Ten ThousandVisions




Driving to Bonnaroo

By Michael Divine on June 7th, 2009

I’m on my way to the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN where we are doing our tenthousandvisions-once-a-year-giant-festival-vending-experience. We went three years ago, had a great time, and now are doing it again with a lot more experience under our belts and a far more solid plan of attach. When we’re finished, Violet and I will make our way back home via Kentucky (visit her dad), then Colorado (visit the mountains) and finally to Utah and Arizona (visit the canyons). It’s work. It’s vacation. it’s a summer roadtrip.

I’m driving a giant SUV packed with all the necessary things for three or four weeks of travel- the camping/play time stuff and the vending/festival/art stuff. So much stuff! Some people continue on – festival after festival – but we have neither the time nor the energy for that. I don’t want to become a fixture anywhere, preferring the magic of a one-time meeting rather than becoming something that is expected.

I’ve written before tho about bringing art to the masses and Bonnaroo is exactly that. I find that the events that tend towards my own community of people out here tend to feel a little like preaching to the choir sometimes. It’s cool and fun and all – but it’s not different and that "different" feeling – that experience of encountering something entirely "other" and yet, very much reflective of yourself, is really where an energetic opening happens. I like that and I like being able to be that sort of catalyst.

Anyhow, I’m driving alone right now, an empty passenger seat beside me. But i’m not taking other passengers! Violet holds that reservation and I’m picking her up at the airport in Little Rock, AR on Tuesday afternoon because she has finals to finish and then is graduated, done with undergrad work at last! She’s worked hard at it for a long time now and I’m proud of her for getting through. But that leaves me on my own for now. However, while I do love the company – she is my wife and best friend after all – a little alone time, time to totally chill is nice. There’s no rush and I can actually relax for a bit til I have to kick back into gear in a few days for festival-public-relations mode. There will be plenty of talking!

So, last night, I finally got out of San Diego at 8:30 after stopping at Whole Foods and Kinkos and did about four hours of driving til fatigue started to set in. 6 hours sleep a night for the past week while busting my ass each day has left me a bit weary. But no rest for the weary, we say!

The humble little town of Blythe, on the CA/AZ border, was the spot on the map for me and I pulled into a motel. The woman at the window of the motel wore pants that could have fit ten of me. When she waddled over to the register, granting me a view of her rolls from the side and, with her thighs busting the seams of even those pants, I wondered if the slave labor in some third world country where those plus plus plus size dollar bin pants are made wonder just what type of creature wears those things.

Now I’m on my way to Phoenix (a city I vowed never to return to 10 years ago) and then north to Flagstaff and onto a campground in the CIbola National Forest east of Albuquerque where I can pitch tent under tall watchful Ponderosa pine.


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