The Circle Is Complete

There’s no way to really explain the feelings to someone who has not been to Burning Man, but missing the night of our burn was the hardest part of not being able to go to the desert this year. Burning your art is a cleansing event, and sad, and so many other feelings. it’s almost sacred in ways you just have to experience for yourself.

Our crew is finally back in town and our friend Chris, who has helped us and so many projects in so many priceless ways, uploaded this video of the burn, and I’m overflowing with emotion. I have helped on projects before, but this was the first time I helped lead and create, and saying goodbye to it is a most bittersweet feeling. I can’t wait for the next project 🙂

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/138781203″>Sept 3, 2015: Zooplankton Burn 4x Speed</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user6593563″>Chris Schneider</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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I Spy With My Little Eye

There are times when the depression goes to a weird place, a place I can’t put into words, but there’s a kind of restless manic energy (No, I’m not bipolar) and because of my spine injury I can’t release the energy through dance or exercise, so I release it through weird self portraits. And so here I am with a baggie of googly eyes and an old tube of fake eyelash glue, and this is the result. I don’t know what I’ve expressed, but I do feel better. And now i have survived another day without self-harm or sobbing or rocking in the corner. Whatever it takes to make it through.

Even if what it takes is googly eyes

SarahEyeballs

The Heartache of Feeling Peace

As a lifelong sufferer of severe depression and anxiety, joy is a rare and precious thing, happy moments so few and far between. Last week I was able to scrape together a few dollars to drive about 6 hours south to one of my favorite places: Summer Lake Hot Springs. It’s a little place not far from the tiny town of Paisley, along one of the popular routes to Burning Man. I’ve always loved it there, there’s something magical and soothing about that place, and the couple of days i stayed there were the most calm, the closest to happiness, that I have felt in so very long.

Who doesn’t love waking up to horses calmly mowing the grass

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The remains of a meditation maze that a friend of mine built several years ago. it’s still lovely as it’s slowly reclaimed by the desert scrub

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The view from inside the Barn. it’s a lovely, creaky old structure with sofas and art, a calm place to rest in the shade, or catch some sleep if you’re a traveler without a tent to shelter in

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Inside the Barn

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I’ve always been a sucker for rusty old farm equipment

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I’d made a white gown that I had planned to wear at Burning Man, but since I wasn’t able to go, I brought it to Summer Lake with me. I don’t have many photos that show me feeling at ease, at peace, alive and beautiful, but this is one of them.

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And a rainbow to send me off as I reluctantly made my way home

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Coming back to my house in Washington was so very hard. To leave one of the few places where I feel free from my demons, just to return to a place that is so full of them I can barely breathe. The bad times help you appreciate how wonderful the good times are, but it feels like the good is so brief, and the bad is so endless.

When I finally came home I had a breakdown, a bad one. It almost got to the point where I needed to be hospitalized, but a few friends sprang into action after I made a frantic plea on social media and one of them called my therapist, since I literally wasn’t capable, and he called me and talked me down just enough for me to regain a grip. It’s funny, and sad, how sometimes all we need is one person, just one, to go a little way out of their way to let us know that we are cared about. Just one. And it’s even more sad to know that there are people who don’t even have one. That’s not how it should be. Ever.

Zooplankton: The Lifecycle of Art, and A Few Tears

It’s been a long almost-year for the Zooplankton project. There were so many times we thought we’d have to give up, times when we were blindsided by obstacles and betrayals, times we were so tired and defeated. Why do we go through all of this for a silly piece of art? It’s hard to explain. I can say now, today, as I sit here in my house as the Zooplanktyon crew is off in the desert (A former friend betrayed us, it’s a long story, but their slimy actions are the reason I could not go to Burning Man this year after working so hard on our project) that I feel that it was all worthwhile.

Even though it’s in the middle of godawful nowhere, Burning Man has cell reception, and every so often I’ve been getting updates from Becca, my friend and the creator of Zooplankton. She managed to text me a photo of the structure as soon as it was all assembled (we had to cut it into multiple peices to fit it on the trailer for transport), and as luck would have it, build day also happened to be the day of some of the worst dust storms anyone has seen out there. Hi Becca! Don’t forget your dust mask!! Heheh.

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And a few nights ago, at long last, I got a message and finally got to see our big spiky baby all lit up. it’s so beautiful. The tall pointed spire on top was supposed to light up as well, but apparently something was damaged in transit. But it’s alright, what matters is a whole team of people came together, busted their butts, and made something strange and wonderful to share with thousands of strangers in a dead, empty desert. From what I hear people are loving our little beast, and that’s what it’s all about.

And tonight, Thursday, at midnight, our Electronics Lead Tony will remove all the spikes and wires and control boards, and Zooplankton will burn. I’m sad that I will miss that part. The burning of your art is such a moving and cleansing ritual. Saying goodbye to all the stress and worry, goodbye to the heartache and frustration, and reminding ourselves that nothing, no matter how much you love it, can live forever. Reminding ourselves that it’s okay to say goodbye, and move on.