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Opening my eyes. A Burning Swing Adventure.

I'm sick and tired of not doing anything because people either break plans or for some reason things just don't work out, I was really pushing the idea of going to Vermont! I loved the idea of getting away without the kids. I really admire the artwork behind the mods and couldn't wait to get my hermit husband out of the house! Friday night I got done working at 12 a.m., hurried to get changed into some comfy clothes, climb into the truck and off we went!

I always try to stay awake for the long rides, but that doesn't always work out as planned. So about 2 hours into the trip of course I end up dosing off, but then end up awakening shortly after by a loud thrashing rain that prevented us from seeing even the hood of the truck. It was a bit scary driving through spurts of thick fog and rain, but I trusted my husband to get us there safely.

Finally arriving at Jen's house at about 4 a.m., knowing that people had arrived the day before, we started snooping around the yard to see if anyone has camped out yet. Seeing only trees, grass, and dirt, we decided to try to sleep in the truck for a little while. That was no problem for me but my husband decided that if he couldn't sleep, then I should be awoken and dragged out to see if anything was open. So we head out, get some snacks, prepare some cherries, and try to let people sleep. I was very glad to have a group of people come outside to greet us and eventually bring us in, out of the cold. I was a little nervous since I consider my self to be the outsider in the group, but Jen, Jason, Sarah, Ken and Jen's dogs Wednesday and Joyce all were very welcoming. And of course Joyce (Jen's pit-bull/Shepard mix) had to be the center of attention as she obsessed over a very large rock and whatever very large branches she could find!

We then proceeded to bring mass quantities of cookies into the house, which we were very sorry to say were not vegan, though later I decided to note that we did bring some delicious alcohol filled cherries that were definitely vegan! Amongst all of the smokers I realized that I needed some cloves to satisfy my own oral fixation, so Jen tried to be helpful by giving us directions to the nearest town, however it was still very early and the stores were not quite open yet!

When we arrived back I then met Sarah and Meg who were very excited about a website comic portraying them as lesbian clean freaks! We all kind of made small talk, while Joyce made many attempts to wake (more like molest) Ken and Sarah. Shortly thereafter began the set up for the day. Name tags, weeding, digging, and realizing that this was just a creative attempt to drag people out and clean up Jen's yard (not really but it was funny joking around with Jen about it), now it's time to bother my husband some more to go and drag him out to buy me some cloves!

Realizing that our tent would be much more comfortable with an air mattress, we yet again head out to Burlington on a search for better sleeping arrangements and cloves. We could only hope that we would have a good parking spot when we arrive back! Upon our return, we were greeted by Jason directing the mass of people rapidly arriving to an event that they probably didn't realize would start off with hard labor!

It was nice meeting up with Tatjana and Marty who both looked adorable, her in her kitty sweater and him in his overall's. I was really happy they decided to tough it out and be our camping neighbors, and I was really proud of Tatjana for facing her fears!

Jen and Jason continued running around trying to be the best hosts they could be while trying not to freak about things not going according to plan. Hopefully they were able to relax for a while during the actual events, people mingling, veggie burgers and dogs being grilled and the graffiti wall being started. Too bad the suspension rig didn't work out as planned, but at least it was a good start to a lot of possibilities! The spot that was chosen for the suicide suspension was perfect for the events to come!

Matt and I have discussed going to events with suspensions in the past and I had kind of cringed at the idea but was always willing because I knew it was something he really enjoyed. The Burning Swing Festival was the first time I ever saw a suspension in person and it was really amazing! I watched Jeff get hooked and it was amazing. I sat on the ground behind him as he prepared and then was slowly lifted from the ground. I tend to empathize with people a lot and in the past thinking of someone being lifted by there skin really bothered me. I picture myself going up and worrying about the hooks ripping through my skin. But when I watched Jeff go up and use the tree to push himself back and fourth, I was surprisingly calm and relaxed, almost in a zone. The energy and concentration within the circle of spectators made for a really great suspension and some amazing photos. I still can't believe he went up three more times!

It was also really great being there to see our piercer Marty and girlfriend Tatjana be suspended for the very first time! Feeling a bit comical at this point, I held back wanting to shout "That's my piercer, Man" but then after a few of Marty's various poses on his way down I quietly blurted in song, YMCA!. Next, watching Tatjana go up was definitely amazing, being the first female to go up she had to show them up and that she did! I was really proud of them both, especially Tatjana for her amazing concentration, various poses and immense length of time in the air!

Next we heard a loud explosion as the swing went up in flames and man it was nice to feel some warmth! Again, it was a beautiful sight followed by some amazing photos! Roasting around the fire and enjoying the music that I was fortunate enough to watch being mixed, bandaging up Warren's hand and throwing cherries at people made the night quite interesting for me. Due to lack of sleep, I began drifting away by the fire, so off to the tent we go. A few hours later my husband awakes me with, how can you sleep through that? After about a minute, when my brain woke up I realized what beautiful sounds were coming (no pun intended) from our neighboring tent. This followed by many whispers and interesting sounds amongst many of the other tents, including very confusing snores and groans from Marty and Tatjana's tent, who barely got any sleep because of the pain from their suspensions, but somehow slept through Christy's amazing voice. We could have chimed in with some sounds of our own but didn't want anyone to think we were mocking them.

The next morning I awakened feeling so good, I really wanted to climb out of the tent and sit down and stretch until I realized how cold and wet it was out there. It was really neat seeing all the grasshoppers leap away from my feet as I walked and I really enjoyed the wonderful sounds of nature. It was a little to cold and every one was asleep so I climbed back into my tent. A small crowd of people began to awaken and converse on the lawn, while I stayed wrapped up in my sleeping bag. Eventually Christy and Jeff exited their tent with a round of applause from the adjacent crowd. After breakfast and relaxing in our tent for what felt to be about 3 hours, we finally began to pack up our belongings. We really didn't want to leave, everything was so beautiful! After saying goodbye to everyone, we headed into Burlington once more to satisfy Matt's craving for pizza and check out Jen's shop. She had a lot of great jewelry, but we had to keep our spending to a minimal after realizing how much we had already spent over the weekend.

I really fell in love with Vermont so much that I began to coax Matt into attempting to get a job there! We were in a very beautiful area and met many beautiful people. I can't wait to go back again sometime! Now craving more piercings, exploring, climbing, and sex we head back to our usual every day life! Though reluctant to give up our freedom, I was very happy to spend time with my kids again!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 10 Sept. 2003
in Ritual

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Artist: Jen
Studio: Jen%27s+house
Location: Essex+Junction%2C+Vermont

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