Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Burning the Ground, Addendum

In my first Burning Man post I talked about how LaLa built a temple and I wanted to tell you all about it but I was in a pretty ridiculous head space last week and I knew I wasn't going to write about it with any sensitivity.  I'm really hoping I've gotten over myself enough now.

Temples at Burning Man are gorgeous impermanent creations that, like the Man, are burned.  Sculptor David Best has created the lion's share of them over the years as spaces for grief and other sacred moments.  There've been weddings at the temples.  Mostly they have remained powerful places to connect and grieve for people and dreams lost.  Again, NOT work safe but silent and beautiful.

On March 25, 2006 a very angry man tore a wound in Seattle's Capitol Hill.  In the months following that event Ignition Northwest and David Best charged a group of Seattle artists and Burners with creating that year's temple which they called the Temple of Light.  "We took the gift we were given at Burning Man and took it to our city," LaLa told me. 

The Temple sat in Seattle Center for a month allowing the community a place to mourn.  People left mementos and messages.  When it made it's way to Black Rock City Lala said that "we were taking the gift back to Burning Man."  The temple complex included an inner door  from the house where the shooting took place.  Like all temples it was burned, releasing the community's grief. 

That's all I have.  What can I possibly say after that?  Sometimes the best comment is silence.


  1. I'd heard of this but didn't know exactly what it was. Thank you for sharing.

  2. You're was definitely fun to write about!


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