Category: my love


Musings

So, Random wants to set up his own blog ;o)  When he does, I’ll link to it from here. (He may also guest post on mine, who knows!)  Got me thinking more about what I want out of this blog.

I’ve been pretty edited in my postings here. Usually nothing you don’t want mom or an employer to read.  (Typically I keep my real name seperate, but I have content on the web with my real (nick) name and a link to here.)

I want to write more, but I can’t decide if I want to break down those walls and be more informal, open and honest (the way I can be on friends-only blogs, such as my tribe blog) or if I want to strive for better writing and reaching more of an audience.  The latter makes me think I would have to consistently write more formal entries, such as those I wrote for the Morristown Green blog about Burning Man, however it’s not necessarily the case and just my internal expectations.

Am I writing for myself or the audience?  Both.  I like having this blog as a check in point for friends, a way to update everyone if they choose to read it.  Everyone wants to be heard, or else blogging wouldn’t be public.  And I’ll admit I love checking blog and flickr account stats for shits and giggles! ;o)  But ultimately I do it for my own enjoyment/cathartic exercise. 

I read a lot of blogs. Friends who post often and fairly openly, if only for friends only communities (on myspace, tribe, LJ).  Those who are celebrities for blogging (dooce and yarnharlot).  And then there’s the niche of those people that I don’t know, they aren’t THAT well known publicly, and yet I’m a loyal reader and almost feel like we are friends even if we’ve never talked.  The top of this list has to be Jen Gray. Her entries always include a photo (I want to take more photos!!), and most of the time some thoughts in her head that both show who she truly is, without revealing every single intimate detail of her life.  These entries are moving, inspirational, comforting, hilarious.  I even find awesome music thanks to her fearless self-made movies.

Ha. I hadn’t read her most recent entry until double checking the URL for the link above.

Leave it to Jen to answer the question before I even asked it today.

 

its okay if you dont do it like they do it
and its okay if you do it that way instead of this way

at the end of the day,
this is still YOUR story.

and not a single person on or off the planet can
tell it or work it the way you can.

your thumbprint is essential here.

only you can see from your eyes,
only you can speak the words in your heart,
only you…

you are past the trying to force a way that doesnt belong to you,
that is why you feel that stuck shit feeling….
because it no longer works.

you know better now.

its your song
your story
your way
your expression
your essence
that is the ticket here.

no one can do it just like you.
not a one.

you own the pencil
you are the author of your life.

and thank god.

it would be like a world of re-runs if we did it everyone else’s way.

 

Do you blog?  How do you choose your voice, or how you present yourself, if that is a conscious decision at all?  What do you expect out of other blogs, whether your friend’s or a stranger’s?  Is there anything you want to see more of in this blog?  I won’t bother asking what you want less of – if it’s here, it’s because I want it… Aside from self-editing for professional or personal reasons, I’m not going to stop doing something when you can easily hit the back button in your browser.  (I’m fair, and try to alert readers before something is graphic or controversial so you have some warning ;o)

OK so time for a little write up and some pics from the burn…. 

All of my pics are here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/k8et/sets/72157607189941551/

But there were many many photos we didn’t get — the man burning (we had front row seats and a camera that had no pictures left!), art that we just didn’t take photos of for whatever reason… I wanted to go back to the art piece I have the tattoo of during the day and get a good shot of me with the sculpture, but it never happened.

I’ve searched out and favorited on flickr photos that either rock or that are of things I missed seeing or just missed taking a photo…. so feel free to browse through them to see some better/other pictures!  http://flickr.com/photos/k8et/favorites/

The weather was bad a few days, but overall it was the best burn yet for me!  
 
Biggest news/favorite memory, probably is getting married to Random (Nate). Yup. We had a playa marrage. (there’s no I in marriage!)  performed by bluebuddha.  We were invited to join a reception, and then asked if we wanted to get married. Sure, why not?!  They lent me a veil and flowers, as well as a maid of honor and a “father” (peter pan).  Random got a best man (peter pan’s boyfriend!)  The marriage is valid until the “alcohol, novelty, or drugs wear off, or until you leave the playa”.  Wedding rings and a certificate completed the ceremony, then it was time for the reception. Introduction, first dance, chicken dance, hokey pokey, conga line, last dance… all the cheesiness, right on the street between the wedding camp and the DJ across the way! it was a blast. I hope they send me photos they took, we signed a book and asked for them to email us. 

