Tuesday, February 6, 2018

To Bull, with Love

Bull Bunny in the Jelly chair - Tutu Tuesday, Burning Man 

"Why So Serious?"

Those were the last words Bull wrote to me.

I had sent him this ridiculously long message explaining why I left Burning Man without saying goodbye.  

I went on and on apologizing for not contributing more to our camp.
I apologized for not making camps meals and for not cleaning up after meals.
I apologized for not building our camp and for not breaking down our camp.
I apologized for my minimal mooping efforts.

(For those of you who are not Burners, moop stands for “MATTER OUT OF PLACE” and that’s a bad thing at Burning Man. And we, as a responsible society, need to LEAVE NO TRACE at Burning Man. That means raking, scooping and plucking every tiny speck of glitter, sequins and feather from the playa. It’s a tedious task and I suck at it.)

Bull once said to me, “You know Monkey… bending over, at just the right angle to grab the attention of the LA boys, is NOT mooping.”

(For those of you who are not Burners… LA boys are these young, super hot, wafe-like, lowriders,  that frolicked around our camp. Adorable, creatures… all of them.)

Bull caffeinating two LA Boys

Bull organized our camp, filed the necessary paperwork for our camp, hauled and built the structural components of our camp, broke down the camp, attracted our campmates, nurtured our campmates, entertained our campmates, fed and caffeinated our campmates.

And he did it all from a place of LOVE.
With NO ego.
And he did it asking NOTHING in return.

He utilized our strengths, engaged our eccentricities, and overlooked our weaknesses.
He celebrated the freak in us.
The uniqueness of us.

Bull delivers the bride

Part of my ridiculously long last message to Bull, on why I didn’t do what I should have done at Burning Man, included my unease around a sign that was posted in front of our camp.  It read BEFORE I DIE.

People passing by were encouraged to write their “to do list” after that statement.

In a general sense, “Before I Die” is thought-provoking and motivating. It’s a fun, interactive way to engage other Burners.

BUT…if you are unlucky enough to be facing a life-threatening illness...
If you’re coping with the reality that your life might be cut short…
That despite all your efforts you may never make it back to the playa, or ski the swiss alps, or smoke a cigar in Cuba, or party in Paris, then “Before I die” is a cruel, imminent reality.

Bull disagreed with me when I mentioned this to him which now, in hindsight, tells me he didn’t know he was dying, or if he did, he had come to terms with dying. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Bull was a complex, eccentric, multi-talented man.
A flaming mass of contradiction.
Brawny and graceful.  Blunt and eloquent. Scrappy and refined.

Brilliant… Bull was brilliant.

I love Bulls facebook answer to the question “STUDIED AT.”
He answered, "Studied at the base of an enormous pile of books in the basement."

I just love that.

Bull hovering just outside the Shit Shack

We knew Bull in various ways. Whether it be from his work behind the lens in the motion picture industry, from over 50 Southern California stage productions he appeared in, from his distinctive black, red and white art sold on Venice Beach, or from his creative, combustive, efforts as our camp lead at Burning Man. 

Bull's gift to me

We knew him because he gave so much of himself - in everything he did.

But what I didn't know is Bull without Jeanie. 

Bull and Jeanie aka Dust Bunny

I have never known Bull without Jeanie.

When I first saw, sniffed, stewed, and simmered with this man, Jeanie was at his side.


I know he was stubborn. And I know he was unapologetic. But I also know that most, if not all of his motivation was YOU.

He loved you in the way that every man should love a woman.
He had great taste in women.

He respected you. He celebrated you. He uplifted you. He protected you. And sadly, way too soon, he set you free.


This unselfish love, this BIG BULL BUNNY love never dies.

This I know for sure.

Believe me when I tell you….

Just because he isn’t here, doesn’t mean he’s gone.

I will never forget what his big, Bull Bunny love taught me. Where it brought me. 

I will celebrate this man in every creative, loving, kind, endeavor I do.

This is how I will honor YOU.


Michael Ross Oddo 

Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch. 
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be-
to be, 
And oh, to lose. 
A thing for fools, this,
And a holy thing, 
a holy thing
to love. 
For your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word a gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy. 
'Tis a human thing, love, 
a holy thing, to love
what death has touched. 

Yehuda HaLevi (1075 – 1141)

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison