Sage on the Playa
I've been here for at least 20 hours now. This is my first trip to the desert and I've already begun to see what the big fuss is all about. There is such a feeling of community and friendship here. I had met alot of the people here throughout the past months, but I am confident that even if I hadn't that I would still be welcomed just as warmly as I have been.
The people that are new faces for me (Hugh Mann, for example) have already in one day become faces of familiarity. I especially notice how easy it is just going walking about and making new aquaintances without any hesitation.
I can't believe that I'm really here! The reality of the whole thing has yet to really hit me. We are still in the process of setting up and there are new arrivals every few hours. I'm still reeling in anxiety of what is going to happen tonight, tomorrow, and so on. I know I should stop thinking and just go with it, but it's not as easy as it sounds! I've been waiting for this day since I first heard about "Burning Man" which is back in February and being thrown into the scene so quickly and intensely made me crave it more and more every day.
This is definitely better than Disney World.
Last night I was kidnapped by the Celestial Garden Sluts to go touring the playa. I was hesitant at first bouting with sleep or adventure and after a realization that I didn't have to wake up for work, do laundry, or anything else, I decided that the evening tour was my only option! :) We went all around the desert making new friends, seeing friends whom we hadn't bumped into yet, and had some great girl time. Something which I've just recently in my life realized I need.
When we got back to camp, it was so nice out that I decided to sleep outside on the couch. SO COMFORTABLE!!! I awoke to the HOT morning sun, gave myself a "desert/baby wipe shower" and had a little breakfast. I can't wait to see what this new day has in store for me.
So it's Tuesday at the playa. What is that now, three days? Actually only about 48 hours. The days are so long here it is really difficult to keep track. I know that it's not really that important, but I'm still adjusting to the concept of timelessness. Last night I teamed up with the Celestial Sluts once again and we all dropped some acid together. I was extremely excited about doing this with them for many reasons. First, I had only tripped twice previously to this night both with the Cyberbuss family. I was excited for an experience with new company. Second, it was with all women. This is an energy that I have been feeding off of since I've arrived here in the desert. Even though I barely knew them from before (and vice versa), we had an instant attchment to each other at first sight here. And finally, I knew that they had a lot to show me through talks, actions, and support of one another.
We started our trip at a party down at the blue light district. By the time we had arrived to the party it was pretty much coming to an end (the party not the trip). We then decided to head over to a party at opium ..something. Of course we never made it that far. We passed Cyberbuss along the way and stopped in for some play time. Next, we headed over toward the "man". We girls just laughed and joked and wandered down and we all felt as if there was this force pulling us to him. Pandora and Justin had christmas lights on and Artamis had her lighted fairy wings on. They created the most beautifully lit path for us to take us on our journey.
Once we got to the man, which approching up close was the most indescribable sight I have ever seen, Justin took me past him and throughout to the wide open playa. As we were walking, there all of a sudden was a change in all of my senses. The sound was dulled, the air was still, the lights from behind us all seemed to disappear and the smell was crisp fresh air.
Justin and I shared a great moment there and I shed my first burning man tear out there. It was an amazing feeling of release, comfort, safety, and love all coming together and pushing through me at an easy pace. I will never forget that moment.
Something I should probobly mention before I go any further is that the synchronicity between the group of us has been so perfectly in tune. From the start, running into them as soon as I think of them to all the events described and to be described.
Justin and I had just finished our moment, contemplating to head on back toward camp or stay, when the rest of the girls came over. It was as if they knew we went to have a moment and knew when it was ok to rejoin us. We all decided to start wandering through the open playa back to the camps. During that time we had lots of laughter and quiet times.
We came out of the playa to "Disturbia" which was definitely living up to it's name. That's not a negative statement but my experience. The music was extremely hard core and at first, due to us still being at our peak coming from nothingness, the loud hardcore sounds terrified a few of us. Justin wanted to go check it out and we didn't want to let her go. And then she said that she was going to go be safe and strong for all of us. Of course there was nothing to be concerned with and we all moved on as soon as she came back to us. We wondered back to the Celestial camp and played for the rest of the night.
When the morning hit, Justin and I headed back out to the playa to watch the sunrise. Once again, a moment stuck forever in my mind. Some things you don't need pictures or entries to remind you. We sat out there and talked of our lives and how similar they are spiritually and as the sun rose, a cooler air came sweeping over the mountains as if to say take in as much coolness as you can now!
