Posts Tagged ‘exodus’

Hello Again

September 4, 2017

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

I have missed my little blog, I have.

I got back from Burning Man last night.

I am back a day early and I cannot be more grateful for it.

I needed to get back, I was missing my world.

I also wasn’t wanting to sit in any kind of exodus line, the last time I had tried to leave on Sunday morning I ended up being in line for almost four hours.

Four hours on playa.

Four hours to go three miles.

No fucking thank you.

And I had to be back by today to give myself enough time to recuperate and unpack and unwind.

And.

Um.

Shower.

Holy Mary, mother of God.

Fuck me.

That shower was something else.

A spiritual experience for sure.

I knew when I heard that the temperature was going to rise and peak out on Sunday that I wanted to come back Saturday.

I didn’t need to see the Man burn.

I have seen it burn ten times.

I wanted to get home without a shit ton of traffic.

I asked the woman who I had traveled with to the event if she would be amenable to leaving a day early and she was quite down for it.

And in given that there was a death last night at the burn I am extraordinarily grateful that one, I did not witness it.  And two, that I had left before the event turned morbid.

Death happens.

But I am relieved that I did not witness it.

I had a very different burn than I have in the past.

First, of course, because I was not working it.

I had to laugh, even when I tried to pick up a volunteer shift at Artica slinging ice, I got turned down, they had more volunteers than they needed.

Every time that I thought I might have worked, it was pushed down and away.

I spent a lot of time sitting in Center Camp Cafe writing.

I sent lots of cards and post cards off and I did a lot of journaling.

I hung out at my camp with the ladies of the Nest, a sweet group of women that I have known for years and witnessed their growth into extraordinary beings.

It was super sweet to have such a girl centric time.

I wasn’t on the prowl for the playa boyfriend.

I didn’t need to look for anything.

I have everything I want.

I went dancing twice.

Once in camp, an amazing dj came and played at our potluck dinner for the camp.

The music was the best I had experienced in years at the event.

I danced hard for two hours.

Happy in my body and light on my feet.

Although, the knees felt a little rough the next day.

I got to know a few folks in my San Francisco fellowship whom I have known for years but not really connected with.

I went on bike rides with the posse.

I got caught in dust storms unlike anything I have experienced before.

Prior years I was always working very close to my accommodations and they included access to trailers.

A dust storm would spring up and I would be hiding out in a trailer.

A huge dust storm came up and I was obliterated in it.fullsizeoutput_ed1

The “clean” spot on my face was where my dust mask was.

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I mean, you can’t even tell I have tattoos for god’s sake.

I had been caught off guard and though I saw the storm coming, it came up too fast for me to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I spent about an hour of it laying on a bench outside of the Temple.

Completely exposed.

I rested my head on the bench, curled up next to the fencing it was by and held on for what literally felt like dear life.

I kept my eyes closed.

I wasn’t wearing goggles.

My bad.

Stupid too, since I have a pair.

I was, thank god, wearing something, my big aviator sunglasses, but my eyes still got totally coated with dust.

It was an extraordinary experience.

Not exactly pleasant.

But I surrendered to it and rode it out saying prayers inside my head and breathing slow and steady.

There was a break in it and I thought go!

I got my bike, made it five feet and it whipped up again.

I was told later the wind was roaring along at 45 mph.

The dust battered me and I held still straddling my bike for about another hour.

There was a man standing next to me on a trike.

He might have been three feet away, probably less and he was invisible to me.

I could have reached out to him and touched his arm.

I didn’t.

But.

Knowing there was someone else there made it palatable.

The experience was mind-blowing.

No pun intended.

It also lead to an experience that I had never had before.

I got topless at Burning Man.

That has never, ever happened.

I stumbled into camp, with another of my campmates who had gotten blasted by the dust too and we let the women in camp strip us down and clean us up.

She got completely naked.

I couldn’t quite do it and in fact was walking away to wipe myself down solo when I realized what a monumental task it was going to be and I started crying.

I went back and said, “help me.”

And they did.

I dropped all my pretenses, and my clothes, well, I couldn’t step out of my under wear, there really is a limit for me, and just surrendered.

I got sprayed with a vinegar and water mixture and then a baby wipe down.

I got all the dust off my eyes and eyelashes.

I actually left my hair up in the puffs and antlers and let it be the way it was.

I was told it looked pretty spectacular and just let it be.

I had to have help getting dressed and it felt as though I was a priestess being made ready for a ceremony.

We all went out that night in a mutual friend’s, who is staff at the event, car.

I wore a long white dress and fresh makeup.

I had my hair up and added some goggles to the mix, I wasn’t without them the rest of the event.

We rode around the playa, the six of us, sitting regal in the back of the Jaguar convertible, the “Shaguar” which was painted hot pink with black spots on it.

I felt like some sort of playa princess.

And I was happy to be with the women around me.

All of whom I wouldn’t have met outside of recovery.

I am lucky and grateful to have them in my life.

I felt seen and loved.

Really loved and really included.

What more could I ask from Burning Man?

I’m so glad I’m home though.

I missed it more than I had expected.

And my heart is glad to be here.

Despite having a bad tummy today, which happens sometimes after coming back from the event, especially after being smacked so hard by the dust, I am happy to be home.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

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So very free.

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The Shower of Madness

September 3, 2014

While it was not the best shower I have ever had.

It was certainly not a bad shower.

On the scale of one to ten I give it a six.

It did the job.

But I have to say I was a little too frantic to really enjoy it.

In fact, I feel rather full adrenaline, even now.

The desire to unload, unpack, and de-playafy myself was in full on force when I got dropped off at the house tonight around 9:15 p.m.

In fact, if I pause, in this moment to reflect, the last hour and a half have been a whirl wind of activity.

Perhaps to not let myself have the decompression feelings that threatened to engulf me when I walked into my sweet little studio and nearly burst into tears.

I missed my space so bad and I had no idea.

I mean.

Really bad.

I was only gone 19 days, but it felt like an eternity and it even now, feels like a dream.

I mean, this morning I woke up early, 6:30 a.m. and watched the sunrise for the second time since I had been on playa.  Apropos, it was my last day and the first sunrise I caught was my first morning.

It’s hard to believe I am actually here and that I actually went.

I am clean.

My clothes are unpacked and I have already done one and a half loads of laundry.

I unpacked my four bins.

One of which is going to the trash pile as it broke in the exodus of the event.

Which, by the by, was the best and easiest exodus I have ever had.

It was like a dream of exiting goodness.

As I mentioned, I was up at 6:30 a.m.

I finished the little packing I hadn’t done yesterday, got dressed, made the bed, baby wipe bathed, lotion’ed, sunblock’ed, and twisted my very playa’d hair up into two big pouf buns.

I can barely stop touching my hair, it’s so soft and sweet and smells lovely and good–so unlike the scary dread like mess it was when I first got into the shower.

The shower that I will probably appreciate a lot more tomorrow when I take another.

Then another on Thursday.

Just because I can.

Just because I won’t have to ask to borrow a vehicle to drive three miles across town to use a co-ed shower stall with janky plastic curtains and tepid water and slimy floors.

Anywho.

More showering, yes.

Besides, I travel soon to New York and I don’t want to carry any dusty with me.

I am thrilled to bits that we got back today and I have the time to sort my things, wash my clothes, go tomorrow over to Cole Valley, pick up my paycheck for the event and go have a long, leisurely manicure and pedicure and a great big old iced coffee.

Then probably another shower.

Because I can.

I just took another gander around my home and it is so lovely to be here.

I also realized that this is the first time in two burns that I have a home to come home to.

Last year I came home to Graceland, which was my dear spot and a lucky landing pad for me to have, it was also my landing pad the previous burn, before I left for Paris.

So, for two years I have been in a kind of limbo after returning from the anxiousness of the desert life.

Not so this year.

This year I came home to a clean home, a made bed, a warm and sweet welcome from my housemate who said, “I’ll hug you tomorrow, now strip.”

I didn’t even walk into my house until I had taken off my boots and pulled off all my clothes.  I put my dusty bits in the wash machine and then I took my toiletries inside and got myself right under the hot water.

While, as I said, it was not the best shower, I felt a little maniacal scrubbing at myself and trying to loosen the playa dreadlocks in my hair, it was with great gratitude that I came home.  That I made it home.

That I did not break out there.

I was tempted last night to go out after I got back from a sunset bicycle ride, there was a great big party happening down the block, some folks had apparently not heard that Burning Man had ended, and it was going off.

But I kept myself in the little trailer and made myself stay put.

So glad I did.

I would have been a wreck driving today.

We left the playa in two rental vehicles that the Placement Team had used to help place the 1250 theme camps that were registered this year for the event.

One had to be returned to Reno and the other would be our ride back to San Francisco.

In fact, I still have  a little dustiness to deal with.

The rental goes back tomorrow and when I go to pick up my paycheck from the family, I am going to help the mom by following her to the rental place so she can drop off the mini van and then ride back to Cole Valley and head to the nail salon.

I am just going to repeat, nail salon, foot bath, another shower, wash, rinse, repeat, and then maybe a small trip to the grocery store to get nibbles for the next day or two until I fly out for my whirlwind tour of New York.

Then back to SF.

Where!

I have discovered I will have a couple of days off from work, unexpected and though I was a bit concerned about not having income coming in, I would rather have the down time to gather my wits, perhaps, I don’t know, get grounded, walk around my neighborhood, go down to the beach.

