Aug 9th Aftermath

Another Gathering concluded this weekend. Fantastic turnout. The spirit in the Forest was strong. Energies were bubbling with encouragement. I met many I did not know and received a handful of new applications and contracts. Our number of vendors exceeds eighty at present. There are many folk who approached us about volunteering. We had a great time of walking the grounds; eating and drinking; watching the grounds team with kids running all over; and, entertained by a myriad of performers. Very good drumming this weekend.

I do not believe in the Field of Dreams adage. “Build it and they will come.” Nothing is that simple. Been in retail too long to fall for that delusion. But I do believe that if we facilitate the building of a framework where people can come together to create a sense of art, of community, of belonging…and intertwine in into an economic base where folk can also find sustenance for them and their family, that something unique and powerful will happen.

Thus, Sherwood Forest Faire!

In the late sixties, there were a lot of social scientists that wrote about a sense of alienation in American culture—a fraying in the social fabric of the extended family and the concept of community. There was an exodus both from the farms and the inner cities to the suburbs. And in the suburbs, people lived fairly isolated lives. With more television, and eventually the onslaught of the personal computers, the trends toward a more insulated nuclear family intensified. We lost a sense of belonging to a larger social unity. And thus, the Alienated Man.

But, if you have studied sociology and psychology, you understand that man is a social creature. We need each other. “No man is an island.”

And all the counseling sessions in the world cannot suffice for the need to being part of a social group, a family, and a tribe.

We need folk around us who, as Cooley wrote, act as our “Looking Glass Self.” People whom, in essence, hold up a mirror to us and say, “The person you are looking at—yourself—is ok, is good, is accepted.” We need humans to love us as we are . . . with all our frailties and inadequacies.

Likewise, as in tribes, we need folk to guide and direct us. We need that moral compass being reinforced. We need rituals and rites of passage. We need support during those darkest hours of our lives. We need people we enjoy and think highly of to embrace us and congratulate us and celebrate with us during times of victory and accomplishment.

We need to be surrounded by music and art and literature. We need our own tales and stories of the past that we pass down from generation to generation around campfires.

We need an extended family—not of blood necessarily, but of common spirit and soul and mind. We need to feel the comfort to let our kids away from us for two minutes without the fear of them being molested: we need them to feel the comfort and security of neighborhood.

We need to have fun and be able to escape…

We need some ties to history—some myth, some actual. We need foundations to build upon.

Sherwood Forest Faire is very much an entertainment venue; but it will be much more than that. A blacksmith hammering on an anvil, a gypsy fortune teller reading Tarot, an actor on stage or walking the grounds, a troubadour telling or singing some tale from his or her journeys to foreign lands, a jester juggling balls, a painter with brush in hand or a minstrel with lute or lyre singing ballads to us underneath the canopy of Sherwood. And when the sun sets, we gathering around a campfire to toast the day with ale, and feel the primal roots of our ancient past as drums beat to some cosmic rhythm and our dancers move gracefully to the flickering of the flames.

This is what I wish for Sherwood. And it will only be when each of you bring your dreams and wishes and desires into that circle, as well.

This is not a single effort—not even that of a handful of developers. This is our journey—yours and mine. We are building, we are painting, we are dreaming together.

Blessings to each of you who have chosen to be a part of Sherwood.


Category : All Posts & Rengypsy's Blog

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