The sun was up and we went on to go greet the morning risers from their evening sleep. I took a nap in an amazing hammock with low breeze, but plenty of shade. I awoke and went to start the new day.
Tonight there is going to be a wet T-shirt contest which is imperitive that I attend because according to Costco, my soul mate will be there!
Over and out for Tuesday!
Yesterday was a nice and easy day. I lounged all day and drank frozen margaritas before dinner. How is that for a great treat? I never went out to the wet T-shirt contest. I have decided that although it was fun to become a member of the Costco soulmate finders, I think I can do ok on my own. The way the soulmate finders works is as follows: you go in and you get a picture taken of yourself on thier computer and then you fill out a questionaire. Once you've filled out the questionaire you give it to them and they give you a membership card with your picture on it. You give it a day, go back and they have someone picked out to be your soulmate on the playa. Your job is to now go and find this soulmate.
Last night after a long day, me and a friend of mine went walking out to the playa. Since I had gone the night before I could see the difference of how much the population has really grown here over night. We had to walk farther out to escape the noise, and even then it still wasn't as peaceful as before. In addition to that, the moon is getting more full and brighter which makes seeing the stars a little more difficult. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to venture out early in the week to catch all the good stuff!
Today has just began and I awoke to a great surprise. Maria and Kathy are here!!! I've been awaiting their arrival since I got here. They are two of my closest friends here and it definitely feels more complete now.
I'm starting to feel more together here. My things are more organized and I have the playa set up pretty much down, so I don't feel like I'm just wondering around aimlessly.
Today is a big day for us here at the Cyberbuss camp. We are getting the rest of our arrivals, and set up will be complete. There are a lot of people at this camp and the fun is never ending! Tonight I believe we are doing a communal dosing and we are going to party down!
Last night I dosed again with the group. We all took our doses at different times so we weren't all in sync with each other. Lucid performed at the camp and that started off our trip. I didn't have a very strong trip probobly since I had just tripped Monday night and it was a liitle too soon to do it again. Cody, Cyrus, Joanne and Mike went for a walk and after Lucid was done playing I went touring the camps alone. I was so amazed at how safe I felt walking, tripping, alone. There were so many crazy people all over doing crazy things and loud.
I saw the Nebulous Entities walking around. There were about 20 to 30 of them walking around in white scientist suits with plenty of glow sticks and toys. As I was coming out of the bathroom I saw them heading my way up 4th street. All I could see were 20 to 30 glow toys bouncing in the air. That just made me smile. I toured alot last night then headed back to the camp. People were chillin' around our little spot by the bus and someone attached a glow stick to the hanging lighter. We moved the glow stick around and watched it trail through the air. Soon after that, Cody, Cyrus, Joanne and Mike showed up and we headed out to the man.
On our way there we saw a taxi with a passenger in it. We thought it was a joke and went up to it to see if we could get a ride. To our surprise it was a REAL taxi. Some guy had just arrived to the desert from Reno, in a taxi, and was driving around looking for a place to camp! It was so funny and crazy to be interacting with a symbol of the world "outside". We laughed about that for hours. Joanne was convinced that it was a joke and that he had us all fooled. We did find out later that he was actually a for real cab. We went and hung out under the man, smoked a little pot and headed out to the playa. There Cody gave us each a glow stick to play with. As you can see, my night was focused on glow sticks. If it glowed in any way, it had my attention.
After playing around on the playa for a while, we headed out to the rave camps. It was so amazing to walk towards the camps hearing all the different raves from all different directions. Now, you have to understand, I love raves. I love the music and the intensity of the dancing and all of it. So as we were walking towards them I couldn't figure out which one to go to first. We strolled around, checking all the different tunes out and then I finally picked one that I stayed and danced at. It is such a great feeling to be dancing on the desert, at night with cool air, the stars everywhere, and the moon looking right at you. The music itself really pumped me up and got me dancing, but the sight of the sky really made it as great as it was. I will definitely be heading back over there very soon (most likely on Friday).
Tonight, after an early dinner, we are going to take the bus and go out onto the playa. Cheese and I are going to paint ourselves head to toe in silver. It is going to be great. I have really become used to this way of living. If I had the means I would love to stay out here longer. Which means I just need to come back next year.
