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Despite the fact that I am virtually without faith in anything other than science, I am convinced I'm at least partly pagan because I often have a strong desire to dance naked around a bonfire. If only I felt I could do this without feeling like someone involved was staring at me like I was a piece of meat. Frankly I've never been involved in a pagan group where at least one person didn't give off that vibe. I'd settle for dancing clothed around a bonfire with drums beating and feet bouncing off of earth and grass and twigs. Laugh if you will!

I finally had dinner at Connaught Place in Fairfax. It was as good as I had heard. I realize though, that unlike Chinese restaurants, I've never had a sub-par meal at an Indian restaurant. I'd shout-out to all the attendees, but the list is kind of long! I was really glad to be able to go.

I got into work early. This is going to be my first full, real night back after being sick. I feel out of touch. And paranoid. Something is retarding my social and coping skills.

Comments

( 60 comments — Leave a comment )
cheetahmaster
Jun. 24th, 2003 11:19 pm (UTC)
I am convinced I'm at least partly pagan because I often have a strong desire to dance naked around a bonfire.

Maybe you just wanna dance naked and be warm.
snidegrrl
Jun. 24th, 2003 11:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but it also has a get-jiggy-with-the-goddess feel to it. So to speak.
(no subject) - cheetahmaster - Jun. 25th, 2003 06:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 25th, 2003 08:47 am (UTC) - Expand
kelowna
Jun. 24th, 2003 11:35 pm (UTC)
i danced clothed around a bonfire in alburquerque new mexico coming off of shrooms... does that count? ;)

in all honesty, i know what you mean. i think that the process is more in the ability of the self to 'ignore' that or if anyone is staring at you naked. really, ask yourself why it bothers you what they are thinking?

--kelowna
snidegrrl
Jun. 25th, 2003 01:02 am (UTC)
oh, that counts. i don't get to do that very often. and well shrooms, i've never had.

i think it bothers me in the sense that i want to be in a safe space, where no one seeks to possess anyone else. where no demands would be made. i wish i could better describe the vibe i'm talking about; it's not just admiration for the human form, it's a clear desire to possess or to control.

that and i've never been able to shake the constant fretting about what everyone else thinks. i think i got it from my mother.
(no subject) - kelowna - Jun. 25th, 2003 10:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 25th, 2003 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ubet_cha - Jun. 25th, 2003 07:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kelowna - Jun. 25th, 2003 10:20 am (UTC) - Expand
martinhesselius
Jun. 25th, 2003 12:08 am (UTC)
TMI
::Grin::
When I was an adolescent, I used to strip down to my tennis shoes and run through the woods.
snidegrrl
Jun. 25th, 2003 01:03 am (UTC)
Go you!!! :D
izzerwurst
Jun. 25th, 2003 03:18 am (UTC)
woah.. what part of MD are you from? i'm in NW baltimore county
snidegrrl
Jun. 25th, 2003 03:23 am (UTC)
I'm in Laurel! I work in Arlington in VA.
Re: - izzerwurst - Jun. 25th, 2003 03:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - panicsyndrome - Jun. 25th, 2003 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: - izzerwurst - Jun. 25th, 2003 03:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - panicsyndrome - Jun. 25th, 2003 03:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: - izzerwurst - Jun. 25th, 2003 03:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - panicsyndrome - Jun. 25th, 2003 03:49 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - panicsyndrome - Jun. 25th, 2003 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
panicsyndrome
Jun. 25th, 2003 04:16 am (UTC)
kim, i am totally sorry for cluttering up your perfectly good entry here. i'm glad you had an enjoyable experience at the connaught place, but i will say if you haven't had any sub-par indian you've been extremely lucky. there is plenty of it out there.

funny- you got into work in arlington early, i got into work in reston JUST about on time.

i dunno what to tell you about the fire, though... maybe you should give it a try in solitude and see what it does for you.
snidegrrl
Jun. 25th, 2003 04:36 am (UTC)
dude, i so don't mind. there is no lack of room for comments. :D

i have had indian food at: connaught, maurya, sapphire (197&contee in laurel), and that place in the middle of adams morgan that i can't remember the name of now. all good. and some places in norfolk and blacksburg that were also good. i've just never had bad indian food!

