Posts Tagged ‘Playa mates’

Let’s meet inside

December 15, 2010

Wednesday, December 15

While I’m at work, my temp job, dutifully entering data in very pleasant surroundings, I want to write. I think the best place, a cure for writer’s block or procrastination, is writing where you shouldn’t, when you’re being paid to do something else. The creativity flows like coffee from the break room. I hear voices telling funny stories, voices not connected to any face or body I’d recognize, drifting quietly across the room. Stories that make me laugh or annoy me or think about something else and then something else and I want to write it down, incorporate it into those pages and pages that are going somewhere, eventually but for now sit in a file on my laptop.

I feel the same way about sleep. It’s so easy and luscious to doze off, when and where it’s socially not the thing to do. At any desk, in any office, in any town, in any country, it’s so easy to give in to heavy eyelids getting heavier, umm, just a few minutes to become refreshed. I have to admit, sometimes at social or family events, I just want to put my head down for a few minutes and check out. Yet, often at night, the click tick tocks, or rather the LED lights progress, showing time’s passing or late night TV shows become harder to find among the infomercials, wide awake.

And sex. Sex. How fun is it to have sex where you shouldn’t, when you shouldn’t, with who you shouldn’t? Very, right?

It’s all upside down – or rather inside out. I know that inside me, and you, is something else. It’s not a tangible organ, or mass of muscles, bones or blood. I’ve met mine a few times, its indescribable and life affirming.

It’s inside, but independent of the body and the mind, but its part of us.

It has no responsibility, except to be known.

So at my current job, which is temporary, until, until…I make sure I pull out my little Moleskine notebook and have it next to me  and as I work and listen and think, I jot down things: the funny conversations, how much I’d rather be practicing belly dancing or yoga, picturing the embellished bra I’m going to make, which tent I’m going to buy, friends, dreams, that guy, anything, to coax and nurture and nourish that pure light, pure creativity, pure acceptance, pure freedom, and the strength beyond comprehension, the immortality inside.

Last night I read or tried to read, the scribbles of a week or two worth of dreams I wrote down. Incredible to read, as if someone else went to those places and saw those things, nothing in my memory regarding them, yet my sleeping self recorded the journeys.

What does this have to do with Burning Man? Only everything to me.

I’m going again this year. Are you? I want to meet everyone.

“Are you looking for me?
I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you …will not find me in the stupas,
not in Indian shrine rooms,
nor in synagogues,
nor in cathedrals:
not in masses,
nor kirtans,
not in legs winding around your own neck,
nor in eating nothing but vegetables.
When you really look for me,
you will see me instantly —
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath.”
— Kabir

 

Dust looks good on you

September 23, 2010

At least as many words have been written as alkali particles riding the wind; as many photos taken as total playa residents, times 10,000, yet I want to add my words because it’s now my experience too.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve watched so many Burning Man videos with urgency, excitement and a permanent smile stretching my facial muscles. Now I find myself backing away from others’ experiences – I believe it now, I was there and want to look at and think about my own.

I’m attempting my wrap-up piece, although the much repeated and very sensible three week mark hasn’t passed yet. And I in no way believe this is the end of what I’ll write, it’s just for now. I want to preserve both my fleeting and lasting impressions and like a prehistoric short-lived dragonfly, retain my perceptions, of now, in ancient amber.

By this time, you probably know about the dust angels, ringing the bell, fire and the surreal dark streets that become so familiar you ache for them when it’s over. You know men wear skirts and women wear pasties or more and less.  You know you need a lot of water and ride your bike everywhere. You know how gorgeous and other worldly the Black Rock Desert is.

By now you know there are never ending street performances,some elaborate, some as simple as people walking or riding through the streets and playa;  dances, art structures, surreal vehicles, parties, new people to meet and meditations that come upon you as quickly as a dust storm.  You know the day is fantastic and the nights are magical. There is time with friends and time alone, music, connections, glances, greetings, sharing, hugs, kisses, laughter and tears. Hours both race by and linger on the tongue like pear vodka.

