{ burning man 1997 } {1} {2} {3} { how }

{ how did you feel at burning man? }

So joyous.

People are capable of just beautiful acts if they are simply allowed to be. The images of the windmills, the Space Cowgirls (nice fake pink fur, ladies), the devils, angels, freaks, tweekers, ex-heads, yuppies, children, geeks, Biancanauts and frayed people all dancing around the middle of nowhere, howling in their human ecstasy at the sight of the Man burning....

So joyous.

Adam {rak@openwindow.org}


Was it the lack of sleep coloring things? Maybe. The experience of getting locked out of my car? Certainly somewhat.

I didn't have a group. I had a minivan (of which I got locked out and neither the rangers nor the fire department knew how to get a car open, or even had any way to contact the sheriff they recommended me to -- in fact, one ranger actually advised that my best option was to shatter a window) and some friends I ran into, but no official group.

I had gone in expecting the Renaissance Faire, only without that annoying Renaissance Faire part.

It was probably the bare cruel distance between the Man & Faire that really shot through the experience for me.

The energy was very masculine, very tough-it-out, and very often, in one sad way or another, drug-hardened. The closest experience to nurturance was when you got picked up on by gay men. Which I'm not knocking, but it's not the way it happens in my heart's-image of paradise.

Something to do with all the trouble in getting there and surviving there. The gentler of disposition were less likely to amass the gear, make the trek, get the speeding ticket, and survive the heat. and I missed that element.

It may have been a mere artifact of statistics -- there weren't enough women. But I'm socialized very femme and I felt a sad lack of sisterhood from either sex.

It was, in fact, so distant from Paradise as to make my heart ache a little -- for true utopia or for RenFaire, whichever came first. (Not that RenFaire is all that ideal either, but that is another fray entirely.)

I mean, if I had wanted to live in a densely populated city with not enough resources in a travesty of a desert climate in which it's insanity for human beings to build and dwell in the first place, I'd have stayed in L.A.

On the other hand, I couldn't have walked around naked nearly as much here.

joseph of windows to sky {thenewhouse@earthlink.net}

Left Out.

Although I enjoyed the event immensely and plan to return with many friends, several times when I tried to become more involved by offering to help out, I was met with flakiness, disorganization and disappointment. Justified or not, my feelings were hurt and I felt left by the wayside. I suppose the concept of "playa time" spilled over into "playa disorganization," or something. With that number of people, such amenities as ice delivery, bus service to the hot springs, etc. really needed to be more dependable, rather than "it will happen eventually," which quickly became annoying and disappointing. I tried to get a burger from Daddy Love, but there was so much confusion and disinterest that I walked away, $4 poorer and still hungry. Please consider that part of my contribution to our debt. Sadly, the lesson I learned from this is to depend upon myself alone, rather than this community. Don't mean to be a whiner, but I honestly tried to lend a hand. I hope for better luck next year.

Sheyna {AmyJenef@mci2000.com}

Sheyna reminded me....

On Sunday night, the night of the burn, I was walking with the crowd, cheering and chanting and generally marvelling at the whole spectacle. I was also taking pictures.

Now, I could have been one of the people standing on the sidelines - shooting from afar like it was a circus or something. But no, I was taking part. I was a participant.

And then some woman yelled at me: "Cameras stop here!"

Look, I understand that sentiment. After days of being shot by the press, I was beginning to feel like a fish in a bowl, too.

But last year I put my photos online for people all over the world to post to. Isn't that participating?

It all happened so fast - I didn't have a chance to tell any of this to the woman who yelled at me. But it left a sour taste in my mouth for the burn.

(The rest of the time I felt great, tho!) ;-)





Walking naked through the crowds, having intense sex in the back of my truck, or just standing alone in the middle of the Playa under the stars and planets. . .these three sensations predominated my every waking moment.

Who could ask for more?

Phillip {elwing@slip.net}

amazed, alone, bonded to a group,

joyful, sad, content

a whole mix of emotions mostly positive

I am responsible for my own good time

I connected with some wonderful people and i want the glow to continue

Robert B {brownstien@stellarsoft.com}

naked, but safe.

dave {dme5@axe.humboldt/edu}

{9.1.98} Posting to this story has been discontinued because it's been 1 year since Burning Man '97 and now we have the '98 event to talk about.

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