Monday, July 10, 2006

Winnepeg Folk Festival

I just got to the north of my state, after spending the weekend at the Winnepeg Folk Festival. I went to the folk fest as a little girl with my mother. I went again in 2003 after the time I was suicidal, it was a highlight of the time and helped me get myself back on my feet. I decided this weekend that I will go every year, and bring my children. There are important holidays in my life, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Winnepeg Folk Fest.

First off, the best part of the Folk fest is the PEOPLE! What dignified, civilized, lovely people! I have come to the conclusion with my travels that I REALLY like Canadians. They seem so down to earth and decent as opposed to many Americans, who seem to think friendliness is hokey, or a sign of stupidity. But many of the Folk fest guests were Americans, and just so lovely. I understand the hippie movement so much, people just living in peace and caring about eachother. I am sorry but WHAT is "extremist" about that? Nothing. It simply makes sense. We need to see past profit and get back to reality.

And of course what is great about the folk fest is...surprise! music! My favorite find? K'naan, K'NAAN, K'NAAN! I was most excited to see him because he was born in Somalia and there are many Somali people in my city, and I LOVE his CD! I enjoyed his performances quite a bit, but wasn't planning to buy the CD until he came out for the encore, and sang this awesome intense song which included a sing back chant "hunna hunna hunna hunna hunna hunna hay" It was so electric, and stuck in my head for hours. He opened for Damian Marley, he will be famous, do you hear me! :)

Another VERY memorable act was a woman named Tagaq. I have seen her, or another woman who performed her style of music before, it's called "throat singing" it's an old Native American or First Nations thing and it is cool and crazy. It is an undescribable sound. Well while we were waiting for some damn shakti spirit dancers to show up in the alternative tent, we heard this BIZARRE sound coming from the main stage. There was a deep techno bass and this loud intense breathing and groaning. It sounded sexual and sortof demonic! If you get a chance definately visit the site and listen to the song she has posted. That one is nothing compared to what she did on stage. In a way I wish I bought HER CD. If there is any memorable sound from the folk fest it is her.

Charles didn't come to the folk fest. His proposal for his dissertation is tomorrow, and it would have cost $70 for the visa to Canada, a steep price after adding the $170 for tickets & camping, especially before the trip to Kenya coming up (where he will do research for his dissertation.) I was disappointed that he couldn't come. It allowed worry to come into my head. I saw all of these hippy american (or canadian) boys who made me think about lust. Charles and I have such a great relationship, but what I don't feel is hot lust when he walks in the room. I regularly feel unbelievable admiration. I regularly feel proud and lucky that I have him. But I don't feel that hot lust that puts a lump in your throat. That feeling that when you touch his hand, your face gets warm. I know I am taking a lot of anti-depressants, and my sex drive is definately down, but as I approach a possible future with this man I wonder if what we have is enough. I know I don't have to make a desision about it today, he doesn't either, but I thought about it on this trip.

Another thing, an awesome thing that I discovered on this trip is that I still may be a bit depressed. There are things that I used to be interested in (music for one) that I have convinced myself I have outgrown. I have not outgrown these things, I think I am still depressed enough that I don't have intrest in things. It's true. I am doing REALLY well, functioning and everything, but I am by no means excited to be alive. I am excited that being alive isn't so difficult anymore, and I even have brief moments of happiness, but I still see living as a sentance, and I occasionally secretly think that the fact that I can't die is sort of unfair.

And hope is a powerful thing. Just imagining that I could be interested in what I used to be interested, like excercise, music, and beauty (decorating, crafts, personal grooming and fashion.) I am just excited by the idea! When I started college I loved being alive, It perked me up to imagine life could be that fun again! The only times I can think of feeling "fun" were this weekend, my trip to Florida for new years, and while kayaking last month. I have felt not unhappy, pleased, and excited, but not really "fun."

One thing that I think will help me is the purging of the friendship with Keely (from the prior post.) I met Keely in Jr. High, and though I thought she was weird I also thought she was the coolest person I had ever met, and felt like we were totally on the same wavelength. We could not talk to eachother for a year and then pick up where we left off.

In 2000 I think we became roommates, and our friendship went to hell. She smoked weed almost every day, if not every day, and was SO mean and condecending to me. I just took it. I actually trusted that she had good reason to be that way to me. We had always thought so alike. She wouldn't be unfair or unreasonable to me, so I must have been deserving of it somehow. She had shown me some ignorance I had about racial issues, so I felt I deserved punishment for being white and ignorant. In the end though, how does someone become not-ignorant but to learn?