I still can't fathom the idea that it will be getting more intense and insane here. It's pretty insane right now.
I've been watching how the desert effects people. Some people become very calm and serene, some party like crazy, and some have a terrible time. I am still trying to figure out how it is effecting me. Some days I'm full of energy, and some I think I just want to sleep for days and days. I feel myself breaking free more each day but something is still holding me back and I can't grasp on to what it is. I'm almost angry at myself for not being able to just relax and be free in my mind. I'm hoping tonight may change that. Only time will tell.
Yesterday was a very intense day for me. I woke up at 1pm and started my day off pretty slowly. I hung out at camp most of the day and around six we all had dinner and proceeded to take the bus out to the playa to watch the sunset. It was a little cloudy so the sunset was absolutely amazing. There was drumming and we danced for about an hour or so. Then we headed back to the campground to tour the sites. When we reached our destination (which was where the guys had drum practice) Justin and I walked back to camp. She and I decided to hang out at her camp for a while and then go to a party. I invited this guy I met and we all went to the "Celestial Garden Saloon" for coctails.
We decided that we wanted to do some mushrooms so I went back to my tent to get them and when I returned Justin had left for the party which of course I forgot to find out where exactly it was.
I hung out with Sean for a while and we went to go see F-Space perform in center ring. F-Space is a group that makes music with fire and I guess what you would consider electric construction tools. It's great. They are going to perform here at Cyberbuss camp on Saturday.
After the show, Sean and I decided to go out to the playa to sleep since Cyrus had crashed in my tent. We went out there and altough I thought I wanted to "get loose" and fool around with Sean, I couldn't do it. I realized that I just am not ready to go there yet. It's been a while since I've been with anyone and I just want to wait until it's right. I guess I've come to the conclusion that I am more special than to just jump into bed with someone to satisfy myself. I'm not knocking anyone who does, especially out here since that is a big part of the whole Burning Man experience, but it's just not for me. I'm glad I realized that before it was too late.
The next couple of days I am going to take it easy and slow myself down with drugs and overwhelming activity. This place is starting to get to me a little. When I was walking back from the playa, I honestly didn't want to come back to the campgrounds. It was so peaceful and beautiful I just wanted to stay all day. Unfortunately, the sun prevented that from happening. I came back, had some good breakfast and some great talks and I feel much more at ease.
They say the desert makes you go through a lot of self realization, inner strengthening, and healing....Ain't that the truth!
What a crazy chain of events! Yesterday went by so quickly. We hung out and cleaned a little from the day before.
There was an amazing storm yesterday that brought all this wind and dust everywhere. Cyber Satan and I walked out to the playa past the man and through the storm into the eye of it. The wind was so strong that it felt like walking in a hurricane and it made the rain feel like hard pellets beating down on our skin. When we turned around, the entire campsite was covered in dust and all you could see was the man. This desert brings it's own mysteries and excitement without any of us.
Last night Maria Cheese and I painted ourselves up in silver paint from head to toe. All I wore was paint and a blue glittering garter around my left thigh. It was great. She and I got carried out on the "goddess gondalah" through the center circle, center stage, and back to home base. During our mini-trip, we had to make a few pit stops to relieve the men carrying us around. Everytime we stopped, people came up to us taking our picture and filming. It was really funny. When we got back to the buss, she and I went under the black light and had our pictures taken again. I was beginning to feel like a character at Disney Land. I started to feel bare, so I put on a skirt that I made while I've been here.
Next they opened up the Romper Room for the "human stew". Everyone was jumping in and rolling around. I was trying to just be a vouyer, but this guy kept trying to pull me in which really agitated me and I had to move away from the area! Some people just don't get it. Anyways, a few of us did some ecstacy and went dancing at the rave camps.
I tied my hair up in day glow ties and went to a camp with black lights. I probobly lasted there about an hour before I realized exactly how tired I was and went home to sleep.
Today I woke up, still covered in silver paint, in a now silver sleeping bag, silver tent, and everything else I touched the night before was in silver. I tried to get it off with baby wipes, and now I have a grey hue with a tint of shine to my skin. Oh yeah, and mixed with playa dust! I went over to Costco Soulmates and helped them work today. That was a lot of fun. I got to take poeple's pictures on the computer and meet alot of new faces.
