I’m stuck at home with a whiney Jack Russell, a fractious almost four-year-old and an interview question I just can’t face. I’m just back from the Playa, wishing I had never left. For five glorious days, I forgot about my career and read poetry to blindfolded janes and johns in a dusty desert bordello while my fluffer spritz’d ylang ylang scented water into the air and ran feathers over skin. Five days of forgetfulness and playfulness and creation that had nothing to do with money or success. Of not worrying why my agent and publisher weren’t answering my emails or why no one had signed a novel of such singular genius up at an auction at the LBF. Worrying it wasn’t so genius after all.
AfrikaBurn will do that to you. Unplug you from the rat race and show you that people are amazing, capable of creating wonders just for the fun of it, just because we can. Participating is a reminder that we’re naturally creative beings that love to share and express joyfulness, especially when it’s not attached to our modern concept of happiness; flatscreen TVs, fancy Mercs, injections of face freezing botox that strip us of expression as well as wrinkles. And when our creations, artworks that sometimes take months to build, monumental effort to transport into the middle of nowhere where there are no mod cons like electricity or running water, go up in flames, we’re reminded that everything is transitory and we should savour every moment.
Every year, when the Burn date nears, I’m filled with trepidation. I say I won’t be going, that it’s too much effort, that it’s exhausting. I complain about the ticket prices, and the amount of tickets on sale, but I pack far too much and go anyway, because some part of me doesn’t forget and wants to live in Tankwa Town forever. In spite of the dust and the long drop toilets and the freezing cold nights. Because humanity is amazing, given the opportunity. And the Burn is just that. The opportunity to be yourself without restraint.