Right now in Black Rock City humans from all over the world are participating in an experiment in temporary community. They are covered in playa dust, costumed, painted, naked, drunk, sober, happy, sad, contemplative, expressive, dancing, standing still, singing, crying, they are hot, they are cool, they are weird, they are beautiful, they are hopeful, they are fearful, they are shy, they are outgoing - they are all of us, at our best and our worst, all at once. But most of all they are are coming together to live for one week in the REAL WORLD: a desert...a barren, blank canvas on which everyone is equal.
During our week on the playa Burners are reminded of the power of true human-to-human interaction and what it means to really be part of a community. It's not about status, it's not about power, it's not about beauty, it's not about wealth; it's about participation, appreciation and love for our fellow human, no matter their attire, their status, their beauty, or their wealth. The Man is often dismissed as an effigy, but really he is so much more. It is a powerful symbol of the default world and the Burn is a deep, almost spiritual, affirmation that sustains all Burners through their year-long sojourn in the default world and guides them back home again.
I really miss being there this year; it is the first year since 2003 that we have not made the trip. And though I'm not hot and dusty and painted and costumed and dancing with the love of my life at the Deep End, I still feel the same hurt and disappointment and anger at this selfish act. BMO has vowed to rebuild the Man in time for Saturday's Burn, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the Burn will be even more spectacular and powerful than ever! Burn, MF, BURN!!!