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Drinkin' While the Ship is Sinkin'...

So MuCH ShOuTing, So MucH LaUghTeR...

October 8th, 2011

This. For all my friends.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Desiderata - by Max Ehrmann

June 28th, 2011


Let's have a bit of an academic discussion. Let's talk about something burner folks don't seem to talk that much about, that I've noticed so far. Given, I've only been in the burn community for about 2 years, but thus far to me, it seems to be the proverbial elephant in the effigy, if you will. Let's talk about the wider environmental impact of burning.

I don't mean general trash, grey water, or that kind of thing...I know how fantastic most burners are at that form of LNT (One of the Ten Principle of burns, as well as general hiking/camping principle: Leave No Trace), I know burners that do multiple MOOP (that's Matter Out Of Place, i.e. litter, to you non-burners) sweeps per day at a burn picking up every last speck of trash they can find, if any. I'm talking about the environmental impact of the actual act of burning.

So let me ask the ultimate LNT/Earth Guardian question: Can we burn without using fossil fuels? All that white gas/naptha and lamp oil we use for spinning fire, all that gasoline and kerosene we use for fueling up our effigies, temples, pyrotechnics...these accelerants are all based in petroleum, a fossil fuel. Both the collection & burning of fossil fuels is inherently harmful to the Earth, and extremely unsustainable. What sustainable, non-fossil fuel based, clean burning alternatives can we look to? How can we do What It Is We Do and TRULY Leave No Trace?

Furthermore, how can we further lighten our carbon footprint and further the sustainability of burns in terms of, well, tinder? Can we use entirely salvaged/recycled lumber in the building of our effigies, our temples, & our burnable works of art so as not to contribute to deforestation, & thus wildlife habitat destruction, animal & plant extinction, & the greenhouse effect/global warming?

As burners who supposedly care about our Mama Earth, and as residents of this planet, period, I firmly believe these are very important questions which we must face.  Alchemy, the Georgia Burn's art theme this year is "Mutagenesis." Let's re-read the excellent essay on Alchemy's website on this theme (credit to the author(s), I believe Troy Cobb & possibly Rebecca McConnell Cobb as well, I'm not positive):

"In this modern age, humans often assume that the survival of their species is assured. We possess the power to mold our environment to our will, even while we cannot hope to understand the ultimate impact of those choices. However, like all species, humans must adapt to survive.

Adaptation to extreme pressures requires an organism to undergo radical changes. The quickest way that an organism can leap up the evolutionary ladder is through mutation and recombination. It is now time to take that leap.  What mutation will you undergo to ensure your own survival? What recombination will make the essence of Alchemy viable? What shape does our newly-evolved world take? Mutate or die."

What mutation will YOU undergo, what mutation must WE as the burn community, and as a species for that matter, undergo to ensure our planet's survival? Ensuring Earth's survival is the only way we may truly ensure our own. We must recombine and recreate to make the essence of burning viable. We must, as individuals, as a community, as a species, mutate our ways of expression, our ways of celebration, our ways of spirituality, (whatever burning is to you), our ways being, our ways life, or our home, our Mother Earth...and we...will die.

May 24th, 2011

This is very much how I feel at a burn:

"I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life."

-American Beauty

April 27th, 2011

(no subject)

 So uh...I think I might actually, sort of starting the beginning of the process of seeing someone. For the first time in like, 2 and a half years +. First time since the exfiance and I split. (Jesus, it feels like another lifetime now.) And you know, he lives in the same city, instead of another continent. So that's a first.  Neat. We're really still just getting to know each other but we spent 3 nights out of last week together and have talked every day.

It's remarkably...calm, easy, zero drama, not a big deal, incredibly laid back, etc. Which is not what I'm used to at all. But it's really quite refreshing, especially considering most other areas of my life are a complete clusterfuck right now. I'm back to be homeless, massively under-employed, and beyond broke. So this one calm, chill, drama free, positive aspect of my life is really nice.

