Hippie Festival Part 1

I travel with Mandorla Man and another man. It takes two days to get there. It is awkward, yet comfortable in some ways. Other man says my aura is open, am I still in love with MM? I say maybe but I am always open and have boundary issues. He asks if my life path number is an 8 or a 4. I am 33/6. It is VERY hot as we drive in MM’s van.

The site is dry, dusty and packed. The river keeps rising so there are less trees for shelter and most good camp sites are already taken. Still, I set up my tent in a position to get some afternoon shade. I think I have done well. Around the site there are prickly plants everywhere. Thirty minutes after arriving I see my first scorpion.

As the days go by I have many talks with MM. We decide it’s OK to feel love for each other but not want to be together. We also find that we annoy each other and have a few fights. We sleep in separate camps, don’t kiss, cuddle or have sex. In fact, we don’t spend much time together apart from a few meals and talks.

* * *

I do workshops on boundaries, yoga, sound therapy, massage and relationships. I cook meals, I talk with people, I swim naked, go braless and sometimes topless. It is hot and I wear long sleeves much of the time to not get sunburnt. People are in and out of the water all day to keep cool. I drink so much water but don’t wee much. I try to drink more water.

At sunset the mozzies come out. They are worst at dusk. Because of the floods there are many of them. On some nights they are in swarms and very unpleasant. I swelter in tracksuit pants and long sleeves at night to keep the mozzies away. Still, I walk, dance, sing, watch fire twirling, talk with people and enjoy myself.

* * *

On New Years Eve with temperatures around 38 °C I accidentally pour boiling water over my knee. The river is closer than the first aid tent. I drop everything, run into the river and stay in the cool water for 30 minutes. I get out, let myself dry. A man starts talking, recognising me from an earlier conversation. He asks my age then looks me up and down and tells me I look pretty good for 32. I am still naked. I do not return the compliment because he does not look good for his age or in fact any age. And I am offended by his comment. As I dress I explain that I’ve scalded myself and heading to First Aid. He walks with me, sharing that he is ready to settle down and have kids and wants to get my email address. I have to stop walking several times because my knee is burning. He has ice which I melt onto my leg.

I spend the next hour in the First Aid tent with a cool compress, antiseptic cream and then some ice to take on my way. I make friends with the volunteers. The skin is intact, I will be sore for the next couple of days like a bad sunburn. Many days later the skin will peel off.

* * *

On New Years Eve night the mozzies are ferocious. MM and I talk about things. We have to keep walking around in order to avoid mosquitos. By 10pm he has had enough talking and walking and goes to bed. I head into the village to celebrate. It is dusty and there are still mozzies. I dance until I am sneezing from the dust and take a breather, wandering for more excitement. I come back to the town square for more dancing but the dust is too much for me and I head to bed instead. While I’m cleaning my teeth I hear whooping from different locations and know it is midnight. It is 2011.

I do yoga and Chakradance the next morning. We focus on the solar plexus, the power centre. I dance and move in my power and feel strong. Afterwards I talk with a man; it’s his first time at ConFest too. We end up sharing a New Year kiss (I’m wanting to test it out). I’m not enjoying it. No more. He says I’m sensational. I wonder how he can still want to kiss someone who says she’s not enjoying it. I remember why I only kiss people I’m very attracted to.

* * *

Later on email-seeking man finds me cooking and asks for my email address. I am direct and say I don’t want to give it to him as I don’t know him yet. He says he thought we could get to know each other through email. I am now sick of men staring at me or flirting or hitting on me. I am dealing with ex-boyfriend issues, body and image and self-esteem issues. I feel ugly and yuck in daggy clothes, no mirrors, unwashed hair etc. Also, I keep attracting women who have problems with men and sleaziness and am talking with them. I become more self-conscious and cover up my body more, trying not to attract any men.

At the same time I make friends. I become more social and talk more. I give more hugs. People say kinds things to me. Women and men compliment my hugs, my belly, my body. But mostly people enjoy my smile. I receive dozens of compliments about my smile and a handful about my eyes. I radiate.

