the burn

We’re back from Burning Man.

yes that would be a dust storm all around us

Overall it was as exhilarating as it was challenging. It was a week of beauty and adventure and art spread across a minefield of drama and angst. We survived and we had much fun, as you will see when Ben finishes editing and posting all the pictures.

Sadly, there are no pictures of the most lovely thing we saw, an enormous double rainbow spread all across the playa over the man. Oh wait, correction, duh, we have no pictures but there are plenty out there. (Bonus: here’s a gorgeous one that includes one of Gwen’s lanterns!)

On a less enthusiastic note, the Green Man theme was extremely perplexing. I seriously doubt that the fiery explosion of a giant oil derrick using 900 gallons of jet fuel and 2,000 gallons of liquid propane taught anybody anything about our deeply problematic dependence on oil. How exactly is blowing things up educational?

Since all 45,000+ Burning Man attendees travel to the barren playa via car or plane with only what they need to survive for the week, the burn is obviously not a sustainable event. I do think that most burners are pretty conscious about the environment, and it’s my understanding that there were some great permaculture and green living exhibits in the pavilion around the man before the arson/prank/earlyburn debacle. But for the most part, the green theme was overshadowed by the profusion of RVs, beer cans, and cigarette butts.

Still, I’m very glad I went. It was a spiritual journey and an experience I’ll be processing for quite some time. I feel like a burner, for whatever that’s worth, and I could see myself going again. In the end though, it’s mostly just a big wild free-for-all party that gains credibility and intensity from the crazy heat and dust storms and necessities of survival.

Thus my summer of festivals comes to its close. I’m regrouping, decompressing, getting back to work and trying to prioritize various goals and schemes. See you soon!

6 thoughts on “the burn

  1. I’ve been itching to know how it all went down! I read with sadness the early burn fiasco..i was pissed….
    welcome back to reality…missed you while you were gone…

    T

  2. OMG, thank god you’re back in our fair city. Ramon asked me yesterday when you were to return and I didn’t have an answer for him, and that got me wondering, really, when will you be home? And home you are. I’m glad you went. I’m glad you’re back.

    Let me know when you’re ready for a soggy romp ’round Broadway…

    Cerise

  3. What a crazy week! I agree with you, totally fun and exhilarating, also exhausting and overstimulating. Yeah, I guess I’m too much of a hippie to get all excited about blowing up a fake oil derrick. It totally defeats the point the artist is attempting to make, in my opinion. Apparently, the day after they burned Crude Awakening they were going to erect a giant sequoia tree as representative of our future and the solution. However, for some reason the DPW wouldn’t let them put it up and it was stopped. I don’t know why, but to me it seems like another example of the “greener” art being not displayed (such as all the art and exhibits in the pavilion).

    What do you think of next year’s theme: American Dreams? Um, I think I’ll skip next year.

    Overall, I had a great time, and regardless of all the art, music, performance, desert weather, and natural and unnatural disasters, my favorite part was spending time with friends – including you two! It was great to get to spend so much time together and come visit again in the future!

    Oh, and the monkeys, I loved the monkeys, and the rainbow light thing, and the steam engine car and the Neverwashaul, and Heartsong Chai on the esplanade. Yum! and riding my bike across the desert in a mad dust storm.

  4. We had a great time with you guys too!

    That’s interesting about the sequoia tree. But even that seems kind of wasteful. It’s not like it could survive. Where were they going to get it from anyway? Wouldn’t it mean uprooting a living tree to prop it up temporarily in a barren desert? Or using a bunch of wood to make a fake tree? Talk about irony.

    And speaking of irony. Next year’s theme is so loaded with irony that the whole festival is likely to crumble under the weight of it. Yikes.

    But oh yes the chai, yummm! Coffee doesn’t taste as good anymore after all that amazing chai. I’m emailing you right now for your recipe because nothing I’ve had since comes close.

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