Thursday, August 30, 2007

greenbelt 07 (or, what happens when the truth collides with the light that shines through the cracks)

so, there it was.
it just happened, and 2 days after returning home i am wound down enough to begin the 'unpacking' and reflection of heaven in ordinary
cant begin at the beginning, or finish at the end, want to just spill and write as images spin their way up to the interior cinemas widescreen behing the eyes......

is it possible to live more in 5 days than in a whole summer?
If it is, then I just did.
We ordered the best weather of the summer thats for sure, non stop sunshine.
I worked too much there, and saw most of the festival from that perspective, working with amazing and talented volunteers - recording all the talks programme & managing with the management group.
SO much work goes into preparation for the festival - a whole year, and over 30 years of gathered and inherited knowledge - and i am so glad to say we remain imperfect in the delivery.
Beautifully so.
Not a corporate, slick & polished event.
Not exclusive
Not a 'Christian Festival'

A festival dreamed up, put together and delivered by, in the main, christians.

I have trouble with that word, man....
But as someone told, nay, demanded, in no uncertain terms in the early hours of tuesday morning, as we were both so drunk, on emotion, level 5 conversation, and jack daniels - "of course your a fucking christian!"
"stop arsing about"

And, in the terms that he described, his interpretation of what he understood a christian was, then i understood too.
And i looked him in the eye, and I saw the truth collide with the light that shines trough the cracks.
And I surrended.

God bless you steve.
I saw God in your pain, your suffering and your broken-ness.
He has your skin on.

I like to be positive, i think i am usually a 'glass half full' kind of guy - but i get really down about people in positions of power who behave as if they fucking own the place they are running.
Rudeness - 'YES YOU WILL DO IT', bullying kind of behaviour.
Makes me want to smack them.
I have no respect for that kind of self importance.
I want to make it my business to disarm them of their power.
Stand them down
Thats a tough and dangerous ambition.

People who come to volunteer at a festival, give up of their time to enable the festival to be what it is, should not be made to feel small. Maybe they volunteered because they couldnt afford to buy a ticket (all GB volunteers get a free pass, meal vouchers etc. in return for 6 hours per day of their time). Maybe they want to get more involved, get called to help. Bring their skills as well as their imperfect human-ness into the melting pot.
Sure, we need organization and levels of management and responsibility.
And people respect that, if they are made to feel included, and given time and space to make mistakes, and helped to realise them.
Not bullyed, bossed around, belittled, have remarks made about them or their offering of their time.

I dont know how to do this, but I trust God dont like it either though......
Especially not at His festival.
I may be dwelling on it too much, but i need to get it out.
Its a minority of people, their behaviour.
Its unnacceptable.
If allowed to go unchecked then it will mean we lose many, many potential Greenbelt makers - volunteers - who will not return because they feel they have been treated well and welcomed, cherished even.
That includes me.
Thankfully, I am lucky, the balance is there in this respect.
I feel cherished by some people and at the moment, it is their wondrous and kind, wise acceptance and encouragement that keeps me invloved. Deeply.

So I say to the bully with power.
Stand down
Take your baggage that causes you to want to hurt people with your words and your attitude
And check in elsewhere
Take a holiday
Think about your behaviour
Take a smack in your smug face
Have a word with yourself
Go back to the beginning and start again.

Enough already.

This is what happens when the truth collides with the light that shines through the cracks.......

I am on a mission to steal back the festival for itself.
I am a bootlegger of the output
A photocopier of heaven in ordinary
a tapedeck that spouts what is input into it

but God-made, not Sony-made
the internal workings creak with 42 years of the motors turning
I am a channel
full of resistance and capacitance
my valves glow
My inner workings modify and subtley alter the input that feeds through my microphone ears
my cine-camera eyes
my movement detector skin

my bullshit detector is wired to 'always on'
often it runs faulty and works on output
then i have to give it a thump, like a broken telly
which usually does the trick....


The Harbour of Ourselves said...

amen fella.....

sorry i didn't get to get much time wit what you have written - we all need a go(o)d thump every now and then....

grace and beer

Martin said...

love that phrase God has your skin on. nice one john, see you soon, Martin

Dave said...

Wonderful words

Awareness said...

your spilling reflective words are full of feeling......reading them allowed me to take a walk through a part of the festival with you.
ps. kd lang's version of cockburn's song? Interestingly, it has been playing in my head and in my van this week..... :) It's my favourite song on her 49th parallel cd along with Cohen's Hallelujah