Rites of Passage: Burning Man 2011

The story is told of how the first settlers of our city arrived in the Black Rock Desert. Drawing a line in the ground at the edge of the playa, they were told that once they crossed this line, "Everything will be different." Holding hands, they stepped across it. When present day participants arrive at Burning Man they're met by Greeters. Newcomers are invited to ring a bell and roll about in the dust. On the sixth day of the event, participants encircle Burning Man to witness its destruction. Here, for the very first time, an entire community regards itself. People do this with the reassurance that another Man, an always slightly different Man, will rise anew. At the the end of the event, thousands silently surround a temple dedicated to that strangest and most fearful change of all: the loss of loved ones and our ultimate departure from the world. From first to last, Burning Man has always been a rite of passage.”

Read more musings about the 2011 theme here.

"5 Things Cities Can Learn from Burning Man" by Time.com

Are you ready to Evolve?

Thoughts on the
forthcoming Burn from www.examiner.com:

"For this year's theme, Burners are asked to contemplate three questions: What are we as human beings?  Where have we come from? And how may we adapt to meet an ever-changing world? There is perhaps no better moment in time to ask these. We stand at a unique epoch, amidst a world in turmoil that is transforming literally before our eyes. How will humans evolve to meet the challenges of a world besieged by war, overpopulation, economic depression, climate change, and over-consumption, yet one that has never been more consciously aware and interconnected? A world daunted by convergent crises, yet equipped with tools and ideas unimaginable to generations past? Will we find a collective pathway out of the morass, or will we end up our own worst enemies and seal our own fate?

For Burners and the vast culture they have spawned, the key to surfing the apocalypse (from the greek meaning "lifting of the veil" or "revelation") is creativity and community, and the endless ways that each are continuously reinvented...."

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Towards Evolution

I've got my magic Willy Wonka-meets-Charles Darwin golden ticket that will allow me passage through the portal at the end of August. We are poised somewhere right around the Burnal Equinox, which means that we are sitting at the other end of the Gregorian calendar in relation to The Burn. Balanced, if you will. And I know you will. That means that all the Burners in all the different corners of the world have exactly six months to prepare for the journey and the gathering.

Six months doesn't seem like a lot of time to reach readiness status, depending on how you look at it, or more accurately, depending on how big your dreams and schemes are for 2009.

It also seems like a fucklong time to have to wait. Granted, I need plenty of time to physically, mentally and spiritually prepare for my trip to Burning Man -- this will be my third pilgrimage in six years -- but late August seems impossibly far away right now. Just last week, I woke up to a couple inches of snow on the ground. Nothing is blooming, the Skagit flats are dull and muddy. Nights are cold. Big, dark clouds full of rain blow in off the Salish Sea. It is very difficult to daydream myself to a place of desert sun, dry winds and warm nights. Visualize sunburns -- it’s harder than you might think.

I have no choice but to patiently wait, and to savor the wait, the build-up, the gathering of energy.

As for how much time I need to get my project together, that is as undetermined as the project itself.

I haven’t had a chance to dig in to dreaming up a new experiment with Ramona Mayhem or Hekter McElliot -- haven’t seen much of either this past year as both have taken up temporary residences far away from Bellingham -- but with Edub, who lives just down the road in Seattle, I’ve had several chances to brainstorm, blowing on the embers, bringing up a little flame.
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American Dream
Burning Man 2008

Illustration by Jack Haye and Rod Garrett

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Green Man icon

Found this unofficial icon on Flickr in the Green Man 2007 pool

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