She never gave me the benefit of the doubt. She never saw the spirit of what I would say, she would twist it into something negative and then berate me for it. A great example was when I told her about a woman I worked with who was a bigot. I felt really proud of myself for talking to this woman and feeling like I had really made some headway. Again, you can't become un-ignorant until you are informed, I felt like this woman, because of my kindness, was open to what I had to say, her dad was a terrible racist, and she had never been exposed to real people, just the stereotypes her dad fed her. Keely thought I was just AWFUL for doing this. In her eyes I was a terrible person for having conversations with this woman at work. I can see the arguement that you should shun bad behavior like racism, but I think love is stronger than hate, and that I did more good by discussing these things with her than turning my nose up and walking away the moment I learned about her ideas. If she werent receptive and I remained friendly with her it would be a different thing, but Keely went straight to the negative, as she usually did, and turned something that was at best brave and productive, at very worst naive and misguided into something horrible.

The reason she treated me so awfully was probably a combination of things. For one, we had unhealthy boundaries and I think I was fitting into the role of her little sister. She used to be TERRIBLE to her little sister (who is now strung out with 2 kids, and was a prostitute, may still be) and so I think she was following her own patterns. I think she may have been having a little revenge on me for some of my snootiness in Jr high. I had a killer body and at times looked down on those that were chubbier than me. I also think that she, like I do with roomie Tera, was envious of my innocence. She had just come from a divorce, from a man who cheated and may have married her for a green card, and I was full of enthusiasm about life, I think she wanted to bring me down to her level (and she succeeded)

When I saw Keely she was boring and unpleasant to be around. Although she is smart as hell, smart enough to own her own company, she was recently FIRED from a job! A 29 year old, especially someone with her potential, is much too old to have that happen! She was so much smaller to me than in my head. In my head, my memory of her was this big, capable, brilliant goddess, but the other night I saw her for what she really is, unstable, snobby, and a chicken for not being the person she could be.

Now that I see she is full of shit, I can see that her image and treatment of me was also full of shit. I really internalized how she treated me, as much as a person in an abusive realtionship would (remember, I loved her like a sister) and now that I am wanting to be free of her, I also want to be free of the thoughts I have about myself, that were introduced by her. I now need to forgive myself for the ignorance I DID have, and reject the filter she invented to see me through as being irrelevant and shallow. I never was those things, I was imperfect, as was she, but I have always been smart and very thoughtful and ethical. I have been beating myself up for years, especially after living with her. I am a good person, a very good person, I was then too. I can now give myself permission to be my true self, I don't have to be ashamed of that self. I am proud of who I am and now can stand up and say that.

On the other hand I am better now than I was back then. I have been through a year of therapy and had a lot of growth since the severe suicidal depression. Perhaps her and I were on the same level mental health wise back then, (maybe me a little healthier, her a little more informed) but now I am a great deal healthier AND more informed than I was, so I have simply outgrown her. This would not be a relationship ending offence in itself if she werent so toxic to me.

In the end, I still love her as a sister. I want the best for her and wish she could rise up to her true, beautiful, brilliant core. It is a shame she is staying in this snotty, unmotivated shell of a person, but as it affects me so negatively and would require me to lower myself to keep her around I will only move on, happy to be free of an unpleasant element in my life.

I am also going to change in the way I relate to my roommate. I still sort of don't trust her, and find her helplessness annoying, but my city snobbery to her suburban ignorance has got to go. Keely's treatment of my ignorance was condecending and hurtful, and I sort of see myself doing that to Tera. Yes, when I try to present the alternative to some of her ignorance she brushes it off, but that is on HER. I have presented the information to her, it is up to her to accept or reject it, my job is done. If there is someone's enlightenment I should put my energy into, it would have to be my own. I have plenty of work to do on myself, it is not my job to fix Tera.

I feel a lot of hope. I am excited to imagine my life with the depression and self-hatred lifted. It is really hard to get my brain to shift to fit these new realizations. The old thinking is a habit, so it will take work to break it. Depression makes it harder, and I think a medication increase should help.

I also hope continuing to blog will help. Thank you so much for continuing to read! Joseph and Sparkle, your comments made my day!!! I was pretty certian no one would read anymore, so thanks again.


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