Thursday, September 01, 2005

The idea of Burning Man.

Happy Birthday to me, as of a couple of days ago. I'm 48 now, and I'm at peace with that. No, really.

I ran into a former student who said he thought he would register for school this semester, but that he was going to Burning Man, and that would mean he'd miss the first week of school. I advised him (oh, Advisor Me!) to contact his professor ahead of time, and he'd probably be okay. And he probably will be.

I have a little fantasy about Burning Man, which I think would probably be a nightmare of grit and heat and not enough water for it to really be an enjoyable experience. But I retain a space for it every August in my cosmic year. I know a few people who've been there, and the little glimpses of it I've gathered I use to shore up my vision of it.

I have this theory that there's a holographic self that hovers and wavers on the border of the self we bring to all our responsibilities, relationships, and meetings. That self shimmers and never ages and dares to do all sorts of things. My sheer and dangerous self would be at Burning Man, or at the Burning Man of my mind, and would not be afraid of a little nudity. She would also live in Alaska, in the bush, without fear and without a specified end-date for the adventure. She would never worry about younger people and their beauty, because she is beautiful herself, just as she is. She knows that.

I like my life best when I feel the wild girl nearer.


  1. Why do I get the impression that Burning Man is primarily a rave/music event but when I visit their website there is nothing of the sort there? What gives?

  2. Somebody (local?) made a low-budget indie film about Burning Man that I saw--it looked like anarcha-DIY-sex-environment-drugs-and-art thing, with the burning of the Man the climactic event. I also get the feeling that a few years ago, when it was more off the radar, it was probably more anarchic. The fact that there's a website says something about its public identity. I think maybe they want to protect its existence by making it seem controlled. Now that more people know about it, more people want to come. Once there wasn't a fee; now there is.

  3. I am somewhat turned off by Burning Man. I had a gf at one time who was hell bent on going. I was hell bent against it because I know it had similarities to Rainbow Fest or whatever the annual hippy gathering is called. Pretty much all that goes on outside the nudity, body painting, and bad music is people wandering around asking you "got any bud, man?" Blech. When she got back she pretty much confirmed my prejudices.

  4. I say let's make our own Burning Man, darlin'. Deal?



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