Monday, July 10, 2006

Give That Burner Some Tap Shoes!

"I will not quietly tip toe through life awaiting immanent death" ~porta-potty grafiti found on the playa this weekend
I've returned from the playa with an even greater awe for the desert, the mountains, and the people who gather together to create Burning Man every year. This strange stretch of land, like India, reaches into my core.

I've got to say that being out on the playa when no one there is one of the best notches in my belt yet. The weekend was filled with brilliance. I hit the hot springs which are off limits during the burn. I covered myself with that funky grey sulfur smelling mud. I had the privilege of visiting the work ranch where they put together the Man and all the other goodness that ends up on the playa for the participants entertainment and edification. Saturday morning, I experienced my first real thunderstorm on the playa. It was so intense that it destroyed one of the tents. I also utterly trashed my rental car on the playa as well. 80 - 90 MPH on cruise without touching the steering wheel for miles on end. The challenge put forth by a few of the other rangers was to put it on cruise and crawl into the back seat. I just couldn't bring myself to do it this time, but now that I know the deal I'll be up for it next time.

I also met some grand people. There were some hardcore mothers that eat black rock for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There were Rangers that had been working the event since the early 90's. All good folk with a real love for the desert and the event. Friday evening, I met a DPW guy with an ice cold keg on the back of his truck filled with STRONG home brewed pomegranate cider. The few cups of it I embraced caused me to wander out alone in the playa and loose my way back to camp for far too long. Saturday, while the rest of my camp celebrated, I ventured a solo journey on the Spirit Horse. Again wandering through the playa alone, muttering and screaming out loud to the desert, the stars, and all the little people. It was very close to my experiences with Grandmother.

This Rangering stuff is pretty damn intense. The training actually caused me to pause for a moment and wonder if I was up to the task. When I get on the playa this year I'll do a mentoring shift and they will then decide whether or not I'm Ranger material. Kinda nice to see that they're really selective about who they bring into their ranks. Of course, for them it's about who can best handle crisis situations on the playa and who can really get out into the city and interact with the citizens. Pretty heady work at many levels.

I got off the plane this morning at 8 AM and came straight to work. I'm slightly disconnected, but feelin' good. What a life! There's more to come!


Anonymous said...

Look at the Shine in those eyes!

Big Smile Colors, indeed!

Julie said...

Have you read 2012 yet? I think you'll like it based on this post. Email me if you want more info on it :)

Gregg Newsom said...


I'm in the middle of it right now. I met Daniel a few years ago at Burning Man and we run into each other at strange places. Like the last time I was in NYC for Guruji's tour stop. He's a very interesting man. Thanks. ~G

Julie said...

Yea, I'm at the beginning of it... a yoga teacher I know recommended it highly to me. Interesting that you've met this guy... he must be fascinating to talk to.

d2 said...

I love what you're doing and I love you. And I'm proud to know ya.