Monday, October 11, 2010


Decompression is a term Burners use to describe the process of re-entering what we call the Default World. You see, Burning Man, can feel like an alternate universe. We do things there we don't do in regular life. We make eye contact with everyone we meet. We celebrate sun up and sun down. We hug like we mean it. We give, we get, we live.

Someone reminded me this year that time spent on the Playa, like dog years can be multiplied by seven. Using that math, I spent the equivalent of about 10 weeks in that universe. So yeah, it takes a bit to adapt from that.

Unfortunately, I had just as hard a landing in the Default World this year, as I did on the Playa. It just seems that hard landings are my new MO. So, it's taken until now, the week of San Francisco's actual Decompression, essentially a block party-after party for the Burn, to get my bearings.

Funny thing is, I decompressed from camping in the desert, by camping in the California hills near a reservoir with friends. It's amazing how much easier camping is without blistering heat, 40 mph winds, and the constant threat of dehydration. And it occurred to me that by going to Burning Man, a place of impossible conditions to escape norms that stymie creativity, that maybe we appreciate expression that much more when we are there. And by the same token, maybe I appreciate how much easier some things are in the default world, so I can remember I don't have to be in a challenging environment to be creative.

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