Why We Cry at the Temple Burn

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
windmistress
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Post by windmistress » Sat Sep 11, 2004 12:18 am

mamasaid wrote:Ok burners...windmistress was presumptuous...
Can we remember to keep the love flowing despite her oversight?
Her words obviously sparked an emotional response in you, but I also hate seeing hateful words amongst a chat group that I enjoy being a part of...burners nonetheless.

Yes, the "We" in the title was presumptuous, conjectural, and to some, contemptuously offensive. For taken literally, the inclusion of "We" leaves no opening as to why one may or may not have cried at the Temple burn. This, however, is not the reason why I used "We" in the title. I intentionally titled the rant to capture the cliché (of crying at the Temple burn) without giving much thought as to the richer weight behind that particular word. For this I apologize.

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Play nice, kids

Post by Scathingharpy » Sat Sep 11, 2004 2:30 am

Wow, the man hasnt even been burned a week, and were seeing this kind of hate. Geez, so much for all the peace, love, understanding and community I felt last week.

I discovered ear plugs this year, and they helped considerably to find a bit of peace-come wednesday the 24/7 techno really gets to a person, theres no rest, no peace, no silence. Its enough to make a person go a little nuts. oh wait.

Remember, people, were all neighbors out there. I didnt tolerate the pentacostals that lived next door to me in Oakland-you know the ones whos speakers go to 11-and I dont think your neighbors should be forced to be miserable in order for you to be happy. give them a break. find a happy medium. Or frankly, youre missing the whole point of the burn. At its base, its community. Beyond that, a person gets what they want or need out of it, spiritual or not, the playa provides.

Frankly, I would love to help sponsor a little more funk and soul out there, but I know nothing about DJing. Anyone with me?

I loved the opera...but the music was all confused. Stick with arias, or one theme, summertime, then loch lomond then ave maria? I sing, and it was confusing to me, almost painful, and she has SUCH a lovely voice ,I wanted to hear more! Why not do a sing along next year? gregorian chants? Veni creator spiritus?
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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Sat Sep 11, 2004 8:08 am

On Sunday morning, my niece and I took a memorial out to the Temple for my brother, her father. It was placed under one of the half-moon bridges. We were fairly teary outside, but once we entered the main area, and they were trying to move folks out to prepare for the burn, we both burst into hard tears. Real sobbing, the kind you just can't stop. A ranger came up and held us both briefly in a generous hug instead of hustling us out of the Temple.

That's my Temple memory. I'm quite certain there was plenty of ambient noise and maybe even the low rumble of omnipresent bass, but that memory stands in complete silence for me. I knew that even though I'd never attended a temple burn before that the burn itself would be secondary to that slim moment when my niece, myself and the anonymous ranger stood together.

The burn itself? Beautiful, and often silent around the back/side near two o'clock. If someone else's soundtrack was present this year, I tuned it out completely. I was under the mylar kites and at one point all I could hear was their rustling. I liked it, but am not expecting to find that particular slice of experience again. And that's okay, that is what makes each year unique in memory for me.

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mamasaid
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Post by mamasaid » Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:02 am

On sunday morning, some girl had these amazing white prayer bowls just on the other side of the temple. When made to vibrate with a wide stick, they resonated the most amazing sound I have ever heard. It was eerie, sort of like the sound WAS spirit, looming around like a heavy gas on the ground. For me, I will remember that moment as being one where I was closest to spirit. It was quiet over there, the sun was bright and warm in the early morning, crisp. I was having a yoga moment, just thinking to myself how special this place is. I didn't cry this year at the temple, but if I had something to cry about, that would have been the moment it'd happened. I found at the actual burn, as beautiful as it was for me and the company I was with, there was too much talking, too much yelling out stupid things that no one needed to hear. It's sacred space, I thought to myself.
But again, it's all sacred space. Mine happened to be that morning. Expectations can blow any experience, just keep that in mind when searching for a protocol. God is always present, no matter how many drunk yahoos can't keep their mouth shut or booming systems can't take a breather!!
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Maldita
PS. AnitM, was your neice about 11ish, very cool girl, the one who I spoke with once we rode back to about 2 oclock after the temple? She gave me a black rock and I gave her a shell from Indonesia? If so, tell her I said hi and that I enjoyed meeting her. the rock is on my shrine!
Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions to all musicians, (including me), appear and inspire

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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:48 am

Well, no, my niece is 22ish, very statuesque. Apparently there are a number of very cool nieces roving the playa.

