• 65 replies
    marye
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    By suggestion from phatmoye: "A lot of my friends and co-workers have never been to a fest or Grateful Dead show. I've tried to explain it to them but I'm at a loss of words. All I can do is smile, smile, smile and tell them that it's nothing but kindness. i'd love to get some feedback from some heads on explaining what to tell them."

    The question seemed to strike a nerve in the tour topic, so we're giving it a home of its own!

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  • August 9, 2019 - 9:26pm
    Vguy72
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    Threads lost in Internet space....

    ....like this one.
    It was the best time of my life. Seventeen to twenty-seven. A decade of memories, or lack of. It all comes around.

  • August 9, 2019 - 6:54pm
    jeromeD
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    Grateful Dead music is like…

    Grateful Dead music is like faith in God;
    For those who get it no explanation is needed, for those who don’t no explanation is possible ☮️

  • August 7, 2019 - 8:47am
    marye
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    well hey
    welcome anyway!
  • August 6, 2019 - 1:43pm
    JT33813
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    It sort of became the…

    It sort of became the standard for me. Everybody said GD concerts were weird, but every time I went to see someone else, THAT was the show that seemed weird.

    BTW, I just joined this forum about 2 days ago. I work in an VERY conservative profession, so I am remaining semi-anonymous.

  • January 19, 2019 - 10:43am
    HeidiHi
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    So, you can't. You have to…

    So, you can't. You have to take them. Which I've done to my children and husband and brother and brother in law and nephew and friends and the response is always, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh! Now I get it! Let's do it again!!" LOL!!
    Now, with Jerry gone, we have to do the best we can to expose new peeps to the music and the vibe and the best shows that I've attended that help to bridge the gap, so to speak, are the Dead & Co. shows in the summer. Outside venues with large Shakedowns, in the East SPAC, Blossom, etc. tend to be best for impromptu villages. I've also taken children to Dark Star Orchestra which is a fantastic show and a good scene.
    Dance on everyone!

  • March 3, 2011 - 10:28am
    flyin' Brian
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    like a desert spring
    The approach to a spring or running brook was the occasion for life and activity. ... Nor can you, who have never stood by a bubbling spring, in a strange, wild land, with the thought that it may be miles and miles to another drinking place, comprehend the satisfaction afforded by the full-mouthed swallows from its cooling wealth. George B. Currey, 1853, Oregon Trail
  • November 29, 2010 - 5:23pm
    Anonymous (not verified)
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    One of my first Dead Memories...
    When I was eight or so... in the late 80's... I was allowed to go out in the open arena. Dancing and running about, because there were such great people. I was out dancing and having fun then, the music ended, I was still playing/dancing as people were putting down their blankets. I moved to the other side of the stage to find my dad. A couple who had set up their blankets on the floor got very upset at me. Telling me I was being rude for stepping on their just laid down blankets. Because I had no idea what was going on they felt the need to scare me... As I stood there being berated by these jerks. I was slowly surrounded by a group of AMAZING people.. they explained that the need of a child to find their parent was much larger then the need to keep a 5*5 square of seating area. I felt so protected. So undeniably safe. I still remember that feeling of being hugged after feeling so scared. One woman came over and held my hand asking if I knew where my parents were. I said I did, and pulled her with me. I took her back stage, and introduced her to everyone I knew. I talked her up as the coolest woman of all time. I don't know what happened to her. I do know that I cannot explain how much I appreciate knowing how amazing it is to feel loved, supported, and protected as a small child. That is what I got from dead shows, a knowledge of a very large hug.
  • November 11, 2010 - 4:15am
    ripple70
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    i have absolutly
    no explanation at all its simply magical
  • November 10, 2010 - 9:00pm
    johnman
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    HA!!!!
    The circus is in town....sort of...and we are the exhibits!!
  • November 10, 2010 - 4:59pm
    smiley dave
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    Not like anything you have been to before!!
    Either you Love em!Or Hate them! Or just there for the party:( Just my View. Smiley D Do For Other's You Will Feel Better. Guaranteed!!!!
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By suggestion from phatmoye: "A lot of my friends and co-workers have never been to a fest or Grateful Dead show. I've tried to explain it to them but I'm at a loss of words. All I can do is smile, smile, smile and tell them that it's nothing but kindness. i'd love to get some feedback from some heads on explaining what to tell them."

