Posts Tagged ‘that thing in the desert’

Reunion

September 6, 2017

And it was good.

She ran to me with the biggest smile on her face and threw herself into my arms.

Good thing I was ready for her or I would have been bowled over.

I picked her up and snuggled her in for a great big hug.

“I asked _______________ what the best part of school was,” the mom told me today, “and she replied, ‘getting picked up!'”

And so pick her up I did.

She was so happy to see me and I was so happy to see her.

I got to get her early from school and she and I had 45 minutes to kill before her brother got out of his class, so we went to get special treats from Bi-Rite.

Bagels and plums and boxes of milk with straws.

Bubbly water.

She likes it as much as I do so now I always get two bottles or she’ll drink all of mine and then burp at me and laugh.

God I love this child.

I love all the children I have gotten to work with, and I am always surprised to find that there is more love in me to hold and to give.

This family, though, they are special, and I am so blessed to get to work for them.

I got to talk to the mom about Burning Man and show off my photos.

I got to snuggle with my little lady and hold hands, I mean, there was no shortage of holding hands, she was literally on top of me from the first minute I picked her up from school.

I got to have marvelous conversations with the oldest boy and also I made him his favorite dinner.

Roast chicken.

“OOOOOOH,” he said, when he saw that I had a chicken in the pan on the counter, “roasty chicken!!”

I almost had to tell him not to touch it since it wasn’t cooked yet, it was pretty adorable.

And I got the sweetest text later in the day when I was at my internship after work, the dad sent me a message saying welcome back and thank you so much for the roast chicken and cauliflower, it was so good.

There were many “o’s” in the “so” part, it was pretty damn cute.

I made my salt and pepper roast chicken and then topped it with tarragon brown butter and I roasted off cauliflower with coconut oil, garlic, black pepper, and sea salt.

All sorts of yum.

The baby even seemed excited to see me.

It was a warm and sweet and kind welcome back.

I am super lucky to have this family and it feels like they think they are super lucky to have me.

It’s a mutual thing.

And it’s a short week at work, which is a nice thing to.

Helps to get me acclimated to being there again and helps to ease the transition into the next few weeks which will be busy weeks for the family.

I’m grateful for them, the job, the environment, the freedom to be myself.

I realize more and more how important it is to be my authentic self.

In work, in relationships, in my internship, at school.

I also realized that I don’t need Burning Man to do that any more.

That I have fully embraced my authenticity, that I live an out loud, passionate, committed, loving life.

I don’t have to run off to that thing in the desert to find expression for myself and who I am.

And thus.

I feel.

I may be saying goodbye to Burning Man.

I had a sweet burn, I had wonderful talks with many a lady out there and I feel like I deepened some relationships that I didn’t even know I was needing to deepen.

But the fact is I am not searching for anything or anyone and I don’t have to work so hard to work so hard to enjoy a vacation.

Maybe, just maybe, I want to go somewhere with a hot shower.

Maybe I want to lay on the beach.

Maybe I want to be pampered and not have to do a ton of work and organizing and fretting and figuring it out.

My God.

The amount of mental free space I currently have for not trying to figure out how to get to and from the event is mind-blowing.

I have so many other things that I would rather focus my time, attention, energy, and love on.

So.

Yes.

I believe this last burn was my swan song.

Ironic that I saw nothing burn.

I spent my time writing, getting blown up in dust storms, connecting with ladies I love, hanging out at camp and talking with people in my community.

It was perfect and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I feel that I have been asking Burning Man to give me something for years.

And that expectation only hindered me and my growth.

Having finally seen that.

Well.

It doesn’t feel like I need to go so badly anymore.

Next year I’ve got the Aids Life Cycle ride.

And.

And!

AND!!

Graduation from my Masters in Psychology program.

The school has set a tentative commencement date.

Saturday, May 19th.

I can’t wait.

It’s going to be epic.

You should come.

Seriously!

Because you probably won’t see me at that thing in the desert next year.

Might as well catch me when I let my mortar board sail into the air with joy.

It’s going to be great.

It’s going to be amazing.

Because.

Well.

My life already is.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Luckiest damn girl.

 

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Packed!

August 21, 2017

I’m ready for Burning Man.

All I have to do is get through the week.

And what a week it’s going to be.

Oof.

I have supervision tomorrow morning in Hayes Valley.

Then work, nannying, up in Glen Park.

I might, depending on what is going on with my supervisor and some paperwork, have to spin by my school and drop off a practicum trainee review.

I have seen the review and tomorrow we will be discussing it.

I’m not super excited to tell you the truth.

It wasn’t as great a review as my other supervisor, but then again, this supervisor is tough and smart and I doubt he gives very high marks to anyone he supervises.

I did good.

Don’t get me wrong.

Although I didn’t like his additional comments about how my schedule, school full-time, working full time, the practicum hours at the internship, how I’m working six days a week and have to be careful to not get overloaded and to take time to recharge.

