Burn, Evolution, Music Festivals, Sacred Space

iBurningMan

The first time I rolled up to Burning Man in 2013, fresh off the festival circuit, I arrived at 6 AM, after being on the road for three days and in line for 10 hours, it got real. I jumped out of the car and the first thing I said to this stranger was: “I really like your necklace“ shyly, just trying to drum up conversation. He looked at me and said “UGH fine take it.“ And handed me the necklace, exasperated. Two strangers offered me some chocolates, I politely declined, and then promptly I hopped on my bike and rode towards “The Man” like I was supposed to. The first thing I encountered? A scene of people, full blown working out with barbells and equipment in front of these giant BELIEVE letters, as the sun was rising; I knew that this wasn’t just a party or an experience to be taken lightly. This was evolution in motion.

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-Burning Man 2013: Da Vinci’s Workshop-
A group of body builders pumping iron at sunrise by this Believe sign .
Letters by by: Laura Kimpton with Jeff Schomberg


This year, 2018, the art was unlike anything I’d ever fathomed. There was the iSheep, a roaming pack of sheep, that if you were nice to them they would let you ride them. If you didn’t ask consent, they were mean sheep, and would yell at you, so I am told. Could never find those buggers.

-iSheep by: Bardia Saeedi, DC Regional Artists-
from: Alexandria, VA

IF you were lucky enough to find “The Pole”, a random lite up pole, and you were lucky enough to know just the right way to shake your head, you would see the most incredible faces within the motion of your eyeballs. WHAT!? ETIPADO as it was called is a mysterious strobing pole. It displays images captured from an antique camera, but the secret to viewing them must be discovered.

-Said pole Installation titled ETIPADO: Extremely Tall Image Processing And Display Object-
by: Grant Patterson from: San Francisco, CA

Meanwhile, THESE poles were also amazing…and much easier to see. Made of 11,000 hanging LEDs in a volumetric field, these concentric pathways of light interpret movement and sound, mimicked shadows in a visual form throughout.


-Galactic Meadows- by Spectral Form out of SF-

I found out the rainbow runway arches were ACTUALLY demonstrating the speed of sound, and that art cars could actually hook up to the runway with a software that Robot Heart developed and play their set. Then the music that plays shows the wave frequencies that are displayed in lights down the whole the row.

Then there was the polar bear made out of white car hoods, advocating polar bear environmental safety. “Singularity” was the house, in a birdcage, in a house, inside a birdcage inside a house, and it was burned in the name of dispelling depression and honoring those that have suffered. “Let U.S Prey” was made out of pennies, nickles and dimes, 27,000 coins to be exact, or so I heard.

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-Let U.S. Prey by: Mr and Mrs Ferguson-
from: Alameda, CA

Burning Man really is like a beautiful train wreck that you can’t stop watching, even though you know it might not end well. Boop. Maybe it’s not as big of a crash as expected, but worth watching none the less. Even those overturn that have chosen not to return after burning for how ever many years, are still watching, because they know the magic of Black Rock City. This year, even Skirllex was amazing #shocking. You really never know with this place…

The drone light show coming from Amsterdam was an absolutely mind-blowing performative artwork at the interface between technology, science, and art. “Franchise Freedom” exposed the tension between individual freedom and safety in numbers, and was choreographed to music composed and played by Joep Beving. The patterned movements of the 600 drones apparently were based on the patterns of bird flights. I saw a hand beckoning the crowd to approach the Mayan Warrior. Perhaps I was just hallucinating?

Burning Man 2018 Studio Drift’s Amazing Luminous Drone Swarm & Mayan Warrior Dutch composer Joep Beving from ruprecht studios on Vimeo.

At sunrise on Tuesday morning, some circus friends I know presented a performance art piece called: “Straight No Chaser – The Great Straight Escape” … An escape artist was hanging upside down from a hot air balloon near the temple, and she did it!

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-Strait No Chaser : The Great Strait Escape by: LadyBEAST and GatorDox-
from: Oakland, CA

This ridiculous city has taught me more about freedom, and about who I never would’ve thought I would become, over the past four years. I’ve showered with total strangers in a completely non-sexualize way and felt so empowered afterwards #carcuswash. I’ve eaten ribs and salmon a top of a giant glowing pirate ship at five in the morning while Crystal Method the artist danced beside me. #pearlnecklace I’ve had more synchronistic and unexpected magical experiences in the middle of nowhere in one week then probably in my whole life before burning man combined. #ttitd


-Still trying to locate the project name-

This was a circus of light up wheels, that had traveled fixe desserts, and was destined for Black Rock City. Every night 15 volunteers committed 4+ hours of their time to walk these wheels to the larger inner playa installation and dance in loincloths for onlookers! What a spectacle! I still don’t know what to call it.

Speaking of names, one day, while hanging at my camp, the Pandora Bike and Fix it Shoppe bar, a women came up and when I asked what her name was, she said she didn’t have a playa name. My co-bartender, “Bish” said while she poured the girl a drink “Well silverbell, it’ll come when you’re ready”. The girl and I both looked at each other and I said “That’s it! That’s your name!” She said she liked it, and then I reached down and pulled off the bracelet of silver bells I had just put on minutes earlier, that I hadn’t worn in years, and promptly handed her the bracelet, deeming her Silverbell. And that’s how the they get you… before you know it, you’re covered in dust and loving it.

Oh yes, I have fallen in love with the dust… just the smell of it turns me on. This strong, smooth and sultry salt bed dust gets into everything, and yet I still can’t get enough of it. It’s in the air you breathe it’s in the food you eat and it’s definitely in the places you sleep and play and worship and dance and shit and cry and bathe… It becomes a part of you. It connects you to everything else through the vibrations that you can literally see the music waves pulsating through a dust storm. In the morning light you can see the dust kicking up off of art car wheels as they roll five miles an hour across the playa, spiraling out into fractals; it’s really a sight for sore eyes. #goggles.

This dust reminds me of sugar and every other white powder that’s worth indulging in, it serves a purpose and an important one at that. This dusty powder is a way of life; it is a medicine. And while it may not be the most logical, rational or economical “medicine” you’ve ever heard of, once you’ve tried this Kool-Aid, you’re going to want to go deeper. Down whichever rabbit hole you choose! There’s lots to explore. Even sober ones, it’s true.

