Nowhere To Now Here: Images from Burning Man. ~ Larkin Carey

Via elephant journal
on Sep 21, 2010
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Illumination at Burning Man.

We crave something; all of us, yet most of us are unsure what it is.

We come for what we think we want: to dance, to trip, to love, to express, to build, to burn. But in the background changes are occurring: awakenings, transformations; we can’t help it.

I stirred and sat up.

The fire-warmed ground that had kept me comfortable all night was losing its radiance as the remaining flames from the Temple Burn dwindled.

The air was fresh with the smell of a new life—a life without limits or walls—but, still, the chill of the pre-dawn movements made me shiver. I pulled the orange and blue fur blankets closer and adjusted the green fur cloak to cover my nakedness and settled back down next to my dozing companion.

The last morning of a week in a different world slid up beside me just like that. A man walks by on stilts and a spider suit, defying form normalities and height limitations; a rolling house meanders along dolling out cookies; a spaceship glides by accompanied by the sound of a diesel engine; someone does yoga on the open playa and a few dancers greet the sun from within a circle of fires.

Far off through the dusty haze of morning a huge flower was visible towering above a nearby dome. The thump of bass rode the morning sound waves reminding waking citizens of those who hadn’t finished their night yet; cycles overlapping, beginning, ending, continuing.

Why did we come here?

The desert is an unnatural place, hard to survive in, dirty, dry, alkaline, lacking in basic necessities to sustain (physical) life…


Humanity’s spirit flourishes here!

We crave something; all of us, yet most of us are unsure what it is.

We come for what we think we want: to dance, to trip, to love, to express, to build, to burn. But in the background changes are occurring: awakenings, transformations; we can’t help it.

Slowly, as the week settles in, and the unnatural becomes home, doors open, walls crumble, and we come together dancing something greater than what we showed up with. We begin to trust in “Us.” A chance meeting turns into a flourishing friendship; a wrong turn turns into a right turn.

A lost being realizes the difference between being “nowhere” and being “now here” is just a pause and a deep breath.

Black Rock City becomes a family, and in the nexus of aware, intentioned, and open people impossibility becomes possibility, and life becomes glorious!

The glow is obvious in each passing human. We walk around with the biggest grin on our face that says “ohmygosh I can’t believe this is really happening. I’m right where I’m supposed to be; I can see the whole universe from here, and it is beautiful!

Burners see this and shout “Newbie!”

And everyone else sees this and shouts “F**king Hippie…!”

But both heckles are in jest, because passion makes people smile and, for a second, see the world as I do: beautiful. Hopeful. Fresh.

The resultant power of right people, right place, right time, right thing, is felt worldwide. It is a mending of the fabric of humanity: tattered and warn becomes bright and fresh, a precious stripe of color between the dust of the mundane and the winds of the default.

Larkin Carey

Larkin Carey: riding the (slack)line between high-speed-science-rescue-adrenaline-adventure and the deep universe within a single breath. Boulder, Colorado is the base for both sides of this wooden nickel. I’m a Volunteer Firefighter, Optical Engineer working on JWST, climber, slackliner, community creator all in for new ideas and changing the world! My regular writings are here


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6 Responses to “Nowhere To Now Here: Images from Burning Man. ~ Larkin Carey”

  1. liz says:

    2010 was my first burn after 7 loooong years of wanting and trying to go. thanks for writing this. it brought tears to my eyes, made me homesick and strengthened my resolve all at once. 🙂

    and yeah, i had more than one person yell "fkn hippie!" at me. :X

  2. ali says:

    love this, lark. an insightful illumination. Good to see such great writing on Ele!

  3. Larkin says:

    Thanks Ali! Writing is such an incredible way to process experiences and follow new paths. Ele is a great for all of us looking at the same beauty to share our observations and create completeness.

  4. Larkin says:

    The two mirror posts to this in a series of three: Illumination, Navigation, and Celebration as well as the rest of the set of pictures from this trip. I had a really hard time getting my thoughts to be cohesive, so I split them into three distinct posts.

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