two weeks ago I was on the playa.
Burning Man seems so long ago already.
I’ve wanted to post about this years experience, but I’ve been so damn, yet wonderfully, busy since I got back. prepping for and going to Vermont and auditioning for MitC sucked a bunch of time. also, I was focused on getting my pictures online and captionated. but mainly, just busy.
so as I was saying, time is always relative. while I was there, at least for the first half of the week, time was blissfully slow. coming home to the City, feeling the comfort of not being a newbie, and settling into life in the desert. around Wednesday of that week, I remember feeling like the weekend was coming too soon, but even then, time still seemed to move slower. then the weekend passed by in a blaze, and so have the last two weeks.
this year’s Burn was much different than last year. this year was more mellow.. less of the ohmygodthisisintensewowlookatallthiscoolstuff, and more “hmm, so this is what the City looks like this year..” that’s not to say that I didn’t see and do amazing things.. my pictures tell the barest of stories. but it was all within the context of familiarity. things that bothered me last year didn’t, either because I’m different now, or because I came into the Burn with a better sense of expectation. or both. I can really see why people go back. although not one’s home for most of the year, it certainly is a home. a place where walking down the street swinging poi or spinning a staff isn’t uncommon. a place where you bring your cup with you, or you don’t get a drink. (or you stand up on the bar and get spanked, in some cases.) a place where you can go to presentations on female orgasms, or classes on aerial silk performing. a place where you don’t need a wallet for a week. a place where it’s decadent to make yourself a cheese omelette for breakfast, and to be able to give someone crisp Dolfin chocolate kept cool by your Camelbak. a place where one can drive a BattleZone tank around at night, or send a message to Vega.
I did all of these things, and more. but what’s also interesting is what I didn’t do. I didn’t make it to the Burn preshow, for one. the Burn I could skip.. but I didn’t want to miss the Drumming and Fire Conclaves beforehand. I also didn’t make it out past the Temple, and that really surprises me.. I mean, I nearly lived out there last year. I didn’t compete in Thunderdome, take a naked swing at the Swingers Lounge, nor even spend much time on the 3:00 side of the city.
but I did watch the sunrise from the Temple, after having stayed up all night being a Guardian. I gave Francesca Keck, daughter I think of William Myron Keck, a Hubble trading card. I put up an art project, which could not have been made possible without the help of many people, not the least of which are Wil and Liz. I did get to see the Eyes of Gawd in the air, and that was amazing. I also saw the hottest fire performance ever, and I mean both sexy and on fire. I saw a band called Soul in the Machine which had a huge light-up drum set and a laser harp. I watched the Temple Burn from the front row, 20 feet behind David Best. I got to roll down the playa in a German Wheel. I met a woman named Stryper with a power supply strapped to her back, and a 150mW green HeNe in her hand, and we talked about not only how cool it was to have a high powered green laser gun in the desert, but also that it would be a great teaching aid for astronomy. I learned how to do a backwards poi weave, and to transition between backwards and forwards. I got to see the fire vortex machine and Dr. Megavolt.
so ya, it was a Burn. I went there for twice as long as last year, and probably saw only 20% more of the City. and like any week, it had good days and bad days. although, to be honest, even the bad days were pretty damn good. I really enjoyed the experience of putting up an art installation. I’m especially proud that I got off my ass early enough to make it onto the official list, and into What, Where, When. in addition to Ms. Keck, I had a dozen other people come up to me while I was setting up SoundScape on Thursday and Friday. a few of them even thanked me for putting up art before I’d even gotten it all working. it was an amazing feeling to give something back. to contribute something towards the richness of the City. it was also nice to be a Temple Guardian.. to stand by a bridge in the middle of the night, and make sure that the constant stream of people, even then, wouldn’t get hurt on the stairs. and to be someone that they could personally give thanks for the existence of the Temple. although I had no part in its erection, I feel that I was a vessel for people to pour their somber gratitude into.
so I didn’t get out beyond the Temple this year.. maybe I just didn’t need to.