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This is one of my fave pics of me from this last year....not only do I absolutely love this pic,
I was at Burning Man when I took it.....having the time of my life.

Photographer Michael Helms.



Last Day

It was with a feeling of sadness that I left the Burning Man playa an early Monday morning, my home for the last week. I told myself that I have to come back again next year and here I am writing this over a month later in my kitchen, feeling the same way. Burning Man.....to describe it in a few words is difficult and pretty much impossible, it has to be seen and experienced to be comprehended. A vast area that in the span of one fantastic week is filled with people, music, art, lights - LIFE. It is like stepping inside a giant utopian Salvador Dali painting. I amassed so many memorable experiences during my week there that I will be forever grateful for. How can a week fly by so fast?
I took some time out during my last day to take some pics of myself with the help of the 10 second timer on my camera. I wanted more pics with my favorite statue at Burning Man, Truth Is Beauty.













Until next time!





This was my last entry on Burning Man 2013, the Cargo Cult. For about a month now I have written several blogs trying to describe in words and pictures how it was. Maybe there will be another story about next years event when that time comes. I still have some more pics to show you from my shoot with Michael, those will come up soon.

Random

My Burning Man story is nearing it's end. It's been a over a month now since I left the playa. Did you know that there is an online clock that counts down the months, days, hours, minutes and seconds to the next Burning Man? I check it sometimes......I am counting down the time as well. I have some more random pics to show you.
Some people brought their little ones to Burning Man. I think that is OK, hopefully the kids that do experience the event will get something good out of it. I don't know about bringing babies though. I saw a couple in particular with a one year old on a few occasions.....they were not the best parents I can say from observing them and the baby a few times. If you need to party that bad then leave the baby at home in the care of somebody better suited to watch it than you are.



The Thunderdome. I loved this place. Basically an area where people strapped into bungees could beat each other up with large soft ish bats. It was great. No, I did not participate. I saw some people leaving that place with bloody noses. I am too vain and do not need any reconstructive face surgeries.



My stuff.



The cute baby giraffe stuffed animal in the Osiris dance tent. I love stuff like this. And yes, people danced with it. :-D



Bathroom sign.





Random people.





I have a lot of similar statues. One day when I figure out (if I ever do) where I am settling down, I am going to have the most amazing home full of stuff like this.



Some parting words.



Me

Here's a collection of random pics of me at Burning Man. I am extremely self obsessed and cannot have enough pics of myself, lucky you that can admire them as well!
Last night the ice cream won over the running, it was a bit too dark out for my liking to run so so I ate ice cream, read and enjoyed my bed. In a bit I am taking Chhaya for another walk and then I am going running. Spending the evening at home. I love my house. Can't wait to decorate it in December.







Sacred goddess.




I went rollerblading at night to disco music and it was sooooo much fun!


Loooooving my life!






My Deery Lou necklace. KAWAII huh?


Dusty feet.


More Art

Here is some more art from Burning Man in form of paintings. I really admire creativity. Participation is highly encouraged at Burning Man, whether you make an art installation, paint something, volunteer etc. After all, Burning Man is created by people to be there for one week and then everything that was there is either burnt or taken down and only the playa is left with no traces of the event. It's pretty amazing. I was not so much of a participant I guess, since I didn't create anything. If I go again, which I absolutely hope that I will but sometimes life takes you in a different direction.....I will look into maybe participating somehow. Not sure how......walk around naked maybe, does that count? ;-)
Meanwhile, enjoy these paintings.......I did. And no, that is not me in the pic below.

























It's 8 pm here.....Tuesday evening. Me and Chhaya had a nice day. It's already almost dark out. I might bundle up and go for a run, if not I am cuddling up in bed under the covers with Chhaya and that pint of ice cream waiting in the freezer. Trying a new one today, Bourbon Pecan Praline.

