Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Virgin Year At Burning Man

This year I was gifted with the opportunity to attend the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. If you don't know what Burning Man is, the best I can do is lead you to the web site. Everyone has asked me all about it and I'm finding that I just don't have the words to fully encapsulate the experience.

Burning Man is so hard to describe. It's almost sadly difficult to describe but only in the sense that the world and the society in which we live is running at such a fast pace and most everyone in it is connected but mostly in a virtual way. At Burning Man, I was completely disconnected from the virtual world and was fully connected to the world and everyone around me in a very real way. It was amazing, to say the very least.

The human connection and the connection that I used to feel to everything around me are connections that I had been craving. That connection, that feeling of being connected to everyone and everything, was all over Black Rock City. Everyone was so happy to be Home. Not one person greeted me with a simple handshake. Every greeting was met with a hug and not just a quick pat-on-the-back hug, these were from the heart, full embraces. The way hugs are supposed to feel. The hugs that you get when you know that the other person really sees you.

Going to Burning Man felt very much like a spiritual journey for me. My greeter at the gate was perfect for this journey, as well. First she gave me a big hug and said, "Welcome Home!" Then before she handed me the pipe to ring the bell with she pointed to where we had just come from and said, "There is your past," then pointing to where we were going she said, "this is your future. Ring the bell with all of your intentions for your week's experience and for your future."  That is exactly what I did. My intention was to open up my heart to whatever the week and the playa gifted to me.

I went Home in so many ways. Home to where everyone reconnected with each other and the world around them. Home to where I reconnected with myself.  Home to where I reconnected with everyone and everything around me. All of that reconnection has opened my eyes to the people and the world around me. Not to sound like the movie quote but, I SEE people. Seeing people makes me want to connect with them more even in the virtual world. I don't feel like I could just "Like" something on Facebook anymore. I'm more drawn to actually comment because it feels more to me like I'm connecting with them.

Hopefully, I can hold on to this feeling and I think I can. I have to remain conscious of it though and not allow myself to get so lost again. Staying present in the moments that I have are of utmost importance. Keeping site of my priorities, which is staying connected to myself, my family, my friends and the world around me is top priority. Everything else is just stuff, really. 

 Of course, while at Burning Man I took A LOT of photographs because it's a photographer's paradise. I've posted them all to my Flickr account if you'd like to check them out. I'll slowly add descriptions as I can. It's taken me 2 days to actually get through all of the photos so it'll take some time to get them all settled. They are in chronological order, within the set, from setting up camp (and resetting up camp after we were hit by what was actually a dust devil but what we're calling a tornado) to the sunrise of the last day and the sunset of last Thursday when my love took me on a surprise spa day to Bonneville Hot Springs.

15 comments:

  1. Those are so awesome - it's like a post-apocalyptic utopia or something. So glad it was so meaningful to you, and thanks for sharing all the photos.

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    1. It totally is a post-apocalyptic utopia! You're welcome! Thanks for looking at them!

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  2. Thanks for the post - it served as a reminder to me to try to get beyond the surface level and participate in life in a deeper way. Your comment about commenting, ha ha, on Facebooks rather than simply clicking "like" was particularly effective. I know how I feel when someone comments on something I've posted on Facebook rather than just hits "like". The "like" is appreciated, but the comment tells me that that person wanted to spend more time with me, or that they truly understand, which is validating. Thus my comment here!
    Also, I was thinking while reading this about how I greet my coworkers everyday. Certainly not with a warm embrace (and, after briefly considering it, I still don't think I'll take that up. Weirdness level is not justified by the relationship I have with these people.). I think I could do more than call out "Hey" or open the door to let them in and immediately turn away. We're all usually so involved in our own lives, up in our own heads, that we forget to be responsive to others, to their experience.

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    1. Excellent! Participating in life in a deeper way is exactly what Burning Man is about!

      Yes! While I appreciate the "Like"s, I much prefer a comment for that very same reason. Thank you for taking the time to comment! (:

      So true. Taking the time to stop for just a moment to say hello to a co-worker, to ask them how they're doing and actually listen to their answer is a great way to greet them. I plan on doing more of that myself when I go back to work tonight!

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  3. If being completely covered in dirt and dust, dancing to trashy, trance music, and pretending you're back in 1967 "floats your boat," then it sounds great.

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    1. Our perspective tends to define our experiences in life. Although, that doesn't sound like a bad experience to me, it obviously wasn't mine.

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    2. Well, I was covered in playa most of the time but I welcomed that, too. (:

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  4. I appreciate your amused attitude. I'd prefer, however, a quaint bed & breakfast overlooking the ocean. Give me a fluffy, down duvet, a roaring, romantic fire, and walks by the water. I might've gone to BM decades ago, but creature comforts call to me now. I looked at your fun photos, though, and liked them.

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  5. Aw! I loved reading this. It really does sound magical and amazing. I'm going to peek at your photos now :)

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    1. It was, indeed! Hope you enjoyed the photos!

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  6. Looks like you had an amazing time, sometimes we really do need to get out of the hustle and bustle to reconnect with ourselves, I think it's the only way to live a truly healthy life.

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  7. Wendi,I enjoyed the pictures, looks like you guy had a great time.

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