Sigh.

I did a lot of recharging today.

And.

I also did a lot of work.

Laundry, cooking–made a pot roast (god damn was that a great supper, I marinated it over night in olive oil, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, adobo, thyme; then roasted it super slow and low for almost three and a half hours, I also soaked it down with homemade chicken stock to keep it moist while it was cooking and surrounded it by baby potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and turnips.  I ate a nice juicy slice of it for dinner over some brown rice and put a pat of butter on it and some salt, because salt, and my fucking god, heaven), went to yoga, cleaned my house, and yeah.

Packed for Burning Man.

Four large bins, one medium bin, got my cooler ready to load up, but I won’t load it until the day I head out, which is next Sunday.

I’ll be keeping everything in the freezer until the very last moment.

My four man tent, a folding chair, and my parasol.

Ta da!

I’m pretty good at the packing for the desert trip, it’s just a matter of getting my bins sorted and having laundry done.

It used to be that my wardrobe was pretty small and basically I was wearing whatever I owned out on the playa.

A little time and a little bit of purchases here and there and I have slowly acquired a playa set of clothes, although a good bit of my wardrobe still does hop into a bin, it’s not my entire closet.

And there are some things that I absolutely won’t wear out there, which is relatively new in the last couple of years, I would just dump everything I had in my bins and empty my closet.

I do need to get a pair of sunglasses, some good aviators, I couldn’t find my sunglasses and then I realized, oh yeah, stupid, paid way too much for a set of Oliver Peeples prescription sunglasses and lost them at school last semester.

Ugh.

So.

Yeah, that’s about all I have to purchase for the trip, that and the things that will wait until I get out-of-town, like ice and water, that I’ll pick up in Reno at the 24 hour SafeWay.

My ride is coming to pick me up at 1 p.m. next Sunday.

The drive takes about 8-9 hours.

I figure we’ll land on playa around midnight–the stop in Reno and any other pit stops or gassing up that needs to be done.

My ticket and the vehicle pass are at Will Call.

I was gifted a low-income ticket from the organization, it’s still $198 and the vehicle pass is $80, but it’s cheaper than the regular ticket, and I got a ticket, there’s always so many people who can’t seem to get a ticket since the event started selling out years ago.

I remember very well the first time that happened, I was nannying for the head of Media Mecca and there was a great kind of awed hush that came over her when the announcement was made over the radio channel.

It was astounding to think they sold out.

Used to be you could just buy a ticket when you got there.

You could buy a ticket at Rainbow Grocery for fucks sake.

Now it’s a big deal, it’s a lotto, they’re more expensive, they are much harder to get.

But.

Well, I keep getting lucky, I keep getting to go.

I get to keep wearing big flowers in my hair and pretty dresses and my cowboy boots and crinolines.

I don’t show much skin out there per se, sure, my bra top will show, but I always wear a bra, I’m not a run around the desert naked kind of gal.

I like a tan, but not that much.

No.

I wear gingham dresses and crinolines, or fun tights and frilly panties and loose cotton tops.

At night I wear leggings and jean shorts, and layers, I have a cheetah print jacket with a pink silk lining that I only wear at Burning Man.

I have my goggles.

And I have my box of makeup.

Really.

What I like to do is wear lots of geegaws up in my hair and put on pretty makeup.

Throw in a crinoline and my cowboy boots and that’s it.

Oh, yeah, and a few bandanas, always, one around my wrist and sometimes one around my the top of my boot, it’s nice to have a spare for the dust that kicks up.

And like that.

My day is just about done.

I need to get the last of the laundry out of the dryer and wrap up a few loose ends here at the house.

Then my full week, supervision, work, clients, therapy, and let me not forget my first weekend of classes.

Whew.

It’s going to be busy.

But good.

I know my week will be very good and I will have my moments, my quiet, sweet moments in my little home by the sea to ponder how good I have it and how much I am loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And packed for Burning Man!

Fuck yeah.

Preparations

July 21, 2017

I have started gathering the things.

All the things.

All the things that will get dusty.

Yes.

I was once again reminded by a friend yesterday that Burning Man is coming.

Holy shit Batman.

I have had a lot of other things on my mind.

None of them dusty.

My friend asked me over an iced coffee at Java Beach yesterday in the early evening whether I was done packing for Burning Man.

Um.

No.

I haven’t even started.

Then again.

It’s a no brainer at this point.

This being my 11th burn in a row.

11.

Where does the time go?

Seriously.

It goes though, it really does, and knowing that I realized I did sort of have to get on the stick and get some things ordered.

Love me a little Amazon for that.

I got a new camp shower.

I left mine on playa last year.

It was brand new and full of water and ready and waiting for me to use it in the camps communal shower.

But.

Um.

Fuck.

