Monday, January 31, 2011

Burning Man

I never heard of Burning Man until I met Joe & Bill. For three years I’ve been talking to them about Burning Man. They tell me mostly about the art. I am an artist, after all.

Joe is a quiet man. Like me, Joe is an introvert and reserved. I’ve always liked Joe: looking into his eyes, you know there’s a lot there to discover. I hope that’s what others see in MY eyes. I don’t know….

However, talking about Burning Man, he comes alive. “Jerry, you need to go to Burning Man. You’re an artist. You will love it.” “Tell me why as an artist I’d love it,” I say. We talked for hours about Burning Man and the art. And I fell in love with the concept.

I met up with Joe & Bill at another party. “So, did you go to Burning Man?” I asked. Joe entertained me the entire evening with stories of Burning Man. Again, Joe said, “You are an artist. You need to go. You will love it!” The “You NEED to go” captures my attention. I was not able to pull it together to go last year.

I Googled “Burning Man” and found a number of vids: all of it rather confusing yet intriguing. There is something off center about the whole thing. That alone, pulls me in. I think I’m a bit off center, too.

Joe & Bill are “burners” & have been to Burning Man for the past four years. I’ve met other burners who love it. I’ve not met a burner who did not like it. Each person I talked with had a totally different slant on what Burning Man is about. It is clear that Burning Man is not for everyone. My husband would hate it: no room service or CNN.

This year, I’m going. I said this last year but chickened out. No excuse this year. I visited Joe & Bill with specific questions based on what I’d been reading & hearing for the past three years. I wanted to know the basics of personal survival…. How do I heat water for tea? How do you shower? What are the camp arrangements? What, exactly, do I need to take to Burning Man to survive?

God Bless Bill… he’s as OCD as my husband. He e-mailed a spreadsheet listing vital information to take. His list even records the number of spoons required for the week! I feel confident, now, that I can go with everything I need for the week, including those spoons.

Last week, I purchased a used Huffy Beach Cruiser single gear bicycle and an oversized Zero-rated sleeping bag (both on the spreadsheet). There is a whole lot more I need to collect but I have months to do that.

Tuesday, I was having lunch with my husband & one of his colleagues. I mentioned that I was number 27,989 in the queue for Burning Man tickets. Oskar looked at me, paused, and said, “Why do you need to go to Burning Man? You can run around naked here!”

OK! Now, I see there’s a whole other side of Burning Man I need to explore! But I am in queue for a ticket!

While I’m obsessing about Burning Man, please take time to visit my website at Take a look at my artwork. Contact me if you want to buy one of my pieces or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157. You can call me

And thanks for listening!

Jerry L. Hanson


  1. I predict that you will love it, Jerry. If you're obsessing this early about the 2011 event, you'll be in good shape by August. 2010 was my first year, and I'd classify myself as an introvert as well. From the coverage you see on the internet, Burning Man isn't what you'd think would be a natural environment for reserved types, but there is a niche for everyone, and you'll find the inclusiveness and overall vibe intoxicating (no additional substances required) as soon as you hit the playa. I wish you well on your journey. Piss clear and see you on the playa!

  2. You will love it. I did even though I wasn't totally open to the experience because of my own personal issues at the time. It's a goal of mine to go back. Someday. I'd love to be local so I could build something or go in and help someone build something amazing. :) Being an east-coaster, I feel that was part of the experience I missed and would like to try to be a part of. If you want any more stories, I went in 1999. Wow, so long ago!