We're here, grateful to tell the tale, grateful to be alive. Really.
It's hard to underscore how hard every step of this journey has been. I don't know why this is true. I don't know what this coming week in Black Rock City — known more commonly as Burning Man — holds, but I think it will be delirious and utterly relaxed.
And there's nowhere Chris and I would rather be. (Farhad's a "virgin," sorry) And it's hard to explain why. It's hard to explain the stunning magic of a temporary city of 40,000 people, ecstatically gathered in the middle of a harsh nowhere, calling it "home" for a week.
Maybe that's my answer — simple and right there: it's "home," though not the tradition version, which I treasure in Lexington. It's true nonetheless, in some surreal way. We have had such a hard time getting home, and have wanted — needed — so badly to get home.
There are loved ones all over creation who came to our aid — some longtime friends and family, many complete strangers.
I can't step away from this chronicle without thanking Rhonda Reeves and ACEWeekly, who's verve, panache and leverage I have experienced repeatedly for many years, but especially in recent times, through trial and hardship. Thank you, Rhonda, for being willing and able to "marshall the social media armies," should the need arise. You are the greatest of allies and a true friend.
Thanks to the many citizens of Wyoming, a naturally helpful bunch of people, and to pilot Doug McDuff, of Pilots for Christ, who accomplished the one thing I wanted more than anything: to get my brother far away from the lingering sting of such an intensely personal catastrophe…
Thanks to new friends Kevin and Anna, friends-of-friends who went out of their way to track us down and buy us lunch. To the earnest, amiable family who operated the salvage yard that was visited on several sad occasions by each of us — and who pulled us off the side of a very deserted highway in the first place. To the staff of the Clarion Inn, a quaint and quirky hotel where I felt thankfully at home.
So many others…
It's time to walk away from this now. It's finally time to be home in Black Rock City.