The day is done, we have worked long and hard, diligently and efficiently.   I am surrounded by people that share our similar dream of craftsmanship and quality.  I reflect on where I am and what is my purpose.   We are humble craftsmen and to survive we work with purpose and resolve.

  I have recently left friends in the South West.  I spend three perhaps four months each year with my road warriors/gypsy friends.  We travel to art festivals in the U.S.  Though it is only six weeks at a time, we have done this for decades. During this time that we have shared life events, births and deaths of loved ones.   We share our trial and tribulations.  We change flat tires, we exchange philosophies, we endure together on the road.

   The time I spend locally at my home is in the production of our art/craft.  To be enroute, We have to locally produce.  So we work earnestly to ensure that we can have enough product  to show at festivals throughout the Western U.S. ,  We refer to this as “feeding the beast”.    We love what we do, yet it requires total dedication.   The “work ethic” is borne in our efforts and behavior.  If we want to remain local, we have to seek a broader and larger market, we can’t stop at the county line.  Hence, we travel to distant festivals throughout the U.S.

    We are not looking for pity, because we love what we do!  One week, we are with friends in the West, and another week we are with friends in the SouthWest.  We are content with the notion that we are transcient & we travel about.

   Our festival friends are fine artists, artisans, craftsmen and together we are nomadic retailers. They are no less precious than those that we care for locally. 

Yet all the while we continue to assess our relationships.  We have known some friends for ten years and others forty three years,  they all mean a great deal to us.

    Somehow many of my friends are older than myself and many of our customers are also.   This means I attend more funerals than many. It weighs on me, I have to pick and choose my funeral  priorities.  This is done with unease and regret.  I am grateful to have a large circle of friends and customers.

   My art festival friends allow me to “catch up” on the latest news with the understanding that we meet together at irregular times.  

The time we share allows us to reacquaint.  We fill in the highlights of our recent past, our joys, our sorrows.   We acknowledge births & deaths of loved ones with which we we have shared time and the road.  

Other fellow artists and artisans have grown old enough to retire, we acknowledge their time in our lives.   The time is fleeting, the time is nurturing, the time is kindred.  

We play music at festivals as part of the entertainment.  Sometimes its a good paying gig and other times we play music at night when the festival is done and we are encamped with our group of kindred.

We are all from disparate backgrounds.   My homeland is comprised of conservative Christians. 

On the road I travel with a broader realm of people including Russian Jews, Apaches, Navajo’s, Tohono O’odham, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, Budhists and Athiests.  

We all enjoy each others company with little regard to religious affiliation.  

Our survival depends on maintaining a somewhat cohesive group of travelers that can survive on the road, selling artwork, craftwork and artisanship to the patrons of the arts, wherever we might be.

  An alarming thought was bantered about one night over a music jam.  We meet more people in one weekend than most people meet in a year or two.  

We tried to do the math and came up with two or three million casual encounters over the course of two decades of this life style.

We meet and encounter warm loving people, desperate people, depraved, ill, angry, thieving, young and old.

They assess our curious lifestyle as we assess theirs.

We travel farther in three months than most people travel in a year.

We are grateful for friends that realize that we dance between two worlds.  

 Worlds locally and worlds beyond the county line, both are real and both are important to us and our survival.   

We say goodbye to one at the same time we say hello to another.  

In both worlds we continue to help walk each other home.

R.Dass .


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.