The Most Spiritual Champion - Black Rock City 2017
I leave it all on the mat months and months before the Universe brings the hammer down y'all. The work pays off. I get to have fun and stay grounded and in gratitude when most everyone else is struggling.
As I struck out from Esplanade to take Roderick in his genie lamp to leave in the Temple, a huge dust cloud swept over the Playa. "Cocktails it is!" My darling Claude, who shares Rod's birthday, looked a little confused. "He wants us to wait," I said. It was sweltering. We unknowingly sought refuge under the well-constructed shade at Miso Horny's famous soup and sake serving bar. It wasn't open but we had road beers from getting my bike tube replaced at PBR.
While we were waiting, a typically meta Burning Man scene ensued: a young man came flying down the avenue on one of those Ninebot electric unicycles, hit a Playa pothole and went flying Superman style face down in the dirt. A variety of passersby, including Claude, went running to help. I remained planted on my bar stool sipping beer as I watched him brush off those attempting to help and pick up the bags of ice he was delivering. He didn't even shake himself off before he remounted his hands-free scooter, looking like a gosh darn Playa Casper. I clapped and whooped as he sped away. "That's how you do it!" Keep it moving, I always say.
Just then a happy camper came by the bar to announce that The Spiritual Championship would begin at Miso Horny in 15 minutes. He pointed us to the event tent and suggested we cross the avenue for margaritas and then join the competition. Claude and I looked at each other and laughed. "Roderick is hilarious!" I exclaimed. He knew I was dreading the enormity of leaving him in the Temple. 11 amazing years on the planet with him and 7 more since he died, holding my hand every day in spirit. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking. Nothing like a little healthy competition to calm my nerves.
Needless to say, Claude and I walked into the dome oozing power and confidence, as two royal souls in beamingly beautiful black godlike bodies do any place, at any time. The game was ours. All the jokes I make about passive aggressive ego in the Californian spiritual community as a Brooklyn transplant were front and center as the MCs and judges introduced themselves in the wittiest fashions, not breaking face for a moment. I could hardly stop giggling. The competition was strong, but as always I knew I had the upper hand. My ancestors may as well have been standing behind me rubbing my prizefighting shoulders.
A smorgasbord of seven well thought out rounds of intense ridiculousness ensued, from an Acro Yoga Dance Off to a Non-Violent Communication Battle to one final showdown: Kundalini Wrestling. I was simply being myself the whole competition. Many have heard me joke about the inauthenticity of California Prayer Hands, which after a year and a half of gleefully offending West Coasters, I've translated to: "The asshole in me bows to the asshole in you."
Jealousy rose to a slow boil amongst my competitors and the crowd as I peacocked around the wrestling ring outside the tent. I didn't think to fully slather myself in lube. For a moment my empathic nature got the best of me as my bare feet burnt on the mat and the tenor of the crowd reached gladiator status. I was facing off a fit white boy who just happened to be a wrestler, in high school I guess. His adorable trash-talking companion pumped venom into him. The MC suggested that the crowd send positive intentions to their intended winner. I grounded as I gave eye contact and bowed in gratitude to each side of the ring. Try to not to love an Empress with Mercury Venus the Sun and Jupiter in Leo! I am an 8/8 Lion's Gate Leo. Magnetic fire baby. Around me, you'll learn that if you let the many faces of love win; everybody wins. And, ahem, you will learn to honor the goddess for her many sacrifices before you get to party with me.
Spirit told me just to stay relaxed and absorb my opponent's energy. I learned this when I began to practice push hands and the sword form in Tai Chi at just 23 years old. As he would start to pin me I would simply flip over and wait for him to make his next move. I was clear by his attitude that he would gladly fight dirty. But this was kundalini wrestling after all. I was like a woman in the middle of a bad fuck, laying relaxed on my side and waiting for the show of feigned dominance to be over. Points were awarded for the highest level spiritual practice of all: SURRENDER.
Another inside joke between me and Roderick. He the Osiris to my Isis: the original twin flames, a tale of the triumph and eternal nature of sacred partnership. Here was one more loving acknowledgment on my way to leave him as lord of the Temple, the underworld. "Now you're ready," he whispered in my ear above the cheers of the crowd as I lifted my eyes to the sky. An hour later my voice reverberated through the Temple as a rain blessing fell through the tiny sky window right down on my head. 19 years ago he caused my whole world to shift on its axis. Twice my life later, I can finally restore him to rule and surrender fully into a future with my twin flame...Phoenix worthy, in all my divine feminine glory.
This trophy is a representation of who I've become for the world as I've successfully navigated the ever-loving miracle of a shitstorm one might call my many lifetimes on this planet. Thank your sweet hearts for their perseverance. If you do the work, let it be known. Roar. Purr. Shake your ass. Be proud. Laugh loudly. Give thanks. Command respect. Special gratitude to the beauty fun strength kindness creativity mischief and wisdom of all the Miso Horny judges and camp members, and the fantastic audience who loved me up. Jai Shakti Ma!! Victory to the cosmic divine mother. May she raise the worthy up victorious out of the ashes, and may all beings be happy and free.