The sky called to me when Caeli La paraded through my doorway in her spectacular glitter get up. “You have to see the moon right now!” She exclaimed as I handed her a bottle of Korbel and an embrace. We were less than three hours away from 2013, yet frozen in time by Luna’s captivating presence. Life, like our moon, happens in phases. This particular moon was ripe and burning with desire.
Sea of Dreams 2012 invited its attendees to embrace the unknown. By late November I accepted this notion and surrendered to its unique flow. To find comfort in a realm surrounded by uncertainty is to be open to all that might be. To be one with the unknown is to be present with all that is.
It was about 9:45 when I finished painting my last face of 2012, a ritual routine on the edge of much brilliance that year. The make of love between our eyes and the moon’s hang in the atmosphere left us behind schedule by 15 minutes. Michael, my new found lover, Caeli and I charged ambitiously to the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). As we raced down the escalator and through the train’s doors we stood out loud amongst traditional black attire. My body was tight in a seductive corset, Michael in his complimentary black and red Burner fur and Caeli a walking glitter bomb.
Michael’s face, a tribal reflection of mine reminded me of how powerful our Universe is. We met only two weeks ago and by the moon’s last perfect circle, 12/28, were resonating in one another’s lives. Through the simplicity of brief eye contact we saw each other, and like the birth of a star cosmic bliss was delivered. My surrender, early on, to this year’s theme, Luna Sea, brought fourth our serendipitous union, and serendipitous our night would be.
A train packed with people looking their absolute best was young with life as we discussed the theme for this year’s Sea of Dreams. I looked towards my wingmen and said with enchantment, “We must give up everything and believe in nothing.” Intriguing acknowledgement greeted Luna Sea’s request and we fell in deep sync with our flows.
The end of our year was held at the same place Cannabis Cup is hosted. Home to three stages of music for the night, The San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center is enormous and takes over several blocks of space. As we exited the cab to our final destination, blue lasers and sea foam lights flashed upon our territory.
We entered the ocean fortress just 12 minutes away from the beginning of Gogol Bordello’s set. Rolling VIP always makes life easy, but from the looks of neighboring lines the system was running itself like a smooth operator. In exchange for my leopard faux fur I was given the number 9 at coat check. Born on a 9 and having strong beliefs in its numerical power, this number has presented itself in my life like a sorcerer of magic. When Michael pocketed my number I knew I was in line, not only at coat check, but also with the cosmos.
Fairy wings brushed past my face as I waited in line to buy an over priced beverage. Disturbingly true, the bartenders bought the rights to sell beverages away from all participating food trucks. Thirst quenching drinks displayed at the front of vendor vehicles were prohibited from sales interfering with well-deserved revenues and convenient hydration. Fortunate to have the extra dough, I threw down the cash and tried to deny myself of Gogol Bordello’s mosh pit.
“I have to take pictures from over here,” I said to Michael as he met my words with confusion. Front and center had his name on it and he wasn’t going anywhere without me. I looked toward the audience, comfortable in my space, and decided I had no choice but to follow his flow. The moment I encouraged our movement forward- intensity heightened.
Gogol Bordello, forever led by singer guitarist Eugene Hutz, has evolved through several members, declaring itself Gypsy Punk since the release of their first single “When the Trickster Comes a Polkin” released in 1999. Although the bands origin lie in Brooklyn, NY, its members descend from Ukraine Russia, Ethopia, and China. This ethnic variety helps create music heavily influenced by world sounds.
Trying to focus a manual camera in a mosh pit is like trying to build a fire in a downpour. Determined to control my lens I climbed atop Michael’s shoulders and fought the eye of Bordello’s storm. Below me, fans moved in one motion shifting haphazardly with the aggressive energy around them. I snapped passionately praying for a successful shot as Eugene Hutz downed a bottle of red wine like it was water.
Before Michael brought me back to his level Eugene and I got lost in one another’s gaze. I was liberated and charged with Ukrainian fierceness for five full seconds during our intimate exchange. After our connection broke I disappeared below the surface of his dance floor, never to forget the empowering look in his eyes.
In a specific headspace, clock just inches away from midnight, I found a moment of clarity after eye fucking Eugene. It was here where I stood with my arms open in the bliss of the unknown. Receptive to my white flag, the universe shipped in an unexpected surprise, my gem of a friend, Toni Tone.
Toni is a bubbly princess gorgeous for anyone’s perfect reflection. Necessary for mine, I left the idea of our NYE connection up to the mysteries of the Luna Sea. Our new friendship had only transpired twice before Gogol Bordello’s waves had her crashing into me. Literally, out of the Sea of Dreams *ablyss*, Toni splashed her neon colored self right into my arms. The serendipitous union now grounded our friendship like an anchor buried at sea. “Magic” I thought as we giggled in each other’s arms briefly before Toni demanded she be put up to crowd surf.
Disbelief and utter excitement already lined my face when, “We don’t need no education” bled through the speakers. “We don’t need know thought control!” “Holy shit” I said to Michael, Gogol Bordello’s performing Another Brick in the Wall! As soon as we got acquainted with the song the band dropped into its well-known Start Wearing Purple. Balloons soon rained from the sky and with no countdown to the New Year, disorder enlisted itself in my brain. I stole my midnight kiss anyways and in mid make-out a countdown began.
