Did I have any fun? Yes, I did. I spent time with friends I haven't seen in nearly ten years. I got to hang out with my brother-in-law for a day. I saw some spectacular art.
Burning Man was really important part of my life--not only socially, but it heavily influenced my decision to go into massage and who I've become as an adult. However, I've gotten a little jaded, I think. The art that once left me awestruck has become more mundane to my eyes. "How did they DO that?!?" is now "Hnh. How'd they do that? Oh yeah, I see how."
For the newbies, though? It's still blowing their minds, which is the important part. My favorite takeaway this year is a sermon by an Episcopalian priest about his experience out there, a 53-year-old guy who went with his 22-year-old "I'm more of a Buddhist" daughter. It is funny, touching, and poignant, and drives home how he has integrated his experience into the default world.
The part that gave me chills is at about the 13-minute mark, when he talks about the gift that he brought: blessings. In turn, he anointed the receiver's eyes, ears, mouth, hands, and feet--even going to far as to kiss them--before placing his hand over the receiver's heart as he finished. From there, he would say:
The world now is too dangerous and too beautiful for anything but love.
. . .
I anoint your eyes so that you see God in everyone.
I anoint your ears so you hear the cry of the poor.
I anoint your lips so that you speak nothing but the truth in love.
I anoint your hands so that everything you give and everything you receive
is a sacrament.
I anoint your feet so that you can run to those who need you.
And may your heart be so opened, so set on fire, that your love,
YOUR LOVE, changes everything.
What a beautiful message to send out into the world.
I got what I needed from Burning Man, and it's up to me to carry forward the change it has brought me in my life.