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Burning man 2006

Phew! ok, reality? huh? erm… Recovery period is in effect. Burningman… how does one summarize the experience? Well I was there for 7 days, and it had been 4 years since I had been there…

Day 1: Monday
“wow, wow, wow, fucking hell, holly shit, oh my god, jesus christ, fuck, fuck, fuck, no way!”

Phew! ok, reality? huh? erm… Recovery period is in effect. Burningman… how does one summarize the experience? Well I was there for 7 days, and it had been 4 years since I had been there…

Day 1: Monday
“wow, wow, wow, fucking hell, holly shit, oh my god, jesus christ, fuck, fuck, fuck, no way!”

Phew! ok, reality? huh? erm… Recovery period is in effect. Burningman… how does one summarize the experience? Well I was there for 7 days, and it had been 4 years since I had been there…

Day 1: Monday
“wow, wow, wow, fucking hell, holly shit, oh my god, jesus christ, fuck, fuck, fuck, no way!”
this was basically the extent of my entire vocabulary on the first night.
from sandy desert bar to impossible structure, my imagination expanded further than before as I saw structure and art piece after art piece I had not thought was possible [nor ever imagined]… 3 dimensional bulb rainbow light grids, buildings made of chaotic wooden beams that flow in organic impossible arches… and more… Brandon, Richard, Emily, Steve and I had a great time running around everywhere like kids in a psychedelic candy store, we also rode several cool art cars – at the end of time… it was so much fun that I didn’t get to sleep for ages.

[Richard and Brandon]

Day 2: Tuesday
Sleeping was very difficult today, the heat, the excitement – so much to do and see, but man was I tired! After hours trying to function, but unable to, I crashed out for a few hour. At night we went for an exploration into the dark neon glow at the edge of time for a short while… hitting up various clubs, corner spots and locations. Saw people playing a game where you dress up in a flame suit and have flame throwers shot at you, people getting spanked for various [good] reasons – in general though I was nackered, and I decided to call it an early night so that I would have more energy the next day to actually experience the day aspect of the event. I slept well, despite the annoying leak in my sleeping bed…

Day 3: Wednesday and Day 4: Thursday
[no sleep between the two]

Wednesday was great exploring, I met some really nice people, played my interactive tarot card game with a number of people and had some interesting conversations. I also explored much of the playa space in the sunlight and found some cool art work to enjoy. When night came and arrived we decided to go out and explore as a group with our camp. This was not as all that successful – primarily because out of the 5 of us, no mater where we went, 2 of us just didn’t seem to be having such a great time. Eventually the group dissolved into solo or smaller clusters. We watch some thunder dome competitions, and spend time in the most amazing flaming dragon I have ever seen, then about a kilometer or two out in the desert we cycled to some distant flames which we thought were part of the platform flame system [more on that later] only to discover it was a sacred Indian dance circle. What was quite amusing was the approach of a double decker double length space-ship bus pumping techno kinda music that was driving around the Indian circle… haha, eventually they turned down the music and let people jump on and off… though one bicyclist was left running after the bus when his bike was only half on and the bus was already moving! hehe i love burningman and its “safety third” kind of mentality! after this I wanted to get some solo time but I wasn’t sure what to do, I was definitely a bit unsettled from the fact that the whole night none of us seemed to be content. So after biking to a slow-techno-smash kinda set up in the middle of no where [an art car with 20 women and men scantly clad with their legs wrapped around flame thrower], I decided that I just wanted to find a quite spot in the middle of the dust to lie down and watch the stars.

This was quite a nice experience and I had several moments of new insights into the workings of the universe. After at least an hour on the sand I could tell I was actually only a few hours away from sun rise. I knew there would be [new] friends of mine at sunrise by the man, and I also did not feel like sleeping on my deflated bed, so I went and did some binaural audio recordings of some interesting things [like a sphere of popping multi colored flashing lights that was highly psychedelic] and specific geometric points [around the man 360 deg] before going to the man to hand out breakfast granola to everyone there… i must say you see some of the most interesting people at 7am in the morning perched on that tower. There was a bridal ceremony and a most powerful beautiful sunrise. Doing the circular recording around the man was actually a very intense experience. It took me at least 15 or 20 min to walk its circumference and I had to keep my head straight at all times to maintain perfect head positioning for the recording – very meditative and confrontational.