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Re: Not so many love the loud sounds

Post by chineseobelisk » Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:25 pm

bradtem wrote: Neptune at 10, where you can see the camp that has such a deserted zone around it, but I have to assume it was LOUD. There was not nearly such a zone of desolation around 2 o'clock.

This is on Saturday, with the city as fully packed as it gets.

hmm... maybe we just had more leftists this year.
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Re: Why We Cry at the Temple Burn

Post by chineseobelisk » Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:27 pm

windmistress wrote:Why do we cry at the Temple burn? I'll tell you why. We cry because for the FIRST time in seven days all 40,000 watt sound systems have been turned off.
so if it was quiet all week there wouldn't be the stark contrast which makes the Temple burn so special?
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Post by geekster » Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:58 pm

I will tell you why I got a little teary at the temple ... but it wasn't on burn night. I think it was Wednesday in the middle of the day. I went out to place a letter to my Dad who died 9 years ago this month. It contained pictures of his grandkids that he never got a chance to know. He died of cancer and had actually alerted me to some of the symptoms months before he was diagnosed (too late) and I have carried some guilt around ... if I had only known, encouraged him more to see a doctor, DEMAND that he see a doctor, I would still have my best friend. That in itself had me a little emotional ... but not teary eyed.

When I went in to the temple to place my letter, sealed, to be hidden privately in some spot where it could not be seen, I happened to see a small shrine someone put there to a child they had lost. THAT is when I lost it. I then noticed a couple more pictures of kids ... I am a parent and I love my children and couldn't imagine the heartbreak if one was taken from this life. My tears were of empathy for those parents and how they must hurt.

I wasn't sobbing, but I had a steady stream of tears dripping from my face as I walked out, head lowered. No matter how much of a surprise it is, we are always somewhat aware of the possibility that people can be taken unexpectedly from this life. What we are usually completely unprepared for is the loss of a child. That's what got me. I was quiet out of respect for those parents, uncles, cousins, friends that were at the burn mourning the children. Dad would have wanted me to raise hell.
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Dardanian
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The Temple

Post by Dardanian » Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:12 pm

I've heard perhaps a dozen different people tell me that whatever you are looking for in the desert, you will find it.

If you are looking for pounding music (as I often do) you will find it. You will find it at 2:00 and 10:00, most of the Esplinade, at the foot of the Man, and many other places as well.

If your ears or my suggestions here do not lead you to enough music to sate you, ask your neighbor. If that is still not enough then find me, and I will lead you to one of the many places that can hurt even the partially deaf ears of this old soldier.

If you are looking for silence (as I often do) you will find it. You will find it on Tuesday evening most places after the firstcomers blow the audio load they have been saving for 358 days the first night, and before the latecomers arrive. You will find it in the Lumarian Temple-- somehow the padding of their walls keeps out the outside world. You will find an impure version of it in Quiettown. You will (hopefully) find it at the temple as it burns.

If your inner solitude compass or my suggestions here do not lead you to the silence you seek, ask your neighbor. If that is not enough then find me, and I will lead you into the great dark sea of desert that no noise profanes. While silence is easy to find with the partially deaf ears of this old soldier, I have confirmed the purity of the quiet through others.

If you are looking to find tears or shed them yourself for the dead, for lost innocence, or any other reason (as I often do) you will find it. You will find tears in the eyes of people as they are told "welcome home" whenever they arrive. You will find an opportunity to shed tears at any number of camps where stories are told. You will find both at the Temple burn, more tears than you could shed with all the water in your body such that eventually the sobs can turn to naught but stunned awe... and more tears shed by others in one night than any one person will ever see.

If your own need to express the regret/sorrow/stifled catharsis/overwhelming beauty of a whole year or my suggestions here do not lead you to the emotional release you seek, ask your neighbor. If that is not enough, please do not seek out this old soldier... at least not at the Temple burn. A year of war and the annual toll the ravages of time take have left me with too much to mourn myself, and though I may hear you with my partially deaf ears I will be too preoccupied to listen to the thundering music, the beautiful silence, or the cries of others.

