Somewhere along the winding dusty road, I came to believe that change is good. Change is good for the simple reason that it can’t be otherwise, or it wouldn’t happen.
Choosing to believe in a friendly universe seems nearly impossible at times; oh, how we suffer! How we hold tight to our suffering, our persecution, believing it makes us so righteous! I have treasured mine, wrapped it up safely with golden bows and security guards. I have glorified the martyr-making tales of woe residing in my mind.
But then the fireflies come out, a thousand of them at once. The wildflowers bend in the blue-sky breeze. The white caps roll and tease and polka-dot the lake. The starry edge of the universe wraps itself around all that I know like a glitter headband keeping the wild hair from my eyes so that I may see and dance and sing to the skies.
Such is the power of fragile beauty. Such is the feminine, and the need to make magic and wonder where there wasn’t before. Such is the gift that billions of us, both women and men, deny to ourselves every day.
Here in this little pocket of this great big world, here at The Angle, I can create and give and make magic nearly to my heart’s content. There are, of course, and likely always will be, a small few in the community who would rather not deal with whatever change comes about as a result of my creating, my merry meddling with what wasn’t broken.
But balance beckons.
For far too long, the freedoms have belonged only to the masculine, especially here in this rough outpost, this land of fishing-camps and the hunters’ melee. I did try the masculine route both in the big city with a big job and a big car and for a short time here at The Angle in how I bullied my way into community conversations. But it didn’t work. It started killing me from the throat chakra down.
This place, this Angle, rises me from the dead at the same time as it kills off the useless bits. It’s renewing my voice, rebirthing my creative forces, reinvigorating my soul. Here, when I am in my own, in my joy, a subtle feminine leadership emerges with little to no effort.
I’ve found my location muse, and I can’t be still and silent here. I can’t hold in what needs to come out.
And so, five years ago, I made Angle Days. And each year I make it again (with a little more help every go-round, thank goodness).
It is this bright and shiny spot on the calendar of the summer season. Pieces of it are legacy Blueberry Festival. Pieces are tried and true favorites from the last five years, and other pieces are new and different each summer because variety is the spice of a good life well-lived.
And because I like change.
Resorts are now all fully booked for the weekend on which it falls. Signs and art go up all over The Angle. People step back from their busy lives for a few simple moments and mingle to tunes and tastes of summer. Kids have a blast. The weather is what it is, and we always seem completely satisfied with how it all turns out.
It is this wonderful little event that actually feels quite big when hundreds of details still need wrangling, when hundreds of people stand in an environment we created, when hundreds and hundreds of dollars come in, all in anticipation that there will be a next year and a next.
It is a proper noun Thing now, with name recognition and event insurance, planning meetings and budget setting. People expect it and ask after it. People volunteer and donate. When something goes wrong, it still goes right because…well…this is The Angle. Most of the time we don’t have expectations beyond reality, and frankly, that’s exactly as it should be.
My inner artist has been nourished through Angle Days in so many ways. I get to paint signs, build dance floors, make music and art and food and the best lavender or strawberry rhubarb lemonade you’ve ever tasted, do tons of computer work, social media, writing, admin tasks, picture-taking, event planning, practice delegating, envisioning new and bigger and better, and organizing the unending minutia. I get to create, create, create.
A man, a partner, found his way to me who co-creates right beside me, who has gathered permission from my flow to release his and find his own inner talent. He thought he was just a fishing guide but he’s a damn fine artist, and I find myself following his lead willingly in a lot of our co-creating now.
Someday I’ll look back and say, “I did that.” We did that. A community did that. Someday I’ll hand it off to someone new to rebirth it and make all the creative changes that burn in their artist’s heart. Angle Days is my baby and I’ve gotten attached to it, but we don’t raise babies to be ours; we raise them to be their own, to be free and powerful and an altogether new creative force. It is the ultimate task of motherhood.
Someone recently offered to take over the running of Angle Days, but after a long hesitation, I declined. For now, I will continue to create and bring people together through the vehicle that is Angle Days because I simply can’t not. I will do it until life calls and it’s time to do something else, until it’s time to make change once again.
Change is a creative force that I wish people weren’t so afraid of, me included. Even if we think we suffer because of it, change is good, is constant, is constantly good.
This winding, dusty road has taught me that much, at least.
[Angle Days is “the top of the nation’s summer celebration” and is held the first full weekend in August at the NW Angle. Visit Facebook.com/MinnesotaAngleDays for more info.]