Posts Tagged ‘stair climbing’

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

 

 

 

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