Thursday, October 19, 2006

bartered away the dregs of my dreams for some new ones...

...not nearly as threadbare, quite the haul at barter faire: a corn fritter, turkish coffee, 3 bells, 2 rocks, 2 blankets, a pipe, some books, salsa, pickled beans, hot and spicy pickled veggies, pumpkin seeds, a slug of kids clothes, a nice basket, some old hand tools, a sharp hand-scythe, two pairs of gloves, a scarf, a hat, an awesome knit ball for the girls, a sweater from India, absinthe and some other unmentionables, strawberry mead, a fir tree, 2 coat racks, ten bags of herbs, twelve tinctures, a barrell, e bars of soap, some salve and some lip balm. Oh, and $600 from hawking Loompanics books! Yeah Undergrtound Economy!

we arrive friday at 6:30ish, cruise the barter guts after the obligatory nightmare of parking the truck crammed full of books with tricycle strapped atop. food, a beer after the long hot road, unpack, pitch camp with friends. make new friends every half hour or so, too many connections to possibly keep track of. I apologize ahead of time for my absentmindedness, joke about being away from my desk/brain, talk fast and true, handing out pirate papa and business cards, pushing myself hard. the smoky din of the faire, i had forgotten how dusty and smoky it gets there. sleep in the dust and straw wrapped in my sleeping bag with no zipper under my left-in-shelton-tent. hardballin' it, eastern washington style. i love it. i belong to this landscape.

One of the largest Barter Faires ever, I believe. We awake on saturday morning to 3,500 folks camped at the front gate waiting to be let in. Owen and Paul and Alex and I rock the vendor scene for two days with the oyster mushroom grow kits and "crazy books" enticing all the wierdoes at once. We holler out Loompanics titles to lure in our prey, guilt tripping the folks who won't stop walking. "Books for people with long hair and red hats." "Mushroom grow-kits, a bomb waiting to happen." "Revolution between the covers!" "We've got crazy ideas over here, crazy ideas, come and get them." Imagine an anarchist used-car salesman jacked up on psychedelics and life in his vision of heaven's huge parking lot. More bent on the sheer process and art of the deal than on capitalism and profit. There to get a smile, a handshake, to get spat on, to inflame, to cause to blush by wit or wine. Effectively cornering the book market at Barter Faire has its benefits, we were immediately a landmark for navigation purposes and attracted a lot of strange stories from our passersby (also thanks to Loompanics).

Our tent bursts with life and light and laughter and strange ranging talk. Apples, water, mushrooms and books. Paul's and my prophecy from six years ago comes true, our dreams become the life-lines we weave around us, reckless visions turned valid ventures. Now we're living yesterday's dreams and actively crafting tomorrow's. I notice a definite shift in my logical patterns and processing, my cerebral self expanding to look back in on where I/it used to be. I develop the ability to move my own thoughts around like one would rearrange a desk.

Around the lopez island fire on saturday night I learn to dance again without self-consciousness to a fantastic marimba band. it had been a long, long time and felt extraordinary to let loose around an absolutely enormous bonfire surrounded by friendly, familiar, whole & total strangers. We have a prayer circle, offer cedar blessings, I get up, bless Lyli and Scarleht, silently promising to bring them next year, bless all the young parents and the old and wish everyone luck walking their waking dreams. Up on the hill Owen and I watch the steady stream of headlights, absorb the myriad noises emanating from the sea of tents below us. Movement is evident everywhere, a restless, flowing tidal hive.

Overall a wonderful time, dreams of next year already fermenting. This place inspires the poet, the father, the businessman, all parts of me entwine here, culminating in a sharp-edged honesty of character and a lens through which I can verily see the future. Sunday night we abscond with our loot to Owen's cabin, a lovely handbuilt home at 3,500 feet above sea level in the Okanogan highlands. Gravity-fed well and solar power. All the comforts of a place well loved. We shoot rifles, celebrate, take a sauna and walk around in the crisp night air, whiskey and beer and woodstoves and smoke and residual effects of the uber-social faire whispering in our ears. I remember my roots and where I want to plant them. I recall the taste of clean air and water. My head opens up and heaven peers in, gifting me this lucid light like day inside the confines of my cluttered consciousness, a spotlight I shine on my insecurities and ambitions to try to clip the wings of wishes that might fly away without themselves.

A casually idle tuesday morning with Owen as we clean the cabin and prepare to depart for more westerly destinations. drop in to say goodbye to his folks in okanogan and then down the road. Stop for burgers at Easy's. I receive the tiniest ketchup bottle I have ever seen and pause to ponder the meaning of life in this grain of sand. We whip back to Oly and I deal with car trouble, eventually bumming a ride back home for myself and the girls after realizing my headlights aren't really very bright and my taillights are nonexistent. Eamon rescues the car the next morning and we spend an easy day at home, Becca joining us off sick from work and Eamon's friend Leslie coming to stay for a few days. We lounge and play with the girls. I sporadically do housework in little doeses. Deal with the enormous pile of laundry from Barter Faire (wash everything so the goddamn scabies don't attack!).

Back on the home front Lyli and Scarleht are saying new things left and right, combining old ideas with new words in fresh sentences. Blowing my mind daily. Lyli dubs her nipples "nopels", which I find remarkably appropriate. Life is good, halbeit somewhat quick-paced. This weekend I will make up with my mother, talk about all sorts of crazy shit with my father and work my little ass off with Rob at my pops' bookstore in Walla Walla. Then back across the state for next week's parenting and the arrival of my debaucherous group of friends from all points out. As my schedule grows increasingly complex I may start posting less but more, if you wanna make any sense out of that. Regularity goes down, quality and quantity go up, yes? yes.

heave to and prepare to be boarded! the pirate papa ship sails for your shores soon. in the back of my mind I assemble the next pieces of my book empire, waiting for that simple day.

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