Dear Virgin Burner

Dear Virgin Burner

Postby Tamino » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:39 pm

Dear Virgin Burner,

You must know by now that Burning Man is not your typical festival. As you take time to prepare your gear, costumes, art and yourself I want you to think about your life as it is now because it will never be the same. Since your decision to make the pilgrimage that many have made before you, your life has already changed and you probably didn't even know it. You have begun to learn about playa dust, dubstep music, the dangers of dehydration and other things like that. You may be learning about the pros and cons of nylon tents and how to build a monkey hut. You may even be wondering how your electronics may fair out in the hot dusty days and the cool nights. You may be thinking about many many things, however I want you to consider this. You are about to experience something that you will remember for the rest of your life. Whether or not you come back year after year or never go back again you will be changed in so many ways that you can't imagine.

You may have been told the playa is like the moon or another planet. It just might be. You may have been told the parties last all day and all night. Some do! You may have heard that for one week a city of freedom and self expression springs forth from the desert for all to enjoy. For some it does. For many it is the culmination of months or even years of hard work, sweat and tears. For some the city is a place of sanctuary and for others it is a week of therapy. You may even have been told that people walk around naked in the sun and run around lit up like some odd Christmas decoration left out under the stars. Some do. You may have seen strange mechanical monsters breathing fire race across the playa with partying and dancing on board. It happens. But what can't be photographed or captured on a video camera is what is happening right under your newly dusted, faux fur lined with EL wire hat. What is happening to you? Only you will understand the experience, at least from your perspective. You will never be able to explain it to anyone fully, however while you are on the playa you will experience something with so many people that just can't be explained.

There is a reason an event like this is held in such an inhospitable place. What you bring with you is all that you have and oddly enough the more you have with you the more there is to come between you and the experience. My first year I slept on a cot. It was comfortable but not enough for me. My second year I had a nice air mattress. It was even better. My third year the air mattress had grown mold on it and when I opened it up in my tent on the playa it stunk. I had to wrap it up in a large trash bag and pack it back in my crates. I ended up sleeping directly on the ground. (tent floor) It was the best nights sleep I've had in a long time. I'm not suggesting that you run around naked, but sometimes when we bring the comforts of the default world to the playa it comes between us and the experience. You may have heard experienced burners say "I brought way too much stuff my first year" and it is true. Be smart and pack the essentials but only the essentials. Bring what you need to express yourself fully without the confines of the default world to hold you back.

On more serious note, you shouldn't throw caution to the wind. As I said before the playa is a very inhospitable place. You should read the Survival Guide and take it very seriously. Oh yes there are medical tents and you can get antibiotics if you end up with an infected cut but you really don't want to be that burner. Take water everywhere you go. Maybe take an extra bottle so you can gift it to some dusty, thirsty burner who forgot to bring some. Sitting in the Med tent for three hours with IV fluids is not fun.

When you are out there exploring the playa take a look at everything. I know it will be hard because the event is just sensory overload for the first three days or so. Your body will need time to acclimate. It's a tough place. Talk to some of the people who work at the camps you will visit (big and small). Ask them about how much time it takes to set things up. Ask about how early they arrived and had to wait to be placed by a placer. Find out what a rebar puller is. When you walk around the inner playa and take in all the awesome art that is out there take time to think about the time, labor and love that is put into these pieces. And think about the months of organizing and planning that goes into making the piece you are viewing. Ask yourself why the artist did it? Ask yourself why does it make me feel the way I do when I climb on it or make it spin. Ask yourself what have you done lately to make someone feel the way you are feeling without even being near you. Ask yourself what can "I" do to make someone feel this way soon.

Burning Man is not an easy event to experience. I'm sure you have heard all the horror stories. The dryness, high day temps, low night temps, dust, dehydration, people getting impaled by rebar and/or run over by mutant vehicles. Much of that is extreme things that have happened over the past 25 years. Just take into consideration all the work that goes into this festival by participants like you in the crazy environment that is the playa. Some bad stuff happens but if you are careful you will be fine.

