Many times the inhibited splendor of an experience is not apparent until days after it occurred. Some experiences are tiring and exhausting and stress-ridden and Zen enjoyment of the moment is washed away in the pragmatic rigor. It’s not until later, when enough enough distance and time has settled between you and the event that you are able to view the happenings from a fittingly romantic attitude and suddenly it seems wondrous.
The San Francisco Outlands Festival I went to last week was such an example. Rambunctious, prolonged, crowded, crazed, frantic, squeezed and claustrophobic, it was a draining journey. The energy required to contend with the festival’s unforgiving and cutthroat pace is a lot to keep up with at any age, but insurmountable when your normal bedtime is 11. Still, I struggled thorugh the dust and mud and cluttered byways of the Golden Gate Park orgy last weekend. Outhouses which seemed like gentle reminders of delicate needs on Friday morning turned into ghastly pits of human disposal by Sunday night. Granted, the big disposal trucks were on standby throughpout the day, for emergencies I assume. Still, the only recompense over night seemed to be that they sprayed the outhouses with that skanky shit-neutralizing chemical agent.
Food abounded, music flourished, and people wandered the grass fields like persistent butterflies. They were all young kids but a few oldsters like me still braved the winkle-inducing sunlight which beat uncharacteristically on San Francisco Saturday and Sunday. It was tiring and when I returned on Monday, I wished to never see another music festival in my life.
Now, 4 or 5 days later, I’ve endured a rash of work place cacophony, and the anarchic buzzfest of San Francisco seems splendid. it wasn’t so bad, was it?
The ceaseless walks, the crowds, the festive atmosphere, getting squashed like a spider at Arcade Fire’s final festival act, none of it seems terribly discomfiting in retrospect. Not when contrasted with the shenanigans of corporate office holders and their repressed managerial games and pretentious, self-protective perambulations of the post festival week. Nope, Golden Gate park was heaven.
Within the greatest rush of suffocation and inundation and confusion, we can find solace.
We return to our normal world of subdued hostilities and nothing ever seems as bad as it was long ago. Long ago is always yesterday.
It never left, did it?