I'm not entirely sure where to start.
I am exhausted.
Lack of sleep will do that to a body. So will biking around the desert for hours a day. I barely ate more than beef jerky the entire time we were there, and I seemed to have dropped five or so pounds. The skin around my eyes blasted raw from two days of dust storms, during one of which we broke camp, meaning hours and hours in the blazing sun working with dust in our eyes. I can't see two feet in front of me, but the sun still sneaks through the clouds to burn?
The good news, though, the bruises on my leg are healing well. One in particular I got when I ran my bike into a truck. I didn't see it until last minute because of the white out. Oh, and the massive cold sore on my lip, the one that got worse and worse as days passed because dry wind and sand generally aren't a solid prescription for healing.
Did I mention I'm exhausted?
Did I also mention that Burning Man was amazing, overwhelming and even with all the exhaustion I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. In fact, I plan to buy tickets for Burning Man 2010 as soon as they go on sale. Of course, whether or not I go depends on lots of other things.I can always sell the tickets later, but I want the option of going should I so choose.
While my body is tired, my mind, creativity and spirituality are awake and rejuvenated.
I spent much of my time riding through the desert looking at art. Burning Man is the most fantastic art museum on the planet It remains open day and night, and it is interactive. You can drive under and around the art. Some you can climb. Others you can write on. Some breathe fire.
The rest of my time I spent with friends.I knew only a handful of people when I arrived. When I left, I had made connections and friendships that formed with the intensity of those that form in camp when you're a kid. They're fast and pure. You feel you know each other well because you're in close quarters, you see each other daily and you're dependent on each other to survive.
We played a lot. Danced, rode our bikes, teased each other.I didn't check my phone once. It wouldn't have worked anyway. No signal. My blackberry slept quietly, covered and protected from dust zipped in a pocket of my bag that had been placed in another plastic bag and hidden at the back of a truck. I didn't miss the outside world -- with the exception of Lila -- I didn't worry.
Did you hear that? I didn't worry about a single thing the entire week.
I went to yoga classes, energy healing massages. Noah and I joined a couples stretching workshop, and I tried out a pole dancing class. There was plenty else as well. And yes, all the rumors of sex and drugs are true. Naked people, men wearing tutus and wigs, women dressed as leprechauns, dazed people wandering aimlessly and dangerously in the desert completely incoherent from acid.
Much like the Indian proverb of the wise men and the elephant, this beast is too big to know and understand in its entirety. You lay on your hands and feel what you do, perhaps blindly, then take away what you want.
Quite a gift, really.