There were so many things to like about the Temple of Grace burn last night, it’s hard to pick a favorite moment, so we won’t even try. We’ll just tick off a list of things that were just about perfect:
– The weather was calm, warm and dust-free. The sky deepened from pink to purple to blue to black, and by the time night had fallen, the fire from the Temple threw a warm orange glow on everyone’s face.
– The crowd was unusually respectful. There were many art cars lining a perimeter circle, but, as in years past, their sound systems were turned off for the burn. There were few, if any, raucous outbursts that would have changed the mood.
– Marisa Lenhardt Patton sang “Freebird” as the fire was lit, a fitting nod to the DPW’s fallen brother, and an echo of what happened two years ago, when a blaring version of that song offended many in the crowd. This time, it was only a single, beautiful voice. That song was followed by the Doors” “The End.” And then there was only silence and the sound of the fire.
– David Best his own self actually asked a Ranger to lower her voice as she was telling the crowd what to do and where to sit.
– Similarly, David made sure that all of the people who were privileged enough to be in the inner fire circle were sitting on the ground so that the crowd that had gathered behind them would have a good view, too.
– When fire engulfed the structure, it collapsed in the most graceful way possible, a half-twisting pirouette of flame and wood and embers. The Temple of Grace, indeed.
The fire lasted just about as long as seemed appropriate, and when the fire perimeter was dropped, the crowed moved slowly forward toward the flames. Best left the people he had been sitting with and called out, “Maggie! Where’s Maggie?” and went off to be with his wife.
The smell of sage and copal became thick in the air, and people pulled picnic blankets and food and drink toward the smaller piles of embers. They joined together to share what they had brought. Read more »