Sometimes I give good advice (head??) sometimes I give good disadvice (with teeth???)
Sometimes I just say "look'it dis thang! Tis cool, yah?"
My first burn was in 2005 "Psyche", I'd had burner friends insisting I should go for 10 years before that. My campmates considered me a Stealth Virgin, I knew a hell of a lot more about burning than anyone who has never been there should know. I even knew all about Gerlach and the DPW Ranch from Reno friends before my first burn.
I hit the playa for my first time that Monday morning and about died of excitement, I was like a 3 yr old bouncing in my seat. As we were setting up, after all the big stuff was done I holed myself up in my rented RV (yes, I was that lame my first year, but it ended up helping the Village I was a part of as a wind break) and had a completely and total meltdown.
It was more than I ever imagined, it was HUGE and this was still on a Monday when Monday's weren't the most popular day for everyone to show up. We hit dust storms at the gate and while trying to find Synapse Village and while setting up...
But it was the raw energy which crackles over BRC, the buzz of so many creative minds working to build a city which last only a week and the only people I was around were new in my life - most I had met when they showed up to carpool in my RV 2 days early - it was overwhelming. I'm a hermit, a recluse, a misanthrope, an anti-social OCD goth.
And I just put myself in the Hardest situation for someone of my non-people inclination could face. There were tears and panic and "Oh my gods what have I done?!?!?" Then I took a deep breath, decided it was something I needed to not just experience but be a part of and faced the playa once more.
I had the time of my life, 05 is still my favorite year and I swore I would come back and keep coming back. I finally found a community which doesn't just want to be different and be sullen about it but actually wants to make a positive and long lasting impact on the entire world.
I did for the next two years, I got involved both on playa and regionally, I worked on the Ranch and became DPW, I led an Esplanade Theme Camp in 06, I've worked for BMIR and became close friends with Bobzilla, I interviewed with Maid Marian for an RC position here in Denver...
And then life did it's dance this year - made me slow down for health reasons and then I found I couldn't afford it this year, due to a much needed but unexpected move.
I thought I was ok with it, we had the DNC here to keep me occupied and a new home. The not for profit group I am a part of is starting our busiest season, I had more than enough to keep my mind from the playa. Or at least I thought I did, but then I got grumpy and morose and snarkier than usual (which is Really snarky!)
I found that don't want to miss another burn as long as it's still going, it was hell being left behind.
Not for the partying, nor the great music going 24/7.
I miss being in the only city which applauds my obnoxious tastes in clothing (my costumes are my clothes, I wear them whenever I can.)
Which gives me food for deep, intense, creative thought every single dusty step of the way.
Which makes me participate and makes me excited to have so much to participate in.
Which brings new members of my ever extending family straight into my lap with a hug and a smile.
Which, each year, teaches me a profound lesson about myself that I didn't even know was on my life's syllabus until it hits me on the head.
Which makes me stretch and grow and be more than I ever dreamed possible.
You could say that these things can be found/done anywhere and you would be partially right (except the clothing which makes people run off the road anywhere else, no really it's that loud and obnoxious.)
It's the fact that you cannot help BUT to do/find these things on the playa - it's in your face 24/7. Even holing myself up inside my rented rv that first year, it seeped into the cracks and under the doors - it was calling me to come and Be a part of it all.
I can bitch and moan about tons of things, I can act burnier than thou (though I loathe that) but the simple fact remains - BRC is my hometown and Only there do I finally feel like I'm home and I can relax and be me 100% of the time without any of the mundane world judgments or repercussions.
Even the harshness of BRDesert seems like paradise to me, I missed seeing the Milky Way from open playa and the beauty of the Esplanade all lit up on Friday and Saturday night. I missed the silence of thousands of people watching the Temple burn and the profound sense of community release which comes with it. I missed the dustdevils and the storms and the water trucks...
I missed going home and I am so sad about it that I Must go back next year and try with all of my might not to miss another one until BRC is just dust itself.