Right before this, we had stopped at the Barbie Death Camp and Wine Bistro, and I spilled wine all over myself 😦  Luckily, I never travel anywhere there without a sarong, and I was thrilled to realize I had a special one with me that day (it was given to me by a dear friend, and I wore it at my first burning man during critical tits in her honor!)  So I changed from wine stained capris into the sarong for the wedding 😀

My other most favorite moment was watching sunrise Sunday morning, with the man gone, the temple stood out, and the sun rose behind it from our position at PEX. (We had wandered, danced, spun glow poi, mini-golfed, and cuddled/chatted with some friends the entire night)  
 


(Photo by Lisa)

As for conclave… well we performed Thursday night at PEX.  Except for one part not going as planned at all and not making sense to the audience (taking down uncle sam between fire pieces), it went well.  Then saturday, it was a little dusty all day, and full white out for a few hours before sunset.  News on the ranger radios was that the man burn was delayed.  When it cleared, we made our way to PEX, to hear that we had no idea if we were performing or not, but we went out to the man.  They ended up just burning the man with no conclave performance – I’ve heard various reasons (no performing because he was loaded with fuel/fireworks, or because they didn’t want the wind to pick up and end up missing the window of opportunity… *shrug*.)  we were all disappointed, and some were very angry.  I appreciate that I enjoyed spending so much time with this amazing group of performers, becoming better friends with them, and we had front row seats for the burn.  I don’t know if I’ll do it next year, just not sure I want to commit the time and driving again, but it was totally worth it.


 
The temple burn was magical, my first time sitting up close (for various reasons the past two times, I watched from mid-playa or esplanade).  The Man burn had the longest fireworks show I’ve seen in my attendance there. 


 
As those of you who have been know, it’s just a crazy week full of amazing memories, and hard to put them all into words. the list of things we meant to see/do is long, but I know we would have sacrificed things we did experience if we held to schedule. 
 
Random had a great time as well – and we travelled well together. yeah we each had little cranky moments but that always happens at burning man, the weather and lack of sleep can be harsh. they passed quickly, and even after spending almost two weeks together, we didn’t want to leave each other, so I say that was a complete success 😀
 
 
and so I’m going to be totally lame and use parts of something I wrote for my town’s blog rather than recreate some of the things it says (I was pestered by one of the main bloggers to contribute. I posted before I left for burning man – http://www.nj.com/morristown/index.ssf/2008/08/not_your_usual_summer_vacation.html – and once I have all my photos will submit the full follow up post as well.).
 
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Journaling attempts (both photographic and written) fail, as time becomes fluid and you are continually distracted until exhaustion catches up with you out in the desert.  My boyfriend and I attempted to write in a journal and only got about two days worth before forgetting it entirely.  Trying to catch up post-event, it’s become a list of favorite mental snapshots and moments that even full paragraphs or photos could not do justice.
 
Our arrival on Monday afternoon was a dusty one.  It was clear driving on the roads, but once you turn off the pavement and onto the playa (the dry lake bed) it grew dustier as we drove, and we could not see the city through the cloud hovering over it.  The caravan slowed as soon found out that the gates to the city were closed, with full white out conditions in the city it was unsafe for driving.  We alternated between sweating in the van (with no working air conditioner) and suiting up with goggles and dust mask to stand in the cool breeze of the storm. 


 
As the weather cleared up where we were, an impromptu party of neighboring cars started as people broke out a box of wine, a guitar, and marshmallows.  Odd combinations like this are the norm on the playa, and we enjoyed making new friends as we waited.  Once the gates were opened, they rushed us past the greeters rather than giving “virgins” (first timers) the fun inaugural speeches and dares.  I was disappointed for my boyfriend as it was his first burn, but he says the white out was the best initiation for him.
 
By the time we set up camp and said hello to old friends, we were too exhausted to go any further, and decided to rest up for the first full day on playa.
 
And from there, it was one adventure leading to another.  Whether you start out for a task or a leisurely wander, it easily can last longer than expected as you run across friends you haven’t seen, or an unusual piece of art.  Stopping to smell the roses is essential, as the next time you pass that way the object of interest could be moved, or non-functioning (as functioning pieces of art tend to have down times), or despite all good intentions you may not pass that way twice. 
 
Some burners fall into definite “day” or “night” categories – meaning they will live one up to the fullest and spend most of the other recovering/sleeping.  We did our best to do a little of each – managed to see two sunrises by staying up all night, but the day after was always a wash out.  Other days we did daytime art exploration.  And even if you don’t need sleep for some reason, there are still not enough hours in the week to see everything you want to see.    
 
While the large art works and the burns of the Man and the Temple certainly are memorable, it’s the little things that mean the most to me.  They are snippets of memories and no longer hold any order or timeline in the conventional sense.
 
