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Summerland '09 - Chronarchy

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August 26th, 2009


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03:16 pm - Summerland '09
Really, I had a great time. There were highs and lows, as there are at every festival, but let me tell ya, the highs greatly outweighed the lows.

I managed to put together my tent on Wednesday night, though it was a hell of a battle in a very humid and hot afternoon. Then, I ran off to the Dayton airport to pick up Kathleen.

Thursday morning, I got in early and took care of distributing a few things around camp. Then I settled into my workshop. It interested me that people were excited about this one: I'd gotten such poor turnout at Wellspring, and here I found that people were actually looking forward to the workshop at Summerland. Oh, such different festivals :) There's an Oak Leaves article in store with this, and I hope to get it polished over the Winter.

I ended up going to bed very early on Thursday night, as work pressure just hasn't been letting up (I got called about an issue, even though my calendar was clearly marked: "vacation," though I didn't mind too much, really).

Friday was pretty good, starting with an awesome dawn ritual and culminating in the bardic circle and auction, where it turns out that we had way too much awesome stuff to auction off. I think the best part of the evening was watching Maggie run around in a backless red dress to show off auction items. Just before the Circle, though, I had some work to do: the ADF clergy have made a standing appointment based on lunar cycles, and I wasn't about to miss it. I'm so pleased I did, too, because it led to a grand experience the next day.

And, dude, if you missed the posting about several 3CG members engaging in a Barbershop (Barbarian) Quartet version of Led Zepplin's Immigrant Song, you just click that link and check it out.

On Saturday, I ended up doing a lot of Ancestor work: writing an invitation to them for the Unity Rite, I found myself going far deeper into the process than I expected to go. The result was a deeply meaningful understanding of the Ancient Wise, who they are, and what they do. This understanding led me to draw on images and lore that, until now, had been locked mostly within my own mind, and allowed me to introduce some of that imagery to the Folk of ADF. . . if they were paying attention, I guess. I hear, though, that the Ancestors invitation went very well for the most part.

On Saturday night, I participated in a panel discussion about various aspects of the future of ADF, which was something I was looking forward to talking about, but I admit to feeling somewhat disappointed: after all the work I put into my portion, I see that very few people found value in it. People have remarked about boredom during the discussion, or that it was a farce of unimportance. To those who engaged with it and enjoyed it, thank you for making it a useful and good discussion: I've seen one or two people describe it as useful, and several people engaged positively with it during the event. I really do this sort of stuff on the notion that a single person learning a single thing is enough for me, so I'm so very pleased I did it. Still, I have a notion that the discussion might have been better served in a workshop slot that was a bit less "okay, everyone attend"-like. It might have made me feel better in the long run, and less like the work I've done and continue to do is generally not worth the time of others.

Saturday night also led to several good conversations, some of which were rather eye-opening and theologically deep. I love this sort of thing at festivals, even if I did end up missing pretty much the entire concert as a result. I also understand that I went to bed at just the right time to avoid drama (really, going to bed before 1 AM is the best way to avoid drama at most festivals, as the drinking heats up around that point and so do the arguments: it's like clockwork).

Sunday involved the taking down of many tents, cleaning, cooking (I love being in the kitchen with the Cranes) and lots of hugs. Then a collapse at home for a couple of hours' worth of napping.

Awesome festival, though, like always! I love meeting new and interesting people from around ADF, and I was so very happy to see that so many people came from so far away to attend and sorely missed the people who couldn't be there. I hope that those who came felt as honoured to be our guests as we felt to be your hosts!
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: "Bob Robert's Society Band", -JB

(28 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:tanrinia
Date:August 26th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
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I actually wish I could have made the 'round table' but I was otherwise occupied. I wonder if that would have been a better fit for the national meeting however?
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 26th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
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Perhaps. It suffered some structural problems (not the least of which was a very restricted time-table), but really, I do wish that we had more chances to pepper the leadership with questions directly from the members. I'd like, I think, less structure in my round table questionnaires.

Then again, there's always the exciting chance that someone will stand up to ask a question and say, "Rev. Dangler, if I were sleeping and you were my alarm clock, how would you wake me up?"

Wait, I think I just made my argument for less structure, didn't I?
[User Picture]
From:tanrinia
Date:August 26th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
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and that answer would be.....?
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 26th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
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Misread that initially. Oy.

The answer, I'm afraid, can only be determined through asking the question at the most inopportune time. Preferably when I don't have time to think about it while typing :)
[User Picture]
From:tanrinia
Date:August 26th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
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duly noted :)
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From:anivair
Date:August 26th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
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the round table was good for me. I like hearing about the future plans for the org. Sure, some of it didn't require as much time as it got (I thought raven could have given us a few sentences along the lines of "I'm hiring some assistants" and been done with it, but really, it was all good information. I think it boiled down to whether or not people cared about the info being shared. It might have helped to have a layout on the schedule (ie: listing the topics) so that people didn't go if the topics were not of interest to them, but I liked it all.

