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  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    This year I’m
    doing something
    different than my
    usual tradition of
    pithy punch list of
    lessons learned to
    wrap this series of
    entries up.
    I’m writing
    this last entry
    exactly two weeks
    after we got home
    from the burn, b ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Monday morning I
    woke up early and
    decided that I
    wanted to do one
    more personal ritual
    before we had to
    break down and pack
    up our yurt and load
    the truck and leave.
    So I took my handpan
    and one of our
    little chairs and
    walked ou ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Sunday is always a
    tough day at the
    burn because we have
    to strike
    tough physically of
    course but
    it’s also
    tough emotionally
    because it feels
    like the setting and
    the vibe we worked
    so hard to put toge ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Saturday was my only
    day with nothing
    pre-planned and
    nothing I had
    committed to do. The
    burn was almost over
    and I was starting
    to feel nibbles of
    FOMO (Fear Of
    Missing Out) so I
    was determined to go
    see some more art
    (especially ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Because I had
    actually gotten
    enough sleep, I woke
    up reasonably early
    on Friday morning.
    Josh was still
    asleep, but I wanted
    to take advantage of
    the relative
    coolness of the
    morning and go do
    something. So I
    decided to take my h ...


A blog in which Our Heroine records, reflects and wrestles with meaning. With lots of asides.

Josh and I got up around 4am. He went to go fetch the van from where it had languished for two weeks in the SSV satellite campground parking area, while I started breaking down and packing the remaining stuff in our yurt. We packed and packed, then we disassembled the yurt itself. While we loaded the van, we turned on the radio to listen to BMIR (the Burning Man radio station) to see if we could get any news about Exodus times and tips. At one point when we were nearly finished loading, the radio abruptly cut out. We investigated and discovered that we’d completely run down the battery (doh!), and now we were screwed unless we could find someone with jumper cables to give us a jump.

It was just after sunrise, and we started wandering around SSV looking for people who were awake and packing up, asking if anyone had jumper cables. We eventually found some people who were getting ready to leave who said they’d be willing to give us a jump, but they had no cables. Then, miracle of miracles, we found someone who had cables. (You can be sure that next year’s Burning Man kit will include jumper cables!) We put cables and healthy battery together with our dead battery and yay, it worked. We got in the car and headed out of the city around 7am.

But of course “headed out” isn’t really what we did...what we did was drove out the streets of the city towards the gate, where we promptly ran into the Exodus line and stopped. For hours. And hours. And hours. At this point we were too exhausted, anxious and cranky to want any additional interaction with our fellow burners, so we stayed in the car rather than getting out and helping to create “pop-up neighborhoods” with the folks in line around us (yet another one of those things that seems like a great idea until you’re in it). We dozed and listened to the radio, and I wrote for a while in my journal, but mostly we just sat there and waited and waited and waited. Every once in awhile a pulse would come and we’d move forward a bit.

Sunday morning we stumbled out of bed and slowly, groggily started trying to get our individual and collective s**t together to pack up and strike the camp. There was a morning all-camp meeting where everyone got strike explained and volunteer roles assigned. Yaboogie peeps were in charge of striking the shower, which we did immediately after the meeting for a few grueling hours until it was done. At least we had lots of help, which certainly did make it easier and friendlier. It was a little sad how quickly everything came apart into ordinary piles and bags and boxes, and there was a bunch of “where did this come from” kind of moop, but overall I think we did a pretty good job consolidating everything.

After that we spent the rest of the afternoon alternately sitting around in a stupor and trying to pack up all of our personal stuff, because we were planning on leaving before sunrise the next morning—we knew that Exodus would be grueling and take forever, so we wanted to get started as soon as possible. We were tired and grubby but generally happy.

At dinner there was another big camp meeting, full of logistics and planning, and eventually we stopped and a group of us (Josh, me, Anjanette, Evan, Mary, Mitch, and maybe a few others) met up to go see the Temple burn. We got there kind of late (they were burning the Temple earlier this year, in an effort to help with Exodus), so we didn’t get very close to it, and as a result, we didn’t quite have the one-with-the-crowd feeling. But we did have our own little group again, and it was sad and beautiful and full of release and longing all the same. We talked a bit about what we would want to burn away (I never did get the chance this year to write on the Temple or leave anything there to be actually burned away, which I regret), and I decided that what I wanted to burn away was constriction, aka feelings of smallness. After all, we supernovas are supposed to expand and get bigger, right? :)

Saturday morning I had one final shift at SSV as a Temple Guardian, from 8am-noon. I had to drag myself out of bed and get myself moving far earlier than I would have liked, but once I was up and dressed I felt all right. My buddy Ron was a Guardian with me again, plus we had another couple Guardians on duty this time as well, so it was actually a pretty easy and mellow shift. I lovingly awakened and kicked out the people who’d been sleeping in our domes, picked up moop, answered a bunch of questions about our workshop schedule, gave directions to the nearest porta-potties, and had fun welcoming and greeting people. My dear young friend Zoe (whom I’ve known since before she was born) came by to visit at one was her first burn, and it was her birthday that day. It was so great to see her, and to see her so open and loving the Burning Man experience.

After my shift I went back to our Yaboogie pod and changed from my Guardian whites into an afternoon outfit—I didn’t really have to, but I wanted a chance to wear my cool “dragon” vest that I’d made with the leftover scallops from the hanging in the Temple of Renewal. So I wore that to lunch and for a bit afterwards, while hanging around Yaboogie. It was hot and we were tired and feeling lazy, but I did manage to go take apart the Seaglass Guardian bottle sculpture, and pack the bottles into Eileen’s RV, because she was planning on leaving bright and early the next morning.

Saturday is the culmination of the entire Burn, the day (well actually the night) that everything is leading up to. Yes, Sunday has its charms, but it winds up being mostly a work day, and not as communally connected as Saturday is. Saturday is The Big Party, and you can feel the energy shift and the city start to vibrate as the day fades and night comes on.

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