Monday, August 17, 2009

Rainbow Gathering 2009

I never thought I would say this, but this year's Rainbow Gathering, held near Cuba New Mexico, was truly a sorry state of affairs. This year I decided to go early for seed camp and to help set up. A friend drove me to Redding California where I met up with a very cool girl named Jess Blue who owns a ranch for wayward animals. There I fell in love with a Pit / Lab mix puppy that I adopted and named Siris ( and Jess drove me the rest of the way to the Gathering. Once I arrived I immediately plugged in to my favorite kitchen; Milliways. Setting up and building the kitchen was a lot of fun and for the most part seed camp was great. It was when the gathering went into full swing, around 2 or 3 days before the 1st of July, that all the madness started to happen. Normally money and alcohol are highly discouraged as they represent the "Babylon" that everyone is trying to get away from when One goes to a gathering. However alcohol was very prevalent at this year's gathering, and some girl actually tried to write me a check for Siris at "Trade Circle." Someone got stabbed and died this year due to alcohol (I heard the fight ensued over a nearly finished bottle of vodka). There was a war of the kitchens in which several kitchens slashed and hacked main supply tent (where all the food is stored) due to internal political conflict. On the 4th it rained all day so there was no Ohm for peace and instead there was a mad dance in the mud (still pretty fun). And at the end, there were numerous fist fights almost all of them related to alcohol (a very good reason it's usually discouraged). Some random guy actually tried to punch me while drunk and when I left that scene for quieter ground I came across two other guys in a fist fight at a kitchen called "Peace Village." One thing that did maintain my faith was the numerous "triple" rainbows that appeared after rainstorms in the main meadow. So beautiful. Maybe the Universe was trying to tell everyone something. After this I decided it was time to leave Rainbow and as I got all my belongings to the parking lot I came across a group of about 15 or so gutter punk kids drinking vodka and cheap beer. That night I awoke to someone screaming at the top of their lungs "Who stole my vodka? Who stole my vodka?" What a mess. So much for the Rainbow of peace and living light. The "Vision Council" decided that the gathering would be best held in Tennessee next year. I don't think I'll be going. Really, if I had to make a guess, I would say that the reason that so much alcohol and violence were present is mostly because main meadow was rather close to the parking lot. It was rather easy for people to leave the Gathering and go back into town for more alcohol. Last year in Wyoming, it was literally a 4 or 5 mile hike to get from the parking lot to the main meadow and once you were in you were staying until you left. Hopefully the "elders" learn something about planning water, food and main meadow setup from this years mistakes. Hopefully. Then again we are talking about the largest "un-organization" in the world.