Many have heard of Burning Man, an event that takes place in the Nevada Desert that produces pictures of folks looking like they are patching together a circus or taking part in a Mad Max recreation. It is a celebration of self, life, and the ability to sustain oneself for a week in what appears to be rather harsh conditions. There are other burns around the country and this year we are going to try our hand at Saguaro Man. The conditions appear to be less harsh and we are closer to home.
Considering we have never been to a burn a smaller venue might be well served? Open to new things, new ideas. I suspect that we just might learn something? We started following the Saguaro Man group before last year’s event. We even get to go to a Saguaro Man meet and greet / primer so we can have the best experience possible. We are electing to leave the doggies home for this event. So what did we sign up for?
There are ten principles of Burning Man and for newbies they stress that you should brush up and know these and understand them. They are:
- Radical Inclusion
- Decommodification (No Selling of anything)
- Radical Self-Reliance
- Radical Self-Expression
- Communal Effort
- Civic Responsibility
- Leaving No Trace
For me (Shana) my inner hippie gets to come out. I am hopeful that my inner cynic stays buried because the truth is most people struggle with complete and total acceptance of others, myself included.
I am embracing the ten principles and likely the only one I struggle with is radical self-expression. In theory this seems easy but in action, don’t we all question what others think of us? And for the man – what does this mean? I love him more than any other male being on this planet but he should not be allowed to outwardly express himself in front of others without some limitation. I have often found myself saying “stop it – they don’t know you” because I know that he is a good, kind, and the most giving man but if you do not know him well, let’s just say it can be interesting the things that come out of his mouth.
But onto the really important stuff… the gifting! I love giving gifts, big or small, it brings me such joy. If I see something that reminds me of someone I will buy it and pass it along at the next opportunity. With that said we have a couple of gifting things lined up and I cannot wait – one involves an art project for me which is fun but I am not the artistic one so I think this also gets to fall under radical self-expression. My box likely will not be as cute as it is in my head but then that is okay right? Because no judgement.
And now we get down to the real concerns, port-a-potties. Ugh I hate port-a-potties. Let us hope that the “leave no trace” principle is embraced in this area because at the end of week these structures have usually taken a beating. Radical self-reliance… uh huh….I am definitely bringing my own toilet paper.
Wish us luck, we are hopeful that this will be an extreme experience with a positive embracing of other human souls, because let’s face it I like my dogs way more than I like most people. Some of the folks look really talented and learning will be great fun.
Saguaro Man here we come!
Time to learn more? Informative website can be found here. Here is a video of last year’s event. I remember the weekend, and it was windy and cold. I think it is a bit later in the year this go around. Followed the group on Facebook. Looks like they made the best of it?