Words.personal


Burning man 2007: the Green Man: WEDNESDAY

So Wednesday Bibi and I dress up in our Greek outfits and go seeking my friends Konstantin and Telene. We manage to find their camp and then on the way back we stop at math camp… a camp all dedicated to mathematics.

At math camp we talk about different subjects when I’m at the white board drawing a picture of a hang [ a musical instrument from switzerland ] and someone says to me “hey, are you going to give a lecture on string theory?”

and i think to myself ‘that’s weird, cause i do know enough to talk about that…’ so I say “well, I can if you like.”

So Wednesday Bibi and I dress up in our Greek outfits and go seeking my friends Konstantin and Telene. We manage to find their camp and then on the way back we stop at math camp… a camp all dedicated to mathematics.

At math camp we talk about different subjects when I’m at the white board drawing a picture of a hang [ a musical instrument from switzerland ] and someone says to me “hey, are you going to give a lecture on string theory?”

and i think to myself ‘that’s weird, cause i do know enough to talk about that…’ so I say “well, I can if you like.”

next thing I know I’m at the white board in my flowing Greek cloths giving a spontaneous lecture on the forces, quantum gravity, particle interactions, string theory, multiple dimension, m-plane, 11th dimensional interactions [big bang alternatives] and the whole debacle. The crowd of people slowly grows and grows until there is a spontaneous group of about 30 odd people all listening intently.

When it’s over I’m quite taken back… what just happened? Spontaneous lectures on string theory? Only at burning man could something like this happen.

When the lecture was done I found out what had happened… it turns out that there was a planned lecture at 2pm about ‘string theory’ but it was going to be about how to ‘make knots’ with ropes, not quantum gravity… but since i was at the board at exactly 2pm and someone said ‘hey are you giving a lecture on string theory?’ it was just the magic of coincidence and all gears fell into place…

For this night Bibi and Ingeborg were planning on hanging out with me – and simultaneously Brandon wanted to know where Kim was so he could meet her and ask her for ‘magic supplies’.

I’d had such a nice time getting a bit stoned the day before on space cake, I figured smoking a bit of weed could be nice. What I had totally flored me – I was mega flattened immediately.

Meanwhile I’d sown more of my tail to my costume together and had knitted my spine to my backpack. This turned out to be a really bad idea cause now that my tail was sown to my backpack, I had no way of getting to anything in my bag anymore without assistance.

My tail was also starting to get sloth, and it drooped over the back wheel – so I had to use one hand to hold up my tail so that it wouldn’t rub against the wheel.

I could tell that Ingeborg and Bibi wanted to split off from the group with just the 3 of us – and I knew that Brandon really wanted to get to Kim so suddenly I felt like I was put in a really stressful situation…

A voice inside of me felt that I just wanted to get away from Bibi; and I also knew I didn’t want to find Kim as I was not particularly looking forward to seeing her again after she rejected me. In essence I want to be out of situations [in general] where women are rejecting me – and with Bibi my feelings were still building at this point. Things were tougher than I was expecting them to be, and I had stress building in my stomach [my 2nd chakra].

So, here I was – stressed on both sides and not feeling like my own freedom was able to be expressed… so; I did what any dinosaur might do when it suddenly see’s the open esplanade before it… I bolted.

At ultra high speed I took off from the group and just cycled away into the deep playa as far as I could, as fast as I could in a conscious attempt to loose them. I knew my behavior would have potential repercussions for those who could not understand my feelings; but at the time it felt like my survival depended on it.

From this point on things became very intense, out of all the nights, this was the lowest of all points – I was literally tripping from the weed, it was ultra intense, and for some reason all the people I met on this night were not that friendly. I had problems reaching my pack, and at a certain point I thought I’d lost my water. When I tried to find my way back to my camp, I couldn’t.

On this night I felt like I was a dinosaur, not raz. And it was on this night that the full extent of the ‘green’ theme settled in. Here I was in the desert; a completly desolate vast void of emptiness; it felt like I was at the end of time, and here in the total emptiness of everything mankind was still burning fuel, still running engines, polluting, burning wood… it was a very strong image of mankind static and unchanging in the face of its own anialation. my own form became that of a dinosaur: and what i represented became: “that which mankind will become if we do not change our ways”.

So it was funny because I had expected to see many green things at burning man that were going to make me see new hope and solutions – but instead the strongest green images I have seen are those that show me how un-green we are; and the dangers that man is wielding – the fears related to change – the difficulty related to that change – and the reality of our petroleum lives…

It was a night of warning, the man was being built upon at night, it was that grim dark moment in a story when you really don’t know if the heroin is going to survive.

I went for another attempt at finding my camp and I ended up in a place where there was a large life size operation table with people hunched around it. At this point it felt like I was the one being operated upon. Then I went to a steel spherical firechamber, slung my tail upon the sofa and laid down like a lizard – it was really amazing how you start to have to move and walk like the creature you imitate in order to live. Costumes are pretty incredible because they really make you become something: both in thought and in project imagination.

At this point my bike was becoming a real hassle to use, let alone find back. Every time I’d drop it down somewhere it would take quite a while to remember where i had left it.

One place I entered I remember getting a really strange vibe from people – oh it should be mentioned that my abilities at telepathy were quite strong again this evening.

Anyways, the vibe was so intense that I remember the only thing I wanted to do was leave, and once I started walking without my bike I felt much better – to the point where I really didn’t want to go back and get my bike. The thought of going to get it again just made me fearful, so I kept on walking.

I felt that the only way I could survive right now, since finding my camp was impossible, was to get away from people and into the deep playa and wait for the sun rise. I felt like then I’d be safe.

At this point an art car, in the form of a cage with speakers pointing inside the cage and a little go cart pulling it with a person on a megaphone – drove past me…

on the mega phone the lady said: “hey lizard man, fancy a ride?”

‘cool’ i thought, nice to get a lift and not have to walk all the way back to the esplanade. Once I got into the cage I noticed that there was another couple in the cage making out – the driver said “ok, let me play you some music so you can dance”. So some music was played and I got down to doing the boogie with my tail [its really fun dancing with a tail btw and with my helmet i could get down really low and move just like a dancing lizard!]

At that point the lady said “ok everyone, we have a lizard here in this cage, if anyone wants him you can have him” – I was surprised “huh?” I turn around and before I can figure out whats going on about 5 or so big huge burly men – with glittering eyes and big smiles are all pilling into the cage! Survival instinct kick in, I’m like “eeeik! help!!” the art car starts to pick up speed and its going faster and faster… I get to the entrance and have to push out from between the men, I jump out, nearly loose my footing but land fine and escape! Phew!!! The lizard didn’t get smothered between several sheets of man-love; I’m safe!

Eventually from the deep playa where I continued to feel alone and lonely, but I gathered just enough wit to focus on what needs to be done. Staying up for sunrise with no water it just not an option, so I must find my camp. I knew if I could find 7 o’clock and esplanade I could get home. I asked an art car for directions, he gave me excellent coordinates [the man was still not up so navigating was tough] and I set off for home. I found 7 o’clock and esplanade, got home – finally – and went to bed, relax!

While I am on it, 7 o’clock esplanade was a special street. It was the street that connected to the open playa and at the corner of this street it had a huge heart mounted on a tall staff. I thought to myself that it was quite appropriate that the marker that indicated my position within the BM city-among-the-stars was a heart. Especially since one of the strongest themes for this years wish is ‘love’.

BTW:

Here is the arsonists interview/article from wired, the guy who burned the man on Monday:

http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2007/08/addis?currentPage=1

I would agree with much that he says but he forgets one very important thing in his arguments:

‘multiplicity’

For some the event will be meaningless, corporate, jaded…
For others it will be fresh, new, meaningful.
For other yet some other combination of meaning…

There is no one singleplicity to any one event, time and place – the only truth is the truths we all personally discover that are unique.

I agree though that the organization has become too rigid and formal. Chaos: the founding ingredient of BM, is becoming controlled. There needs to be mix-ups to shuffle the deck. Why not burn the man on Monday and then raise a giant broccoli [which was just sitting around in another art piece] for the Saturday burn instead? Improvisation is part of art – once you start to have this control-obsession: that things can’t work unless they are the way you planned them; you loose connection with the magic that always engulfs you. You loose faith, trust, that all solutions lie within your disposal…