“Take imagination and mix it with love and then stand back… You have just unleashed the most powerful force in the universe”
I actually wrote about 5 paragraphs and the program froze while posting the first blog. Welcome to the world of blogging! So I decided to view that as the universe telling me I was supposed to say something a bit differently. Here I am again, with my cup of tea, ready to face the day and tackle packing my bags for camp and decide what I need to take with me for camp, settle my excitement down and get rolling! Lots to do today, including an attempt to squeeze in trying to record a little sound clip for this website (I think I’m a bit ambitious thinking that’s going to get done today!)..but I have a feeling that is going to have to wait until I get back and settle for some relaxing time tickling the ivories today.
There’s something about Wooten Woods that rushing over me like a healing balm. It’s hard to explain, but I’m going to try. From the very first time I went to a Bass Camp, at the first location in Montgomery Bell State Park in 2001, it has been this way. I had been working like a madwoman (I’m a workaholic by nature) and had been feeling the winds of change around the time. Just about a year earlier I was having dinner with Victor Wooten and Hilary Penny, one of the original Nature staff from camp, and they were telling me about the very first camp they had conducted and what a success it was. Vic spoke about the concepts he had been thinking about for years, blending the Nature and tracking skills with teaching music in a different, non traditional way and doing it in a natural environment and that this had been a dream becoming a reality…well, it sounded like just what the doctor ordered to me. He invited me to come to the next camp to check it out and see what it was about and I couldn’t refuse that invitation.
I had met Victor through my late brother, Joe Compito years earlier, in the early to mid 90’s in Nashville (I don’t remember the year). They had become good friends back then and spent a good deal of time together when neither one of them was touring. Joe toured with the Don Williams Band and was also a luthier and had built Vic a couple of bass guitars, the somewhat well known one being the 5 string purple heart fretless that he plays with the Flecktones. Victor was the last person to see Joe alive on January 10, 1999 while he was working on one of his basses in Joe’s apartment in Nashville. Joe complained of a headache and said he was going to get some rest and hope it cleared up. The next day he had passed away of an aneurysm – a surprise to us all. He had touched so many lives in such a powerful way, and to me…he had been my life line since childhood. The person you had full conversations with by raising an eyebrow. We did many things together, dated each others friends, hung out in the same circles, listened to the same music, in a sense we were connected at a soul level. When he transitioned into the next life, though, I thought it would feel like a piece of my life would feel chopped off. However something else began to happen. ….
Where I missed Joe himself terribly, and still do, his energy expanded and became a conduit that opened up new pathways. There had been pieces of my life that I had cut off before and hadn’t even realized it. Friends from New York that I had left behind when I moved away were suddenly a part of my life again. My perspective on my own past began to change and I realized that in a sense, you can rewrite the past…from a point of view. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy and what we think that we, or other people believe about us or where we have been, is not exactly what is. Nor does it matter. My point of view about myself and my faith began to open up…and, the invitation to camp came. Nothing is by chance. I believe that Victor invited me because had Joe been alive, he might have been involved in the camps. I felt that I was representing him… Perhaps in a way, he still is as I have felt his spirit there many times.
I came to that first camp in 2001 and I was transformed by watching the campers themselves be transformed from the time they walking in with a certain idea of what they expect, to leaving with an entirely different mindset, magically glowing. The energy and spirit was infectious! I sat in to listen on as much as I could to the music classes, I participated in some of the Nature classes, I tried to help with any work that was there to be done and by the end of the camp, I was counting merchandise, packing boxes, doing dishes, loading a truck, sweeping floors and I haven’t stopped since! I’ve been going to almost every single camp now, and am there in an administrative capacity. I work throughout the year answering the camp email, I sell the merchandise whenever I’m there, I take care of registration issues in conjunction with Holly Wooten, and do whatever work needs to be done, airport runs to pick people up, shopping, dishes, trash, clean bathrooms, cleanup duty, you name it… it’s never too much! Every time I arrive, it’s as if the very air itself washes over me like a soothing cloak of healing energy and suddenly all the stress of everyday life is gone. It is something that cannot be explained well, but can only be experience, but I go, I breathe in, I work, I share, I smile, I exist…I heal.
It was as it was meant to be. I am ever grateful to everyone in my life for what they give me…even those who give me what I don’t think I want. It’s all a gift, sometimes we just don’t know it right away.