Thanks to everyone for their participation in this experiment. It's fascinating to read our internal assessment of what/who we are, and why.
Me? I'm a glider.
I assess the environment around me, and figure out the lay of the land, where the thermals are, where the wind is, any obstacles, and I find the path I want to fly through this landscape, and navigate that path.
I have flown sailplanes before, with my Uncle, who is a licensed glider pilot. There used to be a grass airfield near my home, where sailplanes got towed up into the air, and could fly all day around an area where a lake meets a mountain. There were large parking lots creating rising thermals, and winds curving around the mountain, and the cool lake air... it was lovely.
And now, in my life, I pilot my life in a similar way... finding the things/people that make me rise up like a thermal, and then coasting out to the edges and surveying the further territory, before finding another thermal to rise on.
This is a rather Laissez-faire way to live life, and some may feel that it lacks passion, but ... I did passion. I dedicated myself hardcore to many things, over the years. And now that I'm 50, those are the landscape I fly over and still visit from time to time.
I went to a book reading in Seattle last week. A guy who goes by the name Caveat Magister wrote a book about Burningman, and was giving a talk and reading from his book. I went and sat over to the side and listened to what he had to say about his experience (he is on the Burningman staff, and has been involved in the organization for 15 years or so).
I heard young people talk about their experiences going for the first time just within the last few years (after I had stopped going), and older "jaded fucks" talking fondly about the old days.
I didn't talk about my experience, as one of the "originals" of the event's participants, or my camps, or my time as Burningman staff. I was happy to ride the thermals that other people were putting up... remembering similar experiences I have had to theirs... enjoying other people's perspectives of this thing that I - in a very real way - helped create.
I had no intention of talking about myself or my experiences, but someone I connected up with Burningman more than 20 years ago was there, and called me out specifically to Caveat. "Oh he's an original from the Baker Beach days..."
Suddenly my plane was on the ground. I didn't want this to be about me. So I quickly asked Caveat a philosophical question about the event, that allowed him to regain the spotlight in the room, and put the "early Burners" in context with the current Participants of the event.
.... and I was back up in the air again... focus off of me... just gliding along the thermals of the energy in the room, and the stories and ideas people were sharing.
So yeah. That's me. I'm a glider.