Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Self-Portrait in Van

It was September and I was in a park in the middle of somewhere camping out of my car. In a place that is really something special on that second weekend. LaMoure County Memorial Park, Grand Rapids, North Dakota.
This is the view of the side door of my 1996 Dodge Caravan. At time of driving, it had a transmission leak, a brake fluid leak, and didn't always start. It shimmied at certain speeds, but hey, I had to get to WomanSong, so I left a couple days early just in case. Didn't need it, the thing drove fine, so I had time to hang out, relax, chill, livin' the good life outta the side of my van!
I will decode for you some of the items in the photo:
The RV out the other side window: I found out my 'alarm clock' for the day I taught a workshop first session in the morning wasn't going to be in camp after all and had gone back to town, so I knocked on these peoples' window and asked, never having met them, "What time are you getting up in the morning?" After some explaining and some if-then-well-thening, we decided I would borrow their alarm clock, get up and shower, and that would be about the time they needed to get up, so I would return their alarm clock at that point, thereby being their 'alarm clock'. WomanSong is like that. We take care of each other!
Inside the van, there are damp beach towels across the seat from prior showers, and bags of clothing for various parts of this trip. Traveling clothes, cool funky special WomanSong clothes, extra stuff for if it gets cold, visiting my mom and sister later clothes. Yeah, it is full over there on that other side of the seat.
The back of the van is just as full, with all the stuff for the three classes I am teaching and stuff for if I visit my friend Ken and we need to make photo notecards for the gallery and other art supplies for if I get the hankering to do a sketch or make some earrings for someone.
This side here is the pantry, and you can see the cooler were the magical Mountain Dews keep cold and the brown paper bag of food I bought in town and a red box of crackers and a green reusable market bag of food I brought from home and that loaf of good crusty bread from Whole Foods.
The backpack basket is what goes with me down the road to the park where WomanSong is held. It carries the WomanSong schedule of events, a water bottle, my spare Dews, maybe a snack, my camera, my notebook for writing down ideas and phone numbers and email addresses of people I meet, and my wallet and oh, maybe some lip balm and bug spray and a handkerchief or two. It brings back the CDs I buy from the musicians and any art I buy from the artists.
The hat is part of my 'uniform'. It shades me from the sun and covers up my bad hair on the days I don't feel like fighting the shower line and well, you just gotta wear a hat to WomanSong!
Don't you think YOU should come to WomanSong in 2009?

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