And i'm one that was looking forward to the IE afterlife discussion and I thought it was good. It sounds dry at first, i guess, but I had never really read or thought much about the afterlife. We, as a group, do not talk about it much, so I was interested to see what the take was.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 26th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
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At least Raven choose not to read the entire proposal :) It's five pages long, I think. :)

I had a copy of the schedule, but I imagine that we're always balancing between "save trees, print only bibliographies" and "make sure everyone has a schedule" :)

I'm glad that you found the afterlife discussion interesting. We don't actually spend any time on the afterlife (since, like good Indo-European boys and girls, we're not particularly focused on it), but I think that there's a lot that our cosmology can benefit from if we think about it and start to work it into our ritual work.

Definitely more to come on this topic.
[User Picture]
From:anivair
Date:August 26th, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
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Agreed. I mean, there must, of course, BE an afterlife, since we call to the Ancestors (and don't think I missed the bit about ancestors in the underworld having received appropriate rites last night) but we skip over the part in between being alive and being an ancestor and i think that's sort of odd (especially since the primary focus of so many faiths is the afterlife).

I mean, I love the focus on life, but as we get to be older and older pagans, it's clear that we should give it at least a little thought. I mean, I want to make sure that Cranes of the future will call me to rites and give me beer and undercooked meat.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 26th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that bit about "proper rites" was a sort of, "Oh, I should really mention that," sort of feeling that I don't often have with the Ancestors, but it seemed important last night.

I do like the focus on this life. I mean, I really like it. I'm not big into "doin' stuff so my eternity is better than my life," mostly because I think that my life is pretty darn near awesome as it stands. I have very, very few complaints, and life without complaints would cause you to fail to see how awesome the highs are.

But yeah, you and I are totally going to be getting drunk and avoiding trichinosis through the virtue of being incorporeal: this much is clear to me.
(Deleted comment)
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 26th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
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We do need more workshops on vocal projection/presentation. I find it interesting that many of us (including myself) have difficulty speaking to large crowds (it doesn't help that we were all in low camp chairs) and often forget where our audience is located. :)

I tried to focus primarily on the future in my own piece (taking my cue from the title). I was somewhat annoyed to need to speed through my info, though, since I remained very conscious of the timing. I do wish I'd managed to obtain a question or two, though, where I could have expanded on something.

And damn, those seats are uncomfortable, aren't they?
(Deleted comment)
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 27th, 2009 11:08 am (UTC)
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There's a balance between getting enough explanation and enough questions that we need to strike a bit better. We oughtn't speak at folks, obviously, but we can't just go up and start taking questions without introductory information, either.
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From:lesyoyo
Date:August 26th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
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Hey, I enjoyed both your class and the roundtable. As I get more involved it is things like the roundtable that tell me I am on same mind. Being down here, it is hard sometimes to know the flow ADF is taking. We do have a recording of it, which some of it is really hard to hear, but it is feasable. I also know there will be an article about it in OL at some point. I do admit though, there were some areas I wish would have been brought in like the podcast and where it is going or publishing on a whole. But if we hit every area that has forward movement and projects going on, we would have been there all night. And I must say, it was so good seeing you! Thank you for all you are doing for ADF.
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 27th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
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You are a bit isolated, which can make it hard, so I'm glad that it helped you affirm directionality. :) I think that I'll be posting the basics of what I presented at the round table to my LJ later on, if I get the chance.

I look forward to seeing the article. I think it'll be a good one!
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From:tanwyn
Date:August 26th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
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Both the roundtable and your workshop were high points for me, despite the tight time table of the previous. The ancestors bit has given me a good deal to think about. Again, my thanks for everything.
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 27th, 2009 11:35 am (UTC)
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I'm glad that you enjoyed them. And it was my pleasure. :)
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From:druid_medb
Date:August 27th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
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I admit to feeling somewhat disappointed: after all the work I put into my portion, I see that very few people found value in it. People have remarked about boredom during the discussion, or that it was a farce of unimportance. To those who engaged with it and enjoyed it, thank you for making it a useful and good discussion: I've seen one or two people describe it as useful, and several people engaged positively with it during the event.

I don't get it. People complain when we don't tell them what is going on in leadership and they complain when we do. We can't please them all and if they didn't want to be there, they didn't have to be. When will people just act like grownups? You and all the other panelists worked very hard on their presentations and those of us who appreciate the efforts you have made to advance Our Druidry enjoyed hearing about the projects.
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 27th, 2009 11:35 am (UTC)
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I dunno if it's necessarily a maturity thing: rather, it's more of a "this really doesn't interest me" sort of thing. Which then really expands to, "Well, if the presentation I did wasn't interesting (or was not worthwhile), then are the projects I was speaking about worthwhile?" I think that the answer is "Yes, they are worthwhile," but it doesn't help the feeling, ya know?

