Back from the Desert

I went to Burning Man in August, as I am wont to do every year or so. But this time, I didn’t come all the way back. Some part of me stayed lost in the desert.⁣

If I’m honest, it was a somewhat disappointing Burn. Many of my heartmates weren’t able to make it. Certain walks and talks that I had been hungrily anticipating didn’t happen. ⁣

To be sure, there were magical moments and I was surrounded by the loveliest people; but most of them were new to me, and we were on different schedules and trajectories. I own that a lot of it is on my side of the line. I’m a slow burn. I take a while to warm up, and I didn’t find the opportunity to forge connections that open the door to Deep Sharing. ⁣

There are folks out there in the world that I can go a year or more without seeing, and we can land immediately in each other’s gaze and embrace, and be down for whatever.⁣

But I’ve realized, there are not as many as I’d like. In the days and weeks after the Burn, I found myself wondering just how many there really are. There are people that I connect with, and there are people that I talk about connecting with—i.e., we spend our time and words basking in the memory of that moment we did actually connect once. Or, as often happens, the transmission, while vulnerable, tends to be one-directional.⁣

My mood was akin to post-Christmas depression. You know how it goes—allegedly The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, peace and good will, yada yada, but underneath the hype, light-and-music show, frenetic activity, and veritable vomitus of well wishes, not a lot of real contact. ⁣

I found myself sleeping and staring out the window a lot more. My ongoing home renovation only added to the sense of self-alienation. Nothing was where it was supposed to be and everything was covered with dust, including me. I couldn’t get back into my usual rhythm. The silence between words and thoughts grew bigger and bigger, and it wasn’t a comforting silence. More like a void.⁣

And then I got the text. I was in a bar in a different state, by myself, close to midnight. Everyone else was asleep, or so I thought. It was a simple and unexpected message from a special soul, one both old and familiar, that I’m only just getting to know: Hey, we should get some alone time, soon. ⁣

How soon? I responded. Like, what are you doing right now?⁣

Fifteen minutes later we were huddled around a fire on a rooftop terrace, and by the light of those flames and our conversation, I began to find my way back. ⁣

We were up there for hours. And we talked and talked and shared. Even spoke of things that could have gotten us locked up (or at least strait-jacketed) in daytime hours. My companion reminded me of some things about myself, and I sat in appreciation of their openness and deep wisdom. Through the connection, I felt more Connected with Everything. ⁣

And then it started. The next day, out-of-the-blue texts from friends old and new—people that I crave a closer relationship with. “I had a dream about you.” “Owls flew across my path twice today and I thought of you.” Reminders of the untapped beauty and magic in my life, just waiting for me. A veritable embarrassment of riches.⁣

So, I’m back, in a manner of speaking. I’m curious about what’s coming. I’m also kinda digging the quiet. But if you want to talk—I mean, really talk—I am totally down for that.⁣