AfrikaBurn 2023: 24 to 30 April

The Dust

(words and shots: Morgan Jeanne)

Dust tornados swirl around me as I secure my gas mask tightly around my head. The sun is setting and the horizon holds a myriad of structures yet to be explored – they are calling me, waiting to be mounted, climbed, touched, marked and felt with more than my outer senses. To my right, Jesus and Mary Magdeline stand side by side. She’s not wearing pants – her dominatrix demeanour exciting all the disciples in a furious flurry of exposed skin, leather and chains. Only Jesus can hold the chain fastened around her neck, as he leads her around our apocalyptic world.
People are screaming, crying, laughing, howling. Some of them are wearing sparkling clothes, some have painted limbs, some are naked and some came straight out of another time and place. Everyone is beautiful. Everyone is far from home and yet, more at home than they’ve ever been.
The Dust! It’s everywhere. It’s in the dehydrated food. In my purple hair. In my fuzzy ears. In my shoes. On my dust-mobile and circling my brain slowly, steadily…the haze, the haze. I can’t see anything but a demon train ambling past me, soothing the zombies with a steady stream of dub.
Someone stretches out their hand and asks me to mount the red pill they are flying through our world in. A dragon flies past me, its psychedelic wingspan humming and purring songs of the future. In the distance I see children gathering around flames, wild with the freedom of youth. I am handed an iced coffee – iced coffee? – by a witch with wandering eyes.
I am home, but where is my home? Mile after mile of makeshift housing for the wandering souls trapped in purgatory. Or is it heaven? I can’t tell the difference between what is, what was, and what comes after.
The Dust.
Neon lights makes shapes from the greatest oceanic depths. Elvis kisses me on the cheek.
I have no concept of time. No calender. Nowhere to be. Everything to do. It seems as if every creature ever imagined is revelling in our sandstorm haven. I climb the lighthouse and scour the scene – psychedelic ants nibble and crawl through the haze. Someone hands me a heart. I put it inside my own heart.
The Dust.
Who are you? Who cares. Who am I? Everything I have ever wanted to be and everything I always knew I was. An explosion – a black circular ring rises into the sky, ambling through the breeze like a soul released.
This place of discovery, of everything, of nothing – it is more home than any other place I have woken up to. And yet, like every world I have ever fallen into, I am allowed but a few breaths of its existence before I must move on.
The landscape shrinks and grows, heaves and flows. People move on. Jesus gets behind the wheel and waves me goodbye. How do I leave this place? How do I stay? I can do neither, and both. For my soul has chipped off a piece of itself and buried it in the sand, watered with the love I gathered in my pockets and left to sprout a landmark for me to revisit in years to come.
It was everything I ever wanted; everything I never needed and a moment in time that shaped me into a more colourful human than I was before.
The world beyond this place is made more beautiful knowing that I may leave one foot in that land of Dust, forever swirling in my head and in my heart.

This post has been republished by kind permission – the original is here.

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