The question seemed to strike a nerve in the tour topic, so we're giving it a home of its own!

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Anymore thoughts on this one? I don't think you really can... My X girlfriend (at that time) called my friends and I a bunch of tree huggin hippys before we were prepairing to embark on a weekend of camping to Nelsons Ledges for a Dark Star Orchestra show. I tryed to explain to her the good vibes and kind people that are there. Ever since then, i've alway wanted to know how you explain a dead show to someone.
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I love the music very much but the distinction of a Dead show is that it is like a huge family getting together to celebrate a way life like a family going to church to hear a sermon. It's the only concert where you walk into another world and walk out a changed person for life. And what other show can make you seriously consider quitting your job and going on tour?? "Everybody's braggin' and drinking that wine, I can tell the queen of diamonds by the way she shines. Come to daddy on an inside straight, well I've got no chance of losing this time"
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Your right, there is know other Tour or Show in the world like it, atleast that I know of. Damn!! I'm EXCITED bout this tour!! Phatmoye
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A Dead Show is a place where true fellow brothers and sisters can let go, get along, share love and ride the magic wave of everyones positive peaceful vibes, not be judgmental, but instead understanding and open. It is a safe coven for people to express themselves and to be creative, a place where everyone can shine, keep in mind you've gotta love yourself before others can love you....your never too young to start diggin the dead, theres still hope yet.A Dead Show where the sub counter culture reunites, where the state of mind becomes intense and passionate, but still free. A dead show is the place you want to be to get your groove on, to share your life with familiar souls that you feel connected to....so make sure you find your connection, theres something there for each and everyone of us, stay in the moment and keep moving forward...a rolling stone gathers no moss....music to me is a beautiful cure for the mind and body.....so roll away the dew and sweet the winds shall blow. remember alot of nice things go bad out there, it surely is a wild world.... "did ya ever waken to the sound of street cats makin love and guess from their cries you were listening to a fight well you know, hates just the last thing they're thinking of they're only tryin to make it through the night" peace hugs and lots of love to anyone whos open for it....
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your right man, there is no better show on earth, atleast none that i know of.Phatmoye
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freakin' magic!!............a big, cracklin' warm and fuzzy ball of energy, draped in tie dye and covered with a smile!!
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You sure got a way with words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep em coming. ((HUGS)) Johnman! How bout a dead show is better even than a great piece of cake? ********************************* It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine
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For those who understand, there's no need for explanation,For those who don't understand, there IS NO explanation. Peace ya'll and see ya out there.
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it is something that you need to experience, and my experiences were all in Europe so are different to people from the states - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Spanish Jam
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Whom I've been trying to turn onto the Dead for 34 yrs (and counting). All of my persuasion has gotten me nowhere. I love him, but it just ain't going to happen. Not suprisingly, this ongoing 30+ year discussion has turned into a running joke with us. We do have a Grateful Dead connection that we share and have fond memories of. If I cue up "Sugaree" in his presence (one song that he seems to like), he'll immediately smile, or start laughing -- usually laughing. It isn't what I was looking for, but it's still something good...
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PERFECTO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love how you said that!Any kind of missionizing campaign is dangerous and yukky-including an "everybody needs to be a Deadhead" one. Exposure and explanation one thing, fanatacism something else all together. ********************************** It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine
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Keep em coming friends.Phatmoye SO THE KIDS THEY DANCE AND SHAKE THEIR BONES!
