Monday, September 17, 2007

Burning Man 2007: Temple of Forgiveness


I spent a lot of time in open playa this year. I found myself riding farther and more than last time, my legs expertly sculpted after a week on the playa diet with the daily ten miles or more on a one gear bike, bumping down the road. (By Sunday, I was certain another ten feet might rip my legs from my body.) A lot of that is due to the art project we had placed in outer playa, but also because the art out there drew me in more than that in the city this time. I only spent one day actually in the temple, and it ripped me apart and I couldn't go back, but yet it can be spotted in more pictures in my collection than any other object, including myself. I had a very hard time expressing emotion this year, in a place where I held myself back, unable to handle the possibility of being comforted or questioned about my tears and anger. I didn't want comfort, I just wanted to feel my pain and found no place acceptable to do so except alone in the distance of this monument and it's beauty.

IMG_4645 IMG_4827

Thank you David Best for giving me this icon, this place that became the center of my thoughts, the apex of my internal debate. What is forgiveness and who do I need to forgive? Who needs to forgive me? I sat in a tiny corner of the temple and prayed for those that have no idea that I do them harm to forgive me. I let myself go to a place I had forbid myself to, and felt guilt I had previously refused to assume. I cried and snotted into a pink bandana, hoping for guidance, forgiveness for the hatred I feel. How can I ask for forgiveness for my sins when I cannot forgive those that have hurt me? I left offerings, wrote wishes, and asked to be cleansed of my pain.

IMG_4836 IMG_4834 IMG_4841

Somewhere over the rainbow sang out in perfect tone before she burned. A perfect selection for a week when we saw double rainbows fly over the city, and I felt the desire to fly just as high. It was amazing, beautiful, and moving, even if the entire crowd did not embrace the moment and descended into sporting event antics. It was not about the big fire, but the sending off of pain, wishes, dreams and memories. My memories. I bit my lip and held my tears and cried inside unable to express what was breaking inside me. My guilt cannot be erased, and even if it is an object controlling my life, I cannot forgive right now, and ache. But from those ashes rose my conversation with myself, a dialogue on these emotions and challenges raised from the destruction of the temple that served as my reminder of my struggles in the default world. It is a conversation that will continue indefinitely.


See more of my temple pictures here.

No comments: