The Hollyhock Summer Gathering Remix: Prologue

It’s interesting how much information can shift your paradigm.hhsg_balance_rocks

The 2009 Hollyhock Annual Gathering (HHSG) on Cortes Island (British Columbia, Canada) ended last Sunday. Though most of my new and old friends from the gathering have departed, I am on this island for another 11 days… and a lot has happened since I arrived on Cortes Island two weeks ago.

full_moonTonight’s full moon is reflecting off the bay outside my window. The pack of wolves on the island just howled, and to my left is a group of friends squealing in excitement. I have no doubt they are in the ocean, swimming in bioluminescence (which looks like electric fairy dust when you splash in the water).

Seems like a good time to begin the HHSG recap.

What is the Hollyhock Summer Gathering?

A collective experience at the Hollyhock Retreat Center on Cortes Island between 100+ attendees from all geographies, professions and expertise — all who are as brilliant, unique and inspiring as my humble brain can imagine. The experience was part conference, part mind-melting paradigm shift, part divine intervention, and part jam session.

hhsg_littlewoo_mark1Ever go to an event where every person you meet, each conversation is a colorful vortex full of thoughtful charisma and valuable information? It’s a group such as that, with a common goal: work to make this planet, society and culture a… living utopia.

Utopia? Hell no! We weren’t bullshitting ourselves, please… we are far from Utopia*.

We were there to (1) share our ideas, gifts, projects and vision, (2) gain perspective from others’ experience, abilities and expertise, (3) strategize with our resources on how to get a more holistic and equitable world that looks towards creativity, thoughtfulness and integrity for solutions needed on local, regional, national and global scales — in numerous sectors.

And of course, we were also there to see old friends and make new ones, eat fresh oysters and swim in the ocean of bioluminscense. It was so very juicy.

mjc_group_hhsg1But here’s the thing. The truth is, we just had our brains scrambled and injected with incredible knowledge and dare I say, wisdom. It was deep. Very raw, very real. There were laughs, tears, screams and song. There were lots of professional collaborations and partnerships created, and lots of vision on the table.

And information. (!) Lots of information on climate change, political issues, scientific evidence and theory, economics and finance, spirituality, right relationship, First Nations perspective, creativity’s role in radical change as well as natural progress… I really could go on and on.

hhsg_rock_work_cjlily[If you want to see some of the attendees and their specific topics, best thing to do is read Kris Krug and Danielle Sipple’s blog about the event, and then come back to this write-up. Because why repeat what Kris and Danielle already said? And to boot, they are splendid, and you should know them in all of their digital rock-star-ness.]

I suspect some of my friends from the gathering may be having a challenging (or possibly amusing) time reintegrating into their daily lives and realities because of the vast well of information we received.

The challenging task now is the responsibility of sharing that information with our communities.

climate-change-animationSo here’s the plan. I’ll do my part. I’ll write about some of this… but since I can’t write about everything I learned and realized in this singular blog, we’ll do this in chunks. Chunk at a time, topic at a time… and I’ll commit to this the best I can. All you have to do is stay tuned if you are interested.

So, to be continued…

On a musical note, thank you to Rick Ingrasci, Torkin Wakefield and the HHSG community for so much space for my performances. And thank you to ALL the musicians and talent that showed up this year! Those jam sessions rocked the casbah!

cm_rachel_hhsg1

And to my newfound supporters of my music, CD and creative endeavors — you have my heart. Your support and encouragement mean more than you know! Thank you.

Props to Joe Menth for the enrapturing photography – we are all so grateful!

And to all of the HHSG’ers out there: Reintegration is a bitch, isn’t it?

hhsg_lily_tape

*This is not a declaration that Utopian goals and values are not important, useful or possible; I know better than to test the laws of nature, science and our underutilized brains.
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