Alright everyone, it’s been awhile. I feel like the tail end of last month, up until now was pretty much a whirlwind. Let’s see: by sheer luck and love, I received my ticket and once again, got to make my yearly pilgrimage to Black Rock City. In other words, I RETURNED TO HOME, TO BURNING MAN.
Now, I’m going to try my best to do a recap here, but seriously, there aren’t, and will never be enough words to describe my experience at Burning Man. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asked, countless times, “How was Burning Man?” and I always feel like I’m talking over my OWN VOICE trying to explain what it was like, leaving my listener bemused. AND to top it all off, if you know me, I don’t tell stories well, so you can probably imagine what others think when I begin to talk. Nevertheless, let’s start at the beginning.
If you’ve never heard of it, Burning Man is a week long festival near Gerlach, NV. It is a celebration of so many different things, depending on who you ask. For me, it’s a celebration of life, art, love, friendship, dance and so much more (again, very difficult to describe). It’s also a week of radical self reliance. Getting the hippie vibe? Well, for some it’s that, but Burning Man has something to offer everyone. Almost everything and anything is accepted here. It’s described to be somewhat of a social experiment.
We spent our days partying at all of the day spots (Distrikt, Pink Mammoth etc), looking at awesome art (Peter Hudson’s, “Charon,”, Billion Jelly Bloom, The Pier) and of course, visiting The Man and The Temple of Transition. For someone who’s never been to Black Rock City, this probably sounds like crazy business. Burning Man is seriously just something you have to experience for yourself. It’s hard trying to describe something so surreal.
I always come back to San Francisco thinking, “Wow! I can’t believe something like that exists for a week!” It’s just amazing! Biking through the playa, there are so many times where I stop, think to myself and say, “Is this real life?,” just like David after his visit to the dentist, in his famous Youtube video. I think there might have even been a moment during the week where I tried to find a totem, like in the popular movie Inception, to figure out if I was dreaming or not.
Now, I know alot of this is starting to make no sense, so I’ll leave you with pictures and my more personal response to the festival, taken out of my gratitude journal (Yes, Thank you Oprah Winfrey). (Excuse the dots (…) I’ve omitted a few things in order not to bore you to death with my emotion!)
“This year, Burning Man seemed deeply personal to me. I’m not sure what it was. I know there was still so much partying. I can’t complain about that. But there was just something waaayyy more personal about my experience this year. Maybe it was because I spent the last year going through probably some of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced in my twenty two years?…..I’m just not sure. I came back to the default world with a better sense of myself, leaving all of the negativity and sorrow behind in the Temple of Transition.
I guess what I’m really grateful for tonight is that I got to spend a week with the some of the people I feel I’ve grown a tad bit apart from in the past year. I know I’m not always around because I let school and work consume me during the year, but I swear that’s going to change this year…. It’s great to know we can always pick up our friendship exactly where it left off, but it’s even greater knowing that all of you are there, and willing to help when I need it most. Thank you Ally, Bunz, Luna, Sally, Kimi, Robbie, Lauren, Andy, Orange, Nichole, Matt, Jason, Danny, Ricky and of course, our newest Burner, Coral, for everything. (Excuse me if I’ve left someone out.). I seriously mean EVERYTHING……. The days you guys spent dancing with me at Distrikt, gulping down my super Brandy infused Sangria, and laughing at our crazy crazy lifestyles are something I’m going to keep with me forever.The moments I spent with each of you on the playa were priceless and I hope we can continue those moments as we dance our way into the new year! You guys make me laugh, love, and appreciate my entire life!
I’m super thankful for our awesome 6:45 and Birthday neighbors as well! Thank you MORE for gulping down my super brandy sangria. Frenchies, you improved my language, for that you guys are amazing! Your journey to BRC is even more of a tale! Hue, Anirudh, and Molly, you guys were amazing too! Your tent structures were something more than inspiration and your stories were even more than that. I’ll never forget the night we arrived, when Luna came running back to the car ecstatic about the huge space you guys had to share with all four of us, me, Luna, Varon, and George. Thank you my new friends!
I guess it’s only right to be thankful for everyone that took part in this trip too. From everyone who helped me out by donating supplies, my work and school, for giving me the time the time off, and of course, everyone I’ve met along the way that made the journey, the pilgrimage, perhaps, the most brilliantly amazing experience I’ve had in a VERY long time!”