Words are still failing; I have a book (journal) which I wrote a lot of little things in. I have some audio tape I recorded as well. I haven't reviewed anything as of yet, but i will sometime soon. Expect more complete reportage in the future. Here are my notes on the re-entry, the "decompression" as the parlance of the event would have it.
You feel a little bit like a subversive, coming back from Black Rock City; covered in dust and sun and sweat, rambling suburban California with a head full of dreams, like a free radical, a catalyst, something strong and sexy. You have a tan and are comfortable with your body. Your smile is infectious. You walk tall, high in spirit on a deep speedball of fatigue and human possibility. You are an emmisary from the future and the feeling is good.
I'm almost tempted not to tell stories; it would sound like a freak show... which it is, but that's not the point, that's not why I'll be going back. Burning Man is like anything else in life. It's what you make of it. The value is in what you take away, what sticks with you, what lands. Some people make it a lifestyle, neo-tribal hippy gypsy fasionistas in wild painted buses with stripper poles and disco balls and flaming tailpipes. People get married. All this and more I saw.
I saw. A certain level of spectatorship -- a dirty word on the playa -- is inevitable your first time. It's hard to understand how to be there, hard to believe that there's nothing stopping you from being completely honest. So you look around. You look for your people. You look for a place to fit in, somewhere where the forms are set for you.
I read some of my text at the center camp cafe; pretty well-received, but too general to really feel like a scene. The place where I was camped wasn't really my home groove. It was a journey for me to understand my own responsibility in finding my way; a lot of solo ranging and self-discovery.
Eventually it all came though and I became something of an instant veteran, looking down my nose at the clueless ugly americans, rolling my eyes at frat boys and candy ravers. Not that I intend any kind of exclusion, but by Sunday evening I think people should Get It already. Judgmental, sure, but honest.
Now that I'm decompressing, I'm much more magnanimous. On the way home, stopping off outside Reno and answering questions from locals I was positive and encouraging; so what if you need new teeth? That don't mean you spirit can't soar.
So it's a process, finding your niche in Black Rock City. I'm in progress for sure, but it's a positive thing. I'm glad I was there and I'm glad I'm back in the square world straddling the gap, fulfilling my role as a middlegrounder, taking the mojo out and sewing the seeds of new and better things.