i love you, burning man

It’s been ten days since my return from the desert playa that is Black Rock City. Burning Man offers something new and different every year. Personally, this burn was one of restoration and reflection. While many in our camp danced till sunrise at sound camps – most notably Robot Heart – I slept and meditated a lot. Out there, you must listen to your body, and that’s what mine told me to do: relax. My mind’s musings are still settling, and I’m aiming to organize them into something useful soon.

Upon my return to the default world, I found myself yearning for the creativity and spirit that fed my heart, so it was beautiful this morning when, over breakfast, my wife shared a video by Stefan Pildes and his lady love KJ. Over the past few years, they’ve created homage to the place we love with fun music videos featuring fellow burners. Before I headed into the desert this year, I shared their rendition of “Home.” This year, these Groove Hoops members posted a Fertility 2.0 celebration using Michael Franti & Spearhead’s “Say Hey (I Love You).”

Below, is video of the burning of the Temple of Juno, designed by David Best. The burning of The Man was amazing and fun, but as I said, my mind was more meditative, which the temple burn was. I tagged the temple with the name of a friend, Kibibi Dillon, who died this past year. It was good to let go. Now, I’m letting go of the 2012 Burn. Time to dig in heals and get back to tasks at hand.

Thanks to my campmates – Christy, Ron, Jeffrey, Leo, Josiah, Araceli, Marina, Steph, and our honorary German mate, Florian – for sharing it all with me. One love.

PS – If you want to check out my pictures, here is a small album.

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how to win a sand castle contest (or, zen and the art of sand castles)

As I prepare to head into the desert for a week of art and fertility, it feels appropriate to linger for a moment on the subject of sand. Add the other item I won’t touch again this summer – the ocean – and we delve into the subtle art of sand castles.

A few weeks back, I had a fantastic experience with a three-year-old when we manifested a turtle named “Tippy” from millions of grains on the shores of Montauk, NY. If you have never made a sand turtle with a three-year-old, I highly recommend it. The minutes slip away while you reclaim childhood fun.

There’s been a brew-ha-ha recently over the first 3D printing of parts for a gun. It’s no secret people use technology to create destruction, but some are using the cutting edge technology to create art. Israeli sculptor Eyal Gever harnesses 3D printing to freeze frame the abstract beauty of tsunamis, bus crashes and oil spills. Now, a team of designers calling themselves The Stone Spray Project are on the beach creating mind-blowing delicate sand castles.

Stone Spray Project from Stone Spray on Vimeo.

Until the day when everyone has a personalized 3D sand castle printer, shovels and buckets will have to do. Just this past weekend, Creative Time launched its inaugural sand castle building contest. Artists erected precise architectural structures and detailed sculptures of human forms, but the winners of the competition came from a crew whose mission in life is to have fun cultivate community. Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw built a living water fountain, integrating friends and themselves into the sandy tower.

The impermanence of sand sculptures, along with the playful joy that arises from creating these temporal works of art, offers a meditation on fun and life. Sure, 3D technology is cool and may one day replicate a life-sized castle, but the feel of sand between toes and fingers reinforces the here and now while recapturing one’s childhood.

Realizing this unique paradoxical gift is when you truly win the sand castle contest.

Sources: NYTimes.com, PC World