|The women's music festival in Sohrschied was a wonderful experience in many ways. We camped with four women and a disabled youngster and it was as precious as we had expected it to be: getting to know each other while preparing and arriving, during the work, celebrating, eating and getting up. Shared fascination, working together, observing how things deploy and join together, having a nice cup coffee together at the camping table and talking about experiences, as well as discussing this & that.
And the body: drilling nacked toes in the grass, dangleing the belly, chucking the bra in the backmost corner of the bag and forgetting all about it....back at home it even stayed in that corner.
It was raining, it was hot, there was a starlit sky, congadance, singing and fire, there was a soughing stream with a mini-waterfall, lots of forest around, walks through the forest and hay meadows, there were many stalls to look at and so many encounters, there was a wholefood stall, vegetarian food, there were no cigarette ends on the meadow or fume in the big tent, the toilets were maintained and even a few lasted for a lot of women. There were mosaicked circular paths out of plastic material, otherwise we would have be bogged and couldn't have moved the wheelchairs or wheelbarrows full of luggage.
The organisation, generally: it is absolutely enormous what a handfull of women and umpty voluntary helpers can achieve. It was only with the last event two years ago that money could be made to pay back the debts of previous festivals which a few women bear personally. It is not for certain that the tendancy will continue: a festival like this is far more expensive than one can see. This is why we didn't feel harmed about any Euro that stayed at the festival since it was all for the appreciation of women's work or "soli" for the festival, let it be drinks, food (the prices were pleasantly moderate), tombola or second-hand clothes (...and we all found something very nice to wear)
The music was from all over the world, full of variety, partly special, the tent was always full and everyone was devotional, where there was no dancing, the applause was massive, for the musicians as well as for the organising team lots of bouteous acknowledgement and a delicate, intented attentiveness.
Funnily enough I haven't experienced the music as the main thing personally. I have bathed in the women and in this incredible atmosphere that I felt on this place - not too easy to imagine what a place for women is, when thinking about it as a preliminary exercise because this is something completely different to "what one knows from daily life minus men". I was sitting there, watching and absorbing hundrets of women and I could have embrassed them all. Why?
First of all, the atmosphere we all know: it is peaceful and compassionate and friendly (even if you immediately think about the opposite: you know it too). Transparent people like me are always very happy about those short moments and fleeting encounters when passing somewhere - not mask nor suspicion but full of laughter: like when a "thank you" is meant so very affectionate and concern is the natural condition.
When a problem or a request doesn't cause a help-somebody-is-talking-to-me or a polite effort but instant multiple contribution.
Then, and this was the most exciting - this strange perception: Nothing was missing, nothing was missing. In any case not know-how or energy, we all know that, and also not the relationship bits, not the eros or passion...nice to see this, funny this self-observation. I am indeed not what one thinks of a lesbian (I am never what anyone expects from any apprehensions) but my erotic tentacles don't bother about female or male beings. But there was even no lacking in the view beyond the eros. No signal, no thought. If I wouldn't have known: only women - I wouldn't have noticed visually. I was astound about the variety of characters in front of my eyes - a diversity of shapes who take in almost every point on a commemorated curve between the poles "female" and "male". I was aspirated by a world of which every woman-exterior-to-a-lesbian-life would suggest that she wouldn't want it and I remember of how many healty things we have wrong imaginations.
I also remember: "Women", a construct in our heads, a cut and straight garten where in terms of liberty truley wilderness would be. Wonderful free wilderness.
Yes, there were a lot of women, you would have reckoned to be a man, not a particular typ, just any sort of man; and there were women woh looked like a woman, any sort of woman and they had a beart; there were women who appealed like a "bloke" (a cupboard); there were women with waving curls who were motherly, there were women with waving curls who were boyish dungerees-sexy; there were boys with a bald head as well as women with a bald head....there were, there were.
Do you get the point? In this diversity were nothing was missing any longer, the term WOMAN dissolved. A term just has the one sense to differntiate it from another term. If there is nothing left that stays beyond the term, then the term will be redundant. So I was only on a women's music festival in the sense that it was tolerant, friendly and relaxing.
There was no feeling of default at all since one only misses the the psychological stress that adapts easily by verbal or energetic invasions, communicative refusal or social incompetence in the jumbled world very rarely.
A large number of women who - not in an erotic way - fascinated me stayed in my memory and it only came back to my mind again that I am fascinated to the utmost what is at the least visable in our disconcerting world of stereotypes, bondage-confomance and stupid black-and-white thinking. This is not because it IS not but because it is not allowed to be. (Each of us hides something, don't you think? If we all stopped acting like this, we would know what women are!)
To get a weak impression, there were ladies who looked like sexy modells and worked and moved like craftwomen (and why is that fascinating), there were business women who were sitting behind there stall topless (so what?), there were women who wore clothes whose criteria was apparently just for fun and comfort and wouldn't let anybody think one needs to hide a sloping breast or an unlace belly. There were women from rasta to wholefood with mustache or beard, there were mentally disabled girls or women in their wheelchairs or very interesting looking women with, well, a lame leg or may be not. There were teenagers who looked like cute boys, there were women who looked like bouncers. There were beautiful mature ladies who smiled and appeared open-hearted, not like cool business women.
It was just luscious. I am not exclusively and don't only love (most of the time) men but once I told the others: Hey, I could live like this - the men in the zoo and every now and then a visit to the zoo . that would be it!
This reminds me that segregation of the sexes and ritualised encounter of sexes can be quite relaxing (and normal) in certain areas and that men would be as diverse and beautiful if they created rooms and their own specific sources.
In any case, there are four fans who will smile at each other and won't give you any peace till you join the next festival in Juli 2006.
Karin Schnurpfeil, im Juli 2004