Just Being Honest

On Wednesday around noon, I decided it was time to walk out to the Temple and just stay there for a while. I wanted to walk instead of riding my bike so that I could use the slow, deliberate journey as a way to settle into a calm, quiet mindset. On my way, I started to let the thoughts that I wanted to acknowledge at the Temple that day drift through my head. I enjoyed the sun on my body and the gentle, dusty wind in my skirt and in my hair.

When I arrived, I slowly made my way around the building and between the others who were there too. I walked until a spot to sit and write called out to me. I had a few things that I wanted to say, but I knew what had to be first – my last relationship, and the disappointment and the hanging on that I still hadn’t yet been able to shake. I hoped that I had come to the Temple to write something self-empowering; something that, once I had written it, would let me leave with a light heart, a heart that had finally let it all go. Or that I would write an announcement of some sort about moving on, starting right now – a declaration of my independence from the past. I sat down in the dust, breathed in, and thought for a moment. I put my sharpie to the wood and the whole thing appeared haltingly, in between long pauses where I just sat and cried, letting flow all of the tears that I have not cried for a long while. This is what came out:

“Even though I know I need to, I don’t know to let you go. You are still with me everywhere I go. I think I am still holding on to one last hope that someday it will just magically be right, so I am afraid to let my heart release you. I was afraid to come here without you this year, but I knew I had to – I am glad that I was brave enough because every second here, I am practicing how to show myself my best, most loving spirit. I am so free here. I have proven to myself again and again that I don’t need you, but still you appear in all of these waking dreams. I don’t doubt my choice for a single second, and I cherish my unlimited freedom, strength, and energy, but I still love you and miss you with all my heart. Thank you so much for everything so beautiful and real that we shared. Someday I will be brave enough to let you go.”

When I started writing, I had no idea what I was going to say. What appeared was not exactly what I expected, or success in quite the way I had hoped for. But it was very honest: the total truth about my existence in that moment. I just sat on the dusty ground in that spot for a long while, just feeling. Accepting consciously the sadness of what I had lost that I still very much miss. I cried for a long time. It felt wonderful. Even though the conclusion of what I had written showed that I couldn’t yet let it go, it was still perfectly cathartic, freeing, and empowering to tell the truth. I decided that it was okay that I did not solve anything at the Temple that day. It was enough to just go there and sit and allow myself to feel it all, without any expectations about how that process should “turn out”. I just let it be, and let it be okay that I had not let it go.

Once I had cried out everything left inside of me, I stood up and moved to the inside chamber of the Temple. I sat and meditated for a long time. I felt serene.

My most recent thoughts swelled and then dissolved gently into the atmosphere. My breath filled instead with the soft hum of the people there with me sharing the space, all of us on individual quests for peace, but doing it together somehow. My consciousness moved on to other things. What I had just written stayed on the wall, and left my mind. The Temple was now holding it for me.

After a while, I stood and calmly left my other messages in empty spaces on the wooden frame. I thanked my parents. I contemplated happiness. And I acknowledged the beautiful Earth, connected with her in my mind, and cried for her. It felt fitting to leave after that one, because it was the most all-encompassing, pervasive idea of all: everything comes back to gratitude, love and compassion for our home. That defines me as a human and as a creature of Earth. She will always deserve my final prayer.

I left slowly, feeling whole, calm, and lighter. Ready to give and receive joy for the rest of the day, because I let the Temple help me set down my heaviness.


by Eden

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Tales from the Playa

Tales from the Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by participants. Submit your story here.

2 Comments on “Just Being Honest

  • Fireheadwhale says:

    The part about letting someone go from your heart was so like the way I feel about a lover I had for 3 years more than 30 years ago. Sometimes I think I’m done and then that person will come to me in a dream every year or so. Your words struck a chord so deep in me.

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  • ThePrescientPariah says:

    Trying very hard not to cry my eyes out. When I have tried to put into words how I feel about a person very similar to the person you wrote about, I find myself at a loss for words and it frustrates me. Reading what you wrote on the temple was exactly what I wanted to say. It is exactly how I feel and for the first time in a long time I feel at peace with the thoughts that ruin my head.

    “Thank you so much for everything so beautiful and real that we shared. Someday I will be brave enough to let you go”

    I wish the person I miss could know these words.

    Thank you for this.

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