Posts Tagged ‘esctacy’

Stairway to Heaven

May 27, 2014

Hello friends

It’s been a few days.

I have missed you.

I have so much to write about, I may not get it all out here tonight, but I will give it a shot.

I was away for the last three nights in Bradley, California for the 9th annual Lighting in a Bottle Festival.

I had never heard of it before this year and really hadn’t much inclination to go.

However, the opportunity to spend a weekend camping with a dear friend is not to be missed and you know, maybe I might see some music that I like.

Moby.

Moby

Moby

That’s right.

I got to see God.

No.

I don’t believe Moby is God.

But I do believe that he is a conduit for a higher power that so moved me I nearly danced my knees to pieces.

And I was so close I could almost reach out and touch him.

The set was beyond belief, I still cannot tell you how exactly it happened, but we just gradually made our way closer and closer to the stage, being there for the previous act helped, and the next thing you know while they are changing sets, we, my friend and I, are down in front, center stage.

It was so good.

So good.

This good:

Front row Moby

Me, front row, Moby

I was filled up with light.

Yeah.

I know.

Cheesy.

Corn ball.

Over the top.

But, whatever, I won’t argue with you.

You get to be right.

I get to be happy.

Man, was I happy.

Then the round of stair climbing truly began.

The festival was set up in a emptied lake resevoir that had dried up and the event was spread over quite a few acres, I am not sure the exact parameter of it, but it was probably spread out over two, two and a half miles.

And there were stairs going in and out of the gullies and valleys.

You could not make it from one side of the event to the other without going down some pretty big drops and long climbs in and out of the gullies up and down the stairs.

Now.

I am already a bit injured, from the scooter accident I had two weeks ago and the attack of the skateboard last week, and my legs were sorely taxed.

I must have climbed those fucking stairs a thousand times.

Perhaps I exagerrate.

But, not by much.

My friend and I postulated that we probably walked anywhere between three and five miles a day.  Maybe more.  I am not sure, but there was a lot of walking.

A lot.

Unlike Burning Man it was not flat and there really wasn’t much bicycle riding, although I did see some valiant efforts to do so and there were pedi cabs circling about.

The other thing was that there were vendors there, unlike Burning Man which is a gifting community and I found it a challenge to not compare the festival to it (the lights, the rigging work, the stages, the shade structures, some of the art and the artists, have all been to Burning Man).

For example The Front Porch was there:

The Front Porch

The Front Porch

An art installation that debuted, I believe, please do not quote me for fact, three burns ago on playa.  It features a front porch facade that is pulled by a tractor and the back side has a working kitchen with an oven, where yes, dear, you can bake cookies.

There is nothing more magical than the first time I saw the Front Porch rolling across the playa at Burning Man and I was riding my bicycle through a dusty night following the sound of bluesy folk music and the smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies being baked.

My goodness.

Free goodness too.

Nobody charges you for those cookies at Burning Man.

However, when I saw someone handing out slices of watermelon from a cooler I overheard this conversation:

“Oh my god, WATERMELON!”

“I’ll take a slice,” the man eagerly reached forward to the proffered piece.

Then he hesitated.

“Is it free?”

No.”

“Dollar a slice,” the vendor replied shutting the lid to the cooler.

The man retracted his hand as though he had been bitten.

That dude made a lot of money off the participants.

I suspect all the vendors did.

And I don’t begrudge someone making a living, but it was such a contrast to the kind of de-commidication that I have found so warming at Burning Man, that well, I was bummed out a bit by it.

I found also that the act of commidifying the spiritual aspects of the even made me quite judgemental about it.

I was also wearing my Ms. Judgy Pants with all the out right drug use happening.

Esctacy.

Molly.

Cocaine.

Pot.

Mushrooms.

Acid.

I saw so many fucked up people.

I saw more out right open use of drugs than I have in all the burns I have gone to, seven, combined.

I found it disgruntling and a bit disturbing.

Hey, let’s serve you some raw vegan gluten-free food, its organic too!

It’s gonna help you get over that cocaine/alcohol/acid/mushroom/GBH/K/Molly hangover you got going on.

