This was my second year going to PantheaCon at the DoubleTree Hotel in my hometown of San Jose, California. It's the morning after the Con, and I'm still in my "recovery" phase from all the running around and not eating or sleeping correctly for four days. I have to admit, though, that I had a fantastic time this year, and I definitely feel that being all worn out is a small price to pay for as much as I got out of the event.
Yesterday as I was driving home (which luckily for me is only 15 minutes or so) I was thinking to myself how after four days of such intensive energy work and near-ecstatic spiritual experience, I was naturally feeling drained and a little emotionally depleted. And yet, the emptiness I felt was very tranquil, not in any way negative or hollow-feeling, but more like I had been through a purification that had stripped my soul bare, but had also cleansed me and made me once again a vessel ready to contain more of whatever life has to offer me. It reminded me of a chapter in Kalihil Gibran's "The Prophet," about joy and sorrow, which states:
"...Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall."
It was this "balance" the he speaks of at the end that I was feeling in my emptiness, and let me tell you that being bipolar for most of my life, this is not an experience that I've had often. It was foreign to me, but felt necessary and right and appropriate after all that had happened over the weekend. I am tempted to study Buddhism and meditation techniques and whatever else I can find that might help me to feel that stillness inside more often, and more easily as well.
So after I have some time to rest up and contemplate the beautiful, colorful, chaotic blur that was PantheaCon 2011, I will of course want to write about it. Until then, I want to thank all the friends, both new and old, that helped make this year's Con such an amazing adventure for me (forgive me if I don't remember all of your Con names): Talon, Terraluna, HiC, Panthera, Terry, Rowan, Ginger, Daniel, Samuel, Artemis, Amanda, Alex, James, Ella, Druwitch, Lily, Jeyn, Elysia, Rain, Amber, Serpentina, Deborah, and Dianne, who I wish I'd run into sooner!, along with all the wonderful people I met whose names I can't recall. GOOD TIMES!