LIB Story Ticket Winner #3 – Fun for the Family
Posted by: Lewey Knox
It was 4 am and cold, and I didn’t want to leave the tent, but I had to pee really bad. So out I went, and returned as quick as I could to my lover’s warm arms and bare chest. But, damn if I could not fall back asleep. My mind was now being baited by a groove trickling down from the Temple of Consciousness to the Family Camp. With gentle, mesmerizing, ethereal layers, the DJ was building a hunger in me… a yearning to join the pack and set myself free. It had been my turn that night to stay with our girls and make up fanciful stories until the three of us passed out. All the while, my husband freely explored, connected, and blissed-out all over the ariel shows, the LED music mash, the new friends, the glowing art,… the savage beauty of it all! This was our first time to LIB and we were hoping it would be our Burning Man, because as a family with two young kids, we thought, “here we could all SAFELY enjoy ourselves.” We want to continue living our lives in technicolor and not be penalized because we are parents. And with two venues with kids in mind and rave reviews from fellow families we thought LIB would be great for us. And we were right. By day three we were all overflowing. My daughters, 5 and 8, had fused seamlessly into this artistic culture: holding tree poses beneath the yoga tent, finding solace atop the meditation temple, creating art with recycled goodies, paddling boats in winged dresses, hooping on grass with masters who viewed them as equals. And now, 45 minutes after my bladder pulled me out of my sleep, I acknowledged where I was supposed to be. I zipped up my sleeping family behind me and skipped up the hill towards the music. I felt like a bird molting out of her roles of mother and wife, in order to remember why her heart beats, why her soul soars and why her arms freely hug strangers who smile pure smiles at her.
Once at the edge of the Temple, I took off my shoes and flitted my way into the middle of the dancing throng, absorbing the glow of others as I did. Their buzz became my buzz. Their rhythm pulled me into the whirlpool. I was consciously reconnecting my body parts to each other. My body was remembering how good it felt to move as one. With complicated layers, the Dj lifted us up, only to strip the music back to a raw simplicity. And then load it all up again. He took us around corners, into clearings, up steep cliffs, into deep waters and back out again. Though the night was still dark, the waking songbirds added their own tracks to the mix. After about an hour or so, some bodies began to depart for far away tents or mats on the sideline. My body, however, kept climbing, gyrating, spinning,… and surrendering. I shed layers of years and clothes, tying them onto my belly-dancing hips. I shared deep stares and smiles and avoided the people grazing for the late, late night tent partner. And since those of us remaining were intrinsically connected, we all felt the growing pull from the east. Where there was once dark and stars, the sky was now blushing blue and violet. Where there was only one hulking shadow, a lake seamlessly separated from the mountains. And finally, at the moment when mother sun rose over the edge of one peak, we all exhaled in kind: arms dancing above heads, eyes closed, palms pressed in prayer, each finding a way to say thank you for her ballistic blessing. As if in the church of my childhood, everyone began to hug whomever was closest. These were deep and real hugs. And like dominoes handing off potential energy, we all turned and hugged someone else. And then someone else. There was nothing sexualized about honoring our existence and joy at experiencing it all together. We were equals, praying at the same temple in our own ways. And because we all knew we had attained our final destination, the music drifted into a poetic ending. There was applause and accolades for the Dj.
Many of us lingered at the overlook, still reveling in our personal moments, as we collectively watched the tendrils of magic mist hover and curl out over the water. I found a pen at the coffee tent nearby to capture a spontaneous haiku on my hand. And after the Dj gave me a disc of delights in exchange for my gratitude and haiku, I headed back to my soon-to-be-stirring family. I was incredibly full of riches that I would attempt to share with them all. I had come to LIB and found one of the best parts of myself.
submitted by Jessica Deltac