Decompression. It’s September 4th, and Burning Man has been over for three days. I am now going through the winding down and recollection phase. This was my second burn, and I have to say it was quite an experience. I am thankful for every thing I learned, all the fun I had, and the uncomfortable things surrounding the event. For anyone who’s ever been to Burning Man, it’s a very high-stimulating environment with music playing twenty-four seven, and constant parties and activities going on on the Playa. It’s vibrant and exciting all the time, making it hard to wind down even with sleep. I won’t go to the entire details of what Burning Man is and what it represents, for those who have never gone, but for those of you who have not gone, Google, YouTube, Wikipedia it and decide if it’s something worth your respective efforts.
This year, going for me was a time of revitalization and being renewed mentally, and emotionally. I feel that I’d been so bogged down by the issues of life living in a large city, that Burning Man would serve me well, renewing my faith in people, and myself. It did just that, as well as, giving me a bit of an ego along the way because suddenly I felt attractive to men, and to myself! Good shit! I really felt like a re-discovered myself out on the Playa and really got a sense of who I am, and the comfort of that woman really is moving me a long now that I’m back in “default” world. The only thing that I can judge in myself that I need to work on is the reality that my decompression has been difficult because I feel as though I slammed into a brick wall of the hardness of the society which I was able to escape for a little while.
I decided I’d go to some workshops this year, since last year I pretty much missed everything I planned for, however, this year I wore a watch. I like knowing the time out there. I walked around so much of the Playa, and got a Tarot Card reading, was given an energy number (9), I also went to a workshop called “I’m black, and I’m on the Playa”, and another workshop that gave some tips on how to talk to people without feelings of rejection (without fear), which I can’t remember its name. The “I’m black, and I’m on Playa” was interesting. I’ve got to thank my camp mate Bob for going with me. He’s a nice guy. There aren’t that many black people that attend Burning Man, and those that do, are in the position of not being able to tell their family members that they go because the members would be either afraid or appalled. There’s also the religious fact, as in Burning Man would appear hedonist to some person who ascribed to a faith, like Christianity. I enjoyed listening to all the different groups represented speak on their experiences. I also enjoyed all of the people who are white that came out to speak their peace and listen to what was being said. I wish they would have said more, but it was called “I’m black, and I’m on the Playa” for a reason. I walked away from that workshop a bit more aware of my color than I wanted to be, but I also felt a sense of obligation to speak freely about my race and what it means for me to be on the Playa for my second year, or even at all. –I suppose people would worry about whether that’s a *thing* but to me it is not unless someone makes it a thing, which tends to happen because let’s face it, idiots also attend Burning Man.
I came away renewed in a way because I felt as though I turned a corner on being more mature and responsible, it was important to me that I go and figure things out on my own. I realized some things about myself as well, that I’d actually been struggling with for so much of my life –Insecurity. I came back with some confidence. I felt enough for myself and enough for others. I felt ENOUGH. The real sense of belonging some place other than inside of my shell. I was complimented by all types of men, and many said hello or smiled, which fulfilled me. I didn’t feel any type of connection with any of them, but I felt good about the compliments and smiles.
I am back at work, still in a fog, and a bit disoriented. If it weren’t for my co-workers helping, my head would have exploded from all the hysteria. Burning Man while it gives you a sense of perspective because of it’s gifting economy, it also renews faith in mankind to a degree (it did so for me), and it makes you believe in the good outcome of man, although so many things in the world are wrong.