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I'm embarrassed to admit it took me awhile to get on the "bus" i was a head banger in the early 80's while a good portion of my friends were heads. They planned all there skool breaks to tour and I just did nt see what all the hype was about. Until the tour with csny i decided to go without a ticket. My friends said "just go check it out it wont cost u anything just hang in the lot and see the 2nd set 4 free when they opened the gates." My reply was "u guys will all be in there and i'll be by myself". They just laughed as if the joke was on me. It sure was, I was not by myself I was meeting my family that whole day. I ate drank smoked and tripped until my heart and head were full of the luv as I never new was possible.I had one of the best days of my life it ranks up there with getting my cherry popped; no it wasnt even close the dead show was a whole day of peace & luv getting my cherry popped was 3 pumps and a squirt!! The luv that was given to me by strangers can never be compared to . Now 20 +yrs later I've gone to so many dead related shows they all blend into a hodge podge of True Luv and happiness that only compares to dancing with my soulmate Sarah'bel at a Dead show. Cant wait to shake my bones with 'bel in Albany & Bflo.Atheas daddy!!!
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To paraphrase some dead guy: We came, we heard, we came again... we left It, but It did not leave us. "The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer." - Ken Kesey
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I always said the circus is back in town. Now, not everyone loves the circus, but those who do, really love the circus.Peace
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On a good night it was bettern the best sex. The interplay between each other, the sometimes silent, somtimes thundering ques, the ability of any one member to lead the rest of the band down a new path with a simple phrase or chord was improvisation at its finest. Never stuctured, always right on the edge. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. On a bad night like a plane crash. Did someone say coverband??? Who else can pull off Merle Haggard and the Stones in the same set. The mix of country, folk, bluegrass, jazz, blues, and straight ahead rock and roll have never been equalled. Uncle Bobo said it best "Theyre not only the best at what they do, theyre the only ones who do what they do" And then there was the cat in the GD movie "The bottom line is quite simply stated, there is NOTHING like a Grateful Dead concert
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You just drop your jaw, your eyes get big and you start dancing. If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
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You just drop your jaw, your eyes get big and you start dancing. If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
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over and over without even knowing it If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
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Went to a show,People were spinning, Looked at the crowd, People were grinning, Their about to come on, I heard someone say Then I got lost in the music, From the first song they played, Didn't take long, To find myself there, Everone was happy, No one seemed to care, After it was over, And all said and done, Twas then I awoken, To the grateful dead fun! Phatmoye So the kids they dance and shake rheir bones!!
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To semi-quote a Great American:"A DEAD SHOW IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES:YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU'LL GET."
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explanation.....ya just have to do it..Well, other than FUN ...xoxo Gypsy Cowgirl
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Grate poem, Grate idea for explaining. Will take the liberty of doing the same-post a show poem here that I put in the poetry thread ages ago! Drops fall softly While the notes flow through our ears We keep on dancing Our fingers draw the music Patterns in the air Our feet mimic the rhythm Drums on the grass My neighbor smiles at me As a rainbow appears over the stage The melody changes Sunshine daydream We are still dancing Twirling our own rainbow Along the moon-path ********************************** It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine
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Gypsy Cowgirl has nailed it. You don't explain it. You can't explain it. The shows explain themselves. Until you've been to one, you can't possibly comprehend. And once you have, you never need to ask again. It's an experience that traverses more dimensions than mere verbal language can communicate. Admittedly, it's not going to work for everyone. But for those who do "get it," they all seem to get it instantly and intuitively. Best taken with eyes, ears and mind open. Conversation is always more interesting than recitation, so speak your mind and not someone else's.
