A trip to the desert, a trip to southern hemisphere, and a rather solemn birthday got me thinking.
I asked myself, “Aaron, what makes you happy?”
So, then I started writing.
Then I searched around the net a bit for inspiration.
Then I played a little basketball, had some supper, wrote some more, and took a nap.
In the end, my friend Danny Dover’s site – Life Listed, was all the inspiration I needed. He has put together a nice frame work with which to create your own list.
I wrote down all of the experiences that have made me happy in the past. I also wrote down a bunch of things that I think would be really cool in the future. I then gave a good measure of thought to when would be reasonable to complete it.
Having a list like this where I can see it frequently and also in public will help me with my decision making process. It’ll be good for making sure the tasks I am doing every day are aligned with the experiences I wish to accomplish in my life.
Radical Inclusion - Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
Gifting - Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
Decommodification - In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
Radical Self-reliance - Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.
Radical Self-expression - Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
Communal Effort - Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.
Civic Responsibility - We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.
Leaving No Trace - Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.
Participation - Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.
Immediacy - Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.
Intertwined with and beyond these tenets of Burning Man is an underlayment of it being a do-acracy, whereby you can do anything you want, but YOU will be responsible for that project and YOU will be its champion. No one else.
I was totally excited about visiting Burning Man for the first time this year and have a policy about being invited to a party – you never go with both arms the same length! In other words, you bring some thing..given all of the coolthings members of my camp had built in past years, I felt obligated to contribute ‘something’. A bike rack it would be! Along with the help of Holden Bonwit and Dan Busby and the gracious allowance of space from Syyn Labs, I crafted a rather shoddy portabicicletas . Hannah Montana high tops and all, it worked. It worked well and i was pleased.
It collapsed from nearly 3 feet down to approximately 4 inches with the removal of a couple bolts. Sweet.
I also built a hexayurt. Using this blueprint, I built a temporary home. I also added air conditioning. Using a duct fan, a honda accord air filter, and several angle ducts, my living quarters were a pressurized with clean air all week.
I decorated the inside with christmas lights and covered them and the walls with completely with white t-shirt fabric (bummer I do not have a pic). A tarp was used underneath the structure and taped on the outside to prevent any dust from entering and carpet softened it up on the inside. An air mattress with Sesame Street comforter and couple milk crates rounded out my living quarters.
Having the yurt provided a couple much enjoyed benefits:
Dust free, dark, and cool during the day
Warm and insulated from the wobble wobble (bass), to some degree, at night
Refuge when I needed it
Thank you Megan Dobro and Steph Goralnick for capturing these amazing photographs.