I was sitting at my desk today and got an email from a friend which said the following (from Violet Blue at sfgate.com):
Making the e-mail rounds a few weeks ago — and sent to me by more than one high-profile local sex educator — was a snarky list of ways to “enjoy Burning Man at home.” The list included many observations about the experience, like:
- Before eating any food, drop it in a sandbox and lick a battery.
- Stack all your fans in one corner of the living room. Put on your most fabulous outfit. Turn the fans on full blast. Dump a vacuum cleaner bag in front of them.
- Buy a new set of expensive camping gear. Break it.
- Get so drunk you can’t recognize your own house. Walk slowly around the block for five hours.
- Have a 3 a.m. soul-baring conversation with a drag nun in platforms, a crocodile and Bugs Bunny. Be unable to tell if you’re hallucinating. Lust after Bugs Bunny.
- Cut, burn, electrocute, bruise, and sunburn various parts of your body. Forget how you did it. Don’t go to a doctor.
- Pay an escort of your affectional preference subset to not bathe for five days, cover themselves in glitter, dust, and sunscreen, wear a skanky neon wig, dance close naked, then say they have a lover back home at the end of the night.
Do you know how much the pings and strings of my heart started pulsating?
You don’t understand! Perhaps you do if you have read my blog for awhile. Basically, I am a true and blue burner. Burner (with a capital “B”)! This is the second year in the row that I haven’t attended Burning Man. This weekend, I will walk around San Francisco and see cars and trailers loaded with PVC pipe, tarps, wayward furniture, and large coolers leaving our fair city for a 6-hour journey to the Black Rock Desert.
The first time I went was 1995. There were only 4,000 attendees then and I had read about the event in Details magazine. I was living in Los Angeles and decided to load my vehicle with Budweiser, some lawn chairs, a tent and tarp, and lots of beef jerky. I drove for 12 hours on 395 until I hit Reno. I then took a left at the I-80 Pyramid Lake exit at about 1 a.m. to journey to the unknown. It was at that first Burning Man that I began to discover myself. I also met some awesome friends with whom I camped until 2005 (pictures above).
After 10 years, a move back to San Francisco, a new relationship and job, and slight burnout on the event itself, I did not go last year. I had meant to go this year but other activities caught up with me. And it is that time of year.
As I was reading the email and related article, I felt that I had made a bad decision. About life? Career? Everything? Perhaps.
But one thing is for sure — I have let it all catch up with me without a scant thought about journeying back to the Black Rock Desert. It is my place. I have learned so much about myself in that uninhibited territory. I kissed boys there for the first time, and, for godsakes, ran around in a tiny leather harness and/or sarong (see above, again). Yes, it is dusty. And quite miserable at times. But that’s the beauty of the event for me. I am always challenged to survive at the event. I need to remember that one of the reasons I moved back here was to be closer to Burning Man. I totally have let it escape from my soul. What am I thinking?
A faint pain went through my heart today when I read Violet Blue. Burning Man is something that I can’t quite explain to any of you who are reading and haven’t attended. I found my own experience there and was quite good at taking Black Rock City home with me over the years to adjust myself and my thoughts. It helped me cope for one more year. I felt love and inclusion and creativity all for a $250 ticket. I don’t want this post to sound trite; I mean what I write. I just wish I was heading up to the Nevada desert this weekend.
Instead, my great friends J.R. and Kalvin have invited me to the Russian River to camp on Saturday and I am looking forward to a new experience. It will rock.
And, I need to let the same feeling overwhelm me everywhere else. With that said, I am planning to go in 2008. No doubt about it.
Anyone want to join me?