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June 1st, 2011  |  Filed under Spirituality

What Time Is It?

Photo: mkgraph

A rite of passage is an act of growing up, and I don’t just mean maturing; I mean getting older. Time, at least from our ordinary, human perspective, only moves forward.

As rites of passage go, our week at Burning Man is pretty long. That’s a lot of time to reflect, a lot of days to fill with activity. Where should we go next? What should we do? For a ritual, this Burning Man thing seems kind of unstructured. Now that we’re here, are we just supposed to wander around?

Of course, the ritual does have a structure; it’s just more complex than the structure of, say, a Caribbean cruise, where some guy in shorts and a white sun visor tells you what to do all day.

There’s the burning of the Man on Saturday night, of course, and the Temple the next night. But those are all the way at the end.

What about this morning, now that we’ve finally got the tennis balls on our tent stakes and the pink fur zip-tied to our handlebars?

I guess we’ll look in the What-Where-When Guide… Read more »

May 30th, 2009  |  Filed under Playa Tips

It’s Time To Hit It

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My favorite playa projects were all started around this time of year. There is just enough time to visualize, begin work, screw up, fix it and complete it. I’ve pulled off things that were beyond my skill set, that took twice as long as I’d hoped, that were my most rewarding creations.

Here are some of my playa pro-tips:

If you’ve got a flicker of an idea, head to the supply store now. Walk the aisles. Let the materials come to you. Fabric stores are a lightning field of inspiration for me. Bonus: buying supplies now will help offset the costs that accrue in the lead-up to the playa.

Simple, cheap and clever: I swiped this mantra from a friend who is a real do-er. Good stuff.

Schedule project time during the week and not just big weekend pushes. An hour here and there really adds up. If you’re able to cut and measure in one night, you’re that much closer to being finished. Chipping away at the steps makes projects more approachable and less tiring.

Double the amount of time you think the project will take. I have a bad habit of convincing myself that because I’ve done something before, I can do it in half the time now. This is magical thinking.

One project at a time! If you work on one thing at a time, you are more likely to have a finished project instead of a pile of junk and two half-dones that you’ll “finish on the playa.”  In my experience, finishing things on the playa does not work out because I’d rather be riding my bike checking out your art than sitting in camp finishing mine.

If you start now you may just pull off that giant scented candle/DJ booth/dancefloor/actual working candle.

Cheers to finishing early.