In the left corner of a porch is a blue folding chair in which I sit, on the other side the wet newspapers on the floor cover the mud. There is a half opened bin bag with the remains of food, used wet-wipes and other unidentified items. Between my legs I hold a fully blown double airbed of which I try to find the valve. In the partition of the inner tent is another double airbed, a fluffy sleeping bag and a pillow with a bright white pillow case. I am glad to sit down for a bit.
The tent flaps heavily in the wind, the rear end has fallen down and crushed the partitions of the inner tent. This noise and image is familiar by now. Despite the perished state of being, I feel comfortable in this tent. It shelters me from the on-going raging of the wind outside and the image of hundredths of tents collapsing under the pressure of the west wind. My tired back is glad that I sit down for a moment, though I know that my knees will complain once I get back up.
Somewhere out there in the wasteland of tents are my team mates. I can’t see them, because in this absurd landscape you are alone, even if you are with a group. I am tired, the wind numbs my senses and my sense of reality. I am in the middle of a surreal trip in which tents take on forms you can’t get your head around, or they just take off into the sky. I want to do something to prevent further damage, it such a waste, but where to start? If I hold on to one tent, I can hear the poles of the next one snap. It is a lost game. We keep on fighting though. Later when the field is cleared a warm meal comes after, maybe a hot shower. And then into my own tent after a drink with my buddy’s.
I fold the now empty airbed and reach for the other in the inner tent. As soon as I take it out the whole tent collapses completely. With the airbed under my arm, the sleeping bag and pillow in my hand I crawl out of the tent. With my foot I manage to take out the folding chair as well. The wind slaps into my face. I smile and happily continue my search for airbeds and sleeping bags. For ten days I haven’t had a roof above my head other then canvas, haven’t slept in a bed, haven’t seen a laptop to work on. I reside, work and live in a mini-world within the ‘real’ world – World of Music Art and Dance (WOMAD). It is raw, sharp, tiresome and dirty. It is friendly, fulfilling, loving and warm. I never want to leave this place.