Tuesday, May 16, 2006



davis was lovely. i spent three days catching up with old friends and occasionally taking care of my toyspace.

housemate dan came with me, and he was a perfect companion. totally independent and capable of doing his own thing for whole days at a time, but at the same time he was interested in having me show him around and introduce him to folks. and then the fact that he ended up being really happy with davis and with the festival was pretty gratifying. i'm a sucker for people who love that town.

the best moment of the weekend was when we arrived on the quad. the hub, nerve center, gathering spot, and home for staff and volunteers at the festival is a large, green, military-surplus dome that has been called the 'karma dome' forever and ever. so i walked up to the karma dome, nervous as always when coming back to davis, since you never know who's going to be around and what degree of welcoming you're going to experience, and the first two people i saw were ben and travis, two of the only people with whom i'm still in relatively frequent contact. and then tao...and leif... within my first minute of arrival i was welcomed by some of my closest friends, and it set the tone for my weekend.

last year i wasn't very present for wef. it was my first year not on staff, and my first year not living in davis. the freeks were in sF, and friday night of the weekend was our big party at 1015. so while i found a role for myself in planning the festival, and did spend two days on the quad, i didn't put my heart into it. i was still in major break-from-davis mode, and wef is the epitome of davis culture--much of the rest of our year and our projects are shaped by this event. so i wasn't feeling confident in my relationship with the festival in the first place. add to that the fact that some of my new dearest friends were visiting new york and i was helping them throw a large event, and you end up with a scenario in which i had no desire to be in davis that weekend at all. i helped with the 1015 party friday night, went through the night with my friends, then changed my clothes, got into my car, and drove to the central valley. i did a half-ass job, and my heart wasn't in it.

so flashing back forward to this year, i was particularly grateful to have such a wonderful festival weekend. it felt like being back in my family, helping out with the first proto-party i ever went to or helped to put on. i'm settling into a post-davis relationship with the festival, with my friends in the town, and with the town itself, and it's lovely to be past the point where i'm still trying to detatch and just be appreciative and happy of what exists there.

other highlights of the weekend included spinning fire for the first time since the playa ... seeing my old friend max, back from the peace corps, for the first time in probably three years ... sitting with dan listening to and watching gamelan x play quad stage (oooh the delight of having sF people in davis to show them my old life!) ... nancy and winston's wedding, the first wedding held at festival ... sitting under the stars with travis feeling closer and being better friends than we have in two years ... moments with ben that reinforced my belief in the strength and endurance of our friendship ... dancing to kelly's set at the coops ... sitting up saturday night with tao, basho, lee, and sephe, playing with a drum and not giving a shit what direction my night was going to take me in ...

so things were good. and to quote dan, who had never been to the central valley and who i didn't think knew enough to say this in some of the opportune moments he chose:

"man, this is SO davis!!"

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