Amulets, Treasures and Gems in the Dust
The only thing more complex than Burning Man is trying to describe it in words on a page.
Nearly 1,000 miles up the road from Tucson, AZ, resting on a dried alkaline lake bed in the Nevada desert, lies another world. For one week, anyway. And my compass needle points as often as it can to this otherworldly place.
I could write 10000 blog posts on 10000 facets of Burning Man. Art! Art CARS, even. Creativity! Fire arts and pyrotechnics like you have never seen. A collaboratively motivated, united society. A small amount of dust, also. ; ) I could type a river about the surprises, details and tips for getting the most of every day. I’ve actually given a presentation on “How to Virgo Your Burn” which sounds funny but as it turns out, is pretty fantastic advice for Burning Man and life in general.
Instead, I’ll send you to BurningMan.org and suggest the Gallery pages and the Ten Principles. Be sure to read about De-commodification and Gifting to understand why the Burning Man designs at A Nice World are not for sale. Check out the Principle of Immediacy – it’s a favorite, a #1 recommendation. Immediacy absolutely pays off in spades on both sides of the Burning Man experience.
Burning Man is a million ridiculously amazing things happening simultaneously and participants are lucky enough to get to pick one at a time. It’s a magical, surreal scene. Within all this beautiful froth, one of my favorite hours of Burning Man, of my entire year in fact, is the Maker’s Reception.
I thank my needle-in-a-haystack stars that late one evening in 2014 in Center Camp, my original Burning Man ring caught the eye of Christine Ladybee Kristen. Now, I’m beyond proud to connect with fascinating, inspiring artists and jewelers at the Maker’s Reception Potluck and I’m over the moon to be featured in the online series of the book, Jewelry of Burning Man, a Rich History of Modern Artifacts of the Playa. Read a piece she authored for the Burning Man Journal called Playa Made: Jewelry of Burning Man. To see more, take a click and purchase the beautiful book with amazing photography and stories behind the work.
That’s Burning Man for you. Random amazingness and outcomes beyond our imagination. Then, the city winds down, the lights dissipate back into the world, carrying the message, cultivating the culture. The last Playanauts pack up and drive off without a trace. With great fun and reverie comes great responsibility. Each of us must carry that light back to real life (or “the default world” depending on who you ask) for the other 355 days of the year.
People usually ask how I ended up at Burning Man. I spent a decade of wistfully considering but never doing the work to prepare. In 2013 through a member of a fire performance troupe I directed, (Poi-Zen) I met a new pal for life. He is @TripodCam on Instagram, where you will find him, a billion photos, glowing inventions, musical compositions and a few cat photos for good measure. Because of Tripod, I applied for the 2013 Burning Man Fire Conclave. As fate would have it, we were the ONE troupe awarded to be Conclave Sentinels. This role is not inside the performance circle but a very special opportunity to hold the space and the fire (on 10′ torches, in fact) from the inner circle around the Man. It was a perfect first-year role. In 2014 we again applied and were awarded one of the coveted spots performing in Fire Conclave – the largest, most spectacular fire dance on earth.
Thanks to Burning Man I’ve not only experienced the largest fire dance on earth, I’ve built geodesic domes, been a Travelling Maenad, performed as Mirrora the Law of Attraction Fortune Teller, a forest hanger (Sylvan Path art installation 2014) and perhaps best of all… I’m also a Jeweler of Burning Man and a member of the Jewelers of the Playa Guild.
Thanks to LadyBee and her encouragement, I’ve created a new piece each year, to gift at Burning Man and Saguaro Man, our Arizona Regional Burn. I’ve collaborated with my Playa camp to design and cast our gifted pendants and have thoroughly enjoyed the De-commodification Principle AKA NOT FOR SALE aspect of Burning Man and this work.
I am so inspired by Burning Man and its cast of characters like Ladybee. Its an alternate universe but at the same time its something we can bring to everyday life and every interaction. With 2020 on ice, that’s exactly what we’re doing: hosting Burning Man in the Multiverse. Everywhere, everyone. I bet you didn’t even know you had a ticket! Well you do, and you always have and always will. Click, learn, be inspired and bring a little of the Playa to the default world this year.