Musings from a Burning Man Virgin
by Stacy Miller
ride a bike. High school graduation. Losing my virginity.
all events÷landmarks really÷that I looked forward to with great anticipation
and trepidation. These were all events that I felt would change my life
forever÷benchmarks to measure my personal growth against.
This is how
I view Burning Man.
heard about Burning Man about a year ago on a local radio station. I was new to
San Francisco and was being bombarded with tons of cool and
interesting-sounding events. Burning Man was one of them. A three-day festival
where thousands of people from all walks of life come to stake out a patch of
earth in the desert÷to socialize, dance, swim, think, do drugs, make art÷and at
the end, burn down a giant wooden structure of a man. That alone was enough to
convince me that I wanted to go.
Then, as I
made friends in the city, I began to discover that there was far more to
Burning Man than camping and a big bonfire. I started hearing other stories.
Stories of new insights into life goals and careers. Long-term couples breaking
up. Others renewing commitments. Changes in philosophies. And all in a
fun-in-the-sun type of environment. It really sounded too good to be true. What
is it about this event that draws artists, ravers, philosophers and probably a
few pyromaniacs? Maybe there's magic in that desert sand? Or maybe it's the
combination of dehydration and drugs.
is÷and it's probably different for everyone÷I can't wait to experience it for
myself. I've even packed my sensible black flats to burn in effigy. I'm looking
forward to Burning Man to help me find a stronger sense of self, to clarify my
career goals, and maybe even to come closer to finding the meaning of life.
At the very
least, I know I'll get a good tan.