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I would have to agree with Dedhed4ever which is the most concise way to say it, but that doesn't give those who genuinely want to know any info, and for the most part, we really can't explain it. It's like an ancient esoteric teaching, it's so abstract to the everyday mind that it can't be easily explained and thus comprehended. I once had a hallucination while I was inside a show and the "heat" from the boy's was intense. The only way that I could explain it was that I felt like I was IN a bowl of jello, and that jello around me was God, I was IN God. I was just browsing through on of those Grateful Dead books or almanacs, can't remember the title, but in one of the interviews the questioner offered a very viable explanation to "our" phenomenon....He made the point that this communal feeling we get by being around so many people that are striving for this kindness and peace that we so all want created...scientifically...the Alpha wave state. I think that what he is infering is that...with everything that went on...The Grateful Dead brought us closer to that vibration that is just a bit closer to God. With all Love, Light, and Laughter....CM
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eat the crystal, touch the sound, it's calliopes and clowns, come and dig my earth, transitve nightfall of diamonds, all his children ran an hid, creepy, nothings for surtin it can always go wrong, sunshine and river , while the boy's sing round the fire! stranger ones have come by here, hey man dropped your sock, can you catch the rabbit, listen to the river roll ' roll, roll and flow and breath in the air maybe cheshire will take you to the other side, ishall be released from a bucket of what the hell was that? rrrrr lookin through a hole in the sky, uh O here comes suuuuuuuuuun shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. give be Liberty or give me Dead, what the fuck are we watching for, you'll get your eye poked out, out to the ends of the mind. And shall "IT" never end, breathing Dragons in a rainbow of sound, is that really the time man, get rid of IT cause IT might just kill you, IT is uphill both ways, IF is the middle word of Life, and if maybe I had only had????????????????????, Charlie Chan WTF gotta say FUCK, in every windowpayne, raining again, come sit by my fire is always warm as are our hearts and, support wildlife everything you touch, is touched, if there is no pebble tossed or wind to blow than how do we Breath with knee's in the Breeze. the earth and sky be my mother and and al that is, is my brother, sun and showers, wind and sometimes don't say that word.......................... Be happy with what you have , because Death awaits you, and when you accept that you are alive forever. it
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You all have been quite helpful to me on this topic. My way of explaining it is probably that you just have to go to understand it. Or lots of beautiful colors. Hee hee heePhatmoye
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Hey now! Great topic! The best way that I've heard a Dead show described was when they interviewed people on the solstice FM broadcast from Shoreline in 89 (Great show, look it up!). Lots of folks had different things to say but they kind of summed it up with the last comment from a sister who said, with dead conviction in her voice, "GREAT MUSIC!!!" The Grateful Dead is an acquired taste. Think of things you love that you didn't even like at first. It kind of grows on you if it's your pint of brew. If not, well, leave it if you dare. With me, it was pure delight in the freedom of the music and the positivity of the space created to enjoy it. If you took it as a lifestyle then you were on a journey somewhere. Wherever you go, there you were -- for sure! I think members of the band described it like this: People come and go for shorter or longer periods of time and take from it what they will (very loose paraphrase there). Did you like the music? Did you like to dance, spin, swirl, dervish? Did you like to make new friends? Did you enjoy the variety of people? Did you enjoy the trip? Did you enjoy the travel when touring, every second of it? Did it keep you young? Did it stimulate new ideas and ways of doing things and looking at the world and your life? Did it make you kind? I think it is all those things that made a Dead show a Dead show. Love to know if anyone else agrees with me...
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Aww yeah Shoreline 89 my first Grateful Dead show. What a journey ever since! Shoreline 2009 will mark the 20 year anniversary of those shows. I am so excited that I will be there!! Thanks for sparking up those memories! "Everybody's braggin' and drinking that wine, I can tell the queen of diamonds by the way she shines. Come to daddy on an inside straight, well I've got no chance of losing this time"
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A dead show is pretty much like Christmas, that would be a good way of putting it."You can never stop learning," Phatmoye
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sparky colorful ball of anticipation
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You know, to sum it up, every time I think of a dead show, I just imagine hippys twirln and the eleven playin in the backround."You can never stop learning," Phatmoye
