Moddy's Life

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Rainbow once more

Posted by moddyfire on July 23, 2009

A few days ago we returned from three weeks of travel to northern Queensland, most of which we spent at the Rainbow Gathering in Walsh River.

Our little car survived the 1900km journey. Just before we went I registered it, did road-worthy test, serviced and attempted to fix the rain leaking.  It didn’t work so well – the panel beater worked on it for a few hours, welded more and more holes, but eventually gave up, saying there are a few more holes he can’t reach, so let’s just “hope for the best”. I still do.

We decided to take our small car and not the van since it uses way less petrol, and thus is better for the environment as well as for our back account. Also the seats are more comfortable, and Sequoia sits safely at the back sit. The plan was to sleep in cheap motels or caravan parks on the way. Big mistake. Motels and caraven parks were:  not as cheap as we had expected; not as common as we had expected; much fuller (“no vacancy”) than we had expected, and generally are closed after dark – meaning that if we drive until later (7 pm) there is nobody to talk to in the more remote and rough places.

So at around 11pm in our first driving day we began to look for a place to stay, and eventually found one after midnight, and paid way more than we wanted for a few hours sleep. In the next day we camped in a national park, but we had to stop before dark so we can put the tent up. Early the next morning we arrived to the gathering.

It was set on a beautiful river, abundent in pools, waterfalls, natural bridges and rapids; most people spent most days mostly in it. The weather was cold at night, hot in the day time, and painfully dry, though we did enjoy the lack of rain since our tent has some problems. There were about 70 people there.

We had lots of fun. I played my flute a lot (and got much better);  helped building  two rocket stoves and fixed  the oven (which was built 4 years ago for a previous gathering and survived! amazing!); did a massage workshop and swam a lot. Sequoia found friends to play with so Ela and I had more free time than we usually have in gatherings. We met a lot of old friends and made a lot of new friends. I also learned to remember my dreams – the technique is painfully simple: all you need to do is say to yourself as you fall asleep “I’m going to remember my dream”.

After a week things turned worse: The full-moon night was approaching with its accompanied problems: high energy that affects people in a weird way; a fast population growth (we trippled in two days), largely of newcomers who came from a nearby Raggae festival and had no idea what they are expected to do. As I often take it upon myself to welcome new arrivals and introduce them to the facts of life, I was overwhelmed by the influx, and eventually gave up. On one encounter I shouted at a guy who brought his dog to swim in our drinking water collection (he later acted quite psychotically and kicked someone in the head.)  Sequoia cut her foot badly and needed to be carried around while her so-called friends wouldn’t wait for her and generally left her bored and miserable. Ela was also cranky, and my flute broke. This was the last straw on my sanity, since I couldn’t play anymore and had no apparent reason to hang out anywhere – everywhere I went I felt unwelcome and unwanted. And of course a mouth-ulcer started.

Those were rough couple of days, but then came full moon night itself in which I went out, tried to dance, and eventually was offered to play some fire poys. This was exciting enough to get me a little out of my bad mood. Then the  numbers went down to an amount I could handle (i.e. remember most people’s names), and I felt confident again. A sister managed to fix my flute (temporarily, as it re-broke a couple of days later) and another let me borrow hers. So things were much better and we were having fun again until the end of the gathering.

We left a day earlier than we had planned in order to take longer time on our way back, and also because the gathering was practically over. We stopped each night at 7, hoping that good night sleep will make the journey easier. Big Mistake. Turns out it doesn’t make any difference if you are driving until 7 or until midnight: you are tired anyway, but it takes a day more. We did manage to visit our friends Sue and Andy and their kids in the last day, and arrived home tired after four days.

Almost a week passed since then. Today (Thursday) I had my long-awaited knee operation, so now I have a big bandage and am supposed to take care … I hope this will be the end of my pain.

Love, Moddy.

Today is a great day to learn from your mistakes.

An encounter with one of the rainbow kids inspired the following poem:

A toddler walked upon a rock, and suddenly she fell

I came to see, I kissed her knee, I asked if she is well

She shook her head and showed the wound. Her pain was deep and clear.

But she didn’t make a single sound; she didn’t shed a tear.

Well, I’ve seen a shark beneath the surf, and bombers in the sky

But nothing scared me half as much as a kid who wouldn’t cry.

When the stranger took her from the corner of the bar

When he held her arm and neck and shoved her in his car

When he hovered over her, stinking lust and beer

She wouldn’t fight; she wouldn’t scream; she wouldn’t shed a tear.

I’ve hitched through the forbidden zone and looked a tiger in the eye

But nothing scared me half as much as a kid who wouldn’t cry.

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One Response to “Rainbow once more”

  1. didgewind said

    hi moddy, this is didgewind, from the rainbow, happy to find u in the web. Hope u ar enjoying the new zealand rainbow gathering, kisses to ela and sequoia.

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