It is hard to learn how to communicate what we're doing when we're met with resistance on both sides: too much and too little. It worries me that sometimes our members see our leaders as lost causes and unable to communicate (or, like here, communicating stuff that simply isn't important) and sometimes our leaders see some members as lost causes because they can't manage to understand that we have the best interest of ADF in mind in all cases.

There's a disconnect between members and leadership that isn't properly bridged yet, but it's going to take trust on both sides to build that bridge. We need to treat the members like grown ups, and they need to understand that they need to do the same for us. We can't devolve into generalizations and hope for the best. It cannot be an "us vs. them" thing, from either side, or we'll end up getting nowhere.
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From:dubhlainn
Date:August 27th, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
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Once again, I feel like I am the voice of negativity but I have to admit to not being too terribly impressed with the round table. So unimpressed that I decided to leave after the first three presenters. I am still confused ... if time was such a premium why include presentations that did not have really have anything to do with the future of ADF? Not that they are not worthwhile projects just that it felt forced, to me, thay they were included at all.

I am trying to be honest about it because if we are going to do things like this in the future we should be interested in doing a better job next time right? It is completely possible that I misunderstood the entire point of the meeting.
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 27th, 2009 11:28 am (UTC)
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I wouldn't ask you to be dishonest about your experience any more than you'd ask me to be dishonest about mine. You aren't the only person who disliked it: several people found it boring and practically worthless, from reading LJ's. It is hard not to wonder if your projects are valued at all from reactions like that, and the overwhelming feeling I have been getting is that they are not worthwhile to the membership as a whole. Still, as I mention above, I'm not doing the stuff for everyone, but appear to have fulfilled the general goal I have for everything I do in ADF: helping just one person have a better experience.

So having four people say here that they got something out of it exceeds that goal.

It's just that the very negative reaction of others makes me think that I'm simply not doing enough in this Org, that people really don't like this direction, and that the work I'm doing doesn't have a use to most people. It's probably a false notion: those who dislike something are always more vocal than those who like something, and it's almost never personal, but we can't help being human and finding fault within ourselves when faced with the faults others find in us from time to time.
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From:seamus_mcnasty
Date:August 27th, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
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I am so glad that my Crane-kin all had different wonderful experiences. I must admit I felt like I worked all week.

I thought the round table was interesting. I wonder why Kirk or Skip didn't lead it...but I have my own opinions about that. I think the workshops etc should be moved down to the pavilon. I also agree there needs to be more workshops on projecting oneself.

Overall I think we did a good job and the overall workshop and schedule was good. I think we could kill the workshop Satuday after ritual and just prepare for potluck and concert. I would also think a roundtable would work better earlier in the day. Roundtables never reach everyone but the ones who need it hopefully get something out of it. As for those who didn't like it, well can't please everyone. I do think that we often times walk into these discussions with baggage and we allow that to shade our views.

oh well, I'm glad for the time we spent together last weekend. Thanks for sitting down with me for a few minutes and reviewing stuff.

Seamus
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 27th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
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You know, it never occurred to me that Skip or Kirk ought to have led it. I think you're right. To me, though, the workshop schedule did seem a bit spaced out (a result, I know, of some presenters not making it down), and one or two additional workshops might have been nice. Maybe having a backup workshop or two from the Cranes wouldn't be a bad idea next year so we can fill some of that space up?

Thanks for sitting down with me for a few minutes and reviewing stuff.

Not a problem: we have few enough resources that we need to do it, and few enough students that we can. It really was my pleasure.

I must admit I felt like I worked all week.

Well, it was a four day festival, with set up the night before and planning for months in advance. . . so I think you did work an entire week. . . :)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:dubhlainn
Date:August 27th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
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hmm, an interesting idea. I am sure that is true in some cases. I for one am one of those who gets obsessed with details, LOL -- remember I love by-laws, and in some ways I think that is what I was missing.

The more I think about it the more I feel that my biggest issue was that there was just too much/too many people in the roundtable. By reducing the number of presentations, the presenters could have gone into more detail and allowed time for more back and forth.

I was also saddened that we had no coversation about Orders. That is an important part of our future, I believe, whether one is a supporter of the concept or not. I know it is hard/scary to talk about that kind of controversal stuff but we really need to have those conversations out in the open too.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 27th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
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I admit, I wish people would stop talking about Orders and just do 'em. Let the structure catch up to the work, not the other way around.
[User Picture]
From:dubhlainn
Date:August 27th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
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I actually agree with you 120% but the reason why I say the talk needed to happen because, as far as I am aware, the only people who have the conversation at all is the CC and those of us working on Orders.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 27th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
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We Cranes are well on our way, too, to creating an Order. We started about three weeks ago and are appear to have met nearly every criteria that Ian's posted on the lists.

I'm a huge fan of ignoring rules that don't exist and just doin' it, though. That's how WotY got done, and the CTP, and a variety of other small projects I've stuck my fingers in from time to time.

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