So um, yeah. He's tall, broad, babyfaced (none of this sounds familiar, eh?), but has a beard (usually I dislike beards, but it works for him), queer-identified and doesn't subscribe to traditional gender roles (though he reads pretty much heteronormative masculine), shockingly intelligent, anarchist, passionate environmentalist and has studied permaculture and works in that and sustainable gardening/living (I find this to be insanely sexy in general, in case you didn't know. Pop culture geekery bores me, but if you can nature-geek and name random plants in the forest while hiking and shit? Oh yeah baby, take off those muddy green pants), into intentional community, communal living, tribalism, shamanic journeying...Oh yeah, gimme some of that sexy beyond left radical environmentalist anti-government treehugging queer animist earth-spirit hippie ass, baby. I might also mention he's very funny, playful, and sweet, of course. :) Pretty awesome so far. Also? Fucking FANTASTIC in the sack. ;) I hope we keep seeing each other, I'm excited about him, in an incredibly chill and laid back way...which is fantastic.

So like I said, the other departments of my life right now are mostly a hot mess and I don't have the energy to expound at the moment, but good vibes would be appreciated. Love on y'all.

April 17th, 2011

Found this on Fetlife in the Burning Man group, and it is the funniest goddamn think I've ever read...and wildly accurate, from what I'm told. :P 

How to Be Mentally Prepared for Burning Man:

Tear down your house. Put it in a truck. Drive 10 hours in any direction. Put the house back together. Invite everyone you meet to come over and party. When they leave, follow them back to their homes, drink all their booze, and break things.

Pay an escort of your affectional preference subset to not bathe for five days, cover themselves in glitter, dust, and sunscreen, wear a skanky neon wig, dance close naked, then say they have a lover back home at the end of the night.

Stack all your fans in one corner of the living room. Put on your most fabulous outfit. Turn the fans on full blast. Dump a vacuum cleaner bag in front of them.

Buy a new set of expensive camping gear. Break it.

Only use the toilet in a house that is at least 3 blocks away. Drain all the water from the toilet. Only flush it every 3 days. Hide all the toilet paper.

Set your house thermostat so it’s 50 degrees for the first hour of sleep and 100 degrees the rest of the night.

Before eating any food, drop it in a sandbox and lick a battery.

Mail $200 to the Reno casino of your choice.

Make a list of all the things you’ll do different next year. Never look at it.
Search alleys untill you find a couch so unbelievably tacky and nasty filthy that a state college frat house wouldn’t want it. Take a nap on the couch and sleep like you are king of the world.

Shop at Wal-mart, Cost-Co, and Home Depot until your car is completely packed with stuff. Tell everyone that you’re going to a "Leave-No-Trace" event. Empty your car into a dumpster.
Spend thousands of dollars and several months of your life building a deeply personal art work. Hide it in a funhouse on the edge of the city. Hire people to come by and alternate saying "I love it" and "this sucks balls". Blow it up.
Cut, burn, electrocute, bruise, and sunburn various parts of your body. Forget how you did it. Don’t go to a doctor.

Walk around your neighborhood and knock on doors until someone offers you cocktails and dinner.

"Downsize" last year’s camp by adding two geodesic domes, a new sound system, art car, and 20 newbies.

Lean back in a chair until that point where you’re just about to fall over, but you catch yourself at the last moment. Hold that position for 9 hours.

Don’t sleep for 5 days. Take a wide variety of hallucinogenic/emotion altering drugs. Pick a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Set up a DJ system downwind of a three alarm fire. Play a short loop of drum’n'bass until the embers are cold.

Have a 3 a.m. soul baring conversation with a drag nun in platforms, a crocodile and Bugs Bunny. Be unable to tell if you’re hallucinating. Lust after Bugs Bunny.
Spend a whole year rummaging through thrift stores for the perfect, most outrageous costume. Forget to pack it.

Read "Dhalgren" by Samuel R. Delany. Read "The City Not Long After" by Pat Murphy. Cut off the bindings, throw all the pages up in the air, and shuffle them back together. Reread "The

City After Dhalgren" by Samuel Murphy. Burn it. Read the ashes.

Listen to music you hate for 168 hours straight, or until you think you are going to scream. Scream. Realize you’ll love the music for the rest of your life.

Spend 5 months planning a "theme camp" like it’s the invasion of Normandy. Spend Monday-
Wednesday building the camp. Spend Thurs-Sunday nowhere near camp because you’re sick of it or can’t find it.

Bust your ass for a "community." See all the attention get focused on the drama queen

Get so drunk you can’t recognize your own house. Walk slowly around the block for 5 hours.

Tell your boss you aren’t coming to work this week but he should "gift" you a paycheck anyway. When he refuses accuse him of not loving the "community".

Ask your most annoying neighbor to interrupt your fun several times a day with third hand gossip about every horrible thing that’s happened in the last 24 hours. Have them wear khaki.

Go to a museum. Find one of Salvador Dali’s more disturbing, but beautiful paintings. Climb inside it.

if this does no do the trick.

make them watch


this is a playa dust storm... take a hint.

March 12th, 2011

Perhaps just the words, the prayer, the affirmation needed right now. Thanks Maynard for sharing your creative brilliance with us. And thanks anothersivil  for making me listen to Tool. 

"Twirling round with this familiar parable.
Spinning, weaving round each new experience.
Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing.

...Embrace this moment. Remember. We are eternal.
All this pain is an illusion."

"I embrace my desire to feel the rhythm,
to feel connected enough to step aside and weep like a widow
to feel inspired, to fathom the power,
to witness the beauty, to bathe in the fountain,
to swing on the spiral of our divinity and still be a human."

-Maynard James Keenan of Tool, "Parabola" & "Lateralus"

February 19th, 2011

I wanna have friends that I can trust,
that love me for the man I’ve become not the man I was.
I wanna have friends that will let me be
all alone when being alone is all that I need.
I wanna fit in to the perfect space,
feel natural and safe in a volatile place.
And I wanna grow old without the pain,
give my body back to the earth and not complain.
Will you understand when I am too old of a man?
And will you forget when we have paid our debt
who did we borrow from?

Okay part two now clear the house.
The party’s over take the shouting and the people,
get out.
I have some business and a promise that I have to hold to.
I do not care what you assume or what the people told you.
Will you understand, when I am too old of a man?
Will you forget when we have paid our debts,
who did we borrow from, who did borrow from?

I wanna have pride like my mother has,
And not like the kind in the bible that turns you bad.
And I wanna have friends that I can trust,
that love me for the man I’ve become and not the man that I was.

-Avett Brothers

Also, thanks more than words to T for being that friend.

February 13th, 2011

(no subject)

 I just really loved this and wanted to tuck it away somewhere. Written by my aerialist friend, Renee Hallman:

""The best therapy for me has always been a good breakfast, song, trapeze and an embrace that touches your soul without saying a word. I have a touch of sadness. I have a touch of madness. It comes from seeing the best and the worst of this world and clinging fast to the violent beauty of the human form and mind."

February 6th, 2011

 "We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been - a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free."

- Starhawk

Perhaps in the next couple days I'll start writing again about where I am right now, what the burn community is for those of you not here in Atlanta with, what I'm doing and how I'm feeling. The past month and half or so has sorta ripped my heart out emotionally, and I hate using LJ as a negativity dump, so writing's been hard.

But I love you.

November 17th, 2010

Things I Don't Understand

- Why when I start pursuing back someone that's been pursuing me for bit, they suddenly seem less interested

- Why some (yes, there's several) of the most amazing men I know date women that are insulting and demanding and judgemental and controlling and just generally not nice people

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