This year, as I was biking Sunday pre-event, alone, across the playa under the stars, night one of my 2018 adventure, I realized that I was laughing, and crying, and singing and dancing, sweating and breathing heavy, and jumping WHILE riding my bike, all at once, and I couldn’t help but think “this is the closest to a religious experience as anyone in this day and age will ever get.” In that moment I felt invincible and ecstatic, like I hadn’t felt since I was a little girl. I felt like my true self, finally come into perfect alignment. How long can it last?


-The Alter of Intention-
by: Daniel Strickland, Vinicius Luz, M.Emoto Institute, Brazilian Burners
from: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



Two weeks later, in the throughs of decompression and after burn withdraw, I still think that it’s worth every bit of energy and sacrifice, though a harder pill to swallow in my grumpy state. If you’ve never gone from hell to heaven and back again in two week’s time, it’s impossible to fathom the gravity of the circumstances. If you haven’t at least considered quitting your job and going to Burning Man, than this might not be for you.

Is it worth it? Absolutely. And I’ve lost 15 pounds! Burning Man is truly the pilgrimage of many lifetimes that I waited way too long to take. Black Rock City is forever etched onto my heart and pulses through my veins, daily, calling me to return home as soon as possible. 360 days we must wait. But the burn doesn’t just stop there, you know…. #openseasame



One of the most important facets of deeming yourself a burner is taking these principles that you operate under out into the world, pre and post burn. Otherwise, what is the point? Many of us struggle with the dreaded “exclusiveness” and “waste of resources” dilemma. Believe me, us burners are well aware of the discrepancies and issues within our community that are all over the news. “With all that money spend on a 747 we could have fed hundreds of starving children”, is an absolutely valid argument that many of us within and outside the organization have voiced and battled with each other concerning, but it’s really not up for ANYONE to decide whether or not something is art. The point is, we are out there, pushing the envelope in a very raw and real way. We build a community from scratch, and with that comes all kinds of pulses. The challenge with any community, and especially one of this force, is that you have the best of humanity, and also the worst of humanity, all under one roof. I do want to point out that radically inclusive doesn’t mean you have to include the rapist or the thief; but discovering who these people are is the hard part, as people are good at hiding in a crowd.


As you’ll see within any city, you’ll find just about everything you look for. Bars, yoga studios, dance parties, parades, restaurants, balloon rides, roller skating rinks, temples, you name it, it’s at Black Rock City. Funnily enough, this year AND last year I had my megaphone stolen right out of my bag on burn night, when I wasn’t looking. It’s a small price to pay for a week of fulfilling magic, but still, it is a reality we are facing as a community. Just because you’re in an utopian society doesn’t mean you don’t still have to watch your back.

***WANTED: Silver megaphone, small frame, connected to swell rainbow water bottle inside a hemp-laced carrying case. REWARD IF FOUND***

One night an obviously disheveled woman came in to my camp. She asked if she could buy a drink which we explained to her there was no money used at Burning Man once you arrive. I asked her how she got there and she explained that her boyfriend had brought her she never heard of Burning Man she had never heard of the 10 principles and she wasn’t sure where she was going to sleep that night as her boyfriend had kicked her out and left her. She disappeared before I could get a ranger, after she realized she was most certainly out of her element. It was a tragic story and situation that really hurt my heart. But that’s what happens, you get all walks of life.



Every year the playa energy changes, physically, emotionally, spirituality, and weather wise of course. This year, the pulse was running hot, in my opinion. The virgin burners were prepared, the veterans seemed patient, lines were shorter than ever, and the flow was smooth, mostly until Wednesday night. I could feel a very direct shift in attitude once the city went from the week long committed artists and city builders to the weekend warriors who just show up to party. It’s an interesting observation to attend to. 



Still, it’s important to recognize that what you chose to pay attention to is what you will find at the burn. If you want to stay cranky at entitled assholes all week long, than that’s what you’ll see. I choose to focus on the art, music and friendships that we built. The best part about Black Rock City is the intensity of which things happen. Time speeds up. Emotions are heightened. Strength gets stronger. Weaknesses become glaringly obvious. Anything you haven’t dealt with in your immediate force field will rear it’s little head and say “you better check this right now or we’re gonna ruin your burn”. Happens every year, even to the best of us. The burn you want and the burn you need are never the same thing. Usually they balance each other out.


They say “the playa provides” bla bla bla… I say, YOU provide, for yourself and for your community. Almost every time I indeed needed something, it was right there, all I had to do was voice my desire aloud. I came as self prepared as possible, and then went out of my way to help others because that’s what you do with communal effort and civic responsibility. It’s a team effort, when it comes to building a city, running it, and then also tearing it down, it requires everyones help. If you don’t give, you won’t get. Everything is temporary here, and that’s part of the magic.

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-Galaxia Temple 2018-
By the incredible Temple Crew



Speaking of magic, or the unexplainable, the Temple comes to mind. Never before in my four years of Burning have I felt a connection to the temple. I would go, stop in, look around and leave feeling sad for others and underwhelmed for myself. I didn’t get it. But everything changed this year.

This year I took my broken ass heart to the temple and gave it away… by that I mean, I took a paper flower for every man who has broken my heart and released it into the spiral abyss of flame. Apparently I wasn’t the only one on this train of though, as the temple was FILLED with wedding dresses, old letters from ex lovers and notes to abusive partners saying “we will no longer stand for this treatment”. “Fuck your narcissism” and “Fuck cancer” It was so powerful, you could feel the thickness of tension, and when it burned on Sunday night, I could also feel the release. The vortex was undeniable, and some of us swore that Larry was even there, in the dust. Check out this video of the dirt devil tornado that surprised us all towards the end of the temple burn. I learned that at Burning Man people call these tornados “ancestors”.

Now I’d like to remind those who don’t know that the “theme” of “burning man” this year was iRobot, which didn’t please my tastebuds at all, initially. In response I chose to moonlight as Dorothy the Burning Man iRobot, who was created thanks to the Radicals Brining Back Ritual campaign, and she was sent to Burning Man to protest robots. Sponsored by the Anti Bot Coalition, the ABC didn’t end up having to protest in the end, when it seemed to be that the humans were a bigger part of the problem than the bots, however I felt like my mission was a valid one. “Who are these robots, and why are they taking over my burn? I miss Radical Ritual…”

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-Fractal the Turtle and The Nonsense Man and a Robot @ The Man 2018-

In the end, iRobot did turn out to have a very certain charm, and certainly put the tech folk to work. Thank you Silicon Valley. These are our hard earned tax dollars at work here folks.

As a lady who comes from the land of Oz, I used to think tornados were terrifying; these ones are ADORABLE. People chase them around, they carry dust and sparks and ashes with them sometimes. There truly is something for everyone at Burning Man, and these ancestors are for me. It was love at first sight.



As in love with this aspect of the burn that I am, there are others that chose not to attend the massive fires, ever. For some, it’s too crowded. Others, too painful. And it’s my responsibly to accept that and support their decision, as much as it doesn’t make sense to me. Everyone is there for a particular reason and season… no judgement. No blame. No shame. As long as your participating best as you can, then you are welcome

I chose to spend my pre-burn doing placement for my camp (Pandora’s bike and fix it Shoppe), working for the Artery (the art placement department, where we also do artist hospitality and give art tours for the mobility challenged) as well as performing several shows too, at center camp, theme camps and beyond. Learning about the art was invaluable, and being able to share with others “oh yeah, THAT hut is called LISTEN and you can go broadcast your heart beat through the speakers” was so special. I sacrificed sleep for sunrises and moments with FAMILY that I will cherish forever. I learned SO much, and most of all what I took away from this year’s burn was that all you can do is “Let it go”. Memories can live on, but the emotion and attachment to all things material and even surreal, we must let it go. And it felt REAL damn GOOD to let shit go. I had a lot of shit. I feel 800 times lighter. I feel like myself again, and I am so grateful for all the souls I encountered that made sure to tell me that I was on track and in alignment. THANK YOU. You know who you are. 



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-In Every Lifetime I Will Find You by: Michael Benisty, Love and Unity-
from: Brooklyn, NY

I learned the first year I went, in 2013, not to come to something of this magnitude with our your BEST FRIENDS around you. You’re going to want them there. And every year, I leave the burn thinking “God, I totally have to bring my mom to this.” Maybe next year ma?

Now, if you THINK You can’t make it to Burning Man, you know your options, right? First of all, set an intention to go, take off work, and TRY to get a ticket. Pay attention. See what happens. If it comes easy, then it’s a go, and if there’s resistance, LISTEN. Next year will be better anyway!

Second mission: find a regional, or start your own if you must, even if it’s in your backyard. Build something. Burn. It. Do something weird. Dress up. Go out. Start conversations. Be YOU.

Third, check out Burners Without Borders, or just start researching the burn culture in general an see where it takes you. Pick a principle and dive in unpacking it. People make all sorts of sacrifices to attend a burn. I always say “some people choose football, some people play golf, some join a gym… I choose to burn”. It’s become a way of life, like having breakfast, or playing tennis. The sacrifices I’ve made always are outweighed by the benefits. And every single day I think, “how can I turn the default world into a real life burn?” Maybe it already is… but one person can’t play THIS game. It takes a communal effort. 

If the world is your burn, what’s your next move? Be bold. No apologies. Go after what you believe in. And don’t ever let anybody tell you how to live your life. Especially burners, if it doesn’t jive with your soul.

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-Taken at the Morris Burner Hostle in Reno, August, 2018-



Burning Man started as a social experiment, and continues to unfold and evolve at it’s own pace and stride. Sure, there are organizations and the organization itself, but nobody is in the captain chair saying “this is who we are booking and this is the kind of art we are going to make”. Nope. That’s up to US. And that’s where WE need to take the power and make it something we can be proud of. I’m talking about functional art. Art that serves a purpose and makes the city or world a better place. For instance, I’d like to see an art installation grant for composting and decorative bathroom for deep playa, that are burned at the end of the week (waste removed). Or maybe a water fill-up oasis in the middle of the dessert, with water goddesses reciting poetry, filling up your hearts and your drink vessels at once. I’m not sure if/when I’ll have the resources to do such activities, but it’s fun to fantasize.

(I haven’t even gotten started on the art car scene… To be continued…)



City-wise, San Francisco and Reno are both already doing a stellar job of incorporating burner art and functions into their city, and so I challenge you to look around at your community and your city of choice. Where is the need? What are the needs? What are your resources? And how can we turn this shit up a notch. Because the dial is going to keep moving, it’s just a matter of which direction.

Buckle up buttercup. 

And burn bright friends.

Check out ALL of the art at Burning Man here on the website

Until next year….

MissCompact


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-MissConcompact the Unicorn Barbie! “Put ‘er in your pocket”-

Yeah 

Burning Man 2018 dang came and went.
It’s been a good run, time and play well spent
The gate was on point and the greeters greeting blow for blow
With so many more virgins there was lots of room to grow
Watching the sunrise never gets cold
with your new best friends but especially the old.
The dance floors were banging, the fires, oh so lit
“Hey can I borrow some self reliance a bit?”
I brought a band of newbies and they did just fine…
(except one of them) leaving no trace, most of the time.
We all get a bit sloppy sometimes, it’s true
but it’s our civic responsibility to take care of ALL our moop.
So I’ll look after you, you look after me, too
as this cultural utopia blooms into an interfuse
That connects us to our art, our heart, also our dark
and is there no safer way to explore this part?
Surrounded by radical self whatever you call it
making it a point to give freely, no wallet.
It’s an exchange of wonder, magical by design empowerment…
Show me your tricks and I’ll show you mine, with consent.
Whatever intention you put into the effigy or temple
let it unfold, truth be told, baby steps, keep it simple
Usually the burn you want isn’t the thing you need,
but if you pay attention to the lessons and processing
With our reflections can grow what’s been unfurled
as we take these teachings from the burn into the real world.
So thanks for playing. Better luck next year’s turn.
And if you don’t mind, would y’all quit fucking my burn?

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-Burning Man 2018 iRobot pre Temple Burn #Pandora-

food, Health, Sacred Space, Uncategorized

Health, Love and Money….

My grandfather always used to say that him and his wife had figured out the success to a happy life and a happy marriage: “Health, love, and money, in that order” he says.

This blog today is to talk about HEALTH, the bases for heaving good love, and good wealth, really, because without a strong sense of health and strength, what good are the other two, anyway?

