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thinking of the alkali desert.

May 16, 2011

this blog post is not about writing.

i decided a while back that i would take stock of my new year’s resolutions on june 1st of this summer so that i could evaluate how i was doing. keep in mind that my resolutions are crazy crazy so ‘taking stock’ of them is kind of ridiculous. i don’t remember half of them and i’m purposefully not looking at them until two weeks have passed, and then i will write the post spur of the moment!

one resolution, however, that i am trekking steadily towards is my goal of going to burning man 2011.


people who know me know that this is a big deal for me. i’m a type-a personality (mostly) and i have first-born guilt a lot of the times. i’m an odd mix of creative-type and anxious-type. on those colour evaluations that were ever so popular back in the days of elementary school, i always got green (and some orange).  i like to plan things.

well, i’ve sort of planned things for burning man, in that i’ve received my ticket, and just booked the bus (which also includes the camping ground and the food and water) for shannon and myself the other day. yes, for our first time we are going the fully-provided route, which is a good thing i think because talking to the girl on the phone was an interesting thing – she laughed out loud when i told her it was my first time going to burning man and then suggested that i memorize the first timer’s guide. and i think it’s a good thing that i don’t have to concern myself with food and water – the basics for survival – because there are many other things that i’m going to have to think about. goggles, for sandstorms. ventilators or face masks, for the dust. sunscreen (for me this is huge. i do NOT TAN.). a way to secure my tent properly so that it doesnt fly into the air when enveloped in a dust devil. shade. taking care of my skin when the dust (which is apparently a severe desiccant) makes me bleed.

this sounds almost like a war. in a way, from the tales from the playa that i’ve read, it is. that is the part that reassures me, which is odd to say. but planning – i can do that. i packed for 9 weeks in the severe environment of the northern canadian bush. a week in the desert in a temporary city – it intimidates me, but not in a bad way.

the part that makes me the most nervous is the reliance on self that everybody talks about. emotionally, it sounds like this is going to be a fucken rollercoaster. that maybe it doesn’t necessarily start out as so much “fun” as it does “overwhelming.” and i’ve never been someone who revels in chaos. i’m ‘highly sensitive’ which basically just means that things like theme parks or huge concerts or big crowds – they do not give me energy, they take my energy away. when it comes down to it, i’m an introvert, and i get energy from being alone.


and that is exactly the reason why i’m doing this. i do not look at burning man as a fabulous party that i’m going to for a week. i don’t look at it like a drug-addled five days – not five days that i need to drink my brains out throughout. it’s not a party that i’m going for. it’s a sense of bravery that is urging me on. i don’t even know if i would look at this upcoming trip as a “spiritual journey” because that term doesn’t necessarily appeal to me. inside of me, i know that this is going to be hard for me – me, the often-cynic, to accept that a society can be completely commerce-free, that people merely care for the other people around them, that everyone will be so open and accepting and naked (literally, and emotionally), and that i will not be judged. it is going to be hard for me to open myself to that.

but i am fire. i have been and will be this element. i am leo, i am dry and sharp. i burn with undisputed and sometimes unrequited passion for things. i do not like water. is this not the perfect environment for me?


and what is bravery if i won’t try?


on a side note, does anyone have a gas mask i can borrow?

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 16, 2011 6:06 pm



    seasoned burner tip: if an Australian gives you a “huff” from a “balloon” on a huge art car shaped like a pink bunny claiming it is “helium” DO NOT INHALE.

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