I Have Declared for Burning Man


This has been a wonderful day and I’m wrapping it up in gratitude here at the end. I had a– STOP BELLA! (My brother’s family’s dog is staying with me and she just stretched in her sleep and the pads on her paws are like sandpaper but I can’t stay mad at her because she’s so ridiculously sweet and cute and that is to her great advantage because she is full-on lab puppy energy incarnate and she’s lucky as hell to have found a doting uncle like me who suffers her antiques with gratitude for the extra love she brings to our house this week and even Willie has stopped baring his teeth at her and Dennis has made it as far as a little nose-to-nose kiss before Bella, explosive in excitement over the whole interaction, decided to get a little rambunctious with our feline dog which brought about a claws-exposed swat to the face and a little yelp from Bella. They’ll figure it out.)

Today’s workouts were ridiculous. Yeah, I’ve finally gone to the two-a-days so I went first to CrossFit and then to the meathead gym to do some powerlifting with my buddy. I just follow his lead and today he kicked me square in the zipper especially after Eaton (CrossFit coach) had done pretty much the same just a little while earlier. QUIT BELLA! [I swear I’m not going to have any hide left on my legs when she’s done. How much of a full-sized bed can one Labrador puppy require?!(She’s nine months and 60lbs.)] My workout partner used to hate gay people so it makes me feel good to have him as a friend. Yes, a lot is done on the activism front in the streets and in the courts but you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that the most important work isn’t done when one person gets to know another. It works in all directions too. I know a lot of people in the major metropolitan areas of our country who think all Southern Christians are bigots. It’s just not true.

Probably the highlight of my day today (now that you asked) was sitting on the tailgate of my truck eating supper (or “having a picnic” as he put it) with my godson, Cedar. He is such a beautiful spirit, a HUGE heart in such a little package. It’s so wonderful to watch as he voraciously consumes the world around him. He’s so smart and so happy and his parents are doing a great job. He likes to keep his toenails painted. I’m sure he gets some shitty comments around these parts. While we were sitting on the tailgate, I looked down and noticed that he’d had a color change. I was so, so grateful to get to be a person who said, “Dude! I love the blue color you picked for your toenails!” instead of any of the 1000 lame-and-shame responses he might have gotten. I’m blessed. So’s he.

I’ve decided to go to Burning Man. For years people have been trying to get me to go. About six years ago, a friend said to me, “You know I think it’s rude as fuck that all these many thousands of people throw this party just for you each year and you don’t have the decency to show up!” Well now I’m showing up. It’s my time. Every year something happened that precluded my going. I have now declared. I’m going. I’m keeping my ears open for a ticket and a camp to adopt me. I’ve also been asking my “Burner” friends for advice. I know in some ways one can’t prepare for an experience like this but for the ways one can (logistics, transportation, what to bring) I’m starting that whole process. I’ve also surrendered the whole thing to Creator and so I know that it will happen so much better than when I let myself be deluded into thinking I’m in control.

My buddy Phillip and I were riding down the road in my truck earlier this week, just listening to music and enjoying the beautiful Alabama countryside. I remarked to him that I remember a time when I used to look back at earlier times and think, “Wow, that was really a great time. I wish I’d just known that then.” The reason I remarked that to him then was because I was having one of those moments and I wanted to acknowledge it. That happens a fair amount to me these days. I have the thought, “Man, we’re making a really great memory here.” I sure am grateful for that. Sitting on the tailgate with Cedar is another great example of just such a time.

Tonight I had a meeting with two other artists about the business part of our careers as artists. The nature of these meetings is for us all to brainstorm about the best ways that the person for whom that particular meeting is being conducted can move forward with his/her career. I got some great feedback from my action group partners tonight and I’m excited about taking these next steps to continue to recovery from a lifetime of underearning. The effects are already evident just from my intention to live differently and, of course, a little bit of footwork. Probably the best thing that came out of tonight’s meeting though was that I realized how grateful I am for what I have! I have a beautiful house to live in, vehicles that are paid for and food to eat. I get to do what I love for a living and I’m surrounded by the most incredible people. Sure, I continue to have goals but if I never worked again in my field, if I never acquired another “thing,” don’t feel sorry for me when I die. I have a great life. Even if all the material things were not there, I’d still be the richest guy I know because of the associations I have with the most interesting and wonderful people. For that, I’m grateful.

See y’all tomorrow.

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