We have a good friend named Bear.
Everyone calls him that because he kind of looks like one–gigantic, hairy, bellowing voice. When he called to ask The Todd and me to help him do some construction on his art installation at Burning Man 2012, it was impossible to say no. Mainly because Bear is infuriatingly, persistently cheerful in his insistence. And also because he is much, much bigger than we are. So, clearly we said “yes.”
Burning Man is an incredible spectacle of art, sound, fire, light, and utter, glorious pandemonium. I hesitate to discuss it because if you Google Burning Man, you may see a nudie picture or two. The Todd and I will not be in any of those pictures. What I wanted to share the was the sheer beauty of Black Rock City, where 60,000 people create an amazing society for two short weeks. No money is exchanged–one offers gifts to others. (Editor’s note: The Todd was Caffiene Guy–folks would line up in the morning with their resuable mugs for a cup of coffee. I was Sunblock Mama–mainly because my job to was lecture people about the importance of anti-melanoma protection in the desert while I hosed them down with a nice Broad Spectrum 70 SPF. What can I tell you? I’m a mother. Nothing changes, even on the Playa.) Great care is used to treat each other kindly and respectfully, everyone is greeted with hugs and cries of “welcome home!” because at Burning Man, everyone is welcome.
But the art! Oh, the art! I’ve included some pictures here–the first ones we could download. I’ll have more later this week. This is the Temple, where everyone would go to meditate or pray. Burners would leave letters of love, loss or regret. Pictures of loved ones. Scrapbooks and memories. Prayers scrawled on every inch of the 25,000 square foot structure.
And the Art Cars! Sometimes known as Mutant Vehicles, elaborate and so creative that I can’t being to imagine the thought process that produced them.