Well, it's taken me years to come to this, but I am finally at a point in my life where I'm willing to make the sacrifices to do my first BM next year. Attending has been a dream/goal of mine since I first found out about the even about a decade ago. I figured now would be as good a time as any to get prepared and to begin thinking about all of the preparations, purchases and logistics in order to make it a reality. I'm not getting any younger.
A lot of other events I have attended or ran myself seem to have some of the elements of what I find attractive about this event. Specifically the concepts of a temporary com, munity based on concepts and a code of honor not found in traditional society.
I have already interested not only my wife (it wasn't that tough of a sell, although she will likely have to quit her current job to attend, which might not be a bad thing since she has skills and talents far exceeding what her current job requires and could probably find a new job for better wages upon her return), but also a few friends who, like me, have been teetering and pondering for years.
I have the means. I have the will. I have the love. The only person preventing ME from achieving my goals and attaining my own happiness is me.
I realize, too, that I am blessed enough to have the means and where-with-all to even consider attempting an endeavor such as this. I know it's going to be difficult and a strain not only on my budget, but on my body and my spirit. However, as I have learned over the short 28 years I've been alive, I have it pretty good. I am humbled and respect anyone who perhaps isn't as fortunate in the ways I am and who still manage to make the pilgrimage year in and year out. For that I am greatful and find true inspiritation and look forward to meeting and talking with as many of them and the other burners as I can.
That said, I want to say a quick thanks for everyone's comments bother here in the eplaya as well as to the organizers for putting together a very sensible and comprehensive website. I sense that information is the one true currency that will always be in play and it is the one currency most people often have a hard time giving up.
I have often held myself back from even considering attending due to the statements by veteran burners and outsiders who say, "Bah, why go. It's corporate," or, "it's not the same as it was N years ago," and other foolishness. No, it may not be the same, but like anything worth at least attempting to experience, I realize that this event is perhaps one of the most interesting explorations of a true organically expandinding and thriving community. I sit here on my porch now looking into the street in my relatively safe and comfortable neighboor in a quiet suburb on the outskirts of Cleveland and realize that right now I have spoken perhaps less than a dozen words to any of my neighbors. I am afraid to talk to them... afraid to to make contact if only because I don't want to be perceived as the "weird neighbor".
Being a renter, I less feel a part of my own community. This isn't mine, it cannot be mine, so why should I try to make it mine? Burning Man offers me to opportunity to make from nothing that which I admire, desire and, more importantly, NEED the very most. People. Not necessarily people whom I share a common background with either in socio-economics, trade or interests, but people whom I share a central need to at a minimum survive and beyond that thrive.
I am sorry for such a long post, but I felt it important to remind the jaded that while a lot of the newbies coming into the scene may be coming for the wrong reasons, there are still folks like me who want to make an honest effort to be contributing members of something bigger than myself in a place where I can contribute a part of my very being and know that, at the end, the results of which will likely be permanently swept away on the playa grit. The driving force will be knowing that the REAL mark will be left on the people I meet and touch along the way, and who touch and enrich me as well.
Wish me luck, you will probably see more posts from me over time. I appreciate your patience and understanding.