~z! (zeldachik) wrote in burning_man,

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Warning: this post is about life in general, including, but not exclusively, Burning Man

Maybe I'm naive. After all, I'm not part of the west-coast culture, I only aspire to be. It was my first year at Burning Man, and as such it was wonderful and magickal and unlike anything I'd ever experienced. It wasn't too big or too commercial or too censored or too yuppie. It was more intimate and wonderful than anyplace I've ever been. It was everything and anything I imagined it could be, and more. I learned things about myself as a survivor, as part of the human race, as a living thing on a planet full of living things, animate and inanimate (because I learned the playa was alive... and she provides what is needed for those who ask of her).

I didn't want to post half-assed "gee this was cool" remarks upon my return; I wanted to wait until I had some time to put my hastily scribbled notes in order. I also had to catch up on six days of end-of-the-month work missed, and my first week of evening classes at CSU. Not to mention spending my spare time indulging in things like showers, and just being with my husband again.

And then some planes flew into some buildings. And I thought the Big Oops was here. And I realized that no, I'm not naive. In fact, I'm kind of cynical. This was true terror, but it's not just about the sudden violent loss of life. It's as much in the way that we react to one another.

One thing that struck me was a commentator on NPR who said that the effect of the explosions was that Manhattan ceased to operate like a machine, and became an organic being, full of raw emotion. That when the towers disintegrated, thousands of hands shot upward, as if to hold up the sky. That people, covered in dust, made eye contact, and opened their arms, simply to hold each other.

How can ANYONE who's experienced Burning Man fail to see the dichotomy in that??? Between where we just were, and what we come "home" to?

Burning Man changed me. The way my first acid trip changed me. The way love changed me. Before Burning Man, I probably would have laughed my ass off at the fact that Brooks Brothers is now a makeshift morgue. Now... OK, it's still ironic enough to get a smirk, but I don't *have* to focus on all this horrible stuff, because I know that humanity will survive.

America? What's that? I guess it's cool because I've been able to do things I've wanted to do. It's like a suburban white person never having to confront their racial identity, because it's never come up. I don't hate The Government. I hate petty-minded bureaucracy, and self-serving interest. Doesn't make a difference to me if it's over who's building a room in a haunted house, or who's getting money on capitol hill.

Anyway. I'm not going to actively monitor the BM list, or the e-playa for a while. I'll write in my own journal about the highlights, and if anyone reading this wants to share their thoughts with me, I'd invite them to converse with me there, or via e-mail.

Sorry I never made it to LJ Camp. I'll see you next year, though.

Be well, all.

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