in sparks, nevada now at the burner hostel, the calm before the storm. i laid in the pool for a bit talking to new friends. fred, the owner of this hostel introduced me to people as a low-maintenence pixie from los angeles. burners from england in wild clothes and belts go around preparing for departure. today apparently is the end of the madness that seemed to have occurred here in recent days. wind chimes and a few remaining tents are set up. towels and bras hung up to dry. i am happy to be back to the dry heat of the west. the east coast humidity was harsh. jason should arrive here in 2 hours… and then we’re off!!!! jumpjumpjump!!!! wow! just now, this guy just handed me a bowl of carrots, tomatoes and spinach. we will go sit in shade and have a lunch together. how sweet~
airport gates & terminals feel like a living room to me now. once past the threshold, all is waiting until it’s time to jump out into the world again. i wandered around newark airport sucking on a milk carton, my excitement spilled over into heartburn again and milk is my only consolation. my inner acid pistons going nutz in anticipation of burning man. this morning i woke up in a hotel with my sister renee beside me, savoring my last civilized morning as well as my family. as odd circumstance would have it, my mother, my neice, and renee booked a flight to niagara falls just one hour after my flight leaves for reno from newark airport so we met at the howard johnson late last night. i had spent the day with jen and old friends at paula & chris’ wedding…i filmed from morning til night and had a great time. paula, a beauty who loves to scream “HORRRAAAYYYY!!!!” and chris, a smiling adoring thing.
the morning at her mother’s house was hectic. her family’s house is stunning! it rests on top of a hill down a long immaculate country road, decorated in portuguese grandeur and filled with gold rimmed books, thick curtains, imported tiles and marble. the front bay windows look out over the valley past a fountain and the view from the back is of a pool and garden past a pond of fish and huge plants and flowers. paula sat wide-eyed on the floor of her room with tara twisting her hair up into a princess precious. i brought them plates of sushi, fruit and cheese and orange juice. she was harsh on her mother until it was time to help her into her dress. in a long oval mirror in her mother’s room, she dressed and stared at her bridal self, hugging her mother tearfully, apologizing for not getting along the last week. i captured dream-like moments for her. her leaving her home with her flower girl in a flower wreath, the dance with her father, everything… i enjoyed filming it and was happy to do it. it was mad fun and only a few times did i have to remind myself that i wasn’t working, but simply capturing a dear friend’s joy, as a gift.
i rode with the photographer, tony, who is a mountain bike racer when he is not shooting photographs and his assistant, anthony, who was coughing all day. “you need tea and lemon,” i said to him. “no,” he said, “i need WHISKY!”
jen looked adorable in her sage green bridesmaid’s dress and her hair straightened and all done up. paula’s maid of honor, patricia from brazil, had wild black curly hair and the warmest of double-cheeked kisses and embraces. “caio, bella” i said as i hugged her goodbye at the end of the night and her eyes lit up. in italian she asked if i speak italian. ‘no’ i said and laughed. she hugged me even more after that. also memorable was paula’s 10-year-old cousin from portugal that didn’t speak a word of english. i discovered this at the church rehearsal when i told her that i liked her butterfly ring. “no,” she said smiling which, in her accent, i took to mean that she doesn’t speak english. so i pointed to the butterfly and then to my heart. at the end of the night tonight she came up to me beaming, pointed to her butterfly ring, then to me, then to her heart and we said goodbye giggling and kissing both cheeks. what a sweetie! energy has no language…
the food was great. the band was amazing. jen and i jumped and played. it was wonderful spending time together. i left my camera and the tapes with her to ship to me after burning man. she said she’d take care of it and threw dave’s jacket over it, under the table and we said our goodbyes. “see you in THREE months!” she’s relocating to cali then. YAAAAAY! or.. horrraaaaay! as paula would say! hee hee~
tony and anthony dropped me off at the hotel last last night where i checked in and set my compass potentially to desert survival mode soon approaching… first operation was to recharge any and all batteries. i used up every power source in the main room and in the bathroom, recharging my 5 batteries, my cell phone, and my still camera. then while i was in the shower, i heard my family come in from a night in nyc and i ran out all soapy to huge them. we made jokes and rough housed til we got sleepy. i left while it was still dark. i took an airport shuttle to the airporta nd now, as we await take-off, crawling down the runway. i am a heartburn mess of excitement. jason too had a wedding yesterday. his was in vegas. i can feel him waking and jumping in his truck heading on up to reno to meet me later on today at the burner hostel in sparks. my decorated bike trailing behind him. i should rest some… who knows what i’m in for. my mind is open to being blown…
on the nj turnpike listening to simon & garfunkel after jen and i just had a car accident. we’re fine. we’re ok. she dealt with the other car and with the cop pretty well and then collapsed into my lap sobbing in the backseat of fran’s car. i remembered how she likes to have her head rubbed and so i do. “thank you…” she mouthed silently…we are riding on hwy 78 near where my friend danielle lived. danielle died in 1993 in a car accident.
