How soon is soon-to-be? How soon is now? That seems to be the question. Last September first at Fandango magic happened to me on the playa when I met a princess, an angel. A tiger sometimes too. We spent the first 6 months after the burn in a blur of 14 separate visits with each other, sometimes near my home, sometimes hers. We met once in Chicago, once in Boston, and had a 5 day vacation in Florida together. That bit of heaven was the first week of March; we haven't seen each other since. It's been nine weeks when we had been used to gaps of 5-21 days. [i]Three[/i] weeks used to seem like an eternity. In those six months I had the most magical experiences I have ever had in my life. The most amazing love blossomed between us and seemed to radiate all around us.
And now where are we? Waiting. Waiting on my divorce proceedings-could be done in a month, likely not sooner, likely not too much longer. But anything more than maybe 45 minutes... right now feels like torture. Waiting on college admissions. Does her daughter get in where she wants? If she does, does that mean it's OK for her to move to the West Coast and live with me or less likely to be so far away from her freshman daughter? And most importantly, we are waiting to see if our love can survive not being together physically, connecting on a daily basis face to face. That crucial part of our connection needs to be nurtured and nourished. How much absence before the spark starts to fade? Too scary for me to think about too much. Makes me want to cry. Time will tell. Tonight is exactly nine weeks since we last touched and we aren't sure when the next time will be. We always had the next time planned.
It's a an agonizing time for us, and I look back on my original post and have to chuckle a little about the tone. I'm an optimist to the core, but some of that was pretty exuberant. I stand by it all though. [b][u]The part of Burning Man that resonates with me and that is so intertwined with this story is something I really want to share, and the reason for writing in this forum:[/u][/b]
Here's a quote from Tom Price (of Burners Without Borders among other things) ""...if you go to Burning Man and pay attention, you will learn who and what you are. ...you will learn exactly who you are because there's nowhere to hide in that big emptiness. All you have is who you are, for better or worse, and that kind of openness allows you to get real with people." (From [u]Tribes of Burning Man[/u] by Steven Jones)
[u]Learning who you are.[/u] I had never felt more like myself or more comfortable in my own skin than the night I met her. And that's continued to grow ever since, with her, and in so many areas of my life. When I'm with her, there is a comfort that is indescribable-like we were from the same tribe, the same clan. One look in her eyes and nothing else matters. She gets me. The real me.
[u]Paying attention.[/u] In that big openness there's lots of crazy shit going on. In order to appreciate it, you have to open your eyes, your heart, and your mind. Maybe even move a little out of your comfort zone. To me, it means being in the moment. Our three hours that night of talking, holding hands, falling in love and then breaking up was the closest I've been to living life a millisecond at a time. Surreal and magical and all right now. Right now. Right fucking now as she so eloquently phrases it.
[u]Letting go.[/u] The other part of what makes Burning Man special is the transient nature of it all. The Man burns, the Temple burns, so much burns, and all the rest is packed up and taken away. Meeting someone at Burning Man and then making a real world connection across the continent is implausible at best. And yet we did it. An interesting thing we shared in common last year was yearning to see the other again at the Burn, and then letting go of that notion and enjoying the here and now, the present moment. We both had these parallel experiences of letting go of each other and finding peace in that moment. Was a good lesson for both of us, and we think part of the magic that brought and kept us together over such a long distance.
So, there we are. Drawingablank's story "Burning Man ruined my life (I've never been happier)" is very similar. I first came in 2010 to satiate a ten year longing to see Burning Man. That first year I felt a connection to other humans I'd been hungering for even longer. I had found pockets of such things before, but never in such abundance and so universally supported. Felt almost like a religious experience. I've since come to understand that I can live my life like that off the playa too. Being open to the possibility of that kind of connection is what makes me feel most alive. Being with her makes me feel more alive than anything or anyone I've ever known or even imagined could exist.
I find myself searching right now for how to apply those lessons to our current situation. I balance the fear of things not working out with the faith in trusting the approach. I know the more I try to live my life by those principles, the closer we will be to our true destiny. The universe has a way of coming through in strange ways when you just let go. I believe that. I will do my best to live it.