August is winding down. You’re preparing to head to that dusty little festival in the Nevada desert that happens at the last gasp each and every summer. Preparing to make your pilgrimage to that community of approximately 50K sparkly souls that will be erected and disappear in a single, sticky, larger than life, throbbing heartbeat that will last seven golden days and seven glittery nights. Black Rock City.
Some of us who’ve been there before call it HOME. If you’re going back, your cells have already started to twitch and vibrate. There’s a restlessness building in your body and you can barely concentrate. You know the second your feet hit the cement-hard playa that the frequency of your inner soul will line up with the frequency of your outer world for the first time in almost a year. You already know the blissy peace you will feel … the blissy peace that only comes when you find your way home. You can barely wait another second. But that anticipation? That build up? That hunger? It’s part of the fun.
If you’ve never been, you’re excited and a bit nervous. You’re wondering why (the fuck) nobody can really tell you what to expect … why everyone gives it a half-assed attempt and then just fades off telling you that you’ll just have to just wait and see … wait and experience it for yourself. You’re lining mountains of costumes up on your bed and wondering if you have enough. Maybe just one more furry vest. Maybe just one more light strand. Maybe just one more tutu. You’re wondering if this is all a colossal mistake. You’re wondering if you’re going to be able to get into the very elaborate and expensive corset that you bought specifically for the festival. Maybe you shouldn’t go? Maybe you should watch one more documentary. One more youtube video. Why (the fuck) can nobody tell you what to expect? People say it changes you. Do you even want to be changed?
To add to the confusion … what I can tell you is that you will be changed or you won’t. Just like luke entering the cave on dagobah … you will find only what you take with you and only that which you are willing to see. There will be light and dark in equal measure that will vie for your attention. Both will ooze from your pores and sit on your skin waiting to be noticed. You can illuminate either (or both) in more ways than you can possibly imagine – sitting in the eerily spacious powerful temple, standing in the presence of the all-seeing “man”, through conversation with a random stranger who has offered to braid your hair, on a solo ride through a white-out sandstorm in the deep playa, while crying in your tent wondering if the wind and the dust will ever stop, between the 3:47 AM beats of sound and light as you dance trance at robot heart. For example. Or not.
Some come and go. Having snapped some amazing photos that will litter instagram for the next 51 weeks. Hair and make-up so perfect. Just the tiniest smear of dust across a suntanned cheekbone. Some will come and be irritated by the noise, the heat, the people, the constant stimulation. Some will never come back. Some will come and be amazed at every turn by the conversations, the art, the beauty in its many shapes and forms, the sun, the dust, the space, the claustrophobia of it all. Some will get trapped in the vortex and resist the transition back to the “default world” constantly hungering to recreate what they experienced for that magical seven days in the desert and feeling frustrated for 51 weeks of the year. Some will come and instantly feel as though they have arrived HOME. Some will easily settle into the fluid pace of life and feel as though they are encountering mirrors at every turn. Some slide in and out of the festival having experienced the peace that comes with a resetting of the soul. Some burn quietly. Some extinguish the sparks as soon as they become apparent. Some burn with an absolutism that is loud and wild and frenzied. Some are violent and aggressive and actively destructive. Some simmer and emerge intact.
All of this is possible.
And all of this is good. Is true. Is fine. Is perfect. Is exactly as expected.
So burn bright sparkle pony (or don’t). Either way you will find your burn.
PS … in true sparklepony form … I started writing this 3 weeks ago and got distracted … finally managed to finish it 1-week post-burn