So, it was sometime in November last year when we were at a friend’s birthday party in Mesquite that another long time friend approached me and said to me that he was hoping to get Pagan Pride Day going again in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. It had been 2 years since the previous Local Coordinator gave up the position and no one stepped forward to take up the effort. I like seeing Pagans getting together and networking, making good things happen and sharing in one another’s company so I said “Sounds good! Count me in!” So it began, this several months long Odyssey to help promote what I hoped would be an event to bring togetherness to the local Pagan community and spark some pride in our identity. Maybe give some new seekers a place to find like minded folks and foster better understanding among the mainstream community and ourselves. There have been many obstacles to overcome and I have seen things that have lifted my spirit as well as things which have humiliated me and devastated my faith in seeing it happen.
This leads me to ponder. How important is your faith to you? Is this something you would truly like to see grow and prosper or do you have other things in your life that you find more worthwhile? I remember reading stories while in school like The Diary of Anne Frank, hearing of what happened to many Native Americans on the Trail Of Tears, what happened to so many during what we now collectively call The Burning Times. I hear stories of great pilgrimages that people go through in which they spend days, weeks, even months walking to one particular sacred place to honor their God or gods, their ancestors, their concept of the divine. I wonder, how many people we have in our local community who have that kind of dedication in their faith in the sacredness of their gods, ancestors and nature spirits or who or whatever it is they believe in. A great many people won’t even drive or catch a ride across town for an event to foster Pagan Pride, won’t spend $10 to help with the effort but will spend many times more than that on non-essential items, entertainment of one sort or another. Now, I am not saying I am any Paganer Than Thou, or anything like that. I don’t know myself what I would do in the face of certain death through torture as some of our ancestors endured. It’s easy to talk when you aren’t actually in the situation yourself. But I would like to think I could put my money where my mouth is or at least have my actions back up my words.
I was inspired by some of the people who did show up for the fund raiser last night. Someone I hadn’t seen in quite some time showed up and made a very generous cash donation to the cause. A couple of long time friends from the Sumerian Tradition and ADF Druidry were there. The band played their hearts out and a few people danced for us. We have some talented folks and I wish more people could have come out to appreciate their efforts. I know life gives us plenty of obstacles to deal with and we can’t always do the things we want to do but I have to wonder when dealing with the massive scale of people who don’t show up after they say that they will if the biggest problem facing our community isn’t apathy? I like a night at home watching movies, maybe a ball game with the kids, etc. too. But this is my spirituality and my community that I am talking about. If something is important to you you will make a way, if it isn’t you will make an excuse.
I shudder to think it but what happens if October 5th the turnout is similar to the ones we’ve had at the last two fund raisers? What if we throw a Pagan Pride Day and no one shows up?
As I have said before. When I started the DFW Pagan Pride Day web page and Facebook Page I wanted them to become places for the community to show it’s pride. I wanted Pagan Artists, Musicians, Crafters, Clergy, Dancers, to share pictures of what they do and what it means to them to walk their path. I have had so little shared with me that I finally had to resort to sharing posts from other sources just to keep the Facebook Page relevant on the news feed. I would be happy to just have pictures of people’s altars, their favorite places to go feed their spirit, their businesses, even their cats! I have thought about going around town and taking pictures of Caelum Moor, Deep Woods Apothecary, Enchanted Forest, Silver Pyramid, etc. But I haven’t had the time and don’t know whether I can have the permission to post it on PPD’s site. Mayhaps I will someday and if October 5th gets here and just a few of us show up at White Rock Lake I will be happy to see those few who make it. I will honor their spirit and hope to share in their stories.
Now the marketing professionals will tell me that I shouldn’t be so negative and should always make anything I say about PPD be on a positive note. I’m fine with that to a point but I don’t like to bullshit anyone either. The straight up truth is, if it is going to happen we will have to have more community participation. No one person can make it all happen alone. No small group can either to any great extent. It takes an entire community to make a big event happen. If a small group is all we’ve got then it will be a small event. But you know what? Burning Man started as a small group of people out in the middle of the desert. Just sayin’! 😉