It's been a week since I returned from my annual visit to Summersong music camp. As usual, that week has really refuelled and refreshed my creative drive. Living in a creative community for a week with nothing to do but soak up music, laughter, ideas and the company of kindred spirits is a fantastic opportunity that I cherish. Re-entry to the world can be an odd ride. I stayed in Lennox Head on the night camp finished and wrote this while I was waiting for my meal to arrive.
The shock of re-entry into the world hits me. I knew that after a whole week of being nurtured in a loving bubble of creativity there would be a jolt at this moment. Having experienced it so often before I know that ordinary activities like talking to strangers, making menu choices and counting money will be harder than usual. It took me an age to choose a drink; then to decide on food to accompany it. I read the menu thoroughly, forensically and eventually decided. It has been more than a week since my brain had to read and process another person's written words without a musical accompaniment. Apart from lyrics to songs I'm singing, the only words I've read this week have been words I've written - they week have been mine. Even when receiving a friend's new work, I hear it, rather than read it. I wonder at this gift.
At a nearby table a family sits - standard model: mum, dad, girl, boy. The boy looks to be about six years old and sleeps in his chair; legs dangle, relaxed, hands lie limply by his side. On the table before him sits a black rubber spider the size of his forearm. His sister is more animated but it is the boy, sweet in sleep, who draws my attention. He wears the ensemble of a small boy these days: blue checked shorts, cream and white striped t-shirt. His thongs lie discarded under the table.
A ham and pineapple pizza is delivered for him and still he sleeps. The pizza is removed from the table and returned in a box when the boy fails to stir. The black rubber spider guards the contents as it sits upon the box.
It is the very old and the very young who are allowed to sleep in public. The vulnerability of this simple act is humbling. I recall the man I saw in a shopping centre in Tamworth before camp. He was literally asleep on his feet. My father commented that he looked like a horse. I am tired and would love to join this sweet sleeping boy (easily could) but I fear I'd be charged with vagrancy, looked upon as weird. Or robbed.
Do you sleep in public?