I will have found what I was looking for in the desert, and that... for me... is the point.
-Christopher of Aeneadae
Per ardua ad astra

creativehorsegirl
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Stop being so negative

Post by creativehorsegirl » Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:37 am

I was a virgin burner this year. It was a great experience overall b/c I had a positive attitude. I was very turned off by rude people esp. at the Gazette,but once I confronted them they apologized. It's really not within the ethos of BM to be so negative and rude esp. on eplaya.. Written language always appears much stronger than verbal, so please watch it. thanks. creativehorsegirl. ciao
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Bob
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Post by Bob » Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:01 am

I might bother going to the temple burn if... no, ain't gonna happen... can't stop thinking about all the crap the burn leaves behind, and the Mog ain't about to crank up Sweet Leaf with everybody trying to get spiritual and shit.
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geekster
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Post by geekster » Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:15 am

Well, the temple burn is also a funeral pyre of sorts. If you read the FAQ for the group that built the temple, it clearly states that ashes are welcome to be placed in there and so I would have to assume that if that is a FAQ, then some must place ashes of their loved ones in there.

As for the stuff that is left behind ... there was one particular person who was posted about in another thread ... who was on the Temple cleanup crew. She operated a bobcat that worked to clean up after. She met with an auto accident after the event during her exodus and was killed when she "overcompensated" and lost control of her vehicle. Was that due to fatigue from the work she put in? Who knows. The point is a lot of people put a lot of effort and love into building that temple. Work days start at The Barn in Petaluma months before the event.

Every city has a cemetary, a place to pay their respects to those that have left this world. Why should BRC be any different. I look on it as funeral because that is what it is for many. Might be moot anyway at this point, we will have to see. I am just touched that so many people have put so much effort in giving it to us.

Thank you, David and the entire temple crew.
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Bob
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Post by Bob » Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:44 am

geekster wrote:...and the entire temple crew.
This would include the DPW cleanup crew no doubt still combing the playa inch by inch, step by step for the charcoal, gun staples, charred playa, gum wrappers and Spirit butts left behind by the temple burn. It's become really creepy IMO that while you can't fault David Best for his work ethic, his leaving piles of crap behind is completely overlooked because it's so spiritual and shit.

And please leave Stevie out of this.
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playasnake
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Post by playasnake » Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:49 am

ALRIGHT NOW!
Won't you listen?

When I first met you, didn't realize
I can't forget you, for your surprise
you introduced me, to my mind
And left me wanting, you and your kind

I love you, Oh you know it

My life was empty, forever on a down
Until you took me, showed me around
My life is free now, my life is clear
I love you sweet leaf, though you can't hear

Come on now, try it out

Straight people don't know, what you're about
They put you down and shut you out
you gave to me a new belief
and soon the world will love you sweet leaf
e pluribus unimog

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playasnake
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Re: Stop being so negative

Post by playasnake » Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:53 am

creativehorsegirl wrote:It's really not within the ethos of BM to be so negative and rude esp. on eplaya.. Written language always appears much stronger than verbal, so please watch it. thanks. creativehorsegirl. ciao
you have obviously never encounted the Black Rock Postal Service.

FUCK. ethos? is that like the Spirit of Burningman (tm)?
e pluribus unimog

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:55 am

Buh.... death... carp... cowboys...

damn... used spiritual and shit twice on one eplaya thread-page...

doh... three times...
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Post by geekster » Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:06 am

I just ment that to show that some DID spend time cleaning up after the temple and it's sad events like hers that gives the temple more meaning for some.

As for how much shit was left behind there, I can't say because I wasn't there after the event to pick up this time. I know I picked up as much shit as I could carry on my way back to camp after the burn and others did too.

I am having a little trouble getting your point. Are you saying that the temple crew needs to do more cleanup? Have you expressed that to them directly? Was there an agreement between them and DPW concerning cleanup? I don't know. Since I was not part of the temple crew I don't know what was put out about post-burn expectations but I do know where to ask those questions. I am not sure if the people on that project are on eplaya.

Who picks up all the gum wrappers and Spirit butts on the rest of the playa? What radius from the temple would you consider the temple crew to be responsible for? And why are gum wrappers and Spirit buts on the playa to begin with? Why is the temple crew responsible for other people dropping a gum wrapper? I dunno, you just make it seem that the temple burn is somehow separate from the other burns. At what radius from the Pagoda was Burning Silicon responsible for gum wrappers and Spirit butts? I would think they are pretty much responsible for the ashes and any burn scars and that is about it. Anything else they choose to do such as walking the playa picking stuff up would probably be an individual gift to the community.

