Posts in serendipity

July 25th, 2011  |  Filed under News

Find your Friends on Playa with the BurnerMap

Want to find your friends on playa? Yeah, well, traditionally, it’s a crapshoot at best … you head out, run around all over the place, find amazing things along the way, meet new fabulous people to tickle your fancy (and whatever else), end up riding on a flame-throwing gazelle for a while, and … wait … where were we going again? Is that the sun coming up? Where are my pants?

While you can’t beat the serendipitous nature of trying to accomplish a goal (pffft) in Black Rock City, there is a solution if you actually want to find your friends out there. At least it’ll help aim you in the right direction, anyway (the rest is up to you … good luck with that).

The BurnerMap in Action

An intrepid Burner named Morgasm joined up with a few friends to create the BurnerMap. You can add your playa address to the map, and (the particularly nifty thing is that) only your Facebook friends can see where you are, so your privacy is maintained within the Facebook framework. (Don’t like Facebook? We understand. But still, suck it up … this is cool.)

And of course, in true Burner fashion, a “long-time Burner” is waging an awesome and vehement condemnation of such a flagrant trampling of our God-given right to spontaneity and serendipity!!! Arrrrrgh!!! To which we say: Damn straight! Unpack the pitchforks, Martha, grab the gasoline and the lighter (the wand-style one, in the drawer next to the stove … I think that one still has some fuel in it. No? Crap.) and let’s burn that damn thing!

Or, y’know, print it out and use it, if that’s how you wanna roll.

Note to my friends: if you show up at my camp pantsless on a flame-throwing gazelle, you’d better be packin’ whiskey.

October 9th, 2009  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

Sweet serendipity

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.

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One of the lessons of the playa is that sometimes you find what you didn’t know you were looking for.

There’s a word for it: serendipity. Black Rock City may be one of the most serendipitous places on the planet. You can go off looking for one thing, but you come upon something that seems far more valuable than what you originally set out to find.

Maybe you went off to meet up with friends, or to hear a certain DJ, or maybe you headed to a class to learn how to tie up your partner. But you got sidetracked along the way, attracted to something that, as it turned out,  might have been far more important for you to experience.

Mystery writer Lawrence Block says of serendipity: “Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.”

Basic needs can be taken care of that way sometimes: You set out for Center Camp in search of an iced coffee, say, and along the way you come across a pancake breakfast yours for the having.

Or you are going across the open playa at midnight, trying to catch up with the friends you haven’t seen for hours, and a small light catches your eye. You approach and find yourself standing at a martini bar, and you didn’t realize until that moment that a perfectly made, ice- cold vodka martini was in fact the exact thing you were really looking for.

Some serendipities can be more spiritual, more nourishing for the soul.

Tell us about yours …

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