Friday Night Dialogues: A way of being in the world

This year, from Sunday August 25 until Monday September 2, over 70,000 people will gather in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada to join together for Burning Man 2019. Participants join in the effort to co-create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to art and community.

A burner person is a common term people used to identify their kinship with the Burning Man culture and/ or community. Being a burner is more than attending an event. It is a way of being in the world.

A unique and distinctive culture emerges from the Burning Man experience.

This culture is manifested around the globe through art, communal effort, and innumerable individual acts of self-expression.

Virginia Gerardi, a Shelter Islander with wilderness survival experience and a sense of adventure, decided to join her first burn. Last August, Ms. Gerardi loaded up her black minivan and travelled solo cross-country to experience this bucket list event. Ms. Gerardi came prepared, having researched “the guide to surviving your first burn.”

Ms. Gerardi collaborated with like-minded burners establishing their “Theme Camp” along with constructing her own yurt.

Ms. Gerardi states, “All you have to do is survive the elements — heat greater than 100 degrees, 10 percent  humidity, and sandstorms.”

She compared the Burning Man experience to “steel being forged in the fire.”

However, Ms. Gerardi explains that along with this punishing environment came moments of profound joy, connection, wonder, and peace.

Please join us at the Shelter Island Library on Friday March 22 at 7 p.m. as we welcome Virginia Gerardi and enjoy this fascinating presentation on her experiences at Burning Man 2018.

Next up: On April 12, at 7 p.m. the Library will welcome The Shelter Island Poetry Project’s “Always Marry an April Girl. ” This program is created and led by Bliss Morehead.