“Even if he is fond of quoting appropriate texts, the thoughtless man who does not put them into practice himself is like a cowherd counting other people’s cows, not a partner in the Holy Life”

—Dhammapada 19

Some yoga instructors teach a yoga class with a “key asana” as the pose that the whole class is leading up to. In past pieces you have read the skeleton of my brief, unrequited best friendship with Halcyon but what I really wanted to get to was something he mentioned during his talk before the Pink Bike Ride.

He descanted some stories about his grandfather that were supposed to be sweet and wise but by the time he talked about coloring the enfeebled man’s colostomy bag pink, I had pretty much tuned out. The only wisdom I am interested in receiving from an old man is how to manage the inevitable low-hanging nutsack when I’m 83 and chasing after a 20-year old as my saggy balls are still window shopping two blocks away.

old man saggy balls

He mentioned how he heard people complain that they had to wait 6-hours to get into Black Rock City. “Six hours to get into Paradise? That sounds like an unbelievable deal to me!” While I liked his cup 3/4-full perspective, my idea of “Paradise” is not dirty Black Rock City with drugs abounding and techno music unremittingly blasting 24/7 but a dust and drug-free place that has Yo-Yo Ma playing the harp with periodic rest breaks during which he grumbles that, “Cello is really my best instrument.”

Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma, a happy guy when you give him a cello but give him a harp and he’s a total dick!

He said how some Tibetan lama was here at Burning Man and had told him that one can choose to see the world through rose-colored glasses if he so chooses. While I would have probably slugged the lama for sharing such a cliché, Halcyon made a joke to him, “Or pink-colored glasses?” to which the holy man with dusty erudition smiled and said, “Yes, pink-colored glasses.” I looked around uncomfortably to see if any Asian burner took offense to this pink parrot-headed white man’s Oriental imitation but relaxed once I realized that there weren’t any; only rich white people go to Burning Man. If Halcyon resumed with, “Now let’s talk about them blackies!” I doubt any of the pasty people would have even blinked a fake eyelash.

Tammy Faye Baker
Burner: 15 years straight
Hideous: 65 years straight

But here was the capper, or rather the crapper, for me. He said…


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