Preparing for Burning Man

And last week, unbeknownst to me, I began shopping for Burning Man. Interesting, since I don’t have a ticket for this year yet, and have promised myself not to buy one until I have a job and income again. And at that point, who is to say that my future employer might not be so keen on my being gone for a week come August/September, so better’d wait and ask them when negotiating being hired. But little did my shopping pay any attention to that logic.

I was at the Goodwill As-Is store, where all bad items go after not selling at the regular Goodwill stores. (I don’t know what happens to them after they don’t sell here. I believe they are shipped off to third world countries after this.) Things are laid out in bins, you pick and paw, stake out your territory and perusing pattern against the other shoppers who will poach your items if you leave them unattended. I walk in and there is a pile of silver boxes filled with boots. Brand new. Black. All man-made materials. I find my size. Good solid heel, no spikes or silliness to sink into dirt and dust, and nearly knee high. Perfect! And at $5, I will not care if the alkaline playa dust eats them alive. They will protect my feet from playa foot, and my legs from sunburn. Then I find myself a stash of ties. I have an acquaintence who has an artist friend who makes cell phone holders out of men’s ties, and I have been wanting to ask her if I pick out my tie pattern, perhaps the artist can make the holder for me? Or maybe I can figure it out myself. Maybe I can make a camera holder for myself then, as having a place to stash valuable objects out of any sudden dust storms is important at Burning Man. Next I come across some belts, and see a very cute cut-out belt with butterflies as the cut outs. I try it on over my clothes, and it is made for a much tinier waist, probably a girl’s, but the long thin strips extending past the butterflies makes it tie-able for a woman’s waist like mine. Black butteflies and black boots. I think I might be on to something. I found also a white bustier, a few silk scarves, some less bulky cargo shorts and skirts galore. I went in looking for skirts, since my staple black skirt no longer fits and meanders about my waist instead, and when next I have a job interview I want to look sharp, tailored and coiffed. So yes, while looking for more professional clothes in my size, for future jobs, I just so happened to purchase for a visit home to Burning Man. What of it? The two are not so contradictory, by any means.  And properly preparing for Burning Man is a round the calendar activity, believe it or not. The RVs in Reno are already all rented for that week, I can guarantee you. These days, they don’t even sell tickets at the gates any more, and you can’t get in without a ticket, so you are forced to plan ahead. No mere last minute spontaneity. Not to say you can’t get tickets at the last minute, since something always comes up for someone who had planned on going. Just it takes more forethought than just making the decision the week of.

So buying the right outfit in advance is a great thing, if one is planning on going. The weather being so unpredictable, it is best to have an entirely different set of clothes so if they are ruined by micro-fine dust that never seems to completely wash out, or blown away by random winds, or burnt or painted upon or lost, there is no terrible loss, only sacrifice to a great art and community experiment. And fire.

Fire, fire, burning bright, like a tiger in the night….

Temple Burn 2008, photo courtesy Neil B.

Temple Burn 2008, photo courtesy Neil B.

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2 Responses to “Preparing for Burning Man”

  1. gary Says:

    woohoo! white bustier from Goodwill and tall boots too!

  2. redroomsalon Says:

    Hey, that’s more clothes than some people wear out there. I have delicate, burnable skin to protect, you can bet I will be wearing more than boots and a bustier. Perhaps a bustle and bonnet too. Maybe each day I will choose only clothes with names sharing a common starting letter of the alphabet…..

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