Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Swinging Neighbourhood

Our next door-neighbours in the camping ground were a couple from Sacramento. After our arrival we had a meal at their place and some nice talking about Burning Man. They were there for the year in order to have some fun, as they said. I remember her comment as she saw the viking silver rune around my neck. - This is a real pagan festival, she said, and I had to look up the word in my dictionary.

Pagan is hedning in Norwegian, and something not very Christian, I understood. The rune I carried was the Algiz rune, and I had given Thom the Anzus rune as a gift and a protection for this journey.

Anzus is revealing message or insight, communication. Signals, inspiration, enthusiasm, speech, true vision, power of words and naming. Blessings, the taking of advice. Good health, harmony, truth, wisdom. Odin who gave name to this rune, is a mighty, but duplicitous god. He always has his own agenda.

If you want to learn more about runes, here is a link for you. And if you want a free rune reading you are welcome. I have always enjoyed things like theese, the I Ching, the Tarot cards and the runes, even if I am not a true believer.

Let's call our neighbours Bob and Anna. They were nice people in their 50'ies, and not really the kind of folks I had expected to find in a festival like this. We said goodbye after a couple of hours and went for a walk to look at the camp.

Back in our van, the same evening, Thom asked me if I had recognized the question in the air, that afternoon. I had not.
- I think they asked us if we wanted to change partners, Thom said.
- Are you kidding, I said, - I never heard that.
- They come from Sacramento, from a really swinging neighbourhood, he replied.
Swinging neighbourhood is something I vaguely remember from reading Couples of John Updike sometimes in my youth. This is what Wikipedia says about the book:

Couples is a 1968 novel by John Updike which focuses on a promiscuous circle of married friends in the fictional Boston suburb of Tarbox. Much of the novel concerns the efforts of its characters to balance the pressures of Protestant sexual mores against increasingly flexible American attitudes toward sex in the 1960s. The book suggests that this relaxation may have been driven by the development of birth control and the opportunity to enjoy what one character refers to as "the post-pill paradise."

Its publication created a mild scandal and elicited a cover story in TIME magazine.

Well, then, I was not really flattered. And my answer would in any case be no. I had not gone to Nevada with a totally stranger to change him into something even more strange. C'm on! But we had a great laugh about it.

I simply loved it. Staying in the van with an open door, looking at the camp out there, seeing all the people, beeing there with a great guy like Thom with whom I could talk about everything. And most of all:

Beeing far away from the rest of the world, my sons, my work, the silly Norwegian newpapers, everything. I loved that he had invited me to come over and I loved being there. It all felt like a hot and exciting paradise. I was looking forward to the night of the burn. I did not want to go home. I never wanted this fairytail to end. Never ever.

No comments: