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August 21, 2017

there's a million better pictures than this

and none of them can match what it was
like to actually be there, but i'm posting
this glimpse as a reminder to myself of
how glad i was to have made the trip to
big summit prairie despite the negative
hype and my own misgivings about bad
weather, wild fires, and a lack of toilets
--none of which predictions came true.

i stopped going to burning man 15 years
ago because what had started as a force
for social engagement had, by and large,
degenerated into an insular party scene.
i longed for a gathering that emphasized
social justice and ecological awareness--
a tall order for a festival predicated on
$1,200 tickets and wanton incineration.

ok, maybe it's silly to describe this cosmic
event through the lens of fest comparisons,
but uncommon alignment was the order of
the day. the show in the sky was enhanced
by the convergence on the ground--tens of
thousands of people getting along just fine,
opening hearts and minds, laughing, crying,
hugging, holding space for reverence and
respect at the urging of indigenous tribal
leaders who called for silence and got it.

  after the darkness, a new day dawned.