Heading to My First Burn — and Finding Joy in the Ephemeral
In a few days, I'll be heading out to my first Burning Man and joining 80,000 people in a temporary metropolis in the middle of the Nevada desert.
I'm feeling super excited.
My wife and I decided just a week ago that we'd go to the Burn. In fewer than seven days, we've manifested tickets and a lovely camp (Connect Moar, 4 o’clock on Center Camp) with the help of friends and strangers in what's felt like a whirlwind of magic and serendipity.
And we've been prepping for what I imagine will be the shared adventure of a lifetime.
I've been intrigued about Burning Man ever since Candace described it as one of her most life-changing experiences on our first date.
The day after she got home from the 2019 Burn, she felt so clear-minded during her meditation that she got the inspired idea to invite me to her upcoming birthday gathering.
By then, we’d only met once briefly before.
At that birthday celebration, we shared a beautiful dance together — one that was intimate, playful, sensual, and sexy and lasted well over half an hour — and a kiss on the dance floor that kicked off our epic love story.
I proposed 4 months later, and now we’re over a year into being married.
And so something about Burning Man impacted her in a way that made our love story possible — and I'm curious to find out what.
I've also wondered for a while about the ephemeralness of what's created at Burning Man.
What makes people so excited that they're willing to spend months or years preparing and building art and installations that last for only a week — some of which even get burned down?
The wondering relates to an inquiry I've had ever since I entered my 30's: What's the legacy I want to leave in the world?
My intentional exploration of that question has led me to write a book. It's led me to decide that I want to raise children. It's helped me understand that it's the ripple impacts I leave on people's lives — as opposed to any artifacts — that truly matter.
Throughout that journey, I've noticed my own bias in investing energy toward activities that feel long-term oriented and sustainable.
Those are helpful qualities for creating legacy, but over-indexing on doing long-term and sustainable things has also made some of my choices seem “heavier” and more consequential, with a need to make the “right” time investment.
Sometimes, that makes a long-term decision feel like moving a battle rope. There's so much weight and consequence attached to a decision that choices become harder to make.
And so, as I approach my first Burn, I'm wanting to learn some more lightness as it relates to decision-making.
My main intention is to:
Discover the joy, magic, and play that are possible when we savor and embrace how ephemeral the things in life truly are.
I imagine getting a transmission of how people find play and joy in the journey of creating beautiful and awe-inspiring art that lasts only for a brief moment in time will help fuel and inspire finding play and joy in my own journey.
And, along with that intention, I also want to take some time to celebrate the deep love that my wife and I have created so far in our lives.
See you on the other side.