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As much as I really, really don’t want to, I guess its time to bid farewell to this being an outlet for my glorious fantasy world, and return it to reality just I like I need to myself. I think I’ve exhausted all possible articulation, from the 4 posts below to this story on indieWIRE, and though my melancholic reorientation to typical existence will continue to be constantly infused with thoughts of yore, at the risk of annoying my wee, wee readership with my privileged summer, I best be getting back to regularly scheduled programming.

So I’ll leave it with this beautifully written e-mail I got yesterday from someone who had attended last year’s version of Mark & Tilda’s film festivalization, which puts the experience into words I wasn’t able to formulate – and continues to present the remarkable sense of community Mark & Tilda have fostered:

Hello Peter,

You don’t know me, but I feel a really strong need to write to you after reading your article about “The Pilgrimage”. I had a big lump in my throath while reading it, I became oddly and strongly moved. Mostly because I get you. I get what you’re saying about not being able to talk about, to describe, and ultimately to really share an experience like that. I think you did a good job. My name is Matilda and last year I was at the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams.

For a passionate never-grow-up escapist cinemalover it was just paradise. I’m sure there’s no need to explain why. I didn’t have the money nor the time to participate in this years adventure but in a way I’m completely content with that. I had my share of the magic (fuck, it sounds so cliché, but magic it was, truly) last year and I will never forget that. There is a light that never goes out, indeed.

Also I believe in once in a lifetime experiences and spontaneity (and so seem to do the exquisite Tilda and Mark). I read about the Ballerina on Afterellen, talked to my cinema-enthusiastic mom, and after a week or so we found ourselves on a plane together, flying from Finland (I’m Finnish) to London and took the night train to fairytale-like Nairn. There we were, on the station, like you, unknowing of what was to come.

I’m sure you had even a bigger community/family feeling this year. On the road that often happens, not to mention while pulling an object of an unimaginably heavy weight together. It’s a beautiful feeling isn’t it, having that momentary, trusting and open family feeling between complete strangers. I think it has to do with the fact that you know it’s going to be for only a period of time, you are in it together for a glorious while, and then it’s over. There are no strings attached.

At the Ballerina, for me, there was a feeling of being ageless, genderless, countryless, labelless. Just being yourself and loving cinema and being playful together. You compared Pilgrimage to a dream. To me the festival felt almost as if the time had stopped and we were having and creating a dream together. Judging by your article, while being a unique experience, something like that happened again.

Also, I know how lonely it can feel after any kind of trip, not to mention something as indescribable as the Pilgrimage must have been. You can talk about your trip – the way you live for a while – write about it, but nobody really understands, and frankly, doesn’t usually even care to understand that much. Even though I wasn’t there and I even though I don’t know you, I feel a strange kind of connection to you.

So, thank you, Peter, for your precious article, the attempted trip to your trip, and for the memories it trickered of the one that was mine. I’d give you a hug if I was there.

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