Be In The Moment

Photo by PleasureSean

I recently saw Daft Punk play at the Greek Theater in Berkeley and beside the fact that the cheeky French duo’s light show blew my mind, i couldn’t help but notice the sea of glowing blue-hued screens of cellphone and digital cameras capturing that particular moment of the concert.

It increasingly feels like we as a culture are becoming more preoccupied with capturing a potentially “special” or “unique” moment on some sort of recording device in an age of YouTube and MySpace, where everyone is jostling to be noticed and recognized among the masses just to say “I was THERE!”

While I definitely like the concept of recording those special moments to relive again and again, there’s no arguing that a digital rendering simply cannot recreate the moment quite like being there and experiencing it.

In other words, enjoy Burning Man for what it is — Live and be in the moment!

Because there are so many different things going on at any given moment at Burning Man, every single person who attends will have their own unique experience unlike anyone else. And that’s what makes Burning Man so great! It’s all about what you make of it. If you’re an early morning riser, maybe you enjoy taking a stroll around the playa before ending up in Center Camp sipping a cup of hot coffee. Maybe you’re a latenight person interested in checking out some dance camps and getting your groove on till the break of dawn, then you sleep all day. Or maybe you’re the type that devotes a portion of each day to getting to know your neighbors, then go out in the evenings and look at the art.

Whatever you like to do, it’s important to remember to stay in the moment and let things just unspool naturally. Don’t try and attempt to maintain a regimented schedule (unless that’s what you’re into doing). Fly by the seat of your pants. Be spontaneous. You’ll be surprised at what kinds of things float your way.

It’s funny, despite having attended Burning Man for so many years, I recently realized I have relatively few photos documenting my experiences. Sure, there are a few things I wish i had photos of but then again, if i really want to find a photo of a piece of art i liked, i could simply scour photo sites like flickr or page through friends’ personal websites. But even if i do find a photo of what i’m looking for, it rarely, if ever, comes remotely close to the pictures i’ve saved in my mind. And nobody can take those away!

So stop worrying about documenting every little thing you see and do. Burning Man doesn’t work like that. It certainly shouldn’t be viewed through a lens or LCD viewing screen. Besides, you’re supposed to have those cameras tagged anyway!

About the author: timmmii

Tim was not born on a bayou, but he wishes he had, as that would be more romantic. Tim is a writer, editor, picky eater, lighter of some fluids, co-founder of Fireside Storytelling, wannabe statistician, avid bicyclist, host of the radio show Down The Well w/ Timmmii on, fighter, loud, and Burning Man maven since 1999. Tim has other talents too but he prefers to leave you guessing.

6 Comments on “Be In The Moment

  • Slorpo says:

    Memories and digital recordings have their strengths and weaknesses. They can compliment each other, but one can never fully supplement the other.

    Here’s my video from Daft Punk:

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  • Bobby says:


    This was very helpful. I was lost trying to decide whether or not to bring my camera. Now I know for sure it’s staying safe at home, and I will experience my first Burn to the fullest!!!

    Kind Regards,

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  • AG says:

    It’s true, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes it’s more trouble than it’s worth. I recommend keeping your camera in a plastic bag when not in use, and picking a special hour or two to go out and specifically shoot pics/footage, rather than trying to capture the whole week on video for the folks back home. good points Timmmii!

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  • timmmii says:

    From Tom: You make an excellent point…one I’ve been turning over in my mind for the last few weeks as I finalize my packing. I decided to leave my digital camera at home and just opt for a simple disposable one. I think at the end of the day, if one can aknowledge the fact that they really want to experience the Burn more than they want to document it for their blog/myspace/facebook than there’s really no problem with taking a camera along.

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  • timmmii says:

    From PQ: this is soooo true. one thing you’ll learn is that the playa will give you exactly what you need, whether you know what that is or not. that goes for relationships, or anything else you can or can’t imagine.

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  • Tracey says:

    I always bring cameras and camcorders, get them appropriately tagged…then forget to take pictures because I’m having too much fun. Plus, I’m just too awestruck to even remotely think of taking pictures. :P

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