Was it a dream?
I didn’t tell a lot of people that I was going to Burning Man festival because to be honest, I was a little frightened by it. I didn’t know what to expect or imagine even after reading about it. I was scared because I was throwing myself into the unknown and if anything happened, I was going to be lost in the middle of the desert with no phone reception.
Low and behold…
During a dust storm.
One of the many beautiful sculptures.
…It was one of the best things I’ve experienced.
It was beautiful, fantastical, wild, crazy at times, like a dream filled with a kaleidoscope of colors and I’d often catch myself thinking it was like a dream/Disneyland/Fantasia/the Lego movie all rolled into a world where time melted away, and set in the desert with a sprinkling of dust. All of this becomes a world and experience you need to see to believe.
Riding at sunrise.
The colors of the sunset over the Playa.
An art project which was like an oasis that you could hang out in.
Everyone has a different experience coming out of it with what seems to be very different learnings as well because you really make the whole experience your own.
Scenes on the Playa with art projects and art cars.
The Library (inside is filled with books that you write in) with The Embrace in the backdrop.
For me, it felt like I was a child because everything I saw, touched and felt was unique, new and foreign and presented in a way that I hadn’t seen before. There are no rules at Black Rock City, so when you go, it feels like there’s creativity bursting from every direction because everyone is given free reign to dress the way they want, get around the way they want, dance the way they want, participate the way they want, display their camp/themselves/their forms of transport (bikes + art cards) /their passions the way they want — all with no judgement, just appreciation.
There are so many things to see/learn/do/feel/create/build there and you can choose what you want to do, when you want to do it and how you want to do it. And that’s something people ask me often, “what did you do there?” As I mentioned above, everyone’s journey is different. I saw and experienced art and art projects, I went to workshops and panel discussions, I rode around on my bike for hours, I watched the sunrise and sunset, I danced, I sat, I made friends, I made things and was constantly surprised by things….and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The Playa that looked like a jigsaw puzzle.
An art car at Sunrise.
A sculpture in the Playa.
People are naturally friendly, open and generous and there is a real sense of community because you’ve all made a huge effort and commitment to come and participate. This already changes the ball game. And it’s refreshing to meet a variety of different people from all over the world that you quickly become friends with.
The Temple made out of wood.
Dancing at night.
Dancing at Sunrise.
It’s a place that constantly changes and at times that can be quite disorientating but it’s amazing how easily you adapt to this and just move on even though you’re lost.
Riding around in a dust storm.
A scene in the Playa.
People having fun on art projects and art cars.
The Playa at sunset.
Once you leave the Playa and get back to reality, you realize that Burning Man was like a completely different planet. The energy, the people, the adventures are different and it takes a little bit of time to adjust to the real world. Everything feels slightly dull in the outside world compared to the happenings of the Playa. I think it’s because life at Burning Man is heightened by about a million times more than in reality…and then poof!…Burning Man is gone and it then really feels like it was just a dream. With the ethos of Burning Man, you leave no trace. Everything you built, you dismantle. Everything you consume, you take with you. Just like a dream, it’s like nothing was ever there, except the memory of it.
Before The Embrace was set on fire.
Once The Embrace was set on fire, tornadoes formed and it was one of the most incredible things I’ve witnessed!
Then even more tornadoes formed and they kept on forming….it was incredible.
It’s very hard to articulate my Burning Man experience and I think it is also difficult to grasp what I’m talking about if you’ve never been, which makes this experience all the more alluring.
I hope you enjoyed my Burning Man experience and photos…have you been or would like to go? I’d love to know about your time there or questions you may have!
Love + Dust. See you next time on the Playa.
Love Naima x