Just in time for you to get to that yoga class you wanted to make.

I was mystified by it.

The quest for spirituality through incessant drug use.

I mean.

I get it.

I understand, I sought escape too, one time, dontcha know, but to see it encouraged to the point that it was, made me feel a little jaded about the entire event.

Though, in fact, despite myself and my nay-saying ways, I got to have that little spiritual awakening myself.

However, it did not come from drugs.

I came from music and it was so powerful that I hesitate to write about it.

Not from the stand point that I want to convince you.

I am not interested in convincing anyone.

I know what happened.

I was there.

I was aware.

I was not checked out and it completely took me by surprise.

Lying, exhausted from being up late the night before, climbing many sets of stairs, remember, pitching camp in the dark, dancing my ass off at Moby, followed by little sleep, awakening early, too early the next day, by seven a.m. when the hot sun chased me out of the tent, walking more, up and down those stairs, probably mildly dehydrated, in an oasis, I had an awakening.

Not unlike the one I had about seven and a half years ago after doing a lot of amends in my life.

I was underneath a shade structure, spent, lying on a mat on the dusty dry ground, head propped up on a pillow I had scavenged from the ecstatic dance group that was going on nearby, I closed my eyes and tried to rest.

Rest, however, can be a challenge when there’s a dj playing music and the bass is so heavy it shakes the ground beneath you.

But it happened.

Somewhere in the middle of the sound, carried on the waves of bass, brightened in the hot air, blue-ified sky, high above me, the sound blew in and out of my heart and broke it open.

The dj was spinning a Paul Simon song from the Graceland album that I had played so often during a certain period of my life that I still know all the words by heart.

I sang along to the words, the song being mixed with a classic four four beat, bass trembling beneath me, warm ground cradling me, I rose into the sky and cried it all out.

The grief, the loss, the idealized fantasy life that I had surrounded myself with so long ago, the ideas of who I am and what I am finally melting out of my soul, like a hard sugar candy crust that had finally been cracked.

Yellow, sweet, golden, I basked in the music and let it hold me.

I don’t know that I can fully articulate everything that happened in those moments, but the deep realization that grieving is not linear and has no time line, struck me again, that I could still be holding onto to these old thoughts and ideas, beliefs of who I am and what I am, to let go those concepts.

Who wouldn’t cry?

I had a lot of small epiphanies after the grief riveted out of my heart and I will write more soon.

It’s just late, my friends.

And I missed you.

But I missed my bed too.

Tomorrow.

More.

Love.

For you.

Or magic, should you prefer.

Magic

Magic

More Magic

More Magic

Black Light Magic

Black Light Magic

Light

Magic, it’s everywhere

 

 

 

It’s a Small World

October 5, 2013

And I only have so much time to write about it.

I just got back from a 14 hour plus day.

It went just a bit over the original estimate of time.

I was ok with it until the last-minute.

Then there was a fucking bomb threat in the Mission and mom and dad had to hoof it home.

Who the fuck bomb threats the Mission?

Isn’t it bad enough with the rents?

Anyway.

In the end, it was fine.

I am home now and I had the most exhilarating ride home.

I don’t usually care for late night rides home, but then I consider where I have done late night riding and the difference between doing a late night bicycle ride through crack infested waters in East Oakland and the delicious perfumed air through the Pan Handle is so starkly different that I can scarce believe it.

The weather too, nigh to perfect.

The air was still warm on the ride, not a usual night in San Francisco.

I believe that tomorrow and Sunday are also going to be as nice, if not nicer.

Quite lovely for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.

The Hardly-I-Won’t-Be-Going-Festival, I should call it.

As despite many a debate in my head over the last three days, I don’t believe I am going to venture in.

It is just too much.

Too many people.

I like my people.

I like my concerts in the park.

I just don’t want to do it with over 50,000 people.

I mean, maybe at Burning Man, but the area of the city is quite a bit larger than the Golden Gate Park area that the festival encompasses.

Maybe if I knew a posse of folks that were going and camped out a stage, but just the thought of trying to go claim some territory with a blanket and some coolers.

