I got this assignment asking me to write about how Burning Man could actually be good for your relationship.
It is the midst of me having very complicated feelings about the Burn and its notions of Home. When the thing that connects you is communal drug use and abuses of power, while upholding power partiers as some sort of paragon; I guess it’s hard to find a way back to what made it attractive in the first place.
Then there is the reality that I am sitting in a house that is so touched by the Burn. There are photos of projects that have long touched my heart. Surrounded by people who have have made big scale art. Stories at dinner time are peppered with these great characters --- forces of will whose presence is so large that one meeting is impactful. Our lives, though we are strangers, are knitted by these amazing people we mutually know. My first night was in the costume closet that was the legacy of a man, unknown to me, who lives on in the grace of a woman covered in a kaleidoscope of his stars.
My host has smiled upon the universe of dark stars that are strewn across my shoulders. She believes in Cosmic Dust which is part of the reason I am here. My friend runs a camp so named and it is through him I met a friend who recommended me to this magical place. It is the compression of the universe into a tangle of creative threads. It’s only the creative one’s I care about. Those who find in art a nobility that can’t be traded in time clocks or snorted off mirrors. Those who believe so much in experience that it’s most sacred cow is burned to the ground. Those who can discuss Austrian economics and an unwavering faith in the midst of skeptics and communists and see it’s all okay because we survived in a wasteland.
It’s funny because we are not gathered here today to build for the burn. Maybe we have graduated taking with us those who want to produce and create cool things. I am evermore finding that those who are truly touching my heart are those who spend their time creating narratives and the containers for them to live in. See that’s not every “burner” it’s a tiny fraction of those who live their lives on the comet that is creativity.
I guess you are wondering what any of this has to do with my original assignment of how can Burning Man be good for a relationship.
The answer is I don’t know.
What I do know is that I am in the most romantic narrative of my life. A love that I never thought possible or that I deserved. See I am not the kind of girl men fall head over heels for. I am logical, stubborn, with a sharp tongue that eviscerates the weak. Rock worlds, as my friend, says, sure. Fall in love with? Nope, that's for the girl with fuzzy leggings and perfect eyeliner. I was okay with the notion that romance was not in the cards and I had Important Things to do.
Until someone fell in love with me and I am faced with what Marianne Williamson called “our deepest fear . . . that we are powerful beyond measure.’ This time I am not afraid of the light I am walking headlong into it. I can only hope that my presence in love “automatically liberates others.” I don’t want to play small this time. I want love to be a guiding fire that illuminates all those who are near it.
I don’t know what its like to be in the presence of the Man Burn. The first year I choose to have a tantric healing and learned a lot about the difference between the sacred feminine and empowered masculine. The second year I worked because being on the perimeter for the Totem of Confessions which held Leary’s ashes spoke to me. It was never Leary that I romanticized it was his proximity to Kesey. Here I am in Oregon where I have never been despite my father having lived on a farm near Kesey’s in Eugene. And I am here with a man named Eugene. No crystal tip artifice can invent the looping that weaves what is rapidly becoming my narrative and not the narrative I am following.
Right now for the first time, my narrative is rooted in love and not logic. I shed the expectations and obligations of that which impinges on my happiness. I am walking away from that which doesn’t serve me into that which feeds my soul. Art, story, and love.
It’s like wow.
I guess I feel unwilling to not have this experience of exploring these uncharted waters without love at my side. Burning Man is always uncharted. Ephemera has that effect. This love feels older than this lifetime. A love that required a decisive action and will always be drama because life is simply more colorful when lived by choosing forward. Together, in love, we will triumph and emerge battle tested. We can’t do that if we don’t even try.