And all I could think of while she was talking was... I first thought that I wanted that—not Burning Man, but the removal of chains, the catalysis of total creative transformation, an experience that both breaks bonds and heterodynes with one's own creative energies to create something new, something ... wonderful.
But then, it gradually became clear, what I was really thinking was that ... I was pissed. I was resentful, not of her (heavens no), I resented what I thought "had happened to me." I used to have experiences like that. Certainly, I at least used to be able to have experiences like that. But... not any more. All I could think was... that has all been taken away from me. Even the ability to have those has been taken from me, because I no longer have the creativity, the power, the love of life to be catalyzed by these experiences.
Days later, I still wonder... what's really behind that? Lots of things in my life have departed, opportunities and situations that facilitated all sorts of creativity, that have and had nothing to do with The Disease. Certainly, all sorts of things have changed because of The Disease. But what is the fault of The Disease, what's the fault of That's Just The Way Life Turned Out, and what part of it is entirely ego that really, really needs to transcend both its circumstances and itself?
Awright, I know it's ego. It'd be fun to blame it on somebody else, like The Disease, but that'd hardly assist in the "transcendental" department.
But I'll tell you what The Disease is definitely doing. What it is definitely taking away from me... distractions. Places to hide. Yeah, we can talk about neurological problems, inability to control my legs well enough to play the organ, the drums, to walk, to stand, fatigue upon fatigue upon fatigue... but what it's really doing is steering me down the spiritual road, the road towards transcending the ego and the self, that heretofore I only thought I was traveling.
Like I've always said, M.S. is precisely and only the human condition, writ so large that we have no option but to pay attention to the truth of that human condition, in all it's many not-always-pleasant-to-behold details.
And as a fellow M.S.er said, paraphrasing the Grateful Dead, "What a long strange trip it is."