-The synchronicity of sharing a plane route (and even a row) with a familiar face, both on the outbound and inbound trips. 
-Playing “spot the burner” in the airports (some are easy, carrying fake fur coats and sporting colorful hair – some are more of a challenge!) 
-A picnic in a shady spot out in the middle of the hot playa on an art piece, offering passersby blueberries and strawberries and seeing their delighted reactions. 
-Standing in line at the 30′ tall ketchup bottle, waiting for fresh french fries, and making friends while we wait. 

Photo by Chuntr

Photo by Chuntr

-Watching skydivers at night with sparkly firework effects, leaving trails in the sky. 
-Speaking of the sky, the clearest view of the stars I have ever seen, and shooting stars are a common find. 
-Staying warm and chatting with friends as we wait for the sunrise – which rose behind the temple from where we were sitting. 
-Being invited to have an impromptu “playa” wedding – only for the duration of the event – with strangers standing in as father of the bride, best man, and maid of honor, complete with a reception featuring a first dance, the chicken dance, hokey pokey, conga line, and last dance.  Our “cake” was a s’mores Poptart, given to us shortly before hand from the off duty art car “Dust City Diner”.
-Having a “brainwashing” at Cleu camp (

www.cleu.org) – which is a relaxing meditation as they explain the meaning of their symbol, and they give you a copper necklace with the same symbol. 
-Leaving notes/messages at the Temple, for those who passed on and for those who could not return to Burning Man this year. 
-Watching my boyfriend (er, husband at the time!) experience the city for the first time with such joy and awe. 
-Performing our conclave piece during the week, our last rehearsal. (It ended up being our only performance of it – high winds and white outs on Saturday precluded the conclave groups who worked so hard all year from performing before the Man burned.  He still burned, just later than usual, and we did have front row seats.  Many were angry or disappointed, but the time spent practicing with my group was wonderful and it was worth it even if the end goal was never completed.) 
-Sharing wine and chocolate with neighbors before the Temple burned, and walking home in a white out at night afterwards.
 
 
Those are just a few of the highlights of the week.  Yes, the weather was harsh at times.  However I find the Playa (and it does take on a personality of it’s own) tends to bring you what you need, whether or not it’s what you want.  Mostly, for me, it brings me back to the moment.  You can’t focus on things you need to do/see – the only things I had scheduled were our last rehearsal and our performance, and you know how that turned out.  You can’t rely on a mental list of things you want to see, or return to in the daylight.  When you leave camp, you need to have your bag fully packed with water, snacks, dust mask and goggles, because you never know what is in store for you.  You may have a goal destination, but it usually is just a starting direction for your journey.  Wherever you are, whoever you are with, you need to enjoy that to the fullest.  Because that’s a moment you’ll never get back.

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Rodin's "The Kiss"

Rodin - "The Kiss" (Photo by flickr user gherm)

hymn to the sacred body of the universe
(drew dellinger)

let’s meet
at the confluence
where you flow into me
and one breath
swirls between our lungs

let’s meet
at the confluence
where you flow into me
and one breath
swirls between our lungs

for one instant
to dwell in the presence of the galaxies
for one instant
to live in the truth of the heart
the poet says this entire traveling cosmos is
“the secret One slowly growing a body”

two eagles are mating—
clasping each other’s claws
and turning cartwheels in the sky
grasses are blooming
grandfathers dying
consciousness blinking on and off
all of this is happening at once
all of this, vibrating into existence
out of nothingness

every particle
foaming into existence
transcribing the ineffable

arising and passing away
arising and passing away
23 trillion times per second—
when Buddha saw that,
he smiled

16 million tons of rain are falling every second
on the planet
an ocean
perpetually falling
and every drop
is your body
every motion, every feather, every thought
is your body
time
is your body,
and the infinite
curled inside like
invisible rainbows folded into light

every word of every tongue is love
telling a story to her own ears

let our lives be incense
burning
like a hymn to the sacred
body of the universe
my religion is rain
my religion is stone
my religion reveals itself to me in
sweaty epiphanies

every leaf, every river,
every animal,
your body
every creature trapped in the gears
of corporate nightmares
every species made extinct
was once
your body

10 million people are dreaming
that they’re flying
junipers and violets are blossoming
stars exploding and being born
god
is having
déjà vu
I am one
elaborate
crush
we cry petals
as the void
is singing

you are the dark
that holds the stars
in intimate
distance

that spun the whirling,
whirling,
world
into existence

let’s meet
at the confluence
where you flow into me
and one breath
swirls between our lungs

All is full of love

(post title due to my musical tourettes… never actually heard bjork’s version of this, but Charlotte Martin sings part of it with one of her other songs.)

This weekend was full of wonder and joy and love and music and adventure…

Friday I helped take pictures of the Morristown Critical Mass bike ride.