‘feeling groovy’ comes on and jen and i sing together… i play drums on my journal and the song ends too soon. she is feeling better. we travel silent on a dark highway…and when the first lines of ‘sound of silence’ comes on we look at each other singing and giggle sadly… stressful night… debbie has been waiting for me at our hotel since midnight… i am looking forward to taking a walk with debbie and scott and trying to help debbie through some sad boy times… no sleep for this pixie tonight…
“my cat’s name is dino chang mccarthy…and he has an identity problem,” fran announces to the table. “this is a good kick off to burning man, isn’t it?” jen says, nibbling on asparagus… she offers me some and my bottom lip folds over onto itself in disapproval. “we can burn something later,” she offer enthusiastically. i look around at this white-balloon-ridden affair and say “OK!” “we’ll just throw it in the bathtub at the hotel!” she says. me, the bride paula and all the bridesmaids are staying at the hampton inn tonight.
we are all stuffed on foreign food and glasses clang and everyone hushes and chris gives a toast. paula’s face contorts into a happy cry and we all tear up. she takes a moment and then hands out gifts to us all. she walks towards me, tears in her eye, her happy smile and she sings “i’ve got…SUNSHIIIIIINE… on a cloudy day!” and hands me a gift of love, we hug and she thanks me for coming to film her wedding from across the country. she gave me a framed image of two faeries giving each other a hi-5 on top of a mushroom. a single tear runs down my cheek and i smile across the table at jen who’s just unearthed a faerie flask and butterfly necklace with a card of a sunflower, her totem nature and she slinks under the table, crying emerging from my side to hug paula. tomorrow is her wedding day and we are all so happy for her. our tears bring on the goddess smile. the one of rejoicing and the bounty of love. despite our own heartache and stories, we converge here in honor of our portuguese hyacinthe flower bride and her chosen love… tomorrow will be joyous!
jen and began the evening with a formal toast “to childhood friends!” and we end this four hour celebration dinner with a clumsy clinky toast without words giggling.
“is the butter still there!?” she asks pointing to my cleavage. “NO!” i tell her and we jump hyper in our seats. “you know… asparagus is really GREEN!” she says…
“it’s like…utters… on a COW!” jen says as she pokes octopus on her plate with a toothpick. we are forne de spain in newark after paula’s wedding rehearsal in a portuguese church. she throws a butter packet into my cleavage in my black dress. she misses and we laugh, drunk on sangria and reunion. i put it there just to please her. new jersey is humid hot, 90 degrees. the air sticks to my lungs among introductions and double-cheeked portuguese kisses outside the church.
i’d met jen at the airport a few hours ago and transformed in the bathroom from oily skinned crinkled traveler to presentable filmmaker. i turned cinematic in the church contemplating angles and lighting issues. churches fascinate me. they seem so gothic to me. jen & i peered like curious, foreign mice through the madonna-etched glass in the doors in the back of the church. both of us, hebrew school rejects who walked away with guilt gum stuck on our shoes. when we were 11 years old, we’d sneak out of saturday services when our fathers weren’t looking and sit on the stairs in the shofar-phantomed hallway and wish away time. the sand-laden playground, the expectation and obligation…but mostly the guilt, it lingers. if only we knew then what we know now… innocent & surburban, self-conscience & uncertain… about ourselves, our place in the world, of religion, of our paths… were they ours or did they belong to our parents? we did not know… the devil was inside us and our world was just not showing it.
