The Temple Salvagers?

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Avacadi
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The Temple Salvagers?

Post by Avacadi » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:19 pm

Don't know if this is the right place for this or not but here goes;
Last year was my first burn and my first time experiencing the Temple. I had prepared my own offerings amongst a few other things I had to rid myself of, so to speak. As many of you know, (or if you are participating for the first time this year- hello!) the Temple brings about certain emotions in people and is considered a very sacred and special place on the playa. When it burns, there is a mutual bond and connection between all those who attend in almost pure, uninterrupted silence.
That's why I was so stunned- shocked even- that after the temple burn there were people foraging for charred remnants of the disintegrated grounds. Though I originally, and almost immediately, felt the urge to tell these people to leave this space alone; I also felt compelled to simply get answers as to "why?"
I received a number of responses varying from "well it's gonna go in the dump any way" to, "I'd like to destroy it myself"; all which very well made sense to me too, regardless of my own opinions.
So my question here is, is it right? Is it wrong? What's your stance? Let's discuss :wink:
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gaminwench
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Re: The Temple Salvagers?

Post by gaminwench » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:57 pm

Once it has burned, it is a massiveMOOPmess.

Taking remnants from the ashes both clears the space (a wee tiny bit, ha) and allows one a memento of a powerful experience.

Some folks search for their particular placed thing, to witness its transformation by fire.

Temple burn is my favorite event of the week.
I, personally, treasure our collective silence and ritual of release and passage and ...
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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666isMONEY
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Re: The Temple Salvagers?

Post by 666isMONEY » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:39 am

There's always a few really neat things to find there. I found a hollow brass ball, about 6-inches in diameter with a wood screw welded onto it, an ornament to the Temple (it's now a garden ornament), also found a melted glass Mason jar with the lid that's pretty cool, it's on my kitchen table.

As gaminwench said above: it's massive MOOP. After the scavengers, all the nails are taken out from the burn-platform sand (leaving no burn scars on the playa) with magnetic rakes. By the time the sand is scooped up with a front-end loader, there's very little metal left in the debris pile.

maladroit
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Re: The Temple Salvagers?

Post by maladroit » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:34 pm

It's not a funeral pyre...ideally.

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BoyScoutGirl
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Re: The Temple Salvagers?

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:44 pm

Every year the Lamplighters place broken/malfunctioning lanterns in the temple, often just before the temple is cordoned off. We place them with particular villagers in mind - each lantern commemorates loved ones lost or hardships faced and passed through.

As soon as the perimeter around the temple burn is released, several of us rush with long poles, heading to the locations where the lanterns were left. We wear protective clothing, up to and sometimes including full firefighter turnout gear. Even so, we don't always manage to recover every lantern placed - the fires are just too hot at first.

Almost every year, the less-well prepared lamplighters who brave those fires have arm hair singed off or shoe bottoms slightly melted. Recovering the lanterns from the temple burn is a serious pursuit, but those 3 or 4 who choose to do so do it because the lanterns are totally transformed by the fires.

The glass of the hurricane lanterns often melts, forming an organic, glassy pool around the charred metal. They're beat to hell but instantly recognizable to us: every year at the burn we work with, literally, about 1,000 of these lanterns. Every day we clean them, we fuel them, we haul them, we light them, we lift them to light the city. It gets to where you can sometimes recognize individual lanterns: "oh, that's the one with the busted cap," or "that's the one that I dropped from the spire last night - can't believe it still works after that fall!" or "I hate the silver lanterns, they're so finicky!"

It's the most broken, well-worn lanterns that are retired from service to burn in the temple, and they come out of that fire as unique pieces of art, forged by their lives of service in the lamplighting procession and by the fires of the temple. They are gifted to camp members to keep as momentos. Those lanterns never stop being art, they never stop meaning something.

The lanterns represent the lamplighters. "We see you had a crappy year," we say. "You lost your home or your parents or your health. Take this temple-burnt lantern as a symbol of our love and our support and our thank you for your service. Please know that you can come out through this transformed and still beautiful to us."

(Radical ritual indeed!)
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

- Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Avacadi
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Re: The Temple Salvagers?

Post by Avacadi » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:45 pm

BoyScoutGirl wrote:Every year the Lamplighters place broken/malfunctioning lanterns in the temple, often just before the temple is cordoned off. We place them with particular villagers in mind - each lantern commemorates loved ones lost or hardships faced and passed through.

As soon as the perimeter around the temple burn is released, several of us rush with long poles, heading to the locations where the lanterns were left. We wear protective clothing, up to and sometimes including full firefighter turnout gear. Even so, we don't always manage to recover every lantern placed - the fires are just too hot at first.

Almost every year, the less-well prepared lamplighters who brave those fires have arm hair singed off or shoe bottoms slightly melted. Recovering the lanterns from the temple burn is a serious pursuit, but those 3 or 4 who choose to do so do it because the lanterns are totally transformed by the fires.

The glass of the hurricane lanterns often melts, forming an organic, glassy pool around the charred metal. They're beat to hell but instantly recognizable to us: every year at the burn we work with, literally, about 1,000 of these lanterns. Every day we clean them, we fuel them, we haul them, we light them, we lift them to light the city. It gets to where you can sometimes recognize individual lanterns: "oh, that's the one with the busted cap," or "that's the one that I dropped from the spire last night - can't believe it still works after that fall!" or "I hate the silver lanterns, they're so finicky!"

