Burning Man is my church. Except, instead of going every Sunday, I go for one INTENSE week that gets me through the rest of the year.
Body paint is our robes. Techno DJs are our organ and choir. Burning the Man is our communion ritual.
I talked with my mom about it.
I said, “Y’know how at church…surrounded by people with similar beliefs, amidst the special place and the music…you just *feel* that spiritual energy stronger than you do during the week? Well that’s how I feel at Burning Man.”
She asked me what those similar beliefs were.
“Freedom of expression, raw Creativity, Art, Love. I believe that god is an energy force that we just need to tune in to. And out in the desert, free from all the societal reminders, I think it’s much easier to tune into that energy — Just like how going to church helps you focus on god instead of the dirty laundry stacking up at home. The setting of Burning Man helps me focus on the pure creative impulses that I feel are the direct link to the divine.”
Well, then judge me now. ’Cause once I’m on the playa, I will be following pure impulses only, and outside judgment and condemnation will evaporate before it hits my ears.
The cool thing is that I *do* bring the vibe back to my real life. Not entirely, of course. I mean, I don’t walk around the street naked and masturbate publicly. But I DO walk around in some crazy shit. And I AM more open about my sexuality than most people. And I think both of those things are due to my Burning Man growth.
After dressing up like a gender-confused surrealist fantasy, I realized it was insanely fun. Why can’t I dress this way in the “normal” world? If ‘fear of ridicule’ is the answer, then that is no answer at all. Just knowing there is a community of people that will accept me is enough to shield me from the people who find my lifestyle too upsetting to their status quo.
But it’s more than just attire. It’s mindset, too. Of the friends I’ve met this year that I truly CONNECT with, most are through Burning Man connections. These are people who will never scoff at a creative impulse. They work as hard as I do to foster creative environments filled with laughing, sex, and fun. And that, in my mind, is what heaven on earth is all about.
Now, I must finish gluing fur to things and start packing for Burning Man 2005.