I've been away again, this time not up to Wales but to Devon to the Buddhafield Festival for a long weekend. It has done me some serious good despite my strong reservations about going. What better place to be than with all your friends in the glorious sunshine hanging out in tents and structures and in fields and under trees in the Devon countryside.
I arrived in a pretty ropey state, after having not that long returned from Wales, seeing my Mum in hospital and generally having an intense and hard time of it. Then, just as the car was speeding out of Brighton towards Devon, I received news that my sister had been also rushed into hospital, with a worrying condition, and was now residing two wards away from my Mum. It took me all my will to not beg Nick to just turn the car right around and drop me back home. It was a couple of days before I could ease off the worrying about my sister, when I heard that she had finally returned home and seemed to be improving significantly. Suddenly, despite the weight of what my mother is going through at the moment and the pain of witnessing her like that, I felt on top of the world. The thought of my sister sick and stuck in hospital when she was meant to be joining me at Buddhafield and finally getting some respite from all the full on-ness of the last couple of months was unbearable, so knowing she was back home was a massive relief. I was very happy.
And so it was - crepes at three in the morning, endless cups of tea around Stewarts table at his tat stall, copious amounts of dancing, madness in the Lost Horizon sauna cafe, magic mushrooms, a disco and strip show to the Rolling Stones 'Start Me Up' in the back of the dodge van, complete with strobe, pretty boys playing strange instruments around fires, extremely late nights/mornings, Prajnaparamita covered in string, lots of naked flesh, searing heat, Lili's 'goat in a wedding dress' shrine, me saying I would go to lots of dharma stuff and workshops and instead just sitting around chatting from one cafe to the next, catching up with old friends, bonding more deeply with present ones, and generally being a total flakeball and loving it.
And now I am back. I've been feeling pretty inspired in fact, spending most of my time at my keyboard trying to get back into my songs that have been largely neglected over the last year, so that I will have a set for when Chastock comes around at the end of August. I've also made a vow to swim every day in the sea to keep fit and keep my soul oiled with the right things. Today I swam in the river at Barcombe, past drooping branches and scattered leaves, the muddy bank, with one white swan gliding silently by me towards the sun. Yes, these things are good for my soul, and the people in my life at the moment equally so. I am keeping myself afloat in a sea of traumatic events and loss, and I'm still very much alive and feeling, and the happiness and beauty of life which I grasp in more than moments, is a blessing, is a magic touch I still feel deep inside, despite everything.