In a Nutshell

Went to Ann Arbor this weekend for two

-and-CMV shows. Honestly, I was so exhausted and run down I was kind of dreading it–being “on” for two days doesn’t often improve an already taciturn and hermit-crabbing Cat.

But it turned out to be rather quietly extraordinary.

The shows went of beautifully–the first at a cohousing community (cohousing being a thing I secretly want but am not sure I’ll ever have the means or courage to try) and quite full of people, with a brilliant fire show afterwards. The second was at

and

‘s charming abode, which ran long and was raucous and lovely and informally fun.

And at that latter event I got to meet Diane Wakoski. Some of you know what that means to me. Some of you don’t. This goes well beyond fan territory and into “book that saved my life” territory, and I got to meet her and hug her. We’ve been corresponding for almost five years now, but have never met. I managed not to tear up until after she left, but it was amazing to finally get to see her face to face. She gave me a huge bag of her books, and I gave her the tiny pile of mine.

Now, because of Diane, I had always wanted to visit Michigan–she writes about it so beautifully. And I have to say I really like it there. I think I might like to live up in the northern wilds of the US for awhile, someday. But all of this is not really what I’m talking about when I say extraordinary–except for Diane, who is always a rose, as the big RF would say.

Sometimes you land in a group of people and it’s like you’ve always been there. This was like that. I’ve had this happen a disconcerting amount of times in the last year and a half, and I’m so lucky. It was like that with

and

and their circle in Cleveland, it was like that with

and

and the crowd at Lunacon, it was like that with

and

and Leah. But I’m still surprised when it happens. People I didn’t even know a few weeks ago and it was like old friends–helped by the boys booty-shaking around the kitchen in sarongs singing Prince songs and cooking breakfast, I’m sure. An image one doesn’t loose quickly.

But it was so comfortable–everyone lounged about, casually affectionate and talking about every damn thing under the sun.

wrote a song and we ate fabulous organic food and it was just…good. Solid. Family. No weirdness at all, or jockeying for attention, or any of the oddness that sometimes occurs when the geekfolk gather. It was just gentle and warm. It reminded me of nothing so much as a house full of happy lions reclining in their caves.

I guess I’ve been looking for some sense of tribe since I was a teenager, since the one I had then fell apart. And now I seem to have one, or be part of one, and that is quietly, truly extraordinary.

This is a rambling entry to say I had a great weekend, but I find myself needing to cling to the subtly miraculous in my life right now.

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