A couple of things combined to make this Rainbow Serpent festival different for me. The first was that the realisation that the trance scene was for me coming to a change and the second was that I am no longer single (which i’d been for most of the time while going to these events).
What resulted was a change in focus from the dancefloor to my social group. I went to bed every night before one and woke at seven thirty or so each morning. I spent the majority of time at the chai tent or at the very large campsite (there were over twenty of us there). I spoke to many people, felt great affection and connection for some, concern for others and metta for most.
On monday, pretty much the whole camp moved with cushions, rugs and eskies to the edge of the dance floor. This was a highlight for me, the group of us clustered together in the afternoon sun with the long stayers of the trance scene, the ones who knew how to pace themselves.
It wasn’t just social however, the music and dance were still important for me but I no longer felt a big need for it. I was no longer in search of the perfect set. If a good dj was on late and I was tired, I would go to bed. My priorities had changed. Perhaps it was because of that and hence I wasn’t dancing much and so had reserves or that Antix was playing a *killer* set. But whatever it was, I managed to get deeper into dance at one point than I ever had before.
It was probably only for half an hour but in that time I got to a deeply focused meditative state that can only be described as ecstatic. My body moved of its own accord, my thoughts stilled and my heart opened. I left the dance floor tired but clear like countless knots had been straightened out inside me. I’d managed to get to that state before but not quite to that level. After that, I felt satiated. I did not feel like I needed to prolong or even repeat the experience.
In many ways, I think that is the main difference now for me. Dance is no longer the escape it was or rather the escape I needed it to be. The moments when it is beautiful are like unexpected gifts to be appreciated and be grateful for but not to be demanded.