Several members and friends of Transition Ypsilanti attended the Re-Skilling portion of the Great Lakes Folk Festival on August 13, 2011 in East Lansing. We presented the metaphysical and deep cultural content of “Laundry 101,” “Darning Socks,” and “Thrift Shop Treasure Hunt!”
How do simple tasks like hanging up laundry and darning socks and buying used relate to Global Warming and Peak Oil? Basically, a simpler life, a more local life, a less consumerist life can be a deeper life, a more grateful life, a more interconnected life, a more spiritual life.
It was interesting to note the ambiance of Transition in the Re-Skilling area of the Festival (which was new this year). There were large chalkboard signs with principles and explanations of re-localization, climate change, energy depletion, etc., scattered all around the Re-Skilling area. Other topics included making rugs, brooms, and spoons; canning food; rehabbing old windows; finding herbs; making cheese; keeping bees, chickens and sheep; and much more. All the vendors also had a Transition feel, from homemade instruments, through water catchment systems and rain barrels, through home-based funerals and handmade pine coffins.
Our sessions were well-attended — quite a fifty-ish crowd, though. My guess is that folk music spoke to the baby boomers in a way that it does not speak to youth. Perhaps the next task is to organize a similar Re-Skilling & Green Vendor area at a festival like Michigan Roots Jamboree… Hmmmm….