Playa Love Families

Even though Burning Man people are all considered family,
having your own family around during the event is sacred.
This photographer first came to Burning Man just wanting to spend time with her brother.
Three years later is a family affair, and I can’t thank my brother enough.
Many families join once a year in a celebrate of family.

Photos By: Evrim D. Cakir (AKA Madonna)

Actiongrl and her family
Actiongrl and her family
Maid Marian Mistress of Communication with sister Motel Martha and her fiance Mr. Mo Joe
Maid Marian Mistress of Communication with sister Motel Martha and her fiance Mr. Mo Joe

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Two Nights of Fire

two nights of recalling memories lost
two nights of friends hugging each other
toasting the moments of present and past.
Let the fire burn
and the celebration come to an end
let each ember represent people lost but not forgotten
let each flame wake you up inside
as the ashes make you never forget to live.
Photos By: Evrim D. Cakir (AKA Madonna)

Bye Bye Mr Man, Bye Bye

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It Has Been 3 Weeks…


by Bonnie

Feels a bit like, “it has been 3 weeks since my last confession,” doesn’t it? My sins in the ‘default world’ are mounting and perhaps it’s time for a cleansing, except that, well, someone moved the confessional. Someone moved the church, the city; everything. There’s a bit of it spread here and there, all over the world; in my costume bin, in Suzanne’s garage…

I have been thinking lately about the nature of the dullness that crops up; rises oh-so-proportionately to the length of time that stretches out from Terrible Tuesday. I am beginning to realize that it is the slow and arduous death of inspiration.

I’ve been thinking about the nature of inspiration. What is it? What does it feel like? Where does it come from? Where does it go? Why does Burning Man seem to activate it? And as it pertains to a tangible result that might matter to me, if only for one inspired instant: what is the nature of the discipline that takes over when the excitement of inspiration has breathed it’s last breath, so that result might actually come to fruition?

What is inspiration? According to Funk and Wagnall, circa 1961:
The inbreathing or imparting of an idea, emotion, or mental or spiritual influence; the elevating, creative influence of genius.

Inbreathing. Yes. We must all breathe, mustn’t we? Yet, breathing is and must be bi-directional. Perhaps there is a clue for me here. A clue of sustainability and balance required for survival. Even so, I feel thoroughly un-satiated by this definition.

I see that Funk makes no mention of a required result or product from this state: Ooh! Ooh! I have an idea… Fuck it. That qualifies. Great.

Inspiration. I spent days (and nights) meandering the playa in a constant state of inbreathing. What did it feel like? Well, it wasn’t necessarily wrapped around a specific idea. It felt more like the potential to create without limit, without boundary. Oh, and the boundaries; like my own head, my own self, telling me it (whatever it is) cannot be done, or if it were to be done, not without great difficulty.

Where did it come from, this sudden notion of all things possible? It certainly didn’t hurt to be surrounded by the generous creations of a cast of thousands. (You can do what with latex/plaster-of-paris/nylon/steel/fruit cocktail/old remote controls?)

It certainly didn’t hurt to be surrounded by love, expressed in as many forms; a hug, a smile, free beer. But if the secret that releases each of our muses is as unique as apples before grafting became prevalent, why are they all set free in Black Rock City? (They are, aren’t they? or am I being presumptuous? You were inspired, right?)

Could it be that when you take a creative risk in BRC, and your eyes are shut tight in fear of judgment, but after a bit you hear no laughter, so you open one eye, just a little, and what you see is acceptance, listening, and interest in it’s stead?

Perhaps.

And what about the connection between an idea and its execution? None of us here is a stranger to curtailing the production of an idea because the inspiration to create it waned. So I would simply like to state the obvious: We have 330 days before we can breathe in again. I am making a commitment to keep the creativity flowing, even though its influence might be napping.

And you?

Fears of a First-Timer


by Kurt Foy Booker, The Magician

In several days, I will make the trek alone to Burning Man. It will be my first time at the event. Although I have been considering going for several days/months/years now, I only yesterday made the decision to do it. And the Man burns in 5 days.

The timing of this event is unusual, both personally, and for all participants. Most know that Wednesday, three days before the burn, Mars will be the closest to the Earth it has been in 60,000 years. Fewer know that Mars is also retrograde at this time. And even fewer may be aware (or understand) that Mercury goes retrograde Thursday, August 28. Not a good time for travel, or being unprotected by the comforts of home. I will be driving, alone, from Sacramento on Friday. Jumping into a great big frying pan of Unknown!

Personally, it is a highly appropriate time to make this journey. I have spent the past five weeks participating in a Kundalini Yoga teacher training class. 48 days of 4:00am-6:30am yoga (every morning!), along with evening and weekend classes. Diet consists only of raw foods the entire duration of the class. We are focusing on cleaning out the liver and bringing pure energy into the heart. Friday morning, after the final class and graduation ceremony, I hit the road to BM. Try out in public, my newfangled mind-body-soul.

Also, by amazing coincidence, a house I am selling will close escrow that same Friday morning. This is a significant event in my life, in that it will be the first time in my 35 years that I will have attained some kind of financial security. After a lifetime below the poverty level, the sale of this house, combined with the fruits of many years hard labor, will enable a comfortable life, free from overwhelming concern over money. This event deserves a celebration!

But… even with all this, there is still fear. What if something goes wrong? What if my car breaks down? What if the weather is too intense? What if…?

I did a tarot reading this morning. I asked, “Should I go to Burning Man?” The future showed the Knight of Wands. A man on horseback, going places. According to Crowley, this card represents “the fiery part of fire.” I guess that clinches it.

So, I’ll swallow my puny fears and come play with you all! I will come to the desert and let it all hang out… I will do my best to dress to impress and entertain with my meager talents… I will follow all the rules, and respect and assist all… but I will also indulge in the freedom from civilization… see what wonders await… open the chakras… as the man burns away any lingering impurities, doubts, fears and beliefs which stand in my way!

Yee-haw!!!!