Major white out dust storm totally negated doing that.

And by the time it was over.

Well, it was nightfall and no fucking way do I ever want to take a shower in the desert at night.

Way too cold, I mean, no.

So.

I left the bag thinking, I’ll grab it tomorrow, and I didn’t, it just hung out by the showers, and I totally forgot it.  It was a short trip for me, my shortest to date at 4 days, and I actually, yes, for the first time in my history of going to the event, did not shower once the entire time I was there.

I made up for that a lot when I got home.

A LOT.

Anyway.

So I ordered a new camping solar shower bag.

I also got some more solar lights, I have some, but it’s always nice to have a few more and I feel like I was a little too dim at times last year.

I will be in a tent again.

Unless some fairy godmother has a trailer hiding up their sleeve.

I don’t mind the tent, it’s a big guy, four-man, and it’s one of the ones that you can completely set up yourself, it took me ten minutes to do it my first time opening it out of the package.

Super freaking easy.

It also fit, quite well, my queen size blow up mattress.

I’m a whore for a nice comfy sleep space.

I have sheets for the mattress, a quilt, pillows, fuzzy throw blankets.

Aside from the fact that sleep is super important out there, the temperature at night can drop drastically and I have been in some super serious cold sleeping conditions.  I prefer to be over prepared with a nice cozy bed than not.

I decided it was time to upgrade my bins and splurged and bought a new four box set.

My bins are ok, but they’re super old and they don’t seal as well as they used to.

I just said fuck it and added them into the Amazon cart.

I am sure I will be quite happy I did so.

I also ordered a new rug.

Yes.

I will be taking a rug to the event.

But not the one I ordered.

I’ll be taking the rug in my kitchen.

It’s gotten a bit thread bare and I wanted to replace it, so I ordered one-off Amazon and I will use the old one at the event.

It’s super nice to keep the dust down inside the tent if you have a little bit of flooring material.  So instead of throwing out the old rug, I’ll use it for my tent and be quite happy I have it.

I also ordered a new cooler.

I have one, but it only stores about four days worth of food.

I will be there this year for a full week.

A cooler never used to be a big deal since I was always working with some team or other or being a nanny, my food and water and ice were always taken care of.

Last year was the first year I had a cooler with me.

So.

I upgraded to a bigger one and one that has a long handle and wheels.

Fancy.

What else did I get?

My mind is drawing a blank.

Oh!

Yes.

A couple of 24oz Mason jar drinking mugs with handles and screw top lids.

Super nice for having my iced cold brew coffee.

I ordered so much cold brew coffee concentrate last year, yes, that’s how I roll, fuck the bullshit, just get the concentrate, I might as well have shot it up, a couple of times I wasn’t really thinking about it being concentrate and just poured it out like it was, well, not water, but regular coffee.

I was a little zipped up.

Ha!

Anyway.

I like the mugs, the screw lid keeps the dust out and they travel nice and I keep one for my coffee, iced, always, and the other for various forms of fizzy water.

I do love me some bubbly water.

I think that was about it.

I still have to source a bicycle, so I didn’t get bike lights, having lost my faithful steed last year, I also lost all the lights I had on it, wheel lights, basket lights, etc, etc.

But until I know the kind of bike I’m getting I will hold off on getting all the bright and blinky.

Although, not for too long.

The days they do fly by.

I still haven’t gotten a ride there and back yet, although I have updated my post on the ride share board, nothing so far, a couple of nibbles but nothing that was a good fit for my situation.

Keep your ears peeled.

This is when I wish my blog wasn’t dark, that I still was putting it up on social media, I usually get all sorts of offers in regards to Burning Man stuff when folks read my blog.

Ah well.

So it goes.

My clients don’t seem to know that I am out here blogging away.

I also took the time off officially from my internship just a little bit ago when I got home from seeing my clients.

It’s official.

Off from work.

Off from internship.

Supplies slowly coming together.

It will come together it always does.

Usually in some odd ball, goofy, yes, totally Burning Man way.

“Man I love Burning Man!” My friend said last night as we were wrapping up coffee and heading out to do the deal.

“You don’t even go!” I exclaimed.

“Nope, never been, don’t want to go, but fuck, I love it when the city empties out, it’s so nice to have parking in the Mission for a week!” He said with a chuckle.

Fingers crossed one of those cars will have me in it heading to the event.

Fingers crossed people.

Seriously.

Tired

June 23, 2017

And wide awake all at the same time.

There was a moment today when I just thought to myself, I am not going to make it through the day.

Not enough sleep.

Too many hours at work.

Client that needs to be seen after work.

Party for a friends studio opening.

And I was asked to come in earlier tomorrow to work.

I thought I was just going to pass out.

The little lady was close to taking a nap and I hazarded a distinct longing to put her down for a nap and cuddle with her and sneak in a nap myself.

But.

No such luck.

