Build your ship, let’s go out / In the wilderness we’ll run wild / It’s so cold but you know we belong here / Shout to the sky and a fire to keep us warm here // Build your ship, move down south / In the wilderness we’ll run wild / It’s so cold but you know we belong here // When we escape to that place we’ll be home, dear / It’s so cold but you know we belong here / Shout to the sky, and a fire to keep us warm here
– “Wilderness” by Active Child
Look, I don’t want to come across as some sort of Awestruck Native or whatever (see Magical Negro and Noble Savage; but let’s leave that conversation for another week), but I’m very impressed by the party scene that Source brings.
It’s been nearly two weeks since Source (i.e. the annual, four-day-long freaky tiki rager–part of Burning Man’s regional network, if that means anything to you–held at the Y Camp Keanae, Feb. 17-20), and my head’s still happily consumed by the wild technicolor reveries of that weekend. But while I don’t mind figurative intergalactic glitter stuck in every nook and cranny of my brain, I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the very real gunk out from under my toenails.
Because for all the hundreds of creative types who congregated that weekend–to camp, dance, dress in their idiosyncratic best, feast communally, perform unabashedly and toast their (contestably illegal) libations to the gods of goodness and good times–none could match the awesome, raw power of The Rain’s performance art. She occupied Keanae, making love to the peninsula and cloaking the hyper-chromatic “Circus of Dreams” (the event’s theme) with the earthy afterbirth of her spawn, The Mud.
So, with my Source memories caked in Keanae grime (and as I wait for my blackened cuticles to grow out), I’ve been tempted to exalt The Mud instead of The Rain which made it. I’ve wondered, “What does The Mud think of all this Source business?”–then imagined that The Mud must like to party (case in point: Woodstock). Meanwhile, it was really The Rain who came to play–the great equalizer that brought a tangible reminder to us all that we’re all the subject to the same earthly woes and woo hoos.
Then again, all this ascribing intent to the indiscriminate weather is inanely hyperbolic, even for the likes of me n’ this column. And especially when what I like best about Source is its humanity. The ability–neigh the ache–to consciously create makes me proud of our species. I rather like being a thing that can sing and dance and paint and build. Even more, I like watching fellow things do those things (because their talent inclines them; whereas mine–eh, not so much).
But since time and space are short, I’ll wrap up this installment by giving major props to Source organizers and supporters. It would seem a damned-near impossible task to host a no holds barred event like that, where the only thing that’s taboo is a bad attitude. But they did it, and with admirable flair.
So, mahalo for a weekend spent in the coastal jungle watching stuffed animals flung across fields from a giant catapult (made by a man who later won The Gong Show for his costumed prancing as “Sparkles” the unicorn). Mahalo for giant carved demon heads that jetted propane-fuled fire into the night sky. Mahalo for fire dancers, silk aerialists, glass blowers, visual artists and musicians. Mahalo for elaborate entertainment tents; the geodesic dome–mud-streaked white tarp stretched over aluminum poles–its lime green laser light show that painted the arc above like an all-too orderly universe thrown into kaleidoscopic chaos. Mahalo for open hearts, minds and hands. Mahalo for muddy camaraderie.
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