This year I am having a particularly difficult time with Burning Man. I can’t even remember the last time that I went (Wait, yes I can- the last year before I left for Bulgaria- only three years ago?). It is all just a haze of positive memories wrapped up and tucked away in a place that I will probably never have access to. Yet, even though the specifics aren’t available (I can’t tell you what year which art pieces were there, or who I was dating) I am having an overwhelming nostalgia for the place and the overall experience. The dust. The openness. The cold nights. The hot days. The absolute freedom and safety that I felt there. For the past two years I have felt some desire to go, but the idea of Bulgaria and the peace corps was always a temporary situation- I was able to tell myself that I will go when I return. Now, living permanently in Bulgaria with a kidlet on the way I am starting to realize that even if I somehow make it back to that place, I will never, ever be able to return to that experience. That is not to say that I might not find a greater form of freedom and expression some year as a mother at Burning Man, but I will never be that completely careless, nearly savage girl that I remember being there.

So, that makes it a little difficult this year, reading about the last minute packing, the surprise tickets that people could not afford and did not expect to be gifted, the changes in camps, the scrambling to get art together and out there. I feel a pang for it, and I deeply wish that I could be a part of it. I think that is perhaps what I miss the most- being part of such a strange and vibrant ‘community.’ Even if it is a stretch to call the people who frequent Burning Man a community, for those ten-fifteen days that is what it felt like. I felt like I had found a place in the world, people who listened to me, and who shared with me. A bit of respect, a role I could fulfill. It truly was one of the few places on this planet that felt like… home. 

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