August 10, 2009

Day 2 Jus Dance- Continued

As yesterday slipped into today, Michael and I spent hours in the chill tent, contact dancing, and climbing up, over, and round the exoskeleton of the geodesic structure. The limitless nature of Shamabala meant I could do this without asking for permission or being asked to stop. So I didn’t stop. I swung round like a monkey, using the climbable walls to move what Michael and I had created on the floor up into another plane. The lack of limits spurred creative play and movement that I had not tapped into before. I witnessed this same phenomena all over Shambala.

There were men who I saw arrive in the Alberta-esque uniform of a Volocom tee-shirt and board shorts, who by the end of the festival were dressed in pink tutu’s, huge afro wigs and very little else. The lack of limits led to unexpected possibilities to give and receive as well.

There were altars, and sacred spaces everywhere. People left offerings on the altars, other came and received offerings. I found some candy my daughter had caught in a parade a week earlier, I placed some it an altar. A few minutes later I saw a young man enjoying some with much gusto. I told him it had come from my 10 year old daughter, he expressed gratitude to us both, “You guys fucking rock!” he said, his tongue purple from the lollipop offering.

There were art tents to create whatever you could dream up, spaces filled with art and installations, water features and of course the ever-present boom boom boom of the music in every direction.

As the sun rose I danced at the beach stage with an amazing dj that I never got the name of. The pink morning sky filled the river with millions of brilliant sequins. There were many people sleeping on the beach, cuddled up under blankets. The light had a way of making the beauty in each face shine. It was a magical experience to celebrate the last day of Shambala by staying up all night to greet it. I saw a beauty in this intense electronic music festival that I could not have known without experiencing it for myself and in this way.

Just before we left the beach stage, a womyn who had been asleep began to convulse and vomit. She was experiencing a bad reaction, presumably because of some sort of drug she had taken. It was disturbing to me, to watch her go through something that I have never even come close to experiencing, a state that I have a deep fear of. I used the term “overdose” to describe it, Michael disagreed. I suppose that like me in the jungle gym, this womyn had decided to test her limits in a limitless culture. I ended up with a knee injury and a sore lower back. I don’t know what her lasting effects will be, probably I never will. We all make our choices about how and when we will decide what boundaries define our own personal experience.

“How do you test your limits?” is the question in 12 days journal #119


  1. I test my limits more by going deep inside rather than expressing outward. I've been testing my limits for the past several months by engaging in experiences that I might have thought were hokey or wouldn't work for me. I was skeptical about kirtan and amazed to find out, after I gave it a try, that it really did amazing things for me. Same with an Ancient Sounds Healing Circle I went wasn't until an hour after I'd been home that I realized two hurt areas of my body had been healed at the ceremony. I've participated in group meditation, which is something I never thought I would ever feel comfortable doing, and ended up having an amazing experience that really shifted things for me. I've also learned, from recent limit-testing, that Native American philosophies don't resonate with me like they used to, and Eastern ones (that never made sense to me before) really do. I discovered that I can embrace a yogic philosophy even though I don't actually practice yoga yet. I'm finding that sometimes putting the cart before the horse actually works out better than keeping things in the "proper" order.

  2. LOL you most definitely practice Yoga my darling, you may not have an assana practice, or attend yoga classes, but you are a yogini in your own Bhakti way.