Two celebration kisses later, Michael and I found ourselves mingling with Simon Posford (Shpongle) and goddess partner Serena Kinchla. Serena whipped us several times before we swam our way through a jungle of LED lights suspended within ocean themed decorations. Big ups to Sunset Promotions for making our adventure happen through an underwater dreamland.
Since the ball had officially dropped, it was time to locate our crew and honor the New Year with signature dance moves. We walked a short distance outside of the venue before hearing “Dugan!” Coincidently, my homies were right where I needed them to be the instant I thought to call them. After the merge, we hit up Christian Martin for what I penciled in my journal as “whatever vibes.” Christian’s music was danceable but didn’t flatter my taste buds. Regardless, his set was a good transition into Shpongle with Quixotic.
Instead of rising from Zebbler Berdovsky’s Shpongletron, Simon Posford performed within 2012’s touring spectacle, The Masquerade. To imagine a diamond spaceship -blasting colors through outer space- is to envision Shpongle’s visual experience. The performance was complete with a circus brigade of aerial dancers, interpretative movers, and one hell of a violinist: Shane Borth. In one plane of sound, Shane fell to his knees and bowed as if he were playing to the gods of Shpongolia. Quixotic’s carnival presence carried the legacy of Shpongle’s exotic weirdness.
An awkward moment arose on Simon’s dance floor when I looked around and saw few people lost in his transcendental vibration. Christine Binko, Lost in Sound sister, suddenly suggested her opinion “The crowd doesn’t know what they’re experiencing. This is just a rave to them.” I sipped that thought, tripped on it hard, and then recognized the evolution of EDM in American culture. Simon’s ability to make darkness pleasurable interrupted my thinking and soon his music was crawling up my spine again.
After Shpongle’s performance shut the Main Stage down, Michael and I floated around an art gallery. Intricate like a coral reef, this maze was full of masterpieces. Visual Artist Dela worked live on We Are and took breaths away with his erotic paintings- all grey scaled with a neon touch. In particular, Sun Abduction, a woman levitating in orgasmic space paralleled Michael’s impact on my soul. I pointed to that painting and said to Michael, “That’s how you make me feel.”
Pumpkin was next on our agenda, but when we arrived I knew instantly that I didn’t want to be there. Pumpkin, your mash ups are the shit but this time around, you weren’t laying your beats down right. We called it quits around 3:30am and decided to move our party to 1015 Folosom’s celebration, Futropolis.
A few blocks around the corner and one street hotdog later, Michael and I were morphing with our new environment. It was now 3:45 and Random Rab was about to shed his light.
It’s been two sunrise performances and one eclipse set since my last dark sky Rab show. The crave for this unfamiliar experience motivated my gesture through 1015’s packed crowd. Dedicated fans have declared Random Rab’s performances like church, their holy place. When we arrived, sanctuary called and special guest OOAH, from the Glitch Mob, was ignored for Rab’s divine touch.
Brightness penetrated through darkness the instant Rab began juicing his beats. Symbolically, white spotlights spied on lovers while golden beams kissed our faces. Anthony Ward demonstrated a parallel to this symbolism. Anthony, a dark skinned man, built an enormous bouquet, flower by flower, on stage throughout Rab’s light. As the floral cluster grew with glory I slipped into that space where vibration controls your dance flow like a master puppeteer. Michael met my moves with grace and soon a circle of RABbits surrounded us with gorgeous compliments. Love was oozing out of our smiles and new friends were congratulating us.
When Rab finished off his set my man was feeling a little sluggish and needed some rage coach. I tried to be as compassionate as possible to newb on scene when I said, “Babe, I’ve gone to three day festivals and didn’t sleep once.” My words wouldn’t save his state of mind but An-Ten-Nae’s “Acid Crunk” might.
I’ve been seeking out An-Ten-Nae for about a year, and as expected Adam Ohana brought the heat. Co producer of LoRiderz, Adam threw some much needed crunk step into his 5 am, early morning, set. Adam if you ever read this, the twist of your Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds/Raindrops on Roses remix was flawless and the drop of Sbtrkt’s Trials of the Past beat serendipitously with my heart.
As the sun was rising Thriftworks was sound tracking the reopening of the bar. I was still in perfect rage state at 6 am so I let a wise looking man congratulate me with a bloody Mary. After he introduced me to his cute little gem of wife I stayed and picked his brain for minute. He told me that they had been together for nine years and then proceeded to give me his love advice: “don’t expect anything.”
I thought long and hard about the number 9 repapering from a strange man’s love affair and then recognized the Luna Sea in his advice. The entire night had spun itself in one giant circle and I was now shaking hands with the last person I would meet for my night, her name, Serendipity.
Although Thriftworks was doing what I love I couldn’t carry Michael a second further into the crazy life of after hour parties. I quick chewed up the end of my drink’s olives and then met the sunrise with my now half painted face.
My celebration was majestic for I had no idea my 2013 would be greeted with a warm kiss, nor did I foresee love’s connection happening in the heartbeat of Gogol Bordello’s mosh pit. My surrender, early on, to Sea of Dream’s theme, Luna Sea, made the synchronization of everything possible.
Like the rising tides of our deepest seas we resemble the patterns of the moon. Life is constantly changing and the unknown always in front of us. Moments of bliss will shine in our experiences and darkness will continue to seep through our light. Sometimes we find ourselves experiencing complete joy while other times we see ourselves cut in half. Please know that whatever phase you might be in, your phase is one with the same force that moves every moon into its wholesome self.
Embrace your unknown for it is a slice of your circle.
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