Monthly Archives: September 2005

let the road take me

i ride my bicycle at night down dim tree-lined streets. spider webs brush against my face as i duck under leaves and i miss east coast autumn time. tonight a goliath of a white horse stood glowing in the road staring at me in such a way i stopped pedaling and coasted right into her gaze. her owner was chatting with a neighbor a few houses down and seemed not to notice her tether had come undone from its post. “you could run…” i whispered to her… she looked down both ends of the quiet road she occupied. it was obvious she knew nothing of its freedom. i pet her nose for some time as she bent into my shoulder. i left my bicycle to bring her to her owner and took off again to go where she couldn’t… the remix of ‘ja sha taan’ pounded in my ears and streetlamps flickered…

i sit too much behind a computer altering images… my hands cramp up, my eyes hurt… i travel too much… i shut down my body and let the road take me, beating away all the static, pulsing with the song thru the night… this busy busy does not save me from introspection… i’ve been withdrawn lately… quiet… thinking hard on futures… on a story that perhaps i am straying from… must keep future goals in sight…

epic fail as papparazzi

i balance my tripod on my forehead like a seal with a ball as i recount my tales of the film premiere in hollywood that i shot tonight to my roommate… porter, who ran the event, was adamant about me being the only photographer allowed on the red carpet so when a big fat jerk planted himself in front of me i started to politely ask him if i could possibly get a shot without his BIG FAT JERK of a head in it. when he ignored me and other photographers started shoving, i looked around and reassessed the situation… “look where i am at here now… hmmm…. hollywood… film premiere… i’m paparazzi (how trippy)… big men… i’m the only chick… scared… brady’s breathing fire at the entrance… but porter’s got her eye on me… she’s got my back… she says the red carpet is where i need to be…” i try again in a lull in traffic to explain to big fat jerkman that even though i’m allowed to be a big fat jerk too i prefer to stay behind the ropes to be considerate of other photogs BEHIND me… he ignored me… grrrrrr…. so i slip under the ropes … and i stand in front of him and i step on his foot… HARD! …what should feel good, feels like a ridulous and sadistic game… but i stay there… he starts to laugh… i don’t move… i grind my heel into his toe harder, unblinking….. and i shoot off a dozen shots before i even glance at him…. i step harder when he snorts in between laughing fits at me… i can play big fat and jerk too! he steps back… “hi. i’m alan.” he says. “pixie…” i growl at him hand hesitantly extended, “…and you’re a jerk! it’smyfirstpremiereandyousuck!!!!!!!!!” i yell at him~ and then he laughs again… and i laugh too, the anger giving way to the game… in between waves of people that we both need to shoot, he tells me that he shoots for variety, teaches me how to negotiate 60%/40% for celebrity photos on sale not a flat rate… it’s my second celebrity event in 3 days… i hate it… i love it… it’s stupid… it’s fun… ah fuck it, it’s surreal… it’s a movie… my life’s officially a movie now… i am learning alot about hollywood… i pay attention to everything and take nothing at face value… not interested in this game… but it pays well… ack! hollywood, a stupid game~current music: new order – all the way

“It takes years to find the nerve
To be apart from what you’ve done
To find the truth inside yourself
And not depend on anyone”


“You said this 2 years ago. Your words are solid. This is part of why I say you inspire me everyday. ~Elinor

Saturday September 6, 2003

11:52p – a woman, touched
saw the film ‘frida’ tonight. her spirit…incredible. so unforgettable
that they wrote a script about it. one woman, touched. i question my
80-year-old self, reflecting back, fanning my veiled current life phase.
it used to run rampant, this creative puncture, hedonististic
dedication. hours spent in a darkroom, smiling at magick made in water
held up to red safelights, a prize. i dishonor myself when i don’t
create, don’t nurture. i beg for a cat, a baby or a plant. i say it as a
joke but i mean it…i have too much love in me. forcing the sliding
doors…in time, in time… first, nesting…

it’s so easy to slip into nesting/newlywed life…i forget parts of
myself… parts i’m unwilling to let go of…parts to be remembered when
i leave this life…i want to print pictures again.”

