I was just looking over my list of goals, and thinking about how many of them touch on my experience last week:
- Challenge Myself
- Use Sunscreen
- Engage My Sense of Wonder Regularly
- Walk on Stilts in a Parade (I didn’t walk in a parade, but I went to happy hour at the Stilter Bar—free drinks for anyone tall enough to reach the counter! Then again, all drinks are free at Burning Man.)
- Learn a Poem by Heart and Perform It In Front of People (I recited the Rumi poem I know to a small group after a Rumi poetry event)
- Perform Random Acts of Kindness
- Join an intentional community
- Practice pronoia
And then there are the ones that didn’t happen—but they could have! Have a sexual encounter with a woman, Have a threesome, Dread my hair… (this came close to happening without me even trying, with all the wind and dust and lack of showers!)
Some things I’m really glad I did:
- Leave my group behind and go hang out with other people!
- Bring a big hat with a chin strap for sun protection on a bike
- Bring a big umbrella for sun protection on foot
- Bring really good earplugs
Some things I wish I had known:
- Bring cool costumes for extreme hot and cold weather
- Light yourself and your bike at night—and leave the lights on when you park your bike or you’ll have a hard time finding it again!
It was absolutely incredible! The environment so extreme, the landscape so arresting, the other 40,000 people so fascinating and creative. I felt like I was in a very surreal movie or a vivid dream. Yes, there are drugs. Yes, a man from the “Poly Paradise” camp told me he had had sex with over 30 people in the last 4 days. Yes, people are naked—um, but I like that. And that’s not what it’s all about, and everybody is pretty laid back, with a live and let live attitude about it. Personally I felt totally high the whole time without ingesting any mind-altering substances. (Maybe it was the second-hand smoke?)
A whole city of 40,000 people with no cars. And no money. Based solely on an economy of sharing and giving. Why can’t the whole world be like this?
So obviously my experience at this event exceeded all my expectations. I didn’t get sunburned, I got lots of terriffic pictures, I had a fabulous time with my aunt, I met tons of cool people, and the whole thing definitely blew my mind.
The event started yesterday.
The best wishes I’d like to receive: that the whole thing blows my mind in the best way possible and reframes the way I look at everything when I come back to my “real” life.
See ya in a week!
“Avoid getting sunburned at Burning Man”
“Have an amazing, positive life-changing experience at Burning Man”
“Bond with my Aunt at Burning Man”
“Get lots of fabulous photos at Burning Man”
Turns out it’s cheaper (and of course quicker) to fly. Sorry, weird guys who I was going to ride with.
I’m flying to San Francisco, hooking up with my group there, and riding with them to the playa.
Here is a picture of my aunt Shawn, the reigning queen of crazy in my family, and the organizer of this trip. (You thought I was crazy, but really I am only the heir, the apprentice to the master, er… mistress of crazy.) Shawn is part of a stilt dancing troupe in San Francisco and went to Burning Man for the first time last year.
I went to the meeting of a local Burning Man group earlier this week.
The two guys seem like real characters. This should be fun. Bonus: they’ve never been before, either, but one of them is the kind of geek (understand, I mean this in the most complimentary way) who has read every word of the Burning Man website and knows all about what to do if you need medical attention, if you need to contact your family back home, if you need to go into town to get more groceries, etc. He will be handy to have around.
Got my “Burning Man Journal” newsletter in the mail yesterday. Maybe I should temporarily artify my car for the occasion. (No, I can’t do it permanently until it’s paid for.)
Planning to go for the first time this fall. I’m hoping to carpool with other MN Burners—so if you know any, send them my way.