That's what a huge burly someone will breathe heavily into your ear as he squeezes you mightily when you finally arrive at the entry gates of Burning Man.
A few months ago, I was snug and cozy in my bed, under the eaves of the very old Victorian I share with my professor and happily call home (and I'll share that honestly, for me, where ever it is that my heart happens to find itself in any given moment is HOME because home certainly is not a place, as even Dorothy learned on her grand adventure to OZ, it is always just YOU loving your present YOU and vibrating all of your luscious every glittery bit of you where ever it is that you happen to find yourself, Oz or Utah or the middle of a dry lake bed burning with 50,000 other open-heart dusty denizens of love) when I got a notice on my little i Pad that could that Spencer Tunick had been granted an Honorarium Installation for this year's Burning Man gathering. Spencer Tunick who takes those exquisite photographs of naked bodies that take my breath away.
I turned to my professor and said, “Spencer Tunick is going to be at Burning Man. I am going to have to go. I know tickets are already sold out and I don't have one. But I'm turning 50. He's going to be there and this is my chance!”
My professor never tells me that I'm crazy. He asked me how I thought I was going to manage this and expressed his concern that Burning Man is all about radical self-reliance and is hot and dusty and people have been known to actually die and it might not be exactly safe for a little naked epileptic fairy who is all alone and I might be biting off a bit more than I could chew. I told him I'd see if I could even get a ticket and then sort out the rest of it. Because, you know, tickets were already all gone. Long gone. Completely sold out. And I wasn't about to buy one from a scalper. What I wanted was a MIRACLE. I giggled and even thought to myself, "It isn't REALLY going to happen..."
Except, well, I should have known that a little bit of that “I need a Miracle” magic was still floating around and had not all been used up. Still, no one was more surprised than me when two days later I got a ticket. Just like that. Boom! Now it was all very, very real and my glittery shoes were starting to get just a bit dusty.
Burning Man, like life, is about participation. It is not just about showing up. It is about saying yes and about no longer being the strangest person anyone else has ever met. All the unique and odd and beautiful things about you are celebrated and embraced as you celebrate and embrace and love the stuffing out of every single other person there. Of course, there's no reason, absolutely none, that we should not love the stuffing out of every person we meet no matter where we are and this is something I try to do and share with all of you every day, but you know, that can be a really scary thing (just like standing naked on the corner!), so for some it takes being in the dry dusty playa to actually try that on for a while and to see how it feels. Both to give and to receive. Because sometimes it is oh so easy to give, but really difficult to receive.
While I know I can be completely self-reliant and I know I can festival with the best of them, I also knew my heart would love some new dusty friends for this particular adventure. I actually already know lots of truly exquisitely strange and beautiful people who call Burning Man home. What I wanted, though, was to actually open my own heart and share my love and glitter with even more new friends. Why? Because our hearts and love grow, multiply and expand when you share and give them freely.
People, meet The Carrots. They're a camp with a decidedly organic orange heart that gifts mostly organic fruits and vegetables and salads and even fresh smoothies (powered by a bicycle) to the hungry denizens of Burning Man every single day from their More Carrot Farmers Market stalls and by random gifting *farmers* bicycling across the playa. Farmers. At Burning Man. My beet-fairy heart exploded when they said, “Yes, Nakedjen, you can be a Carrot!” and that I could join them in their camp on the playa.
So what does that mean, exactly? The playa is hot and dry and dusty, and it's as if I'm joining a camp of plump fresh peaches and juicy watermelons and, well, crunchy carrots. No, really. I know it sounds silly, but as I said to Mama J when I first spoke to her about joining The Carrots, I have been there in the dusty parched sacred lake bed. I know how awful it can be just trying to survive and think of what you can eat that isn't yet another CLIF bar (honestly, when you're vegan the options start getting a bit thin because of fresh food spoilage) so the thought that you're wandering along and someone shows up with a FRESH FRUIT SALAD and hands it to you with a big warm smile and a hug? HEAVEN. No, really. Choirs of Angels sing, JUICY HEAVEN. I can't wait to be on the giving end of that kind of delicious goodness. It is exactly the kind of good gifting I just love to do.
And this is where all of you amazing beautiful people get a chance for your own IPO (immediate public opportunity). Actually, if you want to come with me and gift the goodness of organic vegetables and fruits and salads and smoothies, I do think we might have some space for one or two more people and you know I'd love to share all my costumes and my big fat beet-fairy love with you. Plus, you could also pose for Spencer Tunick, if that's been on your list of things to do, too. So if that's YOU, contact Mama J right now. But, if you'd just like to support organic goodness and support us as we gift fresh fruit and vegetables and salads and smoothies to our dusty hungry fellow festers and also support the local farmers and businesses of Reno (because we keep all our business as local as possible), I'd love YOU if you'd help our fund raising efforts. I'm even giving away a really special (and I mean really special) holistic healing blissful experience as a thank you gift. Of course, it is supposed to be delivered ON PLAYA, but you know, if you'd like to donate at that level and are not coming to Burning Man, I feel like I could probably work something out for you. It's a Dreamsweet kind of gift that is very special and truly personalized and needs to happen in person, but like everything in love and in life, it all could be sorted out.
And, well, I understand if all of this is just not your thing. But I also know that if you've been reading here for long enough and for more than just the naked pictures (;-)) you know that this specific journey of mine is a confluence of things that I'm just pretty darn passionate about: organics, farmers, radical inclusion and self-expression, community and LOVE all wrapped up in a festival. Plus, I get to fulfill my dream of taking a photo with Spencer Tunick. It's all going to happen, absolutely. It just might happen even better and more beautifully if we have the love and support of those who also love us the best. So even if you're not up for donating, please feel free to SHARE this far and wide with anyone you think might want to know about it. There are no small gestures of love. Ever.
So, for the curious, I am still headed to Oregon next week. Of course. The Oregon Country Fair is and always will be my religion and my family and, well, I know I'll cry the moment I walk through those gates. I also know that life always takes us where we need to go and, as I said, home is where ever you happen to be in your own glitter boots. I'm always home, I'm always vibrating, and I always love you the most. True story. I really, really do.
P.P.S. Just when I thought my naked days on the Internets were over, everything blew up. So, well, here I am. And I had to re-think everything! I'm still re-thinking EVERYTHING. I do think we're on the precipice of a porn-apocalypse. That needs to be a whole other post. So...it will be. I just hope we'll all continue to be as transparent as possible. Please! xo