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October 2008
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corvi [userpic]
Sunrise Pilgrimage

Sunrise's faint wingtips are just starting to show over the horizon when we arrive at Mojave. We wind our slow way into the airport with a thousand other cars, a long ribbon of light, looking like the 520 bridge into Seattle. Bridge to holy ground. Instead of pilgrim's staves, we have our license plates - California, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, Connecticut. There's a German news crew, and a Japanese one, grinning broadly and so excited their accents slip.

Under the brilliant sodium lights and singing winds, a crazy festival atmosphere prevails. There are three people juggling in a circle, silhouetted grinning against the sunrise. Someone plays music, garish and carribean, over loudspeakers, and people stomp and shuffle and whirl like dervishes. I drift ghostly through a hundred aviation conversations - control surfaces and thrust, windspeed and throttle and trim. There are people in costume and kids chasing eachother making blastoff noises. Telescope shrines and scanner-static mantras against the reddening sky and onrushing solstice dawn. And, of course, white plastic tents flaping like kites in the wind, selling t-shirts and engraved mugs and polo shirts and dated postcards. The sun bubbles into existance, hovers half-complete over the horizon, without touching it.

It's hard to walk anywhere. I keep finding myself running and leaping, the sand harsh and gritty below my feet, the wind in my hair, the sun on the backs of my shoulders.