Monday evening saw the big closing party at the Faire, and Tuesday morning I had to go to work after a long weekend spent between two worlds, the tangible and the virtual one… well, maybe the balance was tilted a wee bit more towards the Fairelands, but only a wee lil bit. A teeny-weeny wee lil bit, you know.
I caught a very early train and, being the polite commuter that I am, I promptly reached for my lovely new pink hat with the froggies to take it off, and for a brief second it crossed my mind that I should also curl up my fluorescent pink Burbaglur antennae, as the light might disturb my fellow passengers. (Pssst… if you don’t know what, better to say who a Burbaglur is, ask Kilik Lekvoda. He will be happy to help…)
Then I almost slapped my forehead in realisation. Damn. I was traveling on a RL train, and the only body parts I could curl or fold or bend were my RL limbs… and the funny pink hat with the froggies was left behind in another realm.
Yes, Dear Reader, this year I could spend more time in the Fairelands than ever before, thanks to some well-placed RL holidays… and boy, did I live life to the fullest. I talked a lot. A lot, I say… I met creators I had previously known only by name, who turned out to be nice, smart and funny people. I rode the Candy Bus together with a black unicorn, the driver’s seat occupied by a penguin. I modelled at a Mermaid group picture shoot.
I went to a jail-and-bail where I ended up in the cage with the tag “Jailbird” above my head, and I shared my prison with some tiny cats and a bathtub full of bottled beer. I received so many wonderful gifts, and I also handed out some. I saw breathtaking dance and theatrical performances. I chatted, I laughed (a lot!), I shot pictures, I was standing around in the Fairelands in absolute awe of the genius that made them emerge from the mists.
It is a weird coincidence (but do coincidences exist at all?) that the scheduled topic to discuss with my med students in class during Fantasy Faire Week is one of the toughest and most difficult… end-of-life issues. How to communicate with terminally ill patients, how to face and manage the hardest kind of loss, the loss of a human life.
I always bring many, many stories with me from the Fairelands… life stories told between a Deera stampede and a Gangnam-dancing flashmob, burdened with suffering and pain, both physical and psychological, memories from hospital visits, the gut-wrenching fear before the result of a biopsy is revealed… and I also tell my students how you relay, Faire Folk, how you are able to find immense pleasure in what you do, how you appreciate the moments of shadow-free mirth. I have been enjoying the Faire differently, too, ever since I got the diagnosis of “The Big C”… because serene moments are dear and precious for us, Reader, and our laughter rings with this deep understanding.
… by the way, I know a small milliner shop in town. Maybe, if I bring a nice picture, they can make me a pink hat with froggies perching on the brim… just like the one I wear when I’m a cute pink Burbaglur in Second Life.