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About

Of the female variety and hungry for knowledge, truth and love.

Posted in Dating, Inner World, love, Me Me Me!, My Partner, Spirituality
16 comments on “Hippie Festival Part 1
  1. I am grateful to be here. Since I experience the joy of dance through others, I thank you as well for joy.

    The nature of the male is incompleteness whereas, as attributed to Gloria Steinem, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” The man’s ‘need’ is, of course, a distortion. I feel in many ways an integral part of the man’s journey is to learn that his male incompleteness is an illusion.

    This is a wonderful, elemental and forthright post. I am happiest for those to whom you truly bare your soul.

  2. kymbo says:

    I read the post with no real intention of leaving a comment..until I read the comment above. I couldn’t agree more! Men are driven by the need to be with a woman, I guess the answer to this this all depends on whether you are religious or not. I’m not! I accept we are just clever apes. So I believe this need is simply the breeding urge essential to mankind’s survival as a species. Many of the men at this event are simply there because they think women who go to this event are more open and possibly more content to breed with them… of course this just makes the men look like sleaze bags. (and many of them are)

  3. Tim says:

    It is true I think for all men – at least I have never met one who differs from this, and I am no exception – that the sight of a naked woman dominates and skews the thought process.
    It is a very complex issue and I do not profess to have it fully understood. As a man I am extremely aware of it and I fight against it. I have yet to determine if this is something which can be “solved” as such… or simply something which one can only become aware of and try to manage. Men and women are so different and this unfortunately is one of the ways in which they are MOST different I believe.
    Intellectually (and emotionally, spiritually perhaps?) I know that the essence of a woman, the important bit, the “soul”… is all about what is inside and external appearance is or should not be particularly important; however at the same time I am aware of how much physical appearance and perceived sexual “allure” can impact. Like I said – it’s complex. I wish I had the answers.
    Anyway I didn’t mean to get on my soapbox… great to hear you had a good time and some positive experiences amidst the tricky bits

    • mystic29 says:

      You seem to think a lot like me Tim, care to pass on your web site URL? I’d like to call in. Kymbo

      • Spiral says:

        is this really kymbo too or spam?

        • Tim says:

          I wondered the same thing – although being password protected I wonder how it could not be – then again mystic29 is unknown to me whereas kymbo is not.
          I should also point out that yes, I am a man as are you Kymbo (if that is you) so obviously there will be an affinity of sorts over this issue. I am not sure if Spiral wishes her blog to be a post office for URL exchange.

          • Spiral says:

            You two don’t know each other from the bigblog days?

            Tim, the others generally link their blogs – I assumed you wanted anonymity? If you are wanting to privately share your blog address, I can forward it.

            Or you can visit Kymbo’s blog yourself or find him on my facebook friend list.

        • kymbo says:

          Hi Spiral, yes it’s my WordPress blog which I haven’t actually used yet, when I logged in it used this name. Sorry for any confusion

  4. In the humble opinion of this poorly drawn cartoon, to be pulled forcibly from a fog of ego by the sight of nakedness will invariably evoke an egotistical reaction. However, if one is aware, one will view nakedness in a more detached way. In many societies nakedness is a form of communication. Therefore, the most interesting thing about nakedness is, what is the naked person trying to say?

    If the naked person views their own nakedness with ego, they will view the reactions of others through the distorted lens of their own emotions. If they view their own nakedness in a detached way, they are freed to view the reactions of others without judgment.

    It is most important to remember that we can never truly know what another thinks. First, they are incapable of fully communicating it. Second, we are incapable of fully understanding it. The only way to fully understand another’s thought is to be them.

    To me, Spiral’s powerful account of her experience is an affirmation of this.

    • Tim says:

      I can only reiterate that this issue is very different for men. Unless you are a man who has felt the internal battles which occur over this it would be very difficult to understand.
      I do not wish to turn this post of Spiral’s into a debate – I would prefer it if we each allowed the other to have and express our opinions about such topics without them being questioned by others. For example I do not agree with your comment upon “incompleteness” of the male – however since it is your opinion I respect your right to have it.

