Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

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Fen
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Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Fen » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:18 am

Hey ppl,
even when I didn't go to BM until now, I experienced something in the last month, what I thought is maybe known in this plane around here?

After some traveling in cambodia and thailand, we went to the full moon party in Koh Phangan last month.
We arrived there 2 days early and had a blasting time meeting people, sitting on the balcony of our rental bungalow and watching clouds passing by and people on their way to the receiption. Those were super nice days. And in the evening we all went to the beach for enjoying soem "warm up" musicians playing and partying. Very awesome.
And then came the day, the full moon stood over the sea.
Everybody... 30.000 People prepared to party. All colored themselves with body paint and dressed in neon colored shirts saying "FULL MOON PARTY".

When the night had fallen, I started wandering the crowd. Seeing all the eyes that had the same look like on new years eve. Some waited for the REAL thing to start. Dancing without fun in their eyes. Some were massivly boozed and did some peeing into the ocean. Others f**ked on the shore...
And I couldn't enjoy and couldn't stop wandering around, searching for a place where I could enjoy myself and have a good time. But I couldn't find it in all those people, where I'm sure they all want exactly the same (ok, maybe not the massivly boozed ones).

Did you ever experience this?
How did you proceed and handle it?


Cheers

Fen, curious.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Elderberry » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:00 am

No. And see your doctor. Ask him to prescribe some antidepressant medication.
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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by 666isMONEY » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:15 am

wonder how many at the full moon party ate LSD or XTC?

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by trilobyte » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:55 am

Wchoing what Elderberry said, you may want to talk to a professional. What you describe is a classic sign of depression.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by watchyourfeet » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:59 am

I had a similar experience at the Full Moon. The days leading up to it were amazing. I met some awesome people from all corners of the world. We went to a party in the middle of the jungle with amazing art and music. Then when the "main event" came I was just....grossed out. It was like a big frat party. The music was awful, the vibes were non existent. Fortunately I have never had that same experience at BM. I've ended up in some weird uncomfortable places at night at BM but I can just leave and find something better to do. At the full moon party you're stuck.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Lonesomebri » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:13 pm

Living as a sentient being alone in your own head, unconnected to group think, it can be a lonely place.......some might even accuse you of being ill.
Yeah, I've felt it. It's called being human.
The people drunk, on drugs, having sex, taking proscribed pills, talking to expensive quacks, saying those feelings are wrong.....all trying to escape that same feeling.
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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by maladroit » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:05 pm

Based on my experience...if you are alone in the default world...if you don't have anyone you can really talk to or trust...you'll be even more alone on the playa. At least when you're around thousands of people having an amazing time. You can push it away by working, at least you feel useful then. And experiencing the art by yourself isn't so bad. Neither is standing alone on a bleak expanse of playa, unable to really see anyone else in any direction...it's more relaxing than lonely. But wandering around the city trying to become a part of it rather than an observer...that can be brutal. Passing like a ghost through thousands of people who are having an amazing time. Just being That Dude over there, covered in dust, face hidden, in the middle of a 10 foot circle of empty space. I saw many other That Dude/Chick wanderers too, but could only understand, not do anything about it.

For two years I did have someone there with me. I might not have gone back otherwise. And it was a transformation...the playa was friendly, it was easy to become part of the community, it was easy to have fun. Because the experience could be shared and treasured together.

I will be returning in 2015, but again I will be alone. There will be some days that will tempt me to pack everything up and leave, because the default world takes away just enough of my sense of self to become bearable. But I will have a job to do, and that will keep me going. And this time, I will look for That Dude, and That Chick, and see what happens when I reach out to say that I understand.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by ehcsztein » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:15 pm

The presumption that not enjoying a party equates to mental illness troubles me. :?

You are not obligated to have fun just because you are at a party. There is no requirement to enjoy yourself and trying to force pleasure where there is none to be found will only aggravate the discomfort.

I’ve had similar experiences both on and off playa. Participation should be on your terms relative to your response to the environment you are in. At times simply stepping away from the masses and evaluating your situation can have beneficial impact on how you are perceiving your surroundings.

It is absolutely permissible to have a bad night at a great party much like it is to have a great time at a crap party.

Sometimes you just need to walk away and find what is satisfying for you within the moment rather than subscribing to the pressure of expectations.

Sometimes what is satisfying is returning to the masses and dancing until dawn and other times involve light conversation and a good night's rest. Both are valid options. :wink:

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:32 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:Living as a sentient being alone in your own head, unconnected to group think, it can be a lonely place.......some might even accuse you of being ill.
Yeah, I've felt it. It's called being human.

