As the title of this post indicates, I feel I am at a cross roads in life.  Or very likely I have just passed one, given the changes both internal and external that are continuing to unfold.

This past weekend was the Vancouver Island Music Festival. My third. It was a bittersweet affair.

Let's talk about the bitter. Some good friends of mine, one of whom was employed by the festival and had been working with it for 12 plus years, are no longer there. The friend who worked there, to me, WAS the festival.  Her not being there is like the heart is missing.  It almost felt like that over the weekend.  The limbs still move, the body still goes through the motions, but it is no longer sentient. I wasn't actually going to do anything this year as I had some awkward minor surgery last Thursday and didn't know how I would be feeling. So, no shifts, no role, but I still had a pass.  In the lead up to the festival, it had become apparent that a large contingent of the volunteer stage crew did not really know what they were doing. So, in a decision based on my love of this community, I ended up getting involved.  This was a very tough decision, and I still have some difficulty with it, as I know a very good friend is hurting right now...I ended up being the back-stage trouble shooter. I advised stage managers, moved gear, solved problems and generally kept a low profile while remaining useful.  Agonizingly satisfying work given the circumstances.

The sweet.  The Shuffle Demons played.  This is a group I was a huge fan of back in the 90's when I was playing sax actively while at Military College.  Any sax player should be a fan - the band consists of three saxophone players, a bass and  drums.  Here's some of their stuff...

The best show I think I saw all weekend, in fact maybe the best I have ever seen at a festival, was a mash-up of the Shuffle Demons, Tricot Machine and Mel and the Wild Cellist.  I was near tears at the incredible collaboration they managed.

Tricot Machine are a group from Quebec.  It was so wonderful to spend some time with a group of Quebecers.  I realized that I miss that in my life.  I miss the banter, the accent, the language and the culture. When I lived there, I didn't realize how lucky I was.  I do now.

Finally - Matt Anderson (who randomly has a doppelganger in the Comox Valley...). This guy - a solo act who went on stage with only himself and his guitar, got the entire concert bowl singing along - in a two part accompaniment - and then pulled in a completely spontaneous standing ovation! It was incredible! Just writing about it gives me goose pumps and teary eyes...

And the cherry on top? My company for the weekend.  Its official Citizenclass followers, I am in love!  I have found someone, who was right in front of me for quite a while...

My love has introduced me to a remarkable traditional Chinese therapy called Jin Shin Do.  If you haven't tried it, and are a human, I would highly recommend it.  The basic ideas is that stress, fear and un-released emotion block the natural flow of energy in our bodies.  Jin Shin Do uses acupressure to release those blockages.  It is incredibly powerful and liberating and healing.

The other manifestation of this cross roads is some major simplifying that I am enacting.  Already published on this blog is the fact that the Man Cave is for sale.  I am also selling a bike, and will be doing everything I can to reduce my financial obligations.  This is all in the name of freedom and being able to take some time off work.

Some initial simplification in my life is that I have pretty much nothing planned for the rest of the summer.  One festival in Victoria in July, a week trip to Nelson to see the family and that is it.  Time to go to the beach, do some camping and maybe even ride bikes!

Now, I do pay attention to what people read on here, so there are some more gear reviews on the way.  There will also be a lot more music...so be prepared for some content changes!