Barton Stone's note and photos below these.
next - Gene de Smidt's photos of the zendo being
built by Paul Disco and crew of
Mayumi Oda paints the zendo
Vanja Hans Palmers straightens shoes outside zendo
Barton Stone's note and photos
Burning Man was way more than I expected. From accounts of
Sebastopudlian burners I expected a big party scene with lots of drugs,
sex, and rock and roll. What I found was an amazing gathering of
passionate designers, artists and craftspeople intent on taking their
crafts to the limit.
Of course there was partying too, but that really did not characterize
45,000 people converging across the playa for the burning of the man!
I was boggled.
I was not prepared for the experience of living with no commercial
hustle for a week. And it wasn't even a sesshin.
Trash disappeared into the bags of earnest non-uniformed volunteers.
Free snow cones and ice cream were distributed.
Social experiments were as numerous as technical/artistic ones.
Here we are assembling the cardboard zendo, with volunteer help from
passers-by. It went quite smoothly. The woman in the red shirt is an
architectural student from UC who has been working in our shop, and is
co-designer of the building with Paul, and did much of the hands on
work as well.
Vanja, with hammer, and two of his students.
Barton in the center and two diligent helpers get it up.
of my personas. C's daughters Rachel and Rosie spotted that
and sent it to me. Where else would I wear it?
art car. Arms and legs go up and down when it moves.
completed zendo was part of Entheon Village, sponsored by MAPS, a
psychedelic research organization. It was right on the main street,
and received many visitors. The formal meditation schedule was an hour
at sunrise, and an hour at sunset. For me, it was a great way to rest
and bracket the very exciting days and nights.
day the dust storm was so intense you couldn't see across the
drawing workshop by visionary artist Alex Gray in the big dome next
to the zendo:
Huge fireworks as "The Man's" structure burned down level by level.
Disassembling the zendo to load in truck and store till next year.
Ready to leave
So I am still flabbergasted and struggling to make sense of what is
happening out there.
Main question: it was obviously a pagan ritual sacrifice, but for
what? All the ones I know about were from agrarian societies to ensure
the agricultural year. What is this one for?
Next question: if we can relate in such an exciting, open, civilized
way in the desert for a week, why not in Oakland, San Francisco or
Sebastopol? What would it take?
Gene de Smidt's
photos of the zendo being built by Paul Disco and crew of
[these photos to come]