Guardianship, support, concern, space, attention, minding, tending, trip-sitting, nursing. Care takes many, many forms. Quantum care. How we understand and practice care at collective spaces, at house parties or festivals is a constant process of finetuning and feedback. Care starts with a recognition of its importance. Then it is a matter of figuring out the forms of care that nourish you and those around you. Life-affirming, shame-free care practices that fuel mojo.
Modelling a different form of care, and looking out for each other, is crucial in a festival environment, because we get the opportunity to show just how differently things could also be done in default world. If festivals are to be seen as temporary autonomous zones of civilisational possibilities, then cultivating a richer culture of care is imperative. Care culture alongside psychedelic culture, communitarian culture, dance culture, eco culture.
The Caretakers are a new team on the Waking Life scene – look for their rainbow parasols and healium balloons. They are the purveyors and spreaders of care awareness. Their vibe is to be mimicked, spread like wind-exploded seeds of a dandelion. Everyone and anyone can replicate the many simple forms of daily care. The Caretakers are there to remind you to slow down, to check yo’self before you wreck yo’self, to hydrate, to collect orphaned ciggie butts, to remember to be in the moment. But they are also a direct lifeline to sharing about instances of bullying or harassment (consciously or unconsciously inflicted), which should not be weathered in solitude. While festivals are spaces to explore and navigate personal boundaries, new contexts and altered states, ensuring respectful, consent-based co-navigation is essential.
Come to Grandma
Since 2001, Portugal has been a frontrunner in drug decriminalisation. An important part of the cognitive liberation movement is the freedom to alter your consciousness with psychotropic substances. Avózinha (‘little grandma’ in Portuguese) is the psycare space of Waking Life, a place for grounding, serenity and tenderness, a place to seek refuge during a challenging altered state, i.e. a grandma vibe setting. The Avózinha crew prepare for spiritual emergencies and other situations via scenario based training. Likely tripping scenarios gives the psycarers space to think on their feet collectively. It’s an ongoing tango with Murphy’s Law, preparing to manage all the possible eventualities that may arise. Avózinha is also a space for risk reduction. Differing from harm reduction, risk reduction does not assume harm, instead it focuses on being conscious of the risks and having some plan Bs. Avózinha has also drawn a page from Kosmicare, the psycare pioneers, be warm, prepared and open-minded, do research, use evidence then improve the warm, prepared, open-minded care.
Consent, Comfort, Connection
Finding ways to explore, discuss and exchange experiences around what feels good and what doesn’t is one of the things we do at Apuro. After a couple of years of distancing, we wanted to center our summer inquiry around care. Each day, has a dedicated hour of feeling into different forms of care – The Caretakers Tea Party. Deep sharing is suggested, iced tea, mandatory. Taking care of land, nurturing soil, breathing techniques, psycare, embodied care are some of the themes under the apuroscope. But when night falls, Apuro sleeps and the nocturnal Impuro awakens. The erotics of care, of skin and touch, submission, domination, metamorphosis, and further forays into consensual and sensual, libidinal landscapes. Practices such as Souldrama, HeartMath, Jungian collage, new wave poop composting, will be served during the day, while remembering to slow down, be present and offer intentional attention.
Remember Ram Das vibes? ‘we are all walking each other home’.
Home is an overarching sense of care. Meanwhile we are a constantly migrating mammal, most recently treading across impossible distances via our minds and digitality. We are learning to build and rebuild our homes and like snails to carry our homes around within our passions and our chosen families.
Being taken care of fuels you to take care of others and yourself. Taking care of others and yourself allows you to more openly receive care.
The practice is constant. And cyclical. And self-replenishing. A Mary Poppins bag of care.
Take care to care take.
Care take to take care.