Working It Out at Da Vinci’s Workshop: Burning Man 2016, Part 8 (Exodus and Wrap-Up)  [edit] 

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Tagged in: solipsistic , reflect , record , memory , life , lessons , Burning Man , art

Julia's hat on the dash as we waited in the Exodus line

Monday we got up as early as we could and spent three or four hours striking and mooping our own camp area and loading up the van and the Uhaul with all our stuff. We said goodbye to all our remaining camp mates and then Mom, Josh and I caravanned together with Kathy and Anthony to the Exodus line. We were expecting it to take a long time to get out and at first we were happy and perky hanging out in line with our friends and other random folks around us, but after hours and hours and hours of that we got tired (like you do) and cranky. I spent time writing in my journal and listening to BMIR. We didn’t hit pavement until nearly 9pm, which meant that our traditional stop at the Black Bear Diner in Sparks was not going to work (they closed at 10). So we decided to go back to the GSR to get some food (casinos are open all night, after all) and maybe see some other Pinkies there. Once we got into cell range Mom called Dad and we called home and spent a nice long time (maybe an hour?) talking to our eldest (youngest had already gone to bed) about what had been going on for him in the first week of school, which was great.

We got to the GSR around 11 and changed clothes and wiped down in the restroom there and then promptly ran into Alex, Lionessa, MissyKat, Halcyon and Millie. We had a late dinner with Kathy and Anthony and Millie, and then eventually got back on the road around maybe 2am. We were all tired but especially Josh, who’d been driving most of the way. I took over from him for the last hour or so, and had to fight to stay awake, especially when we hit morning rush hour traffic around Vallejo. We got home just before 7am, and the kids were already up and about getting ready for school (though my poor Dad was asleep on the couch waiting for us to get home). It was so great to see the kids (and they were happy to see us too) but it was also great that they left to go to school and we could finally shower and fall into our own comfy bed for a couple hours.

And now, as per custom, it’s time for the bullet list summary of lessons learned and final thoughts about this year’s burn:

  • I’m just so stoked to be here. Really.
  • Everything is going to be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
  • Burning Man has always felt like a sort of New Year’s celebration to me, but it was doubly so this year after having lived in cancer-land for nearly the entire year between the last burn and this one.
  • I now have a pile of pretty solid proof that no matter what happens, I’m still me, and me is a bright expansive powerful supernova. It’s my nature and my privilege to shine and provide an example of said shining to the world.
  • While it’s true that you could sum up the experience of being at Burning Man by saying “you just can’t make this shit up”, you could also sum it up by saying “that’s a giant fuck-ton of shiny shit”. Both statements are a vain and somewhat silly attempt at distilling years of experience and squeezing way too much meaning into something short and pithy. (Which is ultimately an impossibility, but it’s fun to try.)
  • PHamily is real and it feels really good to be a part of it.
  • Savoring leads to happiness. Savor more, be happy more.
  • Cold treats in the desert never get old.
  • Short hair on the playa is certainly more convenient and easier to deal with.
  • Ritual is a powerful tool for healing.
  • Suffering cracks us open and lets the light in.
  • Try pitching next year’s Freak Flag making workshop as (also) a “chill and color” activity.
  • Playing handpan on stage is pretty fun. I would like to do it again, but prepare a bit more next time.
  • I really want to make a wind-art freak flag sculpture for Burning Man next year or the year after.
  • No mud, no lotus. If I hadn’t gone through so much crap during my year of living cancerously, I would not have had such a particularly sweet burn this year.
  • Yes, apparently I *am* Lady Luck. And now I can look the part whenever I want to.
  • Foam shower + coconut oil + cookie + dancing in the company of other happy clean burners is a recipe for an awesome good time.
  • The art is amazing, the dancing is fun, the absurdity is awesome, and the creativity is inspiring, but it is the people that make Burning Man so compelling and keep me coming back year after year.
  • Burning Man may be only a week, but the best parts of it can live on 24/7/365 in the way we choose to be in the world and in the way we treat each other (and ourselves).

[Da Vinci's Workshop Intro]

[Da Vinci's Workshop Part 1]

[Da Vinci's Workshop Part 2]

[Da Vinci's Workshop Part 3]

[Da Vinci's Workshop Part 4]

[Da Vinci's Workshop Part 5]

[Da Vinci's Workshop Part 6]

[Da Vinci's Workshop Part 7]

[Full Set of My Da Vinci's Workshop Pictures on Facebook]