Friday, July 13, 2007

Camping and Music and Jesus, oh my!

So, a little more about this whole 3 days thing, this time about what da boyz were up to....

Rob and the boys spent 3 days at the
Cornerstone Festival where they camped and listened to bands with Uncle Terry and cousins Abbey and Trevor, and as you already know I didn't want to go so I opted to stay back. (And got 3 days ALONE - ok, still excited.)

There are a couple of things that make this trek interesting and a bit out-of-character for us. Cornerstone is a Christian rock festival and no alcohol and drugs are allowed. The drug-free environment helped us decide it'd be a good place for the kids to get their first concert experience. They've gotten more and more into music in the past few years, but knowing how obnoxious concert goers are, and knowing full well what goes on before and during most gigs, we were less than eager to introduce them to the experience. (In fact, I refuse to attend Jimmy Buffet concerts anymore for the sole reason that the entire outdoor venue becomes a giant urinal about halfway into the festivities, and these days I am neither tolerant nor intoxicated enough to be ok with that!) However, the reeeeally interesting thing about attending Cornerstone for us, then, is we're not Christians. There, I've said it. It's out.

What are we? We dunno exactly. We eschew labels and refuse to be placed in small boxes.

Ok, not really.

Unitarian Universalists by membership, if not active participation at the moment. And UUism is the perfect place for a spiritual mutt like myself. The seven principles of UUism speak well to my love for honoring the spiritual search and unique path of each individual, and as with most things in life, I don't believe there is one-true-way.

I'm not anti-Christian - perish the thought! So before you go wondering if you should X us off the ol' holiday list, remember I was raised Catholic and still feel a definite fondness for those roots and our little country church that's just around the bend. But I am inspired by all sorts of people and all the world's religions and I just can't seem to confine myself to only one religion's definition of faith or spirituality. Even UUism, as it gives me the blessing to be on my own spiritual path, somehow doesn't capture it for me - it isn't the 'end all, be all' for me.

I told Rob that if there was a sunrise prayer session or something appealing like that at Cornerstone, they should consider attending. There are parts of Christianity that I firmly reject, but there are parts where I find beauty and peace as well. I would not forbid my children from trying it on for themselves any more than I would require them to don the same spiritual cloak I wear. They did have a prayer moment with a friend, and they enjoyed the experience and the new people.

They were surprised to see the variety of self-expression in the way of piercings and tattoos and unique clothing choices, and this bodes well for the broad spectrum of Christian interpretation, me thinks. These days the definitions of Christianity seem to get more and more narrow, more and more paralyzing, especially what with the pope fussing over
driving rules and whatnot. And I wonder where the religious middle-ground folks are, the ones I knew growing up, who went to church but didn't get all up in my stuff about it.

Our experience has been that we know too many amazing people of various faiths to decide there is one-right-way for all of us. I learn as much from my atheist friends as from my Buddhist friends, my Christian friends as from my humanist friends. And I always love that what I may even learn is what I don't want as much as what I do, what doesn't speak to me as much as what does. Whenever I engage in conversation with someone with radically different beliefs, I either come away with something new to ponder or more content in my chosen path. It's a win-win.

So Rob and the boys enjoyed a lovely weekend with 25,000 Christians, all there to connect, pray, bond, listen to good music, love and be loved. The time spent with Rob's brother and his children was indeed the greatest gift of all, and the spirit of the gathering lifted them up. They came home bubbling with stories about screaming rock stars, Jesus tattoos, gluten-free multi-grain pancakes made on the campfire by 4 kids and a chatty chef, and sleeping on a slope.

Life is good, no matter your flavor, eh?

~Namaste and Amen for good measure~


Stephanie said...

Um... Which one of these fine tats did you say you are getting?

Laura said...

LOL - not a tat grrl, m'self. But those are quite the works of art, are they not?