When does BM end for you?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

When does BM end for you?

Postby Qt » Mon Sep 08, 2003 7:40 pm

For many/most of us, Burning Man never really ends. We carry the ideals and beliefs that solidify us as "Burners" with us everywhere we go, and the annual event is merely a pilgrimage to Mecca to celebrate these ideals with like-minded folk.

As much as I count myself a member of the above group, there still seems to be a moment every year which marks the closing of that year's journey and opens the door to the next step ... whether it be looking ahead to next year's event or simply returning to the complexities of "everyday life" for a while. In 2001, it was the horror of 9/11 that closed one door and opened another for me. This year, it was vacuuming.

Harmlessly enough, I awoke this morning feeling like I needed just one more day before returning to work ... not really knowing why I did. Soon, I found myself starting to pick-up here and there, and soon after that, I was in a full on cleaning frenzy ... certainly last on my list of goals for the day, but happening nonetheless. As I vacuumed the floor, neglected since many weeks before Burning Man when preparation first began, the little bits of thread and fabric clippings began to dissappear. Gone were scraps of paper full of brilliant ideas, and even the thin layer of dust that still remained in the spot where I first lay my pack upon return. I will return to work tomorrow ... to the gourmet coffee I guiltily crave, the frustrated commuters, and the trials and wonders of a life so easily forgotten for a couple of weeks. While it always continues inside, for me at least, this year's journey is officially over ... this year's closure sponsored by Hoover.

Maybe it's that power shower at the Reno truck stop, or the return of rented gear. Maybe it's putting away that last piece of rebar, or maybe even all the way in January when the buzz is of tickets for next year. I'm curious ... when does BM end for you?

I look forward to your thoughts ...
Be good to you,

Qt ("Cute")

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no more playa dreams

Postby debkakes » Mon Sep 08, 2003 8:46 pm

i know i've weaned myself away (or have been weaned) when i stop waking up wondering why i'm not in a tent. when water and dust and circles are not part of my dreams any longer. i think this year's burn, because of its difficulties, might stay with me longer -- there was a lot of mental and emotional work-out that occurred, lots of things to think about in an ongoing fashion. I love that shift, though, that indicates the experience is taking its place in the ages...if would be a bit maddening, for me, if it were fresh all the time. But I keep one box of playadusty clothes unwashed, so I can open it up and breathe it in during the course of the year....
gotta walk thru the ouch to get to the awe
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Postby L:Gringo » Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:16 pm

For me, I know it's over when I brush my teeth at home, in the mirror, with a sink and water running, fresh from the shower.

Immediately, I start thinking of cool shit to make for next year. Thank <insert diety of choice> for www.coolneon.com. www.sureglow.com. If I ever actually get the surrey built for easy, human-powered playa transport.

Hmm... designs are running through my head right now. How do I make an EL carousel on my surrey...

--thinking way to much for this time of day--

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Postby captain mcguiver » Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:19 pm

It's never over.

I try my hardest to bring the lessons learned from BM home.

I pick up moop, I say hi to randoms walking the street, I wear costumes to non-costumed events or in public. If we all acted like we did at BM, we might never have to go out to Nevada (pipe dream).

I do however use my shower and toilet, as I have not found the porta potties around my house yet.
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It's never over.

Postby Stormy » Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:31 pm

Have to agree with that. Or it's only over if I let it, but one can always bring it back even after a good slump.

I guess it depends on how people live their lives. I do work for an awful bureaucracy. However, when I shut the door to my "office" or classroom, there's an awful lot of control over my environment. I find it best when I give up as much of that control that is possible and still have classroom that runs fairly smoothly. Giving students the freedom to mold their world makes for a good place to be.

Used to live in SF, so I'd see a lot of Burners and had lots of unusual events to choose from. Now living in LA, I hope to spend more time with the villians of Gigsville to keep that energy going. Have done two alternative burns with them and enjoyed the smaller community.
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Postby consumer » Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:33 pm

As of last night, I'm still waking up in the middle of the night convinced I'm in a tent/shade structure. I freak out because my intial thought is: "I've fallen asleep on the playa and everyone left without me!". I then come to and realize its just my room, which in a way saddens me more.

Today I went around my block and removed grafitti from street signs and picked up moop. I gave out free grilled cheese on Friday night in front of a downtown art gallery.

I'm not really sure when BM will end for me this year.
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Postby Guest » Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:03 pm

consumer wrote:Today I went around my block and removed grafitti from street signs and picked up moop. I gave out free grilled cheese on Friday night in front of a downtown art gallery.


consumer, you rule.
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Postby magician » Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:37 pm

Y'know I think reading this thread just ended burning man for me...

I greatly enjoyed going to BM for the first time this year, and I've had a good time perusing these message boards.

But I wonder if some of you take this BM stuff a little too seriously? Sounds like some of you have never slept in a tent before? Or gone to a cool outdoor party? Or had a good time with generous, creative people?

I didn't need burning man to remind me to be good unto others and all that... it was simply another example of the life I've chosen to live. The largest-scale example to date, I grant you... but I'm sure something will come along to surpass it someday. (and while BM was the grandest example of whatever-it-is I've seen so far, it wasn't the "funnest" time I've ever had... maybe in the top ten).

Not trying to be insulting, btw... just using my playa-given right to express how I feel :-)

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Postby supersurly » Mon Sep 08, 2003 11:41 pm

Burning Man 2k3 ended for me on Sunday, during the storm. This year I did a lot of drugs, and that affected my social interactions greatly, on sunday I realized that I had fucking wasted my week doing shit that probably would have been just as cool any other week of the year.

