28 June 2016

Glasto In The Time of Brexit


Yesterday, we drove home from Glastonbury. Through the weekend, though the rain raged and the mud caged us in, the artistic, creative spirit at the core of the festival absorbed me.

I'd never been before, but it had always seemed to me like a rite of passage- something I knew I had to do before I die.

Little did we realise that we would forever remember this weekend for completely different reasons than our seminal visit to the British cultural heartland. Little did we know that during our stay on Worthy Farm the world would change. Our world would be dismantled. Waking up on Friday to the news that we as a nation had decided to leave the E.U. and that David Cameron, our liked and loathed Prime Minister, would be resigning felt like someone was playing a big joke on us. Ha ha we said, putting on our wellies for the day ahead. 

But, of course, they weren't.

 It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

My heart hurt at the result. My head spun. I felt a sense of having lost something I'd never really made the most of, like an old friend you wished you'd visited more often. 

We could've submerged ourselves in grief that things hadn't gone the way we hoped. We could've turned to anger. 

Instead of dwelling on the politics of it all though, we switched off our iPhones and strolled into one of the beautiful Glastonbury tents. Wandered through the myriad of magical creations. Locked eyes with the insanely talented bands and danced to the melodies.

For this weekend, and this weekend only, we could pretend the outside didn't exist. We could live safe inside our green, muddy home and thrive on its electric, immersive current. A place where people could weep tears of joy because of the power of music. A place where people could sit gathered by stones and swap life stories, showing each other their big toothy grins. A place where you could watch as humans shed their 9-5 skins and worshipped at the altar of communion. Here, we were all in the same boat. 

After watching the headliners on Saturday and Sunday night with a collective 150,000 people we waded through the thick, deep, dark mud to get to our next destinations. We clung onto each other's arms, and we stopped to help strangers from falling down into the viscous floor, muddying ourselves in the process.

Viewing all of this - glittered faces breaking into smiles of love and jolliness in the dire weather - made me realise that no matter which side of the seismic crack that attempts to separate us we're on, there's always hope in kinship.

Throughout the festival, I noticed one particular flag. In a sea of E.U. stars and comedic quotes, it bore one simple word, emblazoned on a red background. 'LIFE'. Life. Four letters brimming with optimism. It seemed simple and profound all at once. I don't know what the future holds for us, but don't we all deserve to enjoy this life that is ours?

Glastonbury is the epitome of the joy community can bring. I'll always remember this weekend for making me feel on top of the world, there grooving with my family of 300,000. 

United in being and feeling alive 

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