Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Temple of Flux

September 30, 2010

At Burning Man 2010

I visited the Temple of Flux four times. I wanted to go each day, but the way the hours rolled seamlessly with no meaning or inherent to-do-ness, I think four was pretty good.

P and rode out there the first morning. All ready it was a sacred space.  This year’s temple was a very organic looking piece that was a series of hills and nooks and open spaces, like Black Rock Desert. People leave all sorts of objects in memory of loved ones and themselves. Paintings, pictures, books, dolls, toys. Some sprinkle ashes there.

I had planned to spend time alone there. I wanted to release and leave many things there, in a temporary beautiful space that would grow, burn and disappear as if no one had ever been there.

People treat the temple reverently and softness enveloped me when we walked in. We mostly walked around and read memorials and sat for a few minutes writing in our journals. I just wrote words, incomplete thoughts.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to physically leave there yet, but imagined writing a poem during the week.

On the way out that first day, I laughed and signed a memorial that said: I forgive myself for my financial troubles.

I think it was Thursday when I popped out of bed the minute it felt warm, washed up, slathered on sunscreen, tied a sarong to go with the tank top I slept in, pulled on my boots, grabbed my pack and rode out, early morning playa. It was probably around 8ish. That had been my dream for almost a year. The light is beautiful, it’s quiet and sparsely populated. It’s just hard to get up and go that early if you’re up late the night before. It was so worth it.

The playa is different at day and night. In the day, you’re riding along and you see something staked in the sand and go investigate and it’s a small but lovely piece of art that someone put love and care into and installed in the desert. I rode straight to the Man and was able to climb up. I think it was one of the last days people were able to do so, P said she couldn’t it was always roped off. I think they were getting ready to install the pyrotechnics.

I  took pictures of the four directions and felt completely at peace. Afterwards I rode to the temple, veering off here and there to look at and touch something. It’s hard to express what these bike rides meant to me.

At the temple, I found a place to sit, near some guys playing beautiful music and chanting; clarinet, flute, drum and singing bowls. There was a guy sleeping on the ledge above me and next to me a guy was meditating and burning small squares of sage. It was perfect.

I absorbed and let go;  you’ve seen my hat, I covered the front of my face with the front brim and cried and cried, tears flowed effortlessly, everything coming out. Not sobbing or choking, just a huge release. Kind of what I’d been waiting for. After what seemed like a long time, I started drying up a little. My neighbor gave me and Emergencee pack, I gave him a Cliff bar. Placed on legs, no words. A little mystical and reverent.

I wrote a little in my journal, but not much. It’s then I realized I didn’t need to leave any tokens or written words there if nothing felt right, I was there and was leaving myself. Dying to the past.  It was a beautiful thing to accept. It wasn’t just residual pain and anger regarding the assault, I wanted to leave everything that wasn’t love and compassion based. I wanted to leave every misunderstanding, grudge, all self pity, insecurity, victim consciousness, judgement, all of it,  and pun intended, all moop. I hoped for nothing less than a death and rebirth.

I looked around a little, watched a woman dance sensuously with a hoola hoop, then lowered my brim and cried again. I could have stayed all day, repeating this pattern, the peace was so immense.

When the musicians stopped playing, I peeked out from under my hat and listened to them talk and laugh. I laughed out loud when I saw they were passing around a bottle of Jagermeister. I breathed and meditated, did my Sufi wazaifs and after what seemed like a few hours, I left, only because it was getting hotter.

Friday night in the wee hours, a new  friend and I headed to the temple to hang out. We laughed alot, kissed and dozed. It was full of people and the dub dub dub of the dance club nearby. The temple was stuffed with mementos. We read  a little of one book written by someone into the slave fetish, it was a long book, kind of hard to figure out. We sat next to a huge stuffed bunny for a while, people watched and talked. It was surreal, sexy and perfect. That’s the night I saw the sun come up, well, I actually missed sunrise but when we came out, the sun was up, we rode slowly home. It was a good Burning Man night.

Sunday morning was my last visit there. Our camp was down to me, P, Bird and Imp.  We so wanted to watch the temple burn, but the wind was really strong in the morning and we had a few white outs. We just didn’t have the energy to go through another night like the night before. Imp had confided in me that she was going to give Bird a promise ring there that night. It was moved to the morning. I felt so honored to be a part of it.

The temple was magic and fulfilled my hopes and dreams, certainly not just mine, such gratitude.

I’m walking around here now but there is a veil and I feel like I’m there. This does feel false and it did feel so real there, from the beginning. I didn’t expect that full reaction although most people say that it happens. Flux.