One of the unique events at Burning Man is the burning of the Temple on the last day. Every year a temple is errected and meant to be a place where burners can leave photos, notes, words, trinkets…anything they want to be burned on the last day. Walking through the temple can be quite solem and heartfelt. Many people leave photos of loved ones that have passed. Others try to leave thoughts, fears, or negativity behind. One memorable collage I saw was of a woman who had gone through a divorce. She taped the wedding rings to a note saying that their marriage was meaningful and now she was ready to part ways.
I left a stuffed animal given to me by an old friend. When I moved to LA I hoped to have a friendship with her again, but that didn’t seem to work out. It had been a sad part of my life. I went through thoughts that I had not done enough or tried hard enough. Or thoughts that I had made the wrong moves or said the wrong things. So by leaving the animal at the temple I promised to let it go and move on. Maybe in the future we can discover a new friendship, but for now I won’t be sad about losing the old one.
On the last day we had so much to pack up, that the temple started to burn and was a large cloude of smoke by the time we realized what was going on. Richard and I rushed to temple, hastily parked our bikes and ran into the crowd. He gently made way through the silence and led me to a spot where we could sit and reflect on the burning.
I breathed in and breathed out. And let it go.
Thank you for leading me through the silence.