The people drunk, on drugs, having sex, taking proscribed pills, talking to expensive quacks, saying those feelings are wrong.....all trying to escape that same feeling.

^This.



I went to the full moon party before I had experienced BM. Giant frat party on the beach. At that time it was the biggest, craziest party I had ever attended.

The following year I went to BM. Now I am planing another trip to Thailand next winter and the full moon party won't be making the itinerary.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by vargaso » Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:05 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:Living as a sentient being alone in your own head, unconnected to group think, it can be a lonely place.......some might even accuse you of being ill.
Yeah, I've felt it. It's called being human.
The people drunk, on drugs, having sex, taking proscribed pills, talking to expensive quacks, saying those feelings are wrong.....all trying to escape that same feeling.
Exactly. Most of the time, I feel most alone at gatherings, and so do lots of other people. There's exactly ZERO wrong with being that type of person. For some reason, I rarely feel that way at Burning Man, I still have figured out why. Anyway, don't worry about it, and don't try to shoehorn yourself into being someone you're not.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:55 pm

I always feel like that. I'm introverted and don't like noise. So, a bunch of drunks listening to loud music really puts me off. A complete waste of time.
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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Ano » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:25 am

I think it is very easy to feel isolated at large gatherings... the FMG even moreso.

The FMG in Thailand on Kho Phangan has turned into a frat gathering. It's a gigantic hedonism festival, mostly built to take advantage of those looking for a big party, and not necessarily anything spiritual, enlightening, or engaging. Those neon shirts with FULL MOON GATHERING plastered on the front bring it all full circle, to me.

My first burn was weird. I went out on my own, found a family, but then I would often end up wandering away from everyone I was with an hour or two into the night. I spent my playa nights just riding my bike from art piece to art piece, maybe sitting down for a snack or a drink, and being generally transient.

I've suffered from depression for a chunk of my life - I took anti-depressants when I was much younger, but I stopped of my own volition. I sometimes still have episodes - my last two recent ones being on a particularly draining day on Playa, and the other major one happening when I felt totally isolated in college. All I did was lay on the ground and stare into the dirt, both times. It was bad... so I know what you mean by feeling isolated.

Sometimes I get "the feeling" creeping on, but now I have the self-control to walk myself around the tornado and instead climb upwards. I don't know how to explain it.

Point is, feeling isolated in those mass gatherings of intoxication and hedonism isn't a bad thing... I know I couldn't do the Phangan FMG anymore, it's just too... too something. Too much Boom, not enough room, not enough thinking, too much forgetting.

If those feelings persist beyond the FMG, and into other aspects of your life, I'd check out a doctor. A period or episode, though... that's just life sometimes.

But seriously, those FMGs on Kho Phangan are just... silly. Pure silly. If you're worried about BM being anything like that, don't worry. There is a party atmosphere in some parts of the playa, and there can be some douchebaggery, but it's very easy to find something different out there. I'm someone who can enjoy the party sometimes, but other times I just like to ride my bike into the dust, speaking with random people, and handing out treats.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by DrYes » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:37 am

Fen wrote:Hey ppl,

And I couldn't enjoy and couldn't stop wandering around, searching for a place where I could enjoy myself and have a good time. But I couldn't find it in all those people, where I'm sure they all want exactly the same (ok, maybe not the massivly boozed ones).

Did you ever experience this?
How did you proceed and handle it?
In addition to what other people said, I'll add that if this happens at Burning Man the solution is easy: Just start talking to people around you. It's a great place to do that.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by mudpuppy000 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:07 am

theCryptofishist wrote:I always feel like that. I'm introverted and don't like noise. So, a bunch of drunks listening to loud music really puts me off. A complete waste of time.
Yeah, introversion doesn't mean your depressed. I like socializing at burning man/events/whatever but it's draining on me, so I need to escape from people and "recharge" every so often.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by pink » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:02 pm

Yup, me too. Sometimes I feel guilty about hiding in my van & reading or something. My mind occasionally says, what are you doing,you're at burning man! But sometimes even being sociable is overload.
I'm not a slut, I'm good time floozy!

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Melonblue » Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:42 am

“People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don't think it's true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.”
~ Kim Culbertson

Being an introvert myself, I can relate to not feeling the Vibe. That happens. It's okay. It's doesn't mean you're coming unhinged or that you might be suffering from a mental illness.

Stigma sucks.

For both those who truly suffer
and those who are labeled as sufferers when they're merely experiencing what 50% of the population will experience sometime in their lifetime.

IF you FEEL like this is lasting than a normal bout of "disconnection" (more than a month of a declining state - disassociation, ideation, withdrawl, etc) then yes; speak with your family doctor. A check up is never a bad thing.

