It's official. We got our Burning Man tickets, and we're off to the Playa the last week of August. We've found the typical response to be a blank stare, followed by "Burning WHAT?!?" Seems not a lot of people on this coast have heard of this event, which has been around for over two decades and attracts over 50,000 participants from all over the world. So what is it? An experiment in temporary community? (whatever the heck that means) A festival of art and music and self-expression? A hippie-raver-drugfest out in the desert? Ummmmmmm, yes and no. Much like the parable of the blind men and the elephant, it's difficult to neatly encapsulate this event with a few descriptive phrases. In some ways, for me attending Burning Man is in the same category as traveling to India: it's a place of great extremes, where everybody has their own intensely personal experience, impossible to absorb it all at once, mystical and frustrating and wondrous and wretched and like nothing else you've ever seen. It's not for everyone. You'll love it and hate it and sometimes both at the same time. You can research and read up on what to expect, based on others' experiences there, but you're never truly prepared. You just have to go for yourself.
Right then. So we shall.
Mark has been there before, along with a group of friends from the DC area. This year it's finally my turn to check it out for myself. Seems a good way to kick off our next stint Off The Grid. Although it's more likely that we'll return from BM and spend a few more weeks back in reality before sailing off into the sunset. We're still figuring that part out. But you already knew I was going to say that, didn't ya?
Meanwhile back at the ranch, things are slowly falling into place for The Big Departure. And we continue to enjoy and appreciate the comforts of home as well as all the cool stuff the DC area has to offer. This weekend we'll be joining a contingent of CouchSurfers on a visit to Polyface Farms in Staunton, VA. Anyone who's read The Omnivore's Dilemma will be familiar with this family-owned, pasture-based, and highly successful farm. Should be a fun field trip. And in preparation for Eric & Dey's upcoming nuptials on the Left Coast, and the endless photographs that will be taken, we're doing a 21-day juice detox. (Yes, that's right, we're detoxing just in time to re-tox at the wedding reception!) We'll be following the "Martha's Vineyard" formula, which involves ingesting fruits and vegetables in liquid form (plus supplements) and promises a loss of 21lbs in 21 days. While I find this claim uber-gimmicky, it's an interesting concept, and I'm just hoping to slough off some of the fluorescent-lit cubeville pallor and sludge that's crept back since my return to the corporate world. Mark did this diet last summer, with grrrrrreat success. We'll see how I do. Keep ya posted!