Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mini Vinny Meets "The Man"

So it's been yet another long wait between posts. My excuse...Burning Man. Yep Mini Vinny's latest excursion was a road trip down the West Coast of Canada and the US. Final destination...Burning Man Festival in Black Rock City, Nevada, USA.

It was a long planned trip and fun was had by all. For those who don't know about Burning Man, it's an amazing, inspiring and super duper creative place where everyone fits in and art is the name of the game. Radical self expression is encouraged and sometimes even enforced. To find out more about Burning Man Festival check out their site HERE.

At the Burn there are two main events. One is the burning of a giant stick man that is filled with fireworks, lights and other pyrotechnics. Each year there is a theme for the festival and this year is was "Metropolis". When the "Man" burns, it's a night of letting go and letting loose. Chaos pervades but the community of Burning Man is never lost. People run, dance, walk and even roll wild.

The following night is when The Temple burns. Now, where the "Man" is about energized celebrations, The Temple is quite the opposite. It's a place where over the week of the festival people go there and bring pictures of loved ones, pets, friends who have passed on or maybe couldn't have made it for other reasons. People write on the walls things they wish to let go of, whether that be conflict or negativity with someone or themselves even. It's a place of connection. On the Sunday, the day after the "Man" is burned, The Temple is burned. Instead of having 56,000 people running around and going wild like the night before, you have those folks gathered, sitting in a giant circle around the Temple structure. It is quiet when the Temple burns. It's a time to reflect, let go of whatever it was you were holding onto that was bringing you suffering or something you just needed to be free from. As The Temple burns, people openly say their goodbyes to whom or what ever.

That night, I had one young gentleman who was standing close to me, ask if anyone would like to toast to his brother who had passed away recently. He told me that his brother had brought him to Burning Man for the first time years ago. He told me his brother was his hero. I didn't know this man or his brother but we stood by the fire, toasted and talked with his brother's favorite drink. This is a place where strangers don't exist. The commonality of the human experience is all one needs to apply and be a part of the Burning Man experience.

The day prior to the Temple burning I placed the Mini Vinny that I had brought on this trip, in the Temple For me it was a symbol of the growth I have made in the last year. A shedding of a past skin that I had outgrown. The joy and connections I have found via Mini Vinny and the rest of my paper toys has and is amazing and I am so grateful for it. In my travels I continue to meet people who have interacted and been positively affected by my toys. It is more than I could have imagined.

So here you are. A few pictures of the awesome and inspiring times down in Nevada. May you all continue or begin to find your creative voices. And may you all find your way to Burning Man or a festival of it's like, at some point in your life.


Paper Vinny