November 20th, 2004


Advice to a first-time burner

This is a harder question than you might think.  The
best answer is not to expect that you will see, or
find, anyone.  That probably doesn't sound right --
until you've experienced it.  In Gigsville we are
blessed to have a wide variety of people and places to
hang out, such that your odds of finding one or
another of them to share your experience with is

But, having said that, it is sometimes possible to
make "plans" to "find" someone at a particular place
and time.  Time and space at Burning Man are
approximate, so you have to have something like a
three-hour window for the time.  And make sure your
experience doesn't depend on it.

Some people do go to Burning Man "together".  At a
minimum, this means they might arrive, camp, and
depart together.  At a maximum, it can mean that they
are together almost the whole time.  I personally want
to be somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, where
I have reasonable expectations of spending quality
time with particular people, but my enjoyment of the
experience does not depend on it.

I've found that, out there, there are so many
possibilities for personal growth and exploration of
the reality you bring in with you as well as others,
that you should approach ANY human interaction with
the full expectation that the other person (even those
you've just met) loves you but might be unavailable to
give the reassuring signals you'd expect at other
times.  Drugs, fatigue, sleep deprivation, surrealism,
meditation, any of these might be the frame of
reference the other person is in, so you can't assume
anything about communication out there.  I recommend
using lots of words and being very specific and
literal about how you're feeling and what you're
trying to communicate to the other person.

So: Find your inner joy.  Transform it into art or
action or conversation.  Repeat both steps as needed.

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