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Artswells, and the livin' is easy

As a new day slowly rises over Artswells, I wake up to the ticking of the rain on the car. It's the quiet time of night, when all the wine is gone and the fire is nothing but a trail of smoke. People find shelter under picnic tables, trees and inside damp greenhouses, cuddling up to stay warm. I hear guitars playing. Life is never really silent when you're surrounded by musicians.

In the tiny town of Wells artists meet for a yearly gathering of jamming, drinking, dancing and celebrating life. Having so many talents in one place is like swimming in a pool of chocolate with your mouth open: you want allllll of it! Overflowing with inspiration I frolick from the little church where French chansons are rolling from the tongue of sweet singer Madeline Tasquin. My kind of praying! In the Sunset Theatre the popcorn is fresh and violinist Jacques takes us on journeys through the afternoon. The rain stops and as the sun pierces colours through street flags, I get ready for a night of poetry and heavy dancing in the basement. The harder I dance, the more I lose my voice.

Everybody is sweaty and moving like never before. Like snakes we crawl up walls, like sardines in a can we slip and slide to the same beat, trying to fit more and more people in front of the fan. I found a flowery dress with an underskirt that goes woooosh when I spin and so I spin and spin until I forget where I am, who I am.

Outside the starry night cools down the body heat. Frisky fingers play the piano on wheels, wheeling it to wherever the jam is. There is a clarinet player and banjos and guitars. I gather around and the last sip of my voice vanishes. Like cigarette smoke we puff cold night air out with every word of Summertime, and the living is easy. Then we sing People are strange, when you're a stranger and it feels so right. That moment under the stars, surrounded by artists, writers, musicians, firetwirlers, poets and gypsies of all kind, I am home.

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