Sunday, October 14, 2012

Recovered Ruminations on BRC 2012

Over the years I have really appreciated that I took even the time I did to attempt to share about my experiences at Burning Man. When I look back on all these years of writing in this blog ~ both steady and intermittent, totally frank, attempting optimism and just a bit of downright self-foolery, I cherish these glimpses into my heart and mind in that soft condition that Black Rock City makes possible.  I also just wanna get this up while I have this teensy little window to do so, so I'm gonna stop ruminating on the ruminating and post the darn thing!   

After writing it ~ inspired ~ the first time all the way through, my phone lost this essay.  I attempted to recreate it here on my then-ailing computer, in a home with no internet.  Life happened and it is now a moon and a half later.  I feel like a lot of what’s shared here in this essay is too important for my Self not to put out there.  But it is unfinished.  Even in my slow daily rhythm, my 21st century life keeps truckin’ and I keep encountering and incorporating new information, adventures, lessons and loves.  So it goes, and so it is.  But this is Where I Was At the week after Burning Man 2012, and I honor this expression:

This post is dedicated to this girl here.  
No, not my daughter(!), but me at almost her same exact age 
~ on my fourth birthday.  
Because this girl deserves it.  She's worth the mess and the work.  
And the love.  
Burning Man.  Every year I ask myself, do I really need to go again this year?  And every time I return to that dusty home in the desert, BRC proves it to me, yes; you need this.   Catharsis, Re-union, Home-coming ~ with the community that feels like My community, back to my Self.   Black Rock City is like a powerful mirror which reflects wisdom every time it’s peered into:  roughly the same city every time, generally the same activities every year, but depending on where you direct the mirror, the view is dramatically different.

If last year was the year of Family Zen Blissed-Out Tranquility, this year was of Tough Love and Mandatory Transformation.  It was not rainbows this year; I might say it was a little hard.  I cried most every day.  But it was a good kind of hard, like an itch that reeally wants scratching, even till it bleeds.

If last year had me and my family sitting up on a cloud like a group of Hindu deities, spouting forth butter and cream from our benevolently cupped hands, this year had me possessed by an angry Kali, ruthlessly bound to make Change. 

Whereas last year I was primly content with early-to-bed and early-to-rise, this year I was possibly as manic as I have ever been.  I burned hard.  I might even say I Raged ~ ha!  Well, at Burning Man that’s an awfully big statement; I’ll say I “raged” for a 36yo who is used to going to bed by 9pm, and who tries not to drink coffee after noon.  ;-D  I saw the sunrise from both ends, woke up early, stayed up late, and could barely settle myself down for even a short siesta.   
I was agitated and aggravated.  Not just in the first 24 hours where you arrive and wonder why the hell you came ~ and then you acclimate.  I was restless and annoyed.  And then I went dancing.  I danced till I couldn’t stand up any more, and then I went dancing again.  Barefeet pounding on bare ground, bare breasts bouncing feral in strangely mild night air.  I danced until my hips re-membered how to boom with the bass, and I danced until every joint re-membered to accent every beat.  I gyrated in a sea of undulating masses.  And then the sky opened up and rained moon-haunted, green laser-sparkling fat drops onto the gleeful crowd, onto my bare torso, and imprinted the dusty earth.   And when I couldn’t stand anymore, I grooved in my seat by the fire, still wanting more. 

I sought passion.  I felt passion.  I found passion.  I longed to be seen.  I dove headlong into the eyes of a beautiful Other for the first time since well before sweet Sealion and I pronounced our vows out there five years prior.   Heart to heart I saw and was seen.  Awakened electric in sensory Yes, my self-expression blossomed essential Connection, borne of clear conscience.   
Waxing moon greeted dusky sunrise.

I woke up Angry. 
Angry because:
I’ll be Damned if I only dance my heart’s worth two nights out of 365.
I’ll be Damned if I only open my heart to connection with other souls one week out of the year.
I’ll be Damned if the only creativity that wells forth from my hands is that in prep for my annual dusty pilgrimage.
And I’ll be Damned if I only feel sexy and attractive in that faraway desert home ~ I’m not talking 20-year-old sexy; I’m fine being done with that.  I’m talking feeling Good and Worthwhile in Your Own Skin.  Like a dog digging after a mole, a bear grabbing a salmon.  A wild woman howling at the moon. 
The kind of Like that attracts that kind of Like. 
Because, for me, this week is not a masquerade party where I try on another woman’s face who has a more Vibrant life than mine and then go back to Business as Usual.  FUCK Business as Usual.  This is for real and for keeps. 
It is true for a long time I wanted to feel In Control, keep things tidy and neat, because ya know, when my heart cracks open the blood drips down and… it’s messy.  Well I’m back in the game.  I’m in it for the mess: for the sweat, and the spit and the grease and the blood.  And the tears.  I’m here to live it big, and I’m ready to make mistakes.  Life is too fragile and short and beautiful for tidy packages.  Lemme have the mess.

So I guess I could say I engaged in a passionate romance with my own body this year in Black Rock City.  Or more specifically, with my Root.  The seat of my creativity, the locus of my movement, the center of my balance.  Font of my fertility, drive, and passion.  And I was gonna be Damned if I left her there in the desert till next year. 

My Love: after my wedding ceremony to myself. 

To begin the week, I went on my very first solo Journey of contemplation.  I encountered Fear.  Fear of my parents ill and aging, awe at my daughter growing bigger still, awareness of the passage of time on the face of my husband, and myself.  I looked around me and saw people struggling:  a woman grieving, folks desperately trying to connect.  Inhabitants clinging to a big whirling ball even as its populations decline.  I pondered Old (old) Ways Lost, and I mourned them deeply.  My sense was that of the fragility of things.  The fleetingness.  I returned to camp desiring to be closer to my loved ones. 

At the end of the week we nourished our selves with a morning’s ecstatic dance.  I lay on the floor as the facilitator guided us through a meditation:  I listened to my body.  It told me, I Am Alive (even as my right ovary, the source of my creativity, quivered in accord)!  I listened to the steady voice of my heart.  It said, Trust Me.  I listened for my Higher Source.  She told me, You Have Everything You Need. 
When we would’ve moved on, my daughter urged us to rest in the breezy shade.  A woman with a voice like honey sat cross-legged on the stage, caressing a sitar.  Her lesson that hour was to lead us in a devotional chant.  To whom?  Sarasvati, of course!  Goddess of Arts and Music.  It felt synchronistic, as all week I had worn a hennaed crest of fire on my throat ~ to call forth my voice, my expression, which I felt had got stuck.  I closed my eyes in dedication to this prayer.               

Sincere, vulnerable, open, tender...tired.