​I have spent years trying to figure out how to be “healthy”? It seems to be a mysterious far away, lofty ideal that no one has truly mastered.  Some know more than others, but it does come down to truly knowing your own body and lifestyle.

After blowing out my adrenals in college, and burning the candle at both ends, it has taken me at least ten years to catch up on sleep… and to teach myself how to eat PROPERLY and not give into temptation every time cheesecake comes calling.

Something else I’ve realized they don’t teach you in grade school (let alone college) is how and when to take your vitamins.  Now, I do NOT proclaim to be a nutritionist; rather this is simply an example of a regiment that, coupled with proper diet and exercise, can lead to a better you.  At the very least, it’s something to think about.

One really could drive themselves crazy over-thinking when and what to eat with what other food combinations in order to promote the best longevity.  Of course, you have to take into account the fact that some people eat meat, others don’t, some fish only, some vegans, etc…. which some would say might be attributed to blood type. (If you do some research, one will find that type 0 blood type is suggested to eat more meat than others…)

Do what you want with your food life, as long as it works for you.  All of that aside, after suffering some extreme fatigue, I came to discover that I have been prone to bacterial overgrowth that has been destroying all of my nutrients!  These guys, that live in your intestines, eat all of your food before the vitamins can hit the blood stream!  They got out of control because of SURPRISE: Antibiotics!  And it’s been a lot of hard work getting ahead of it, and the proper bacteria back in place via pro-biotics and other vitamins.As I became increasingly aware of what nutrients I was getting, when and from what, and slowly surely, the fatigue cloud is lifting.  Cutting out carbohydrates and glutton helped a lot, along with this powdered herbs I discovered (https://theinterstellarplan.com Discount Code: sg151) which I take daily.  But yes, I have become a slave to my vitamin regiment. When I saw my grandfather’s pill containers as a little girl, I never thought that would be me!  But alas, I have even discovered these tiny Macaron shaped pill containers for travel, that are a stitch.

In the end, it’s not what you carry them with, but it’s what you put into your body that matters, and WHEN!  They don’t tell you in school is that magnesium when taken with other nutrients can prevent them from going into your body, and other tips like this.

I have developed a list below of vitamins, supplements and minerals that I take and at what time.  This is simply based off of some simple google searches and what I determined was best for me.  If you’re serious about your health, then take an hour to look up what vitamins and minerals you are taking and when to take them.

Pro-biotic first thing in the morning along with my maca and interstellar herb tea
METHYL B12 morning under the tongue
Multivitamin Morning pre-meal
B5 with calcium morning meal (three times a day!)
Mineral supplement morning meal (made of dried alfalfa juice and kelp)

Vitamin C twice a day morning meal

Folic Acid morning meal
Fiber mid afternoon (usually in a shake)
B5 with calcium Lunch meal
Dandelion root mid afternoon (sometimes, not always)
Vitamin D evening meal
Vitamin E evening meal
Vitamin C evening meal
B5 with calcium evening meal

After dinner Activated Charcoal (if tummy hurts)

 L-tryosine evening (sometimes)

Zinc before bedtime
Iron before bedtime
Primrose before bedtime
Collagen at Bedtime
Magnesium RIGHT before bed

_________________________________________

On top of the regular self-care supplements I ritualize, then there’s what happens when you get sick.  Many people have posted lately about the flu and colds, and what to do when you fall ill.  Here is my protocol-

Three times a day add in:
Lysine
Echinacea

Golden seal

Turmeric tea with raw honey, hot pepper and lemon

Roasted garlic eat EIGHT cloves straight (delicious on bread) OR cut up raw garlic and swallow two cloves minced whole.

Elderberry Syrup 

Osha Root Tincture

Epsom salt bath with tea tree oil and eucalyptus
Ravansara essential oil under the toes at night before bead

_________________________________________________________

Again, I will say that I am NOT a trained professional, and what is right for me may not be right for you at all depending on your genes, your history and your body type.  Do the research for what is right for you, and always be learning and growing.  It doesn’t hurt to ask.  Feel free to ask away in the comment sections, and together we can find the right resources for any question you might have, or ailment that may be affecting you.  Chances are, there is a natural herb remedy for any symptom that might be afflicting you.  If you ARE going to go the antibiotic way (and certainly there is good use for these types of treatments) BE CAREFUL.  Do the research on how to properly adapt your body into healthy homeostasis before it’s too late.

Remember, that in order to change the world, you first have to change yourself.

MissConcious

 

Burn, HappeningsEvents, Sacred Space, social justice

Burners Without Borders

Burners Without Borders, the non profit social justice faction of the Burning Man community, is a huge part of what makes being a burner a GREAT thing in our world.  Most of you are familiar with the ten principles that are guidelines to participating in this culture with compassion.  This time of year, gifting, radical inclusion, immediacy and communal effort are all a big  part of taking care of our community, while we also have some fun!

Being homeless in the winter could be compared to camping at Black Rock in the cold, except often those who are homeless don’t know where to get food or warmth because they don’t have a neighbor with a big pot of chili and a fire to share. Their coat and socks may be wet and there’s no way to get them dry.  There are many little items things this that we can donate and give directly to the homeless, like camping gear, clean and dry socksc meals, coats, hats and gloves, to help ease the difficulties of winter in the Midwest.

Guess what?  The Midwest regional burn INTERFUSE is having a kick-off party in Kansas City in January and the event is called IGNITION!  At the event happening on January 20th, at Prohibition Hall in Kansas City we are collecting these items listed below to help those in need.  Save the date and start planning what you can give.

Here is a complete list of what we are collecting:

Fall & winter clothing – coats, jackets, pants, long sleeve shirts, flannel, coveralls, shoes/boots, socks, undies (these need to be new), gloves, scarves, hats, handwarmers, tarps, blankets, sleeping bags and bed rolls.

Toiletries – toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, soap, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, chapstick, tp, lady items – travel sizes work well.

Food items – anything individual serving – oatmeal packets, hot chocolate packets, granola bars, peanut butter, fruit cups, cup of soup, etc.

Another idea: You can keep these types of items in your car along with bottled water and give them out to people that they meet as well who might be in need.  Being a burner isn’t just about GOING to a burn, but it’s about taking our beloved principles and kindness out into the world and spreading that love to those around us.

