I stayed up last night until totality. I didn't go out to the ritual as I actually spent much of the evening and into the night walking and I hurt too much to walk out to the temple for the ritual. I watched and attempted to photograph from the Black Hole, though I haven't looked at any of the pics yet -- I have no idea if even one of them turned out.
Walking the esplanade last night was surreal. So many of the mutant cars had the phosphorescent colors of deep-sea fish. It seemed a lot like a Tim Burton movie on acid at some points. I think I got some decent photos of fire spinners though I'll check that out later. I wish I was a better photographer, but I learn as I go along.
I went out to the pavillion under the Man last night and sat for a little while. The huge timbers that support him were visible -- Oregon doug firs. There are masks on most of the support posts, but I wasn't sure about the best way to attempt photos of them last night and I didn't want to use flash. They had environmental sounds going on, and people were leaning up against the central support post to meditate or sitting quietly on benches surrounding the support structure. Haiku, one of the guys from our camp, said this was the best one yet, and he loved the atmosphere under the Man. I feel so fortunate to be able to see something like this -- to participate not just in the festival atmosphere but in the social structure surrounding it. Seeing the workings of the festival from the inside and not just as someone with a ticket who wanders the area absorbing the atmosphere is similar to how I participate in most Pagan festivals. I think I may have been to a total of three or four festivals since 1984 where I didn't either volunteer or teach on some level, and usually both.
At the same time, I often find myself in the headspace of a distant observer. I sit on the sidelines and watch. I choose a cushion on the edge of the room. I don't talk a lot unless others speak to me. I feel a little more detached than I'd sometimes like and am not always sure how to surmount that and feel more immersed. I certainly do talk to people and have met many wonderful folks here, but my personal style tends not to engage unless approached and a people here tend to respect your space if you're being quiet.
In a little while I'll be going out to walk the esplanade and look at some of the art in the daylight. garzan
said his walking stick has an attachment for camera or binocs on it so I will probably go grab that before I leave, to use as a monopod and I'm hoping that will improve my shaky hand issues.
I know that I haven't really talked a lot yet about individual art pieces or camps. I may or may not do so, but I'll try to get interesting pictures.
I just got told by someone that the Man was burned last night just as the eclipse hit its peak. It was arson, but the regularly scheduled burn will take place Saturday. Firefighters put the fire out and the pavillion under the Man is currently closed until it's determined to be safe, but wow. Several papers have photos up of the Man aflame. This means though that the green neon won't be lit this week during the night and the pics I got will be some of the few available. I know I heard a huge shout going up from the esplanade as I was going to bed, but I thought it was about the eclipse and so I didn't go out to see. Here's the report from Laughing Squid
. Apparently the Man will be rebuilt during the week and the neon replaced. I'll be going out to get some pics of the burnt Man in a little bit, as I took the day off today because of the eclipse last night.
It sounds like they're about to have a news conference in the commissary on the other side of the canvas here in just a moment. I may be able to get y'all some on the spot reportage about the official statement about what happened.