The Art

"The playa is a tabula rasa, a blank canvas upon which many a fantastic vision has been realized. Submarines, gigantic ducks, swimmers, fire-breathing thistles, serpents, chandeliers, grandfather clocks and balsa wood temples have emerged from the playa."

Yes, the art or art installations as they are called were all over and impressive. I know I didn't get to see all that there was. But here is some of it. I loved these pieces.
"Coyote is a steel sculpture standing 25′ tall by 24′ wide. The head is kinetic and can rotate 360 degrees. The sculpture is climbable."



This was my favorite, I called her "The Lady", I went back to her several times, she was beautiful. I am pretty sure she was called Truth is Beauty.
"Truth is Beauty by Marco Cochrane.
Truth is Beauty is the second sculpture in a three-part series featuring singer/dancer Deja Solis, the first of which was Bliss Dance (2010). For Truth is Beauty, Deja stands on her toes, head back, arms raised, in an expression of radical self-acceptance and love. She can do this because she is safe. With the female body exposed and demystified you will see past what has been objectified and used to disempower: it’s the feeling, energy, strength, power… the person that remains. These sculptures featuring women safe in the present to express themselves, are meant to help raise consciousness around violence against women, begin a healing process to make room for women’s voices, and ultimately result in a balance of energy that will allow women and men to thrive…
My intent is that these sculptures express this healing energy and inspire us to take action; to finally say enough is enough!"





This was the first one I took a pic with, I love faeries! Her name was Guardian Of Dawn.





Crash Site.





Oh and BELIEVE was amazing. So may people took pictures there.
"Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg have been showcasing their Large Word Series at Burning Man for the past 4 years. Their previous installations have been MOM, OINK, LOVE and EGO. This years project, BELIEVE, returns to the iconic metal letters that have proved to be some of Burning Man’s most loved (and photographed) installations. The Large Word Series in unique in that the installations evoke so many different things for different people. Citizens of Black Rock City interpret and interact with each word on their own terms and have expressed many different emotions and feelings based on their Word experiences. BELIEVE will continue this legacy by encouraging people to contemplate what they believe, how their beliefs affect their lives and their experiences on the playa."



Art Cars

At Burning Man there were several sk art cars driving around. It is basically a very large motor vehicle that looks super cool with all kinds of lights on it, some blast fire, some have disco balls etc etc and most have a loud sound system blasting music. There are usually people dancing on the art cars, or waving at the crowd gathering around the art cars as they make their way around the playa. An art car is basically a mobile club. Here are a few of the art cars that I took pics of.











According to an article in the BRC Weekly (BRC stands for Black Rock City) called "Are you hot enough to get on my art car?" some say that the art cars are in favor of only letting hot girls on for a ride, in playa lingo also known as "sparkle ponies." Therefore ignoring the first of Burning Man's 10 principles, Radical Inclusion. A sparkle pony is a "hot" chick at Burning Man, usually wearing a skimpy outfit paired with platform boots with furry boot covers, according to the latest playa fashion. A lot of sparkle ponies also sport the fake dread extensions. To me that look is something that was kind of cool at EDC when held in LA (when EDC was still good) maybe five years ago but whatever.....Even girls from small towns across the US have the need to be considered cool and hot once in a while you know and they can by becoming a sparkle pony for a week. Since the majority of the art cars are funded, built and operated by men, they also decide who gets to ride on their art car. And many men like girls, preferably nearly naked girls and also girls that are willing to do them favors in exchange for a ride on their cool art car. In the article it says that you basically had to give somebody a bj to be able to get on some art car called the Purple Palace. LOL! Really?!
Did I try to get on an art car? Not at all. It didn't seem that appealing to me. Some of them looked amazing, therefore I took pictures of them but I rather dance somewhere close to a speaker with lots of room to move than in a cramped space. Neither do I have any urges to try to look cool or have to prove to others that I am indeed hot enough to get on some art car or inside any club for that matter. I already know that I am bad ass in every possible way. I do not need or want any guy's nod of approval. As far as bjs go.....I have never in my life used sexual favors to get anything. And not willing to start now. I do not know whether getting on the Purple Palace required giving somebody a bj or not, I am just telling you what's stated in the article. The BRC Weekly is a very entertaining read. And Sarah, the girl I shared camp with wrote an article in the there called "Hypocritical Tits". Yeay!