One point of sensitivity is to always be very gentle and when offering these items.  Never assume that anybody needs anything, but rather, just suggest that you are there handing out items to anyone around, and let the recipient pick what they want to take, with dignity.

Thank you for accepting this mission, and BWB looks forward to seeing you at the Ignition event in January.  Make sure you join the Interfuse facebook page to stay up to date and participate in our Midwest Burners BWB group: Burners without Borders heartland working group.

If all of this burner jargon isn’t making much sense, check out the Burning Man website and see where you can get involved!

For more information on the Ignition collection drive, please contact ​Amber Andkazi at Pogothepit1@yahoo.com.

<3,
MissCulture

Sacred Space, social justice

Recycling: How To Talk Trash

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Spending time in California has brought my attention to the never-ending world of consciousness, namely involving TRASH.  Not only has California mostly gotten rid of plastic bags in grocery stores, where they charge you extra to get a paper grocery bag.  It is amazing though, that  EVERYWHERE you go, there are not just one, but THREE options for trash.  You can either trash it, compost it, or recycle it.  What a beautiful thing!

Literally, almost any place there is a trash can, there are at LEAST two options (sometimes composting is left out), meaning that trash OR recycling is available just about everywhere. Raising awareness is key in a world where trash matters… but what do you do if you don’t KNOW what goes where?

I find that often, people don’t know what goes in which bin.  Are straws recyclable?  What about disposable coffee cups?  Should you throw meat in the compost?   All of these questions are valid and should be addressed so that we can better take care of our community and our planet.  I did some research, and here is what I found worth reviewing.

METALS

Always recycle foil and aluminum (duh). Make sure foil is CLEAN, or reuse it as much as you can. Consider buying 100% recycled aluminum foil. You’ll be supporting a process that uses five percent less energy than the traditional aluminum foil manufacturing process.

Always recycle steel or tin cans.  Recycling steel saves at least 75% of the energy it would take to create steel from raw materials. That’s enough energy to power 18 million homes.

PAPER

Always recycle cardboard, of course! Currently, about 70 percent of cardboard-boxes shipped commercially are recovered for recycling.

Magazines: About 45 percent of magazines are being recycled today. Recycled magazines are used to make newspaper, tissues, writing paper and paperboard. Recycling just one ton of paper saves enough energy to power the average American home for six months, so don’t be afraid to recycle your old magazines. It’s the right thing to do.

Office Paper:  Just over 45% of office paper is recovered for recycling today.  High-grade papers, such as white computer paper, bond, and letterhead, can be turned back into office paper if it’s kept separate from other waste paper. It can also be used to produce tissue paper, paperboard, stationery, magazines and other paper products.  Lower-grade papers, such as newsprint, colored paper, file stock and ground wood papers, are made into cardboard, tissues, newspaper and toilet paper.

Office Tip: If your company generates a large amount of waste paper, consider talking to your local recycling company about whether or not you should sort high-grade papers from lower-grade.

Newspaper is a fine insulator. Using recycled newspapers to produce cellulose insulation is widespread.

Newspapers, Wilderness Restoration and Roadside Planting:  Every year natural disasters destroy countless acres of wilderness. The United States Forest Service uses “hydro-mulching,” also called “hydro-seeding,” to help restore damaged areas. It’s a planting process that’s been practiced in the United States since the 1950s – and it all starts with newspapers.  Recycled newspapers are made into a fiber mulch and mixed with grass seed, fertilizer, green dye, and water to create a “slurry” that can be pumped over broad areas by pressure sprayers, airplanes or helicopters. This process is called “hydro-mulching.” It stabilizes roadside dirt for erosion control and is used to reseed grass over broad areas. Highway departments also use it to beautify roadsides by planting wildflower, tree, and shrub seeds.

Clean Paperboard: Be sure the paperboard you have is clean and free of food waste. Then recycle it.

Paper cardboard dairy and juice cartons: Also called “gable-top cartons,”these are the non-plastic milk and juice cartons you see in the refrigerated section of the supermarket.

Phone Books and Unsolicited direct mail: RECYCLE IT!

GLASS

Most glass bottles and jars produced in the United States now contain at least 27% recycled glass – which also saves on energy to produce glass made from new materials. Some glass cannot be made into other products, or doing so is not economically feasible.  Colored class can only ever be that color of glass. If your local recycler doesn’t participate in glass recycling, it’s due to the market for that glass being very small or non-existent. However, if glass recycling is available, it’s important to keep in mind as you recycle that even small amounts of some materials mixed in can contaminate entire loads. Find out more about the types of glass and how they are recycled below.

Clear glass may cause some products to degrade because of light exposure. That’s why about 39% of the glass produced is colored. Colored glass protects the container’s contents from direct sunlight, thus preserving freshness and flavor.  About 7% of glass containers produced in this country are green in color.  Some curbside programs and recycling centers take only certain colors of glass. That’s because manufacturers who buy the glass have to maintain the integrity of the color when producing new glass.

Not all glass can be recycled. The following items should not be placed into your recycling bin:

  1. Any glass contaminated with stones, dirt, and food waste
  2. Ceramics, such as dishware, ovenware, and decorative items.
  3. Heat-resistant glass, such as Pyrex.
  4. Mixed colors of broken glass.
  5. Mirror or window glass.
  6. Metal or plastic caps and lids.
  7. Crystal.
  8. Light bulbs.
  9. Cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) found in some televisions and computer monitors.

PLASTICS

Does that plastic lunch container still have yesterday’s pizza in it? Don’t recycle it until it’s clean! One dirty product, or one with food waste still in it, can contaminate an entire bale, containing thousands of pounds of collected plastics. This can cause thousands of recyclable items to go to a landfill instead of being recycled. Cleanliness is essential. And do NOT RECYCLE PLASTIC BOTTLE CAPS!

Plastics come in a variety of shapes, colors and chemical formulations – all with different recycling needs. The code number does not mean the plastic can be recycled. It is simply a way to identify the resin, or plastic type. How can you tell what kinds of plastic to put into your recycling bin? The code number on the bottom of your product is not a reliable indicator of whether something can get recycled. Recycle by shape!