roadtrip: reno to los angeles

we watch deep shadows across mountain ranges and yearlings chase birds. we brainstorm on traveling together… it started off about a photo tour of old ghost towns… then about old industrial equipment… his idea of documenting crossroads… we end it on a spark… ‘PHOTO GRANTS!’ we say smiling… and i commit to visit bookstores to see what’s been done before….

wide open america ahead of us as we navigate the twisting roads with lake vistas. jagged rocks, mossy stones, golden plains, small towns with no sense of their great historic value. scenic routes neverending. 300 miles to l.a. we pass other rv’s and cars with dusty bicycles hanging off of them. we smile at them in passing… knowingly… that burner code for the enjoyment of the journey… sanctity in secret extreme places… we’ve survived the desert yet again…

last night we spent at the atlantis hotel in reno. from the valet circle, we left a deep dusty trail of playa dust footprints as we stomped boldly laughing at ourselves all the way thru the casino to the hotel registration. i set my bag down with a plume of dust and checked in. the lady helping us tried to ignore our state of dust but another employee stood pointing at us, nodding and smiling ‘BURNING MAN!’ he said as if he solved his own riddle. ‘yeah…’ we laughed and then found our way to our room, peeling away our clothes thirstily as the best shower of our lived awaited. first i showered, then i took a bath, then i showered again. each time usinig shampoo and soap twice. soon i felt that clean feeling i’d been fantasizing about for days… refreshed, we met matty and crunchy at the buffet and satiated another necessary human requirement… food! we ate ravinously, shamelessly…. first veggies, then another plate of wanton sin and to top it off ice cream and RAINBOW COOKIES, my favorite! we then went to the arcade and the boys played shoot-em-up games with violent faces. crunchy took her turn at one, holding the gun daintily and aiming straight at the crotches of the bad guys. god, i love that woman! i slept then, long and deep and clean and i awoke holding brady’s hand, watching him dream, peeling my hand slowly away to reach for my camera to release my toy from its plastic chamber for the first time. i took off the 3 layers of plastic and tape designed to save it from the desert harshness…. i turned it over in the half-light of a hotel morning… spotless, no damage… success! i reviewed all 1300 images before my battery expired…. best photos of my life…. i can’t wait to name, crop and then bring them to life… soon, soon…

10 days in the desert

we pack up the RV and join the remnants of the mass exodus. ed, our ride, offers me a cold gatorade and a banana and it’s the best thing i’ve ever tasted. brady and i have been existing mostly on onion soups and canned lentil soups, both of which i would not miss if they ever ceased to exist. we are all covered in playa after 10 days in the desert, from the floor to the walls and in every crevice. i don’t think i would recognize my skin if it were clean. i painfully unzip a bag holding the things i typically survive on in the ‘real’ world… my cell phone, money, my house key. we leave black rock city and ride the smooth blacktop towards gerlach. we switch on the radio and i am shocked to hear that new orleans is now atlantis. hundreds of people died and water 7 stories tall from a hurricane… i’m in shock… i have no idea what is going on in the world. i’ve completely disappeared and feel now as if i’m in a dusty haze. i try to wrap my head around things familiar. hills, pavement, air conditioning, cold things to drink. slow jazz plays now on the radio and i think hard on new orleans, one of my favorite cities…

last night i sat and watched the temple burn… many people sang, shouted out the names of loved ones whose ashes of some were in that temple or somehow memorialized within there. several pillars of fire burned and silence fell as the flames built washing us anew, away from all that pains us. brady tried to hold my knee at the very moment the left side of the temple holding my marraige certificate was set aflame… i seized up and watched… i felt very strange then… like a room i had been keeping vigil in suddenly didn’t exist anymore. the purity of the flame against a contract that i signed meant to me that i was officially free. my heart relaxed in a way that i didn’t expect and i looked over to brady beaming love and understanding at me, hands still on my knee waiting for mine… and i took it… we left the crowd…

one full year of being together and i could not say i love you… until last night… he grabbed me by the shoulders in the dark as we walked the desert and we said it finally…. and we showed it… and it felt wonderful… we talked about our future….