It's the most broken, well-worn lanterns that are retired from service to burn in the temple, and they come out of that fire as unique pieces of art, forged by their lives of service in the lamplighting procession and by the fires of the temple. They are gifted to camp members to keep as momentos. Those lanterns never stop being art, they never stop meaning something.

The lanterns represent the lamplighters. "We see you had a crappy year," we say. "You lost your home or your parents or your health. Take this temple-burnt lantern as a symbol of our love and our support and our thank you for your service. Please know that you can come out through this transformed and still beautiful to us."

(Radical ritual indeed!)
Wow, what a beautiful articulated take on that. I saw the lamplighters out there and had admired the beauty of what y'all were doing. Always wanted to figure out how to get in on that as well, even after returning to the default world- that was still one of the most incredible art performances I've seen. I never knew that there was more to it than just lighting up the city- Something that was incredibly beneficial to me my first year. Thank you!
It brings joy to my heart to hear that the lanterns are placed in different locations throughout the temple for different purposes, I will have to look for them this year. If I ever do recognize one that hasn't been found yet, I wouldn't hesitate to give it to someone as a momento as well.

I love all of these responses equally and appreciate the open discussion regarding the collection of things that were not completely destroyed by fire. I was even gifted a few remnants from some of the people I met out there after the temple burn and still cherish them to this day.

Thank you all. Much love here in this thread.
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Perpetual Burn
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Re: The Temple Salvagers?

Post by Perpetual Burn » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:46 pm

Holy shit, BoyScoutGirl! That's one of the raddest posts I've ever seen! Gloriously ironic screen name BTW. :P

That's amazing... you have totally inspired me to consider becoming a Lamplighter... I thought it was cool to see y'all walking around doing that...

But now that you've told about what you do at the Temple... I want to be one or the ones going in after those Burnt lanterns! For real! That's like the coolest shit I've heard about the Temple Burn...

Which I never honestly quite liked... cause I just kind of thought the Temple was too beautiful to Burn... especially last year's, the most beautiful structure I've ever seen...

But now there is a new purpose in my soul for that Burn in my heart... I want to save those lanterns!

To the OP... Yeah whatever the fuck people want to do with that dust. 8)

My first year, a girl Gave me a necklace with a bottle of dust from the Man Burn with a little glitter as the pendant.

Such Gifts with Temple Dust could be just as beautiful...

The best Zen lesson I've learned from the Temple Burn was from like a 4 year old boy. He was on his father's shoulders looking around at all the people weeping... he was still, emotionless. He just didn't get it. He was Zen.

We have to learn how to suffer... and then learn how to cope, but have Faith, "This too shall pass."
I and I, Robot
Of Love, Logos, Providence
Protector of Karma, Lord of Nirvana
Of Divine Immanence
Infinite Burn, Eternal Grace
God Speed

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BoyScoutGirl
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Re: The Temple Salvagers?

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:04 pm

Dear Avacadi and Perpetual (and anyone else interested!), you absolutely can become Lamplighters. It's one of the volunteer opportunities on playa that takes the least pre-planned commitment.

I could easily divert this thread to an impassioned description of how easy it is to become a Lamplighter, why we need you, and why we'd love to have you any night, but instead I'll direct you to my yearly thread: viewtopic.php?f=468&t=77616&p=1113534

As for gifts of Man ashes, Temple ashes, or anything dragged therefrom... I'm a decided 'meh' unless they have personal meaning for me, such as described above. But then I think this is true for most people: if the things they recover mean something to them beyond mere trinkets, I won't tell them not to go for them.
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

- Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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JohnnyA
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Re: The Temple Salvagers?

Post by JohnnyA » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:19 pm

BoyScoutGirl wrote:Every year the Lamplighters place broken/malfunctioning lanterns in the temple, often just before the temple is cordoned off. We place them with particular villagers in mind - each lantern commemorates loved ones lost or hardships faced and passed through.
Thanks for posting about that! :D

I've only just found this thread, and I want to thank you for the great gift of teaching me about another piece of Playa Beauty that I wasn't aware of.

I don't *think* that I saw you guys placing your lanterns this year (I was in the Temple for Sunday's Temple Closing shift) but I'll certainly look out for you all next year.

I went by the Temple on Monday, after so many amazing volunteers from all departments had turned up to enable the Temple Burn to happen, and the metal fence was still up, with rather tired-looking Rangers on duty protecting the perimeter.

Did you guys ever manage to retrieve the lanterns this year?

BoyScoutGirl wrote:I could easily divert this thread to an impassioned description of how easy it is to become a Lamplighter, why we need you, and why we'd love to have you any night, but instead I'll direct you to my yearly thread:
Now that I know that it's so easy to volunteer with you guys, I'll have to join you at-least once next year. ;-)

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Avacadi
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Re: The Temple Salvagers?

Post by Avacadi » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:35 am

Would be interesting to know..
I went over to the temple after it had burned and was promptly turned away. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed post temple burn until that moment.
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Re: The Temple Salvagers?

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:33 pm

I remember that we were not permitted to scavenge the lanterns the night of temple burn this year; our guys in firefighter gear were turned away. My memory is a bit hazy, but I believe they might also have been turned away Monday morning only to pick up the lanterns later that day. As you can imagine, we're very determined to retrieve those lanterns for our villagers.
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

- Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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