Bottles, jars, and jugs – is the best way to know what is accepted. Plastic grocery and produce sacks are commonly placed in recycle bins. These bags can shut down an entire recycling plant and should be kept out of our recycling bin. Plastic bags are often collected in barrels at grocery stores, and usually end up as plastic lumber.

BATTERIES AND BULBS

American households are full of items we should recycle, even if we can’t put them into our recycle bins. Car batteries, products that use household batteries, incandescent light bulbs, and new CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) are some of them. In the United States, a CFL can save over $30 in electricity costs over the lamp’s lifetime compared to an incandescent lamp. However, CFLs contain mercury, which can be harmful to humans and the environment if not disposed of properly.

Many automotive retailers will take back batteries. You can contact your local municipality to find out where to recycle lead-acid batteries. If you’re using more than about a dozen disposable batteries in a year, you could save money by switching to rechargeables. If you still have old batteries on hand that may have been manufactured before 1997, it’s likely they contain mercury. Contact your municipality for information on how to safely recycle them or go here.

ELECTRONICS

Do it properly! Electronics that are obsolete, broken, and destined for recycling or disposal are sometimes called “e-waste.” There are many chemical and mineral elements in e-waste. A circuit board contains copper, gold, silver, platinum and palladium, as well as lead. If recycled properly, this waste is a valuable source of secondary raw materials. These items include cell phones, computers, TVs and office equipment.

The following items are not commonly recycled through e-waste recycling programs. They are usually recycled through other programs. Contact your local municipality to find out how to properly dispose of them:

  • Microwaves
  • Smoke Alarms/Detectors
  • Fire Alarms/Detectors
  • Thermometers
  • Large Appliances (Refrigerators, etc.)
  • Non-Decontaminated Medical Equipment
  • Any unit with Sludge or Liquids

Source for Above: http://www.wm.com/thinkgreen/what-can-i-recycle.jsp

Three things most people forget to recycle:
1. Plastic Wrap and  Sandwich Bags

2. Plastic Straws and Disposable Drink Cups
Most plastic straws are made of polypropylene (#5 plastic), and home recycling programs sometimes accept this type of plastic. As for to-go cups, typically all-plastic ones (like those that iced coffees are served in) are recyclable, but the waxy coated paper ones, such as soda cups from a fast-food place, are not. No matter what, be sure to check with your waste hauler to make sure it’s accepted.

3. Receipts

A good to know fact is that most gas station trash cans are ACTUALLY recycle cans, according to my good friend Andy Smith.  I’ve yet to see any information backing that up.  Bottom line, when you clean our your car make sure the recyclables go into the recycling can!

Lastly, when it comes to composting, contrary to popular belief, you CAN put meat into a compost bin (assuming it’s okay with the owner of the bin.)  The problem is that it will start to smell and attract flies and maggots (as well as neighborhoods cats and dogs possibly). It also slows down the composting process.

The more you know…

I throw things away now, and I have to stop and consciously think about WHAT is this product and WHERE should it go. Is it clean?  Is it worthy of the recycling process?  Am I doing my part to cut down on my carbon footprint?

-MissCompost

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Evolution, Holidays, Religion, Sacred Space

Holy Days

Every since I was a little girl, I felt quite “spiritual”.  I remember reading the book Conversations with God when I was about 10, and was super inspired!  I thought spiritual was “normal”.  “Everyone feels like this, right?”

Truth is, I also believed in Santa Clause until I was about five, even though my parents raised me essentially Jewish. They always gave me a choice though.  You see, my mothers’ mother was Catholic, and she was the most devout, faithful person I knew, going to Church religiously, and making these  holy days very special for us grand-kids.  Even though the whole rest of the family was Jewish, and I was Jew-ish, I remember always admiring her strength in her own spirituality.  I never once questioned my own center of belief, and I knew that the spiritual inkling inside of me, even at five-years-old, was sacred.

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My father broke the news about Santa that Christmas eve, explaining that it wouldn’t make any sense to the kids at the Jewish Day school I attended if I started talking about Santa.  Broken heartedly, I agreed.

Growing up, my parents taught me that God is everywhere; we are all God and God is inside of us. I learned later in life about a Kabbalah concept: “God is a Verb”.  I discovered that in a magical book, that jumped out of my Rabbi’s shelf and info my psyche almost ten years ago.  What a blessing to find all of these concepts and ideas about spiritutalty swimming around in my mind, inside a book!  A Jewish book, none-the-less.

Facts: Judaism is built on three pillars: Torah, Study and Acts of Loving Kindness.  When you do a good deed, or a mitzvah, it’s considered a holy act.  Doing an anonymous holy act is one of the greatest mitzvot one can do.  (Side note: having sex on the Sabbath is considered THE holiest act possible.  At least the Jews had some things right.)

Now, despite my very intense relationship with Judaism, I’ve always loved Christmas time, even though in my core, I am a Jew.  I was raised Jewish, I speak Hebrew, I’ve worked at a synagogue for ten years, I’ve been to Israel and my dad keeps Kosher.  Though some extremely religious people would tell me I need to convert, I laugh to myself because I know in my core, I am what I am, what I have always been, and that is love.

Every year, holiday cheer always brightens me up inside, especially during these dark winter days, because it is a time for our families to come together and cherish one another.  It’s a time to pause, reflect and give thanks for these precious experiences.  It’s a time to celebrate light, even in the dark.  Though for some, undoubtedly, the holidays can be a very rough and depressing time.

I have a theory about spirituality and ‘religion’; it’s really all about nostalgia.  If you have a strong fond memory of holiday times with your family as a younger person, then chances are you really like this time of year as an adult, because it reminds you of those happy memories.  If you didn’t much like your family, or your Church much as a kid, then chances are Christmas time makes you gag, and that’s okay, too.

Whatever these times mean for you, I do hope you will choose to spend time with people you care about.  If you’re alone, then cherish that sacred time to reflect, ground, center and embrace your place in life.  With our worlds spinning so fast and chaotically, a moment of quiet can be a true gift.
Though I still can’t really explain my faith, I enjoy every minute of it. I enjoy the woven stories we tell, learning about our histories and how they relate.

Here is a fine example of three different stories, each holding their own special meaning and traditions.  Enjoy!

