I can feel it. it's christmas in august. it's the bell that tolls for me. I've just recently really started to look forward to it. I've started planning things in my mind. in a very celestiney way, I've been having burning man coincidences lately. I can tell you're curious. as such, I shall enumerate posthaste.
I got my ticket to burning man in the mail on friday. it showed up at work. before I moved it to my mantle of cool stuff, where it nestled in with my big margarita glass, cat in the hat figurine, sneetches figurine, sage, and photos, it was more out of place at work than the beeping of my alarm within my sleepy dreamworld this morning. it was more out of place at my office than the ensemble I was wearing. I mean, my job title is hardly foreman at a sugar cane planatation in the dominican republic. more of out place that stephenfranklin as the man from another place. even more out of place than a levitating black lodge in a living room. pictures pictures pictures start with P (that stands for pool)...
prominently on the back of the burning man ticket, and scattered throughout the burning man literature, it says you voluntarily assume the risk of serious injury or death by attending. how cool is that? I should make that a placard above the door to my bedroom. or my car. even in today's litigious disclaimer-ridden society, you just don't see things that harsh. the shysters of the world are working toward that inevitability, but we aren't quite there yet. I feel like pretty soon, supermarkets will say that you voluntarily assume the risk of serious injury or death by shopping.
a story about the disclaimer conundrum illustrates one of the things that I love about burning man. last year, I brought along a zoline. we laboriously set it up in a very very public place. I bounced. those in my camp bounced. then strangers started bouncing. at first, my reaction was one of concern. I needed to make a sign that tells people the rules! I needed to save the people from themselves! I needed to take steps to avoid getting sued! this was the first day I was there. I hadn't really sunk into my environment and I didn't realize how out of place my reaction was. all these people assumed the risk of death - voluntarily! but it wasn't just that. it wasn't that their death risk assumption guarded me from their lawyers. it was that I was sharing a playa with a whole community of people who would not sue mcdonalds for the hot coffee. I was living in a more idealistic utopian society where people are not just reasonable... they're INreasonable.
this weekend continued the burning man hit parade. saturday night, I spent time with the people from the juggling sticks faire booth who double as the prometheatrics burning man crew. during the course of my time with them, I roamed as part of "the drunken mob" clamoring for people to "show us your butt." I was treated to some excellent devil sticks fire performance. I was present for the invention of spontanudity which led to some top free yoga. during the top free yoga, someone played a really cool didgeridoo that had a percussive bangy stick stuck right on the top. not that such a contraption would do my white rhythmless didgeridooing any good. I was all sorts of complimented for poi spinning some blinky lights. they said I could spin fire with them next weekend. I saw some new poi tricks watching the spin stylings of a stranger named zor. it seemed as if every cool new person that I met that night is going to be at burning man.
monday I had my first poi fire lesson in a long time. I wasn't out of practice because I've been spinning, but I also haven't figured out much new stuff since my last lesson. any time I learn a new trick, there's a period of awkward confusedness for a while while I learn it. I'd lost that awkward feeling. well it was back with a vengeance during the lesson. I had brianna teach me some of the tricks I saw zor spinning. continuing the burning man gift economy, brianna gave me a couple of couplers for my poi chains. the cool ones that she had/gave me are nearly impossible to find.
last night was even more burning. I attended my first meeting with the prometheatrics crew. I intend to hang my hat in their camp. last year, they had one of the coolest things that I experienced at all of burning man. they had a contraption called "the box" and it rocks my socks. despite aspiring to think outside the box, I took some pictures inside
I am bringing a zoline again this year. I'm half considering bringing a personal tent and camping atop the zoline. then again, I enjoyed the occasional sounds of midnight bouncers. then again again, I've never set up any structure atop a zoline (reason enough to do it). then again again again, I have some fear about the tent not being well staked down and blowing away - with me in it. then again again again again, I enjoyed finding strangers having sex on my zoline. however, I most enjoyed giving it away at the end of the week.
tonight, I heard a spot-on truism at the meeting. it was directed to someone who was pulling a skywalker and talking about "I'll try to get there..." a more experienced burner said:
don't fuck it up - get to burning man.
I couldn't agree more - you need a little more risk, serious injury and death.