In an age of manufactured desire, Venus is on a mission to reacquaint us with the things we truly love. She manifests through the citizens of Burning Man to show how it's done. How can you see an art car full of hedonists penetrating each other with dildos and not rededicate your life to your highest values? Because if those people are okay doing that in plain light of day, then the least you can do is become the game programmer, novelist, naked dude, or other relatively modest thing you wish you could be.And I have written this post.
I was the one who did something wrong. I decided that the things I loved were dumb. I forgot that the dumb things are the things that make life worth living, and I settled for less.And this one, of course.
I was a secretary, but I didn't want to be a secretary. Does anyone really want to be a secretary? No. No one does. I'm entitled to say it, because I was a secretary for a billion years.And I'm going to write one just like this too.
Here's how a rite of passage works. It's the same the world over, Ndembu and Trobriand and Kwakiutl. They take you away from your ordinary life-your online banking, your myspace.com, your commute. They bring you to a place set apart. They give you a new name and they don't let you bathe. As the dirt rubs into your skin, you return to the earth in a symbolic death. And in the words of Mircea Eliade, a scholar with a poet's name, then comes "a time of marvels." Masked figures and sculptures, dancers. Grotesque or beautiful beings that teach you the things you need to know. This is the liminal period. When you leave, you are ready to be the next version of you.But not today. Today I'm going to keep being the secretary. I'm going to keep little fires alive in myself today because I have no other rational options and no support if I slip and wind up in the irrational blood bath that causes us to feel alive.
Hadj is at Burning Man right now and I haven't spoken to him since he went into the "dead zone" (obviously dead only to the cell phone companies) since Monday afternoon. Not only is Hadj at Burning Man, but he's at Burning Man with L.
None of what Hadj is, or could be, doing bothers me. I know where I stand, and I stand firmly placed in his heart, and in his perception of what it is to be fully alive. What bothers me is that I am not there, that I am waiting still. I fucking hate waiting. I think I need to throw myself a little celebration to honor all the patience I've learned since coming to Chicago. The schooling I've put myself through here, one half-composed of obstacles, grime, lifeless routine, freezing winters, trash tumbleweeds, dishonest and sad people, empty wallets, empty hearts, days empty of hugs, AND SO ON has been really, really challenging. But it had to be this way. If it wasn't this way I wouldn't have gotten to where I am and where I am is the end of the rainbow folks. I am at the entrance to Oz waiting for the wizard to come take my hand so we can journey forth.
My decision has been made this way not because nothing else before was good enough, but because I wasn't ready. I didn't know that I was good enough and so I pushed and pushed and pushed and choked and cried til I was blind so I had to lay down and ask for help. And you know what? Help came right away. Doctors, friends, dream spirits, cunts, cocks, the whole universe, and all its chickens showed up at my door and began nursing me back to health. They began taking me to yoga classes and teaching me all the definitions for the word union. They began listening to me without interruption and seeing what triggers brought my tears to my eyes and stuck thistles in my throat. They touched me and got my nerves talking to each other again. They suggested I run as far away as possible, maybe to the Pacific Northwest, they said. Two years ago, a little more, they bent down and lent me a hand. Go, they said. I'm not good enough, I cried. They stuck with me, without judgment, without sarcasm, without rushing. They saw my potential and my stubbornness and stuck with me, had my back, as I continued down a very thorny path. And when I got to what I thought was a dead end, I saw a fountain - a little bird bath - and a fork in the road. The team of helpers behind me said nothing. They didn't even try to move me by thought. They trusted, they knew, they watched me as I chose the right path. They squelched their cheers best they could, knowing I was unsure yet, but I'm sure a few high-fives were had. There are but few goals in life: love, play, accept.
excerpts from The Goddess of Love in the Liminal City, from BurningMan.com, written by Cybele Knowles