<3,
MissConviction

Poetry, Sacred Space

I, too, am waiting…

 

I Am Waiting
A response to Lawrence Ferlinghettis’ I am Waiting

Preface: Since I have come to San Fransisco, every time I go by City Lights Bookstore, I walk in, hoping to meet my favorite writer, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.  I’ve yet to meet him, but this is a tribute to his influence as a poet and activist, and his magic still wandering this special city.  Thank you Lawrence.

…………………………………………………………………………………….

I have been waiting for you, since I rebuilt my womb,
with my mother, singing love songs in our native tongue,
that being English, I had to wait to become…

until age 3, about the time I could walk,
I waiting to learn the meaning of the infinitive verb “to wait” to talk…

at five years old, I prayed for my imaginary friends to take their turns riding Disney dialogues descending from my VHS, quality poor, I waited for Cinderella to stop waiting for her slipper and dress, so, what were you waiting for?

Still chipper, I waited for my charming Prince since age 8,
when I met a kindergarten version of myself inside a boy who chased me around a room, still waiting for his charming princess bloomed non-the-less ideally raised,

I kept them waiting.

During puberty, when my belly button sunk below my chest,
and I figured out how to use my hips and breasts, to sway their eyes,
just so they waited just below my heart between my thighs,
I waited for you without even trying.

Hungry, I waited out high school, not even knowing your name,|
but knowing you saw me every day beneath your eyelids,
channeling frustration into my dreams, I waited my turn patiently
behind my peers, watching their melodramas unfold before my untold waiting,
four years, I waited for your res-erection to disseminate all the pretty girls out and turn
to me.

I waited through college dormitories, inside bathroom stalls, revisiting concert halls, scratching your name into desks beside classrooms walls, tail curled.

Since I was a little girl, I can remember,
waiting tables for $2.13 an hour
hoping you will tip me a piece of your heart off your sleeve,
or at least a phone number, for a good time fall PLEASE
so I can stop waiting on these frat boys, torn jeans, dread heads,
even a few women with dreams of happening to wait upon you.

And I am almost through, waiting on these city streets,
trapped in subleases the middle of the United States
with the world revolving around yours and my fate
and I still cannot, will not find your face waiting back at me

so I wait..

Frustrated with Ferlinghetti, sad as Green Days, waiting for Guffman
and other five-year-old fairy-talers who wait with me,
people waiting like sheep for promises made
purely for surround sounds at home
so that maybe you can find somebody
instead of having to wait alone.

I still sit on my couch at home waiting for the chick-flick to end
so my tears can rightfully begin to pour
and I can know that so many mes wait for so many versions of you
to walk through that City Lights door,
we are all bracing ourselves, waiting through hell’s horrors
and then taking a break from that wait just to wait some more.

Waiting on park benches, lattes and cigarettes in hand,
waiting to exhale time and time again, waiting and willing
our souls to transcend, just as bewildered as mine,
see me still waiting for you to find me

and I am happily waiting forever and after for our souls to transcend
for that matter, see me still waiting for the pretend to end in rapture
until I can completely give into Saturn and

I CAN’T WAIT!

Finally,
I have been waiting for an epiphany.
For Abraham to finally talk to me.

Waiting for 2012 to bring wonder.
Waiting to meet my rain grandmother reincarnated into another…

See me still delving into the possibility of another virgin carrying the,
for I have been waiting on my knees for you, Manoe to take me PLEASE so WHAT?
Are you waiting for me?

I guess we will see?

Much love
they say
never dies
but prays
to above
for strength
in love
so I’ll wait.

With you. For you. Together. We’ll wait.

<3,
MissConception
www.themissconception.com

Evolution, Poetry, Sacred Space

A Love Letter

Dear New York,

How I’ve missed you. I know it’s been a while since I’ve seen your face and I am truly sorry.  You have not been forgotten. There are just other places I need to be right now. I hate to keep you waiting, but we must trust it is in good faith.

Oh, I miss your skin. Your touch. I miss the way you smell, even before a shower. I miss your intoxicating allure in the evenings; the grunge and the dirt along with the beautiful city lights at night. You’ve always been a true romantic and for that I see potential. Most of all, I miss the way you hold my hand when I am afraid. Even on cold nights in dark alleys, you’re warm.

But I am never afraid of you. No, you are my inspiration. My muse. And I think of you often, wondering when will we meet again? Perhaps some day on a long awaited vacation? For dinner and a movie? Or maybe a more permanent fixture in the long term we could be together for real.

For now, California may have my soul, but you will always have my heart.

Take care. Stay strong. Eat your veggies and drink some tea or whisky for me and may it fill you with warmth and grace to know that even though we are far apart, we will always be together in spirit.

With love,
Sara

Evolution, Sacred Space

For the Love of Money

Money and Love – an invocation/prayer

Please note: the following is my attempt to transcribe and make sense of the notes I took at the “For the Love of Money” Worship in Oakland, California on October 8th at the Humanist Hall.  Some of it may not make much much sense, or  there may be fleeting bits of wisdom within the prose below.  I do not expect it to read like a narrative or ‘normal’ blog rather, it is infused with poetry, knowledge and tidbits of information that I am still attempting to digest. Please feel free to ask questions or chime in with your thoughts on the struggle of power concerning love and money. Thanks for reading.

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The PRAYER: to live in a world without fear, with love, of the possibility of each moment coming with dignity; being able to say “this is what I need and this is what I have to offer.”

The exchange. Three teachers. Charles Eisenstein, Gigi Coyle and Orland Bishop, at the Humanist Hall.

The intention was to rethink our relationship with money and love, especially concerning how the two are related- and how they should be treated.  And how can we support each other in the relatively-uncharted waters of what to do with money and love?

Today, we are seeding a change in the system.

Money (and power) enter into our love story rather early in life.

When people say, “let’s be realistic,” they usually mean let’s talk about the money. If only we had enough money…

Money and love have both evolved becoming a planetary force.

Who needs my love and money? There is never enough of either in this alchemical transition.

Money so often is thought to dictate what is practical and what is realistic. Money also establishes reality by the kinds of behavior it encourages.  There always seems to be more debt than there is actual money.

We are all in competition for not enough money and in that reality a certain aspect of our nature arises where everyone is self-interested and focused on what they can get, everyone else be damned.

For some time, money and love have been perceived to be in direct opposition to one another, as if to say there is no money in our love arenas, and vice versa – It is a financial compromise and, arguably, one that leads to a sort of suicide of our souls.  We are taught that we have to let go of what we love in order to make money. That we must choose money over being able to do the work our hearts guide us to do.