I was just getting ready to go and wash my hair when another storm came in. This time stronger than the last one in terms of wind, but less rain. In fact, the wind is still going crazy and I think it's almost been two hours! Tonight I am going to be hanging out with the "sluts" again. We are going to dress all spiffy and go to the opera at midnight. There is going to be a full moon and a lunar eclipse tonight. I am so excited. I think it's going to be an insane evening. More tomorrow.
Prepare yourself for a long entry.
Last night after a huge wind storm, rain began to fall rapidly down on the playa. At first it was refreshing, then it began to bother me with the platform shoes I was gaining from the collecting playa and then it became nonexistant to me.
There was a fashion/drag show here at the Cyberbuss camp and I wore a costume made from some bubble wrap that I found flying on the playa from the storm. We danced for a while, but unfortunately the rain was causing some sort of electronical difficulties and we had to close up shop. I went and changed into some more comfortable clothes and a bunch of us began to head out to play in "the city".
We started heading out and immediately ran into trouble. Cody and Cyrus had to head back to camp for something, Sam and Resan got captured by the Nebulous Entities, and the rest of us tried to figure where to go next. We spotted a fire in the direction of where the opera was to be held and wanted to check it out to make sure we didn't miss it. Kathy wanted to go back to the camp to look for the others and Cheese and I headed out with the rest of our crew to check out the fire promising to meet her at the camp asap. We headed down to the fire and while we were there, we lost Mark and Dan. Now we were down to only four women. The fire turned out to be a bon fire and the four of us headed back to camp. Everyone but Sam was there. We figured he was off on his own, waited a while and then headed out. Cody had to go back for something, again, and While he was gone, Sam showed up.
We all, as a group, headed out for a second try steering clear of all Nebuli. Sam was leading the way which, we found out later, may have been the more adventurous trip, but not necessarily the best choice. We were pretty much all tripping on something and followed Sam out to the playa because according to him he knew where he was going. He had a flashlight which he was spinning in circles assuring us that he was orbiting somewhere. He was motorin' through the desert at mock speed. We lost him somewhere near the CD display and when we looked for his circling flashlight we saw that he was about a mile or two away. We figured he was heading to the man so again, we followed him. He wasn't going there.
We don't know exactly where Sam disappeared to, but we did know that those of us who had only done shrooms were starting to get tired. So we dropped some acid.
We headed out again and fell upon a book burn. We got there just in time for the burn to begin. They had a stack of books next to a bon fire and let us go at it. The only rule to this was that we had to scream the name of the book we where burning out loud before tossing it into the fire. Once Cheese got her hands on the bull horn she was unstoppable. Every book she grabbed she yelled the name through that horn with authority. It was the funniest thing I think I've seen her do. Well, not really.
We moved on from the burn to the center camp and entered this really cool space ship. We went inside, I got in the driver's seat, and we went searching in orbit for Sam. At this point we were all tripping pretty hard and it felt as if we were really cruising (and crashing) through space. After we landed, we felt secure that we would find Sam and, as we started heading to the opera, there he appeared. Welcome to Burning Man. Wait, it gets better.
We got to the opera only to find out that it was delayed for an hour. We made ourselves semi-comfortable and chatted. Cheese, Kathy and I began talking about Sweet Tarts and Sprees candies. I was saying that I really wanted a Sweet Tart and that I would take that over Sprees any day. A few minutes later I went to go to the bathroom and bumped into Carlos and his friend Dave. Dave immediately offers me a Sweet Tart because he just found them in his bag from a month ago. Ask and you SHALL receive. The opera was really intriguing, but even though I knew the story line, I was still a little confused.
When they began to burn down the towers, we noticed that the first tower to be burned, was the last one standing and still is. The best part is that each tower belonged to a different group. The one standing belongs to the Calerics who are fire players. It's all these small coincidences that stimulate my abstract thoughts.
We all headed back to camp and started preparing meals and a bon fire. It was really amazing the way the fire pulled in some lost people to come feel warm and safe. We welcomed them, of course, and waited for the sun to rise.
It was an amzingly beautiful sunrise. Because of all the clouds from the night before, the sky was filled with shades of pink, blue and purple. Our morning was beginning.
