Live Blog from Firedancing at the WatershedPDX
I’m sitting in SouthEast Portland at an open ‘crafts and burning’ night where a community of people come together to fire dance and build crafts, and apparently also burn anything of their liking. We’re considering it as a fate for a few of our extra pillows floating around our bus.
I just introduced us to the group, who hasn’t seemed to have much in the way of verbal conversation yet. People are dancing with yet unlit tools from sword to bolos to larger plastic balls apparently vulnerable to breaking if dropped. People are friendly and appreciative of our thoughtfulness for asking if we were intruding with the cameras.
We’ve settled into our places with minimal interaction, Sam applying Gesso to his canvas against the concrete floor, Alex behind the camera. I’m sitting cross-legged against a garage-style corrugated red door. I feel a little like I’m at camp and I missed the counselor instructions for our next activity and I’m too shy to ask but excited to figure out the rules for myself.
This is shaping up to be a very interesting night. The music just stopped I might want to go join the group for a bit.
— 30 minutes of fire dancing practice —-
Just spun a staff for a while. I’d never tried it before where I actually just decided to dance with a staff and see what happened- I think it’s something I could get into. It’s a heavy weight in your hands and demands thoughtfulness in your movement to handle the significant momentum. That’s something I realize I like- doing things that demand focus and intention.
We still haven’t exchanged more than about 5 words with the members of this group. But hey, seems alright that we’re here. Nobody objected to us snapping pics and filming at least.
The space is very interesting; it seems to be totally left up to the people who are in it. ‘House Rules’ look like they’re basically see what happens. I can dig that. I heard this was probably typical Portland, people being pretty damn weird and loving it.
I’m hoping to get the chance to talk with Dead Letter, the guy who runs this space, about potentially using it to host Create Portland. All I’ve seen of him yet is his name branding a beaten up ice-cream-truck of a van in the back parking lot. I’m pretty sure he was the guy who started up the music but yet to find out for sure.
A few new people just joined the mix, adding hoops to the staff and bolos brigade. Might give my ol’ staff a go again.
—-about an hour of moving and hanging on bus—-
They’re starting fire.. it’s a mesmerizing sight to see. Juggling something so presently dangerous must take you to a supreme state of focus. It’s contagious, the state of mind they’re in. I bet that’s a big part of the reason the 20-odd people who are here choose to partake in this unusual sport.
I’m going to go see if I can get a turn… but I guess I have had a few beers and may not be the best time to spin fire around myself. I do tend to get carried away in dancing. Have a great night!