Then I went for a stop at the temple, wrote some words I want to write on the alter before heading off to meet my friends as planned at the man for breakfast. I was able to remeet daisy from he day before [she makes a living by sending hugs!] and then I met some new people at a dance floor who invited me over for breakfast [blueberry walnut pancakes!].

It was also during this night that I contemplated my future… the unknown exists before me. A path with no real destination, my hopes and fears of my future… I also read a nice quote at the temple which I wrote down, here is how it went:

“If we live in a world where we don’t face our fears, then we have no hope, if we don’t have hope then we have no change, without change we have no future”

Marylin, the girl I met later while dancing at dawn made some really nice breakfast, but then after that I was so dead I went and crashed for about 4 hours in the shade near my tent.

In the evening I decided to try out “speed dating” cause, erm, heck i’ve never done that, so i thought I might as well see what goes on here… haha, it was hilarious, all I can say is that in general 8 minutes doesn’t say all that much.

At night I briefly went out, but I was still drained from my ultra long night previously so I went to bed fairly early – but not before seeing Steve play a live DJ set and some random drinking fun with a spin the bottle game on the playa…

Afterwards a bit of mushroom and then I traveled on my own to a few places before ending at the flame platform… a circular pedestal with a ring of fire around it. Here I could stand in the center and trigger flame throwers around my body as I swept in a circle around them… quite fun! I wish I could have played with them longer.

Day 5: Friday

Friday I made it a point to play my tarot game as much as possible. So I went to center camp and hit everyone I could and played for ages. At 12:30 I checked to confirm my performance at center camp [I was booked to play live there] but unfortunately they canceled it due to a conflict with the monkey chant… bummer!

After playing the game for hours and hours I suddenly felt completely emotionally drained and I had to just stop. This was quite an intense experience, nearly everyone loved the concept and some people even cried, others were touched and many felt it was accurate and meaningful. One girl gave me a nice poem in return, which reminded me of my inner thirst:

I know a cure for sadness
Let your hands touch something that
makes your eyes

I bet there are a hundred objects close by
that can do that.

Look at
beauty’s gift to us–
her power is so great she enlivens
the earth, the sky, our

It was a few hours before sunset and after getting this poem it kinda shook me out of my “work” mode and out of the giving. I felt quite lonely and drained of energy, so I cycled onto the playa randomly, emotionally low until I saw in the distance a grouping of art cars and many bicycles. After a few minutes and a kilometer or two I arrived a the event… an out door party with about 20 art cars [all with their own sound systems] and random bars. The women were all beautiful, self confident, naturally topless, body painted, costumed up and/or naked [as is the norm in these parts] and the bars all had a pro-women policy… at one bar I had to show my man vagina for a drink! hahaha, and at another I had to spin the wheel of fate… haha, very funny stuff.

Here I met Erika, Dermit and Vincent, who were tripping like mad – we had such a fun timing bouncing around like little kids. Me in Erika’s hat, drinking white soyamilk russian from the breast of an a piece of art that functioned as an erotic drinking station…

Then between me asking for a new drink from the devil, a very beautiful girl named Jaclyn tried to get my attention but before I could find her, she had already vanished.

Walter sweeped in, handed out trips and then vanished again…

Then a few moments before I was about to leave to go get dinner with Erika at her camp, Jaclyn reappeared… I felt and immediate connection between us and a really warm familiar loving energy. We both decided to trek on out to her camp and spend some time together.

Jaclyn is a really wonderful person and we had much in common, art, views on life, calmness of being, Philosophy of life and so forth, it was a real pleasure to become her friend and spend time with her.

We cycled around and had some random conversations about the meaning of life in the dark with iridecent glow sticks, with a passing Cuban on a unicycle [boy was that image classic!]

In a short span of time my “trip” began and it was really wonderful. It felt like a whole new level of expansion opened up and just when I had managed to understand it all, things elevated again beyond me.

