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Getting Ready to see the Man Burn

Posted on August 25 2019

Getting Ready to see the Man Burn

Acceptance within modern society can be rather challenging when social norms can be perceived as fabricated realities. The element of expression can be submerged so far deep within one’s thoughts that the formation of self-discovery becomes, unfortunately, misguided.

Photo credit 
Marco Cochrane, Truth is Beauty, 2013. Photo by Eleanor Preger.

What, how, when, and why do communities believe that the key to reformation equates setting boundaries in personal growth. Transfiguring one’s moral beliefs to gain a fluid comprehension of one’s sense of self is challenging; Primarily due to the suppression of free-spiritedness as we have grown throughout the years. But who says growing up means to eliminate the ferocity that lays beneath our skin?

Model: Samkeepsmiling Photo: Stephanielephotography

In a few days, I have the opportunity in attending my first burn. Over the years, I only learned through research and discussion boards about why the burn was created and what the mission of this event encompassed. It is only fitting that this years theme is “Metamorphosis”, in which I like to believe that this burn will be heavily intertwined with the elements of transformation or transmutation. The journey to the burn poses personal, environmental, and emotional blockages that ultimately can create a stronger bond with the love you have for others, but most of all, the love you have for yourself. I am going into this years burn following the fact that life itself has handed me a tremendous amount of lemons which has indirectly caused barricades to be built around my thought process. The fear of the unknown has washed over me more frequently, and I know that this journey will mold and shape my intrinsic and expressive needs to bloom. 

Photo credit: Jonathan Levi

I had the opportunity of a lifetime to join forces with an inspiring and spiritually awoken camp known as STEEP (7:15 & A). As the burn becomes more expansive, the sense of honor and integrity of the patrons to co-create a city built on the ten principles can dwindle, increasing chances of dishonor and obstruction within the walls. My camp has strongly discussed with each and every one of us, that the burn allows patrons to come face to face with their joys in life, but can also have some encounter fears. Our space is intended to promote a safe haven for those in need of healing, solidarity, and reflection. We are ensuring that as those who come to visit our camp understand the tenderness we have for everyone who walks through the doors. One may find some unannounced surprises (that I will not share here) as well as engage with our burner cafe, which will be centered around making herbal tea delicacies that help with clarity and grounding one’s self. As the playa provides gifts, gifts can come in all forms and shapes. Though this is subjective, the best gift one can contribute is time, energy, or becoming a volunteer in adding to the playa’s radical beauty. Being a part of camp recognizes ambition and drive to support the playas principles and what it was founded on decades ago. I will be volunteering at camp (at least 6 hours of my time throughout the week) in putting on the burner cafe. The burn is more than what the eye can see, its a place that encourages self fulfillment, self reliance, & inclusiveness. It is sure to teach every patron something new about who they are as a person, it’ll just come down to how open you are in addressing what may need to be re-learned or gently modified. This may be my first burn, but my camp has taught me the importance of compassion; Our weekly calls and ongoing support have slowly assisted me in releasing the limitations I have placed on myself; I have learned that altruism is boundless and I am only excited to finish off the last few weeks of prep before we begin the physical journey to the playa.

I am prepared to leave all of my expectations at the door. What I think I may know, what I have been told, the stories I have listened to will simply be detached because no one gets the burn they want, but the burn they need. The burn in simplistic terms….provides. If you guys will be at the burn I wish you a safe and eventful excursion. Be safe, probe your curiosities, get lost, wander and find yourself again. 

by Samantha 


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