i remember in high school sneaking out of my house and throwing rocks at her window.. her parents thought i was satan, thought i’d lead her into trouble… and they were right… she was the youngest child, serving her sister’s karma. i was the oldest, paving the way slipping by my parents seemingly undetected. in time, i became her parent’s other daughter and on return trips home from college or travels, i would visit them even when jen was not home. i’d sit at their bay window table answering a pleasant barrage of curious questions from her sweet, balding father and her beautiful, concerned mother. her mother is from lodz, a small town in poland. coincidentally the exact same small town that my grandparents are from. jen & i have plans to visit there when we are old, to visit that place of our families.. ludz, poland… we are convinced that our thus far twenty year long friendship is somehow wrapped up in our common ancestry/past lives. we seek answers where our grandparents left off. it is not coincidence that we grew up around the corner from each other.
under an archway of a rainbow we begin our descent into newark airport. thin tendrils of rain rush past my window like wispy manes of angels. the rainbow disappears, the clouds scatter and there is the toothless skyline of my birthplace, still a shock to me. late afternoon sun bounces off cars in a parkling lot like glitter as we descend steeper and we slam down hard onto the runway. jen is waiting for me at the terminal. i feel her sunflower energy immediately… i am home again.
“come painters, come poets, come saints or come sinners” BURNING MAN 2004!
Time is faith.
Change is hope.
jenna and i were on the way to soccer practice, fully suited up in shin guards and cleats, when we decided to turn around and head to aculpulco for their marguerita happy hour. “happy hour?” “oh SURE!” we called all our girlfriends to join us. theresa was the only one who lived close enough to make it in time. we cackled like witches and talked about work, boys and mayhem. theresa and i are going camping together, working at a renaissance faire at the end of september. jenna wants to go to paris in february. i’ve never been to france…
i like playing with my girlfriends. there is comfort there, a common sensitivity. we talked about how much more we DO when we are single. when they talked about how happy they are being single and their adventures in dating so many men, i bit my lip. it’s not for me… i just wish i could mix my world of adventures and events in with someone who also loves to do these things, who doesn’t hold me back and who i could trust. so many of my friends that are coupled up reek of apprehension due to their significant others making issues of their potential life curiousity… it threatens their safety as a couple for one to have interests outside of what is common…but women and men are different…as are people of Spirit and people of Safety and what i am noticing is that when couples are like this, a common blandness forms and no Spirit work gets done. if i wasn’t a seeker, if i revelled in making dinner, watching a movie, having sex and going to sleep this life would suit me. but i crave being plugged into common energy to further the widening of eyes, heart and mind… i always want to be curious of this world… to not have years go by in some faux safety. life is not safe. it ends. the elixir of it is always shifting, no use holding onto it. experience it and let it fly, jump up! sift low and sort it out…and jump back into it~ safety is an illusion… it feels good for a time, like a warm bath. a warm towel after that warm bath is re-assuring and pleasant… but sometimes you gotta run naked in snow!
