30 Days and Counting

August 4, 2011

Click below for Parts 1-6 of my  Burning Man essay:

Part 1    Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5     Part 6

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The Man dies every year.  Resurrected, reconstructed and burned all over again. I am haunted by the Man.  He appears in my dreams, my thoughts, waking life.  He manifests himself in conversations that have nothing to do with him, yet I find myself veering towards him, directing everyone’s attention to my trip.

Most plainly, the Man is a pile of wood, represented by the )^( characters, constructed in the shape of a man atop some structure.  A lighthouse, a pyramid, a dome, a tower.  Stairs, broken up by several viewing platforms, lead up to his base, though you can never get close enough to touch him.  He stands above you, just out of reach. At night he is lit up with blue and green glowing electroluminescent (EL) wire, or whatever color is chosen for that year.  Thousands of people flock to the Man the week leading up to Labor Day, but he stands alone, knowing his fate.

He is encased by the Esplanade, a buffer zone between him and the camps, which is littered with art structures, most of which are interactive, like the HARVEYWOOD sign in which each 8-foot tall letter can be arranged into RAVE HOWDY or HAVE WOOD.  Many of the art pieces on the Esplanade are massive in size, leaving me wonder how they were erected, a mirage that merely solidified after a dust storm.

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