It is very hard to write tonight. I didn’t even try last night. (It was Sunday, I gave myself the night off.) And then today I was away from the house and a computer ALL day. It is not that I don’t want to write or have ideas. There was so much in the paper today, in ongoing facebook conversations, and the little shining moments for me as I rushed through the day.

No, the issue is that after what has been months and then weeks of looking way ahead to the Adventure, suddenly I will be leaving in less that 36 hours! Have you noticed how that happens? It is far, far away and then Blam! you haven’t even started packing.

So today I got the car serviced (I begin by driving from Sedona to San Diego), bought piles of ingredients for Kate’s Trail Mix, flew into Goodwill and found one of those small shoulder purse/bags, and even met a friend for coffee.

The usual activities naturally continued – serious office work (which of course after weeks of not much happening had become busy all at once) and feeding horses, cleaning yards and because today was the day I had set to worm them all, did that as well. Finally I was inside, made the bags of Trail Mix (which involves slicing the crystallized ginger as well) and stared at the list To Dos. Took a deep breath and started the packing.

I began by making stacks of what I Must Take, Would Like to Take and Wish I Could Take. I have three separate adventures rolled into one and each requires its own set of clothing… and who knows what the weather will be? Wet/dry, hot/cold, windy/still. After 2 days in San Diego which includes going to the Symphony, we get the van and drive for 2 days to Nevada, camping, visiting people.

Finally we arrive at the Real purpose of the preceding – Burning Man! I have never been but have heard about for years from many and varied. This year I am there. In spite of all the advice, the emails, The Survival Guide they send you (wonderful reading!!) now that I am actually packing? I am inept and uncertain.

I look in my wardrobe. I usually wear jeans or old shorts but I have lots of cool clothes.

Wait, what have I been told? The playa can be rough on clothes, the days are hot, the  nights are cold, it is all about costumes. No laundry services, pack all the grey water out.

My Burning Man Host and Guide, in whose van I am traveling, has been (very Kindly) clearly telling me how much space I have for stuff. 8 days, 2 people, all our food and water, camping gear…  Clothes? Who needs those except for the costumes?!

I usually travel light but there is a conundrum because after driving to SD (and going to the symphony), Burning man for 8 days, I go back to San Diego for 2 days (to sleep I gather) before driving and camping my way back here over 2 days.

I’ll need a bus for all this stuff – clothes of all kinds and their shoes and bling accessories, camping gear, food piling up in the freezer and on the counter, sunscreen, first aid kit, toilet paper, sleeping bag. I sigh at the wreck of a room.

Deep breath, on with the BBC news. After an hour or so, and remembering to try rarely worn clothing/costumes on instead of just putting them in the Must Take pile, there is some order. At least enough that there is a small suitcase, a large cardboard box (with shoes, long pants and sweaters – the ‘for when its cold’ clothes) and a tiny bag that seems to be containing it all. Oh, except for the things that are hanging in the closet…

But at least I can sit here, and write this, and know that I can complete this task tomorrow. In fact, the best way for me to pack is to have two bursts. The first round of the Must Take, Would Like to Take and the Wish I Could Take is pretty undisciplined.

The next round I pretty much ditch the Wish I Could and some of the Would Like to’s, and finally I even clear my head enough to add to the  Must Takes all that I had forgotten.

It is not like I am going directly into the Nowhere and I will have time to pick up the Must Haves that were missed. Also, I can leave stuff in San D before setting off on the  major portion of the trip!

So I when I revisit this tomorrow I will also re-arrange and end up with two well defined bags. One actually goes to Burning Man, one stays in San Diego. Oh and the little one? has the toiletries and underwear and, well, the bits and pieces that have to be easily accessible anywhere and in the car. You know what? It looks pretty good. Oh, some laundry to do and add tomorrow.

Whew! I feel more relaxed and not panicky. I am excited and very happy. Most of all, I am grateful. I know how lucky I am that I even have this problem. I have clothes from which to choose, a car in which to drive, a friend whose kindness and experience he has put at my disposal. What I don’t have is nothing compared to all that I do have.

Now I will step out onto my little porch and gaze up at the glorious moon. I will thank her for her steadfastness even as she comes and goes in the sky. I look at the moon and I am reminded again of the beauty in the world and the gifts in the universe.

This adventure is one of them. All of it, the journey there, the journey that will be Burning Man, the journey back. It doesn’t need anything I pack to be what it is. All I need to do is Journey. And I am ready!

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