Building excitement!

I’m very excited, it’s getting closer to the Burn in Tankwa and I am very happy to be on the crew of Subterrafuge who will be building the tallest structure ever built on the Karoo. I’m equally excited about Nowhere, where we will be building our Wonderever barrio for the second time and it’s going to be bigger and better. Well def more people camping with us, and looking forward to building an even nicer structure. I’m also taking up a bigger role in the Build Crü as Project Build Lead for one of the new structures build in the Monegros desert. And on top of that I’ll be part of the wonderful team supporting the barrios (what they call theme camps at those other burns) this year. So it looks like it’s going to be a busy and exciting next few months!

Burning Weekend

Just back from the French Burning Weekend near Brussels, Belgium. So many of my favourite people in this world, except my top favourite of the all, my gunsteling. So much smiling my face was hurting. Such crazy beautiful freaks. So much love, so many hugs. Like a whole dance floor of the brightest stars building an amazing galaxy. And then today the comedown, not from drugs, but from being so high on emotion for three days. But it’s ok, enough hugs to get me trough. Thank you all for being so wonderful! Love you all!!!

Liminality

The theme for Nowhere 2013 was liminality. I loved the theme, it was also the one I voted on. But at the same time a hard one to do art around. In retrospect, looking at what Nowhere meant for me, it fits like a glove. As I wrote in my earlier posts about Nowhere, Lost and found, it was a life changing experience. It seems so distant already, even though it was only a month ago, but before Nowhere I was a different person the I am now.

As Wikipedia explains liminality:

In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual’s liminal stage, participants “stand at the threshold” between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.

This makes complete sense to me, there were a few moments at Nowhere this year where I felt lost, didn’t know whether I was happy or sad, or better, I was both at the same time. And after the event, more precisely while staying for strike, I could clearly feel a difference feel the difference with being at the same place, among the same people not more than a week before, doing build.

And thinking further on this, Nowhere, what it did for me and how it fits a bigger picture, I realise that this transformation was definitely set in at Nowhere 2012, where the theme was Rebirth Earth. Last year I was reborn as a Nobody and this year I passed the threshold and transformed myself into full Nobody adulthood. What this all means in the long run, I don’t know yet, but I can say it is pretty exciting.

Lost and found

Got back from Nowhere yesterday and starting to decompress now. I’ve thought a lot about what Nowhere 2013 was for me. Most of it is impossible to express with words or maybe even at all. But this idea of loosing stuff kind of got stuck in my mind. So here are some thoughts about my experience at Nowhere this year.

This Nowhere was a super intense one. I really felt it and heard and felt from others it was so for them too. The extreme weather, with very high temperatures and more humidity than last year and so many and such hard storms must have had something to do with it. Maybe because of this also a lot of people got ill, tummy flu or whatever it was, a lot of people spent part of Nowhere being violently ill. Either of these break down your defences.

This year was my second Nowhere and last year I felt like I bit off a part but there was a lot more. Probably more than I could chew at that time, so I didn’t feel to bad not going for it completely. This year it feels as if I went for it full on, pushing it as far as my body and mind could take. And I feel like I hit the edge of what I could handle a few times. Which is good, I was ready for it.

Trying to summarize it feels like I lost a lot of things. My mind a few times (or almost at least), my heart definitely two times, my sense of restrain. But most importantly, I lost my fear and my ego. Two things that have kept me from reaching the full me. I can already feel fear and ego are trying to creep back, but I am much more aware of how they do, so I hope I can keep them at bay.

Thanks to loosing stuff I found a lot more than I could ever hoped. I found my self, and love and with this real self-love, something I have missed for a long time. I found openness and determination to go for something, even though I might not yet know what it is exactly. I feel confident I will find it by just going for it, not holding back any more. And most important I found true love, in so many forms and shapes. So many people who are so close to me, closer than I ever let anyone come before. And if feel wonderful!

So Nowhere was truly life changing for me. Much more than any other thing I have experienced before and that includes a year of intense psycho therapy, psychedelic experiences, Native American Church and other Peyote ceremonies, body suspension and last years Nowhere. All these experiences where very intense and did change me, but nothing as much and as deeply as this. Thank you Nowhere!

Back from Nowhere

Got back from Nowhere today, Belgium under a heat wave. Going for a skinny-dipping swim with rum-icecream-coffee with two of my closest lovelies, feels like I’m still compressed, pushing the moment to come down from this cloud. To come back to Brussels, waiting for a storm that isn’t going to come and bring the needed refreshment. Kind of strange after all the Nowhere storms, but at the same time very fitting. Looking at the city lights under an orange moon, they seem more bright and lively than ever, almost like I’m tripping, maybe I am. Guess I’m still in limbo, more than a week after Nowhere 2013 has officially ended. Cannot say I want to come down, but it’s getting a bit crazy, almost a month away from the default world. Staying up there is nice, but when all your friends have one by one dropped back to the default world or taken other travelling paths, it feels a bit lonely. But that has been an important part of my Nowhere experience this year, accepting the downs that come with the ups. It was a very intense ride, and I’m riding it to the end. Feels good!

Nowhere’s 10 core principles

For the 10th birthday of Nowhere, the core principle have been upgrade to 10:

Self-expression
The freedom to be yourself
Be the person you are. Be the person you want to be. We respect and value you, and expect the same from you. You have the freedom to be yourself. Become who you are.

Self-reliance
You are responsible for you, mentally and physically
From food and water to a hug or quiet, you need to take care of yourself in Nowhere’s challenging environment. Give yourself what you need – and ask others for help when you need it.

No commerce
Forget about money – there’s nothing to buy
By removing commerce from our community, we create co-operation and participation. We plan ahead and work together. We live without money to remind us of what’s really important.

Leave no trace
From dust to dust, we leave only footprints
We care for the environment, and we take care of our home. We clean up after ourselves; we leave nothing behind; we leave no trace we were there. From dust to dust, we leave only footprints.

Participation
Get involved – Nowhere is what we make it
The more you do, the more you get back. When you join others in play and in work, you are part of Nowhere. Your contribution is more valuable than you realise.

Inclusion
Everyone is welcome to be a Nobody
We welcome everyone for their unique contribution to our community. Include others as you want to be included, with respect, consideration and tolerance.

Gifting
We give our time, effort and gifts freely
We give to help others and because it makes us feel good. From a cold beer to digging out a tent pole to a small badge, our gifts are from our heart.

Co-operation
Together we are stronger
From how we work together to how we communicate, co-operation is at Nowhere’s core. If we can make life easier, we will. If we can make life better, we will. Together we are stronger.

Community
A family of individuals, we look after each other
A family of individuals, we look after each other. A diverse group of separate self-reliant beings, we are united in our need to be part of something larger than ourselves. Community, others, self – united by tolerance and joy.

Immediacy
Make now count
Be now here, be nowhere. Make now count. All this will soon be gone, so enjoy now. Experience, participate, be. This is all there is, so enjoy it!

Nowhere’s 10 core principles