by Trevor Hughes
Every year on the Playa I experience moments of random synchronicity, when something that can’t possibly happen, does. Usually it’s something minor like we’re passing a theme camp and they’re playing a song that I haven’t heard in ages, then later that evening we’re out on the open Playa and a mutant vehicle passes by playing the very same song. Or maybe we’re hot and thirsty riding around the backstreets and we just happen to find a camp where they’re making snow cones. Whatever it is, it’s usually the kind of thing that has me say to my companions with a knowing smile “Playadipity”, or even “The Playa Provides!” And strangely, it usually does. It’s also been my experience that the more I’m open to it and the more I trust it, the more it seems to happen.
This year after the Man Burn my girlfriend and I went to Sacred Spaces Village, and their super-cool dome tent (with four individual built-in temples). There we happened to catch a live performance by an incredible blonde Australian woman singer and her mind-blowingly amazing music. We were both blown away by this woman’s music, her voice and her energy, and we were just dancing our asses off in awe. The audience was also having a great time, and it was a superb night all around.
Afterwards we were walking home across the Playa, with the afterburn celebrations in full swing around us, and we talked about what we had just seen. We both agreed that she was an amazing singer and her music was unlike anything we had ever heard. We didn’t catch her name, and there was no obvious way for us to know who she was. We thought vaguely about looking up the event in the official Burning Man What/Where/When book, but that didn’t seem too promising. So we basically shrugged it off and forgot about it in the exhaustion of a long day and late night.
Fast forward to Sunday morning: We decided to visit the Café in Center Camp to get a refreshing lemonade beverage, and randomly joined one of the long lines of waiting people. As we were waiting we chatted idly about what a great night it had been and the amazing Australian singer from the night before, and how we wished we knew who she was. Shortly afterwards the two people waiting in line immediately ahead of us were joined by two of their friends, and my girlfriend whispered to me “Isn’t that woman the singer from Sacred Spaces last night?” It had been pretty dark in there the night before and it was hard to tell for sure, so when she walked away with her coffee I stopped and asked her about it. Sure enough, it was the same woman – her name is Deya Dova and she was thrilled that we recognized her and had enjoyed the gig so much. We chatted for a while and she gave us her card and a hug and went on her way.
Afterwards we were simply left to ponder the miraculous coincidence that in a city of some 68,000 people, the one person we had wanted to find quite literally came and stood in front of us in line at Center Camp Café… Seriously, what are the odds of that happening? Playadipity indeed! I can’t wait for next year’s burn to discover what random coincidences we might encounter. Or maybe I’ll just open to such things happening to me in the default world…