We then stop at a tent that is offering performances and watch a couple do some gymnastics on stage, then some stand up comedy, some cross dressing singing and a strip tease dance by an elderly transvestite – absolutely absurd and highly trippy stuff [even if I were sober]. Zack, one of the gymnastics, joins Jaclyn and I for an adventure around the playa at night and we head off onto the esplanade.

There we stop at the “fight club” which is basically a matt with some rough lights and a few organizing people. Zack decides to take on the match winner but looses in a game of wrestling. Two Japanese girls who are watching step up for the next match. Everyone is like “huh?” I mean, these girls are petite, glamorous with refined jewelry, long flowing black gowns and a perfect look of mindful attention. The last thing you could imagine is them cat fighting… but there they were, on the matt, ready to go at each other. What ensued was probably one of the most funny things I have ever seen in my whole life… the two women were introduced, did their little dance… “Akira vs. Hiroki” the commentator said, the crowd cried out their names… the ref, some fat plump[ large man with a round face swings his light saber to get them started… but they do nothing [except dance and egg the crowd for more compliments]. The ref is confused, and tries to get them to start, he swings the light saber again, but nothing, he pushes as one of them a bit to fight, something confusing happens, it gets kinda messy and then before I know what going on [and I suspect the ref too] one of the girls is tied up in a knot with the ref… she jumps on his chest, wraps her legs around him and is beating him on the head. Akira turns around and goes for his legs… boom, the ref falls to the floor, with quite a plump round mass and Akira manages to strip his pants all the way off! Ass and dick are flapping away in the air, his shirt is now over his head… the crowd, myself included, is in complete stiches, everyone is laughing and I’m crying from the sheer ridiculousness of it all… the ref gets up and grabs one of the girls, pulls her pants down and spanks her, then grabs the other, and spanks her too… he thinks its over, goes for a hand shake and then they pin him down and try and kick him in the balls when he is down, its just fucking hilarious stuff… the match ends, we head on to another stage on the esplanade where other acts are taking place – its so psychedelic to see a performance on a stage where the only thing behind them is vast black emptiness [and the odd random art car, fire works, and fire ball] – many more things happen, random 3d art galleries, naps in big inflated bubbles, tramplonees, crazy spinning swings… Eventually we end up stopping in a large swinging bed on three stilts with fluffy pillows and a magic blanket where we doze lightly until sunrise.

Day 6: Saturday

Saturday I am quite dead, and its very hot, the day passes quickly with Jaclyn and we just do some napping, food and resting, end in a tower above a lemonade stand and then night time approaches. The burn is tonight, and we were both bummed we never got around to getting a costume for the event. Jaclyn, Jessie [her sister] and I watch the man burn and then I fall asleep on the first art car [some fluffly white vehicle] – the consensus of Jaclyn and I is to get some rest. I was feeling rather burned out – not just physically, but also emotionally/intellectually on the whole event, another night of hardcore -all night- partying just didn’t feel in me, so we went back to camp and rested until the next morning.

Day 7: Sunday

On Sunday I went my own way and had a very relaxed and lazy day, some snoozing in an RV, drinks at my favorite bar and then met up with Jaclyn at sunset. Unknown to me in the morning, we were planning on leaving that same night now, instead of Monday. So Jaclyn and I had some soup, I sacrificed my tarot deck as planned [but mysteriously a few cards escaped the box right before I burned them…], and then I went back to the car for departure.

Out of all the years I have been at burningman, this was the first year I actually felt happy to be leaving, instead of miserably sad. The desert is a tough place, and burningman is also a bubble verse – where everyone is living in harmony with each other in a parallel form of existence. There is a lot to learn from how people interact here, but it is also temporary. My travels are already temporary by nature, and what i would like to find is a place where people live these ideals: not in a bubble of a week, but in permanence of being. America is too constrasting for me and at the moment, the bay area: too transient, my heart feels pulled elsewhere… Tahiti is calling. But before then, its off to Menlo park [2 hours or so south] and then possibly Monterey Bay [for scuba diving] and then LA for my live radio performance. So I still have a week to be in the USA… and another blog entry to go before the American chapter is complete…

For more pictures, check out my picasa web site: http://picasaweb.google.com/schedal/BurningMan2006

[more photos will be uploaded to this album once more pictures are in from other friends who were at the festival]

Love to all! seb.

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