Post Burning Man Remarks from Ginger Snap
2014’s Burning Man has ended! But like other “Burners” around the world I carry with me the inspiration of having participated in this remarkable Festival. By mid-week I began to ask myself what made me feel so happy and the answer surprised me! Being among so many bright, creative, trusting, non judgmental people, who care about our planet and the folks who share it, gave me a sense of HOPE for the future!
Most seniors I know, including myself, usually feel cynical about the future because all our governments seem to make the same mistakes over and over and over and moving to a more humane level of interaction does not seem to be possible. But at Burning Man EVERYTHING is possible!! The people I met and spoke with are willing to undertake volunteer projects in their communities in all the countries they come from, to help make our world a better place. That is inspirational and hopeful! When I look back at that incredible week I recognize some favorite experiences: first and foremost the wonderful, interesting people. None of whom were “futzing” with cell phones because there was NO cell phone service! Second, were the often breathtaking art installations. It is difficult to select ONE favorite as each one had a beauty and meaning that was very moving. The clever, imaginative Art Cars were amazing and provided a terrific form of transportation. The varied ways in which participants added light to their person and property…mostly bicycles, was inventive and fun. I wore a string of white roses around my neck that used battery power to produce light. The “MAN” was immense and when he burned on Saturday night the crowd of thousands cheered and celebrated. It was a rather noisy event as fireworks produced a spectacular show. On Sunday night the crowd was quiet as we gathered to watch the “TEMPLE” Burn. Clearly everyone realizes from the moment you walk into the Temple that it is sacred space.
This beautiful building looked like it was made of lace, intricate in design, the wood cut in beautiful shapes. Inside many people created shrines in memory of their loved ones. Some wrote notes on the wood, sharing thoughts and looking for solace. Their pain was often palpable. Everyone spoke in whispers. When Athena and I placed the posters we had created as a tribute to Larry, as well as to her dog, Simba, her loyal companion of almost 16 years, I felt a sense of coming closer to my mission and reason for wanting to attend the Festival. As the Temple burned Athena and I wrapped our arms around one another and shared tearful memories. Now I felt a sense of “mission accomplished.” There was a respectful silence all around us as the Temple twisted in graceful peace and fell to the ground. It was a touching and meaningful way for this “Burning Man Festival” to reach its conclusion.
I am grateful to have had this experience, to have found new friends, shared moments of humor, listened to the first performance of the “Playa Pops Symphony” (a 30 piece string orchestra performing classical music), to hear live jazz, attend a wonderful outdoor Shabbat service and share, with 450 others, Shabbat dinner, to attend a fascinating lecture about the geology of the Black Rock Desert, to hear Athena’s name shouted almost everywhere we went as friends acknowledged their joy in seeing her again. She has worked to make the Los Angeles Burning Man community interesting and active and her efforts are recognized and appreciated. It is customary for “Burners” to acquire a “playa” name…not something you choose, rather something that occurs which provides the nickname. Sharing Ginger snap cookies we brought to many evening activities provided my playa name, “Ms. Ginger Snap!” What fun.
Knowing that gifts are frequently exchanged I had cards printed with a quotation that has always been a watchword for my life, “Love is the only thing that multiplies when divided.” Burning Man exemplifies that saying. So my incredible week ended. Athena and I shared an experience that each of us will never forget. I am so grateful to have attended the Burning Man Festival. Doing so enriched my life and I checked that off my bucket list! (to see a full set of pictures CLICK HERE)
With Love to All,
Ms. Ginger Snap ~)'(~