it’s mad fun being out and about, being fully present where i am, instead of half in someone else’s expectations or limitations. yesterday at venice beach with jason, we talked about this. we were on a hunt for goggles for the playa. i bought three pairs, one clear for nighttime sand storms, one dark for daytime sand storms and one that blew the other two away… it was just too madd maxx to resist, circular red baron type goggles. jason and i went to aardvarks where i convinced him to buy this hott orange and black fleece and he picked out things for me to try on, one of which would’ve been perfect…a black and white striped dancer outfit with a butt full of hot pink feathers… but alas, feathers create MOOP (Matters Out Of Place…all this burning man lingo cracks me up! hee hee) and therefore restricted…. as all burning man events are a ‘leave no trace’ event and moop/boa feathers threatens that of course… i bought a black flapper dress with bright pink strings that shake like tina turner when i twist. he warned me that i WILL fall off my bike if i twist like that while riding. he reads my mind now… hee hee~
we headbanged in the car to ‘lords of acid’ HI HI HI WE’RE JUMPIN UP IN THE SKY! and he had sweet tears in his eyes when i gave him his birthday present… a framed photo of the sunset at reflections that i took while he was standing next to me and 600 people were screaming at the sun setting… among other baubles and gifties for jason, one my bestest friends now… we ate ice cream under palm trees and it gave me a brain freeze cuz i devoured it so quick. moderation moderation… we headbanged all the way home and then we decided to go on a hunt for googly eyes for my bike. michael’s was closed so we went to target. he wore a crown that said ‘i rule’ with his goggles on inside the store scaring the workers there and perhaps some small children. i should’ve gotten the googly eyes on saturday when brady and i drove downtown to muska-somethings on san julien.
brady and i ate too many swedish fish that day. i would chew off the tails and he’d eat the rest of them, a quick death. we were overwhlemed by crafts and the endless creative possibilities before us in the name of BRC! he convinced me that i needed two white doves for my bike and we agreed to share a purple pumpkin bag to go trick or treating there. we ran around downtown LA, bumping quite literally into giselle, whose birthday bash at the red loft i had missed… “i know you! you take pictures!” she said sweetly, wearing a white wool hat that brady and i deemed unneccessary in that heat, fashion or no. brady is a drummer/fire breathing/spinning maniac in the band mutaytor that i film some times… he likes anything with metal clips to attach to his newblet. he has a lightning bolt running thru his blue hair. he’s hyper inspiration and calls me three times a day. we’re great new instant friends, feinding on life and music.
i get to know people so much better when love energy is taken out of the equation. no need to impress each other, show me what you know and what you’re working on! and besides, i’m not quite done with my most recent porcupine sequester… i’m all kinds of prickly and guarded around certain aortic vortexes and i’m good that way for a bit… thanks to recent heartbreak…grumblegrumblegrumble…. i’m upfront and honest about where i’m at, which seems to be opening up some beautiful kindred connections…
jason begins loading his truck w/bikes and a chair my sister made me that deserves some playa play. 6 days til we leave! and here’s an aeriel view of
tonight i took a break from burning man projects, turned off all my lights, curled up with blankets and a heating pad and watched ‘the divine secrets of the ya ya sisterhood’. it left me in tears. i will never have that resolution. i wondered if it was based on a true story, or if it was just a movie. it must have been made up… the scene when the children were in the rain, i could not watch… the panic was too real. the feeling of ownership and confusion, flashes of memory. what connor said to her on the phone, stays with me… i mostly feel like her on the couch after hearing all the secrets… i never wondered what i did wrong so i think i’m in the clear. i always knew it was not my doing and that my mother would regret her actions, this i knew from very early on. i just tried to shrink away safely and go as far as i could… hence my traveling… i knew the world was bigger and more important than an unhappy woman that i could not heal. i just wanted consistant comfort and love, not just for me but for my sisters. i have lived 16 lives so far in this one life… yet there are shadows of that beginning time that rear up when reminded… my aunts WERE the ya-ya sisterhood….brooklyn style. when my granda mully died a few weeks ago they holed themselves up at aunt sandy’s with alcohol, ice cream, pretzels and tears for days… they called it ‘mourning provisions’. my favorite part of the film was when shep told his daughter to remember the good times… that’s what i do now…
today i went home sick after i dropped my boss at the airport for a gambling weekend with his brother and father and even though he told me to go home and rest, i stopped off at ‘junk for joy’ and bought a huge purple petticoat with lots and lots of frilly layers and bright yellow/black striped knee-highs. i also bought a wide-brimmed purple hat that has a spiral pattern on it and black suspenders to complete the outfit as a bra…hee hee… i sewed some before lying down and now, after the film, it is safe to say i am spent emotionally and physically… dream time…