The hardest part about returning to a blog after a two month absence has got to be deciding what to say. “Hi honey, I’m home.” No, that’s not quite right.
It’s funny, there is this unbelievably strong temptation to share all the reasons I’ve been away from this blog and from SL in general, but for once I’m going to listen to that little voice that tries to censor me. Suffice it to say, I had no intention of being gone this long or quitting.
I’ve drafted several posts in my head; personal, meaty, in-depth posts about the oddness that is the passage of time in Second Life compared to the passage of time in real life, but again I’m going to skip those because as fascinating as these revelations have been to me, they really don’t need to be here.
My only regret is that I missed my one year anniversary of my blog and this Renoobed project. Bummer! For months I was looking forward to it, hoping for and preplanning a great anniversary worthy post, and then it passed unnoticed.
On the up side, I’ve returned just in time for Burn2 which comprised several of my early posts on this blog. I love that, it feels nicely circular and complete for some reason.
If you aren’t familiar with Burn2, I suggest having a look at their website http://www.burn2.org/ where you can find maps, lists of performers and activities and a history of what Burn2 is and it’s relationship to the real world Burning Man events. Daniel Voyager’s blog http://danielvoyager.wordpress.com/ is also, to me, one of the best place to find coverage of Burn2.
So what is Burn2? Technically a collection of six sims showcasing artists, performers, creators and the community. I know, sounds exciting right? The fact is I can’t give you a good description of what it is because it varies for each person. Someone exploring the sims to admire the builds may find the camps that are pretty much just RVs or tents to be disappointing. Those who are going to listen to DJ’s and performers might be frustrated if the person they want to hear isn’t on during their time zone. Pretty much everyone will have a comment about the lag. To me, Burn2 is all those things and more. I like the RV and tent camps as much as the incredible builds. I love when the stream changes as I move from sim to sim and accidentally discovering a new DJ or performer. I even laugh when I rez one of the many Burn2 vehicles to get around faster and find myself a victim of the lag monster.
One of my favourite parts of Burn2 is chasing the green mob. Do you know what I mean? Opening your map and finding the group of green dots and joining them. Many of us live a fairly solitary Second Life, or limit our interactions to a set group of people we’ve known for years. Burn2 is the perfect opportunity to meet and interact with new people, just for a day or in the case of my chance meeting with a group called the Happy Clams at Burn2 last year, it can be a virtual life changing experience.
Having become an important part of my Second Life it’s no surprise that I spent opening night Burning with the Happy Clams of Organica at their camp http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Burning%20Man-%20Black%20Rock/89/89/25
In addition to some familiar faces, my family really, I had the opportunity to dance shoulder to shoulder with creators I admire such as Mikati Slade and Glyph Graves. Where else can that happen? Last year there was even a Linden pulling an almost all nighter with us.
Without a doubt though, the best part of Burn2 for me are the Lamplighters. Last year I had an opportunity to join their group and participate and though I can’t be certain of my availability this year so I didn’t commit, I did manage to tag along with them last night for the procession and lighting.
There is something really moving about this experience, joining with a bunch of avatars to walk the grounds lighting the lamps and then gather to dance to the sound of drums as the flames take on a life of their own. My reaction was as visceral this year as it was last, it completely transcended the online or pixel experience into one that I’m sure is as personal to every Burner as is Second Life itself.
I’m really pleased with that picture. It’s difficult to capture motion and flame in SL photography, and though I could pick it apart and point out how my hand is cut off by the fire stick or that I should have smoothed out the waist, I’m leaving it as is because I really feel it captured the feeling I had in that moment.
Everyone is welcome so if you get an opportunity to participate or even watch the lamplighting, I highly recommend it. They gather here http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Burning%20Man-%20Black%20Rock/141/129/24 at 7 pm Oct 20, 21, 22, 24 and 26 and again at 2 am October 23 and 4 pm on October 25. From there the procession goes to the temple and dances.
Even if you can’t attend the lamplighting, be sure to drop by Burn2 between now and October 28 to discover what it is to you.
Burn2 Schedule of Events http://www.burn2.org/2012Events