a lollipop, a shotglass, a bell, and a rocket..

Posted by Ted on Sep 7, 2006 in Burning Man

these are the things that I came away from the playa with this year, among the other countless memories of experiences.

this was the best Burn ever. it was exactly perfect. it was totally chill, and yet we managed to see and do so much. and while there was much missed, there always is, and I have no regrets for it, save for taking so few pictures (up soon). but even that, I have come to terms with the fact that I’m living life rather than photographing it, and that pleases me. “ya, I don’t have any pictures of the firedancers at the Burn. because I was one of them.” (which is also true of last year, but I was drumming instead of spinning.)

Burning Man is important. it shakes up your worldview just enough to keep you engaged and active, looking at the world differently. it shows the capacity for creation of something out of nothing, knowing that it will all go back to nothing again.

there is art, there is community of the many, and of the few. there are hugs from unexpected people, grilled cheese, and mushroom frittata. there are naps in a cardboard sanctuary and a cupcake, pasties during the day and bundled walks at night. there are fortunes and secrets written and read in the dark of night. you could find a reggae spaceship, or a belgian badger (they would hate me for saying that, but I am truly in awe of what they did.)

there is Fire. everywhere. from your camp’s stove, to fire-breathing dragon art cars, to jets of burning fuel a hundred feet in the air, to a corner burn barrel, to a fire spinner in the night, to the burning heat of structures as big as a stadium going up in flames. there is also playa, that irritates the skin, and sometimes blocks the sun (and 2 feet in front of you as well.) but it is that same playa, that when whipped up into a funnel with the wind, creates dust devils that play across the city, and with that texture that only Burners know, touching it brings us back. that silk between your fingers..

there were so many stars at night, with Orion welcoming in the early fall. I saw three sunrises in a row, each one unique and treasured. I had two of the best trips of my life, two days apart.

and it was WARM this year! my god! Burn night especially, we were lying out in deep playa, for an hour, not wearing coats, just watching the city from afar. and I expect most people didn’t notice, but just there, for a few minutes in the middle of a dance, it rained.

Burning Man is an important place to exist. I may not go every year, but I am very glad that it is there to go to if I want to. it shakes things up, and keeps things fresh. it invigorates. it lets one know what is possible. the beauty that can be found is truly unique. it excites you, and if you let it, it can calm you. that latter is something I’ve only managed to come to after 4 years.

it was a good Burn.

and now, thankfully, I can take a shower, pee in something other than a jug, and enjoy my own music.

An adventurer at heart, Ted Beatie is at his happiest when he’s off the beaten path. His deepest passion is sharing the world through photography and writing, found at The Pocket Explorer. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


Sep 8, 2006 at 2:09 pm

Wow, nice! I am sorry I missed it, though I’m sure I made the right decision. Looking forward to hearing lots more stories!

Sep 8, 2006 at 2:46 pm

definitely! lunch in KSq next week?

Sep 8, 2006 at 6:42 pm

Glad you had a great time, I am looking forward to pictures. I do wish that one year I could go, I know I would enjoy it. But it truly isnt feasible just yet. I bet B and TW would like it too.

Sep 9, 2006 at 12:49 am

I think you’d all like it, assuming that you could deal with the dryness and temperature differential..

Sep 8, 2006 at 10:33 pm

Sounds like such a good time….. I really think I will make a serious effort to try and go next year.

Sep 9, 2006 at 12:50 am

absolutely! have you seen the theme?

Sep 9, 2006 at 5:01 pm

Omg…..I think I’ll have to go now :)