We finally finished Tuesday. We also finished Wednesday, but the conversations and situations swept me so far, I forgot to sit down and write!
Tuesday started off heavy. Mark announced after breakfast that his father, Leonard, passed away that morning. His bravery in announcing the death of his father, gave us the opportunity to support him through his vulnerability. Many in the community stepped up and shared their own story of loss. Rosey lovingly affirmed, "We are right here with you." Within minutes, we all surrounded Mark hands on him and each other, standing present to witness the beginning of his grief process.
This is why I believe in the Ecstatic Dance community. We give ourselves space to express our humanity. We get a whole community to support our self-processing. We get to admit that we are in process, and so we get to lean into the support of the community when we experience growing pains. Mark's father passing forced me to deal with my own triggers around impermanence. For someone who has been suicidal, I have a lot of fears around death. When I was a child I once even fantasized about ending myself to end my fear of ending! That would've been the most ironic instance of exposure therapy.
Raina lost both her parent in the same week and kindly reminded us that part of life's beauty lies in its impermanence, and that death is one of the most communal experience in our life cycle. In that moment, I leaned on her confidence and growth like a bosom. That morning left me with the intention of keeping this community close to me, so that when it's my turn to deal with death, they will surround me the way they did Mark.
Needless to say, we now have a Mark-shaped hole on our tour bus that arises every time we count-off. Count-off is how we keep track of thirty two bodies in this chaos, everyone takes turn shouting their number. It sounds something like,"....16, 17, 18, MARK!, 20..." On our way to Nevada City, and for the rest of the tour we cope with his absence by cheering his name when we reach his number.
Nevada City holds a certain hobbitish beachish west-coast charm. I even stepped foot inside a Crystal shop the size of Bilbo's kitchen that had loose stones as flooring. Most stores are owned locally with products sourced consciously, a wet dream for the spiritual shopaholic. My memory paints the town in water color.
To give context, we rolled up to Nevada City in the middle of trimming season. Many of which, participate in the ecstatic dance at Miner's Foundery. Trimmigrants bloat the venue to about twice it's average size. At the door, we walked through a sensual tangle of clothing, essential oil, and cacao vendors. Peripheral and slightly above the dance floor, we stretched and warmed up our bodies. Atasiea grounded the group with meditative intention. Furthermore, this particular dance space has a stage! Bearing witness to Raina, Kylie, Harriet, and Michael in their stuff-strutting exhilarated my own dance. The conscious community in Nevada City thrives in this dance-life integration.
After the dance, a group of us ended up at ElixArt which opened up a cultural possibility in my mind. Imagine a bar, except instead of serving alcohol, they served subtle natural psychoactive elixirs. Instead of desensitized bros preying on tripping-over-themselves bimbos, imagine a spectrum of sexy dancers full of self-love and post-apocalyptic skill sets. To me, that was the underlying essence of ElixArt: conscious partying. The party being a place to truly celebrate community. As someone who loves dive bars, this offer refreshed me.
I know I promised I'd share Michael's bedtime story. True to the power of bedtime stories, I completely fell asleep that night, and woke up with seven hours of recording on my phone. I'll try again soon!
Fresh of the Green Tortoise,
Thank you Bev for reading these and encouraging me to do more
Thank you Tiger Scott for embodying the Mighty Oak and for crushing me in your bear hugs
Thank you Rosey for stimulating me in conversation, and inspiring me in your devotion to your truth
Thank you Brynne for tuning in, a real sisterhood blossoming
Thank you Michael, Ashtar, and Atticus for cuddles
Super Thank you to Amber who planned our meals and proves that joyfulness can be a tool for affective leadership
Tuesday Dance Deets:
Music: DJ Becca Dakini
Venue: Miner's Foundery
Dinner: Taco Tuesday