Utter calmness descended upon me as we drove away from Austin, despite the fact that I knew we would be on the road for many, many hours.
It didn’t matter.
Stepping away from my life had become an absolute imperative, so my trip to Burning Man couldn’t have been better timed. Leaving my husband and child behind gave me no pause whatsoever. I needed this trip. Needed it like dust needs a surface on which to cling.
We had several breakdowns along the way, mechanical difficulties that I endured and my two male cohorts labored through (I held the flashlight and sweet-talked gas station attendants for supplies while they did the actual dirty work). Yet these setbacks did not impact my serenity in the slightest. I was committed to practicing presence at every moment. And did I ever succeed.
So, driving into the limits of Black Rock City, a place where possibility exists far beyond the realm of the most active imaginations (and exactly fifty-three hours after we had embarked upon our journey) I was mellow. As mellow as I had been in quite some time. Mellow as yellow. As laid-back as a Golden Gate Park hippie in the California sunshine.
What could I possibly say about Burning Man that doesn’t sound cliché and trite? Words don’t capture its essence, nor do photographs give credence to the magic that occurs at every turn of a bicycle’s wheel, a hipster’s head, a dime in the sand.
See? Trite. Cliché. I can’t even give the experience adequate description.
But because my experience there in the black-hot Black Rock desert was one of acceptance, of love, and of learning – really learning to open myself up to creating connections with people, connections that might last a forever lifetime or be the fleeting moments they were designed to be– because this was my experience, and because I had so many fantastic, flashing interludes laced with lessons about me and who I am in this world, and because despite the heat and the dust and the gazillions of dirty, sexy people I managed to maintain my mellow for a solid two weeks, because of these things… I can be okay with the fact that I can’t properly communicate how motherfucking awesome it was.
Perhaps a picture of me in the midst of my mellow will have to suffice. And perhaps mellow is something I should learn to cultivate here at home too.
Another lesson to learn… and counting.