My neighbor was with us, and he was inspired to tell me I was dusted, and that there was nothing left to see here, and that I should go home. I stayed for the temple burn, but there was nothing there for me. He was right.
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Postby Guest » Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:34 am

Last edited by Guest on Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Qt » Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:43 am

StarBoy wrote:I'm smiling at you, by the way.


And I at you, StarBoy ... thank you for putting into words exactly what I was thinking. Like I said, the event ends for me ... but the Burn never does.
Be good to you,

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Postby captain mcguiver » Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:15 am

Magician and supersurly,

I have a question. What did *you* bring to Burning Man? God I hope it was more than a box of pills and a camera.

Perhaps finding "nothing" there is a reflection of what you took?

Just guessing...
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Re: When does BM end for you?

Postby Tristan » Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:41 am

Qt wrote:When does BM end for you?

When I see my next credit-card bill :(
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Postby TestesInSac » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:22 am

captain mcguiver wrote:Magician and supersurly,

I have a question. What did *you* bring to Burning Man? God I hope it was more than a box of pills and a camera.

Perhaps finding "nothing" there is a reflection of what you took?

Just guessing...


And I'm guessing your guessing is motivated by cult-ish feelings. Magician has it right, don't take the event too seriously.
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Postby blyslv » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:32 am

when i stop waking up wondering why i'm not in a tent.


Yeah! Three nights ago I woke up out of a poorly remembered dream, and naked.

My thoughts (in approximate order)

How could I fall asleep on the playa?
What happened to my clothes?
Why is it so soft?

I groped around, found a sock and felt much better. Then I had to get off my futon, turn on the hall light and walk downstairs. It wasn't until I went back upstairs that I realized exactly where I was. It was a little scary at first, but then sad, as I realized that the Event was in fact over...
Fight for the fifth freedom!
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Postby Dave Mondrian » Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:20 am

For me it was washing my car, which was covered in playa dust. I really didn't want to wash it, somehow feeling that if I left it filthy, I was still at the playa. But people began using their fingers to trace "WASH ME" on the car, and so I washed it.
:-(
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Postby stuart » Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:32 am

I reserve the right to take the event as seriously as I like. YMMV. Want to be rationalist objectivist about it? For me it's all about ROI. I put a huge amount into it this year and as a result had the time of my life. That positive reinforcement will having me rinse and repeat as necessary.

in the interest of non-thread drift, BM ends for me when the RV is returned. Bonus smiles for no cleaning fee.
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eplaya fever

Postby debkakes » Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:40 pm

I keep thinking I'm decompressing, I'm working, starting back to lifebizness, blah blah...
then I find myself logging on to the crazy forum every five minutes to see what's up.
help!!!!!
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Postby DogBoy » Tue Sep 16, 2003 5:32 pm

Casminot sez-
"don't take the event too seriously."


Your not the boss of me!

I have about 1500 pounds of theme camp infrastructure (big army tents, netting, etc) that gets used for other events year round. Between hauling all of that around, planning year round for BRC, & running my own festival in June, the event never seems to end for me.

Not complaining mind you.

captain mcguiver sez-
"I try my hardest to bring the lessons learned from BM home.

I pick up moop, I say hi to randoms walking the street, I wear costumes to non-costumed events or in public. If we all acted like we did at BM, we might never have to go out to Nevada (pipe dream)."


Well said Captain.

There are Burners everywhere; a lot of them just don't know it.
"All you need in this world is ignorance & confidence, and then success is sure." -Mark Twain

"Wickedness is a myth created by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others." -Oscar Wilde
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Postby Booker » Tue Sep 16, 2003 5:54 pm

as I realized that the Event was in fact over...


Depends a lot on what you did with the sock.
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Postby Kinetic » Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:44 am

The event itself ended when the tires of my truck rolled onto Nevada 447.

But the spirit of Burning Man lives on, and is carried with me every day.
I made a promise to bring the spirit of the event home and to share it with others. To tell them about the event and to the interested ones, work with them to answer their questions, spike their curiosity, and inspire them to make the trip themselves.

So in one aspect, BM ended Monday afternoon. The spirit never ends.
And with all the other things I could get involved in back at Camp Disillusioned Reality, bringing the spirit of BM home and sharing it beats almost all those other choices.

You make your own experience.....
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Postby telizas » Wed Sep 17, 2003 9:10 am

It was over for me this weekend, when I took my bag and tent back to my storage closet and put it away. But, it is never really over. Even though I'm at work, with a computer and phone, driving my baby to daycare and doing all the "normal" life things, pieces of the playa still find me. I have the Black Rock City map hung up at my desk, and I love tracing where I went and remembering the people, the art, the music and the near chaos (sometimes). Someone I met on the BM Livejournal community will be coming up to MN in the next day or so, on a road trip and I full intend to feed him and let him have a hot shower - never met him before, but I couldn't now call myself a burner if I didn't hold true to those ideals, KWIM?

Now, I pay it forward whenever I can and try to prepare my 4 year old for next year and hope I can instill the values I've learned in the past month in her, forever.

And like playa dust on your camping gear, so are the days of our lives.... *giggle*
Well behaved women rarely make history.
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Postby Lydia Love » Wed Sep 17, 2003 9:18 am

Considering how much time I spend on the eplaya - I am obviously having a hard time letting go this year...
It's all about the squirrels.
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Postby Kinetic » Wed Sep 17, 2003 10:53 am

Lydia Love wrote:Considering how much time I spend on the eplaya - I am obviously having a hard time letting go this year...


Change that from letting go to you had so much fun that you are talking to everyone to get ideas and more inspiration for next year!

And everyone quickly learns that e-playa is more addicting than crack ever was. Your hooked, and unlike most things this is a very pleasurable and relatively guilt free addiction! Enjoy it!
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