A couple years ago, some camp mates and I decided to show up a week before the festival began and volunteer to help build the city. We arrived at the barren Black Rock desert with few city installations in place and even fewer landmarks. The man wasn’t even up yet. News quickly reached us of how a bad water barrel had taken out a majority of DPW and the city was desperately short handed. We were asked to help build First camp and gladly abided. After a long, cloudless week of work, along with meeting tons of great people, getting fed in the commissary, and watching the city grow and take shape before our eyes, we had set up First Camp(the camp site/HQ of various department heads that run the city). On our final workday we enjoyed sunset cocktails in the 2-story Media Mecca, giving us a nice view of the endless river of headlights now approaching the city. (more…)
Wednesday afternoon, I was exhausted from dancing at the District all day. I took a nap and when I woke up, my campmates begged me to join them at a show with one of their favorite DJs. I followed them on my bike, but quickly got lost in the crowd. I turned around and headed back to camp thinking I would just go back to sleep.
On my way back, I passed a big dance party. I was tired, but I had one of those, “You’re at Burning Man, what the hell are you doing trying to go to sleep?” kind of moments. So I parked my bike, took off my tank top and headed into the crowd. I’m not exactly shy, but I don’t typically enjoy going to parties by myself… I felt impelled to jump in. (more…)
On Wednesday night of 2006, our crew threw a huge all-night dance celebration – some 8000 people under the huge Conexus Cathedral we had just finished building on Tuesday, and lighting that day.
The next day, I’m out re-burying some lighting and power lines that had got kicked up by dancing feet. I take a break for water and a stretch, and here’s this beefy dude at the other end of the trench, using his bare hands to clear and rebury the cables. He nods at me, and keeps working towards me. He’s built like a linebacker, and doesn’t look much over 20.
After 15 minutes or so we meet in the middle, finish up, find some shade, and I offer him a beer and a nod in thanks. Words didn’t seem necessary. (more…)
We were camped this year with a couple friends of ours from Canada, and other friends from Cali (as we are), one being a veteran Ranger. One afternoon, we were sitting around camp (Camp Yonder and the Ottoman Empire -8:13 & H-) enjoying some blue margaritas, and someone brought up the fact of how easily some of us are distracted in life… something as simple as hearing someone yell “Hey Look, a ball…!!” we all had good laughs, and pointed fingers at who would run after the ball if we ever saw one, hypothetically, of course… (more…)
On one of the last days of BM 2013 I went in the late afternoon like it was my habit as an older single to Center Camp and to look “what was up” and to get a cup of coffee.
Cup in hand I walk around in the crowd there, watch the people in the center of center camp doing their calisthenics, partner exercises, yoga moves and whatnot. I also notice people resting on pillows and blankets, dozing, sleeping, still others listening on the sofas to a performance on the stage which sees action 24/7 and there are, of course, lots of other activities, more than one can and would want to describe here.
And somewhere in the crowd I notice this beautiful Ca girl sitting on a small stool with a tiny round table in front of her offering “relationship advice” and “for singles too” is added in clumsy girlish handwriting. (more…)
Working in the DPW auto shop is tough, the crew is on call 24-7 right up to the end of the event and through clean up. It can get more than a little hectic. We’re trying to keep all the DPW vehicles up and running and assist all the participants off the playa. I was having one of those days and running on fumes myself when I got a call to go out and assist yet another vehicle to get it started and off playa. I rolled up on this janky old RV in Kidsville sputtering and cranky from lack of sleep and was all ready to make everyone’s day even more miserable than it already was. When I rolled up and got out of the truck one of the kids came right up to me, gave me a great big hug and said “Thank You for helping us out.” and I hadn’t even pulled a tool out yet.
Well… All that cranky nastiness just seemed to melt away when that young man hugged me and thanked me, it made my day. I was able to get them on their way and the rest of my day was just that much better for having heard two simple words… Thank You
It started with an evening of work. It was early in the week and I had a beginning shift of watching a gigantic sphere spit fire with a best friend of a month. The benefit of this was that we had almost all night to explore the newly created city. Just a little virgin biscuit and a veteran heading out to see the center of our dusty universe: the man and the temple.
Compared to the other nights of burning man tonight was relatively free of distractions and we made short time to the base of the man. It was here that I lost my mind. We climbed the narrow and winding stairs. It was dizzying even without intoxicants. Luckily I gazed into the zoetrope closest to our bikes, otherwise I may have become entirely lost. (more…)
It was Wednesday night of my first burn, and I was dancing amongst the treetops of a mobile tropical island. I can’t remember what time of the the night it was, nor did I care, having let go of any inclination to know the exact hour and minute the night before. There are only two tangible times on the playa – sunset and sunrise. Whatever happens between those events seems to blur from one to the next, yet the sun’s daily arrival and departure were already becoming ritualistic times to take a deep breath and smile.
So there I was, some time between sundown and sunup, deep into Wednesday night yet still rocking a Tuesday tutu having not slept a wink the night before. We were far out in deep playa – total darkness in three directions. To the west, a city skyline unlike anything else in this solar system (more…)