WordPress Daily Prompt – Conjure
The thing I most look forward to each year is not Christmas, birthdays, the football finals, or Mother’s Day; it’s the National Folk Festival (affectionately known as the Nash or the Folkie in our household). The Folkie is about to roll around again and so we are dusting off our tie- dye and beanies in anticipation of four perfect days. Every year is memorable but some are more memorable than others.
In 2015, I had a particularly difficult year. I had just retired from work due to ill health and was still adjusting to some recent lifestyle changes. You know, the usual kind of thing – trying to get fit, trying to lose weight, trying to practise some healthy lifestyle routines. This generally involved giving up chocolate and replacing it with meals I had actually cooked myself, quite a feat for me. So I was on a special (low-carb) diet, combined with some fasting, otherwise known as the low-food-just-have-coffee-instead diet. It was working okay for me. I mostly didn’t eat until lunchtime. I usually achieved this by sleeping-in, the dogs being late-risers. But since the Folkie was on, I had to get up. There was a band, Baka Beyond, playing mid-morning that I particularly wanted to see.
As it was the first day of the Folkie, I hadn’t quite got into the swing of packing my snacks; the Folkie tends to be a bit carbie. We arrived with only sufficient time to fortify ourselves with an espresso before heading into the concert venue. Baka Beyond are an Afro-Celtic dance band. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, there is such a thing! After a trip to the Cameroon to visit the Baka Forest people, folk musicians, Martin Cradick and Su Hart, were inspired to bring the Baka tribal music back to the world. The music is infectious, lively, and joyful, while the rhythm of the drums conjures the spirits of the forest.
10am on the first day of the Festival is a hard gig. The audience can be rather restrained. While more young people are attending the Folkie, I think it is fair to say that older people comprised the bulk of the audience that morning. No one was brave enough to be the first to dance. I was filled with doubt and yearning. To dance or not dance, that was the question.
“Keeping still is only an option for the dead, or those too mesmerised by the sheer joy of it all” Metro Review of Baka Beyond
I know doctors like to impress on their patients the importance of a healthy lifestyle. “You are going to die of a heart attack if you don’t look after yourself,” is the frequent refrain. This is most often ignored by the non-compliant patient. However, my doctor upped the ante, telling me that I would mostly likely be dead in two years if I didn’t make a few changes. This weighed heavily on my mind and was the deciding factor in the dance conundrum. At that precise moment in the Budawang concert venue, I conjured up my death – at least in my imagination. I felt both fatalistic and free. If I was going to die sometime in the next two years, then I would bloody dance. And I was soon joined by a number of other intrepid dancers. We danced frenetically to the beat of our drum.
But I forgot one thing. I have a tendency to vomit when I drink (coffee) on an empty stomach. Combining that with exercise only exacerbates the situation. So after 15 minutes of whooping, jumping and shaking my derrière, I started to feel decidedly nauseous. But, it was dance or die! So I stuck it out for a few more minutes. And then dancing as I left the floor, I proceeded to vomit into my jumper (that’s Aussie for sweater). While it didn’t turn out quite as I planned, I had the best time. It taught me that life is too short not to dance. As for my family, who witnessed the incident, they will forever remember the time their mum threw up in the Budawang. Mums can be so embarrassing.
If you should be happen to be attending the Nash this year (end March), and you would like to catch up for coffee and a boogie (not necessarily in that order), just drop me a line. It could be fun. I’ll bring a spare jumper just in case.
PS. I’m still here. Obviously. The chocolate is still a problem, but dancing helps.
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