So sometime around last Thursday, the ability for my brain to process what was going on completely halted. I know many of you were watching our escapades closely, and I apologize for the delay in completing our journey accurately.
We did make it to the Temple of Promise for sunrise. The expected chanting did not occur, but it was still a powerful moment.
Afterwards, my dad set off to deep playa to take photos of the less official artwork, my mom headed back to the RV, and I took one last journey through the spiral of the temple in an effort to release all the things I brought with me that needed to be released. My dad’s illness. My failed relationships. Toxic people. It was crowded, I slowly made my way through, found my bike, and rode away like a warrior. That was my last visit to the temple, and oddly, I did not need to see it burn as I expected. The fact that it burned on Sunday was enough.
Later that morning we headed to the other side of town. My parents talked to god.
They also sat in a swing.
And ate some pancakes
A storm was brewing – the weather was expected to be quite gusty, and we wanted to get back before getting caught in another white out.
Thursday night I had to work as Temple Guardian again, and again it was a great experience. I met a couple from Illinois who offered to cuddle with me while we watched the music, because it was freakishly cold. That night it got down to 37 degrees and I made my mom turn on the heater.
I don’t have many photos from Friday. I ran around town on my own, meeting people, dancing, drinking weird punch from my dusty cup. That afternoon, we were trapped in our RV for a few hours. The dust and wind were crazy. My dad edited photos, I drew, my mom did puzzles. We could watch the people go by on the street, but it was strangely quiet. And it was the only time I felt a little grouchy.
My parents were working Friday night, which was the biggest night for Sacred Spaces. Apparently somewhere in the realm of 5,000 people were expected on our smallish dance floor. I planned to go out that night, but it was chilly and I was tired. I ended up through all the parties.
I’m realizing this blog series feels anticlimactic. We are now at Saturday, the day of the burn, the day all the weekenders have showed up and the city is at full capacity. Black Rock City becomes the second largest city in all of Nevada, maybe just for this one night. It will sound weird if you haven’t been, but I could have easily left before the man burned and been completely satisfied with my experience.
That being said, I’m glad I didn’t miss it.
I sat on the ground, about four rows back at around 1:30 (on the map). I was surrounded by people I did not know. The members of the fire enclave performed after the man raised his arms.
The fireworks were like none I’ve ever seen. When my dad finishes editing his photos, I will post a link here. He captured the burn itself quite magnificently.
We got up Sunday morning and worked in the kitchen, helped break down camp, said our goodbyes. Initially we planned to stay through the temple burn at 8 p.m., but with all the driving we had to do, we decided to leave earlier. The drive that took us 14 hours the previous Sunday only took 7, and we were showered and in bed by 10 or so that night. I only had to wash my hair four times to get most of the dust out.
People keep asking me if I had fun at Burning Man. Well, yes. I had fun. I saw things that blew my mind. I spent time with my parents in a way you don’t often get to do once you are a grown up. I met people in a way I would never meet people in the real world. I laughed more than I remember laughing, I felt magic like I’ve never known. I was also fortunate enough to save my complete emotional breakdown for after I got home but before my boys came back to stay with me. Perfect timing.
Thank you all, again, for watching our journey. I have told you about 1% of what happened to us there. And we saw about 1% of what went on. I’ll be going next year….until then: