Tuesday, September 11, 2012

how I burned

This year's Burning Man was more exhausting than usual.  Part of that was the weather:  we had a couple of days of "dustpocalypse", non-stop whiteouts leaving us crouched in what shelter we could find, holding scarves over our faces if we didn't have dustmasks, giving thanks for our goggles.  At one point, stumbling through a white-out to a porta-potty, I had a realization:  I had cleared a week and a half absence from my schedule, and in theory I could have gone anywhere.  It was my choice to hunker down in a duststorm.  "Next year, let's all go to Bali!" I proposed to my campmates on my return.  They hunkered down further, passed around a bottle of ancient port, and looked at me through reddened, dust-plagued eyes.

Other than the duststorms, the weather was lovely:  not too hot, not too cold, no storms (just a tiny sprinkling of rain, which caused one of my campmates to go into some hyper-storm preparation mode and rearrange our entire zone for some anticipated hurricane-level winds, all for naught).

My favorite piece of art this year was La Llorona, a life-size replica of a wrecked Spanish galleon, complete with books, bunks, art, dishes, rigging, and anything else you can think of other than parrots.  Exploring the different levels of the ship was the best thing I did this year; it made me so very happy to see the incredible level of detail.

Once again my camp gave out quests, and ahead of time I prepared the quest rewards, each tagged with a whimsical name and description of the powers it bestowed to its wearer.  It made me happy to see people wandering around on the playa wearing the name tags we'd slaved so hard to create (and Iris came close to rebelling at one point, saying plaintively, "Am I going to have to work in the sweatshop ALL DAY on my birthday??"  Loyal Lola whispered, "Sometimes I like working in the sweatshop" behind Iris's back).

Once again after I returned home, I spiked a fever out of the blue.  I've been miserable for the past four days, feverish, with an aching head, achy joints, and atrophying muscles.  But I'm ready to start planning for next year.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

home vs. Burning Man

Last night I got home from a week and a half sojourn away at Burning Man.  I threw my dust-covered possessions in the garage and rejoined my family, who were kind enough to make a "Welcome Home Mommy" sign.

Readjustment to normal life is never completely easy.  At Burning Man, when I have insomnia, I can roll out of bed, put on a jacket, and walk a few yards to a bar where I will find friends.  At that bar, I do not have to pay for my drinks.

On the other hand, when I wish to visit a bathroom here, I don't have to walk half a city block to a portapotty.  Not to mention that a handsome man carried a cup of coffee, made just the way I like it, upstairs to me this morning...