re: dancing naked by the fire in solitude: i need someone to play the drums! well i guess i could just put on a cd. plus, where! eek! :)
(no subject) - cheetahmaster - Jun. 25th, 2003 06:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 25th, 2003 08:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msteleute - Jun. 25th, 2003 09:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - panicsyndrome - Jun. 25th, 2003 10:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 25th, 2003 09:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
snidegrrl
Jun. 25th, 2003 04:42 am (UTC)
I don't mind being looked at, really. But there's always that one skeezy guy/gal who's looking at everyone like, "hey now". As opposed to like, "look at the beauty and variety of creation!"

Yeah, I basically imagine this happening at night. ;)

I would love to be able to commit to being pagan. Or anything. But I can never make the leap of faith.
... - professorbooty - Jun. 25th, 2003 05:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 25th, 2003 09:14 am (UTC) - Expand
... - professorbooty - Jun. 25th, 2003 09:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
swartzdk
Jun. 25th, 2003 05:27 am (UTC)
Bonfire dancing
I visualize getting in tune with mother nature, ashes, cinders, sore feet, the first aid kit, a level of dirt that would scream for a shower and of course becoming a vision for the peeping toms of the forest. Studying a lava lamp while sipping 30 year old Scotch would be a much more satisfying pagan experience.
snidegrrl
Jun. 25th, 2003 09:15 am (UTC)
Scotch and a lava lamp sounds awesome to me. :D
seth6666
Jun. 25th, 2003 06:09 am (UTC)
Defining your feeling....
Hrm...

I took a bunch of neo-paganism classes in college and briefly flirted with the idea too. (wow. see where a religious studies degree gets you? how in the hell did i end up a govt attorney!?)

But, one of the topics I really looked at hard (and wrote a published paper on btw..) was ritual, both spiritual and secular.

I found that the main reasons one engages in spiritual ritual are:

1) sense of community
2) communion with the divine

The best way to commune with the divine is to alter your state of consciousness. This is a fact. Meditate, eat drugs, _engage in repetitive motion_, dance, chant, sing.

These are the things that allow us to enter a trance-like state and perhaps perceive the world differently/encounter the divine. Whether you believe it's external or internal (or both) it doesn't really matter.

Oh, and I certainly don't believe you have to commit to anything to go out and dance naked around a bonfire. If anything, you, personally, could use it as a sort of divining rod, to see if there's any value in it _for you_.

Who knows? Give it a shot and see what happens. I suppose you'll have to get over that caring what other people thing thing though. Or you could do it with like 3 or 4 people that you REALLY know and trust.

Just my .666 cents.

-S
msteleute
Jun. 25th, 2003 08:09 am (UTC)
Re: Defining your feeling....
Yeah, what Seth says!
At festivals with a fairly large number of participants I feel its pretty easy to lose inhibition simply because one doesn't stick out at all. I won't say that there isn't the creep element in there because we all know that people like that exist in every facet of the community but when you're one of a seething amoeba of dancers you're less likely to be noticed apart from the group. And so many people there are into doing their own thing I would say most people are looking inward at bonfires.
As for faith in a goddess or god what have you, you don't have to believe in a particular entity pulling the strings so to speak. I dont' and I'm pagan! I think that gods and goddess are just faces we assign to this wonderful energy that was the catalyst for life. It's the easiest way to commune with it.
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 25th, 2003 09:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 25th, 2003 09:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seth6666 - Jun. 25th, 2003 10:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 25th, 2003 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
ubet_cha
Jun. 25th, 2003 07:21 am (UTC)
Sounds like you are breaking out and becoming more comfortable with yourself.
snidegrrl
Jun. 25th, 2003 09:05 am (UTC)
I've been comfortable with myself for a while; I jusrt haven't acted upon it in that specific way. :)
zenthia
Jun. 25th, 2003 07:26 am (UTC)
Run around a bonfire naked by yourself. Or just in the moonlight where no one has any chance of seeing you.
ubet_cha
Jun. 25th, 2003 07:32 am (UTC)
Actually my suggestion SG would be to go to more international beaches where nudity isn't regarded as sexual and see how you feel.

