Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Watching a city rise from the dust - Burning Man
(image from Google Earth Blog )
My muse went to Burning Man last week because she couldn't resist watching people build the city. "Imagine watching a city being built by a thousand artists on a lake that's been dead for ten thousand years, with the sun and the alkali sucking the moisture out of their bones as they work." She sighed loudly, as if she were starving and had just smelled a fresh blackberry pie.
I smiled. "It sounds almost sacrificial. Must be an amazing sight."
"And at last I will see it."
I stopped cleaning my Camelpak and stared at her. "You've never been?"
She shook her head and sighed again, this time as if the blackberry pie had been taken from her. "No. I am a writer's muse." Rolling her eyes, she said, "I've never enjoyed the pleasure of time with a sculptor or musician's creative energy, so there's never been a reason for me to go. ... until now." She smiled.
"I'm pretty excited we're going, too."
She looked at my Burning Man ticket stuck to my bulletin board. "You've dreamed of going for so long."
"Years! But I've never had the chance, or the money, or the time... " I continued rinsing the bladder of my Camelpak, letting the bleach-tinged water pour into the sink. "I've either been in school, or broke, or busy raising my daughter. This is the year to go. Plus, it's extra special I'm going with my dad."
My muse grinned. "I like your dad. His muse is a little crazy, but he seems to like that chaotic energy. He's done some good work with her."
"Will she be there?"
"Of course. She's the one who suggested they go in the first place. She can't get enough of that Burning Man energy. There will be a large gathering of muses from all over the world, showing off their artists and inspiration."
I turned off the faucet. "I'm sorry I don't have anything to show off out there."
She waved her hand as if dismissing the thought. "Please. You have nothing to be sorry about. You yourself are the art I can display."
As I felt the stroke of pride in her words, and the excitement at the thought (I am the art), my muse suddenly stripped off her clothes and shook out her long main of black hair, her snakes writhing with excitement. She was beautiful standing in a sun beam, her skin gleaming with hints of gold and flame. "Time to go. See you in a few days."
"I'll be there."
And then she was gone.
I finished packing, thinking about my muse running naked across the playa, watching the city rise from the dust.