9.20.2011

rites of passage: the temple of transition

this shall be the last of my burning man art curation posts for this year, and i purposefully saved this one for last.

this piece is the temple of transition...



it was an enormous collaboration by the international arts megacrew.

the temple is...

"a place of ritual and transition, a place where we both remember and look ahead, a place of ending and beginning. 

Vaulted, lofty, and delicate, five smaller temples surround a larger central temple. Within each temple a different phase of life is marked and explored. Altars and shrines abound amongst intricately decorated archways, windows, and walkways. 
Peacefulness, reverence, and reflection suffuse every aspect of the temples. Everyone is welcome, it exists for everyone..."

throughout the week, thousands of people visit the temple and write messages on the walls, leave artifacts and photographs, participate in memorial services, sacred music, marriages, meditations, celebrations...



on sunday night, the temple is burned to the ground...



spending time at the temple is always an extremely profound and emotional experience for me.

personally, i visit the temple for two important reasons: to say gooodbye and to say hello.

goodbye to humans in my life who have died. goodbye to relationships that have ended. goodbye to habits that need to go. goodbye to chapters in my life that are finished. goodbye to guilt, shame, and regret. goodbye to ways of being which no longer serve me...



hello to new adventures. hello to the next challenges. hello to another year on this globe. hello to fresh ideas. hello to exciting possibilities. hello to growth and change. hello to different stories, travels, journeys, friends...



the process is intense and i often avoid it until the end of the week.

this year, when i went to the temple, my arrival was quite overwhelming.

approaching a structure of such scale and intention which is filled with people meditating, weeping, hugging, rejoicing, writing, praying, and processing was quite a lot for me to comprehend all at once.

it literally took my breath away.

i walked up to it and gasped. my emotional response caused me to inhale sharply and start crying instantly.

it was a relief.

and it felt lonely.

as i stood there sadly sobbing into my dusty hankerchief, a tall guy with a triangular straw hat and a rainbow scarf made eye contact with me.

he instantly saw my forlorn face and opened his arms, gently offering me an embrace.

i walked right over to this complete stranger and hugged him.

he was firmly grounded in kindness and allowed me to cry with total abandon on his chest.

i wept freely. he simply held on until i was finished. i took a deep breath, stepped back, and smiled at him. he smiled at me and silently moved on...



it was a very special moment in my life.

after this interaction, i was able to find the strength to write my goodbyes and hellos on the walls of the temple. i took a marker, listened to the music of the gamelatron, wandered throughout the sacred space, and wrote my messages.

the whole experience was absolutely peaceful, profound, and liberating...



i wish each one of you an exquisite temple where you write your goodbyes and hellos and watch them burn.

here is a beautiful video which is a love letter to the temple...


{video via ian mackenzie}

7 comments:

Foxglove Lane said...

Absolute magic! I felt I really was there with you, a unique experience.....love the way people inscribe their heartfelt thoughts too.....thanks:~)

Mary said...

Today is World Peace Day and coming here to your blog and reading about this temple reminds me that peace comes from releasing these important hellos and goodbyes. Beautiful.

The video and pictures of this special place are stunning, as are your words. Thank you for sharing, Diane. Wow.

May peace find you on this day, and always.

Krystal said...

wow, that sounds like a really powerful/amazing experience...

jane louise said...

that is magical Dianne - i think that man hugged you on behalf of all of us that think you are amazing but haven't met you in person...

sara said...

magic. the temple is important for many people and for many reasons. sounds like you got just what you needed from it, and gave someone else the gift of the chance to comfort you. these are the stories that should be told about Burning Man

xo

diane said...

ca...reading the inscriptions is so incredibly powerful. they are heartbreaking, beautiful, insightful, poignant. such a gift!

mary...how lovely and sweet your words are, dear friend. your friendship brings me peace and i deeply appreciate it. xo

krystal...indeed it was.

jane louise...this is one of the most amazing comments i have ever read here at the inn. you brought the happiest tears to this innkeeper's eyes! i would love to meet you in person to thank you for such kind words.

sara...these are the stories that make me love burning man so much! they're the smaller moments that don't involve such spectacle, and there a million of them. tiny human moments of sheer brilliance. the playa sparkles with this stuff. xo

Simone said...

Hey thanks for using one of my shots for your blog post! Appreciate it, and also that you were kind enough to link back to my Flickr Steam.