"Yer goin' where? To do what?"
Photo by John Curley; The Man 8/26/2009.
Some last thoughts before leaving for Burning Man 2009
1.) Camp dBM location : Because of our (hopeful) partnership with another larger camp that we're drawing power from, we ended up involuntarily situated at the far edge of Black Rock City -- 2:15ish and Lineage, or on the perimeter out by walk-in camping. AKA, the Boonies, or as Torsten called it, The Frontier. This is exciting for several reasons. First of all, I wonder: what the hell goes on way out there??? I've camped near Center Camp and the Deep End (accidentally) and on the Esplanade, and so have always been, for better or for worse, close in to the downtown BRC action. What will it be like on the Frontier? Will there be periods of peace and tranquility? Does anybody wander by out there? What's it like trying to get around on bikes from way out there? And just what exactly are those walk-in campers up to? With all of these questions unanswerable until we strike camp and find out, I am psyched to be getting a new perspective on the city. I can't fathom that there's a "bad spot" to camp -- except for a few camps I wouldn't care to be next to -- only different spots, providing for different perspectives. Sounds like a good way to keep the Burn fresh! Secondly, which leads me to...
2.) the natural vibes of the Black Rock Desert. I expect the Frontier positioning, with our camp facing outward towards open playa and the hills, to allow me, for the first time, to try and discern some aspect of the natural vibrations of this special place. I typically move through the world attuned to the natural world around me, noticing the birds and plants, reading the landscape. Down at Burning Man, this hasn't really been a part of my experience -- in part because there doesn't seem to be anything living for several miles, as well as because the humanoid stimuli is so overpowering! Imagine bird-watching during Carnival or Mardi Gras, netting butterflies on the Las Vegas strip, Id'ing fungi in Alice's Wonderland. Not likely. I do remember, in 2007, taking a personal timeout one night and biking out to the trash fence on the edge of Deep Playa, sitting down and gazing out at the desert. I felt an electric charge when I slowed down and focused on the vastness of open space out there, how far the playa stretched on to the horizon, how incomprehensibly vast the cosmos above was and how many stars it held. I think that it is the only time I've dialed in to the natural powers of the Black Rock, and I look forward to making more of an effort to do so this year. Another way to keep it fresh.
Speaking of nature...
3.) The full moon will be a part of next week's playa ambiance. Maybe you already know this, but I just read on Tribe that "The moon will be full on Friday, Sep 4th - it will be out from 6:15 pm to 5:34 am. Sunrise on Saturday is at 5:32 am, so if you're up at that hour, you'll see both!! The playa should be pretty well lit up all week." The playa "lit up"? That ain't no surprise! Last time I went there was also a full moon, as well as a FULL LUNAR ECLIPSE (setting the weird scene for the Early Burn) and later in the week, a massive double-rainbow! Happy for the celestial shows.
4.) A mulligan is, according to my dictionary, "(in informal golf) an extra stroke allowed after a poor shot, not counted on the scorecard." I reserve the right to call "mulligans" all week on the playa. When I do, you can't count certain poor shots, foggy decisions, fumbles, stumbles, disappearing acts or no-shows against me on my scorecard!
5.) I found (and love) this description of the distractive nature of life in BRC on a listserv: "short attention span central. that's the playa in a nutshell. it's hot and loud and nobody gets any sleep. plus there are a lot of bright shiny things. we joke in my camp that people at burning man are like ferrets on crack, e.g.: 'ok, man, i'll go get that ice. gonna grab the wagon and the cooler and HOLY SHIT WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT, wow, what a fabulous looking SWING! hey, look at those people o my god what are they doing hee hee heeee wow that looks like fun, i love my new friends...' and before you know it, wagon's gone and it's been seven hours since you sent them to go get ice. this is standard operating procedure. get used to it, be forgiving when it happens, because it happens to the best of us. can't handle it? stay home." If it takes me 7 hours to do an ice run, I'll call a mulligan.
6.) I was thinking it would be interesting and invigorating to take a vow of silence for 24 hours at some point down at Burning Man. I've done it a handful of times before and dig it. Its like a word-fast. A cleaning of the verbal palette. BM could be a great place to do it (excellent place for experimentation, going beyond normal boundaries), or a horrible place (too many fascinating people to talk to!), not sure which. It would be interesting to see what alternative nonverbal forms of interpersonal communication emerges, especially with strangers. I'll keep it in my back pocket as an option.
Finally, for what it's worth, here's my horoscope for the week:
"Enduring and Expanding Change: Pisces Daily Horoscope
You could feel like exploring frontiers in learning, which could motivate you to pick up and travel or study something new. Using your sense of adventure to stretch and broaden your view of the world might infuse your life with a greater sense of purpose and a deeper understanding of the workings of the world around you. Making it a point to undertake something new, such as investigating an issue you are interested in, delving into another culture, or trying a different form of meditation or reflective practice may result in the infusion of fresh ideas and discoveries into your life. If you can bring something different to your everyday routine, you might notice that the boundaries of what you thought was possible can expand to encompass things that are not only unusual, but also extremely fulfilling.
Going beyond our normal comfort zones can be a transformative experience. As we bring new thoughts, ideas, and experiences to our lives, we widen the circle of our daily existence that we create around us. Unless we continually and conscientiously increase our awareness of the world, we can easily craft a bubble that confines, constricts, and limits us – we no longer seek to grow but instead remain in a state of constant refuge. By immersing yourself in something that brings you out of this cocoon, however, you will ignite your desire to understand your life in a more profound way, which will help you embark on a path of deep and enduring change."
Pick up and travel, check. Sense of adventure, check. Broaden my view of the world, check. Delving in to another culture, check. Infusion of fresh ideas and discoveries, check. Different everyday routine, check. Expanding boundaries = unusual + fulfilling, check. Going beyond comfort zone, transformative experience, leave the bubble/coccoon, understand my life in a more profound way, embark on a path of deep and enduring change. Check, check, frickin' check!!! Everything is in alignment. Bring. It.
Ready to pass through the portal....