Burners are artists, musicians, performers, sculptors, doctors, electricians, computer geeks and structural engineers. Burners are the people behind the scenes of a large theme camp who hang the lights and wire the sound systems. Burners are the people who work together to bring their special talents to the event to make it what it is. What special talent have you brought with you? You don't have to be a welder or a specialist in LED lighting systems. All you need to do is give of yourself without the expectation of something in return. If you can do that then you have one of the best talents in the world. There is so much to take in at this event. There is so much to see and to do. If you acclimate to the environment and are able to open yourself up to the immense love and wonder that is this special event then you have achieved something that most people in the world will never comprehend. You will have participated. You will have helped someone else. It is far better than some burning man swag, temporary tatoo or blinky.

The opportunity to give without reward and the ability to take that opportunity is the best gift you can receive from the playa and all the only person you need to ask to get it is yourself.

Thanks for taking the time to read this note. I hope you will think of this note when you are on the playa. I will look for you in every burner, both virgin and veteran, when I'm out there. Because I know you will be there giving yourself.

Enjoy the experience,
Tamino
Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a night.
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby Master » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:56 pm

Thank you for sharing this note with us.
Very enlightening and eye opening.
If anything it reinstills the sense of wonder and adventure driving many of us virgins to see the Man.

_/\_
Think before you BURN!
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby pobby » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:28 am

Awesome!!
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby dangerous » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:31 am

Tamino wrote:The opportunity to give without reward and the ability to take that opportunity is the best gift you can receive from the playa and all the only person you need to ask to get it is yourself.


too bad so many save this for a week on the playa. perhaps every corner of the world could be this special.

The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby trilobyte » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:39 am

Great post, Tamino, thanks!

@Sage_ - many people do. The playa's a good place to start, then carry the ideas onward and outward from there :)
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby remi » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:17 pm

Tamino wrote:Dear Virgin Burner,

But what can't be photographed or captured on a video camera is what is happening right under your newly dusted, faux fur lined with EL wire hat.




Thanks for the great read...

It's not lined with faux fur... yet :wink:
Can you at least admit that nuclear explosions are awesome!?
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby Impatience » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:13 pm

Well said.

I get the feeling no matter how hard I prepare over the next six months I will never be ready.
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby BirthChazz » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:00 pm

Impatience wrote:Well said.

I get the feeling no matter how hard I prepare over the next six months I will never be ready.



Well said. Metaphor for life, I think.

Chazz
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” George Washington Carver
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby Kevinochi » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:38 am

This post is awesome. I think they should place this front page on the main website.

What I love about Burning Man is that it's not an easy place to get to. It's a journey to a inhospitable place and thus everybody that gets there, is meant to be there. You don't just wander into Burning Man. That alone froms a connection between every burner and it's beautiful.

179 days left...
Waffles taste better slightly burned...
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby PDL1968 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:18 pm

Welcome Virgins....you are in for the most amazing life changing experience of your life, when you leave the play on Sept 3rd you will not be the same and it will be for the better. Last year was my first and I am a changed man, I will always find a way to make it home and this year I will be there again. Please READ READ READ as much as you can on here (eplaya), burningman.com, and join us on our Facebook page. I went prepared last year and I hope you do as well. The playa will provide, but only if you provide for yourself! Have an amazing time and see you at HOME!
Always remember our 10 principles, you are a burner now!
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby worla » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:47 am

This is really good i'm trying to read all i can to prepare. so thank you very much! I don't think i will ever be prepared but i am trying and i am bursting out of my boots with excitement.
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby MyDearFriend » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:35 pm

When you hear that "Welcome Home," it will be TRUE: you will be Home. 8)
Practice Love. Exercise Sex.

"When life seems dangerous and unmanageable, just remember that it is, and that you can't survive forever."
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby Narc0lept1cpanda » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:10 pm

That was an incredibly beautiful and insightful read. I cannot wait to start my journey and become a wizened veteran who embraces the wonders of life. :mrgreen:
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby colinrgodsey » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:01 am

Incredible note! As a virgin burner, I can't help but feel nervous about what's going to happen to me.
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby illy dilly » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:30 pm

colinrgodsey wrote: I can't help but feel nervous about what's going to happen to me.

