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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.
Tags >> freaky

Supernova at the FYFFH workshop at Pink HeartI got up early enough on Tuesday morning to ride out to the playa-side potties (which had just been cleaned, great timing!) put my tutu outfit on and eat some breakfast. Then I got my self and supplies up to the frontage, where one of my favorite art flunkies (aka my mom) and I laid out some supplies and blank flags on one of the “mushroom” chairs in a shady part of the pink lounge. There were already people hanging around interested in the flag making, so I gathered up a group of people and explained the project and then sent the first batch off to color. People kept wandering in to the frontage and wanting to do the project so I found myself doing the same thing I do at Maker Faire, which is to grab people as they come in and make a group to which I explain the project all at once. After explaining the project concept and handing out blank flags I would remind them to use newspaper under their flag, encourage them to talk to each other while they were coloring, and tell them to come see me afterwards for pictures, and then let them go off wherever they chose in the frontage. Mom was also really helpful in explaining the project and encouraging people to make flags, and in helping me clean up all the newspapers and sharpies that got left about. Yay for art flunkies!

Freaks making flags at Pink Heart during the FYFFH workshopFor the last hour or two of the workshop there were clumps of people coloring all over frontage, which made me really happy. I believe we went through almost a hundred flags, which is significantly more than in past years. I’m not sure what made the project so attractive this year other than mere serendipity and timing (10am-1pm on a Tuesday seems to be a good time for people to come hang out and make art) but I was happy to see that everything worked out so well and that I had been able to touch so many people with the FYFFH project this year. I met some wonderful people and had a lot of fun talking to people about their flags (I asked each person to tell me a story about or explain something they’d put on their flag), and sometimes the timing worked out so that those stories could be told in a group setting, which I think was a great innovation. One of the important points of doing this project is not only to see and appreciate our own freaky bits, but those of others as well, so showing other people our flags and talking about our own freaky bits in a non-judgmental, supportive way with other burners (who are already mostly operating in a spirit of radical openness and appreciation) was really great. I also encouraged people to talk to each other while they were coloring, and to introduce their freaky bits to each other as a way to connect and to reclaim the word “freak” as a compliment (e.g. “hey, that’s really freaky!” or “you are such an interesting freak” or “hey I’m that kind of freak too!”)

Freaks and their flags at the FYFFH workshop at Pink HeartThe only hard part about the FYFFH workshop was taking pictures, because the place where I was taking pictures was in the direct sunlight and it was HOT, especially early on before the shade spread to cover the whole frontage. The direct super hot sunlight not only made it difficult to see the camera screen (I just pointed my phone in the right general direction and hoped for the best), but I actually got a little woozy and had to drink a ton of water and be vigilant about staying in the shade at all other times. I’m not positive I got all the pics I tried to take (because I couldn’t even tell if the camera app was on), but those I did manage to take turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. I didn’t pass out any moo cards or flyers, but I told people that if they could remember the instruction to “fly your freak flag high” they could find the web site and see their pics later.

We had to get up early Sunday morning for strike, which is something that they take very seriously at Pink Heart. We put on our grubby work clothes and jumped right in to dis-assembling the Pink Lounge with a bunch of people. I spent a bunch of time pulling down and un-knotting pink fabric that had been draped in various places around the shade structure, and then I helped Terri clean out the freezer that had held the ice cream while we gave it away. That was a disgusting and difficult cleaning job considering that it was covered in melted ice cream that had combined with dust and dried, and we couldn’t just hose it out. After that I mooped (picked up any and all bits and pieces of things that didn’t belong on the playa) and wiped and schlepped and generally tried to make myself useful wherever it was needed, until finally most everything was gone and it was time for Josh and I to turn our attention to breaking down our own stuff and mooping our own camp.

Mystic packing upIt had been our intention to do all the breakdown and then just leave our yurt and bed up so that we could stay to watch the Temple burn that night, and get a few hours of sleep before leaving BRC early Monday morning. But as we neared completion on our own teardown and packing, we both realized that we were kind of done and decided to just pack everything and leave during the burn. We didn’t want to repeat the experience we had had the previous year where we had to wait for 8 hours to get out of the city, and when we checked the radio it was saying that there was hardly any wait, so it seemed like a good time to go, even though it was getting kind of late. We said farewell to our friends that were still there, and got in the car and headed out around 9pm.

We had pretty smooth sailing out of the city, only stopping for about an hour at the end of the gate line. When we finally hit pavement we were hungry and had to pee, so we stopped off in one of the small towns along the way at a roadside stand to have Indian tacos (which are really more like thick frybread with lettuce, tomato and meat on top). The food was hot and tasty and we chatted with a few other burners who had also stopped, so overall it turned out to be a good transitional experience that I would do again next time (I don’t know why we never tried it before, eagerness to get in and out I guess). We stopped again at Love’s for gas and texted our friends and family that we’d gotten out safely, and then pretty much had a straight shot home in the dark without any incidents of note. By the time we got close to home Josh was super tired and we were a little worried about falling asleep at the wheel but we pushed on through and made it home around 5am. Everyone was still asleep at our house so we had a quick shower (oh bliss!) and crawled into our quiet, soft bed (oh super bliss!) for a few hours.

Playa at sunriseJosh and I woke up early on Saturday, and stumbled out around sunrise to go to the porta-potties. On our way back we decided to go look for the camp near ours that supposedly served coffee, which we eventually found. They were just brewing a new batch so we lounged around in their camp lounge for awhile and had a fun time talking to a few other caffeine-craving early morning burners, most of whom were just rolling back to camp after a long night rather than early risers like us (but we were all equally tired and punchy). I met a nice older man who gifted me with a carved wooden spoon/fork combo that he’d made and we had an especially fun time bantering and telling bad jokes with John the Irishman and Gaby from Sebastopol, who were camping down the street at Campoline (a camp with a bunch of giant trampolines out front). We said we’d come see them later if we could, and then they took off and we slowly made our way back to Pink Heart.

Josh went back to the yurt but I sat outside in the Pink Lounge for a while, doodling in my journal and talking to people who came by to get water. I worked the water bar for a little while too. 

Anjanette rockin' it at the roller discoJosh and I were thinking about heading out for one last exploration adventure, with Center Camp as our loose destination, but as we were getting ourselves together I wound up talking to Anjanette about whether or not she’d gotten back over to the roller rink we’d seen farther down the Esplanade, like she’d wanted to. She said she hadn’t, and I felt bad that she hadn’t gotten to do something she had really wanted to do (plus I realized at that point that she and I hadn’t really had much time for playa adventuring together this burn) so I said “come on, let’s go right now!” and when she said ok, I asked Josh if he’d wait to go on the Center Camp adventure until Anjanette and I went over to the Black Rock Roller Disco. He was fine with that, so Anjanette and I hopped on our bikes and off we went.

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