Monday, September 8, 2014
Part of the post Burning Man ritual is to decompress once you've re-entered the Default World, also known as real life. As hard as I tried to avoid taking my phone off airplane mode on the 10 hour drive back to Los Angeles from Nevada, I eventually relented and was soon scrolling through some 75 messages. It's scary how quickly I plunged right back into the frantic clicking, swiping, and liking when just a day ago I couldn't have cared less about anything going on beyond Black Rock City's trash fence.
Settling back into the day-to-day was much quicker this time. Last year, I walked around NYC feeling sad that pedestrians weren't covered in lights or furry costumes and that everyone was just so quick to get somewhere. And the MOOP! Oh God, litter and dirt everywhere. I wanted to be back at Burning Man so badly. Then the year goes on and eventually you almost forget about what it was like to be out there, but that happens just in time to make that journey once again. A. and I went with the notion that we probably wouldn't be returning in 2015 because we want to experience other corners of the world and when one of us only gets two weeks of vacation a year, that time off should be well-considered. Well now I think we do want to return.
It's fun to tell friends and family about your Burning Man experience, show off videos and photos, and try to get them to grasp what an incredible place this is (it'll always be one of those "You had to be there" spots). Still, there's nothing like getting together with other burners and exchanging stories and discoveries because there's just so much that one person could miss. This past Saturday, A. and I visited a friend I've known through the Etsy NY team who lives just a couple blocks away. We've been living so close for about nine months and couldn't manage to meet up...until we randomly bumped into each other on the playa.* A burner for about eight years, he's seen some things and so five of us gathered to chat about this year's burn, favorite moments from previous years, and finally watch that Malcolm in the Middle Burning Man episode. A. and I left his house happy and wondering if we shouldn't return next year and really do it up. Then again, that's exactly how we felt last time and before we knew it, we were packing up to head out without accomplishing any of those grand plans. I'm sure that itch will strike again in full force when we meet up with 100 or so burners this Sunday at a Post Playa Picnic in Central Park.
*It's funny how frequently you'll run into people you know even though you're in a sea of 65,000 people in a 5+ square mile area. There were a handful of folks we knew would be out there and did we see any by actually visiting their camps? Nope! We saw them through chance meetings while biking around and attending random events. It's always a happy surprise.