You know about the art that emerges from minds so open and free of borders, that to see the pieces, in this arid, humbling and bewitching place is to feel your own boundaries moving back if not completely dissolving. And that evanescing of perimeters seems to make possessing, permissions and judgments actions of somewhere long ago and far away; replaced with giving, receiving, acceptance, support, joy, love, power and release. That’s what my first Burning Man was for me.

At first I was anxious to live with campmates, would I fit in and do it right? Would I be overly cautious about being vulnerable? A wise friend said I chose to be vulnerable there, in what was a safe place for me which helped me heal, since that choice was taken from me, before. I felt I grew as expansive as the playa, in no way reaching a limit to possibilities and opportunities.

Sunday morning I wrote fragments in my journal, sitting in a small temple with my three camp amigas. Two had just become engaged at the larger temple. The wind was rushing across the playa, the air was white with dust; it was beautiful, and quieter as many people had all ready left.

I wrote words to the effect that I wanted the wind to drive everything constricting and negative from me and I saw my bones white and clean. The wind makes every structure a musical instrument and I imagined myself as one.

I wrote “I choose” several times. All week, the words sensuality, empowerment, receiving and love appeared on the pages.

Outward signs of freedom like sexy costumes, sexy clothes, few or no clothes, art designed for people to touch, write on, climb and sit with; music, music, music; then nature – desert sun, gusting wind and stinging sand; the triumphant dust you grow to love; heat, cold, fire, stars and rainbows; the city – so much to see and do you never see it all; you can’t meet everyone; you sleep little yet the perfect amount of time – it all brews into an unmitigated glamour you wear like skin that rewires your brain and swells your heart.

Virgin no more and looking forward with joy to next year.

Pee funnels and thighs of steel

August 11, 2010

Wednesday, August 11

My actual inventory is growing, I have purchased: huge tub of flushable wipes, 2 feet ziplock bags, a bike lock, goggles (nothing fancy), dust masks, flashlights, a couple great rings, and the best hat ever –the huge sun hat I’ve been lusting for, for so long.

Still need some funky clothes, the funnel and container, bike adornments…I’m getting there. Where is there? For a virgin, it’s like going to the moon. What am I heading towards?

I just read in John Curley’s blog how the playa conditions are crunchy and it’s windy and white. What am I expecting? I’m simply expecting to deal with whatever it is.I want to be enthralled by works of art I couldn’t have conceived, I want to ride my bike, I want to feel good, I want to rest and chill out if I feel like it and not feel pressured to be anything other than I am. I want to just be and accept whatever white and wind and dust comes my way, and say, cool, now I’ll do this…

I want to journal and look and gawp and think and not think.

Do only virgins get this nervous? Why do I feel it’s so insurmountable?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: Always do what you’re afraid to do.  I believe that. I don’t believe courage is an absence of fear, it’s climbing over it, slashing through it.

It’s Shiva and Vajra.

Keep the lights on

August 4, 2010

Wednesday, August 4

Silence interrupted.

Although I didn’t put my ticket up for sale, I was forced to admit to myself that not having a real friend to plan, get excited, nervous and ultimately adventure with was eclipsing the unimaginable experience. I didn’t want to go to Burning Man alone. I didn’t want to have to figure everything out for myself.  My mind created a perfect neurotic trifecta of defeat, fatigue and cowardice. All that research for nothing? Where else could I strut that fur coat? Where could I experience the extremes, the desert, the art and people and occurrences that were waiting to happen? I felt like I was wrestling with myself.

On top of that, rational and practical obstacles reared up. Not working full-time for six months has taken its toll and every dollar counts. Honestly, I was kind of relieved, now I could say, “Oh, yes, I was planning on going, but now I can’t afford it.” No one could argue with that, including me.

And so I sadly and gently closed the door to Burning Man 2010, but left a tiny jagged crack between fear and spirit to let in a glimmering sliver of light that would allow a solution, if there was one, to be illuminated.

And now less than four weeks away, I’m standing in a dazzling dappled patch of light.

After everything I’ve been through in the last 18 months; accepting and learning that some things will stay with me to be managed, the renewal process of being on the playa; however it happens is very symbolic to me. The excitement is building again. I’ve pulled out my lists.

I’m meeting with my potential new playa mate on Friday to talk it out. Yay light.