In Ranier, Washington, there lives a woman who makes beautiful and very fine pottery, and owns a piece of land that has, on and off, been a center for pagan community for years now. Off generally because of some life upheaval that prevented her from hosting much.
The land has a character to it that is unique to my experience. It is the only place I have ever been able to see fae, the tiny ones, for one thing. There's a reason the first Craft name I took meant "blind one". Seeing properly is not my bag. I can't scry, either, though every few years I try again.
But more, it... feels like home. Driving in feels like coming home to a place you've missed badly, no matter how long or short a time you've been away.
This weekend, there was a house concert there. I went. It was my first major social outing in the circles I used to move in in four years or so. When I owned a restaurant, most of the time people came to me. I didn't have time or energy to go to other people. My entire social life existed there, or nearly so. When it closed, I was too depressed to try to rebuild one.
Now I'm making new beginnings. And part of that is to rebuild my social life, to make new friends and reconnect with old ones.
So I drove down this weekend, and came home. I got to see Betsy Tinney (who played music about mouse skeletons dancing and a whale being saved from from a fishing net), Bekah Kelso, SJ Tucker (a friend, and always amazing to listen to), and, as a surprise, Nathaniel Johnstone and Dogwood. Johnstone's band made the album The Antikythera Mechanism, which blends Greek myth with steampunk, and with which I am mildly obsessed. I missed seeing him live at Many Gods West last year, due to being in the middle of ritual prep, and was sadly disappointed. And, of course, despite him being local, not going out and not having any money means I haven't gotten to see him since. I was thrilled.
And Dogwood! She's incredible! I have a new crush. Seriously, she's adorable offstage, but onstage... she has this incredible energy, moving constantly, singing with so much passion, whirling and mugging and... honestly, I want to say masking, although she wore no mask. She put on so many faces in the mini-set they did together that I can think of nothing else to call it.
Only like about three times as intense, and about five times as goofy when they did Snugglefish.
And just generally the whole thing has been amazing and wonderful and incredible. As I write, though I won't post this until Monday, I'm still here, early early in the morning on Sunday, having woken up and been unable to get back to sleep. Maybe now that I've gotten some of this experience down, I'll be able to sleep again.
The name of the place is Sidhehaven, and the owner is Sherry Kirk of Sidhefire Arts.
And here's the theme song, written by Tucker and Kelso, from the first Full Circle concert here, two years ago. It was so amazing they decided to do it again!