I maaaaaaaaaay have babbled too much. If I did, I apologize, ayalanya.
This will be an entry about my first time at Faerieworlds, and my latest time in Eugene. Pre-Faerieworlds on Friday, I drove down from Portland spent a few hours visiting my friend/former girlfriend/still-a-neat-person Alicia. Books shared, news passed, lunch had: this works for the two of us. We lucked into a parking meter that was filled for a couple of hours; plenty of time for us to eat at the campus Glenwood, a place both of us hadn't eaten at for years. Good food and plenty of it, including what's still a darn satisfying tomato cheese soup. Familiar parts of Eugene for me, and always welcome.
Then, for much of Friday afternoon and evening -- when the sun finally came out and my sunblock was successfully added to my exposed skin -- I based myself at Alanya Divine's booth, where she sells her handmade jewelry, highlights of which are her elf ears. My friend Dusti (elionwyr) was there to assist her; Dusti was the person at FaerieWorlds I most wanted to visit, to finally (finally, after years knowing her online) meet her in person. A success. Hugs happened, hugs I've waited years for. And relief happened, that here's another person I can be comfortable around in person.
I wondered how comfortable I'd be at Faerieworlds. I admitted before, it's not my usual scene; it's an event friends go to, and this year the number of friends who'd possibly be there reached the critical mass that led me to go Hey, let's try going. But my spiritual thoughts are often confused and not entirely well thought-out; would that be too much of a filter for the earth-love vibe at the event? Would it make me not appreciate it, not "get" it? I was flashing on the guy who briefly ran a Portland food cart who, straight-faced, told me "Dragons are real," and while I avoided responding Yeah, Komodo dragons, at some level I wanted to make a joke. I didn't want to make a joke about this event; at some level, I was worried that'd be my default. And then I'd clearly not be getting it. So: Be there. Be present in the moment. Be reasonably calm. Watch. Listen. Don't babble too much. And don't be afraid, when appropriate, to dance.
I can be a self-conscious dancer -- especially when dancing with someone -- but I was able not to be self-conscious when, Friday afternoon, I danced to Sooj Tucker's music. By myself, because that's what I was moved to do. I really love her music.
I'm also not a costuming sort -- I barely even do Halloween -- but I appreciate when others do good costuming. And there's plenty of that at Faerieworlds. Some as elaborate as a minotaur with glow-in-the-dark eyes, some as simple as body paint, some as clever as stilts that ended in what looked like goat hooves like Pan's legs. And a lot of the costuming: often pretty, on pretty people. Eye candy has no calories or sugar.
Among the people I happily saw there was the aforemontioned S.J. "s00j" Tucker, all over the place to speak and/or sing but still available for a hug -- I hope lots of people are getting lots of hugs this weekend -- before she had to run to her next thing. I first saw Sooj at the kids' area, singing alongside puppets. The kids were happy kids. (Later, I made sure to see Sooj's main stage appearance, where she was joined by several other musicians for certain songs of hers, including her fellow Tricky Pixie members Betsy Tinney and Alec James Adams. That's where I danced.) And a complete, welcome surprise was seeing two Portland Browncoats, Riona and Nance, down for the day.
They'll be glad to know that the PDX Browncoats T-shirt for last month's "Can't Stop the Serenity" event, the one Mike Russell drew, turned out to be a good conversation starter. I was able to tell several interested people about CSTS, Equality Now, and the good people who've made these happen. And it was easy at FaerieWorlds to find interested people, like the couple whose daughter is named Serenity River. I'm not kidding.
(One fellow Firefly/Serenity fan gave me a high-five for the shirt. I didn't get at first that she wanted to high-five, and I told her I didn't really equate Firefly fandom with high-fives; she wondered if maybe there should be a secret handshake or some other sort of gesture among fans. "Maybe it's the way we talk," I said.)
Being a Firefly fan gave me a point of entrance to the spirit of the event. A connection to it. There are no faerie or dragons in the world of Firefly, but it's a world (OK, a solar system, but I'm speaking more generally) where it helps to be kind and helpful.
I did my best to be kind, and I hope I was helpful.
Dusti helped me, because she knows Alanya and I don't: she let me know when to stay around, and when to give her space. (That space is extending to here; things about hanging out with her and Dusti Friday I considered blogging about, I won't. Not mine to say. I try to have good radar for that.) As I wound down my day, the three of us had late dinner -- miscellanous Mediterranean plate for Dusti, pad thai bowls for me and Alanya, as the sound of throat-singing (really; also, whoa; also, by singer Ashkelon Sain performing with Soriah) reached our ears from the main stage. Stars were finally visible -- or at least I was finally noticing them -- in the clear sky over us, not drowned out by the nearing-full moon that night.
It was then a relief, successfully getting home after that long a day. I think, and hope, I saw a meteor over the Willamette Valley as I headed back north along I-5. Would seem to fit.