Note to Marcia...greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Garden : One Thread
To Marcia - A "thank you"...from the notes to you that I revisited, edited and sent on to her as a share.
I wanted to say "thank you" for being so warm and welcoming to me. I had a ball making lanterns with you. I wish we'd had more of a chance to visit, but I know you all were busy and had things planned. OTOH, I know how the world is at times, and how much fun it has with us wee mortals, and so if we're destined to party - well, hell, look out, yes!?!?
I had a great time in SF, thanks to an itinerary another Burner, Dan Henklein, fleshed out for me. In my notes I wrote a bit about my time in the BM office - nothing special (and I hope I got names right, for I see faces quite clearly today!), but I thought I'd share them with you, for the art of all of you made its own sort of lantern that lingers in my mind and still makes me smile. Feel free to pass on to my other new friends if you'd like.
PS - I had an idea for the caterpillar foam...I'll send when I get pics developed if you're interested. Let me know...
On Catching Light
May 26, 2002
I'm at the new Burning Man offices for the first Crafts Party for 2002 Center Cafe. Our job is to make lanterns. I like the vibe F2F. There's:
Marcia - a Nimue, raising the Sword of Art up from a lake of scrap.
...Decor priestess: an amazing sense of systems and pattern and how it will all go together, happily, freely, cheaply, uniquely, and hopefully not end up in the fence. I thought she was good with the math. An artist who parses well gives hope to the world!
She was quick on the calculating when we rolled out the painted groundcover from "Azteca" to get dimensions for the Cafe's footprint.
"Do you think everyone will know it's from Azteca?"
"And why not? How wonderful of them to donate this so that it can live another life!"
"Isn't that what the Burn is about?"
"Yes. There could be a Reincarnation List to acknowledge the donors of great things from past events - this gift from Azteca could be there, too."
Jordan - the Muscle
...Opening the container, we find the Archives. Not the Azteca mat. It was his body mass, at just the right angle - "In and Down" we said; "In and Down" - that could press the lever hard enough to turn the metals securing the door of the wrong container. We went to the other container.
Dana - Center Cafe
...She's warm, warm, warm like a tropic sun. Outside in the afternoon bright, with *That Band* on the flatbed playing a song that was still interesting to dance to (but would be played fifty more times after that, and only be tolerable when heard barely under Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon"), Dana was moved by strange forces to roll about Azteca's glyphic cosmogram and assume the first-layer-of-Playa-Dust position.
Marcia reminds us to wash up after connecting so intimately with god-knows-what sorts of biological organization in various states of decomposition on the floor of that revelling Azteca mat, and I reflect on the vector of Burning Man as a nexus for infection - viral, memetic, energetic - connection, and I contemplate the difference between the "in", the entrance, the penetration of the one and the "con", the with, the alongside of the other.
Rebecca makes extremely, very, incredibly, wonderfully, exquisitely good cookies.
Heather - "Camera Girl"
..."You'll see two legs and a camera and a very little costume in between." Knowing what to record, what's important, what elements to capture is a key to endurance. There's a determinism in the equation of recording history, and right discernment can set the parameters to echo indefinitely when value is stored well and displayed for the whole.
I ask her about the white board in the meeting room, with "Reese's Vulnerability" and various formulas that I don't remember (the marriage of Sucronite and Caramellium stands out in my mind, though lacking the necessary logical conclusion of "Snicker's" at the end of the reaction chain), and then I add my own quick little graffititique to the bottom corner of the board, a recursive equation and my spiraling periodic table - kilroy was *there*...
The *Leave No Trace Lantern*... Will it?
It's a challenge. We've laundry hampers to transform into lanterns, and a pile of scrap to attach.
What is the sound of one person planning?
"The materials at hand should suggest something."
"The material in greatest supply should be chosen first."
There are two - one fabric I like, and one long, long, long strip/wad of foil I'm a bit confused by. I look and cut and afix in a pattern that clings to the wire bones of the hamper for durability, suspends pieces to perform the function (obscure the bulb), and then ties everything down in order to Leave No Trace.
Hmmm. Obstacle. The donated fabric-in-plentiful-quantity has strings. Short strings. Long strings. The integrity of the matrixed weave de-warps and de-wefts into Potential Playa People-Poo. P4. A string theory unfolds.
I pull and strip and knot and unweave, my fingers touching every thread that may come loose, and pulling on it until it doesn't. I reach a point where I cut no more, for each scissor-cut takes more than I need, and starts a new thread unravelling. I pull by hand alone, fingers feeling for each loose thread that may come loose, and tangling it into the work, the mass, whenever I can, trapping it like kelp flotsam-nets catch sea foam.
I work to be able to say, "All strings are attached". Just like when We find ourselves in a community, we may look loose, even dangerous, but we are firmly attached to the whole.
I find myself making more than a hamper lantern for Center Cafe. I find myself in an artist's light, making a lantern to reinforce and thank the Earth Guardians for their efforts to look deeply and gently at the most common pattern of a peopled mass coming onto the Playa, and their continuous (witness the extensive and passionate archives of the EG list) work to discover, articulate and utilize that fulcrum place that will move them - us - to Leave No Trace.
It's time to finish. I push to comb and knot and free. I shake the lantern. Ooops, one more ragged edge. I'm not sure I can get them all, but the effort is here...I wonder if god feels this way about us?
We finish the Crafts Party. 20 lanterns are made. I stay for the clean-up and the final connecting wrap with the ladies who hold things together with their warmth and commitment to beauty - the "Bread and Roses" gang, for yes, we want freedom, but we need bread, and roses, too!
I make a mental note of where to find each of them when I hit the Playa in late August, and I know I'll want at least one moment when we stand there (or lie, as the case may be) in the Center Cafe, enjoying an Ambience Wave that was fashioned, in part, in that small room of tables, strings, scraps, shared scissors and smiles, connected to all of those flashes of mind that produced a series of artistic phase-states roiling Eastward, and Westward, North, Down, In, and South, out onto a desert - building a Beauty that dives straight into the Burn.
"...One of the comforting features of life in this world is that whatever a man has to offer he will somewhere and sometime find a hunger that will be satisfied by his offering -- if he lives long enough. But even if he doesn't, the means of recording his testimony and demonstration in behalf of a new liberality are still available -- manuscripts and records; he then has the satisfaction of having endeavored to exert some small influence. ..And whether he is a "representative" individual is not particularly pertinent -- the fact that he is a human animal is enough."
--Harry Partch, "Genesis of a Music", 1949
-- Anonymous, June 01, 2002