Look at what you see
This continues a series of posts from events and explorations conducted at Burning Man 2009.
In Black Rock City, there is a delicate moment between when one day ends and the next begins. It’s as if night lasts for some minutes, shortly before the rising of the Sun. The many raves settle down to silence around this time and the overnight dancers make their way home in twos and threes. The sky is warming in the sensation of illuminated darkness. We were held gently in that limber space. The city was silent and isolated, though it was a worldly kind of aloneness: in an odd way secure; we were together.
I knew where we were: the Mystical Couch on the corner of 4:30 and Promenade. This was a couch randomly set underneath a sturdy plastic shelter, like a porch on a busy intersection. As I gradually awakened, physical form felt strange and precious. I was surprised that I hadn’t missed it, in that other realm: the sensation of being physically alive. My sandals, sturdy and soaked in dust, were still strapped to my feat. My bluejean shorts wrapped my hips, and I was snug in my cotton pastel colored blanket that I had brought home from Holland.
“Where did you go?” Siobhan asked.
“Everywhere,” I said. “I dreamed I was walking out along on the playa. At first I was with you. Then you were gone, and I was naked. I had no idea how I had lost you and it felt so real. Realer than real. Finally I made peace with losing you, and that’s when I realized my clothes were gone.” As I said the words, I felt them tumble out like tarot cards. I could almost see the symbols align meaningfully.
Nearly simultaneously, I had two memories of where I had just been: the look of desire in the woman’s eyes as she walked back to camp with her lover; and the sensation of warm seed sliding down my throat even though I had not drank it. One was a vector to the other: the vision of her desire, and the sensation of my fulfillment. There seemed to be no moment between, but then that space opened like a fan and I was looking at a hologram of images, of the scenarios involved.
I wanted to impart the feeling to Siobhan but I knew that the words could not do it, not alone.
Then I remembered something deep within the dream, which was a commitment to the acceptance of how everything I witness or experience is part of me: actually, the product of my imagination. I don’t recall when I made that promise; I seem to remember it at the moment I first walked out into the playa with Siobhan, which felt like days ago. It was just a few hours ago, much earlier that morning—if it even happened. I vaguely remember the Green Woman lifting up her tunic, and then looking up at me with her sweet, inquisitive eyes.
“When did we sit down here?”
“Fairly soon after we left,” she said. “We both agreed it looked very appealing.”
Then as if the thought flew in a window at the back of my mind, I understood the message of the dream: everything I see and experienced there was a product of my imagination or desire; and the same is true for here.
Look at what you see. That is what you want.
It was funny. I could not recall any time that she said it to me. Yet I understood the idea as if she had. I knew there might be more, spaces of the conversation or experience that I did not remember. Yet: there was no her. And yet: how could that be? She was so real.
My story seems to have paused; I have a sense of where I have been and where I am going, yet I am aware of the interval in between. I know who is waiting for me. It’s the longest night tonight, and all that is oriented on an axis might pivot along with the cyclone of the spheres.
This is the time of year when I turn inward & seek my own solace, come to a new understanding, meet my child in the dark of winter; I was born in winter.
My wet dream is coming true, of women who love to masturbate and be masturbated with. Ethos of liberation and a hot erotic playspace: living phantasy, communication, affirmation and witnessing humanity.
In much the same way that sharing masturbation leaves one relatively free of worries about the usual consequences, other forms of karma are mitigated; those in particular exchanged during sex, by which people seem to take possession of one another. Often we ‘get’ sex and what we call love at this price: sacrifice of self, to the other, or to the pair. We need a higher commitment in our relationships – the one about keeping who we are. In our era, that’s the real romantic ideal – strong people present for one another.