IF you FEEL like this could be phasal, environmental, or an emotional response to a specific situation that isn't replicating itself in other activities or life scenarios; then Grat's you're Human!

You're the one who knows you best. Go with your instinct combined with perspective. If you need a new perspective (which is why I think you posted here) the best way is to reach out. The social comparison can be a great start to "hey guys, is this normal?"

Let me tell you bro, I am all kinds of EXCITED and TERRIFIED of my first burn. But I'm convinced it's gonna be AWESOME, I'm going for the ART. ART doesn't crowd you, it doesn't abandon you. IT can however, heal, and comfort, and surprise and feed your soul.

Find the REASON for you going to BM and I'll bet you'll have an awesome time.

Side note - I'm hoping to set up a chill space for Introverts :) It might be called "STAY OUT OF MY FORT!"
Cuz you know... We're here, We're uncomfortable and we want to go home! Introverts Unite!

~ Melon

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Ratty » Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:21 am

Yes, yes and yes. It can get lonely out there. In a group or alone. This is the main reason I want to put all the eplayans in touch with each other. We are a small % of the population. It would be nice to have some addresses of our online friends to visit and cavort with. There will be at least 3 locations with a map and address book showing the friendly camps of people that you know or at least they would love to get to know you. Would you like to make the journey out to the trash fence, go dancing or just roam the suburbs? You don't have to be lonely. Just a tiny bit bold.

A tip for next year...Carry a little book to write in. The information thrown at you is overwhelming.
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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by robbidobbs » Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:39 pm

I was a special honor to get to hang out at this is not a fucking camp camp this year. Thank you grey for standing on top of me to drink when I blew in.
I remember the bad old days of ePlaya Bar Camp. This was the first camp I belonged to that I could "come home to" in my career. It was so nice to just drive in, park, and park my ass at Mozy's bar and be served by Duck in a little black dress.
I needed that at the end of the day like you wouldn't believe. And yes, there was crushing loneliness even then. It's a flip side of over stimulation. Embrace it. Can you surround yourself enough? Hmmm, existential question. Loneliness is an emotion born of not being good w being alone. Go out to Open Playa. Introduce yourself to yourself. This isn't a trite recommendation. I've had to do this twice.

Now ePlayans are scattered from Hell to Breakfast, and it takes effort to visit them all. Cripes! I couldn't get to Kilbucks haunt this year because I didn't service South side. Next year I'll have a placed camp and will be up to my fucking armpits in fun! I may be even less directly involved with ePlayans next year. Evolution in action. Trilo: I awas exceedingly grateful to get to sit at your camp two doors away, but if Blinky things get between us, don't take it personal.

You know what? You make the Burn. You can't possibly do everything your little heart desires. Get the fuck over that idea. Just be fucking grateful you got to be there. Look at dirt and fall in love with its softness. And while you're there, fall in love with yourself.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Roundabout » Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:58 pm

robbidobbs wrote:Every aspect of life is education. Even if you don't immediately grasp the lesson.
Stole it!
Every aspect of life is education. Even if you don't immediately grasp the lesson. robbidobbs

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by robbidobbs » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:51 am

Cite is Robert Silverberg, from Lord Valentines Castle.
I literally had this phrase chiseled into stone at SJSU.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by ZaphodBurner » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:22 pm

Fen wrote: When the night had fallen, I started wandering the crowd. Seeing all the eyes that had the same look like on new years eve. Some waited for the REAL thing to start. Dancing without fun in their eyes. Some were massivly boozed and did some peeing into the ocean. Others f**ked on the shore...
And I couldn't enjoy and couldn't stop wandering around, searching for a place where I could enjoy myself and have a good time. But I couldn't find it in all those people, where I'm sure they all want exactly the same (ok, maybe not the massivly boozed ones).

Did you ever experience this?
How did you proceed and handle it?
Yes, this experience is somewhat normal for me. I occasionally refer to it as being in the bubble, or being a ghost. Nothing makes it go away; I was a singer in a pretty good local rock band, and a minor international TV face back in 2001-2002, and it doesn't make it better.

I don't seek treatment or counseling or acknowledge having it with my real name, because shit like that comes back on you in the kind of job I have, where once a year I have to take a medical evaluation that asks whether I suffer from or have sought treatment for depression.

