Friday, October 1, 2010


One by one, we wave goodbye to a radiant beam of playmates and bake in their void.

We wait for an echo but it never comes.

No one wants to go, even though most of us could not survive another round of fire.  We played hard. We laughed more then we slept.  We soaked in every minute, every beat of the playa.

Dehydrated and baste to perfection, for 3 hours we hold our place in 5 lanes of exodus.

We listen to Black Rock radio, massage our aching muscles, recount our wounds and smile.

We relish the ruckus, the romp, the sustainable fusion and the magnitude of art we had the privilege of interacting with.

We feel glued to the people we camped with, stood in line with, and danced with.

From nowhere a man, holding his young child, approaches our car and asks if we would like some coffee.

He is not selling coffee, he is offering us HIS coffee.  He wants to make certain that we, perfect strangers, remain alert on our long journey home.

He offers us something strong.  Something to look back on...


A white cargo van inches its way up the right lane.

The driver rolls down his window and out POP 2 sets of adoring eyes.  Slick auburn hair, wide grins and long, sculpted noses - this team of miniature pinchers are begging to be noticed.

I bolt out of my seat and greet them with gusto.  Since pets are NOT permitted on the playa, this is a HUGE treat!

I welcome their licks and their sniffs.  I tickle their belly, rub the base of their tail and scratch that extra sweet spot just behind their ears.

I miss my dogs.  I miss the simple joy they bring. I am reminded of the love, loyalty and devotion they so freely give.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, the driver offers us a klondike bar.  A cold, refreshing, milky sweet treat!  Ice cream to top off a weeks worth of yummy good decadence.

A sparsely clad girl, with long, wind whipped hair, approaches our car and asks if we would like a black rock from the black rock desert. I silently wonder if this is ALLOWED, then quickly snatch the golf ball sized stone.

In this time of exodus, these gifts are more valuable then any gem.

A treasure map of pleasures, seared into our soul, proves that it was real.

When it is our turn to hit the pavement, we look both ways, then back again.

Our shadow grows tall, as the sun sets west.  We will be back.

If you paint it in broad strokes... it is physically and emotionally exhausting.  It is remorselessly cruel and challenging.  It is brutal.

But if you step closer... you'll see it is invigorating, validating, profoundly stimulating, fiercely delightful, fun.   

The creativity that fuels this city churns 365 days a year. 

It is dictated by the transcendental importance of our soul.

It is encapsulated in the hearts of those longing to be heard, to be seen, to be true, and to be one.

This is Burning Man.

photo's by Green Monkey
Green Monkey Tales © 2010 Shannon E. Kennedy

Here is a fun Burning Man 2010 video guaranteed to make you smile.
Great Job KJ and Stefan! 


  1. Great photos and summation of Burning Man! Great post, Shannon!

  2. Wow! It sounds like you had an amazing time!

  3. so glad you had a positive experience.
    I am still struggling with my camera loss.
    As an artist I feel like my fingers were cut off.
    I am not sure I will be going back next year.

  4. I'm keeping an eye out for your camera Jaybird! I lost a camera one year and I was upset for an entire year! that was the year 2 guys showed up from Denmark, dressed as cows to promote an event they were about to start called "CAN SLEEP" a music festival where participants could rent out giant cans of beer to sleep in! THEY WERE HYSTERICAL~! They had a giant inflatable cow on top of their RV. I abused there utters

  5. Marty - always a treat seeing your comment! perhaps next year, you can incorporate burning man into you bar crawl.

    Thank you Cheryl :)))))) as I often say... you get what you need at burning man - sometimes its not always what you want.

  6. The pictures are beautiful. It sounds like you had a wonderful time, that it fed your soul and you are now nourished until next time.

  7. I love your accounts of burning man and I SO want to go! Next year, maybe next year. It's only 1,500 miles :)

    Thanks for the comment you left, you are too kind :D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  8. I have thought of you several times and wondered how things went, hoping you were having a fabulous time. Sounds like you did.

  9. Great description Shannon... Lovely pics, so beautiful. The man was indeed very kind to part with his coffee!!
    You definitely had a good time out there:)

  10. Epic journey!! your pictures and description are very moving.. I especially loved the guy with the coffee pot and the cute blond boy and the pinchers!! their eyes are expresive and warm. I could almost hear the soundtrack of your chronicle (either the doors or van morrison) and the grand finale...This is Burning man... leaving us with a sense of nostalgia and accomplishment...

  11. it was hard for me to find a place to begin. so... I began and the end. :)

    I feel as though I could write for a year on what unfolded during my week on the playa.

    tears, laughter, opportunities!!! I love when I push myself and it pays off.

    thank you everyone for reading and commenting

  12. oh that was some wicked prose...glad he gave you works for me anyday...smiles. really enjoyed this...

  13. Brilliant post and pics...great to share a bit of your life affirming experience :)

  14. Great blog, great photos! I've never been, but if I go I'm bringing water melons.

  15. I love your writing, photography and documentation as a whole! One of my dear friends attends Burning Man and I can't wait to share your blog with him as well...

  16. That sky in the first photo is incredible!

  17. Love how your words and pictures capture the spirit of the event!

  18. My smile gives way to tears as memories flood my head. It was once again real, as you my friend are very real to me. It will be yet another new adventure next year! I am looking forward to “Rites of Passage.”

  19. So glad you found sweet playa moments in Exodus also... I loved Exodus this year. This was very sweet to read, and be re-delivered to that long traffic line, with magic hiding in the people, a kinda magic that seeps out here and there.... love and love love

  20. I'm sitting at work, reading this particular entry with tears in my eyes, a smile on my face all at once, reliving and missing the playa and camp, and all the wonderful untellable moments. Missing and feeling grateful all at once for the gift YOU shared with me that is Burning Man.

    Love love love



Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison