For the past 10 years there has been an event that has stirred in my heart! Ask anybody about it and you’ll get a variety of descriptions. Naked, dusty, drugs, weird, artsy, crazy, awesome, etc are the common words that you’ll hear. And so this year i set out for the playa of the mysteriously famous Burning Man, knowing only a few things for certain. One was that whatever you brought in, you take with you out (including every scrap of trash and not a drop of liquid hits the ground) and the second was that I had to be prepared to be there for 8 days straight. Food, Water, and whatever else had to last.
Really not knowing what to expect I finally reached the gates after crossing miles and miles of desert. A beautiful woman dressed like something from a mix of OZ and Mad Max opened my truck door with a smile pulled me out and gave me a hug. WELCOME HOME! She rejoiced! The optimism was infectious and I couldn’t help but smile. Like Disney Land for adult, you couldn’t help but jump up and down from excitement. “What burn is this for you??” she asked with a genuine eagerness. “my first” I replied. “A VIRGIN!!!!!” She yelled embracing me yet again only to feel 4 or 5 more people join in the hug also announcing my new found “virginity”. I had arrived.
Filing into another line down the hill, the playa was exposed at random by a cloud of dust that had the tormenting power of a tidal wave. The winds shifted for a second and then all of the sudden there he was, the Man. Towering over everything like some foreign monument so random “Alien” was the only explanation. Too Illogical to come from us mere humans, but yet he did. Logic was nowhere near this place I learned as an “art car” the shape of a rhino transformer and the size of a semi truck rolled by full of people in it’s belly. All rules were off, the game was on. The Walk on the Wild Side had begun.
The Next week was a blur of surrealism. I’m writing this 2 days after I left the playa and I’m still processing what happened. Like waking from a heavy vivid dream, grasping at fleeting details. A mix of dust, nakedness everywhere, and the most amazing art one can think of. Mash that with a constant thumbing of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) that kept you moving like a pace maker for the spirit. A soundtrack for the mind. You kept moving. The setting for this was obviously perfect. The sterile desert complimented the sculptures, leaving the focus for them. As physically demanding as it was to get to see art for the heat and the deep sand made you earn the experience, reaching them left you intimate with the visuals.
The inhabitants of Black Rock City were all very much like the gate keepers. Open loving creatures. Eager to embrace you. (naked or not) Excited to talk about what you had seen and their experiences. Longing to encourage you. It was intoxicating to say the least. My camp mates were pretty awesome. Only knowing one going into it we quickly became family as we hung out and ate together during the day and looked out for each other at night. I am so grateful to have met each one of them.
70,000 people come to Burning Man at Black Rock City
The key to any travel is to go into it with an open mind. You don’t go to foreign lands expecting it to bend and cater to your comfort zone, and the same way goes for Burning Man, except its another dimension. You will lose the point of traveling if you do this. Like most movies, if you go into it with a certain expectation then you will more often than not be let down. But if you go into it with an open mind, then you let your life truly experience something. NOW, I am not saying you have to do drugs or any/all of what is being offered with any travels. One of my favorite sayings is “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. It’s ok to say “thats not for me”. Nobody at Burning Man gave me crap about not indulging in certain things. I thought of it like a concert, sure you know people are on drugs…but that doesn’t mean you have to be or you can’t enjoy the experience. So chill out. Enjoy the ride
“There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . . And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .”
will share more soon.
Be Well, Go Far, Dream BIG!