Festivals: a return to 'being'
For quite a while now, I have been a little tired of being a human doing. I want to be a human being for a while.
And this urge has become ever greater over the last few years, as the weeks and years seem to fly by ever faster and I never seem to get a minute to chill out to myself. The merry-go round of life is speeding up, not slowing down, as it seems, as I enter my thirties.
But I would like to stop this ride altogether. To slow down, to breathe, and to rediscover the simple things in life- nature, looking at the stars, reading a good book, meeting new people, and generally just living.
I went to Soundwave Croatia last week and it was amazing. Very chilled out, and laid back. As well as the music, there were swings, and seesaws, and beanbags to relax on... it felt like a playground.
What struck me is how festivals entitle us to a mode of being that we're not able to experience in the 'normal' world.
You don't see a corporate manager spinning around on a seated roundabout at a playground, do you?
But at festivals, it's normal. It's ok to do that. It's relaxed. It's playful, and it's childlike. No one will judge you.
At festivals we are free to be who we are. Free from the burden of 'doing', we allow ourselves to slip into 'being' and take the pressure off ourselves.
Have you ever thought about how utterly unbalanced we are? That 90% of our time is spent 'doing' (working, cleaning, cooking, paying bills, emailing...) and that 10%, or probably much less than that, is time for us to just 'be'?
No wonder so many people are depressed in the Western world!
I met a couple out in Croatia who had their lives a bit more balanced (some would disagree). They spent roughly 50 % or more of their time working, and 50% planning cool trips to festivals or wherever took their fancy. Sure, they weren't rich (not by our standards), but they were glowing as people. Their eyes were sparkly, they looked calm and relaxed, and they were so friendly. They had been working and travelling the world for over 2 years.
Here's a picture of them. I never got their names, and probably will never see them again in my life.
Their life takes courage. It takes guts. And it's not something you can sustain indefinitely; at least not if you want to settle in one place, find roots and create a family.
Festivals are a way for us to experience some of that freedom on a small scale. This counter-culture is growing and growing; I see no signs of it abating because it is so desperately needed, in our souls.
Festivals are a way for us to experience our true nature as human beings- for us to feel free in a world where so many of us feel trapped.