Thursday, September 08, 2005

~*...the phenormenon returns from black rock city...*~

wow! nothing i ever imagined could have prepared me for burning man. you just have to be there to understand it. extreme examples of creativity and imagination constantly served up at random in the middle of the desert for a week. it was the most intense and life altering experience ever.

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i will post a full review of my ten day adventure in nevada real soon, but i must say it is also great to be back home. gawd i love canada. burning man is a different universe, but then again so is nevada.

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last night i got to hang out with my friend sal who just moved to toronto from calgary. we had drinks on the black bull patio and watched every race, creed, colour, and orientation walk by on queen street. diversity abounds at burning man, but not anywhere else in nevada, and it made me miss black rock city and toronto.

after drinks with sal, i rode over to darryl and isa's place for a bbq. daam their patio is huge and has an incredible view of the city.

then i went to betty's, a bar at king and sherbourne, to celebrate my friend dana's completion of her thesis defense. i am so happy for her. she is done her phD. congratulations dana. its been a life changing year for you, and i'm glad i was able to be a part of your celebrations.

my digicam got fubared from playa dust, so most of my pix that i took at burning man didn't turn out. my camera lens is hosed :( i'm glad i brough a disposable camera with me though, so i'll scan those pix real soon. in the meantime, let me requote ani difranco.

it's good to be back home, oh how i missed this time zone. strangers are fascinating, their mysteries never end, but there's nothing like looking at your own history in the faces of your friends.

only 347 more sleeps until i return home to black rock city.

- that black rock city phenormenon guy \m/^_^\m/

Sunday, September 04, 2005

~*...burning man...exodus...*~

sunday, september 4

sunday: day of rest
all those days of sublime sensuality, what's left to do? sunday is your day to rest. lounge around with your lover. say goodbye a little longer, make it last a little longer, give your sex long lasting freshness! hosted by everyone in brc.

photo by don davis

random one time sunday event in black rock city

sunday gospel music service
bring your tambourine, your hallelujah's, your voice, and your dancing shoes. an ecumenical/spiritual sermon will follow. glide ensemble, oakland interfaith gospel choir and singers from brc! hosted by: brc performance center

photo by stephen datnoff

the morning sun beat down on my dredi self with a new kind of intensity that sunday. it was my last sunrise on the playa, the last morning i would greet the sun in black rock city. as i gazed into the horizon, i couldn't help but feel sadness, sadness that i would not be able to do this again until next year. sadness that all of the creativity and randomness of burning man would only be a memory to me instead of the living the life i lived each day in black rock city. sadness that i would not be surrounded by such radical expression in the 'real world'

photo by tristan savatier

i walked back towards our camp stopping as often as i could to soak up whatever creativity and imagination that randomly presented itself on my journey through the desert. i stopped at the clock tower and climbed its stairs for one last time. i took some time to reflect on the time that i had spent, shared, created in the past 6 daze as a citizen of black rock city. what does it mean to be a citizen of black rock city? a citizen of black rock city is someone who is who they want to be without fear, someone who sees more than his fellows and records more than he sees.

looking out over the expanse of the playa, i was reminded that the energy that flows through black rock city doesn't just exist here but everywhere. if it exists inside me and all of citizens of black rock city, then it also must exist within everyone. it just took the playa people and black rock city to remind me that it has always existed inside of me, and you. what i believe to be real is limited by my own experiences, what i believe is possible...and burning man shattered my world by showing me that there are infinite possibilities.

that night, the clock tower was burned to the ground, without us there to witness the burn :(

i made it back to our camp and passed out. what an incredible saturday night, sunday morning, entire week in the middle of the desert.

i woke up to find our whole krew packing up our camp in preparation for our exodus. to my dismay, we were not staying for the burning of the clock tower or the temple of dreams. it was hitting me, burning man was coming to an end for me.

we cooked up all of the food we had left, and gifted our neighbours with hot hamburgers. they were so stoked to have some kind of hot food to eat. we then gave away our canopy tents, all of our chairs, and our bicycles to tony and steph, a couple from calgary who were camped next to us. they had a beautiful sculpture of two bodies united as one at their camp as well as a stamp with the design on it. inspired by the love they spoke of, i embraced their image and made it my own.

i jumped on my bike for one last cruise through the playa. i headed towards d.o.t.a. on the esplanade to say goodbye to my friend olivia. it was so amazing to spend time with her on the playa, and i had to make sure i said goodbye. on my way back, i rode my bike through a wall of cardboard boxes. yes, that's what it was there for...a wall of cardboard boxes piled up on each other so that you can ride as fast as you can and smash through them. gawd i miss the randomness of the playa.

after a quick stop at center camp, i said my goodbyes to the radically different universe that was my home for the past 6 days and headed back to our camp for one last time. we said goodbye to tony and steph and posed for our last round of pix.

our exodus took over 40minutes just to leave the playa. the lineup of cars and rvs was huge. this was the last piece of burning man i saw as we turned onto the cement road...

next stop...fernley for some good old north american fast food.

big ups to scott, karen, willy, shallen, ryan, court, sue, yvonne and my boy turtle...burning man krew 2005!

it wasn't difficult to identify the burners at the fernley truck stop: the playa dust on their clothes and body gave it away. it was good to have some fast food in my system. did i just say that? yah, the french fries from wendy's went down nicely. even better was the use of their washrooms. aah, running water and soap. i had forgotten how long it had been since i had a flushing toilet and running water. washing my face never felt so good, same goes for the huge crap i took too.

we scarfed down our fast food and began our 10 hour journey back to las vegas (more like my 10 hour nap, yay for not being a driver!). society, and the world that we live in the other 51 weeks of the year, was creeping back into existence for me and my burning man krew.

the temple of dreams burned that sunday evening without us. when the man burns, it is accompanied by cheers and screams. when the temple burns, it is a time of silence and reflektion. je me souviens.

photo by scott taggart

burning man forces you to see everything differently if you choose to take the journey. my life has been forever changed because of a festival called burning man.


- phenormenon \m/^_^\m/