Heading Home? Burning Man 2012
This Burning Man video using the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros captures the joy, vitality and energy that is Burning Man. It encapsulates the art and the vibe, and more than anything, what it means and feels like to go “home.” For many Burners, or people who attend Burning Man, where they feel most at home at Burning Man–and with the friendly, accepting and accommodating people who live there.
I first discovered Burning Man in 1992, when I was in grad school at the University of Nevada Reno; then there were only 600 of us out in the Black Rock Desert. That year, by day many of us ventured to the Black Rock Hot Springs where we slathered on the mud and soaked in the sun. At sunset the night of the Burn on Sunday, the wind kicked up and we hid out in a huge canvas tent and ate dinner. My first dust storm caked my hair and skin with fine sand and thoroughly invigorated me. I removed a wreath of sage from my hair and burned it with the man.
I attended again in 1995 with about 6,000 other people. I started spoken word in the Cafe even though Larry Harvey said it wouldn’t work but he wouldn’t stop me, then continued every year from 1996-2002 as Burning Man steadily grew in size. In 2005, 07, 09 and 11, we brought our son –who is now almost 9! That’s him riding the bike at Peter Hudson’s zoetrope in 2007…
This year, the BLM permits restricts attendance to under 60,000.
As you’ve probably heard, Burning Man sold out during an ill-conceived and poorly-executed lottery. Lots of long-time Burners were burned and left out. And now, as the gates of Black Rock City prepare to open, there are plenty of tickets floating around, squelching the desires of the scalpers to make a killing.
Me? Am I going to Burning Man this year? You never know. I am praying for a miracle. Since I MUST work this week, I desire a winged passage, a flight to take me to Black Rock City on Friday and return me to Southern California on Monday or Tuesday before 2pm…
If you have a lead, please let me know! I would love to bring my doctoral field work out there–to do some experiments in social dreaming and in writing in altered states of consciousness.
Because yes, I am feeling homesick. I do want to go home.
There’s lots of info about Burning Man on this site including stories, photos and advice. And I’ll add a few more posts this week if I can find time, reflecting on my Burning Man experiences, past and present.
Speaking of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, I heard they just recorded a new album in nearby Ojai CA and they will celebrate with a concert at Libbey Bowl on Thursday, September 6, 2012. Presented by Ojai Valley Community Nursery School in association with Club Mercy, tickets are $40 and the gates open at 6:30; showtime 7pm. For Ticket Information & Questions, call 805-390-0937.