It was the best of burns. It was the worst of burns.
This was my 15th consecutive trip to Burning Man. Although every year is different, this one was incredibly moving for me, as this was the year that I took my beloved wife, partner and best friend, Laura Diamond to the temple. I cried many tears as I went through the process of taking her offerings to the temple. With the help of temple architect, David Best we placed her on the eastern wall where she could watch the sunrise, which she loved to do.
I got incredible support and love from my friends and the members of my camp, Que Viva camp. QV loved Laura as well, and they gave me the space to experience the Burn on my own my own terms. I spent much wandering around the playa and taking photos, but I would always find myself back at the temple, where I would just stand and gaze at Laura’s picture. I watched as literally thousands of people stood transfixed at her serene smile. Many strangers shed tears for her as well, as they read the notes written on the picture and the items from her life. Even people who never met Laura fell in love with her.
I’d like to thank all of the members of Que Viva, especially Favi and Brooke for being with me this week and for bringing to the playa the issues of social justice for which Laura fought. I’d also like to thank Steven Thrasher, who wrote a touching and insightful article for The Guardian about Burning Man, grieving and The Temple. Also, thank you David Best and the Temple crew for making such a beautiful structure of remembrance.
I send my love to Laura’s family, Frankie, David, Prima, Nikki, Christopher and Hannah, who could not attend this year, but I look forward to being with you next year to celebrate Laura’s life.
Lastly, thank you Laura “Diamond Cutter” Diamond, for loving me and for letting me take your picture.