diverse audience of free thinkers guaranteed to rip your boring little world apart.

In a nutshell it is all about showcasing creativity.

Music, film, forward thinking in a wide variety of disciplines.

From the SXSW website: " A large multi-industry trade show exhibition, Music Gear Expo and daytime stage performances round out the day while evenings are devoted to the SXSW Music Festival, which showcases over 2,200 acts ranging from the unsigned to the iconic."

It is held for one week every March in Austin, Texas. Oh so cool, oh so eclectic, Austin, Texas.

I should be there. I yearn to be there and have ever since I began hearing about it many years ago

It is one of a few destinations that my soul pines away to attend.

The Burning Man Festival is another. Burning Man is a little more extreme.

This is a one week gathering running from the end of August into September and is held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

From the Burning Man website: "Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome."

People from all over the world come together to build a city out of nothing and tear it all down after it is over. The festival culminates in the ritual of The Burning Man - a giant man-like creation that is set on fire.

One more soul-destination for me is New Orleans. I don't necessarily need to be there for Mardi Gras. In fact I think I would prefer not to. I would rather discover the soul of this magical place on my own terms and at my own pace.

Anyway, once again I was wistfully watching the coverage of SXSW wishing mightily that I was there.

The piece ended and Donald Trump's fat, orange face came up on the screen and Mika and Joe started with Trump saturation.

I immediately shut down the tube.

My emotional reaction was fascinating to me.

I was lost in the beauty and freedom and creativity and forward thinking and hope and fun and music and film and art of SXSW, completely in sync with what they are doing there, feeling it in my heart and in my soul and in my longing.

Suddenly the purity of those emotions was destroyed by Trump and his campaign and the vile stupidity of our political process.

I was angry.

Thank God that SXSW and Burning Man and New Orleans exist. This world has become so cold-hearted and cruel and viciously stupid that human beings need a reason to let go. They need a reason to step away from the soul crushing nature of their lives so they can try to regain the sensation of being human.

The magic and the gift of being human.

They need to regain the sensation of just feeling.

I will make it to one of these dream destinations one day. Maybe I will hit the trifecta and hit them all.

My soul demands it.

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