I also didn’t want to super caffeinate.

Although I came daringly close I did not succumb to the temptation and powered through the day.

My thoughts kept me company and I kept myself moving around the house a lot and kept telling myself that it was almost Friday.

It still was a long day.

But I made it through work and I got to my internship and I had a really good second session with a new client.

Two clients this week and I’ll be adding another client next week.

Slowly it builds.

I felt really good doing the session and decided that I could rally afterward and go sneak over to my friend’s open house studio opening.

I really wanted to have a grown up moment that was a social, even if it was just for a little snick of time.

I hadn’t any dinner so I knew that it would be short-lived and watching the fog roll in over Twin Peaks I was pretty assured that it would be a quick visit.

But it was good and I got to see an amazing work space and reconnect with Burning Man friends and talk a little about the event and when folks are going.

I haven’t found a ride yet and there was a moment when I thought, fuck it, wouldn’t it be nice to not stress and give up the ticket and spend the time here in the city with people I love and then I was like.

Um, no.

Hahahaha.

Sure, there are people who I want to see here, but the fact is if I don’t go to Burning Man I’d just be working anyhow, it’s not like vacation, although it completely is, but it’s outside of my time frame of paid vacation and I wouldn’t just take the week off without going.

Plus.

It’s the ten-year anniversary of my best friend’s death and he’s the reason why I went in the first place.

My heart, tender, feeling that loss, but not so achy as it’s been in the past, just tender, just there and I know there will be feelings that come up.

And there will be a conversation with him, somewhere in deep playa, out past the Temple where I am sure between the Temple and the mountain range my friend still resides, just a little part of him, I didn’t take all his ashes, but enough, enough to know he’s there and there are many places that I connect with the memory of him and also with the aliveness of him, the way I live my life a reflection of the gusto he went after life with.

I am sure he would be proud of me.

OH.

Hello.

There are the tears.

I knew you were around.

I watched the fog roll in over the top of Twin Peaks from the deck of my friends studio in the Mission and it was the same height and approximate distance from the hospital ICU, General, where my friend spent a week in a coma before the family pulled the plug and harvested his organs for donation.

There is always one strong memory for me, pressing my face against that window, my fevered brow, the hotness of my heart, the tears always on and off, more so off when I was at the hospital–it was only in the privacy of my own room in the dark as I prayed to God on my knees to get me through the experience that I would allow myself to cry–the coolness of the window and the dark, heaviness of the fog rolling in over Twin Peaks.

A blanket of sorrow and felted love thrown over the entirety of the city as though we all grieved the loss of my friend.

So.

Yeah.

I might be a little tired, but I’m not bailing on Burning Man.

Nope.

Sure.

I haven’t gotten a ride together yet, but that will happen and hopefully it won’t be as crazy as the ride up was last time.

I have gotten a couple of nibbles from my post on the ride share board, but nothing solid, it always comes together, I’m not too worried.

It’s more a matter, at this point, of getting a playa bike and finding time in between the comings and goings of my life to do some preparation.

I have people I am responsible to, my own recovery to attend to, and God damn it would be nice to get in a yoga class this weekend, but yeah,  a new playa bike and some sourcing of other items that are always nice to have and I’ll make some time, find some time, create some time, and do a little shopping when I can.

Side bar.

The mom just sent me a message about my work performance and told me that I really was “Mary Poppins sister!”

I’ll take it.

Anyway, this Mary Fucking Poppins, will be riding again under her parasol out on playa again this year and enjoying the hell out of not being a therapist in training, a student, or a nanny.

Just a girl.

Out on her bike.

Riding towards the painted calico mountains with secrets and love to share with an old friend.

“I finally was the ball, Shadrach, you’d be so fucking proud of me.”

The Man Burns

June 5, 2017

In 90 days!

Throwing up in my mouth.

SHUT UP.

Wait, I’ve been so super involved in my internship saga and supervision and training and ending my blog, and summer work schedule and shit, I just about peed my pants when I saw that posted on a facecrack group I belong to and really I was like, whatttttt?

Shit.

It’s time to get my stuff together.

Yeah, yeah.

I know.

It’s three months away, but that’s the burn, the event starts a week before that and considering that I am in school the weekend that I will need to leave for the playa, I’m going to have to get my ducks together faster as I won’t have much prep time for the event the weekend that I leave.

I am going to have to start stockpiling beverages, and start food prepping, well, ok, maybe not quite yet, but it’s a good idea to start getting a few things together.

Fortunately.

I have a tent, new last year, a nice 4-man that I did really well in.

I have a blow up mattress, a cooler, a chair, my bins.

Although I might invest in some new bins, the ones I have are easily seven or eight years old, I could stand a slight upgrade.

I may also pick up another cooler, not working event means not getting fed and means bringing all my food, I did pretty well last year, but the one cooler was only for four days of the event.

I’ll want basically double what I brought.

