It’s been a couple of days since I’ve traveled the road home from Kinetic Fire, back to my house, dishes, career, family, radio stations and phone service. I was afraid that I would lose the incredible energy and love that I found myself experiencing while at Kinetic, but I’m determined to hold onto it and not let go…to not let the rising price of gas and my piles of laundry take over my mind and numb me from fire dancing.
There were so many moments of pure happiness at Kinetic, that I’m not sure where to start. I guess it would make sense to begin with my journey there, when I got lost, took directions (a short-cut, I was promised), found myself face-to-face with a flooded road that didn’t even sort of looked like I could cross it, took a 6-mile detour, and then pulled into Hannon’s Camp America, or home, as I like to think of it during Kinetic Fire. Shortly after I parked my car, and with my ticket/dog tag (very nice touch, I thought) around my neck, I listened to the joyful hollering coming from the opening ceremony and then saw the lanterns rise into the sky.
The rest of the weekend was nothing short of making spiritual connections with other fire dancers from around the country, and even the world. I can tell you that last year I went, and loved it, but this year I feel like I experienced it on a deeper level…and maybe for two reasons.
1. The Fire Circle
Last year I was so entranced with all of the talented people using fire poi, fire staffs, fire hoops and more, that I simply watched both evenings. The music was pumping, the fires themselves moving and seemingly bouncing with joy. To be honest with you, I was also intimidated. I’d never been around so many other poi spinners at one time, and let my ego keep me seated, wondering if I was good enough to be out there with everyone else.
Lesson learned: there will always be someone better than you. Get over it. Do what you love. This year, perhaps because of Baxter’s blind flow workshop (where everyone wears blindfolds and hoops or spins poi for about an hour of guided dance that takes you to a different level of understanding yourself), perhaps because that day I bought a fire hoop; I knew that I had to stay sober long enough to contribute my own arts to the fire circle. It was magnificent. I didn’t let any excuse stop me (the line’s too long, I just want to watch, etc). Because of this, I helped make Kinetic Fire happen – every dancer, every teacher, organizer, spinner, made it incredible, including little ol’ me.
2. The Fire Walk
Last year, my friend Pokes attended and participated in the fire walk, which is just what you probably think – walking on a bed of hot coals. I was taking a fire eating class that coincided with the fire walking, so I missed the entire thing. He loved the experience, and I’m glad for that.
This year I found myself chatting with Kevin Axtell, who led the fire walk that evening; we discussed his path of fire walking, and he invited me to sign the waiver ahead of time, in case I chose to participate. I sort of considered it, but there was once again another workshop that I was interested in that conflicted with the time; and I felt like fire walking was something that my friends and family would expect me to do, but not something that I was drawn to do. Does that make sense? Sometimes, I think we do things because they fall in line with our personalities, and this fell into that category for me. If I’m going to walk on fire, I want to do it because I feel like I need to, and that’s not where I am right now.
So, last year I was sort of introduced to the idea of it, and this year, as I was taking a hoop workshop, I could hear the hollers from the other side of the field, which was blocked by trees. Everyone was gearing up for the fire walk, and it sounded exciting. As my class ended, I gathered my hoop, water, and backpack, and walked across the soggy grass to a group of about 100 people who were prepping for their fire walking experience. I can’t tell you what it was like for anyone else but me, and I respect that everyone has their own views. For me, it raised curiosity about how this would take place, but I still didn’t feel like I regretted having forgotten to sign the waiver earlier in the day. Instead, I listened to Kevin (whom I’m fascinated with; his energy raised the level of adrenaline for everyone there, I’m sure), watched the participants, and listened to the drumming. When the fire walking began, I put my hand to my mouth and watched in awe.
We’ll see what happens next year. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be ready to take my relationship with fire to this new level. Maybe, if I can walk on fire, I can do anything. I’ve seen that it’s life-changing.
So, that’s just a few things about my experience at Kinetic Fire this year. I have much more to share, and will in good time. Until then, thanks for reading.
Peace, love, and fire,