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phil put it well when he said (and i am paraphrasing): 'a dead show is one part sports event, one part church.' this explains the two 'poles' of how deadheads view the experience. some heads see the show as a raucous good time rock-n-roll event, and nothing more. some see it as a religious experience (i.e. jerry is god) and refuse to see the more down to earth (sometimes negative) aspects of the show. most of us are somewhere in the middle. here's my take: the grateful dead provide a space for a psychedelic dance experience. this happens to take the form of a rock concert. in actuality, people have been doing this for tens of thousands of years. we just happen to live in a time and a culture where this sort of thing is rare and marginalized, so it seems unique. not so. other 'jam' bands have been able to get in on the act, to a degree. (none of them come close to the dead's subtle blend of bucolic pastoralism and cosmic terror.) in the late 80's / early 90's house music and rave culture came very close to matching the grandeur and heady rush of the dead scene. in fact, for a brief period from about '92-'93, the rave scene was kicking the dead scene's ass. (i was doing both, so i know.) of course, that scene has now been co-opted by alcohol, speed, and bad attitudes, but sometimes you can still find a kind party. one final point: a dead show is PARTICIPATORY. the band and the audience feed off each other's energy. there are good nights and not so good nights. it is never exactly the same twice. it is a huge, ever-growing, pulsating brain that rules from the center of ...
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Kdingijhingn! I nondkopanot a cindoijck apnna fgop an ekijgnaihihythajkhga.That should do it... works every time for me. (~) ;- } "The task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees." - Erwin Schrödinger
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people that can actually read gibberish, as well as speak it, i'll have to agree........freeeeeeeen!!
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I wish I knew how to explain it - but it seems a mystery... I ran across this scientific american piece on musicians and synchronized brain waves - I don't think they are that far off - it's just the tip of the iceberg. to quote from the article "People have an extraordinary capacity to synchronize their actions," he says. "When two people concentrate on the same thing, gestures and head movements are highly coordinated and supported by brain synchronicity. We think what we are getting through music has wider implications and social bonding behaviors are part of those wider implications." I'm a thinkin that when you get a really special band that knows how to sync themselves not just with each other - but with the audience as well -Magic does happen... The alpha wave state note above fits with this. http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=musicians-brain… Like someone said some get it some don't... It has spread it's deep roots in me though (25 years on the bus)- and it keeps on growin. Anyway - forget this gibberish and let the music play the band.
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it's a really really big therapy session wif multiple patients, right??
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Great description johnman! And the Dead's the family doctor. All you need All you really need Is good love
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I am in need of a major therapy session ! Chicago here we come ! I can't help you with your troubles If you won't help with mine...
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a building full of happy people enjoying the magic of the moment:-)(-:
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Months ago I asked Marye to post this topic:) Thank you Marye. There is no easy way to explaine a dead show, but the only way I could explaine it to "normal" people would be......SMILES EVERYWHERE:)I guess you just have to go to experience it:) Loaved the shows, thank you Mickey,Billy,Phil, Bobby,Warren and Jeff for making iIT happen:) And thank you all you deadheads for creating a positive atmosphere:) Without YOU deadheads, none of this could ever be possible!! :) Peace- Moye
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when I was at a Grateful Dead Show, I knew and understood that there was no other place in the entire universe where I would rather be, and that there were no other people with whom I would rather be with at that moment.That is how I explain a Dead show. "One watch by night, one watch by day If you get confused, listen to the music play"
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Id have to say..."Strangers stopping strangers, just to shake their hands...."Peace- Moye
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very well said.
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and from that, everybody's playin' in the Hearth of Gold Band.
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Lots of fun !!!! Dead heads getting together enjoyin the scene & the music....Listen to the river to sing sweet songs and rock my soul...
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.......to someone who has never been? Damn near impossible & I have pretty much given up trying. Language/words are way insufficient to portray the depth of the experience.These days I mostly fall back on my standard response.........Greatest experience in my life. You had to be there. Magic. But I must add.......well said Pomo. That works for me. Peace