Fine.

That’s not too big a deal.

It’s small stuff really.

I have all the outfits I could possibly want, a decade of going to Burning Man has supplied me with plenty of playa clothes.

I may splurge on a pair of tights, but I don’t need socks, or bandanas, I don’t need goggles or a utility belt, I also have a thick cloth and lace back harness with a little saddle bag that was super handy last year when I didn’t want to wear my utility belt.

I have great boots.

I have my Mary Fucking Poppins umbrella.

I have almost all the things.

And I have Amazon.

For all the other things I need.

I went online this afternoon after having a really nice, slowed down, mellow day.

Slept until 8:15a.m. got up and stripped the bed down and washed all my linens, yes, I’ll be sliding into fresh crisp sheets, such a pleasure, tonight, plus a big load of laundry.  I went to yoga, even though it was an instructor who I don’t like, went anyway (you are going anyway, I told myself this morning when I saw there was an instructor change on the studio’s schedule), took a hot shower, washed the hair up good, ate a nice breakfast, drank a coconut milk latte, put my availability on the calendar for my internship and wrote.

And wrote.

Such a luxury to not have much to do today.

I had a mini panic attack, not really, sort of, yesterday when I realized that for the first time in weeks I didn’t have anything scheduled today.

I called my person and confessed my nerves, I like to be busy, makes it easier to not listen to the radio KFuck in my head,  on AM Station ‘Thinking All About Myself All The Time,’ and told on myself.

I got a cute text this morning telling me what I should do, I don’t think should was part of the message, it was more just a quick list of things to do today.

Rest.

Eat.

Yoga.

Mani/pedi.

Navel gaze.

SUCCESS!

I did all the things.

Yup.

After my writing this morning I headed up to the Inner Sunset and hit my nail spot, I had to wait a little, got a cafe au lait at Tart to Tart and read a trashy magazine in the salon.

Mani/pedi, waxing.

Yes, the eyebrows needed some tending.

Then hopped back on my scooter and headed to the grocery store to pick up some stuff to cook and food prep for the week.

From here on out all my weeks are six days weeks.

And I need to stay on top of my food prep.

I got back from the grocery store, had a very late lunch, al fresco on the back porch.

It was intermittently amazing and horribly chilly, depending on whether or not the wind was blowing.

It was sunny though, so I really didn’t care, when it got too chilly I retreated back to my little studio and just sat in the sun coming in through the back glass door, I got my sunshine fill in for sure.

I made dinner.

Very simple.

Roasted chicken, pot of brown rice.

I got the stuff to make soup out of the chicken when I finish it up.

A chicken can go a long fucking way for me.

It was while I was cooking dinner that it hit me.

Oh yeah.

Fuck.

That thing in the desert.

I better get on taking care of the things I need or the damn thing is going to be here and I’ll be caught with my dusty pants down.

I made a list in my head of the things I needed and the things I wanted.

First.

The things I need: new air mattress battery operated pump, mine broke last year; batteries to run pump; a playa bike and a bike basket.

My bike died last year, it’s a long story, better told elsewhere, but suffice to say I wasn’t expecting to have to replace my faithful stead and I have had some resistance to doing it and I realized, just do it.

So.

Yup.

I got my playa bike too.

One speed beach cruiser.

Done.

I also got the other stuff too, the pump, batteries, and the bike basket.

I have photo evidence that some of the things that were on my old bike are still out there for me, my bike pennant, and the vanity plate that had my name on it, that I got at the LA airport when I did the AidsLifeCycle ride, as well as a pair of fuzzy velvet dice I got in Reno many years back.

Every one needs a pair of fuzzy dice.

I mean, really.

I’m super psyched to have it out-of-the-way.

The thing that I didn’t get, out of my budget right now, but I may still throw down for it, is a pop up car port for shade over my tent.

I am not sure if I will get it or not.

Regardless.

I got my stuff and I posted up to a group I belong to that I am also looking for a ride to and from the event.

So, it’s all out there in the Universe.

I’m pretty excited.

It will be here before you know it.

And.

Ha.

This is great.

To wrap up my day, after, catching some last sunshiny rays on the back porch for dinner, chilly, but so pretty, and the wind had died down a little, I scootered up to a place up on Quintara and 20th and did the deal.

Always a good way to wrap up a day.

I went up to a woman and thanked her for what she had to share and she paused and looked at me, “I know you,” she said.

I looked at her and I realized, yeah, I had seen here somewhere else before, “you do look super familiar,” I replied.

She smiled.

“I wasn’t sure until I saw you up close, you were at Burning Man in 2015.”

Ha!

Yes.

As a matter of fact I was.

Heh.

We caught up and it was funny, my God has such a sense of humor, you know, the afternoon that it hits me that Burning Man is just around the corner so I do my big playa order.

And.

Boom.

I run into someone I met at Burning Man.

