August 18th, 2012  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

The Woman in White

August 18th, 2012  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa
Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.


by K1LPI

A mystery woman on the Playa rode up on her bicycle and moments later rode away again. But in those few moments a picture and a memory evolved. It may not be as dramatic to some as the original “Woman in White, a novel by Wilkie Collins. But she was my Woman in White and she was not an apparition.

Just before she rode up my friends and I had chanced upon the Co-operative Sculpture of a full size tepee and circles of self portrait sculptures of the artists. The sculptures were seated in circles on the desert floor in groups of three or four holding hands. Each circle had a gap in which a pARTicipant could sit and become part of the work. As I sat in one of the circles I realized the sculptures were nudes and that is the way to really become one with the whole scene. So, I took off my clothes, hid them behind a sculpture, and sat back down. We took another round of photos and I rose and dressed. That is when the Woman in White came on the scene.

She was a vision in white against the white backdrop of the Playa. Her flowing white summer dress and large white floppy hat set against her Mediterranean complexion and dark hair made a stunning impression on me. As she looked over the artwork I noticed a point and shoot camera hanging from her wrist. I asked if she would like me to take a picture of her sitting in the circle and she handed me the camera. She sat down and I took several snapshots. As she stood up I told her of my obsewrvation that the statures were nude and told her what I had just done. With no hesitation she whipped off her floppy white hat and the flowing white dress and sat back down. I took a few more pictures with her camera and asked permission to take one with my own SLR. She said yes. I tool a few shots, she stood up, dressed, and rode off into the Playa as suddenly as she had appeared. I never saw her again during the remainder of the burn.

As I left the Playa I wondered who she was. Should I have asked for her name, or how to contact her? Or would that have ruined the moment? Well, maybe I’ll see her on the Playa this year. I’ll be looking for the Woman in White.


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3 Responses to “The Woman in White”

  1. a burner Says:

    ugh, reading this made my skin crawl. What a creepy interaction.

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  2. reply to a burner Says:

    the interaction wasn’t creepy, the interaction was pretty standard for the burn, in fact, i’d say the interaction was perfect playa moment. however, one of the lesson’s we’re supposed to learn from the burn is that sure, it was an amazing moment, it had a lasting impact for at least one of the people, but the lesson is to move on, look for the next moment. don’t worry about pining for the past. looking for the person again is a waste of time, enjoy the experience. immediacy.

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  3. a burner Says:

    Wait, we have lesson’s we’re “supposed to learn”? Really? That makes it sound like a cult or something.

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