Grandma?

September 14, 2011

I never expected to see you on the playa, raining down from the stars, revealed in the swirling, smokey tendrils of my spirit guides. I felt the weight of those who drifted down, touching my breast where yours had been taken.

Communicating with silent stares, they told me of your happiness, your peace, how leaving this fugacious world was only the beginning of another chapter of existence.  And now that i have seen what i have always felt around me, i know you are there, waiting until my soul escapes this corporeal shell and joins you in the heavens.

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69 Days and Counting

June 26, 2011

Click below for Parts 1 and 2 of my  Burning Man essay:

Part 1     Part 2

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Several months prior to our departure, while perusing the Survival Guide and other websites to prepare myself, I came across some advice on how to act around burners who would be baring all.  “Don’t stare. Accept.”  Acceptance seemed to be a reoccurring theme for having a good Burning Man experience.  After doing a Google image search for costumes, it became obvious I would need to be comfortable seeing an abundance of naked people—riding bikes, hula-hooping, leisurely cleaning themselves in curtainless showers, running behind trucks shooting out water in an attempt to minimize the swirling dust of the dried up lakebed known as the playa.  It is normal, and a frequent occurrence, for a person dressed only in fuzzy boot covers and a glow necklace and bracelets to approach you day or night asking for some water from your camelback.now in San Francisco

I would also need to bring or obtain some sort of distinctive glowy accessory for each night to be recognizable by someone from my group.  It was easy to lose focus, especially in a dust storm, when friends kept moving and I couldn’t help but stop and stare at massive art pieces like Bliss Dance, a 40’ woman made of steel, one leg kicked up behind her frozen in mid-dance.  Glowy stuff is also necessary to be seen by thrill-seeking, unlit bikers who appear out of nowhere, whizzing by, causing less skilled bikers to turn sharply in avoidance, crashing into another biker, who flies of their bike and ends up in your path so abruptly you don’t have time to swerve and end up running over them, which of course, causes you to fall off your own bike.  In my five days, I witnessed many bike casualties, one of which I was the culprit.

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Musicality

November 15, 2010

I have always been drawn to electronic music.  The Germans were the ones that hooked me with their eurodance groups like Culture Beat and Real McCoy.  The first time i heard Run Away, i knew this was the type of music i wanted to hear all the time.  The type of music that can transport you into a futuristic world where all that matters is the sync with your body as it ingests beats.

There is something so immediate and primal about electronic music, especially dubstep.  And last night, while jerking to the warbling sounds of DJ Phaded i realized it was also the staccato-esque beats i really like.  It punctures me with movement.  I can’t be still while listening to any music that has a beat.

Somewhere in between the beat-poking and evocation of an alien landscape, i am carried back to the desert.  It will always be the desert.  The desert of Burning Man.  And with my eyes closed i imagine i am in the middle of a crowd, united in movement, in an intangible freedom, in peace and love, and i find myself licking my lips for the sweetness of the playa.

The Red Bracelet

September 27, 2010

My red bracelet is the last physical tie i have to my Burning Man experience.  It will be severed on October 7, 2010 in honor of a fellow burner’s birthday wish.  This small token to me is Burning Man.  It’s been saturated in playa dust and no amount of showers can cleanse it.  It is art in the most minimalist form.  It is ephemeral and can only remain a memory in my mind, my being.  It is a gift.   It is a light among the darkness.  A reminder of what life is not.

I am dreading this day because i feel like once it is gone, so will the enchantment, the dreams.  A memory slipping away in the sunset, never to rise again.  This seems dramatic and silly.  I knew it would not last forever.  I was told upfront, even before letting Dawn double-wrap it around my wrist, what the stakes were.  But it has become such a part of me, a daily reminder of my desert affair. 

I know i am capable of remembering without it, but  i am also afraid that without it i will forget its significance.  The closer it gets to October 7th the more fear creeps in, twisting around my veins, infecting me with lies.  I don’t know if i am strong enough yet to fight back.  I let my fears burn with the Man, but the emotional ashes are converging, ready for a rematch and i am standing alone.