so there I was.. juggling naked in the desert, when..

Posted by Ted on Dec 28, 2003 in Activities, Burning Man

despite the fact that the all-too-familiar routines of normal life set back in almost as soon as I got back from Burning Man, I try to consciously remember that moment whenever I put on my Alien Love Nest medallion. there I was, standing in the desert, just outside of the carpet-filled Arabic pavillion around mid-day, and it’s Trick-for-Treat. you do a trick, they give you a medallion. I used my fledgling skills as a juggler, and although not a great performance, I did, in fact, get a medallion. I thought it trite at the time, but I’ll give them this, it was memorable. for me, keeping that in mind is the conscious use of memory, to draw my spirit back into that place. not so much to that moment, but to the feelings of freedom and being at the edge of one’s limits, and weathering them.

standing almost naked in the desert, when a dust storm roars up and you can’t see your hands. knowing that if you just sit, and wait, and close your eyes, it will simply pass long enough for you to get back home..

always finding someone to juggle with, when you feel like juggling..

coming back from a night’s wanderings to eat Tasty Bites on warm rice..

going to sleep with a face mask and ear plugs, and then waking up and wondering which sarong to wear..

so ya, I’m thinking cthulhia and I should organize that Burning Man party for Worldcon this year.


An adventurer at heart, Ted Beatie is at his happiest when he’s off the beaten path. His deepest passion is sharing the world through photography and writing, found at The Pocket Explorer. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


Dec 28, 2003 at 5:24 pm

alien love nest medallions are among the few that people always seem to keep.

Dec 28, 2003 at 5:54 pm

they are really well-made, durable, colorful and on a nice chain for one thing, and for the other, I don’t know much about them, but I recall that they took the giving out of them seriously.

Dec 29, 2003 at 2:53 am

I’ve never been to burning man. I’ve gotten reall turned off of such things after a few attempts at Rites of Spring. I think if I was A)kidfree and B)single it might be a totally different experience. It’s not even that my kids are/were a problem at Rites. They’re very happy campers, and generally polite and appropriate, it was how other people treated the “people with kids” who all stuck together – though they knew eachother and I didn’t/don’t know them. I tried to take Gregorian with me to a Druid nature walk and the “teacher” went hysterical and told me “Kids Can’t Be Druids!”. *Feh* We went on our own druid nature walk after that. I know Rites and BM are different in many ways, but I get the impression it is also not laden with people who have much to say or want to do with “breeders”. Blagh! Sorry I did not intend to rant on your parade! :> I am envious, I think such things are probably wonderful, and if my life were different I would be able to enjoy it. As it is I have other joys, but I guess I feel a bit bitter about a “welcoming community” that is not.

Dec 29, 2003 at 12:48 pm

hmm. I don’t really know what to say to this.. on the one hand, I saw a lot of kids there. especially in the what appeared to be somewhat earthy-crunchy and not-quite-as-techno “Center Camp”. but I also had the feeling from time to time that, “wow, I can’t believe there are all these kids here; this seems more aimed towards adults.” I can’t speak to any sort of discrimination, though..

Dec 29, 2003 at 9:49 am

Hadn’t put much thought into WorldCon this year since we haven’t been to one in a long time. But, Boston…. hmmm…
sign me: looking for yet another excuse to travel to Boston