–the winter gathering was started back in the early 2000’s by theillalogicalspoon as a gathering of the local prison city underground music/arts/activist scene. eventually the band connected with a network of christian anarchists throughout the midwest and the gathering grew to include these folks and kindred spirits of all sorts from all over the country, now focusing on the wild world of anarcho-primitivism & christianity, or as we lovingly call it, AP&C. But we still stay rooted in the prison city community of bird alleys, underbridges, and coffee houses.
–the area now called jackson has been a historical cross roads and meeting place since pre-historic times. at least 4 major rivers start in jackson county, the highways of ancient times. the grand river that runs right through downtown was a major north/south route before it turns west into lake michigan. we are happy to carry on this timeless tradition of meeting in Jackson to exchange love and ideas, hope and cynicism, trade goods and poems…
–the four elements we’ve always tried to keep as the cornerstones of the event are music, nature, spirit and community.
–it’s cold out there. these dark days are good for brooding and contemplating and for creating lonely compositions in solitude. but we also need to take time in this bleak mid-winter to draw near the fire with those we love, each bringing a log to add to the fire, helping each other keep the fires burning bright within and without.
–we hope people keep coming to this jackson gathering year after year, but we also hope for more gatherings in other spaces. we want more spring camps, more anarcho-primitivist talks and skills shares, more festivals -common ground, papa, c-stone, holler…, more critical distance hikes, more zines, more love, more rage… keep the fire.
–this Saturday, January 4th, 2014:
we’ll have the opening ceremony at 1pm. enter bucky harris park (corner of Michigan and Jackson streets) from all different sides when the town clock strikes 1. bring a thought, poem, song, story or anything inspiring to share with your friends gathering together in this bleak mid-winter… (while waiting for the ceremony warm up at cuppa coffee shop’s new shared location with the pickle barrel restaurant 156 w. Michigan ave or browse the stacks at the book exchange)
from there we will split into two hikes.
hike one) from the park to the prison to the river. explore the city through the eyes of a local. learn some natural history, how the landscape was attacked by settlers and how it is fighting back. visit sites connected to jackson’s radical political past from railroad saboteurs to abolitionists. walk through the walls of the old prison and down to the river walk to explore the washtenong sepe.
hike two) carpool northeast of town to a wild area of the grand river watershed to search for visiting snowy owls and the return of the beaver. observe and learn from various plants and animals about the art of winter survival in the north country.
then we will all gather back together at 5pm at the Jackson Book Exchange
—a cozy but big-enough-for-all-of-us space above the bookstore where our friends Kevin and Angie will host us!
–there will be a potluck meal (we can’t wait to try what you’ll bring!), open mic, bands, and other merriment… sorry, but no 4 legged friends allowed
–midnight hike to dunk our heads in grand river
–sleeping is on the floor, bring your own bedding
–back to the river for morning prayers at 9am
–vegan pancake breakfast to follow
–please bring coffee or tea
–you are welcome to hang out as long as you want at the space on sunday