Conversation with God

While walking around the playa I came across a phone booth where you could talk to God!
Of course I had to try. I didn't expect to hear a voice on the other end after picking up the receiver. God told me to ask him something. He even knew what I was wearing......! Of course! God sees everything after all. A few seconds of silence and then I said, "Thank You for everything God". Then I choked up because I was overwhelmed with emotion and so happy and grateful that I was having that experience. God thanked me too. I went back two days later to tell God the same thing again. And I really, really meant it.



I do talk about being grateful a lot in my blog. Because that is how I feel. I am grateful for my life, most of the time. I know I have it better than many who struggle daily to find food and shelter. Or live under difficult circumstances. Therefore I am grateful for things like the water coming out with a simple turn of a knob, that I have a vehicle, clothes on my back, that I get to eat every day.....and get to do things that enrich my soul. There are so many things to be grateful for! I think it is important to try to make the world a better place if you have the means to do so. To share the good with others. I do not run around and constantly try to make other people's lives better but I do try to do something meaningful and good once in a while. I am a firm believer in altruism.

I was a bit worried upon arrival at Burning Man that I was going to be bored.
What was I going to fill my days with? Well, when you drive through the entrance you get a book, What Where When .



In it there are tons of things to do listed, it says what, where and when and you pick and choose. There are salsa dancing classes, yoga, button making classes, Thai boxing, tea ceremonies, open mic for radical self expression, classes on sexuality, couples work shops, movies playing, authors speaking, vine tastings, Psilocybin discussions, tarot card readings, healings done by shamans and chakra alignments, comedy improv classes..... there are hundreds of different things listed in the book. It's like being in the most AMAZING school you could ever attend, all that stuff at your fingertips!
I did spend hours at night dancing, because I am a DANCETRONAUT (new word I picked up at Burning Man). The art is endless and biking around taking everything in and snapping pictures is a neverending fun task. But I did go to a Terence McKenna movie screening by Ken Adams. I am fascinated with Terence McKenna, such an interesting person that contributed a lot. He is the author of Food of the Gods . You should read about him! He died way too early. I also went to a discussion held by Daniel Pinchbeck, he wrote a couple of books that I have and love, Breaking Open the Head is one, get it and read it! I also went to a tea ceremony. And other stuff.



So no, I was not bored at all. In fact I can't wait to go back for MORE. I want to immerse myself even more next time. The best and most interesting school I have ever attended! I loved these mushrooms! :-)



Burn

Brrrrr......it is getting colder by the day now. I think that it might be time to put away the flip flops soon, at least for evening use. Although I did spend a few hours tanning on the porch yesterday, it was so nice out. But today.....gray, windy and chilly.
I am still not finished telling you about Burning Man. So as you can gather from the name, something burns. And no, it's not a real person, I have actually been asked that. Burning Man started a years ago.....this is what I gathered from Wikipedia.....

"One of the roots of the annual event now known as Burning Man began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice in 1986 when Larry Harvey, Jerry James, and a few friends met on Baker Beach in San Francisco and burned a 9-foot wooden man as well as a smaller wooden dog. Harvey has described his inspiration for burning these effigies as a spontaneous act of "radical self-expression". The event did have earlier roots, though. Sculptor Mary Grauberger, a friend of Harvey's girlfriend Janet Lohr, held solstice bonfire gatherings on Baker Beach for several years prior to 1986, some of which Harvey attended. When Grauberger stopped organizing it, Harvey "picked up the torch and ran with it," so to speak. He and Jerry James built an 8-foot wooden effigy for 1986, which was much smaller and more crudely made than the neon-lit figure featured in the current ritual. In 1987, the effigy grew to almost 15 feet tall, and by 1988, it had grown to around 40 feet. Burning Man attendees informally called it "The Man," and this name was given to each successive effigy, every year since Burning Man began."

