On the last weekend in March I slept on the ground in Seale, AL at the Doo Nanny Festival.
This post is well over due, but I have been quite busy you see. The weekend before the Doo Nanny, Landon and I went backpacking with our friends. And the three weekends following the Doo-Nanny, I have been busy selling bread at the local farmer's market.
But, I promised myself I'd do another blog post about the Doo-Nanny this year... So it's better now than never. For the folks who are wondering what the hell a Doo-Nanny is, you can read my post from last year - which does a good bit of explainin'!
Last year was the first year that I had heard of the Doo-Nanny. An old friend mentioned it to me and said that he thought that I should try selling some of my art there. Unfortunately, he told me about one week before the festival- so I didn't have a chance to set up a booth. Now I realize that I was lucky to have not been able to set up, because I was granted the opportunity to view the the event from an observing stand point and really take my time adventuring. I spent a lot of time in the museum, which I found to be a wonderful experience. Something I am even more grateful for now, because even though I attended and participated this year- I never had the chance to see the Museum of Wonder. It's not that I didn't try, it's just that when I finally found the space in time to do it- the gallery was closed. But all is well, I still have my memories and I am sure that I will have the opportunity again.
I believe that this was the 16th year of the Doo-Nanny?!? I could be wrong about that, but I feel like I remember hearing that somewhere. I had the pleasure of spending a little time with Ralph, the sacred painter (my favorite local artist) and meeting a few other kind people. I asked Ralph how many years he has participated in the Doo and he replied that he had been there since it started. Right on.
I think that most people are shocked that an event liked this could take place in Alabama, but I've grown past the 'shock' if I ever had one. Once your mind is freed, and your ego let go of, you realize that you can make something HAPPEN no matter where you are, especially if there are others with you. This land is inhabited by a very kind soul, Butch Anthony, who bares the most genuine and radiant smile. This is the land that he grew up on, a piece of the earth that he loves and shares with others who love it. That vibration is something that you can feel when you are there.
I came into contact with one person, who may have not been feeling those same vibrations- but he was definitely looking for love. That persons name was Eric. While the band was playing on Saturday night, it began to rain lightly. We decided to head back to the booth to spend some time there till the rain slowed down. While in the booth, we are all gathering in conversation when in walks a young curly haired blonde guy with a wine bottle in hand, swaying with his eyes barely open he manages to say "Sup guys..." Our reply.........crickets....."Suuuup." Eric: "So, how's it goin? What's everybody doin'?" Us: "Not much, we are just talking." Our friend Sky grabs a piece of vintage clothing off of the rack in the booth and replies with excitement "FASHION! We are talking about fashion!" I'll try to keep the story short from here and say that poor Eric was very very drunk, and was then dressed by us in vintage clothing, both ladies and gentlemen clothing of which we offered to him for free but he refused stating that it wasn't his style. He asked us several times if he looked sexy and we asked him several times where his friends were and if they might be looking for him. He then decided to hit on my partner, Landon, saying before he made his moves "Alright. This might seem gay, but this is totally not gay." The came the moves... we won't talk about that. I laughed so hard that my jaw hurt when he finally left. Eric truly was looking for some love that night and I'm not so sure he came with friends. I've never messed with a drunk person before, but to some degree this kid really deserved it. He made a bad choice, for sure. The next morning I found him passed out on this ladies music porch... He must have had good karma stored somewhere because the lady who built the porch had given him a pillow, blanket, crackers, soda and a banana. She is a sweet woman. He vomited on her porch.
The good thing is, I only saw ONE Eric. Every gathering would do well without having those guys around. It's sad to say, but true. The sweet women were in abundance, however. On Saturday morning, I was electrocuted and the woman who witnessed it kept checking on me and watching me to make sure that I was okay afterwards, she reminded me a lot of Landon's grandmother.
That was certainly a crazy feeling. It had been storming all morning and my feet were very wet. I was standing in the outdoor kitchen and placed a pot of water on the stove at the same time that I heard the storm shake above me- I loud BAM went through my whole body. I felt that my heart may have jumped inside of me, it was electrifying. My left hand was left shaking and I just sat down and breathed deeply. I felt pretty weird for a bit after that. Now certain sounds of electricity, like being under the power lines at the local farm, remind me of that feeling. It's a little strange.
So, besides the story of Eric and being electrocuted... I will spare you the tiny details of my visit, but I must say that I had a wonderful time selling from my booth at the Doo-Nanny and will most certainly return next year. In fact, I hope to build a more permanent structure and perhaps build an earth oven too. :)
To anyone that I may have met along the way, you were all beautiful.
Many thanks to Butch Anthony and Natalie Chanin, for such open and beautiful hearts they have.
my brudda in his vintage ladies blouse
My neighbor, The Wayward Potter
This booth was my personal favorite. Ran by kids that were selling snakes, lizards, frogs, turtles and tadpoles... The coolest part? They were all caught by hand. These kids were awesome...
Ralph, my favorite local artist from Columbus, GA.
C.M. Laster & Rob Seven
Ralph's masterpiece of a vehicle...
The wonderful work of Charles M. Laster
The water source for the showers & tubs... Heated with fire!
In order for this particular post to be complete, I must make note of the greatest event of the weekend.
The burn! A vagina sculpture is created using wood and scrap fabric, and burned on Saturday night, each year at the Doo. Both years that I have attended, the sculpture has been lovely and made do as a very sturdy structure and comforting womb to spend time in. It seems that each year a more creative way of burning the sculpture is dreamt up and comes to life. This year, Butch Anthony, in full native headdress and facepaint, wore a harness and attached himself to a zip line. As he road the zipline past the sculpture he shot a flaming arrow at the vagina with a bow. The scuplture went aflame and so did our spirits. There is something very primitive and beautiful about a fire. The sense of community was suddenly expounding, growing at an incredible rate. People were chanting and dancing and my farming friend began singing songs... People joined in, learned the lyrics and began singing and clapping. Everyone's faces glowing in the fire, our hearts warm.
It was a beautiful experience.
The whole human experience is beautiful, really. Every single moment.