Do I miss being in the States? People ask me this all the time, and I honestly tell them that I miss some things: I miss the desert. Arizona is incomparably beautiful and I am saddened the further away from it that I get(distance is not always measured in miles, but a combination of time and the chance of return). I also miss the communities that I was a part of, mainly, my outdoor community (SCC et al) and my Bay Area Community (Burning Man and RWB- even though not all of these people are located in or around SF, I still mentally locate them there). So, yes, there are definitely things that I miss.
HOWEVER, one of the things that I do not really miss anymore is Burning Man itself, and the minor treats that are associated with it. This is because I have pulled my real life into that creative space. I began to do that years before I even went to Burning Man, but when I started going to Burning Man I got a little swept up into the cultishness of the place. I had never been around so many people who thought like me, and who I felt free to play with. I had never felt so at home. Eventually I began to believe a very dangerous mistruth: that the place was special, and the community was special. No, that is not exactly how I want to word that, because they were special. There was a magical resonance that vibrated between us for many years. They are little-prince-rose special. But they are not special in the way that no one else, and no place else, has the potential to be like them. Burning Man was a great idea, but it is just that; an idea. It is not meant to be confined to the playa, year after year. It is meant to live, and breathe and grow. This means taking a piece of the idea home with you, and implementing it into your everyday life.
This was something that I touched on after my bike trip at the beginning of the month. I realized that the entire world is like a giant playa. We are constantly wandering around, and if you choose, you can make it your goal to find the best parts of humanity, and the most intriguing art. You can go and play. Every city, although not temporary, deserves to be lived in and played with. I think that many people take their cities too seriously. I know that once I have lived in a place for awhile, I do. However, being in a new place, and a place as large and complicated as Istanbul, one cannot help but see that the world isn’t nearly as serious as society has lead us to believe. Strangers are not as scary as our parents told us that they were. They are here for us to interact with and live with. Otherwise, what is the point to life?
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