I just came back from an AMAZING experience in every way possible. I spent 5 days in the Negev desert in the Midburn festival - the Israeli Burning Man. I don’t quite know how to even start expressing what I've been through, but I just can't sleep and can't get the playa out of my head.
At the first day I was so anxious to get there, I was driving and picking up some people who were supposed to come, and I had to carry so much shit with me, cause I'm doing the raw till 4 diet now [more on that on a different post]. I brought 5 kilos of dates, 4 watermelons, ton of bananas, veggies and stuff to cook for my cooked dinner. I brought other fruits bet they went bad so fast and filled my car with such a stench!
So anyway, I came to the playa by myself. No friends, no camp, no nothing. Radical self reliance in its best. At first it was because non of my friends wanted to come, but in the end I wanted to go alone and put myself out there, outside my comfort zone, even though in some ways being alone is exactly my comfort spot.
Iv'e been to other festivals in which I brought food to cook and bread and peanut butter and all those festival foods, and I have to say that preparing the fruit and eating it was so much easier and funner than eating a peanut butter sandwich with canned corn and half raw pasta. Moreover, it was so satisfying and filling, gave me a TON of energy to dance and walk around, and saved me so much time. When everyone else were cooking in their camps, I would eat half a watermelon and go dance right after without being too heavy to need to friggin rest. Besides, fruits have so much water content, I didn't get dehydrated once! In comparison to a cooked lunch you eat in the heat, that takes water from your body to digest and doesn't add its own water. So no wander people need rest after such a meal, and a lot more water.
I picked up a few hitchhikers from jerusalem, one of them is Shawn Saleme, who writes also for the Visual News blog! Such a chilled and down to earth person, very happy I met him. I put up my tent with the hitchhikers at our own camp, and went out to explorer.
|Me, Shawn, and the hitchhikers. the car was packed!!!|
The playa was unbelievable. The art installations were incredible. The man, which was a man and woman installation combined, was very impressive, but my favorite was grampa. So beautiful and well build, just look at the pictures. The person who made the installation was as expected – very nice and friendly. I couldn’t find more about him online though. He was excited to burn it, but in the end granny stayed foot, probably had a change of heart. Anyway his name is Faluja. If you find anything bout him let me know!
|Me and Faluja wth grandpa in the back|
On Friday the atmosphere in the playa was very special to me. To sun was going down, and the desert lit up with such beautiful colors... it really felt like the end of the festival. Me and some new friend were sitting and looking at the sunset and I came down in tears. I felt like something inside of me died. A feeling that was immensely increased when the man was burned. As the sun went right behind those desert mountains and the darkness started creeping, I made up my mind to create a life for myself that I wouldn’t be sad to come back to after a festival.
|The sunset on friday|
Now that's a very controversial thing for me to say, because I'm so used to just surviving, that being happy sometimes sounds like bad word to me. I always had some disrespect towards those who are happy, or at least claim to be. They look so naive, or simple minded, even stupid to me. They live in denial, believe in god, release all responsibilities from them, and mainly, haven’t had a life even close to what shit I've been through. I'm so used to life being this shit load of crap just piling on top of other crap layers that hadn’t composted yet. Shit on top of shit on top of shit. But life on the playa felt so damn good. Chillin at day, or dancing, eating fuck loads of fresh fruit, talking to people, dress up in funny costumes, enjoying nature and the desert, I mean, life definitely looked like this once. No money, gifting, community life, fuck I wanna go back.
After they burned the temple, I was a friggin mess. It was sunrise, complete silence on the playa, such a huge difference between burning the man and the temple. I wasn't as sad as I was when burning the man but it wore me down and eventually I found myself walking around camps, just wishing I could meet anyone to keep me company. I felt such an urge and it was terrifying, to think that I NEED someone, and not just rely on myself, but I guess that’s the difference between surviving and living, eh?
I went to some camp and this wonderful guy immediately gave me such a warm hug. I asked if I could crash on the couch, cause I couldn’t just start a conversation. I was crashing on the couch, and this other guy from the camp brought another couch so I would have room for my feet. I know it wasn't something special for him, but I was so fucking grateful for him and for what he did, I started crying non stop for hours.
|The temple and the man|
Why? Why would anyone help me? Moreover, why don't they hurt me? I'm so accustomed to people who talk shit to me, take advantage of me, use me and hurt me, and this guy helps me out with such a small and unnoticeable gesture? I was dumbfounded.
I wanted to come up to him and hug him and thank him and I don’t know what, but I wasn't able to. I just couldn’t. [so for the super slim chance your'e reading this - I FUCKING LOVE YOU MAN!]
I'm still digesting and trying to comprehend this whole thing, and the burning man experience in general, but no doubt, this burn was a thing ill never forget. After crying my eyes out, I went to the granny installation for a bit, just to have some time with this awesome peice of art. as I was appreciating that glorious installation thing, I got this incredible urge to built and create things, to make something of my own, to just do. I just hope I won't lose this energy to the mundane life I'm living right now..
Well, to sum it up, I met and befriended so many awesome people! I still have my social skills apparently :) I danced so much, so long, so happily, dressed or fucking topless, with shoes or barefoot on the boiling desert sand. I even got blisters from the hot sand, and I got a bad sunburn. I'm so happy. And sad. Fuck. Look at the pictures already, would ya?!
|DUST, see it, breat it, eat it, drink it, dust every-fucking-where|
|The whale being constructed|
|all finished :)|
|Friday sunset and the man|
|the man at night|
|Burning the temple|
|And we're gonna let it burn|
|Craig and me|
|The man turning to a pile of ash|
|You got BURNED|