The plan for the camp today was to take a vow of no talking, only noises, writing, and gestures. This idea came about because Rena, who has been with the Cyberbuss at previous Burning Mans could not be here this year. I think they said it was sometime last year that she took a vow of silence for 10 days. It was to be done in honor of her.
We were all doing great. One by one, someone would wake up, habitly, say "good morning," and give that look of mild embarrassment when they were reminded of the pact. We all communicated with grunts, bird calls, and lots of laughter.
Cheese convinced me to get covered in mud with her. We let it dry and proceeded to the showers. This was around 9:15am. The showers turn on at 11. We had no idea. We played in the mud for a while trying to bide time, once again becoming the focalpoint of every camera on the playa. Do I look like Minnie Mouse? I'm really beginning to wonder. It has been a while since I've been anywhere near a mirror. We became impatient and went back to camp. 11 am finally came around and Cheese and I hussled over to the showers. It still wasn't ready. They were creating more mud for mud bowling. Cheese and I decided we could tke no more and begged to be cleaned with the hose. It worked. It was the cleanest I've felt since I first arrived here.
When Cheese and I returned to the camp, everyone was talking even though it was only 11:15. We were trying to get people's cooperaton, but no go. It was really disappointing that they couldn't last one more hour. How important were their conversations anyways? "Gee, it's hot." "I got so high last night."
OK that's not fair. I take that back. Sort of. Well, Cheese and I held up our end of the bargain and kept quiet until 12. Rena, I know I don't know you, I'm sorry you couldn't make it. I hope to see you here next year.
So tonight is the burn. I'm extremely anxious to see what happens now.
Ok. It's the last official day. Yesterday was unbelievable. I slept from 2:30 in the afternoon until about 7:30pm. It was the nicest sleep I've had since I've been here. I was woken up to the excitement of everyone preparing for the burn. I quick got dressed up into my best costume and headed to the front of the camp to join forces with the group. We headed out on our way. It was the largest group of people I had seen all together since the beginning. The opera seemed to have a large crowd but we were more spread out.
On the walk to the burn, there was fire everywhere. Big machines with fire shooting up to the sky, torches, mini private burns, and dancers with flying fire. It seemed as if everyone was in a trance anticipating the man to come crashing down into flames.
The man was surrounded by four wooden balls on stands which were the first to be lit. As each one fell, one by one, you knew it wouldn't be long until the man was set on fire. The procession began and a woman with a flame headed under the man. Not long after, a stunt man dressed in fire safe attire had the woman light him on fire and he proceeded to burn the man. It began to flame, fireworks were going off like crazy, and the colors were spectacular. One at a time they pulled the man's arms down to his side and shortly after he came crashing down into the pile of flaming hay sttacks.
For one moment, which couldn't have lasted longer than three to five seconds, there was complete silence. I was so happy to catch it. Everyone just stood and stared at the amazing fire, and once again, I cried. I couldn't believe that it was all coming to an end.
We slowing walked back to our camp and met up with the rest of the group. Joanne and I hung out at the camp for a while, listened to the first set for Kung Foo Grip, and headed out to the outdoor rave down at the spaceship. It was a long walk, but so worth it. The music was insane. It was going off like I've never heard before. There was a huge laser show, black lights to dance in front of, and speakers you could sit in and just feel the music pass through you. I have never danced so hard in my life. This was the most intense part of my trip because dancing is my all time release and this was the best release I've ever had. I didn't want to leave, but my body was so tired that I was beginning to fall while I was dancing and decided that I better go crash. So I did.
We all woke in the morning to cloudy skies which was perfect for those who were packing up and getting ready to head out. We all relaxed and ate and ate and ate. Those of us who smoke are bummed because there are no cigarettes left on the playa. Good time to quit I guess. Saying goodbye to eveyone is so hard even though I know I'll be seeing them real soon. It feels like we are all going our separate ways.
There is a storm brewing right now and it is the first thunder to be heard here on the playa since our arrival. The first stroke of thunder was such a surprise I almost didn't recognize the sound. I guess this is nature's way of helping us to clean the desert. The full moon last night definitely has had an effect on the weather conditions here.
Well, I guess this is it. Tomorrow is camp clean up day, and then we are on the road. I am going to be dropped off in either Reno or Auburn and will see my mother whom I haven't seen since Christmas. I think that is the best way to end my Burning Man experience.
Thank you, Black Rock. It was everything I hoped it would be and more.
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