Yesterday was CAYA’s annual clergy-and-family-only talent show, Fool’s Follies. It’s one of a few seasonal events a year where we kick back and play together, for the sheer joy of nurturing the family bonds of faith community. Follies occurs near April 1 to honor the archetypal Fool, who steps out into something a little risky and trusting that the journey will lead somewhere worthwhile, who is wiser than ze first appears. And for us… we stand up in front of each other to share our gift and talents.
That’s right: it’s a sacred talent show.
Over the years I’ve seen poetry slams and dramatic monologues, dances—and oh, the music. Heavenly four-part harmonies. Casual singer-guitar numbers. Opera arias to make you weep. Harmoniums and punk rock, proper piano and ribald ballads. I bring out my violin from time to time and show off some Irish fiddling or classical Romantic solos. And afterwards we hang out and eat, and laugh, and catch up. It feels pretty awesome to cheer each other on, amateurs and could-be-pros alike, and then spend chill time with friends.
This is the CAYA community: we honor our deities, spirits, and ancestors in rituals offered in service to intersecting circles of our cities and neighborhoods, and in between we pray for each other’s life challenges, we go to concerts and on hikes together, we accompany each other to the hospital, we gather in smaller groups to worship particular entities in the ways most appropriate for them. And sometimes, we just jam.
Hail, blessed Fool! I hope that wherever you are reading this, you have community as well. And if you’re in the Bay Area, come on by, just as you are. We’ll be glad to see you.