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The Big Burn

RhythmWave is a dance camp and we danced everyday. We danced the nap dance of the bowls and gongs, the yoga dance of the bodhisattvas and the ecstatic dance of the camp. I scaled my partner and my partner twined me around him like a morning glory. The floor was clean swept or veiled in white. The floor was boiled bamboo. Dancers were snaky with the energy of the floor. Huggy Bear, Mac, Touch, and Henya.

We faced away from the dusty wind to breathe. CanCan held me up. Tigerrr like a tiny tight tumbleweed of black Queen Anne's lace. Sometimes, the time I broke down in tears, for example, the floor was crammed with bodies in motion. PopTart and Rosebud. Button. Once I danced on it with only four others, and if I'd left my socks on, I could have planed from one end to the other like a skydiver dragging their toes across a pond. Glide slid through the night smoke, bright in blue, glistening with body jewelry, like a bride.

You are not allowed to photograph the dance because it is sacred and the dance medicine can't breathe through the aperture of a camera lens.

I’d never taken a dust bath before, never let a fine film of alkaline earths as silky as talcum powder totally coat me from the ends of my hair down all my meridians and onto my toes. But at the Big Burn, I awoke mummified, surrendering to the dust. I fell asleep laughing at and with the dust — beside, on top of, and below my beloved Navigator in our little tent in the desert. We were cocoons ferrying soft possibilities to the sweet Other side, chrysalises growing gratitude and spirit. Night became day, day became night in a Blakean apocalypse of work and medicine and healing and beauty. Santiago, Heera, Radiance, Joy.

I had an abortion and arm surgery as I flipped through the album covers of bands I did not know. The temple fires ate my mother and she was released from her own private Coleridge. The floors were at weird angles and someone fell in the k-hole of stained glass that sang to us in the middle of the desert. We drank French wine, but we had to argue for it, in French. A Breeze.

We embraced our sisters and brothers, Haven, Satellite, Britt, Gethin, Spring, Buck. The women who braided my hair, the men who built the shower. Tess, Shiny, Jen, and Anastasia. Z. Nataraj.

We were radical with thanks. And still are. I dream about that dust. I am it. And I am.


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