This marks my third burn, and perhaps the most peaceful. I can never compare against the first burn – I was a virgin, unsure of what to expect and excited by everything. Second burn I was crabby. Never again will I allow myself to ruin the experience. This burn was particularly special, because it was my first time seeing the Temple burn.
For those of you who have never experienced Burning Man, I’m sure you’re sick of hearing this, but it’s true – it’s impossible to explain or describe Burning Man to someone who hasn’t gone. Strangely enough, amidst the booze and dust, I find I have some of the deepest conversations on the playa. One guy I spoke with said, “This isn’t a counter culture event, this is culture.” Plain and simple.
There are more than 50,000 people on the Black Rock Desert behaving however and wearing whatever they please, yet there is no chaos or judgment. I think this is why it’s so hard to adjust to the “default” world, as it’s known on the playa.
Three days on the playa is sufficient for me. This year we actually went on a quest for camps playing anything but house music – not to say the music and the dance parties can be a ton of fun. The one thing I will never grow tired of is the Temple. This year it was the most beautiful work of art on the playa. I believe it’s worth traveling to Black Rock City just to experience it. It’s unbelievably powerful. Each year I’ve told myself I won’t cry without success. People from all over the world pour their heart into this structure with written messages and mementos of their loved ones. Messages of love, regret, joy and hope.
The first thing I saw upon reaching the Temple this year was a couple hanging a poster of their daughter, quivering lips, fighting back tears. The picture is of their daughter’s senior portrait.
The energy at the Temple is palpable and gripping.
Perhaps even more beautiful than the Temple itself is the burn. Tens of thousands of people gather to see it, and when it starts to burn the crowd grows completely silent.