I love my life.

And.

Though I am by far not ready for the event.

I am much further ahead then I was this morning.

Seriously.

The Man burns in 90 days!

 

 

Congratulations

April 6, 2017

 

Congratulations Burner!

Hello Carmen,

You’ve been awarded a Low Income Ticket to Burning Man 2017: Radical Ritual. 

Here’s what you need to know about your Low Income Ticket:

Holy toledo

The best news ever.

Well, maybe not ever, but.

LOOK MA!  I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!

Woot.

Heh.

Not excited.

Not even a little bit.

Not even.

Fuck.

Who the hell am I kidding.

Over the motherfucking moon.

I’m going.

11th year in a row.

It’s a special year for me too.

It’s Shadrach’s tenth anniversary of his passing.

He’s the reason why I went to my first burn.

“You really should go to Burning Man, you are such a burner,” he told me at my first Decompression party.

He had a loft in the Dog Patch neighborhood, close to Esprit Park where the Decompression Party is held annually, the after Burning Man party, which until I went to Burning Man was super exciting until I went to Burning Man and then it’s a little anti-climatic.

One of the best San Francisco street parties.

But.

It cannot hold a candle to the actual event.

I mean.

What the hell can?

There is nothing like it on Earth and every year that I get to go I am excited and nervous and I don’t know if I’m going to e able to swing it this year and then.

Well.

Heh.

I do.

Even when I was only able to go for four days last year.

I still went.

I have been out as long as 23 days.

That’s when it starts to get weird, FYI.

My burn this year will be the standard event.

When I was there for long stints of time, 14 days, 18 days, 19 days, two years in a row of 21 days, the infamous year of 23 days that was one of the worst dust storm years ever and long, slow, painful hours stuck in a trailer, I was working.

This year.

Well.

This year, this lady is not working.

No “Working Man” for me.

I mean.

It’s always a lot of work, no matter how you slice it, I spend a lot of time getting prepared, but I won’t be tied to any job this year, I won’t be nannying, I won’t be doing a thing but enjoying the event.

I even pulled a few shifts last year, though they felt pretty negligible, I helped where I could and I’m not the person who shirks from work, I’ll help out where I can when I go this year too, but I won’t be working scheduled shifts.

I’m going to Burning Man.

Pinch me.

I need supplies!

I need a new bike.

Sigh.

Although resigned to the loss of my playa bike, I am still sad to be without her and I will be sourcing a new bicycle.

Fuck.

I will also be sourcing a ride there and back.

I do have a parking pass.

So.

That’s a nice thing, I can exchange that or give that to anyone who can give me a ride.

The ride will come together.

My gear will come together.

I really have the majority of it anyway.

I have my own tent, I have an air mattress, a cooler, clothes, boots, bandanas, hats, camp chair, flowers for my hair.

I will need to get a bicycle.

A new air pump for my air mattress.

And possibly a second cooler.

I did well with one cooler last year, but I was just up there four days, I may need a second one, nothing to be super concerned about.

The bicycle will be the first acquired thing, the rest will follow.

I already have a coffee date with a lovely Siren from Siren’s Cove, the camp that flew me home last year, that was one hell of a gift let me tell you, when I posted up on social media that I had scored a low-income ticket she immediately requested girl time coffee date at Center Camp Cafe.

I was like.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Oh my God.

This is going to be some kind of crazy new experience for me.

Not having to be tied to anything, being able to hang out, not having responsibilities, I mean, other than keeping myself alive and hydrated.

Heh.

I am going to have all the adventures.

ALL.

Of them.

Yes.

A friend of mine laughed when I posted the announcement as well, gently giving me shit about how I am always surprised that I am going.

But.

I always am!

It seems like such a big deal, how will I make it work, how will it happen when I’m in Paris, when I’m between jobs, when I don’t have money, or it’s conflicting with school.

Or.

All the crazy stuff that my brain manufactures.

And I don’t have that so much this go around, once I found out that school didn’t conflict and that I got the balls to ask off from work, well it only seemed to follow that I was going to have to go.

It would just be a matter of getting the ticket and the ride.

I always say, if you want to go, you’ll go, and once you have the ticket, it’s pretty much guaranteed.

At least for me.

And granted, like I’ve said, I’ve gone and I’ve gotten rides and tickets and I have worked my ass off out there.

Some years more so than others.

But, really, every year, even my first year, when I was “just” going to take my best friend’s ashes to the Temple, I ended up working.

That was 2007 and the Man was vandalized and burnt early and the organization rebuilt it for the burn night.

I ended up being in the cafe when a worker for the Man Crew came in and told the cafe manager I had just spoken to about signing up to volunteer and they didn’t have any shifts, I was literally walking away, and she grabbed me, “you’ve got shifts now!”

Boy did I ever.

I ended up pulling three or four ten-hour cafe shifts.

