Category Archives: Noises

Burning Man in Pictures XXVII: Spirituality and Truth

In our last post, our intrepid heroes had been exploring their inner 8-year-old amongst the dinosaurs and stars. Today, they go on a more spiritual quest.

Their first indication that this quest would be a more spiritual one was this scene that they came across:

A cross-cultural three-dimensional religious experience?
A cross-cultural three-dimensional religious experience?

We then stumbled across what purported to be the truth:

But what is inside?
But what is inside?

But what was inside?:

Oh!  It's me!  I'm the truth?  Selfies are the truth?
Oh! It’s me! I’m the truth? Selfies are the truth?

Me? I’m the truth? Selfies? The sky? Tell me! Wait…Uh oh…:

Uh oh...
Uh oh…



AUGH! [incoherent noises]:

AUGH!  [incoherent noises]
AUGH! [incoherent noises]

Our monstering[1] finished for the day, we headed towards our original goal, the Burning Man Temple. It’s a special place, for people to express their grief, to help them come to terms with things, a deeply personal place for each person. In the words of one of the builders:

“I went down and talked to [a large computer company] and they call their place a campus. They have a barber shop, you can get a haircut. There were three different restaurants, at their campus. I forget how many people are there, 2,000, 3,000 people. If you feed that information into a computer, for 2,000 people, at least three of them are going to have lost a family member. And they don’t have any place in their campus to address [that] and they want to profess that they’re building a family yet they don’t have a place to address the loss of a family member.”

“It’s like, when Burning Man built up that population, we all of the sudden needed that. It was just an obvious absence. There was a void that no one really noticed. They got the porta potties, they’ve got the police station, they’ve got the medical and they’ve got the Man. They just didn’t have a place for grief. And the Man kind of did grief for a while, but it was a mixture of so much celebration that it was hard to really have a quiet place.”

It’s another one of those places where it feels wrong to take pictures inside, so I only have a few pictures, all of the outside, from a distance. Here, you can see S on her way towards the back of the temple:

Heading towards a place of spiritual contemplation.
Heading towards a place of spiritual contemplation.

The 2015 temple[2], ‘The Temple of Promise‘, to us felt like a welcoming entrance, squeezing out the emotions you wanted to express, and almost rebirthing you into a treed garden. Here is the temple:

The Temple.
The Temple.

The imposing yet welcoming entrance, leading through the tighter and tighter squeeze of all of the memorials:

The Temple Entrance.
The Temple Entrance.

Until you emerge into the peaceful garden (on the left):

The Temple garden to the left, after you exit.
The Temple garden to the left, after you exit.

The temple is always[3] so full of emotions, people grieving, memorials, it’s difficult to put words to it. All I can say is that each time I have gone, I have experienced something. A catharsis for sure, but also something else difficult to quantify, or even qualify.

Next time, our intrepid heroes experience a type of comically large quotidian object, along with a poignant procession. Stay tuned!

[1]And photobombing.

[2]Interestingly, googling ‘2015 temple‘ (at least for me) returns pictures of the temple, and a bunch of irrelevant (to me) text results.

[3]Well, both times we’ve been there.

Onomatopoeia and Silly Noises

So, this one time, many years ago, S and I are sitting in the hospital. She’s mostly unconscious on pain meds, I’ve been sitting there beside her for the last few hours, amusing myself reading a book[1] or whatnot, and the nurse comes in, to kindly bring her her supper.

The nurse brings over the mobile table-tray thing, and rotates it into place.


The nurse moves it back.


“It’s him.” S says, from her mostly dazed state. “He’s doing it.”

I had apparently been semi-consciously making sound effects. “Making the world come alive” as S puts it.

[1]Probably my phone.