lessons on the wind

i spent the morning at the temple where i left my marraige certificate, something i’d meant to do last year but couldn’t~ “goodbye, tsafi” i wrote on it and weaved it between the red chinese wood, bending and unbending it, finally letting it be… i sat there for some time listening to persian poetry sung sweetly among arabian drums… i rode my bicycle to nowhere and sat down, thinking hard on my life and my loves… i began to cry, frustrated to be tricked and manipulated so often in my relationships… i noticed a man then… he walked by me with a wide hat and sat down some distance across from me. as he stared at me, he unravelled an intricate yellow kite. no one else paid him any mind and i began to think he was a desert mirage… i sat for an hour staring at this stranger whirling this kite. we both stared at the sky and then at each other and then back up to the sky… i listened to its swooping, taking lessons from the wind… when to hold, when to bend… when to let it all go…

sometimes the input gets too much and i have to box my ears and eyes and hide away the world. the desert and sun suck away my energy as heartily as it is given. i am down for the count. the blue of the sky is blinding. the breeze, misinformed.

i am not a social creature as most expect of me… i have buffers… time, silence, my camera… that allow me necessary distance in social situations. i’d rather watch exchanges and light from a distance then stand in comforting circles in chit-chat. i am weary of people that need this constantly to feel less alone in the world. the constant hook-up to acceptance seems like fear unrealized.

i am not afraid of my shadows … i know where they are and how to quench them. i am mindful now of manipulative people… their unresolved selves… i avoid them… attention seems to further their demons. attentions presents meaty things to twist about and ruin. i just want to sit quietly in the desert today.

i am glad the masses are leaving… the exodus is on its way. fantomos plays out in uber circle; twisted ridicule and cirque mayhem. my current circle of friends are quite serious about survival. their comfort and fore thought in extreme conditions…. i respect most of them for it. others are more dependant on others for their survival. this is the way most societies work. the strong, the able, the weak, the needy. the pendulum and spectrum, the castes of community… i’ve accelorated quickly in this community… i’ve found something quite sacred in these gatherings… i am privy now to the inner workings of my favorite artists. inspiration is a part of my daily diet. strangers in various cities make sweet effort to come find me and tell me what my work means to them. i lead and electric life now… it won’t always be so. it won’t always be like this…

another favorite playa moment…
brady performing at cirque berzerk… just him and his closed-eyed passion… a kick drum and a snare… he sang a tom waits song… i feel more and more that i can help him get started playing out in clubs regularly. he’s so talented… an amazing voice, such a songwriter and musician~ he just needs the opportunity and some organization… both of which i think i am meant to help him with. after brady performed, roo choreographed other mutaynts spinning this sickest circus routine ever! brady sputtered fire erratically on the floor and everyone spun fire umbrellas with white faces. the circus tent was filled to capacity with an audience captivated. i climbed speakers and purred at brady behind his guitar. my camera licked fire, at times too close, and i fell back laughing a few times as brady’s lava fountain threatened to singe me… i follow his fire closely and know its path…

this burning man experience this year has brought brady and i so much closer. from sitting together that first early morning silently on a near-desolate playa watching sunrise before setting up our camp, to celebrating our one year anniversary on friday~ so much emotion between us lately… intense joy, beyond the current of relief and appreciation i’d been feeling lately. he’s been at his healthiest in mind and boyd and we can now celebrate each other, spend quality time, endless time… when all is in its equilibrium, when he is in his present state of mind, my focus is all on him. my eyes fall smilingly on him more when he is centered and serene this way. my heart rears up satiated. there are no disclaimers now, no stress, no apologies. we are at our best in our desert wonderland and i want for nothing, no love more than his.

