Some folks get a runners high. Endorphins that keep you going long past when your body would normally run out of steam. A feeling that becomes self-sustaining, as long as you keep it up, but ends as soon as you stop. That happens to me when dancing some times. Square dancing or contra dancing mostly, one a square is set, there is no reason to stop until the music does, and then the stop is only a grudging acknowledgment that perhaps you should drink some water before you set the next square, quickly so you don't run out of endorphins.
That also happens to me on a good night when performing. Tonight was a very, very good night. Rogues & Wenches have had a lot of good nights recently. The last three performances have kicked ass, and tonight, there is no reason for modesty. We rocked the joint. Our last song was an hour and a half ago, and I am still working through the endorphins in hopes that I will be able to sleep tonight.
I don't want to. Tonight is what cast parties are made for.
The most alluring thing about festivals, the thing that makes them a marathon for the body and a tonic for the soul is how often they have a glimpse of what we had tonight, and how often that leads to long nights in someone's trailer or living-room passing around a bottle, telling stories, and sharing music. It's a lifestyle that is fun, invigorating, and intoxicating regardless of the substances consumed, and would be a perfect lifestyle if not for the morning after.
Waking up in a strange place, not recognizing the surroundings, and having to concentrate to remember what state you are in is an incredibly lonely feeling. Meeting people, building a relationship with them such that it feels you have known them for years, and then leaving them for years at a time until the next time you are booked in the same town is a great way to learn new stories, but not a stable way to combat mild depression that comes with a sense of dis-attachment; a lack of Home. Anyone who truly talks about the "Romance of the Road" has most likely not spent any time in the back of a Greyhound fending of the advances of a drunk woman while wondering if you would ever see the friends you have just made again. The great thing is that that is no longer my life.
My group has just had a kick ass performance. I have all the endorphins flowing, and while it is true that I am not spending the evening hearing tales from people who have not heard any of my stories, it is also true that I will sleep in my own bed tonight, in my wife's arms.
Those of you who on this list who have known me the longest know that my longest standing drams have involved folk music, and being a folk musician. I am now part of a group of musicians who is published, who has a CD out (if you have not gotten yours, iTunes it, or check out my user profile), and who is becoming a darling of the (not traditional) local folk scene. I get to be a part of this, and I get to do it from home.
I am a very lucky man.