I feel some pressure to do a proper reflection on Wild Goose. Not because I’m under any obligation to do one, but because the festival is so amazing and generative of hope that I feel a powerful urge to let others know about it, while knowing that there is no way mere words can do it justice. Hmm… Sounds like evangelism. Well, for better or worse, I’ll make a humble and surely inadequate attempt.
Wild Goose is a weekend camping in the North Carolina woods, in the dead of summer. So Wild Goose has ticks, chiggers, humidity and blazing heat. It also has campsites in the woods. Friends sitting around outside tents talking, laughing and playing guitars. Glasses of wine under the stars.
Wild Goose is a place to sit on the ground and listen to talks from the leading voices of Emergent Christianity. It is a place to hear inspirational stories of radical nonviolence, stewardship and activism, and redemptive love. It is a place where it is safe to have dangerous conversations. Where truth is spoken to power. Where folks can try to make sense of following the way of Jesus in a violent, cynical world, where religion often seems to make things worse rather than better.
Wild Goose is a place for music and art. Often crazy music and crazy art. Everywhere is a song and a celebration.
Wild Goose is where it’s normal to stand and chat one on one with authors and musicians. Everything is conversational and interactive.
But mostly Wild Goose is an atmosphere of community. In all its wild diversity, there is some unifying undercurrent. A feeling that we all belong there. It feels like being on ground zero of something universal.
Cathleen Falsani’s video of the Sunday call to worship captures some of the Wild Goose spirit. It’s interesting, however, that while this was going on, some of us were under a tent listening to Carl McCollum talk about contemplative prayer and the benefits of silence.
Until it becomes tiresome, I’ll blog occassionally about some of the specific speakers, artists and events. But camping in the woods with these folks, then gathering for a discussion, is a vibe completely unlike going down to Barnes and Noble for a reading and book signing. To fully appreciate anything any of us write about the specific sessions, it is important to place them in the context of the pervading atmosphere.
I encourage y’all to go the Wild Goose facebook page and look at some of the photos being posted there. They help.
Wild Goose gave me the courage last year to cut the last remaining chords with my law practice and to step out into the wild. It’s that kind of thing.
May the Goose soar.