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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My reason for staying - At Confest

My first workshop I went to, was called: the spontaneous choir. I’m not a singer. I can’t hold a note. So I was a little reluctant to give it a go. But it wasn’t actual singing, I soon realized. It was more bonding with the whole group, through chanting, sounds and humming. Then the workshop took an interesting turn.. And we were bonding is a different manner.

This is how it went:

Imagine having your eyes shut, and walking in a “train-line” of people: your arms stretched-out before you, holding on to the person who walks in front of you. The train is going at a snails pace, but it is guiding you. The leader of the train is guiding the train through a tunnel of people. There are 200 people in total. All happy and fulfilled and open to new experiences. As the train continues, as your eyes remain closed, as you hold on to the person in front of you, you pass by the people who are creating the tunnel, the people who are creating the guidance for the leader of the train.. As this is happening, each individual that is creating the tunnel is doing what they have been told to do by the leader of the train. They have been told to put their hand on the shoulder of every person who is participating in this train, as they walk by ever so slowly, and to tell them: “I love you“, or “you’re wonderful“, or “you’re amazing“. So as each person who takes part in this train, receives a hand on their shoulder and a whisper is their ear from every person who is forming the tunnel through which the train is passing. The train is moving slowly but constantly. There are 200 people to pass by. Your eyes are still shut. And because the train is moving, the hands you feel on your shoulders and the amount of times you hear the words: I love you.. Seems to be countless and it’s consistent. The words and the feel of the hands, are endless. They keep on coming.

The people forming the tunnel can witness what receiving this “love and affection” from 200 complete strangers in such a short amount of time, does. They can witness how they are growing in confidence, they can see the joy they are feeling, from being told how much they are loved and how wonderful they are. And the people in the train are feeling exactly that. They feel they are truly loved, they are growing 2 feet taller because of this and they feel so special. For them the eyes are shut, which makes the sound of “I love you” and the touch of the strangers hand with their shoulder all the more intense. It hits home and those in the train are all the more blessed.

This experience for me, was truly amazing. I participated in both the train and I formed part of the tunnel. First I was in the train. I was overwhelmed. My eyes were shut, I hadn’t a clue where the train was leading. But this didn’t matter. All I was aware of, were the voices, the many different accents and more often than not, I was aware of the sincerity of each gesture. With every person who said: “I love you”, my smile grew bigger and bigger to the point of
being sore. I had no other way of expressing my happiness, only through my aching cheeks. I thought I was going to burst. But I still had so many more people to pass by, that I had to contain myself. And this is when I went beyond. I was taken away from the “scene of the crime”, I was brought to a place of peace. I was almost in a trance. I was being filled with this energy, this amazement, this beauty. It was so so intense, because I truly believed and therefore felt - if this is me being naive, I really don’t mind, it was so probably because of my naivety that this experience felt so amazing - like all these strangers really meant what they were saying. And no matter how low or high your confidence is, it’s a lot to take on when 200 people tell you how amazing, how beautiful and how loved you are, all in the space of 15 minutes. Overwhelmed I was.. once more.

Afterwards I was flying. This was on the first day of the festival. That’s when I knew I had to stay to feel some more of this love.. I had to feel so much more of what that “tunnel of love” had just made me feel. Dire Straights’ song, “The Tunnel of Love” now suddenly has taken on a different meaning for me! How beautiful!

For any of you who are getting bored, with all my enthusiastic talk about peace and love, I understand. You can tune out. But for those of you who like to read about nudity at Confest, check in for some reading..

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