3 am- Lying awake, still trying to wrap my mind around Apogaea. It was a 5 [five] day long Wednesday.
Being the Greatest Maker of Empirical Statements, after a few days’ experience I declared, “I get it now.”
Upon reflection, amended to, “I begin to grasp it now.”
For starters, this event is not something a mind can wrap around; best chance is to wrap your heart around it and prepare for galvanic fodder.
As with anything worthy in life, it can’t be explained, only experienced.
It is what you make of it.
Social thrill seeking, by whatever standard you set.
For me, the effort was to practice being comfortable around large groups of people.
Follow3d standard practice and delved in way over my head and, like the time as a child caught and drowning in a rip-tide, it wasn’t until I quit fighting that I found myself buoyed, able to breathe and orient. Both times coming back up more alive and lucid . . . and out to sea.
The infrastructure of this temporary city of thousands was raised, run, and razed by volunteers.
Us. Community is not a concept it’s a practice.
Setting up was some serious “Type A personality hippie shit.”
Tear down folks braved rain, hail, and tornado danger.
We are what we invest.
I was lucky to help the Fucking Unicorns with set-up weekend. I would not have appreciated the event as fully without that experience. It was probably one of my favourite parts of the whole ordeal. [Least favorite: Packing, planning and escaping Default World in between set up and actual Apo].
Experiencing this group of people, something clicked. Hot Wings guided me well in sharing this camp of exceptional individuals. At first I thought they might be run of the mill good guys; turns out, they are magical beasts.
The phenomena being that most everyone across the event say the same of their connections. Finding our own.
Encountering my own deep seated fear vulnerability, stepped back from judgment and stood to face them as best I could. Recognized, as with the yin yang discussion last time, I use words, one of my greater strengths, as a distractor. Throwing out jumbled excuses before thought developed and moving away quickly before confronting truth.
How can it be this hard just to stand there, to be around people? What is this roiling shame?
Must. Practice. Patience with the process.
Hadn’t even realized I had forgotten.
As to the event itself, per the website:
Apogaea is a collaborative outdoor arts, music, and camping experience held in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Here you will find an experiential forum where our ever-expanding community practices freedom of expression in an environment of participation, sharing, and creativity. We invite you to join us in a place where our spirits are as high as the mountains and our minds are as wide open as the plains.
There is no money exchanged.
The ticket for the whole event cost less than some concerts.
Everyone shared what they had with whomever might need it. Instances abounded, in exceptional quantity, of finding exactly what was sought.
It reminded me to speak intentions and needs aloud, having, in recent years, retreated into my own mind where I quietly will things to be. Instead, to open my hands, share what is there and receive what comes.
Camps of all makes and focuses appeared on the hilltop land outside of Bailey, CO.
If what you seek lies outside of daily norms, you will find it here.
Do you like dinosaurs? How about if they glow in the dark.
Food, from a whole roasted pigs to camp ‘A Mother’s Love’ where they served milk and homemade cookies.
Don’t have a costume? Swing by Wardrobe MalFUNKtion, pick from their large collection and walk the runway.
Sit under the Poe-Tree and pull a swim noodle and recycled bottle branch to your ear to hear any of dozens of poems, or select and read them from mason jars.
Art pieces ranging from a 30′ robot who spews flames from dancing mouth and hands, to the commemorative effigy and temple.
Both built of wood, no detail or integrity was spared.
Both burned to the ground.
The effects linger. Find myself more alert and enthusiastic for chances to give; to bring that spirit back out into the wider world. Also find myself oriented toward cuddles and deeply grateful for amazing friends, new and old. Notions, ideas, prospects, and hopes swirl as I try to piece it all together. It helps to know I am not the only one.