So of course I attended the burn of the Man, it was done on a Saturday evening and people gathered around the statue of the Man. Here I am in front of the Man a few days before the burn. It was evening and I have a light inside my shirt, my heart light. :-)



Right before they lit the Man on fire, he raised his arms and the crowd began to cheer.



And then there was fire and fireworks too.



I saw this man sitting close by. I thought he looked very serene and interesting.



I made some new friends.....and took pictures.....and filled my little glass vial up with playa dust. A memory to keep forever.







The next evening, Sunday.....it was time for the Temple to burn. The Temple, a large wooden pyramid shaped structure with a black rock altar inside. This is the place to go and reflect over loved ones that passed away and life in general. The Temple was full of pictures and poems that people had put there. Many people were overcome with emotion and I cried too when I visited the Temple a few days before it burned down and I shed some tears during the burn too.





THIS makes me SO sad. Time is numbered, at least time as we know it. I don't want anyone that I know and love to die! WHY????!!!





Since I have been back home people have asked me what the best thing is with Burning Man. My answer - EVERYTHING. You have to participate to understand, it is difficult to explain. EVERYTHING. It was probably the best money I have spent, besides when I bought Chhaya.



Cargo Cult



Every year Burning Man has an art "theme". This year it was Cargo Cult and last year it was Fertility. I SO wanted to go last year but when I got around to buy my ticket I was too late, the tickets were sold out. Anyhow.....I read up a bit on the meaning of this years theme but I am too lazy right now (just had a latte and actually feeling sleepy) to try to describe it. But the Man stood on top of a spaceship this year, until it got lit on fire and burnt to the ground.
You can read more about it here if you are curious.

There were impressive art pieces to be found all over the playa. I think there were 372 pieces. Some were huge. I have so many pictures but a picture doesn't make this experience justice. But this one is very pretty I think....read what it says. More to come.....



How about nudity on the playa? You would see the occasional totally naked person, lots of women with no tops on and many men in tutu's. And many people wearing underwear only. To me it was completely non sexual. It's not like the nekkid people are pushing their genitals in your face, they are very natural about the whole thing. Although I could sense a sexual energy at times but that had nothing to do with the naked people. So if you go to Burning Man, please leave all your backwards morality and prudishness at home. There is no place for it there. Did I run around naked? No. I run around naked so much at work already. I did take a shower and foam bath together with a bunch of other, mostly naked people. But I kept my panties on. If nobody is throwing money at me, those are NOT coming off.....OK? ;-)
Well.....I did get naked at the playa once, I will put the result of that here soon.
That shower/foam bath was AMAZING and very refreshing. If it is there next year I will go there once a day, at least. It was GREAT. A large group of people taking a communal shower with music playing and people dancing.......FUN!!!!



I also took two more showers at Burning Man. I found a tent called Pussy Riot where girls, or goddesses, as the two guys running the whole operation chose to address the ladies coming though as. And ya'll know by now that I am a goddess, right? :-D
In the Pussy Riot tent, I took my sweet time and washed my hair and shaved. There was a group of girls there finishing up their shower before I got there and I observed how the only guy present, when he was around (it was his set up) was acting. I was not going to take a shower and get groped, no thank you. But he was totally cool and a sweetie. I am going to bring him something nice next year, if I can find him and his tent on the playa. Next to the Pussy Riot tent there was a shower set up called Dirty Hot Girl Shower. I took a shower there, in a totally see through shower stall and I felt a bit hesitant at first to step into it and start showering but people could not have cared less. Those couple of showers were wonderful and my hair really needed to get washed and conditioned.