Thursday, 16 October 2014

Wednesday - Morning

The first thing I noticed Wednesday morning was that it was hot.  I'd been woken up by the heat in my tent and when I checked the time, it was only 7am!  I opened the door/window flaps in the tent, but... it was hot in there so I got up.  The spicy spicy from the night before had disagreed with my tummy so I was moving a little bit slow.

Breakfast was yummy again, but I gave part of mine to Connor just to be on the safe side (stomach wise.)

I'd told Connor I wasn't feeling well, so we just took it slow.  We moseyed out to the Temple, and each took our time to do what we'd wanted to do there.  Temple is a very interesting place and it hadn't been open long so was still sparsely decorated.  It was, to me, an odd shape, but the work was delicate.  I had a lot of things I was saying goodbye to, so I had written out letters to those things (including my Ego) and I sat and re-read them and left them in one of the walls.  I also left one of Jason's art cards with a wish that his career would continue to do well.  I also told Fear and Anxiety that I really didn't need them anymore and that they could just go ahead and burn here with the Temple.

I wandered silently around the Temple once I'd finished my time and I saw some beautiful tributes to Robin Williams, including one of him as a young man with a sign that said Thank You and I was very moved by it and I started to cry.  It's not at all uncommon to cry at Temple, so many people are there to pay respects to someone they've lost, and it's a place full of silent respect and love.

I ran into one of our neighbours on my way out and she held me and we both cried together.  We told each other we loved each other and I left her to her time.

I sat outside in a sliver of shade I found and waited for Connor.  Sometimes I felt drawn to someone who was crying and I'd approach them and either sit with them, or offer a hug, or both.  Sometimes you can tell someone just wants to be held and sometimes you can tell they just want to be alone.  I find a lot of strength and connection in being able to support and love people in their times of sorrow and I'm considering working with the Temple Guardians at some point in the future.  Just to be there and to hold the space for people as they grieve.

I felt so much love there at the Temple.  People letting go of sad and hurt and all the un-needed things and I just wanted everyone to know they were loved and their pain was ok and they'd be ok.

Connor came out after a while and we walked our bikes out, both of us quiet and contemplative.

There was a bowling ball lane and a giant wooden wave you could "surf" on your bike and a hundred other random pieces of art.

We made our way to the Man and the souk that they had chosen to surround him with this year.  The souk itself felt a bit janky, which I'd sort of known it would be, and I sat for a while in the really nice, deep shade of the (giant!) man's leg and people watched.

There was a "Canadian Acculturation Center" with hockey sticks and a bush plane and it was nice to have a little piece of home in the middle of the Nevada desert, although I didn't feel the need to have my photo taken with the wooden Mountie.

On our way home, we stopped off at PO9, one of the post offices on Playa.  (Yes, actual post offices.)  My neighbour who went with us to Burning Man last year asked me if I'd send her a post card so I wanted to mail it off and I thought while I was there that I'd volunteer to deliver some mail.

Man oh man... it was so hard!  It's not as if you're working with street addresses and even finding a placed camp takes a lot of work, nevermind trying to find a random person with an address that may not even be accurate because their friend probably mailed it a week or two before they even got to Burning Man and they were only guessing where they might be camped.  So... someone who thought they might camp at 8:45 and J could be in a massive spread of cars and vans and tents that goes two city blocks up, down, left and right and unless someone knows who "Papa John" is and happens to be sitting in their camp as you're wandering along the street looking for said Papa John, you're kind of... out of luck!  I was finding it pretty stressful, Connor was out of water and it was really really hot.

I did manage to deliver two packages to two different camps but the third package they'd given me was just a guy's name and it was way too hard.  Addresses after all being very approximate!  We went back to camp, got water and cooled off and I apologetically returned the undelivered package later that day.

But yeah, seriously... there's mail at Burning Man!  It's pretty frigging awesome.


Jason Langlois said...

Everything about this is so cool. Mail in the camp. Temple. Giving hugs and support. Canadian cliches.

Every post about your Burning Man experiences makes me emotional. In the best way.

Thanks for sharing.

Elliott said...

I can tell you had some great experiences while there. You're love and joy and emotion come through in every word you write. I can almost feel being there through you words and writing.

Thank you for that.

Elliott said...

whoops...your...I am actually edumacated, honest.

Victoria said...

Thanks Jason :)

That's so nice to hear Elliott... and I understand about edumacation ;)

Jonathan said...

Every time I read about Robin Williams I become incredibly sentimental for childhood - I guess because he was a part of so many of our childhoods. Our kids watch Mork and Mindy now, so I have kind of passed the baton on.