I almost didn't go because I have been traveling and partying so much. But unbelievably, my fifth Burningman was my best yet. Burningman is an annual week-long festival in the Black Rock Desert, 110 miles north of Reno Nevada. It's a combination of pagan harvest festival; thirty-thousand person rave party; costume, sculpture, and performance art extravaganza; and social experiment in radical self-expression. The playa, as the dry lake-bed is more affectionately known, is completely flat for miles and devoid of plants, rocks, and anything other than dust, wind, and blistering sun. From this canvas a city of imagination springs forth, blazes for a week, and then vanishes without a trace. Everyone is a participant; there are no spectators. Burningman's most distinguishing aspect is its lack of commerce: there is no vending on site. Instead people share what they have, be it water, jewelry, stories, music, or affection. It is a celebration of excess, and it will exceed all your expectations. If our civilization here on earth is like a slime-mold, a swarming colony of amoebae, then Burningman is the fruiting body, the spore-pod, the finest creation of the community lifted up on a stalk for all to see, to catch the wind, to live.

I camped with Lura Beaumont at the Blyss Abyss at 120 degrees and Bowsprit, home of the Rhythm Society. The centerpiece of our camp was a giant pink lotus blossom that we built, consecrated, inhabited, and no we didn't burn it, we carefully packed it away and took it home for next year. Yes, I will be back next year. For sure.

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