One Perspective on Worthington 2004

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One Perspective on Worthington 2004

Post by Randy »

Worthington Observations

Friday morning I woke up in a bit of a funk. I don’t know why. There was a pressure on my chest, a lack of ‘grounding’ in my feet and I knew I wasn’t much good company to anyone. I packed my Hombre with all my gear and headed off to Worthington with a number of inspirational tapes and CD’s from some great masters who’ve taught me so much over the years. Once I got south of the Cities I was finally able to escape the junky thoughts in my head and get back to the moment-to-moment beauty of a gorgeous June day’s unfolding in southern Minnesota.

There was a sense of ‘rightness’ about heading out to this town that had put in so much effort to receiving musicians and boardheads. I had a deep empathy for the organizers after looking at the dismal forecast for wind. I kept replaying the wisdom in “show up, pay attention, do your best and know that you don’t control the outcome”. Anyone with the courage to schedule an outdoor event in Minnesota has to find the gift in every weather situation. I got to Worthington with my spirits lifted. There was just something kind of magical about the sense of community…even before I met anyone. Heading to Sailboard Beach I noticed dark clouds to the north. I entered through the gates and a kind man put an orange flag on my car and said that I’d have no problems with this on my car. I know what he meant, but I was still taken with the notion that the issue of “having problems” or “not having problems” is as simple as making a “yes” or “no” to life. I instantly felt a sense of atonement.

I enjoyed the welcoming from community faces… that continuous smile of support. A number of sailors were out on large gear. A very talented young guitarist/vocalist was giving it his all to a small audience, followed by Noah, the harmonica wonder-kid. As Noah surrendered more and more into the music the clouds in the southern sky darkened and got very low. When the tornado sirens went off the sound crew held steady. Bill reassured us the storm would likely miss us, but just in case, the shelter was a block away.

I kind of pride myself in knowing weather. I told Sonny Boy Bruce that I could just about guarantee torrents of rain and wind at any moment. The air was filled with electricity and a density you could almost slice. Noah said that he wasn’t stopping until they unplugged him. No one left. And as the storm clouds started circling back toward us I could sense the ‘power of intention’ of the Worthington people. The storm drifted to the east, the clouds broke and the sun came out once again.

I couldn’t help but draw parallels to life in general. We’re forever ‘squeezed’ by those dark clouds, the potential for turbulence they bring, and then rewarded with happiness for a return to light. Some of you may know our family is battling a very serious “dis-ease” within our younger son’s body. The statistics of Western medicine have done a lot to brew those dark clouds of doubt and fear. Yet, it’s our sense of ‘connection’ that heals, keeping our hopes up when hope can seem to go down the drain. When it looks impossible, can we come back with new hope…open for surprise? It’s a very challenging attitude…this ‘willingness’ to be open to receive that not everything will come out ‘well’ within our immediate understanding of the situation, the universe “is” just as it should be within this moment of perfection.

When the clouds started retreating and the skies lightened there was a deep sense of the “yes” to life and belonging. It’s been said happiness is in consequence to gratefulness. It’s also been said that gratefulness can’t exist without acknowledging our ‘belonging’. At this moment I had a deep sense of “arriving home” and making my appointment to the “yes” of life. There was a healing energy in the air, a ‘complete-ness’ to the day, as our band readied for our musical performance. In many ancient traditions Spirit has been paralleled to Wind. The wind freshened, the water texture changed and the lake filled with windsurfers and kiters. There were several moments of divine surrender throughout the night as all barriers between performer and audience broke down. All of the ‘monkey mind’ thoughts that had preoccupied me vanished. It seemed we all got lost in the beauty of the direct experience. There was no more ‘trying’, no more ‘what if’, no more sense of the ‘missing’. It seemed that Worthington had allowed us to find our sense of peace. We were able to travel from the dark to the light, from the temporary fear of destruction and separation to a sense of community and oneness.

Later that night musicians from all the bands joined with any who wanted to participate. Tiki torches lined the shores of Lake Okabena, a gentle breeze seemed to set the rhythm of the night, and the starlit sky let us know we were in that space of infinite time. Boundaries of musicianship were smashed as we seemed to be drawn to the sounds of two young Mexican men’s innocent play of traditional songs. Many of us tried to find the ‘train’ of their songs and in our ‘trying’ were left behind. They say ‘ego’ is nothing other than our ‘getting in the way of God’. There was a lot of ‘letting ego go’ as we came to our unity in the rhythm and harmony of the song. The group seemed to disperse sometime between 12:30 and 1:00am. I slept sound, a good hour past my normal waking time. I think this was good.

The next morning I stepped out to a blue sunshine sky and made my way to a breakfast meeting with some of fellow Ride band members. I later phoned my wife and learned she was the one now caught in a ‘funk’. I knew tremendous effort and energy had been put to the event, but my heart was loud and clear about heading home. In the process of saying goodbye to friends I was gifted the ‘presence of Elmer’. Elmer is one of those rare individuals with a smile on his face all the time. I’m sure he also has his moments of funk, but he’s made a decision to not show it. When I’m with him it’s like we’re standing outside notions of time and space. I wanted to know how he does it. I seldom see people with a smile on their face all the time. He said it’s just the way it ‘is’ for him. I felt I’d known him all my life as we slowly walked the length of Sailboard Beach. It was hard to leave the comfort of his loving smile, but I knew it was time to leave.

With a no wind forecast I suspected there would be a sense of ‘missing-ness’ in the air. I know people think I’m crazy when I tell them how to make the wind blow. It’s really not that difficult when we truly understand how we can change the universe by changing the way we look at it. Without fail, when I receive the wind from a sense of ‘lack-ness”, conditions seem to deteriorate. When my attention is put to what’s ‘missing’ I seem to grow the ‘missing-ness’. When my attention is put to gratitude for the gift of what ‘is’, what I’m grateful for grows. When it comes to wind, when there’s even the slightest breeze, I try to remember to give thanks for the air’s movement. Inevitably, when I stand outside of ‘testing’ the Universe, I notice an increase in the wind’s strength. I’ve been around wind sports for over thirty years and can report almost 100% reliability to this observation when my gratitude is given freely, without expectation of increase. It seems to also work this way with Spirit. I suspect the ‘missing-ness’ eventually dropped through the beauty of Saturday’s music since wind came back on Sunday.

I’ve decided to leave the orange ribbon on my truck since it’s true, our problems are generally just thoughts created to keep us from gratitude and consequent happiness for the gift of the moment. It seems many of the fine people of Worthington have figured this out and to them, musicians and boardheads have a deep sense of gratitude. It’s true, many wondered why I’d come back from Maui for this event and I’d have to say it’s because of that deep sense of Aloha spirit…that sense of wonder, the presence of eternal Essence and the beauty of breath…the wind…Spirit’s gift.
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Post by Woody »

Randy, what a great read! I really enjoy your stories....Thanks.

I feel so spiritually moved....pretty cool.

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