September 10th, 2005

Deja Vu?

Maybe I'm just thinking about this because I just finished listening to this week's "This American Life" which was all Hurricane Katrina survivor's tales, but...

Have any 2001 Burning Man attendees here felt the parallels with that year in terms of decompressing along with world events? 2001 was my first year at BRC and right up there with this one as my favorites (I've been four times now, took last year off). I remember floating on a high the whole week back, only to have those ecstatic feelings collide with the ones generated by September 11th, just a week or so after I got back. This time 'round, the disaster had already struck when I returned, but the realization of how many people have been lost, how much damage has been done and how badly the government screwed up the rescue and relief processes is just sinking in.

The thing I'm getting at is that then and now, I find my Burning Man experience once again a grounding and strengthening one. After living in a place that makes me inspired to (sorry for the military cliche, but I'll co-opt it) "be all I can be" for only a week, I think I can view this tragedy in the right frame of mind, without complete pessimism about the state of humanity today, because I know what it's like to live a place with like-minded folks. Burning Man ain't perfect, because it's made up of people, but it shows what kind of feelings can be generated if we all admit we agree about certain key ideals. Sorry to go all hippie on LJ about it, but just read through the bulk of the posts on this group--there's something positive going on. I just wish I could do more than just give to the Red Cross. After a week of doing, it's hard to sit still.

Anyone else experiencing the mix of feelings this decompression?

A note to those who have never experienced a burn

A note to those who have never experienced a burn… (which is most likely no one who is reading this)

After a journey that took 12 hours for various hilarious reasons which are barley worth mentioning, I returned to default life from a once again, amazing spiritual adventure that took place some where off the back roads of the boondocks of Nevada in a small City know intimately to only a select few as Black Rock. Currently, I am, as many who were out there, recovering from another year of the intense energy of the human psyche and collective creativity that exists, as far as I know, only there.

As a second year burner, I learned what it takes to become a citizen of this fabulous city and to distinguish those who come passing through from those who truly believe in the power and magic that builds annually and erupts in the core of the city, on the night of the burn, once every 365 days. I learned not to resent those who come passing through as many old time, hard core burners do, but rather accept that as any beautiful place on this planet, there are going to be visitors, vacationers, and tourists and to incorporate them into our culture and hope, that in return for their visitation, they take a piece of Black Rock back to default life spread to spread the Burning Man spirit to their circle of humanity.

This year, besides just arriving and being my normal nutty self, my contribution to the city was… (and wow is this going to sound like some sort of résumé shit our some bullcrap) arriving early to help decorate The Café, assisting serving beverages throughout the event (like last year), greeting all the lovely folks coming into the city, working with my theme camp The Fringe, and was involved with take down and some DPW stuff after the event. And holy shit… so do you want to higher me for next year? Ha ha ha. But nonetheless, I tell ya, working with so many amazing people, I couldn’t, nor would I ever recommend doing it any other way. It just doesn’t make any sense. Not there at least.

I guess, if a label is put on the type of government out there, it is a sort of Socialistic Anarchy where almost anything goes, you can do, build, create, say, fuck (almost) anything with the intent that everything is to shared. I tell ya, the giving, companionate and open spirit out there in the core of a desert where not even the simplest single celled life form can subsist is a dose of what humanity needs at this point in our history. We, as a species will cease to exist if we continue to desire to carry out our day to day lives with the current habits of this American culture. It won’t continue; and if it does… well then, I would rather not think what may happen.
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