I could tell you what I left with or I could tell you what I now know.
Time moves too fast for both to be relevant.
I just spent a meager six days at Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert in Black Rock City, Nevada. It's my fifteenth year out there and I come home each time re-centered. I drive home solo in the silence and the wind and think until I can't think anymore. I come home understanding without the need to articulate. It's glorious.
In the past I've built large scale art, camped quietly in the corner, composed massive theme camps, led drunken Esplanade debauchery, volunteered, and barista'd. This year, like the few before it, I was Lead Barista Trainer in Center Camp Cafe with a crew of lovely baristas to support the baristas I train.
Does that make sense?
It's a labor of love, this Cafe, this coffee.
This year was no different. It is sweat, patience, humility, strength, repetition, appreciate, gratitude, and passion.
It's different things to everyone--in the moment of, in the moments before, and tomorrow. I learn year after year what it means to me.
This year, one of the things my playa experience means to me is IF YOU CAN'T BE GOOD TO SELF, AT LEAST BE BETTER.
"If you won't take a break, girl, we'll give you one.
Sincerely, Ligaments ."
It's not just our hands that hold things--it's our bodies, our organs, our backs, our beings... subconsciously and full-consciously. We carry things for other people and we carry other people’s things. Their weights, their sorrows, their stresses, their baggage, their stories, their loads.
During this experience, my six days at Burning Man, my hands put down my Nugget and I worked effortedly to pick up parts of myself. I drove away from my heart outside my body and forced myself to relax about it. She spent those six days with FOB and I was meant to take some time for me. I was told to rest and being told to rest is way harder to do than it sounds.
I dunno if y’all ever been to Burning Man, but sometimes it’s Working Man. Meeting after meeting, training after training-- I graciously, with morale and punctuality, shared the love of the bean, the art of the shot, the fine lines of Center Camp Café. I would return to my jeep jeep, curl up into my smoosh taco, "rest," and do it all over again at 7am.
It was in that rest that my body seized up, but my mind re-opened, and I finally had some time in the world to think.
After six months of breastfeeding unilaterally, mastitis, side lying, sleeping sitting up, carrying and sharing my body with my Babe, my joints, my ligaments, and my soul began screaming in agony, yelling at my body. It's almost like my flesh and all it's hard-working components recognized that my Babe was not near and like a uniformed symphony came together to pluck every ligament in my Mothering body to express my physical need for help and rest.
I don’t know how to explain it, but my right side gave up.
Forcibly, my body is telling me to BE BETTER.
If we let the past define us we never really find the now.
I brought things of his to burn. An old shirt, a postcard, a photo or two. I thought in order to be absolved of his memory it had to disappear into ash.
I simply had to be open enough, woke enough, aware enough, to rid its power over me. I now see that he is my partner in Babe--nothing more. I've been trying to communicate with him for months, for a year now... and he's still he and I am still me and we're two magnets destined to never touch again. We don't exist on the same plane. Our paths couldn't be more different. I'm happy to be out of his orbit.
I have to close all the doors between us and only leave a window cracked.
While out on the playa I lived in the now. I was rusty at it. Being pregnant you project into the future and plan and worry. Being a Mom you wonder behind you, worry over the now, and secure the future front. Mentally exhausting oneself and always coming second.
It was nice to find the Now again.
Just for a few meager days.
The Now comes with the Choice of the moment. It comes with how one currently feels. It comes with what speaks to you inside and outside and what that equation means.
This post has takien days to come to fruition because decompression is a hard landing while running. Here's what was reinforced in a nutshell while at Burning Man 2018:
Mallory Kate is a blogger, artist, single mom and funny girl outta Nevada.