Thursday, August 4, 2016

Salt is the New Burn

Well, for me anyways.

But mostly, lots of fire.
Have you heard of Burning Man? If you haven't, it's this wild week long festival where a bunch of strangers go hang out in the desert and live it up. There's tons of music, sex, and drugs, but also more than that--from what I understand. I'm basing this assumption off of some friends who go religiously; and actually, it kind of does seem like a spiritual adventure. There's a sense of community and belonging that does not usually exist in the "real" world. There's a freedom to it. And also lots of paint, fire, costumes, and I don't even know what else.

Now personally, I have never been able to take Burning Man totally seriously. I mean, there are people like my friends, who look at it as a life changing event, and something they do every year. But there are also some people who are just dirty hippies who like drugs and sex [no offense to said hippies, of course]. But if you think about it, it seems like the happiest people do have some sort of annual [ish] ritual of getting away and being ultimately free. My aunt used to hit some hot springs in Colorado for a few days each year; my guess is it was a similar experience for her.

This is our version.
Back in March, hunny and I went on the Salty Dog cruise. It's been about five months since we've been back, but seriously, that trip did so much good for both of us. It was amazing. It was rejuvenating. He went expecting to wear a fake grin and suffer through it because it was "my people" and technically my birthday present... but by the first night he was just as caught up in the atmosphere as I was. Granted, he sat out the Rancid mosh pit, but at the same time he never once judged or complained about me insisting on being up front. Instead he sat out on the balcony making friends--I swear, the most antisocial, awkward, kid ever at home; you put him in a situation like this and suddenly he oozes charisma and attracts cool people.

Since we've returned home, we've booked tickets for the next cruise, and joined a few facebook groups related to the cruise. The community is insane. In the best way! To you, it may seem like throwing a few thousand punk rockers on a fancy cruise ship and giving them unlimited alcohol is a bad idea... it's so not. I don't even know if there were any fights! Everyone is so happy to be there, and having the time of their lives, that there's no need for drama. There's nothing but friendship and One Love. You know when you're in a mosh pit and someone goes down, and suddenly everyone's priority is finding the person who's down? That's One Love. That feels. That community.

So much help. So much love. No one left behind. It's amazing. If you want to go be wild with strangers, great! If you want to chill and relax low key, also great! Forgot something? Here take mine! Hey, here's a bracelet! On top of seeing a couple of my favorite bands [on a boat! and on a private island!] we were also spoiled half to death by the crew. Atlantis may have been not worth the price, but seeing my honey floating in the ocean waves with the biggest smile on his face... so worth it. The food was awesome. The whole atmosphere is amazing. And this feel, I imagine, is why people go to Burning Man.

This flag showed up all weekend.
This shot is during the Skinny Lister push off party.

We came home and booked SDC17 as soon as they'd let us. Also joined a few of the fb groups. And let me say, these people... they're amazing. They understand. They entertain. I've always been one of these people, surrounded by takers. It is so comforting and [relaxing... enlightening... I can't find the word I want] to be surrounded by others like this. I'm not saying that I don't know people like this in my life, but they are fewer and further between than the assholes. So to be completely surrounded by these people... and then to acknowledge that I'm one of them... and I'm in love with one of them... It's so amazing. I suppose I've fallen into shameless rambling, but it's a point I'm not sure if I'll ever make. To help explain, I really do think I will start posting memories of little moments throughout the cruise, just to illustrate the unspeakable that I'm trying to share.

I have been looking forward to SDC17 from the first night of the last cruise. It's going to be a big thing for us, I'm sure. A ritual, a tradition. It is something we literally need. It's amazing and I'm so thankful that we took the jump last year and booked our cabin. Everything involved was worth so much more than the financial cost.  I can't wait until next year--as veteran cruisers I know we're going to have about 10x more fun than we did this past year!

Shameless plug. If you're interested in the Cruise, please click. The lineup alone is worth the price, I promise. Imagine a three day Warped Tour. On a cruise ship.

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