Cinnamon Chicory Roast in the Captain’s Quarters

IMG_6149Over the weekend I attended a special party hosted by the Los Angeles-based performance troupe Lucent Dossier, of which my friend Erin is an integral player.

What makes this troupe and performers stand out above the rest is that they don’t simply put on shows and invite people to watch them. They embody and represent a lifestyle that encompasses the community that I belong to in which people have sidestepped the normal route of existence of our parent’s paradigm and are forging our own ways through a life lived with conscientiousness in spiritual, mental and physical pursuits where work and play all become one breathing entity and wherein all humans are connected and loved rather than separated and materially-motivated. Their parties are pleasure and show for sure, but they are also dotted with integrative experiences between audience and star where no hierarchy dictates one superior over another and where being yourself is wholeheartedly encouraged, even to the point of being heralded from stage by an announcer who says at the end of the evening, “I invite you to be whomever you want to be and when you wake up tomorrow you have absolute permission to still love yourself entirely!” By the end of the night, everyone becomes one equal populace and individual experiences pepper the space that Lucent has created in their downtown Los Angeles warehouse for people to partake in. You can enter a room to cuddle platonically with strangers. You can have your face painted for free by a miraculous artist in a blonde jeweled Afro. You can buy a raw food meal at the vegan kitchen or try a special drink made of kombucha. You can dance with a white-faced juggler on the dance floor before being shooed off with a gigantic broom by a glee-faced chambermaid preparing for the next aerial acrobat to grace the stage. You can try on clothes in an upstairs attic occupied by a living doll. Or you can interact with artists who work on their pieces along the periphery of the room coaxing spirits out from the blank canvas inspired by the energy of the participants of the party. You walk away from the event feeling fortified not only in fun but also within the deepest confines of your psyche as if you’ve had a four-hour intervention of your soul wherein you’ve been given secret instructions on how to go forth and prosper. Eat healthy and well, dance hard and be strong, love each other without judgment because we all are one, play with joy because you can, work doing what you really love and live as an example in the world sharing and mushrooming the glow that is individually you.

IMG_6155Consciousness in food always runs a sub-stream at these events. There are always opportunities to try raw food and other healthy delights by various catering companies and specialists. This time food played a part in the unique experience that my friend Erin offered up to guests. A special room was created to look like the innards of an old steam punk style captain’s quarters of a ship in which Erin reigned in headdress and fishnets welcoming all captains into her fold. Once seated she poured hot water over our hands into a silver washing bowl and grated pink Himalayan sea salt over our palms for rejuvenation. Then she presented us each with an exquisite cup of Celestial Seasonings Roastaroma tea made with roasted chicory and barley, a hint of chocolate from roasted carob and a touch of cinnamon and allspice that instantly sparkled up the senses. Next, she shuffled a deck of handmade cards and splayed them in front of us from which we chose a card. The underside revealed a special word signifying the direction created for all of us as captains of our own lives by the North Star. Mine, appropriately was marked INDEPENDENCE – denoting the way I live my life as a lone wolf carving my own course in my writing, art and spirituality and not easily falling prey to any group mentality or social pack mores. Then she presented us with a ship’s log to write our name and a personal mantra (love is mine) before sending us off on a four-clue scavenger hunt throughout the party.

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The clues eventually led to a treasure chest of snacks! The night before the party Erin had asked me and other friends what kind of special things we liked to eat and I had told her anything with nuts, cacao, dried fruit or coconut. In the treasure box I discovered a bag written with the words “Inspired by Captain Nichols” that was full of miniature bags of dried mango and cashews to my utmost delight. Another friend’s bag was full of grapes and so on.

I made a mental note to find the tea she had served as I left the party inspired by the special magic that is Lucent. You leave most parties with an alcohol hangover and the need for a bed but I found myself leaving this one with a head full of inspiration to become the absolute best specimen of human being I can in the remaining years of my life on this planet.

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