Monday, September 14, 2009

Burning Man

I went to the Burning Man festival this September in Black Rock City, Nevada. Burning Man is a huge camping trip for 50,000 people who give, share, meditate, bond, create, perform, ponder, pray, play, party, dance, rejoice, blossom, bloom, etc for a week in the Nevada desert.

I stayed with Camp Yummy Ruminations, a group of new and old friends from all over the US. We had a wonderful time exploring and looking deep inside of ourselves to find the good.
At Burning Man it is custom for each camp to bring a gift to share. Camp Yummy brings the Yum-Cart, a booth on wheels where passers-by can request any taste in the whole wide world, from blueberry muffins to unicorn hooves to stardust rainbow earwax. Inside the Yum-Cart the taste-ologist on duty picks from at-hand ingredients to create the customers wishes. It is an absolute treat to watch patrons’ faces light up when they taste something familiar, odd, unimaginable. Kid’s camp was a huge hit!

The Yum-Cart at Kidsville

The area surrounding the camps, the Playa, is littered with art installations, my favorite of which was a man leaning into the wind. From afar it appears as though he is struggling, his whole body fighting against an invisible force. Closer up and you see that he is dragging something very heavy. Closer again and it is a giant key that he is pulling. Closer still until you see that his face is a keyhole. Even closer and the chain is made of keys. Face to face and you see that his entire body is made of hundreds of tiny locks.

I love this kind of art. It has universal appeal in its human form, conflict, and potential resolution. It spoke to me on many different levels, reassuring long-held beliefs and raising brand-new questions. What does it say to you?

Burning Man was such a great experience; I made so many new friends and strengthened old bonds. I look forward to crossing paths with the Yummy Ruminators again…

The all night crew of cappers

An awesome art installation

Striking out into a dust storm