  5. Spiral says:

    I think Jess described well how viewing a naked person may be interpreted by the ego. I saw many men see a naked woman as an invitation, rather than as a woman being comfortable in her own skin and own sexuality. And I saw others so comfortable with nakedness they forgot how it may affect others. To me, removing clothing is a physical boundary removed, not a personal one.

    Some photos from the festival to give some pespective. Confest NY 2011.

    That being said, even after seeing thousands of semi-naked bodies at work, I am always fascinated with the human body. I looked but did my best not to stare. I enjoyed the varieties. I did not find men or women to be more sexually attractive when they were naked. Whether it’s me or a woman thing, they were just bodies. Beautiful in ways, especially women’s breasts. If I stared at anything, it was breasts. But I never once thought of an uncovered breast or penis as an invitation to stare, touch or advance.

    Also, nudity is really not as big a part of the festival as it seems. Mostly it is integrated seamlessly. First, there were many many more men than women spending time completely naked (except hat and shoes). These men and women were comfortable in their skin, had often been to several festivals and were generally not sending out sexual signals. Women tended to be at least semi-clad but were sometimes topless, very often braless beneath layers. Just about everyone wore clothing to workshops. It was around the swimming areas that there were an assortment of naked and clothed men and women. A proportion of adults and most teenagers wore swimming costumes and children were more likely to be covered up. All choices are respected.

    Conference-Festival is what makes up ConFest. It is about people coming together to create and share wonderful experiences.

    And now I can’t remember where I’m going with this line of thought. Probably because it’s after 3am and I’ve had a few drinkies. I’ll continue in the morning.

  6. “All choices respected” sounds exactly right. I respect all choices and was only sharing mine because I like it so much. 🙂

  7. Spiral says:

    Hmmm, I don’t buy that men all inherently have breeding/sexual urges at the sight of a naked woman and that they are powerless to control them… Seven used to feed me stories that all men are sexual predators and want to sleep with me because I’m a woman, men can’t be trusted, women who sleep around are sluts but men are studs… BULLSHIT!

    I’m sure there’s truth to the genetic desire to reproduce but hey, we also have thoughts, emotions and free-will. What I believe now is that our culture breeds our limited notions of sexuality and of course our beliefs. Popular culture manipulates and uses sex to sell just about everything at the same time as shaming us and putting control measure in place. The messages we get are so twisted and conflicting.

    In my own observations over the past four years at alternative events, men (and women) who are unaccustomed to being around naked women (or men) can become acutely aware of their own needs, desires and beliefs around sexuality (consciously or subconsciously). As the emotions around our own sexuality are dealt with and lessons learned, the desires are less prevalent (or at the very least better dealt with).

    My own beliefs around my sexuality were coming up all through the recent festival and also have at other events. I’m going through my own emotional processes and learning a lot.

    When I visited a nude gay beach in Byron Bay, the activity in the bushes was rampant and I put it down to shameful emotions and repression of sexuality. That was a place where I was totally ignored by men! I’ve talked with many women and men who go through their own sexual journeys at these festivals. Seasoned festival-goers, whether they are 15 or 63, are able to look you in the eyes, see past the physical and exude warmth. They take nudity in their stride.

    • Tim says:

      I am not certain why you think anyone is trying to “sell” the idea of this – and hence why you would need to “buy” it.

      People have different angles on it as well as different experiences.
      In a perfect world yes everyone would be evolved enough to be able to see past the physical, to not be affected by these things – to take nudity in their stride as you say. However this is not a perfect world.
      On the other extreme – those stories about all men being sexual predators which were fed to you by “Seven” are also irresponsible. Certainly there are some men who are like this but definitely not all.

      I detect a certain defensiveness from you on this issue. And I wonder why this is. Surely we all need to accept that different people have different views on these issues? I don’t think any of us should be trying to convince the others of how right we are or how wrong they are.

      • Spiral says:

        I want to be heard and understood on my blog. I’m going to take some time to think about what I’m reacting to and what message I want to get across.

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