And that started something for me, being a part of, being involved, and though I am a little scared, let me be honest, to be untethered, I am also excited, I am so excited to get to go and just be a participant.

No.

I won’t roll in the fucking dust when the Greeters greet me, there’s enough dust in my bins in the garage to carry me through that experience, I will be seeing the event with a new set of eyes.

Fuck.

I need to celebrate.

I’m going to Burning Man!

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Yes! This Works

February 17, 2017

Best e-mail response ever.

I spoke with my boss yesterday about taking time off to go to Burning Man this year.

Yes.

I am aware that Burning Man isn’t until the last week of August.

I am one of those people who plan pretty far out in advance and it came down to needing to ask sooner rather than later as the family I nanny for is going to be in Europe for three weeks.

Without me.

In July.

So.

To take off a week of time in August was actually a great big request and I was shy to ask for it

I mean.

It’s Burning Man.

Folks have an idea of what that means.

Especially if they have never been.

And most folks might not be inclined to let go of their full time nanny so she could go romp around in the desert for a week when the kids are gearing up for their school semester and they have a baby and full-time work and um, yeah.

But.

She told me, the mom, that it could probably work, to e-mail her the dates and she would get back to me.

I did so last night.

And I actually sort of forgot that I had e-mailed her and then.

This morning.

Yes!

I got the best answer.

I got the “Yes! This works!” Response.

I just about fell out of my chair.

I haven’t gotten my ticket, I won’t know for eight weeks whether I have gotten the low-income ticket, but really, the biggest hurdles have been cleared.

First.

That I don’t have any school conflict with going to the event.

Second.

That my job is willing to let me go.

Huge hurdles.

The ticket will come.

I know too many people and should I get denied the low-income ticket, I do feel like I will be able to negotiate getting one at the full price.

Fingers crossed that won’t happen, I could use the cash for other things, but I will if I have to.

Have to is should be re-phrased, get to, if I need to I can.

The gift of the time off is the big deal.

“You need to have fun,” my employer said, “it can’t just be work and school, we want you to be able to go and play.”

My god.

What a gift this job is.

I am so grateful to have it.

Today was super chill.

Almost too chill.

I could have fallen asleep.

In fact, had my charge dropped off, I would have.

She never quite did though.

I had one little monkey home sick from school today and the mom and the baby and the grandma, who is visiting, were out and about.

I stayed back.

Tidied up the kitchen.

Drew pictures and colored with my charge.

Lots and lots and lots of music, reading stories, and snuggling.

“Carmen, scratch my back more please,” she said and collapsed over a big throw pillow on the couch.

Happy to oblige, I sat and rubbed her back and snuggled with her.

We had picnic on the floor, played foxes, rescue fire fighters, cops and robbers, and veterinarian.

We ran away from scary robots and ghosts.

My little girl charge is a fierce lady and it’s really quite fun to be with her high-spirited energy, even when she’s sick, we had just a sweet day, no getting out to the park, no riding the train to grab my other charge, my first shift there since I started where I didn’t go outside at all.

I did feel a little sleepy from the lack of outside stimulation, but I got through it and it was really just nice to have a day playing with my charge.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Oh.

Glorious weekend.

How I do love thee.

Let me count the ways.

Yoga.

Doing the deal.

Meeting with my person.

Getting my tattoo touched up.

And?

Who knows what else.

Yes.

Most likely there will be homework and reading and stuff and things, meal prep and grocery and what have you.

But.

I do want to let myself have fun, to relax a little to not be too serious or overcommitment to making all the things happen.

The weather today, no rain when it had been forecasted, was a boon, I was able to ride my scooter to and from work and I got to do a little speaking engagement and get some grocery shopping done.

The rain comes back tomorrow.

Which always changes my plans a little.

The not riding my scooter sort of deal.

I suspect that whatever happens it will be fine.

I’m so happy to have a couple of days off.

One more day of work.

One more.

Oof.

Hella grateful for that.

And.

Yeah.

Burning Man.

I am so very thrilled.

I am.

I am.

I have time to do some bicycle research.

Sadly.

My playa steed did not make it back from the event last year.

I was upset when I found out, but then, grateful after I had time to do some work around it and yes, some grieving too, that bike meant a lot to me, but now I get to have a new experience out there.

A new bike.

A new camp.

Not working.

Just going to participate and have fun.

Fun.

EEK.

I hope I can handle not doing any work for a week.

Ha.

As if going isn’t a hell of a lot of work.

I always have work to do to get to go.

But.

It’s a labor of love.

Dusty love, but love nevertheless.

Ah.

It’s been a good week.

Grateful it’s almost done.

I need a break.

But.

You know that already.

And some fun.

I don’t have to wait for Burning Man before I have fun.

Hell no.

So.

Bring on the fun.

I am ready.

Primed, in fact.

Seriously.

Bring it.

