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So i’ve spent quite a lot of time on what follows, and even now it still doesn’t feel finished/right, but i’m gonna post it now anyway cos goodness knows it won’t make the slightest bit of sense to anyone who isn’t me in any case.

So why do i want to publish it, if it’ll be largely incomprehensible anyway, and why have i struggled so much to try to get it ‘right’*? I think because the experience of being at Greenbelt was important and profound and great fun and redemptive and joyful and free and i really, really needed that, and i really, really wanted to remember it, reminisce about it in a way that conveys that. To you, dear reader, of course, if possible. But mostly to myself.

Greenbelt this year made me feel accepted, connected, alive, excited and enthusiastic in a way that i don’t feel right now. I’m hoping by writing and re-reading this i’ll keep some of the grace and generosity and delight and subversive bloody-mindedness of the Greenbelt experience alive in me. I’m hoping that the presence of these things will help me to: a) continue to survive emotionally and spiritually, and b) continue to try and be a blessing to the people around me. I also hope it makes you laugh, and makes you curious about Greenbelt. Which is an experience not to be missed. See you there next year?

Here Goes:

In Heaven, it will be Yellow all the time… Wetting ourselves at the girls’ in-car dancing… Being informed by text message that you’re not smiling enough… 1 in 3 songs on Rob’s i-pod are cheerful**… Are you at Greenbelt and am I in fact sat right behind you?… I wrote a list of all the words I knew beginning with R… This song is all about self pity, which is the basis of much great art… Excellent use of the F-word in worship… Steve Chalke says don’t touch what you don’t have? Well we’ve all got nipples, Steve!… Staying in bed is a fire hazard – five people have already been forcibly removed from their tents, and will be paraded on the main stage in half an hour… The dawning realisation that, actually, everyone here is on the same side… They’ve run out of redemption***… I will be giving a sermon… Beer and lager, beer and lager, beer and lager til the break of day… The best Falafel in the WORLD… Legolas has a tambourine!… Where’s the Joy? I’m not feeling the Joooy-uh… Peeing on your own tent is a bit like shooting yourself in the foot… let them in m’lord, let them in, Oh Lord, beer and Hymns… The whole crowd goes mental for the casualty theme tune… Its not very ladylike, is it?… Maybe it doesn’t have to be Joy all the time; maybe it can be hope sometimes… The universe is stranger than you think… Bishop on a fag break… You’ve let me down, you’ve let your mother down, but most of all, you’ve let yourself down… But for you who fear my name… Sleep on the Left side keep your Sword Hand free… Late night banter and Greek Mythology… Redcar is the sunniest place in England… Genuine fellowship and refreshment… I’m feeling the Joy.

* Whatever that means
**For a given value of cheerful
***Which was annoying, because it was damn tasty

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