BUZZ PARTY – Practising Utopia
It was to be a Buzz Fest, named after the ‘Way of the Buzzard’ mystery school who originally booked, then cancelled, this weekend. But we’d had a Covid interruption and nothing was organised. At the last minute we decided on a scaled down Buzz Party on 15th August, the day of St Mary of the Herbs. We’d use the Riverside Arena, the domain of the Treehouse, my favourite place in all Cae Mabon. It has an otherworldly feeling, especially at dusk and in the flame-lit night. We’d inaugurate the new bejewelled Ring, where dragons make peace and beauty is forged.
By mid-afternoon people were gathering. The table was ready for pot luck contributions; strawbales were set against the cob walls of the Ring; lights were strung, candles hung. Maya had placed flowers and decorated the Goddess. The sangria arrived. There were nibbles, a beautiful vegan cake, conversations between knots of people. Then Helen kicked off the celebration leading us in groovy dance moves, calling out: ‘lightbulbs, snake arms, clap and point, shout “hey!”, prayer and open, hitch a ride!’. It was inspired community wackiness, encouraged by Helen’s enthusiastic and joyous facial expressions.
Afterwards people wandered out in twos and threes, exploring the magical wild garden, hanging out by the Sleeping Goddess, musing on the Faery Fort, crossing to the Long Island. The boys played on the Swing. Ali and I sat on the Bench for Watching the World Go By, reflecting on future dreams. As we chatted the spirits smiled, gladdened by this warm human presence.
By now 23 people were sitting in the fire circle. The music kicked off with Charlie’s rousing rendition of ‘Hallelujah’. Then the other Charlie, our beloved Ms Squire, did some exquisite songs including her beautiful singalong, ‘We are ready, the time has come.’ What a pair of Charlies! This was followed by a stunning set from Sue Denim. Her songs included ‘Child of the Twentieth Century’ (chorus: ‘I’m a child of the 20th century, My body’s drive is not compatible with new technology, I can think of a million places I would rather be, Than home alone lonely only screens for company.’) and her poignant and witty ‘Covid Romance. She had us smiling and singing in equal measure!
Then Helen declared it was time for the declarations. In my invitation I’d casually asked people to bring declarations. Helen liked this idea and came prepared. She kicked off with her customary flair, concluding with ‘I commit myself to outgrowing any patterns that no longer serve me! I promise to honour my needs and feelings, and I take a stand for my dreams!’ The declarations were one of the hits of the evening, happening as the sun lit up the forest with its slanting golden rays. There were many stirring contributions, concluding Ali’s ‘declaration of war on neo-liberalism’, a philosophy that treats the Earth only in terms of money rather than inherent spiritual value. I spoke of a book given to me by my friend Adriana: ‘Utopia for Realists’. I hadn’t even read the first page but my declaration was a vow to ‘make Utopia a reality’. Cae Mabon is a good place to practice, I said. Like here, now, in this golden hour, singing our songs, speaking our truths, reaffirming our friendship and community.
After declarations, Lawrence to led us in a Jabberwocky drama. 8-year-old Aubi became The Son in our spontaneous enactment. Andy made a comically grim Jabberwocky. With his wooden sword Aubi ‘snicker-snack’ slew the Jabberwocky in the first iteration. But then, under the skilful prompting of MC Lawrence, he decided to befriend the monster instead. We all ended up Jabberwocky burbling to each other which was both ridiculous and profound. And Aubi’s smile and confidence grew before our very eyes. There were more songs from Matt and amazing percussive guitar playing from Charlie. Rob wound up the evening by telling the story of the origins of the three great rivers of Wales, the Severn, the Wye and the Rheidol, all once daughters of the ancient king of Plynlimon.
What is Utopia if not gathering like this round fire in forest by river, nourished by the pot luck gifts of the community, entertained by the song, poetry and story of musicians and bards, inspired by visionary declarations.
Choose to be in Utopia now. It’s happening everywhere.