Home

February 12, 2017

Sweet home.

I’m not there yet.

Even though I am home.

That’s not the home I am talking about.

“Welcome home,” he shouted into the dusty air, “ring the bell.”

I rang the bell.

I skipped the rolling around in the dust though.

Fuck that shit.

It’s dusty enough up in this mess.

Yup.

I’m planning my return trip to the playa.

It’s a little early, I suppose, but I am going to get my little early ducks in a row.

I’ve decided that I am not working this year.

I am going to go and just have fun.

I am going to stay with a different camp than I have before, I’ve been a member of the camp since it’s inception and have spent time there, and have friends there, and one of them mentioned to me that it was time to come out and camp with them this year and not work and really enjoy the festival.

The art.

The joy.

The get about and the get around.

I found out my when my first weekend of classes will be for the fall semester.

Last year they fell on the same weekend of the event and I was not able to go for the full amount of time.

I went up early and left early.

I was only there four days.

It was lovely and I’m super glad I went, but it was not enough and I didn’t get to see any of the burns because I left Wednesday morning of the event.

By plane.

There is that.

It was one hell of an amazing experience to fly out of Burning Man.

I don’t know if that is necessarily happening, but I’m going to let it all fall together.

I decided in my heart to go last Sunday and then I did some research and discovered that the low-income ticket application will open in a few days.

I need to update my profile and the minute it opens, February 15th, I will be applying for it.

One of the big reasons that have always worked the event is to get into the event.

But.

I don’t want to work it this year.

I want to actually go and not be tied down and when I researched a little I discovered I could definitely afford the low-income ticket and I will apply to it.

Then yesterday I discovered that the first weekend of the fall semester for my cohort will be the weekend before the event.

Thank God.

I can go!

Well.

I won’t quite say that yet.

I still have to clear it with work.

I will ask on Monday if it’s a possibility.

I already have a lot of my vacation time tied up to my trip to Paris in May, but I do have some days that are not accounted for and I want to use them for the event.

I may have to do some negotiation with the family in regards to it, but I think that they will be amenable to me going.

I sure do hope so.

It was me doing a happy dance today when I told my friend before class that I found out the weekend dates for the fall and that there was not a conflict with school, it set my day, I was super pumped.

Granted that feeling dissipated, class work was challenging and showing up for it and being present for the material made me completely forget about the event, about travel times and dates and plans and things and stuff and more things.

But.

When I got home and said “hello house,” I smiled, my eyes drawn to the print on the wall, a photo shot from above, from an airplane above the event and I remembered quickly.

Home.

And it will be the ten-year anniversary of my best friends passing and me taking his ashes out to the Temple.

It will be my 11th burn in a row.

It is a part and parcel of me.

There are experiences that I have had there that I cannot rationalize or explain.

Love and light and dirt and dust and spiritual transmogrification.

So many times.

Not just once, but time and time and time again.

Dancing the tango with a beautiful 24-year-old man from Norway who was tall and blonde and yes, heh, Nordic, with a gorgeous sweet accent and the bliss of being kissed under the stars, bent backward and kissed as though every song of the stars above depended upon the breath in and out of our bodies as we melted into the dust.

Riding out to the trash fence at sunrise on the art car “A Horse With No Name” and seeing the shots of fire thrown out against the playa, piercing and bright and bathing the dust with golden smote, softening the blue smoke bathed mountains with flames of light.

Running into a friend unexpectedly in a church pew by an organ and telling him a fairy tale in the mid afternoon heat and swelter.

Reciting poetry underneath the upraised arms of the Man and the face of the man when I looked into his eyes.

“Do you know how easy it is to fall in love with you when you recite poetry,” he said.

Why do you think I recite poetry?

I want you to love me.

And somehow.

I don’t know how.

I don’t need to know how.

I find myself easier in my person, able to let that love in, to be scaffold with it, to allow myself to be exactly who I am, hair bedecked with flowers, standing tall in cowboy boots with polka dot socks and my crinoline blowing in the breeze, my umbrella of poesy flowers opened to shelter me from the sun, face bedecked with smiles.

I am somehow more me and entirely at peace with who I am and how I am and it’s not so weird, it’s just me, and I’m not that unique, I mean, did you see what she was wearing?

Or not wearing.

Of course I want to go home.

It’s home.

Anchored in between the Black Rock Mountains and the Calico’s, underneath the rising moon and the setting sun, the howl of love that whisper whips across the playa until we are all crying out of our aloneness a coming together, a community, an expression of magic, yes.

That.

Magic.

May I always be a part of that kind of love and mystery.

And.

Yeah.

Fingers crossed.

I’ve cleared the first hurdle, school conflict, now to ask off from work for event.

Then.

I’ll get a ticket after that.

And.

Soon.

I’ll see you in the dust.

I’ll be there to welcome you home.

I promise.

 


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