Sunday, September 14, 2008

Post Traumatic Burn Syndrome

Lately I've been feeling really withdrawn from any form of technology or media or connecting with the world. It took me a week after Burning Man to even write a post about it and another week sitting on the post to put it up on the site. I'd get on the web, pull up a page and heave a giant sigh. I'm not ready for this.

I keep flashing back to the playa. Post-Traumatic Burn Syndrome. Except in this case, it's the real world that has a traumatic effect on one's psyche. It's like patron saint of Black Rock City is a siren calling out to me, sometimes faintly, sometimes screaming. She sure as hell draws you in.

But come on. I mean, really. What the hell? The girl who always has something to say doesn't feel like weighing in on the world? This is some serious business. I was having a bit of a personality meltdown. Especially since the news is fraught with dramatic headliner events--Wall Street stalwarts collapsing, devastating hurricanes, gender politics on the national scene. I should be foaming at the mouth to comment on all of it and yet I was feeling quite passe. So over it.

In the end I had to hit the reset button and reboot. My little pinwheel was stuck in an endless whirl of "I don't care" (At least though, I cared that I didn't care--if it had gone a step further and hit the "I don't care that I don't care" phase, I might have checked myself into an institution). My internal processor was just that overloaded from the Burning Man experience. Let me tell you that I am now an even bigger supporter of activity rather than apathy. God it felt horrible. Lack of motivation to be engaged is seriously the most surreal and horrid experience for me to go through. I might be crazy, but I'd rather be a little cuckoo every single freakin' day of my life than spend one of them feeling apathetic.

Right after I got back from Black Rock City, I had a very telling dream. It was if my mind knew I was about to go through this process and tried to clue me in (Of course it went WHOOSH, right over my pretty little head). I dreamed I was stuck in the inner compartment of a pumpkin shaped art-car (@ Burning Man people bring these tricked out artistic cars to ride around in and give other burners rides back and forth across the playa). It was almost pitch black, but I could very faintly see, through playa encrusted windows, that there was some light coming through from the outside. I wasn't going to die or suffocate--I knew this much. But I had this incredibly strong urge that I simply HAD to get out of the car. Things were going on without me and that was absolutely disturbing. I was screaming for help, knowing full well that my little cage was in a secluded area of the playa with no sign of anyone around (digression: isn't it crazy how you innately "know" things about situations in your dreams without anything to back them up from the course of events unfolding?). I began to grope all around for a way out. I felt very certain, through my simmering panic, that there was indeed a way out and that I had to work very quickly to find it. After a few minutes of frantic searching, I found a window that slid open to reveal a screen. Elated, I reached forward to punch the screen out, only to snap out of the dream as my fingertips felt the perforated texture of it.

I was in my room. Thrust back into consciousness with the simple firing of a synapse between my finger and my mind, disoriented and instantly trying to come to grips with just what the hell happened.

I started cracking up, because the answer to getting out of the art car was so simple and because the panic I felt in my dream was so silly and useless. I just had to get back to living. Back to the now and away from the playa. I'll be back soon enough, but I can't spend a year trying to stay there in my mind. We only get to live on her for a week per annum and that is part of what makes our time there so magical. The rest of the year, her spirit lives through us and our actions as we continue walking our paths. Far be it for me to mess with that. I might be little. I might be loud. But I know when to go with the flow and ask questions later. That time is now. And I'm so here.

blog comments powered by Disqus