Community is the belonging we’re always waiting for. Groups of any population, two to thousands, may offer a sense of incombustible presence. When our balls are not only to the wall but well beyond its sustainable breaking point, it’s our fantastical associations that will give rise to fulfilling all of the needs we’re facing. I liken it to wading in the ocean solo just before the shark attacks you versus frolicking in the waves with your friends who can haul your bitten arse into the ambulance they called super fast. I’ve bounced through various and sundry collectives so far in my time. There are my sailing peeps, a charity crowd, the posh fancy-pants VIPsters, healthy healers, and so forth. Within all, the key to an indestructible personality is being gifted the knowing that you are fireproof, which is at the core of loyal communal relationships. Certainly, the most global, authentically faithful of them all for me rests with the Burning Man project and its principles philosophy.
Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are, because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. ~Frederick Buechner
The arc of a special culture of humans is how easily they miss you, introduce you to newcomers and any others, and welcome you (no matter how far apart you’ve been for a stretch or occur as a newbie). Especially, they have a patented knack for loving you wholly, readily, just as you are, and however you will appear: the same or differently every single occasion. Burning Man is exactly and thoroughly such an organically ethical ethos. It’s this kind of movement I wish for everyone on our planet. It’s the opportunity to rock yourself proudly and against all resistance. Where you may trust you’ll be flanked by fellow individuals of a rainbow’s share of colors, creeds, speeds, races, tastes, fashions, talents, and interests, in the least! It’s the celebration for which we should all want an invite to be our righteously legit selves. What lights you up and doesn’t douse your brilliant flames is your high tribe.
Amidst the vile centrifugal force of international pandemonium, during a hideously weighty American election skirmish, and betwixt the less than chummy finding of my cutaneous melanoma detection, a devoted cadre of Burners (aka people who attend and live by, plus for, the Burning Man lifestyle) reacted creatively despite the crushing blow of hearing the fated Meow Meow 2020 news that our beloved festival was not gathering in the dust. Because sparks and sparkles are an element of what Black Rock City citizens do better, a team formed to ferociously make this year’s ‘Multiverse’ theme as similar a live reality as possible to remain aligned with the infamous history. Including some of my best friends, an impressive cluster committed to building the first-ever VR online Burn. Birthing a virtual version of anyone’s home would be a big task. To be born again through this giant keenly distinct anomaly was in one word: sublime.
Burning Man Founder, Larry Harvey is one of those icons who didn’t breathe his own ego that way, nor even care about its meaning. He is salt of the earth, not just like that (peacefully canoodling in the ether overseeing all this blabbering presently). The few rounds of chatter I ever partook with him left me in humble man’s awe. He cared about radical self-reliance, effort, the earth, and participatory humanity. You felt this around him. He crafted a beautiful behemoth in his lifetime. Therefore, his legacy had to blaze onward. COVID snuffing his sweetheart merely fueled a digital (re)construction. I, too, stumbled across identical fun to buggy moments as the real playa would deliver to me. Randomly, I ran into old friends I’d not spoken with in years, gushed tears with a significant several over deep losses during the Temple torching, and walked away with a novel flirty soulmate who has my same birthdate. A normal day in Burner land. Mainly, I was so grateful to be in the one and only infinitely permanent temporary (as in event-happening once a year) ‘home’.
Anything you’re letting scorch you is available for you to turn it into else. We learn, or some begrudgingly hoping to unlearn, the delicate facets of the value of fire protection. You can ignore me, sample my sacred sex without any appreciation, interpret my abortion, horribly rape or snakily set to ruin me, steal my money… and I’ll still have the sweetest deal of a kindred clan reminding me I’m a Goddamn unicorn of glittering radiance bred to spread my shiny uniqueness wherever I pretty well please. These folks keep a gracious foundation which will not take the awesome away from me ever. Nor shall they let anyone take my more terrestrial habits of streaming internet movies, coffee ice cream, Meyer lemons love affair, a surplus of goddess girlfriends, epic family, and globe-trotting. Living by a Burner ideology provides a touchstone to endeavor at anything ~ ANY THING I’ve ever supposed, imagined, dared, dreamed, unapologetically.
May the traditions of companionship you choose prove to be a glowing reward.