How I handled it at Black Rock City was, I sucked it the fuck up and kept wandering. It didn't help. This year I'm going to be flying solo on the playa for the first couple of days--the first time I'll have 48 hours or whatever entirely by myself in Black Rock City--and I don't know how it's going to go. I'm looking forward to the challenge. "Dreadful... I'm not getting you down, am I?" -Marvin

-zb
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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by graidawg » Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:16 am

I too get lonely in a crowd - part of it my hearing, when there is a lot of background noise i cannot hear people. Also i find it difficult to make friends (yes i do) so when their are distractions i let them get distracted - and end up alone. If you know me its probably because we met in a small group or online, when i dont miss a single word you say (or write)
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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by jasonwentcrazy » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:26 am

Okay, so one of the nights last year I kind of felt something like loneliness.

I am a very social person and am an extrovert for sure. I had a lot of friends that I camped with and knew for a long time too. So I definitely had people to connect with and talk to and all of that. And I don't have a problem with approaching people I've not met and making connections with them. But I would say that I went out alone one evening in search of something like a connection and it felt weird to me that it wasn't really happening. I kind of got a bit self-conscious at a point because I'm not used to feeling that way.

What I figured out quickly enough was that I was too busy looking externally for some connection or conversation and I needed to be looking for that internally.

What I'd say is that if you're feeling something like loneliness [clinical depression is perhaps excluded] then maybe stop looking towards others to find what's missing. Be a companion to yourself and see how that goes.

Either way be well and do good.
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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Aurelia » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:40 am

Beautifully said Jas !

I do it often exactly like that

xoA.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by FossaFerox » Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:23 pm

It hit me last year on burn night. My first burn I'd gone there with my partner and what felt like a tight knit group of friends. There was one night on Wednesday of my first burn where 11 of the 13 people in our camp stuck together until the sun came up, wandering as a group, dancing, making it back to camp to refill water and snack, and then venturing back out together. Chemicals were involved, which made our experience stronger and also more remarkable (how the hell did we manage to stick together under the circumstances?) making it what felt like a truly magical night.

It was one of my favorite experiences of the burn, and I was really looking forward to recapturing that feeling my second year back.

This is where bbadger's line of thinking comes in handy of "Fuck your magical bullshit it's just a vacation in the desert". Going in with expectations sucks.

I was still with a fantastic group of people, but we were less socially connected going in and never felt as close. Early on I went out with a small fragment of my camp and found myself power walking a little ways ahead of the group through deep playa like a hound following a scent. I could feel something pulling me forward, that there was something out there I HAD to find, but at the time I had no idea what it was. I wound up breaking off from the group and wandering with just one friend, and had a pretty okay time. Come burn night, though, something deep inside me was feeling frantic at having not found "THE THING".

Come Burn night I went out with about a third of the camp and we ran into another group about our size and merged and wandered and made merry. I spent a good amount of time talking to a school teacher who was there for his first burn and talked about his experiences, but I just didn't feel the sense of connection I was looking for, and so I kept looking.

I wandered off on my own. I wandered aimlessly but with purpose. I wandered for hours with a sense of loneliness and desperation gnawing at me more and more as the night wore on.

It was about 2 AM when one of my camp mates stumbled upon me at the remains of the Man, sifting through the ashes. He snapped a picture of me before I even knew he was there.

Image

That's outright loneliness right there. It can happen anywhere and the playa is no exception. That's because loneliness is an internal experience, and even surrounded by about 50,000 of the nicest, friendliest, most wonderful people in the world (and about 20,000 assholes) your experience is down to you and the lens you choose to view your life through.

For me, it was down to expectations and not part of a larger pattern, but it still sucker punched me and left me reeling. If this is a progressive pattern for you then therapy might be helpful. If it was an isolated incident you can probably chalk it up to expectations leading to disappointment.

Either way, I recommend you sort it out before you pack your car. The Burn can be magical, but it isn't magic, and going in with the right mindset and no expectations is important.
ygmir wrote:Everyone loves you there, and no one cares a shit about you..........all at once. and vice versa.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Savannah » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:13 pm

Great post, Fossa.

I have inhabited that moment before.
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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Aurelia » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:56 pm

yes
that is it exactly

xoA.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by SageV » Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:19 am

A meditation practice helps, it can be loneliness or it can dwelling in the still point of the turning worlds. Alternately, find a mega sound camp and get body to body with some fellow hippies and dance your ass off.
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Aurelia » Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:29 am

Indeed !

just do whatever gets you
where you choose to be

internal government that you are in charge of

xoA.

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Re: Did you ever experience the nightly loneliness?

Post by Ratty » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:13 am

I hope that anyone looking for a eplaya companion can go to either Elliot's Bike repair or the BRC Weekly newspaper and look in the big book of eplayan addresses to hunt down a camp or person. I've definitely had those lonesome moments.
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