i am constantly watching my friends and how they deal with situations. i look to my mutaytor family how to deal with compliments and criticism, both of which i must deal with all the time and both of which i am still uncomfortable with. i’ve witnessed the acceptance and the justification, the correct place of ego. the ego that brings more powerful action rather than senseless big heads. ego is the demise of any project, relationship, or experience. in my mind, i am still the awkward girl in grade school with tight, uneven pigtails being chosen last for the kickball team. in my mind, i don’t deserve to be noticed, me myself noticed. so i chose tools that i can hide behind… my camera, my pen… on my own time, in quiet corners i can slip into rooms of thought and shutter release and have the work speak for me. i could never be a performer… the pressure to think fast and make an impression doesn’t feel healthy to me. i live my life this way because this is who i really am… someone told me recently that i capture their memories for them and i thought that so strange…

roo leans on the hammock and i drop like a stone in the center of it. we whisper secrets and end it too soon in the name of breaking down the circus tent. she kisses my forehead and i am centered. the sun is less threatening now. moving vans move apprehensively slower as they join the departing masses heading home. i’ve been stuck in a paddywagon of thought all day. no kite can save me now. i need to work thru it. the playa can sometimes bring the heavies… reoccuring thoughts without action hurt me… i’m afraid to make the same mistake twice. i’m afriad to be blinded by love and make bad decisions. adversely, i’m afriad to withhold in a way that i grow accustomed to the withholding.

playa moments

saturday night after the man burned down… wrapped in blankets on a hammock after watching my friends waltz at the foot of gigsville’s uber-man. the gentle rocking and comfort is polar to my burning man experience… extreme temperatures, endless adventures, my body adjusting, my mind expanding, my heart filled with love for my friends. the experience settles in now and i push away thoughts of leaving. my hands and hair have permanent layers of dust.

favorite playa moments….

standing naked in a sandstorm with shaunte and then watching her chase her dress hilariously as the wind threatened to take it.

huddled in an art car shaped like a diner booth, flaked on both sides by more art cars… one of a huge cheshire cat, the other of a giant radio flyer with a stripper pole. we had adventures out in the deep abyss driving to a tall ladder and to various art installations. before sunrise we warmed up by the car-b-que (a car-shaped fireplace gather spot with aliens carved into it.) a bunch of mad max desert rats gathered by fire for sustenance and entertainment.

standing within the fire conclave circle before the man burned down, photographing the best of the best AT their best. roo & eric spun poi and walked toward me. instinctively i lay down and they straddle me, fire inches above me…

the deep texture of the playa, the virgin cracks when we first arrived. our first sunrise with hardly anyone here yet. now it’s a circus!

brady hands me hot cocoa and joins me on the hammock. we snuggle and watch fireworks under the stars. my eyes can’t get any wider…

burning man

i am craving anything cold or salty. i start fantasizing about running water, about a hotel shower and then a bath and then maybe another shower in succession… i feel the water all around me and then i open my eyes to see my dusty cracked feet, the dust in the texture of my writing hand… just then i open a peice of mail sent to me by redcap, whose house we stopped at last year for a shower after burning man… inside is a photo of him with goggles on in his shower with greetings from ‘shower man’! hilarious!

another favorite playa memory….
making out against the fence on thursday afternoon all the way out in the open abyss. an art car drove by and reminded us that ‘YESTERDAY was hump day’… afternoon purrs looking out at an endless desert beyond the perimeters~

center camp is filled with constant activity. today i saw two women dressed as jellyfish dancing in circles. one of them got tangled in the ropes that hold up center camp “JELLYFISH NEEDS HELP!!” she said and a dozen naked painted people came to her rescue. there was a naked man painted green that was a mime with limited communication capabilities… everyone is mildly insane here at any given time of day… and it’s very amusing…