One year ago today... Burning Man.
And so it begins, the journey to find yourself by losing yourself, in self.
Although packing and preparing for Burning Man took months and months, the decision to go came pretty easy. As simple as 'they're going, we should go' and the serious struggle of trying to lock down some tickets.
80,000 burners furiously trying to get their hands on 40,000 tickets, so they can return home, to be one with the dust.
Prep phase, read everything you can about what to bring, what not to bring, how to survive. Read nothing at all about 'the experience, what you'll come away with', because these are the moments that you get to define yourself.
Great resources: burningman.org and a subscription to jackrabbit.burningman.com
Ever remembered a place that you've been, years ago, and realized that you only remember the portions that you've re-seen in photographs? Someone told me once that that's the way the brain works, when we remember something - we aren't remembering it for the first time, but rather remembering the last time we remembered it.
I like to believe that new memories work the same way, if you go into a new experience with an idea of how it will play out, and what the outcome will be, you're almost certain to make that true.
If you go in, with some knowledge and an open mind, the possibilities are endless.
Perhaps the reason I enjoyed my first burn so much, was because as a designer, I've always loved anything I can interact with. And that's what Burning Man was for me, one giant interaction with people and sculptures and art installations and mutant vehicles. Everything demands to be seen, to be felt, to be held, to be climbed on. In a temple full of other people, their thoughts and their memories, you're able to be completely alone. In a crowd of 80,000 people awaiting the same flames, you're able to speak personally to a giant pile of sticks. In a tent filled with pillows and yogis, you can write a letter to the universe, telling it everything you've ever wanted to share.
No wonder they say this place is magic.