At Burning Man, the Temple — a different structure every year burned at the end of the weeklong festival — becomes a focus for people’s prayers, hopes, wishes, mourning and goodbyes. People draw on it, stud it with photographs and handmade posters, write on it with Sharpies and pens and markers in little notes and long, winding missives that sprawl like vines. It’s way out in the playa, far enough out that the noise of the temporary city becomes just a dull roar. It’s quiet enough there that you can hear murmuring, sobbing and praying, and the crunching footsteps of the people around you.
I make a point of visiting it alone each year. A lot of people do that. This year, a whiteout blew up when I came to the Temple, filling the sky with beige dust that blocked out the sun and drowned out anything more than a few feet away, making everyone nearby almost anonymous. As I crouched in the shelter of the structure with dozens of other people hiding from the stinging dust, I found a purple marker that wasn’t too dried out. I had a few minutes to think about what message I would want to send into the sky, and wrote on the underside of a small projecting shelf, all my dreams are coming true and it’s making me nervous.
Since I was last writing regularly in this blog, a lot of things have changed. The whole summer was a mad dash that involved moving an hour north to Oakland, sorting out the smoking ruins of a two-year live-in relationship, driving all over the state, finding a job, finding a new and totally unexpected relationship, and leaving my work for first serious job of my life. (401K, folks! Benefits!) Right now I’m standing on the tail of the grown-up life I’d imagined for myself, and yeah, it’s making me nervous. But I can see that my feet are planted pretty firmly and that the long path I followed to get here makes some sense after all.
Most of my yarn is still packed up in moving boxes, and I haven’t finished a damn thing since spring when the carpal tunnel started to get out of control. But the weather’s cooling, my life is settling, my commute to work gives me almost an hour a day to knit — and best of all, I have someone to knit for.