The Roadie Of The Goddess

by James “Reaper” Florczyk

My name is James Florczyk and I’ve been living here at Four Quarters since June of 2006. I was originally born in Wilmington, DE and spent 22 years of my life living in that city. The crime and poor environment was a major deciding factor in wanting to live in a more rural setting, so I then moved to the deep rural eastern shore of Maryland. Being surrounded by woods and nature for the first time in my life was a major learning experience for me, it taught me to interact and respect nature, since being in the middle of nowhere, nature does have a major impact on your daily life.

After living on the eastern shore for a few years I found Four Quarters and attended Drum and Splash in 2004. It was the first real trip to the mountains that I’d ever been on, and I was totally impressed with the scenery and the view. Once I arrived at Four Quarters I was left breathless by the appearance and feel of the place. Finding a place where many traditions were honored and accepted was new to me, since I was used to dealing with the closed minded “clique” mentality that is so prevalent in the normal day to day world. So I found a place where I felt at home, where no one judged me for my eclectic ways or appearance, and I was always encouraged to grow in my own way, and at my own pace. So now, here I am, living at Four Quarters, travelling a path that is true to me, and continuing to grow spiritually and emotionally with help from people who I consider to be friends, and whom I have respect for.

Ask fifty different people how they get in touch with the divine and you’ll no doubt get fifty different answers. I do it in a way that has been used since churches began, through volunteering and hard work. Keeping Four Quarters aesthetically pleasing and making sure our equipment is running well, or at least running long enough to make it through the event, is my true calling. I have a view of events that is different than most; I’m the person on the outside, standing behind the scenes, watching all the magic happen. Some people think being an outsider is bad, but not me, I get the same energies outside of the circle that participants get on the inside. My ongoing joke is that I’m a “Roadie for the Goddess,” which really isn’t that far of a stretch. I set up lighting for many events, whether it be electrical or natural, and the lighting has to be correct for the occasion, just like a concert. I also prepare with the ritual team, just like a roadie would with a band, and let them know where supplies are that they might need, or how they can get water to the area that they’re going to “perform” in. Hauling fi re rings, putting up parking tape, keeping leaves out of the drains at the lower shower house, firing up the kitchen for moon services, the list goes on and on. It goes beyond the normal roadie job though. Sometimes it’s the small things that nobody really notices, like cleaning and unclogging toilets, picking up debris after a storm, or tying off a flapping tarp for those of you who have not yet mastered tarpology.

I’m busy before, during, and in between events, but for me, busy is good. I usually get time to think while I’m working, and for me, the combination of both is what nets me the most inner growth. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not always work for me. I do love coming into camp in the evenings during events and joining in the drum circles, or being social at campsites, or just hangin’ out and drinkin’ coffee at the Coffee Dragons, my home away from home. When you see me dressed in a sarong during a festival, haulin’ my percussion, you pretty much know that ‘James has left the building’. I also have the privilege of living here full time, and during warm weather it’s not uncommon for me to pack up my drum and head into camp, start a personal campfire, and just get in touch with nature and the divine in my own way. It’s really an intense feeling to come into camp after an event and just be surrounded by all the positive energy that visitors must leave behind. There have been so many times where I’ve been the only person in camp and just sat and listened to the wind playing through the stones, watched the fish in Hemlock Hole swim by, or sat by the labyrinth at night and watched the moon being born over the mountains.

I consider it an honor and a privilege to be living here, in sacred space, taking care of our church; it truly drives and motivates me. It also keeps me going during the frustrating times, and deep inside I do it for a good reason. So I’ll be here, tools in hand, usually smelling like diesel or kerosene, keeping the mechanical and visual elements together so that we all have a place to find and there hold dear our connection to the divine.