won’t know til I go

I apparently need to prepare strategically and plan for every conceivable situation that could occur in the desert, in the summer, with no running water, living in a tent. No worries.

I may have impulsively decided to go, but my cherished hope is that I’ll arrive savvily packed. Unfortunately, the first draft of my list intimidates, overwhelms and then, paralyzes me.

Packing seems to be a fascinating, fun and evolutionary process for long-time Burners, they get more precise and inventive.  Of course they’ve lost their virginal fear.

The Burner community share their lists and tips; friends of Burners share their friends’ tips. I’ve read articles, guides for virgins, looked at tons of pictures and watched videos. Packing can be planned.

The experience can’t.

 “No idea can substitute for this experience,”–from “Immediacy,” one of Burning Man’s ten principles.

I have ideas. I can imagine the energy of the playa and sense how time slips away upon arrival. I can see myself , like in a dream, riding my bike in the desert draped in scarves, a sarong, boots, goggles and mask. I can feel the head shrinking heat and layers of fine sand on my heated brown skin. I can all ready appreciate the quiet moments randomly emerging from the madness of sound, image and color.

But this is just a poem, thoughts and words drifting like clouds, one following the other.

After half a lifetime of experiences and absorbing thousands of situations from books, movies, the internet, television and conversations, I think it’s a challenge to find an event or place I don’t have preconceived thoughts about it or simply, no references at all.

I haven’t been to Machu Picchu but when I go, I’ll remember ruins I’ve seen in Mexico and Guatemala and adjust for grander scale and more remote geography. I haven’t seen a camel but I know they’re big, smelly, cute and can be ornery.

I won’t know until I go.

                

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