And ride my bicycle.

I’ll ease back into my San Francisco life.

And yes.

Have another shower.

Or fifteen.

Broke Down

September 3, 2013

But not broken.

Tired.

But clean.

I got a shower tonight and I am all clean and shiny and ready for bed.

Wait a minute, it’s like 8p.m.

Shouldn’t I be out there doing something?

There’s not a whole lot to do out there, but you know, maybe I should wrangle something up.

Nope.

I am going to wrangle myself an episode of Breaking Bad and chill the hell out in the trailer.  There’s not much left out there, except the four-hour exodus line.

Which is shorter than the six-hour exodus line for most of the day.

The gate was shut down mid-afternoon for dust storm white outs and a brief but fierce rain shower.

I was nowhere near gate, I was busy getting upset and dirty.

My bike is broken.

Add to that my Hello Kitty cup, which bounced out of my bike basket yesterday and broke, my Iphone, which won’t hold a charge, yes that is right, my phone be broke.

Don’t bother calling me.

I won’t be answering.

There are so many things to do, but nowhere to go, no one to call, no ability to do so, no bicycle to ride.

Oh yeah, that’s what I was writing about, my broke bike.

Though the lovely Playa Bike Repair shop fixed my flat tire, the bike mechanic did not put my bicycle back together correctly, swapping out one nut for an incorrect size and also not putting my axle in place, leaving it exposed to the elements, and last but not least, instead of using the bolt on the bike flag, he just duct taped it to the frame.

My pennant fell off last night on my way back from the Temple burn and my wheel felt really wobbly, the chain kept catching and I was unable to do any back brake action, plus the seat was all janky and I vowed to fix that shit in the morning.

I did not get around to it until the afternoon, right as the weather was changing from dust storm white out to impending rainstorm.

I had the wheel off and on three times, the seat raised and lowered, the washer on the back axle re-greased and re-threaded, and the ball bearings weren’t sitting right and the whole things was just making me crazy and I am getting pelted by heavy rain and a bad case of the fuck its.

Throw the whole damn thing in the trash.

That’s what I thought.

Instead, what I got was a couple of lovely ladies from the camp to help me.

Between the three of us and a lot of bicycle grease we re-adjusted it, but once the bearings were coupled and aligned we realized that there was a part of the sprocket missing and it was not true.

Dirty, greasy, dusty and annoyed.

I love you Playa Bike Repair, but my bike is no longer serviceable and I don’t have a ride for the rest of my time out here, which sort of bums me out, but I suppose there’s not a thing to be done about that.

I am going to take a photo of the back wheel and order the missing part and bring it with me next year.  The bike is going into a container and being stored with some of the family things.

It has already been decided that I will be back next year.

Duh.

And even if I don’t nanny, which I probably will, the family has extended the camp to me and made room for me, whenever I want I have another camp to stay with.

That’s pretty lovely.

There are a number of camps that will take me in, no matter what I am doing or where I am working.  I know I will be at Burning Man next year, even though I am still here and quite ready to…

Fuck me.

Pause.

I am going to yell.

“Fucking hippies put down the god damn drum, no more vision quests you asshats, go the fuck home.”

Sigh.

Sorry.

The stragglers can now leave the neighborhood.

The event is over folks, get out.

Anyway, as you may be able to tell, I am tired.

It’s not that late, but I am tired.

And I got a pretty full night’s sleep, seven hours?

I worked a half day, but it does not seem to matter, my brain is a bit overwhelmed and my emotions are close to the surface and my body is tired and my bike is broke and my phone don’t work.

Anyone writing a Burning Man country western song yet?

Sigh.

It’s all going to be alright.

‘cuz it already is.

The baby and the mama and the papa are over at First Camp having bbq and potluck, but I said I will pass, I wanted a shower so bad I was willing to forgo the invite and besides I wanted to see my uncle before he left.

We had one last meal together with his friend Henry, aka Odin, and my friends John and Erica.  It was a lovely last meal.  Everyone of them leaves tomorrow.

I don’t know who I know that’s going to be left much past tomorrow.

It should be an interesting ride, these last couple days.

There’s some of my camp mates left, they decided with the inclement weather to just stay put and ride out tomorrow.

Smart move.

The burn barrel is getting stoked and I am foretelling a hot cup of tea and an apple fireside.

Then I don’t even know if I will make it to watch an episode of Breaking Bad.

The Breaking of Carmen being the show on tonight.

I might just fall the hell out into bed.

Start over again tomorrow.

Yawning.

Excuse me.

I am done.

I thought I was done already.

But I am truly done now.

Four more days.

Ack.

I better get some sleep on.

Night friends.


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