Our Identities as Hoopers
With so many friends out on the Playa this week, I've been thinking about my first trip out to Burning Man. Within just hours of arriving there, I found myself sitting alone in the desert crying my eyes out. I remember that moment as an intensely painful identity crisis. At the time, I figured I had two things going for me: I could think fast on my feet and I could carry a decent tune. Since neither of these seemed of much value in my new environment, I found
myself completely panicked. Who was I out here? If I wasn't the singer or the witty one, what was left?
The question comes to mind primarily because I am traveling today. Without my hoops. As soon as I realized the train would not accommodate my bigcircular safety blankets and my luggage, I admit I felt a familiar twinge in my stomach. Followed, of course, by another, itself brought on by the sudden awareness that I had come to emotionally depend upon my hoop. What would I do if I couldn't hoop? What would I do for ex-rcise, "mood corrections" :-),
comfort .. even as a conversation starter when meeting new people? I would feel a bit naked, it became clear to me, without a hoop in my hand! Was my predicament that different from my four-year-old's attachment to her treasured stuffed bunny?
Disappointed and feeling a tad pathetic, I put on my hooping tee, and brought along all my questions - to unpack here, on the train, without my hoops. Watching the world go by in my window is somehow helping to put things into perspective. I see that my internal relationship with myself as a hooper will also always be linked in some way to an external object, my hoop. Having that object near me makes that relationship visible, tangible, and palpable. It
makes me feel safe.
But I am still a hooper without my hoop. The way I would still be a redhead even if I went platinum. Somewhere along the way, it seems I learned to hoop from the inside out. Unknowingly, I brought the rhythm, beat and flow of my hoop's movements into myself and made a place for them there.