If you think about where humanity seems to be headed, you will realize that storms are coming– metaphorical, like the economic meltdown, or literal, like the intense weather due to climate change. In stormy weather, it’s better to be together, helping each other survive each challenge. In some ways, community is the only real security. Have you ever called on your friends in hard times?
Our annual pilgrimage to BurningMan teaches us about the challenges of surviving in a harsh environment. Because we are prepared, we have a glorious time even in the midst of a storm. As a crew, we supply our camp with water, food, fire, and shelter. We take time to celebrate our human rites and to enjoy the communion of dinner just before sunset. It is a good life for the 10 days we are together. What if you had this kind of community in your regular life?
One of the most memorable moments from BurningMan 2010 was staging a satellite photo opp with people lying down in the Cleu Labyrinth. I arrived at the appointed time, looked around, and saw no one. Someone gave me a megaphone, so I began to call for Cleu people anywhere to “Come lie down in the Cleu!” I felt a little ridiculous, but I decided to just go for it. With 4 minutes to go, there were only a handful of people ready to participate. Suddenly, from every direction along the Esplanade, the people who had promised to come showed up, and we soon filled the circles of the Cleu. Lying next to each other on the dusty playa, singing the Cleu anthem with call and response, we all felt the power of the circle.
Getting people to take time out of their busy lives can be challenging, but the power of meeting face-to-face is the only way we can ever see the same vision. Find people willing to show up weekly to meet in circle, and you can do anything. Choose an intention; share resources and responsibilities; build infrastructure. Celebrate music, art, drum, dance, song, and story. Meet monthly or bi-weekly if you can’t meet weekly, but show up. Don’t give up. Spread the word.