"Hope and Fear: The Future"
Burning Man 2006
"Why should I longer with this tale detain..? --The Nun's Priest's Tale
Epilogue: People in the Middle Ages went on special journeys called pilgrimages to atone for past sins. Forgiveness from individuals was not always possible, for various reasons (such as from heartless, unforgiving people), but by going on a pilgrimage a person could still find absolution: the forgiveness of guilt and the removal of eternal punishment. It was the trials and physical hardships of the journey that compensated for the sins of the past. Through such a journey, a person could redeem, or reclaim control of, his soul. A pilgrimage is never just a physical journey, however-- it's a spiritual one, as well. In the medieval mind, the physical and spiritual worlds were one and the same. Heaven and Hell were very real places. In the modern mind, the labels might be different, but the mistakes we make can just as easily put us in a terrible place.  
We're all human. We all make mistakes... and those of us with a conscience feel bad about those mistakes. We look back at past mistakes and wish there was a way to make things right again. Deep down, we all know some kind of action needs to be taken to make life better.  The hardest part of that journey is, as always, getting started.  Facing our fears and taking that first step anyway can be a scary thing. Fear can move you, but not always in the right direction. Hope can carry you, but only so far. It takes more than just hope or fear; it takes a conscious, determined commitment, a decision fueled by the sum of hope and fear -- courage -- to take that first, cautious step towards a better life.  

I knew when I started out that this would be my last Burning Man, at least for a while. The fact made this a special journey for me. It was a milestone year for me in many ways, a time of introspection and new beginnings. I think I was wanting this trip to be a pilgrimage of my own: a journey of absolution to redeem my soul and purge the negative energy from within me. --And in many ways, I was successful. The physical and spiritual worlds merged, if only briefly, and issues that had been bothering me for a long time faded away. What some may call delerium others see as enlightenment. Apples and oranges. I left on this journey with a deep feeling of apprehension, that something awful awaited me. Indeed, it wasn't all fun and games. Yet, I took that first step, and when I returned, it was with a glad heart, recharged batteries and refocused perspective. I felt ...redeemed. I left full of fear, but returned full of hope.   

And with a taste for bacon... 

Introduction -- The Journey West 
 Tuesday -- Wednesday -- Thursday -- Friday -- Saturday -- Sunday 
Monday --  The Journey East -- Epilogue
All original content (c)opyright 2006  
by Tim Frayser 
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