So all week I have been thinking of things that I can write about and almost had something but then changed my mind at the last minute. In case you were wondering, I was going to write some stuff based on the movie I just watched- Deja Vu starring Denzel Washington. Anyone see it? Y/N?
The entire movie itself is pretty awesome and I loved the ideas behind it, only I realized that if I wrote what I was originally going to write, inspired by the movie I would just end up spoiling the movie for everyone. Plus, once I started to write the newsletter things just weren't going how I wanted them to.
Anyways... that brings me to my newsletter today which is going to incorporate something I've been wanting to talk about in some form for awhile, and something else which I think is incredibly awesome.
Ok, enough rambling.
Lately I think a lot of my newsletters have involved the same underlying theme, if you will, although I don't know if many of you noticed it. The theme being creativity.
For awhile now, and this probably doesn't pertain to just me, but I have been trying to figure myself out. What do I want to do in life, what do I want to accomplish, and probably most importantly to me, what kind of impact do I want to have? I mean, I go to school, get great grades, write papers and research topics and do a ton of extracurricular stuff all to get into a good college and find a stable job but lately it just doesn't seem like enough.
Or rather, it seems like too much.
I acknowledge that going to college and finding a good job is my best bet if I want to live a stable life. Sometimes though, I'm just not sure if that's what I want. What I do know is that I want to have an impact- on one person, or many, on a city or a town or an entire country. And I want to do it through my creativity, which, for me is my writing.
In society there are many jobs which are essential- doctors, firefighters, police officers, factory workers and farmers. These are the jobs which form the infrastructure of our society. They build, and protect, and provide for all our basic needs and help keep society running.
The one thing however that they don't do is make life worth living.
The people who do make life worth living are those who live creatively. Where would we be if not for the artists? The singers and the dancers and the writers and the free-minded people who make us think, and appreciate art and imagine things we only ever could have dreamed were possible. I know I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't read the books I've read, or heard the music I've heard. Its a person's ability to take their own thoughts and opinions and ideas which keeps life interesting and helps us progress forward.
That's why I'm afraid of the future, of my future. I'm afraid that I'll get trapped in a life like the ones that my parents lead, and that so many in the world lead today. A life where money dictates success and where I am controlled by someone or something else, whether it be my boss or someone else.
I don't want to die without first experiencing the world and doing my part to change someone's life somehow.
I know that may all seem like a lot of rambling to you, but it leads nicely into the next part of what is shaping up to be a ridiculously long newsletter.
Something else I really wanted to talk about in this newsletter is the Burning Man festival held every year in the deserts of Nevada.
Having never experienced Burning Man for myself, I can guarantee that I am not going to do the festival justice in my descriptions of it, but I really want to talk about what the festival kind of is.
Every year in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, a termporary city is created. It is called Black Rock City and for one week is the temporary home of tens of thousands of people from all over the country and the world. According to burningman.com it is "dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance."
Burning man is a city where there is no money. You are not allowed to buy anything (except for the ice and coffee sold there), although you are allowed to give gifts. Burning Man is a community where people come and express themselves through their creativity and art. It's a community of people who aren't there to judge anyone else. They are there to create art, and experience art and live in a society (albeit a temporary one) that's not dictated by a set way of thinking or living or doing.
I found a few quotes from a book about Burning Man on Google Books that I am going to share with you from someone who has actually experienced Burning Man, because I am sure they can do a better job of it than me.
"It’s a civilization that by the mutual agreement of all attendees has almost no commerce and is dedicated purely to creativity and play, where the standards of normal life can be inverted or ignored in the pursuit of fresh experiences and fresh identities."
"Because everyone puts so much effort into providing flash, entertainment, and bizarity for the delectation of all, every day at Burning Man is so packed with everything life has to offer—love, freely elected creative work, partying, learning, improvised zaniness, drugs, challenging conversations—that your sense of normal time is shattered. A flood of glorious superfluity washes over you, and each day and each night seem an eternal reoccurrence of everything both wonderful and terrible about life in a human community."
Burning Man is a place where it is not out of place to see works of art like this:
There are many things to do at Burning Man, like experience a show by fire-performers, or a performance by a group of circus performers. Everyone at Burning Man is encouraged to be a participant, rather than an observer. Here are a few more pics of things one might typically experience at a Burning Man festival:
Finally, at the end of the week a 40 ft figure of a man is burned, just as the festival's name describes.
I know I haven't really done justice to an event that encompasses so many things and so many themes, but I thought the idea of the event itself tied into what I was talking about earlier with creativity and not letting yourself become constrained by the norms of society. One day I fully intend to go to Burning Man and experience it for myself, probably with my little sister and Lauren Pi who both want to go as well.
Anyways, this has been an insanely long newsletter, but I hope you have enjoyed it (if you could make it all the way through!)