Burning Man 2012 Fertility 2.0

The sights, the sounds, the smells, the people, the music, the sun, the night, the Man, the Temple, the art, and the Human Connection. Such wonderful beauty! Such inspirational creativity! All of this, summed up into two words: ‘Best Burn’… So far ;).

Burning Man 2012, Fertility 2.0 was one of the best experiences of my young life. Things went right this year.

First, I would like to thank and acknowledge all of the amazing new Burners that came out to the 2012 Burn. You all are amazing people. You all stepped up and created new art, new experiences, and reinforced the integrity of the Burner Culture (something that is constantly being questioned by veteran Burners). I am impressed. I’m also inspired.

The art out at this year’s Burn was epic, as always. Large roving structures caressed the Playa with sound systems to rival any club in the Default world. Burners danced into the night, only to be greeted with a communal cheer as the sun crested Black Rock City’s surrounding mountains. The Man’s interior was a honeycomb of human interaction and delight and the Temple was the most spiritual place on the planet, if but for a moment. Ah! Lessons in the Temporary.

We build the city and we Burn it down. It is our ritual. In many instances, it is our life. Poetry of the soul, and I can’t wait to do it all over again. Burning Man is the one place, the one thing, in this world that I can always get my hopes up for and NEVER be disappointed. What a strange thing we have created!

I will tell many of the stories of this Burn in the coming weeks. For now, I would like to share some helpful advice about life after the Burn.

Decompression.

1) Don’t quit your day job/don’t make any super-important life changing decisions for a minimum of 3 weeks. 2 months is better. We’re all wound up like tops when we come back from the Burn. It happens every year. Decompression parties/events happen for a reason. Take some time to gain perspective on life and the default world, then go from there.

2) Write it down. Everything that you are feeling and thinking in your head. Get it on paper and start sorting it out. You just lived in a place of 54K people for a week. You developed new relationships and reaffirmed old ones. Feelings of loneliness are natural. A friend put it really well when he said “I’ve never been so inspired, charged, pumped, and incredibly lonely and lost all at the same time.” This is natural. How do you exist in the default after so much sensory input? *Suggestion: Sleep over parties and nap time with friends… it helps.*

3) Bring it home. Don’t stop being inspired. That gigantic ship that you climbed, that dome you danced in, that art you Burned, all of it was created by someone. Don’t start thinking in limitations. This community is amazing. If you have an amazing idea, get on it and get your friends to help. If you don’t have friends, hit up your regional. If you don’t know your regional (Check the Burning Man site), email me. I’m always down to talk ideas and inspiration. Also, you don’t have to stop living the Burner culture off of the Playa. Bring the Human Connection home and start teaching others how to interact on a meaningful, day to day basis. You don’t have to have gone to Burning Man anymore to be a Burner.

4) Start planning. Next year is coming up fast. Get on it.

5) Never go to the Burn without some sort of goal. If you just ‘go’ to Burning Man ‘just because’, you may not have as good of a time. The Playa provides and Burner Magic is in the air.

I’ll be posting more later. For now, work on re-entry and be happy! The world is an amazing place!

Coming Back to Reality

Every now and then we need to take a breath, look around, and recognize reality. Take the time to analyze life in an objective moment. Triggering introspective immediacy can be beneficial to living life to its fullest.

I strive to reach my true capacity. Sometimes I stray from my goals. I lose what I want to the moment. This isn’t a bad thing. It just is. The cool thing is being able to recognize that I may have lost momentum. I have the ability to correct this. Analysis and reaction. It’s rad.

One of my favorite movies is Never Back Down. In addition to being a great MMA movie, the writer(s) for the movie took a moment to try and get a point across to us: It’s up to us to control the moment, control the outcome of a situation, and control our own lives. Everything we are is on ourselves. We are responsible for who and what we are.

If something doesn’t go right for me, it’s because I have done something wrong. I could have done things differently, and it’s on me to recognize that fact. That’s when the ability to analyze and change direction comes into play.

The major outlying factor that continuously derails, distracts or enhances this process is emotion. I am an emotional creature. I feel. I’m grateful for this (though at times it can be the bane of my existence). Experiencing emotions… (heh… how strange. I start to type about my emotions and I suddenly find myself at a loss for words.)

It has been a while since I’ve really allowed myself to feel emotions in my full capacity. I haven’t really taken the time to explore them. I guess we can say that it’s been a while since I’ve really paid attention to myself. I’ve concentrated on putting my energies into others. It’s something I know and I’m good at it.

Well then… Cool. I guess I’m going to have to start opening up and start allowing things to happen. I have no idea how I’ll be going about doing this… It should get interesting.

Fire Dancing in Denver for the Last Time

First off, my apologies for not posting yesterday. I’m moving to Seattle at the end of the week from Denver and I had to take care of getting my car all up and ready for the trip. After spending 80% of the day prepping the car, I ran over to the Fusion Factory for Monday night Burner potluck to say goodbye to my friends.

If I hadn’t mentioned it earlier, all of my fire performance gear was stolen 2 weeks ago. Being a fire performer without any fire gear was a strange feeling, so I decided to make some new fire swords and test them out at the potluck. This is the resulting video (Note the complete lack of wow factor coming from my audience. In a culture surrounded by fire, playing with fire is a normal everyday thing. I find the desensitization (of being around fire/seeing someone perform with fire) to be a very interesting event.)

We had some people visiting from the North West (Seattle and Portland). You can hear my friends debating on whether or not I’ll be moving back to Denver. I’ll definitely miss the people and the nightlife culture in Denver, but I can’t wait to move out near some water!

Fire Dancing: My Story

Recently, I seem to have developed an interesting relationship with fire. Normally, as with most people, this would constitute lighting small fires, working with new tools in the woods to start fires, and reading by candlelight. With me, my new found interest has resulted in setting myself on fire and finding it great.

How did this come about? What strange reasoning could I possibly be using? Is there a reason for this? Yes. Actually, this all stems from my lack of fear for fire.

Fire Sword DancingI visited Black Rock City for the first time in September, 2009. While there, I saw a culture that welcomed the flame. Thousands of fire spinners converge on the Burn every year and thousands of fire toys are lit up at all times throughout the visually stunning night. It’s a wonderful sight. After being enchanted by it, I wanted in.

June of 2010 I met a girl fire dancer who inspired me to become a fire performer. I got comfortable being around fire by becoming a Safety for one of the organized fire dancing groups in Denver. Being a Safety in this group had me sitting right in the center of 50+ fire dancers while they lit up and saw how close they could get to me. After the first few times of being a Safety, I learned to trust the art of fire dancing and the people who practice it.

3 weeks of practice led me to lighting my poi up for the first time on July 31st. I didn’t burn myself or singe any hair, which for a first time fire dancer, is pretty good. With practice, I became better and more comfortable playing with my new hobby.

During this time, I was surrounded by other fire spinners who burn themselves by accident a lot. My good friend Moloch is a walking billboard of how not to fire spin (seriously, the amount of scars on this kid are impressive). I would watch my friends singe themselves and get burned on a nightly basis. Burn cream is an essential that everyone carries. Everyone has little nics and scars from fire dancing. Everyone but me.

I’ve never burned myself. I have set myself on fire, at first by accident, then later slightly on purpose. Through all of these times I’ve never been burned. This has led to several incidents of me torching myself and continuing to dance through the flames.

I am now both a Fire Sword Dancer and a Fire Poi spinner. I am using this talent to perform and entertain at shows, venues, and festivals around the country (and soon, around the world). Check out the video below to see some of my fire sword dancing. I’ll be sure to post here about upcoming shows, performances, and festivals where I will be fire dancing.