It’s the day after I got back from Burning Man and I’m still in a bit of a daze having to return to the real world. I was only there for 3 days but I forgot how just that and the prep for survival in the harsh environment far from civilization does some kind of reset where I’m forced to ask myself, ‘What of this really matters?’
I walked around Fillmore today. I saw people carrying bags of expensive clothes, not looking at me or anyone else. I saw a guy being cool and aloof behind mirrored glasses. I went to the grocery store and got the freshest milk because the 1 extra day newer seemed important. I saw bored people standing in line for coffee and getting pissed because someone made a slightly careless move on the street and it was just a different scene than I’ve been in for the last few days.
I’m really not trying to be all high and mighty burner person. I think money is a useful way to trade for goods and services, I waited for fancy coffee, and I know that what happens out at Burning Man wouldn’t work so well in a sustainable society without major modifications. Undoubtedly, a lot of the norms we have in the real world really matter. But I’m glad to have the perspective that things could be different. More than the art and dancing and party of Burning Man what I miss and have to readjust to as I walk down the street is the interactions with people. The welcoming spirit, the belief that we can try something different, and the smiles. That at least I want to hold on to and not fall back to the default.