This is a collection of words that other people have written that struck me.
Okay, now let’s have some fun. Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about women. Freud said he didn’t know what women wanted. I know what women want: a whole lot of people to talk to. What do they want to talk about? They want to talk about everything.
What do men want? They want a lot of pals, and they wish people wouldn’t get so mad at them.
Why are there so many people getting divorced today?It’s because most of us don’t have extended families anymore. It used to be when a man and a woman got married, the bride got a lot more people to talk to about everything. The groom got a lot more pals to tell dumb jokes to.
A few Americans, but very few, still have extended families. The Navahos. The Kennedys. But most of us, if we get married nowadays, are just one more person for the other person. The groom gets one more pal, but it’s a woman. The woman gets one more person to talk to about everything, but it’s a man.
When a couple has an argument nowadays, they may think that it’s about money or power or sex or how to raise kids or whatever. What they’re really saying to each other, though without realizing it, is this: “You are not enough people!”
A husband, a wife and some kids is not a family. It’s a terribly vulnerable survival unit.
- Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country
My fantasy of Burning Man spoke to a longing in me to roam free in a place where I could fly my “freak flag” without everyone looking at me like I was a freak.
I always felt like the world couldn’t really handle me. Like I was too much. Too Expressed. Too sexual. Too colorful. Too effeminate. Too direct. Too playful. Too impulsive.
If I was too much for people at 60%, they certainly couldn’t handle me at 100%. But I thought that maybe at Burning Man it would be OK for me to be 100% no-holds-barred ME. I was curious what existed in the remaining 40% of me that never had the space to really be.
There was a longing to be free from the tyranny of social convention…where every action or thought existed in some standard deviation from “normal.” Where I was constantly bound by either convention or the defiance of it. Where being an outlier was either frowned upon or heralded (either way, leading to more feelings of isolation).
Great news! My fantasy largely came true. It was great to become a citizen of a community where full self-expression got the right of way. I found a place where my “too muchness” was just enough.
It turned out that being authentically self-expressed was not a switch I could just turn on after one year at the burn, but rather a lifelong dance with social norms and self-doubt. But the people I experienced at Burning Man gave me glimpses of what was possible for myself and others. It gave me a North Star for self expression.
I learned anew how the default world truly neglects the incentivising power of fun. it sees fun – frivolity, celebration, and dancing til you drop – as separate from work; it is play, and it doesn’t belong in our labor systems. We Burners experience them to be wrong – we understand that having the most epic experience possible is a great motivator for people to not only think radically outside the box about what is possible, but to then act accordingly, and actually organize and commit to create it.
I learned about the power of normalizing radical expression and creation. Coming to the playa, you are likely to find folks not only accepting you and what you do, but celebrating it, and perhaps even pushing your dreams farther than you could ever have imagined. And this is Normal – not just precious and rare, but truly the way we live our lives in our community. This new normative reality opens people’s minds and hearts in such amazingly productive and transformative ways.
Be aware of your boundaries, and keep them in your conscious mind. Remember that just because you are in a radically different place and probably having a heightened experience, it does NOT mean that you have no boundaries at all. In fact, ... boundaries are what enable us to soar to new heights – they are the structure and safety line that enable us to scale the unscaleable walls of our fears and hopes and desires.
“I’m very concerned about what the community standards are becoming in this community,” Wagner is quoted saying at the Nov. 16 meeting, according to the court filing. “When they first came, everyone was shocked. Now, we’ve accepted them and now we’re embracing them, because what? They bring money to the community? Something’s wrong with that.”