Money was constructed to be an oppressing force, but the agreements can change, and that is what the purpose of this workshop class was – to dig deeper into the agreements we made years ago, and to discuss how we can evolve those constructs.

Collective trauma is the glue that holds together the structures that keep us apart.

Money and Love can share a common angle: they are both something you can give to others.

Feeding or taking care of someone is often an act of love, a gift.

Money is allowed to be a system of bringing together these gifts and needs.
LONGING is a force that drives our gifts and needs.

We long for the freedom to be generous!!

Love and money originated in the gift – the opening of the self, giving of the self, and an extension of one’s self. Perhaps they originated in the same place, and perhaps the wounds of love and money originated in the same place: when relationships became controlling and subject to domination, and we began to see the world as property, we now see each other as property. Corruption evolved.

Patriarchy is the ownership and objectification of women.  The same happens in reverse in Matriarchy, and men become objects.  You can substitute the genders for each other.  This is a class war going back to the beginning of time.

Before we had money there was barter, and certainly possessions.

“Love existed long before money. Power, too. Barter was the dominating mode before we regarded a hunk of gold as worth exchanging for food, or sex, but love entered into barter, also: When you had to trade skills for skills the negotiation was more intimate – you learned what you had that the other didn’t, and vice versa, and could groom how the
price played into pleasure or penury – and you’d do it for love – but not money!

Love may predate the notion of money entirely. But yes, the wounds of love and money may share a common origin: Fear.  And we are still living in those cultivated evils every day. Points to consider:

Money and our sex lives are our most private matters, not to be discussed. 

It’s not a measure of good health to be well adjusted to an unstable world.

Debt is a connection to a specific person or entity. It may stretch your boundaries unlawfully. 

Gratitude = natural debt.  It need not be repaid. 

We need a return to transparency – for the healing of love and money.

We need to address our fears.

Determining what is good and what is sacred in our lives can often depend on what we fear.  When we avoid our own fear we limit the imagination, inspiration, and intuitive direction of our spiritual guidance that tells us which doors to go through so we can learn what is on the other side.

FEAR = Chemistry. There is a stage in life when we lean in to fear as children. We desire to be in touch with the unknown. We engage in impulses of uncertainty. Needs awaken us. Fear is the gap we strive to transcend. Once we enter into it we have to pull in something new that isn’t given by inheritance. Knowing this feeling requires some measure of trust. Our age helps us transcend that gap.  Our wisdom.

Fear is harmful to powers of creativity beyond the field of our inheritance. By bringing fears into awareness new things become possible. Discussing our fear of money (and love) is the way to change those fears. To transmute them.

Fear might be cultural but the response is human. Fear can override the system:

We spend so much energy on fear that could be spent on love! We focus on the fear of not having freedom, or money or time. The fear of being alone. The fear of pain. The fear of not being successful. The fear of walking down your own path or not walking your own path.

Sacrifice is the longing for the why:  Why do we fear? Why do we love? Why do we need money?  What do we need love so bad?

So we were asked the question: what part of our civilization has to die because it’s locked in an old paradigm?

Materialistic views of the world are dying. The idea that we are separate is dying.  

We must let go of what is dying, of what we fear. 

Money is loves shadow. 

Sanctify means to give meaning 

Sacred reciprocity has many forms, and money is only one.

Be in the longing.

To be in longing is a source of belonging. 

Trusting doesn’t mean not acting.

The problem is separation. The answer? Connection.

Value exchange binds a community. 

Love is the worlds most natural currency. 

We can make things and concepts more useful and real by creating a context. For example: a chair can be a table, too. Here, we are allowing things to return to their consciousness. What has died can be restored. A thing is dying if we cannot speak to its spirit. We must remember primal intuition of what it means to put meaning into language.

What do we want to say to money?  

What you can do is help your community allow money to flow in a healing direction. Have a vision, then invite money to support that vision. Do an experiment: Offer your work without any expectations for what it is worth and allow your ‘customer’ to determine value. See how the values flow. Allow your store/shop one day to be ‘suggested’ donation and see how much more money you can make when you allow the wealth to come to you without force.  While these concepts are superfluous and a bit of a stretch for some, for others, it is precisely the kind of trust and transparent communication we have been seeking for years.

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This is a call to tribal wisdom: how do we come back to relating to each other so that we can take care of the flow of money and love. 

Time doesn’t go by us – it goes through us when the time is right.

The lands don’t belong to us we belong to the land.

Treat money and love with upmost respect. #InGodWeTrust

All in in all, the workshop for me personally was a nice reminder that even the cold and sterile can be sacred and injected with holy energy.  We do not have to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, rather we can address those mistakes, look at them head on, look at what we’ve learned from them and then persist onward in the direction of our dreams.  I am focusing on not letting money be the barrier holding me back in my life, rather allowing it to be the energy field that carries me forward only when in need.  I have often set up paying my bills in work trade and accepting other forms of payment in the ways of food and services instead of cash.  I encourage you to be open to this new paradigm of money and love and how they are connected at a root level.

If you are interested in my Creative Consultation project, please know that I am trying a new business model out: I want to offer my consultation skills to YOU as a GIFT for your business or challenges in life. The idea is that I truly believe I can provide insight and ideas for how to increase traffic to your business or project. Whether you are starting a new business or organization or beefing up an old concept.  Or if you are having a spiritual/emotional crisis in your life, let’s start with a conversation on what your needs are and how to get you back on track. Then YOU get to decide what my time/ideas are worth and can gift back to me should you feel the need to contribute to this project. Bottom line: I know that I am am a gifted problem solver. USE ME. Message me directly to get started: sara.serendip@gmail.com.

-MissComission

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For more information on sacred communities, visit TAMERA.ORG

Art, Poetry, Sacred Space

Mountain Earth

I study the mountains
like I study the curve of a woman

Like the way I stare deep into your eyes
looking to lift the disguise from your gaze

Like how we listen to old stories the
the mountains tell it…

Every rock and groove a lifetime of moves and slip.

Each hill a gift to the present.

Every dry river bed has a past documenting the history of lifetimes,
and oh, how I’ve missed you.

<3,

Miss Constance

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www.themissconception.com