Full flick set here.

The art show afterwards was fun as well, despite the heat (an ice cream from the ice cream truck helped ;o)

Saturday, Random and I had an adventure in NY – Figment was going on, an arts festival run by burners and artists on Governor’s Island. It was the second year for it, and apparently Saturday they broke the record for the most visitors to the island on one day! While we didn’t get there until early afternoon, and we ended up staying in one area (Just like at Burning Man, when an event is limited in time, you always miss something really cool and feel like you didn’t do/see enough!), I had such a blast. 

There were art installations everywhere, the rose petal pool was in action again, and we settled down at the Disorient sound stage. Groovehoops had hoops out for everyone to enjoy.  I didn’t bring mine, thinking I wouldn’t use it enough to warrant carrying it.  Well I was wrong… The music was perfect – mellow yet you wanted to move to it, and picked up in energy a little later in the day. 

Now I’ve been learning the hoop, I obviously enjoy it when I pick it up, but often I am discouraged by the lack of “tricks” that I know, or that I can’t keep still facing one direction or the hoop will fall (I dance/move with the hoop).  But a combination of the perfect day, perfect music, perfect mood.  I LOVED hooping there.  Even with hoops that were too small/light/slippery (no gaffers tape) for my taste.  It was seductive, it was sexy, it was… pure joy and love.  And seeing the crowd of people hooping, from hoop dancing pros to hoop virgins, it was so wonderful. 

I think this woman couldn’t waist hoop, but she was so joyful just hooping above her head like this!

With poi, I’ve moved into a place where I’m more into the flow and dancing with it.  And there are times that energy feels really great. But the hooping I experienced that day just had a different energy to it.  I’m sure it was a combo of many things, the music, the energy, my emotions… I plan on bringing my hoop (new collapsible! yay) many more places with me.

See the resemblance?

When we weren’t hooping/spinning/sticking (Random is getting amazing at devilsticks!) we lounged and watched/listened, or chatted with friends. I enjoyed spending some time with Scratch – who I’ve met twice at NYC Santacon and friended on tribe, but finally got to have a real conversation with him.

Thumbnails (click for larger version) – first meeting with Rudy-tooty (Scratch) was a pic with a stranger in ’06, and running into each other on subway in ’07. Missed getting a pic with him this time! 😦

 12-16-06 039 12-8-07 025

I loved Figment because while it totally had the burner vibe, it was a public event and it was clear people were there who didn’t know what was going on and it was their first experience with anything like this.  I wish that every town, every park, every city was more like this.  Artwork surrounding you and found in every crevice when you looked carefully.  Strangers smiling and laughing with each other over hooping attempts, the weather, anything.  Back on Manhattan it was hard to repress the openness to strangers and urge to smile and hug everyone.  Which could be dangerous there.  But Figment gives me hope that this “vibe” I keep mentioning IS possible in more areas of our lives, and not just at events like Burning Man and regional burns.  

So yes, it was time to leave the island… It was getting close to the end of the event, and we could smell/feel a few raindrops.  By the time we reached the ferry, it was a full blown thunderstorm.  Because it was so hot and humid, and we were dancing/playing around, it felt really nice actually.  From the ferry we could see that the NY waterfall installation was blowing so hard in the wind, it was adding to the “rain” people fought through to reach the boat!  Wanted to take a pic, but moreso wanted to keep my camera as dry as possible…

In Manhattan, we grabbed an awesome dinner (Beckett’s bar & grill, Stone Street, NY) and went to the afterparty at Castle Clinton in Battery Park. The band was good, but didn’t fit the mood I was in so much (what??? I’m preferring house over a live band? I’m being brainwashed…. ;o)  Of course they were back to the DJ by the time we decided to head out. But the party would be wrapping up and moving to Brooklyn, and I did not have the energy for that late of a night.  Played with poi (and soyboy’s triangular hoop! that was a blast) and taught someone else some basic moves, and then we wandered home.

Damp from rain/sweat, drained, but still smiling from the amazing day.

(All Figment pics here.)

There’s so much more to this amazing weekend, but that’s all I can attempt to put into words for now.  But next year?  Get your ass out to Governor’s Island.  It’s worth it! (Free ferry to the island and no admission fee for Figment. MORE THAN WORTH IT!)

PDF photos from friends

I wanted to collect some favorite photos from PDF that friends took.

The following were taken by Meesh.

114

115

117 

121

131

For her full album – click here
Image hosted by Webshots.com
by shellybean42

 

This next batch were taken by my new friends and neighbor at PDF – themadhatter and smokekitty – here a pic of them first!

His whole album is up here.