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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby piehole » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:54 pm

That was beautiful
Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby GetToDesert » Thu May 03, 2012 11:20 am

Great post and very informative!
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby clocksnmirrors » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:38 pm

thank you, tamino

i can't wait
WEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeee heee heee heeeee! *burp*
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:04 am

you are all so very fucking doomed.
breathe deep, the playa is the dust of your ancestors

A gift for the Playa
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby clocksnmirrors » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:42 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:you are all so very fucking doomed.



now when you say doomed.....
WEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeee heee heee heeeee! *burp*
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby bluesbob » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:39 pm

I had two Gatorade bottles. One I was drinking from, one I used at night in lieu of a trip to the Port-O-Potties some nights. I hadn't emptied the one yet when I returned from dancing early one morning. They were were sitting next to each other in the darkness. Need I go on? Oh, the horror stories of the playa!
"aw shucks.." - Eric
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby Savannah » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:40 pm

Awesome. :lol:
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby radi0static » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:08 pm

Thank you for taking the time to write this. I read it carefully, and digested every word. I am someone who believes in being prepared....physically, mentally and spiritually. I will definitely think of this when I am on the Playa this year.

Salutations for being a good person.

-Ariel
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby Savannah » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:20 pm

I would like to take this opportunity to say that if you pee in an empty detergent bottle, there will be no sleepy confusion about what you should drink from in the night, unless you're coming down off of ayahuasca, in which case drinking pee is probably pretty tame.

Forever & ever, Amen.
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby Mids » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:02 pm

Aiyee! I'm freaking out to be honest. But really excited at the same time. Not only are we coming from overseas to come to BM but we're meeting mates who we haven't seen in years. And no doubt meeting a few thousand new friends!
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby PurpleKoosh » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:14 pm

Savannah wrote:I would like to take this opportunity to say that if you pee in an empty detergent bottle, there will be no sleepy confusion about what you should drink from in the night...

We had a campmate who does this; we would joke with him about his morning "laundry run."
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby trilobyte » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:15 pm

Take a few deep breaths, Mids, you can probably do this and IT WILL BE AWESOME! When things get to the crazy/overwhelming/panic attack stage, just back away from it. Break down what you need to do into separate chunks, then just worry about one chunk at a time. Individually, the chunks shouldn't be so intimidating and before you know it you'll be with your mates and all of us out in the desert!
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby waynerd » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:13 pm

What a great post Tamino. Thank you.

I'm with Mids, Freaking out a little but overall just trying to read as much as possible, making and adding to my list. Working on my "art/gift" project and hoping I'm not forgetting something. Meanwhile my already over creative brain is doing back flips and flying death kicks inside my skull only allowing me to sleep when I'm totally exhausted. My day job has become excruciatingly dull and a huge waste of time (also because it's so sloowwwww right now).

As unprepared as I will be under my disillusioned false sense of preparedness I welcome the adventure that my road trip to BM, and my week afterward is going to bring. Decompressing as I meander my way home with my camera. Processing everything I know I will experience in a glow of reflection.

Bring it on!
W
Excuse me, this is way different than what was described in the brochure!
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby attemptress » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:23 pm

This is, so far, my favourite post on eplaya. thank you.
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Re: Dear Virgin Burner

Postby dancingfairygirl » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:14 pm

Thank you, Tamino!
Your letter to the birgins (myself included) is very thoughtful & includes some excellent tips & information. I've been feeling like I'm a walking whirlwind of feelings about my first trip HOME. There is no doubt in my mind that I will love it, and will return to the default world a changed (for the better) person. I'm looking forward to it!

I'm a planner/prepper/thinker who wants to make sure that I have all that I need, & enough to share, but not too much. That's a lot to consider & can be very overwhelming at times. Most of all, I am over-the-moon excited about it, and words like yours are very reassuring to me. THANK YOU!

Looking forward to meeting beautiful people like you out in the dust!
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