I do love bonfire, but the thought of running naked around one frightens me. Maybe I'm a tad phobic about getting burned?
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 25th, 2003 09:12 am (UTC) - Expand
shadrone
Jun. 25th, 2003 07:58 am (UTC)
Those who would stare will stare clothed or not. Take it as a compliment, and take it no farther.
Go, dance, shake that booty.
snidegrrl
Jun. 25th, 2003 09:13 am (UTC)
The point is I don't want that compliment. Not in that context, anyways.
Re: - shadrone - Jun. 25th, 2003 10:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 25th, 2003 09:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
kelowna
Jun. 25th, 2003 10:22 am (UTC)
if you are just darting into Arlington for dinner on occasion, we should meet up and hit Delhi Daba (sp?) on some occasion. :)

--kelowna
snidegrrl
Jun. 25th, 2003 09:20 pm (UTC)
sounds awesome. i've never been there. or heard of it for that matter! i generally have to be at work by 11pm but can come down early anytime.
salami_salome
Jun. 25th, 2003 10:29 am (UTC)
Dance!
Warning! I am about to say something so earthy and woman-power, it's "wymyn" power! If you fear granola crunchiness, TURN BACK NOW.

The goddess you honor when you dance and feel free in nature is YOU.

In other words, you don't have to subscribe to a particular set of dogma or believe in a particular diety in order to feel the desire for ritual. I say this as a pagan-friendly anti-Zionist semi-agnostic spiritual humanist bellydancing Jewess. The desire to dance I think is a desire to literally EMBODY or become the divine, shake off the mundane self and become a pure instrument of ecstasy.

In Middle Eastern dance there are several dances that are specific to a spiritual tradition. One of them is the whirling dervish dances of Turkey, which springs from a sect of Islam. These guys spin for hours on a single pivot point and don't get dizzy. That's how you know they're one with God! Then there's the Guedra, done in Morocco and Egypt, a dance of benediction or blessing. I've never seen one, but guess what: though this is a dance done in Muslim countries, the hand gestures symbolize thanks to earth, wind, air, and fire. Pagan much? Then there's the Zar, done in Egypt and the Sudan. The dance is pre-Islamic and serves the purpose of exorcism! I've seen this last one once and it was so cool. The dancer ends up down on her knees whirling her head around. And, funny, in some ways the movement resembles that of a headbanger who's really into the song! It sounds like a cheesy comparison, but I think the two movements come from the same impulse: to take a negative energy and allow it to enter you, then expel it or cast it out.

These are what you would call "trance" dances. But whether a dance is done naked in a Druidic forest or in heavy robes in the desert, in leotards on a stage, or even in goth garb in a club, dance appeals to us because we become strong and beatiful and all our mortal aches and anxieties are healed or fall away. The bliss of that spans all cultures and sets of belief.

Oh! Look! Somehow I've stepped up on a soapbox. *steps down*
Sorry for the lecture mode. It's just that I feel very strongly about the ability of dance to take us out of our everyday lives...
snidegrrl
Jun. 26th, 2003 10:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Dance!
Please feel free to say all earthy woman power things to me that you want!!!!!

Now you're making me want to join a tribal dance troupe of some sort. I just don't know how or where I would do this.
Re: Dance! - salami_salome - Jun. 27th, 2003 08:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Dance! - snidegrrl - Jun. 29th, 2003 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
mcoletti
Jun. 28th, 2003 11:32 pm (UTC)
Yes!!! Another Connaught Place convert! Lamb vindaloo, HO!
snidegrrl
Jun. 29th, 2003 10:31 pm (UTC)
I had the Chicken Tikka... it was really, really good. Damn, now I am hungry and it's 1:30 AM!!
( 60 comments — Leave a comment )

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