Getting that text a lot. So answering you all at once:)
Burning man is not a festival. This is not Coachella, and this is not a vacation. It is a commitment and only calls those who are ready to travel for 2 days, to live off the grid in a desert, eating ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
So what is it you ask?
Burning man is a community of global artists, makers, and the spiritually hungry who want to make human connections that are based on a mutual trust and love, versus needs and wants (commercialism). They come together to build a society for one week in the middle of nowhere that is founded on 10 principles (think of them like the constitution of a country). I was so inspired by these principles that I totally stole them to write our family code of ethics, which I called the sailors code. We all signed it in 2017. Sharing in case you too want to steal it for your family:)
At burning man you will not find any commerce nor even mention of money. There are no labels allowed and everyone participates. You cannot go as a bystander. There is no such thing as a passive at the burn. You will dress as art and give to the community in some way. It could be through kindness (a service, including art), manual labor (building), or gifting (. Basically everyone, all 70,000 of us, are all in. And you know I love being all in.
These are my people!
It is truly a future utopian (this is the best recap of burning man I’ve seen). A utopian full of artists, engineers, and dreamers where love and empathy reign. Strangers will treat you like their sister. And you will dance with wild abandon next to them. Your entire foundation of what can be will be rocked. The art will inspire you and when you see what this community is capable of you will wonder what else is possible. (Art cars being my favorite inspiration). Steve and I hope to build our first one for burn 2025!
It is my hands down favorite place on earth.
It gives me hope for the world and reminds me that we can get along and make something beautiful. At the camp that we stayed at we had every age between 28-59. We had every socio-economic status from jobless and broke, to us from NYC. But we all sat together and broke bread daily. We took care of each other. (More on that for another post).
But I want to be clear…it is not all fun and games.
The burn burns. It will literally burn everything including your physical body. For example. You will cry. I promise you will cry. If not from emotion, your tear ducts will try and clear the dust swirling inside them at least a few times a day. But hey maybe it will clear some dirt off your face and soothe a sunburn!
Without question the landscape is harsh. Alkaline dust will penetrate every part of your body and the weather vacillates from 100 degrees to 50 degrees in just the matter of hours. There is no food to buy, no running water, no electricity to plug into. This is no vacation cruise! Daily you will find yourself in a dust storm and not know which way is up making it difficult to find your way home or find loved ones. You must be diligent at all times and have lights on your physical body as you will disappear among the pitch black (no street lights) of the playa.
It’s very nature is surprise (basically Benno’s worst nightmare). Sounds shooting out of nowhere. Fire flying to your left and right.
You have zero choices but to live in the now.
Not just because your very survival depends on it, but because your attention is completely hijacked. Turn a corner you can see anything from a drone show, to a naked biking group. Yes…a lot of fat white men with small dicks on bikes. This may sound just insane. Writing it reads insane. Why would anyone want to be part of that? How is that fun you may be thinking?!
Oh but it is. It is more than fun. It is the most beautiful thing you will ever see. Small dicks and all.
Watching people live their most authentic life is inspiring. The energy is palpable. You will never feel more alive. You are surrounded by a can-do spirit that reminds you what humanity is capable of. You will also find all the chatter in your head stop completely. I’m serious. You will not think of anything, but the now. Children? What children! You are too absorbed by the now. And your brain is so confused by the absurdity of it all, it basically shuts down.
Ahhhh. Now that part is a vacation.
And the physical pain and hardship of it all is purposeful. It is by design. Literally part of the what makes the experience so important to your own growth and development.
Burning man forces people to live in conditions that require self resilience. You will learn you are capable of things you have never believed of (like breaking into cars!- story for another time). But be warned, this is NOT a festival. See what can happen here. Be prepared to be stuck or sheltering in place for hours. You will be pushed.
But you will never break. Because we all take care of each other. Don’t get me wrong, you will need to be independently prepared (water, goggles, etc), but know that you are never alone. The burning man community takes care of each other. As the saying goes “the playa will provide.”
A reminder that you can’t do it alone. That in life it takes a village.
You know I love a good village:)
So THANK YOU burning man and sending love to all burners with a special shout out to our Last Minute Camp.
(Hope that extra food and water is helping!! SENDING LOVE and please watch JEFF!! He should not be allowed outside, lol:)