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The Assless Chapel Newsletter #13: Decompression Edition


Decompression. Re-entry to the default world. I know it’s been hard for some of us. I got Covid during Exodus and it was a rough go. Much worse, as some of you may know, Linda and Curtis were in a bad car accident. Linda came out OK and Curtis is on the mend and will be fine. So, so happy to hear they’re alright. Much love and healing to you guys.

For all of us, there are the many aspects of reintegrating into non-Burning Man life. I am yet to fully get the Playa dust out of my hair and skin. Between Covid and getting caught up with work, I still have a full trailer to de-Playa and unpack. And parts of my heels seem to be falling off. I have 96 ounces of Calgon arriving on Thursday.

Of course, there’s the bigger aspect of it. How do you get back into the mundanity of normal life? Like with most changes, I feel it’s just a matter of getting used to it again. But how do you take something from the Playa with you back into the default world? That’s a conversation Curtis brought up with us back in camp.

I don’t have an answer, but I can tell you that I’m trying. I’m trying to focus on immediacy – that’s a hard one. On the Playa, I used my phone zero times. I’m trying to use it a bit less now. To read books, instead of checking it. But I need to do more than that to be in the moment. I have other ways I’ve been trying to 10 Principles my life – but they’re both personal and, as of now, my efforts are having gradual effects, at best. But I’m trying and I hope you all are, too.

I’ve been ruminating on a dichotomy. On the one hand, I believe that there is no default world. Or, more exactly, that Burning Man and the Playa are part of the default world and we deceive ourselves by drawing a line between them. As the Greek philosopher Parmenides wrote some 2500 years ago: “The mortals lay down and decided well to name two forms (i.e. the flaming light and obscure darkness of night), out of which it is necessary not to make one, and in this they are led astray.”

On the other hand, like a fly that returns every night to the same light, there is a time (Burning Man) and place (Black Rock City) to which I will return every year to recharge, knowing this is important to my connection to the inspiration it gives me and The Ten Principles. Another quote from Parmenides: “And it is all one to me / Where I am to begin; for I shall return there again.”

I’m still working to make sense of this paradox. Maybe I’ll microdose and see if that helps.


I’ve emailed everyone to schedule follow up Zooms. I want to hear about how everyone feels about their experience; what everyone wants to add or change for next year; to coordinate some photo sharing; and just to see your lovely faces. Let me know when you can meet. I leave to Israel soon for a couple of weeks.


Burning Man is doing a Black Rock City census. They want us to fill it out and it’s kind of fun and weird, especially if you’re not really immersed in today’s concepts of gender, wokeness and diversity. It’s quite enlightening.

They’re also doing a survey about Covid and Exodus.


Supposedly, Placement will reach out to me with some post-event questions. But I think I’m going to get the jump on them and email with a report on how things went.


Just looking forward to our Zoom calls everyone!


Check out this story of a 10-year-old girl at Burning Man:

The Man burns in 347 days!

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