The obvious benefit of being geographically independent is that you are free to be wherever you want to be, and every year when Burning Man rolls around, there is no other place I’d rather be than Black Rock City. For those new to the site may want to check out my Burning Man Guide to know why.
I’ll keep the writing short this year to give more space for the pictures and videos that, beautiful as I hope them to be, still can only convey a small fraction of the bewildering beauty that is Burning Man.
Four happy campers piled into the Sin Wagon (our monster RV). There was of course Don and I. Our normal companion Jamison couldn’t make it this year. Last year’s new addition, Sylvia a.k.a. Vagina, came along again and brought along her boyfriend, Dixy.
The ride up to Black Rock City was uneventful apart from my debut as the driver of the huge RV and the trailer. I was terrified, but managed to not kill myself, my friends or anyone else.
Dixy popped the question (in the Sin Wagon) and Vagina said yes! They met two years ago at Burning Man, and two years was all it took! Hip hip hurrah! Congratulations!
Once again, we erected the Black Rock Cock, a dick-shaped shelter in the deep playa, far away from the main city. Like last year, we left a journal in the cock for people to write their hearts upon, and Dixy added a couple of doodling books as well.
The cock is always fun to build, and it feels good to bring something to Burning Man which so many find such great joy within.
The burning of the Man and the Temple this year was the best burns I’ve ever seen. The structures burnt fast and blazingly. No slow burn here! There were also some pretty impressive burnings of one-off art pieces, prime among them the Church Trap, a huge rabbit-trap like structure in the shape of a church.
One of my most memorable experiences at Burning Man this year was the guitar hero game in the playa. The image was projected onto a screen and the whole system was hooked up to five flamethrowers, so when you hit a note right, flames shot up from behind the screen! I played my nomadic theme song, ‘Wherever I may roam’ by Metallica. Loved it!
I had a lot of fun at Burning Man this year. I saw a lot of beautiful art, I met many great people and I return to the default world with a whole lot of new stories.
But still, something was missing this year. My previous four years haven’t just been fun; they have been revelatory. There was always been some kind of epiphany or moment of deep connection with myself or someone else that simply moved me. This year, that did not happen. I wasn’t even moved to tears by the burning of the Temple, and normally I bawl like a baby during that burn. This year, I thought it was beautiful, but that was it. Skin deep.
So am I jaded? Or does Burning Man simply not have any more surprises for me? Is it really possible to get used to something like Burning Man? Maybe. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right headspace this year. Who knows.
I had three different people independently suggest one theory, which I hope is true but I’m not sure. They said that perhaps in my first few years, the thing that hit me so hard about Burning Man was the revelation that life could be so much more colourful, exciting, open, adventurous and kick-ass awesome. The contrast between the Burning Man values and my own life where so defined and profound that it hit me right in the gut.
Perhaps then, the lack of epiphanies during Burning Man this year is a sign that I’ve managed to incorporate the values of Burning Man into my default (nomadic) life.
Had only one person said so, I’d have written it off as flattery, but there were three of them, independently suggesting the theory, and well, maybe there is something to it. I sure hope so.