Our Playa Homes

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KylaC
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Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:54 am
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Our Playa Homes

Post by KylaC » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:46 am

Hi everyone!

I am missing our dusty playa home a little extra today as I go through journal entries of my experience this past year. I am writing my undergraduate thesis in Anthropology on the feeling we call Burning Man and today I have been day dreaming (more than usual) about the idea of home. I wanted to reach out to you guys for your stories of home... what home means to you, if you consider the playa home and why?

My playa home story;
This was my first year going to Burning Man, despite preparing as much as I thought I could I knew I would never be ready for what awaited me. After waiting in that crazy long line we all know and... love, we were greeted with a great big hug and "welcome home". This was the first and definitely not the last welcome home hugs I received. It was however the first time I felt this little pang in my heart, this little pang of happy, this little pang of being a part of something. Every veteran burner I met and told I was a virgin welcomed me home and explained that I was meant to be here. I felt included and overwhelmingly happy, but I didn't really understand this feeling of home until later in the week. As the week grew on I became more and more comfortable with discovering who I was and sharing my experiences with everything and everyone around me. One morning I was out by the trash fence gazing into the abyss beyond it. I looked back at the city as the morning sun covered every inch in an orangey glow. The little pang in my heart struck again. This time with a deep sense of love. Tears rolled down my cheeks I smiled and watched as fellow burners, family members, wandered around in the distance like shadowy figures through the dust. I looked down at myself, I was covered in dust. I think this was the first time I had really noticed the layer of dust I had come to know as my second skin. In this moment and ever since I felt intensely connected, a kind of feeling I still struggle to explain. I became one, not only with my fellow burners but with the playa itself. I was out there alone but felt so far from it. The playa became a kind of being with whom I loved and cared for, and who loved and cared for me, in every step I felt that presence. That morning as I gazed over our glowing city and the dusty playa that embraced us, the playa itself whispered to me, "Welcome Home". Connected, to people, to the land and to myself, I finally felt it. I was home.

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:21 am

The whole “the playa is my home” thing happens to most burners, it wears off after a few years.
It’s an empty non-life-supporting desert, with an ever-deteriorating commercial event that happens every year.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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Token
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by Token » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:35 am

First, and foremost, Paragraphs, line breaks, and structure please.

You wrote down some lovely thoughts and feelings that need to flow with purpose, not just thrown together as they arrived.

Now, on the topic, I never found it to be as profound as you are suggesting. For me it is more of a tribal experience.

Sure, the “welcome home” gimmick is cute and clever in a subtle way, but for me it is a highly temporal experience; short in duration and guaranteed to end.

The same holds true with the silly phrase folks toss around all the time: “The Default World”. It’s the ultimate kool-aid that has long lost its luster. There is nothing “default” about it; it is “The Real World” and the Playa is a slice of dystopia we choose to indulge in for 10 days a year.

At the end of the day, when the “high” of the experience wears off and it looses that “new car smell”, it’s simply the best party in the desert money can buy.

I’d be tickled to see you stick with this journey and document how your experience evolves over time as you get involved deeper into building and living the event rather than just tasting and smelling it.

Keep on trucking!

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lucky420
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by lucky420 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:45 am

No the playa is not my home. I have a sweet cozy home in Reno.

I’ve always described BRC as the weirdest camping trip you’ll prob ever do. I enjoy my time there, seeing friends I haven’t seen in a year, creating small neighborhood art, being part of a theme camp and just really having fun with people.

I’m also lucky to live close to the black rock desert that I can visit/camp when it’s the big empty...
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

Elliot
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by Elliot » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:02 pm

Token wrote:First, and foremost, Paragraphs, line breaks, and structure please.
....
What Token said.
You bring up an interesting topic, but I could not force myself to read it.
If you write your thesis like that, you will surely flunk. Oh... you would never do that? So... are we ePlayans less-important people to you?

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:54 pm

i didn’t actually read all that either
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

Elliot
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by Elliot » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:32 pm

Speak up, please! I'm old and hard of hearing! ;-)

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Ratty
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by Ratty » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:59 pm

No. I didn't read it either.

No, the shade structure and tent at the Burning Man event are not my home. I don't live in Black Rock City. No one does. I love the 2 weeks that I spend there. I work with my department all year here in the bay area. I 'do' burner stuff 365 days a year. Volunteering, creating, partying.

As a greeter I've said, 'welcome home', thousands of times. It goes well with the hugging.

It's my vacation. And a fine one it is.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

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Sham
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by Sham » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:28 pm

I got the "playa home" feeling my first year in Black Rock City. I arrived after dark during a dust storm and several people helped my set up my tent. (I had never really camped before)
I move my stuff into the tent and poked around the area a bit before going to sleep.
The following morning I got up and headed off to find a porta potty and did a full 360 degree turn in the morning sun. Holy shit! I really felt that I could never miss this gathering ever again, and that I was home. :D

Elliot
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by Elliot » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:11 pm

Kyla, this link should take you to a handful anecdotes. Not about "home", but about the community of Black Rock City (home of the Burning Man event). Feel free to use this for background.

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=83159

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Avacadi
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by Avacadi » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:32 pm

first and foremost, I did read your post. I can relate to it, in a sense.
The first year I attended Burning Man I felt incredibly welcomed and loved and never once felt out of place. I received many gifts and tokens of appreciation that year. Many people told me I belonged there. Perhaps it was because I was in a different state of mind, or people genuinely just like making virgins feel like "one of us", who knows.

My second year, 2017, was incredibly different. I felt more intune with the dust itself and not so much the people. Oftentimes, I found myself wandering about alone- and feeling alone as well. I questioned every little thing I did, and felt judged by my fellow camp mates almost 24/7. The person I had went with left me almost every night, and it didn't make me feel much better either. Eventually I grew out of the co dependency and did my own thing with people I had actually come to love- who are still a huge part of my life today. No, I didn't feel "home" the second time around. But I also didn't expect to either. I was in my own little bubble and very lonely.

Albeit, I didn't go out of my way to make virgins feel "home" either, it wasn't part of my agenda. Honestly, I just wanted to meet artists and do naked yoga at 6am :wink:

I've just come to conclude that every year is different.
But I am happy to hear you had an incredible experience your first year.
MAYOR of ants

Cellar Door

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Token
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by Token » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:38 am

There is a reason jaded old fuck veterans go out of their way to welcome virgins. Even if they aren’t the outgoing friendly hippie ilk.

At some point in the journey, you will see that eyes wide open virgin look on someone and it will take you back to your first year, when BRC was the eighth wonder of the world and not the Tijuana shanty town you now see. Spending a fleeting second reliving the virgin year through someone else’s eyes can make your whole day.

That’s the only reasonable explanation for all the fucking greeters volunteers out there. They gotta be chasing that first high that never quite happens anymore until they hit the jackpot of a virgin burner.

But I could be wrong.

Greeters should be an optional stop for virgins and those who dig it.

ranger magnum
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Re: Our Playa Homes

Post by ranger magnum » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:05 pm

The captain and I were talking about this very thing today. I have never considered the playa home. It is completely inhospitable in the winter, and only marginally so in the summer.

Home for me is definitely not the playa. It is a week long massively funded party in the desert, and if not for the wealthy, would be pretty boring because a gifting economy doesn't pay for massive art and sound camps.
Praise the Lowered

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