When we last left our story, somebody had just drawn a bat on my bus. That’s about where Day 3 really started for me. The bat inspired me and I finally figured out the chalk deal. I set the tray of chalk on the front bumper and wrote “chalk” on the front and drew an arrow to the tray; I figured people would understand the implied invitation.
After setting out the chalk and pouring myself a traveling beer I headed for Michigan Stage to see The Change. My niece plays in a band with the guy who plays bass for this band and the last text she sent me before I went off the grid for Bliss was something to the effect of “find The Change and go see them, I know the bass player!” I caught the last half of their set because it turned out that the battery in my watch is dying, so although I set it before I left Thursday, by Sunday afternoon I was 35 minutes behind; but it’s Bliss Time, so whatever! Anyway, they rocked it out hard!
I didn’t catch the guy’s name (I’m so bad with names) but our conversation started something like this:
Me: “Hey man, you guys really rocked it!”
Me: “Do you know Emily?”
Me: “I’m her uncle, Kris.”
Him: “OH YOU’RE UNKIE!”
Yup…… I’m Unkie.
He and I talked for a little bit, he seemed like a pretty cool guy. I guess Emily mentioned me (and The Bus) a few times, so that’s flattering. I guess I should’ve given him the URL for this blog!
Wow! The Bus has been transformed into public art infused with the spirit of Bliss. Groovy!! Isn’t human creativity beautiful?!
I headed down to the Song Tree and saw Seth Bernard play a set there. I love the Song Tree because it’s such an intimate setting and I love Seth because he’s such a genuine, passionate person; it just exudes out of his music and his very being. He announced that he was playing everything at the Song Tree in the key of G, so if you had any requests they needed to be in the key of G. Smartass that I am, I requested “Dinosaur,” which I knew was in a minor key. Seth said “well, that one’s in E-minor” and I couldn’t help but laugh since my smartass request backfired on me. (For you non-music-theory people: E-minor is the relative minor to the key of G, which means that you’re essentially playing the key of G, just starting on the E-minor chord.)
After Seth at the Song Tree, I took a wander through the woods and decided I was feeling pretty tired. There weren’t any bands that I wanted to see for a few hours so I decided to take a quick nap. I’m not sure how to describe this, but somewhere in the middle of that nap (which didn’t involve any actual sleep, just lying down) I was given the revelation I had been waiting for. I knew that something important was coming, I could feel it gearing up in the weeks before, and I just knew it was going to hit during Blissfest. It’s pretty personal and tough to describe, but let’s just say I was holding onto something from the past and the message came down to me pretty plainly: “you have to let go if you want to move forward.” So I decided, right then and there, to forgive and let it go; and it’s going to be okay because I know that what’s in front of me is good.
I headed up to mainstage in time to catch the closing ceremonies. Always bittersweet. Then I walked out to the Back Forty and hung out with the Happy Campers until about 5:00AM. What a great time, just hanging out and jamming!
I managed to hit the road at about 1:00. What a great drive! The combination of The Bus, the open road, and that post-Blissfest high was amazing. The road was literally singing to me in my head. I was hearing full instrumentation: banjos, guitars, mandolins, even a fiddle or two, in gorgeous harmony in my head. Two-steps in the key of D, mostly. When I went through towns and hit traffic the music would fade, but on the open road it was always there, and I sang along with it the whole way home! The trip home was so relaxing! I wasn’t in a hurry, I had no specific deadline, I was so relaxed and unwound from Bliss, and I swear to you that The Bus ran better on the way home simply because I was relaxed and in tune with it.
I got home, emptied the cooler, threw my dirty clothes (including the ones I was wearing) into the washer and took my “back to civilization” shower. I have Bliss Feet from going barefoot all weekend; that is to say, I washed them in the shower, even scrubbed with the washcloth, and they still have a dark patina from the mud. I’m also experiencing a severe case of “Bliss Wrist” a.k.a. phantom wristband syndrome.
I’m sad that Bliss is over, it never seems to last long enough, but I guess the reality is that you can’t live on the mountain top for ever. I’m taking my Bliss with me, though, even now as I type this and listen to the clothes dryer. The dryer makes this rhythmic noise, and I hear a melody and a tune in it! Music is everywhere! 😀
Heaven is a place where you can jam forever and your fingers never get tired and you never forget the lyrics.