When I first started to try and write something to go along with these photos, I wrote this very long diatribe against the idea of blind peppy regionalism. It felt really good to erase that. But there were two parts I liked, and saved.
1)"I fear the instinct that creates well meaning self promoting civic pep squads is the same one that leads desperate and lonely people to gods - defensiveness of their inherent right to special, first, beloved above others no matter what. Delusional. Greatness is not something one achieves by telling everyone how great you are. You don't need to fake orgasms all the time to make people think you enjoy your life. You just have to calm the fuck down and actually be happy."
2) "There's a softer kind of love for things that doesn't ask for validation, praise, or flashy easily digestible meaning. Take inventory of each thing you see with wide open eyes, and give it existence, name it. Let it flow into you and be stored in that aquifer of bodily fluids, leaving the nets free to catch more. Then maybe someday, through practice, you'll learn to be curious again."
I've been thinking of what my own religion would be a lot lately. I've been playing around a lot with the idea of the god that didn't exist until all of us got on the internet and it was born from all our words and remains trapped there. No God until Suddenly there was A God. If ever there was a creation myth I would be willing to believe, it's probably that one. Score one for enchanted techno babble.
Or maybe really mine would be some sort of Zen Observer of Physical Existence thing. Like, these things are here! Now! How amazing is that? Why bother with why? Look at them move!
None of which has anything to do with the Fairgrounds at night. But it is a magical planet. Magic that comes from seeing how all these people make a living, and what people in the country care about, and watching creatures working and walking all around you with completely foreign purposes, closing up shop and pulling levers and putting chickens away.
Maybe what I should mention here is what a city girl I am. And what that means exactly is this: I am afraid of going over 50mph on roads that aren't interstate highways. I am afraid of living in a house where no one would hear me scream if someone walked across the fields and came in. I am nervous of the mouths of animals. I can't see well in the dark. I imagine horrible things watching me if it's too quiet. I am overly aware of the judgement of others, and yet disdainful of that opinion in a way that one gets when you are used to people you don't know being around you all the time at the bus stop. I don't like to walk barefoot in grass, because I am more afraid of thistles and bees than broken glass.
I don't understand people who never go out anywhere because they have kids and regular jobs. I don't understand churches, and why people put up with that kind of social prison. I would say rude things without understanding why they were rude. I care very little for the consequences that come from exposing yourself to others. None of this makes me a better person. I am just different.
But I do appreciate the possibility of solitude, and the husbandry of species you can only communicate with through touch. I understand the beauty of clean air, and wide open green spaces and the possession of self that brings with it. I like that almost no one at the fair had a life like mine, and I had no life like theirs, and we orbited around each other in uncaring accepting hedonistic purpose. I wish I could have read all their thoughts as they looked at our group of hip pretty little kids, and I would let them have access to mine if they wanted, because mostly I looked at each couple walking by and wanted to just latch onto them and follow them home and see what that was like.
Mostly I just wanted to curl up with the all the different crazy impossible machines and glow with them. And I want to go drink at the reservoir with the girls in jean shorts and the boys in cut off plaid shirts, and see what they know that I don't. Because everything is interesting the first time.