Metaphors for life

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Ended my staycation the way I began it, working my butt off.

I finally finished my redwood back deck on Saturday night, just before I went to the Marilyn Manson show over at the Grand Sierra Resort. The deck looks great. Every time I do it—every three years or so—it looks better than it did the time before.

Got my house pretty well cleaned, too. Those were basically the two goals I had for my week off, so I guess it was successful. Only made it to the gym twice—this damned smoke from the various California fires has really got me down. There have been days I literally could not get out of bed. It’s weird, because there were times in my life I’ve smoked cigarettes like a fiend and then went hiking. I don’t have a clue. If you’re out there suffering, you have my sympathy. Is there anything that works for this particular allergy?

Anyway, I’m back at my desk for the duration (unless I can figure out a way to get another week off here shortly). I’m not going to Burning Man again this year.

I get asked my reason for eschewing the festival a lot, so let me explain. When I started going to Burning Man, it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Bombs, guns, crazy burning fires, anarchy, and leaping urban primitives. It had a wild passion that went beyond anything I’d ever experienced. That peaked for me in 1996. So I’ve gone many times since then, and it’s still the coolest thing around. But every year, it gets progressively less cool. And now, the less cool years have a higher profile in my memory than the best years. In other words, the great memories are being diluted by the so-so ones, until it all becomes one vanilla B.M. (pun intended).

There are many things like this in our lives. It’s just so hard to spot them. The wisdom has something to do with being able to recognize the difference between what you want and what you need.