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At the End of a Long Drive

Shreesh and Neena Taskar

We didn't make the decision, the decision made us. On October 20th, 2007, we left our comfortable city of San Francisco to follow a simple algorithm - go North till the road ends then turn around and then go as far South. In between those two points was the stage, the timeline, the space, where we made things happen and things happened to us.

The past is fleeting and the stories, the sights and the feelings are perishable. One sees what one wants to see, and perhaps we are not capable of more. We saw that people are kind and helpful even if they were not materially rich. Some we could understand even though we didn't speak the same language, the motivations of others were incomprehensible even though we did. In the end fragments remain - the smell of roasting chocolate, a flock of snow Ptarmigians on snow, the creaking of the rainforest, the rough feathers of penguins, and the intoxication of Curanto.

So these are our stories. Every time you visit the site you will see a random post below. Each starts with Lo que pasa es que...

Burning Man: The Art

Temple of Forgiveness

of Forgiveness

The first in a series of Burning Man reports discusses the art. This is only one facet of Burning Man but the most important. This is why we go. (Map this!)

Every year a city rises from the flat expanse of the Black Rock desert. It is a city of art, exuberance, and wonder. The starkness of the playa provides a perfect canvas and a perfect stage for that which unfolds. And unfold it does for the playa is a chrysalis. Sculptures of gigantic proportions, heart thumping raves, mutant vehicles, and performance art all vie for the attention of the sleep deprived and exhausted participant. Every year, on Saturday, the man burns. Why they build him and why he burns is all left to the interpretation of the viewer.

The many phases of the man.
Some killjoy burned him a few days early but he was rebuilt!

Equally amazing art dotted the playa. A large oil derrick was surrounded by colossal figures praying to it as if it were a god, to indicate our dependence on the mighty crude. Gasoline, as much as you want, till it runs out. A tesla coil was in among the figures signifying… what the heck, tesla coils are cool, they don’t NEED to signify anything! By the temple two big rig intertwined in a downward spiral of dependence. For those ambitious enough to climb inside the big rigs there was a garden about half way up.

There is so much art that many days was insufficient to see it all.
Every night we slept at 2:00 AM, waking at 5:30 AM the next day.