courtesy Ivan Philips
In case any of my readers missed it, I was back at Bristol this weekend. It was a heady, emotional and incredibly rewarding experience, and there is not one single nano-second I would change. Even the time I spent at the Las Vegas airport with its slot machines and tackiness feels precious;)
That meant I was also playing Gaia again. How do I encapsulate this experience? How can I possibly describe something like this in words? As I have said before on this blog, it is almost impossible to explain a silent moment of grace, but I'll give it a shot:
There was a little girl who was clearly frightened of me. Her mother was trying to get her to go over, telling her I was nice, that I wasn't scary, that she would go over with the little girl, but she was having none of it. This happens frequently, and when I was this girl's age, I would have been one of these kids; my parents would not have been able to get me to go over to the strange costumed person for any amount of live of money. In such situations, I never, ever force the interaction; you can make a child cry that way, and that is definitely the last thing I want to do. So I ducked behind a tree for a bit, and then when her mothetr didn't give up, I decided to go away. Sometimes that's the only thing that works; you almost have to save the kid from their parenty's tenacity. I was starting to walk away, and suddenly the little girl ran over to me and gave me a hug, asking me if I knew Tinkerbell. Just like that. I interacted with her for a few moments, she gave me another hug, and they left. I saw her again that day, and though she was still shy, she waved at me and smiled, and I waved back.
There is so much else I could write, too much to fit here, really. It was a wonder to me to put the dress and the makeup back on and to find mmy old rhythms, but I found my body doing new things too, discovering new facets to a character I thought I already knew so well. And, it was awe-inspiring to work with this incredibly talented group of people again. For the faeries I already knew, it was like rejoining my family, and for the new fae, it was sort of like discovering long-lost relations. Thank you to all of them: my Flower; incomparable Brownie and her mother, Spidera; delicate and fiery Phoenix; adorable Hedgehog; ethereal Ariel; sweet and mischievious Puck; mysterious Oberon; kinetic and delightful Caliban; and a special thank you to my Gaia-sister, the lovely and playful Bubbles. I must also give due props to my makeup artist, who is from a family of strong and beautiful people whom I have always admired. My weekend would not have been half so wonderful without these people.
Thank you as well to every cast-member who came up to give me a hug, who told me they missed me, who went out of their way to play with me. You do not know how that touched me. And thank you to the crew: all of you are the beating heart of the Faire, and I love you all and missed you dearly.
The weekend was too short, far too short in the end. I crammed as much as I could into it and wrung every last bit of emotion out of it, and I still wish I could have more. My cup has been topped up for a little while with love and grace and friendship, and I am still riding on the high of that.