Sounds to me, Bob, like you just have some basic issues of one sort or another about the temple burn.
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Kiba
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Post by Kiba » Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:15 pm

People show their respects for the temple burn in different ways, even if it is with disrespect.

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playasnake
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Post by playasnake » Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:27 pm

and what might be deemed "disrespectful" for one might not be for another.
e pluribus unimog

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Post by geekster » Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:45 pm

Yeah, my Dad would have wanted me to raise holy hell. I kept low and quiet out of my feelings for others. See ... NOT rasining hell would not be offensive to anyone and Pop would understand.
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mowgli
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Post by mowgli » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:23 pm

Dont cry it will be ok really. I promise.

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geekster
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Post by geekster » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:25 pm

Thanks .. *sniff*
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mowgli
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Post by mowgli » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:35 pm

Fuck respect and reverence at the temple burn. the temple burn itself is a slap in the face of all thats considered spiritual or holy in the outside world. Lets build a big fucking beautiful structure and then burn the thing to the ground two days later.

One of my best experiences at the burn that night was hearing all the yelling and confrontation. Fucking lasers fuckin lasers. Who cares. If you want everything to be as its supposed to be stay home. The yelling back and forth was hilarious. but those of you who got pissed about it should think a bit about where you were. maybe all the dead that are being cried for would rather us get over our self pitty and fucking dance and some more noise to prove that we are alive. go to church if you want but dont bring the church to the playa. thanks

We leave no trace so that BLM will give us permits to come back next year and the year after. And to set precedents for other meetings like this in other parts of the world. ok thats all

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playasnake
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Post by playasnake » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:47 pm

mowgli wrote:Fuck respect and reverence at the temple burn. the temple burn itself is a slap in the face of all thats considered spiritual or holy in the outside world. Lets build a big fucking beautiful structure and then burn the thing to the ground two days later.
erm... then whats a funeral pyre?

many cultures outside the western world use fire and burning structures (maybe not as big) so celebrate/commemerate/whatevererate the transition from the living world to whatever lies beyond.
e pluribus unimog

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:58 pm

geekster wrote:I just ment that to show that some DID spend time cleaning up after the temple and it's sad events like hers that gives the temple more meaning for some.
Yeah, and on a piece of the temple I wrote the name of the garden snail I found next to another art project, where they'd brought out a bunch of bark-covered branches along with associated fauna.

I wept for Snorkel -- a valiant creature I found sliming its way westward toward the hills -- who subsisted for a mere day or two on what scraps of Romaine I could glean, until the poor thing got bussed off a table by mistake.

The temple was a hundred-plus feet high and a football pitch long, and the burn perimeter is huge. Most of the structure was assembled on the playa, this year into the middle of the week of the event, and much of the burn and random moop remained on the site a couple of weeks after the event (when I left the playa), so a lot of the pre- and post-burn debris got buried under dunes. Don't weep for DPW -- we just deal with it.
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Post by thinkcooper » Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:37 pm

Bob wrote:Don't weep for DPW -- we just deal with it.
Thank you.

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mowgli
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Post by mowgli » Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:10 pm

Do cultures usually spend four months building a funeral pyre? I dont know. And arent they usually just a bunch of sticks? Really, I dont know.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:24 pm

mowgli wrote:Do cultures usually spend four months building a funeral pyre? I dont know. And arent they usually just a bunch of sticks? Really, I dont know.
I don't know. Think of the effort involved in such tombic projects as the Pyrimids and the Taj Mahal. Although the 2nd only turned into a tomb during the lengthy building project.

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Post by Badger » Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:35 pm

Was there an agreement between them and DPW concerning cleanup?
The only 'agreement' that I know of is the one that suggests that no matter what you bring to BRC you should take away.
Desert dogs drink deep.

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Badger
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Post by Badger » Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:38 pm

People show their respects for the temple burn in different ways, even if it is with disrespect.
BTW, what fucking logic tree did you climb out of?

I mean, that sort of sophomoric rational is right up there with suggesting that the only way to show you love someone is by killing them.
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