Temple of Hope
by Mark Grieve and the Temple Crew
I am so overwhelmed
in this sacred place
full of loss and love.
Those we have lost
and whose who have left us.
If ever I felt the loss of suicide
it is now.
May I walk from this blessing
with a new freedom from life.
May we all leave
blessed and whole.
And when this temple burns
may the goddess embrace
all that we have written.
I never expected to have such a deep emotional experience in one of the temples at Burningman. I am going to try to write it here, but I know that I will never give it justice. The above poem was written by pure inspiration while I was in the temple.
There was so much love and loss that it was quite overwhelming for me. So many pictures of mothers, sons, friends, daughters, etc. who have been killed or who have killed themselves. The love was intense and pure. I cried, I couldn't stop....there we a lot of us there who were crying but none of us cared.
Everywhere there were words of loss and love. For those of you who don't know me or read my personal lj - I have suicidal tendencies when I am depressed - which happens more than I care to admit. On one of the wooden pieces someone had written a love letter to a boy or man that had killed himself. They talked of their anger and now of their love of that person choosing to leave them and his life. I took a photo of it close up and I hope that it develops enough to be able to read it.
I need to remember it and how I felt reading it. Depression is so hard to understand for so many, as is suicide. And the writer of the letter had finally realized that this man did NOT kill himself out of selfishness, but out of a need he had within himself. I thought of my husband John, who didn't join me to the desert this year, and for the first time in my life I thought how my killing myself would affect him. I could not bare the heartache of leaving him alone to write letters like this one. I was blessed by this temple and this one letter gave me the courage to fight off the future suicidal tendencies that I know I will have.
I read some of what the others have written and wrote a love note to John's mom, whom we lost to cancer 8 years ago now. I told her that we miss and love her. The death of her anniversary was this past Sunday, but I took comfort in knowing that I had left a piece of me with her at the temple. I thought of my friends who have lost someone they loved, and the others who have suicidal tendencies like me - I wished that I could have shared this emotional experience with them because I know that they could have had a part of them healed, just as I had standing there.
I left my pen there for others to be able to write their memories, letters, and whatnots. I hope it was used and not taken for selfish reasons. I didn't want to leave, I wanted to remain in that temple that was so full of love and loss. I was afraid that once I got back I would forget all that I have gained there, but I was lucky to have had my journal experiences to bring back to help me not forget.
I will never forget....
(Thank you to my fellow burners who loaned me their photos to include in this entry.)