Call me Tapestry... As the date for Burning Man approached that long, hot summer, I became anxious about attending. It was a long way out there and back, and I had responsibilities at home. Conflicts loomed that threatened to keep me from attending. Still, I had the time, the money had been budgeted, and this would be my tenth year in the desert. If I never made it out to the desert again, I felt like I needed to go one last time.

The 2013 theme for Burning Man was "Cargo Cult." During World War II, troops descended upon tiny islands as the tide of war moved across the Pacific. The troops brought with them the wondrous and terrifying technology of the 20th century. The natives of these islands, many of whom had never seen modern technology, found this to be a miraculous event. Cargo would drop from the sky in parachutes, bringing amazing treasures. When the troops all went home, the natives longed for the return of these godlike people and their wonderful machines. They formed "cargo cults," worshiping icons depicting airplanes and battleships.

The natives embraced the Myth of Return, the idea that people more advanced than us were once here, and if we believe in them, they will return, and bring more wonders with them. The concept is older than World War II, and even harks back to the voyages of Odysseus. In modern times, the idea surrounds hyper-advanced space aliens who may have built the pyramids, seeded the Earth with intelligent life... and might someday return. The base for the Man that year would be a gigantic flying saucer, and many people headed for the playa playfully embraced the images of googly-eyed aliens and interstellar space people.

I spent that summer putting in applications for a new job. The day before I was scheduled to leave for Burning Man, I got a call from one prospective employer. They wanted me to come in and take a test that would qualify me for the job. The only option was for me to take the test the next morning. In years past, I tried to leave as early as possible, but this would be impossible. My departure would have to be delayed...
Prologue  Aug. 21  Aug. 22  Aug. 23  Aug. 24 
Sunday  Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday  Monday 
Sept. 3  Sept. 4  Sept. 5  Sept. 6 & Epilogue
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LINKS:  Cargo Cult   Burning Man 
Last updated: September, 2013