No.

I can’t.

I will sleep in instead.

I have a coffee date with a lady at 1:30 p.m.

Which means that I will further unwind from my day with another cup of tea and a download of a video.

I may not watch the entire thing, but I will sit in my bed and I will eat an apple and or a persimmon and have some tea and maybe just ooze into the pillows.

I watched a movie tonight at work while the baby was sleeping, the baby that did not take his late afternoon nap and was cray cray.

Cute.

But crazy.

I took some photos of him and he looked drunk.

It was fun and those photos along with the movie I watched reminded me of some of my early times in San Francisco.

Add to that the movie, “Ecstasy,” was based on the novel by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting, Skag Boys, Porno, etc) and it was definitely a flashback sort of night.

I remember some of the shows that I went to, the places I danced at, the people I met.

Turns out my employer worked with a lot of the musicians that I was going to see.

I knew that she was in the music industry, as is her husband, you only have to take a quick peak in his office to know that there is a serious sound system and recording studio in there, but I guess I just did not put two and two together.

Turns out she did vocals for loads of shows at 1015 with Spundae between 2002 and 2009.

I am sure I saw her sing.

And I have absolutely no recollection.

Of course I was a bit of a whore for the dj booth, I always wanted to be right up front, pressed as closed to the class as possible, eyes closed in my own little dance world of bliss.

“Someone’s in love with the dj,” my friend said to me one night at 1015 as I danced myself crazy in front of the booth on the main floor in the big room.

“No, I mean, he’s cute, yeah, but no,” I said, shaking off the accusation, wild-eyed and wide-eyed and yes, oh yes, quite dilated eyes too, “I saw God.

Period.

The dj was Jonathan Ojeda with Spundae.

I met Ojeda a few weeks later at Spundae in the Haight and he and I talked turntables and he showed me what I should get.

I made notes, thanked him and made plans as to how I was going to afford Technics.

A month later I was back, money in hand, ready to buy, but Ojeda was not at the store.

Instead, there was a young woman who helped me out.

The shop was quiet, we started talking djs, dancing, clubs, guys, SF, etc.

Before you know it, she says, “you don’t actually want to buy here, you don’t have that kind of money to spare.”

“But I want them and I am willing to pay,” I stopped as she waved me off.

“Listen, the tables are too expensive here, go to House of Stereos on Market Street and flirt with the old guy behind the counter, tell him exactly what you want and don’t deviate from it, don’t buy anything extra.  Here, I will write down what to get.”  She bent over the counter top at Spundae and jotted down a concise list.

“See you at the club,” she said, “good luck!”

“Thanks!” I grinned ear to ear and hopped on the Haight 71 headed downtown.

I found House of Stereos and it was sleazy but stocked, man was it stocked.

I walked in, went straight to the counter and read my list to the younger man behind it.

He looked at me, went back behind a door in the store and a few minutes late an older gentelman walked out.

He flirted with me.

I flirted back.

He offered me some extra stuff.

I said no, nicely, firmly, with a smile, I said no thank you, just what I have on my list.

He shook his head, ok, and waved to the young man who took my list and got all the items on it.

Two Technic turntables.

A mixer.

A really nice set of head phones.

Some needles.

The total bill was $1400.

I asked to split the cost between two credit cards.

I signed the first for $700.

I signed the second for $7.00.

I did a double take.

I looked up, “you didn’t charge me the correct amount,” I said swallowing my tongue, damn it, why did I say anything?

The old man squinted at it, “nope, is right.”

I did a double take, “are you sure?”

“Yes, now sign and go enjoy.” He smiled.

“Where your car?  My boy, he load it up for you.”

“No car, bus,” I said.

“No, no bus, taxi, go flag her taxi, load it up, where you go?”  He asked me.

“20th and York,” I said, barely able to contain myself.

I don’t remember the first vinyl I played on the tables.

But I do know where they are.

In a friend’s house in Diamond Heights.

I sold them to him when I was in the process of moving.

He took them to New York, Chicago, and now they have come home, here to SF.

It’s a small world.

It really is.

And I did see God.

I still do.


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