Not that there werenâ€™t multiple aspects of The Wild Goose Festival that made this a timely breath of fresh air. On the contrary, there was so much of that compressed into the 3 days (Thursday night through Sunday morning) that I have found myself â€œdetoxingâ€ (in a wonderfully good sense) over the past week since it ended 8 days ago. And I have had trouble finding the words when I have tried on a couple of occasions to sit down and write a post. The words just didnâ€™t come in a manner and quality which I expected from such a heavy dose of community, reflection, â€œinputâ€, conversation, and , in the midst of it all , some heavy concentrations of 90-degree bright sun. But even the bright , hot sun was â€œbalanced outâ€ by the soothing breezes that seemed to wash over us who gathered in the various â€œTalk Tentsâ€, and the clear, comfortable evenings in which we could â€œcool down".
I made it a little harder on myself in terms of fatigue by lugging around a bag and video camera, seeking moments and conversations to capture. I got several, which I have only just begun to upload. I have been re-watching and piecing together a â€œsummary/documentaryâ€ as well as et more some good content from some of the presenters which I hope can be a springboard for yet more interaction as we carry all this experience forth from those days. This is precisely where I place such hope in the future of our communityâ€™s use of technology to enable yet more conversation. To extend some of the â€œopportune timesâ€ that we experienced face to face, and carry it with us into online conversations. Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis, Shane Claiborne, Peter Rollins, Frank Shaeffer, Richard Rohr, and others all gave us plenty of meat.
I loved the setting and the â€œup closenessâ€ of the videos from a conversation at a campsite with Brian McLaren and David Wilcox done by Travis of â€œWork of the Peopleâ€ for Alter Video. I actually got the opportunity to have Travis tell me about his work, and will upload that in the next few hours (and update this reference when I do). I also stumbled upon a good conversation between Aiden Enns , editor of Geez magazine, and a friend of mine, Larry Burgeois. I have foraged around online on Geezâ€™s site and found some of Aidenâ€™s writing, and found a couple he wrote on Computers and cybercommunity, and hope to connect with Aiden again with some questions and observations of my own.
I also got some time with Anthony Smith, which was the first time I had â€œface to faceâ€ met Anthony after years of â€œmeetingâ€ in blog comment conversations. I also have a dark recording (not â€œdarkâ€ in terms of content but in terms of quantity of physical light (took place after dark in the â€œGeogisic Domeâ€, so the video is almost non-existent but the audio is good. That , too, is coming up soon.
Back to some thoughts about the Festival. It was a time where there was this almost palpable feeling that we had come together with a lot of focus on common resonance for a sense of â€œBiblicalâ€ that recognizes the theology of the communal and justice and global that is so often obscured by what passes for â€œreligiousâ€. Iâ€™m not saying that such obscurity renders one â€œnon-religiousâ€, but that it cheapens and stunts it. The sense of exploration, challenge, and dialogue that permeated the air of Wild Goose was sometimes tense in some conversations, but I was proud to be someplace and amongst such folks where these conversations were not considered dangerous or heretical. It makes me sad that there are still those who look with disdain and outright smug superiority on the ideas and people that were represented at Wild Goose. They will remain unnamed, and they came to my attention only because they felt it necessary to inject themselves into the Twitter stream by using the hashtags like #WildGooseFest and #wgf11. Such â€œtheological policingâ€ has always puzzled me, since it seems to represent almost all of their expended energies . And their judgmental stances on the acceptance of doubt, uncertainty, and nuance amongst us â€œProgressive/Emergent/Liberal/Revolutionary/Monasticsâ€ really offends my sense of how we relate to God as perpetually incomplete; always â€œworking out our salvation with fear and tremblingâ€. I was deeply appreciative and resonant with Peter Rollins for his talks with us along these lines. It reminded me of the sense of exuberance I felt about the â€œLay Renewalâ€ movement (â€œRelational theologyâ€) led by the likes of Keith Miller, Bruce Larson, Robert Raines, and the like in the mid to late 70â€™s and into the 80â€™s.
For me, my use of online tools and technology affords me the opportunity to keep priming the pump of our conversations, which we all can agree need to keep happening. We need to keep unpacking it in the places to where we have since dispersed from this grand time with the Wild Goose amongst us.