As my gift/art project for Burning Man this year I created a book. The book is a collection of Valentine’s Day cards and words of affection. It contains few words and a lot of empty space. There is a lot of room to write in it.
You can read more about the book itself here (and download the pdf version).
I brought several of these books to the Playa. Most of them I gave away, but a few of them I left in places where people could find them. One of these places was Point 3 – as far away from the entrance to the city as it’s possible to get without climbing over the trash fence.
I left the book there on the night of the Friday before the event started, and I picked it up again on Saturday before the burn – a little over a week later.
The book comes with a pen attached to it to encourage people to write in it, and they did. I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with the book once I’d picked it up.
Is it fair to the people who wrote to share their words without their permission?
I don’t quite know, but I figure if they wanted to keep their words for themselves, they wouldn’t have written them down in a place where others could find them and read them. I also don’t believe any of the more personal contributions have enough information in them to identify the writer.
So, here it is. These pictures are of the pages of the copy of Burn With Me that I left at the trash fence at Burning Man 2016.
Cover: Burn With Me
I love you. Deal with it
If there was only one cup of coffee left I guess I’d just have tea.
There’s a piece of my puzzle missing. I’m sure I had it when we last met.
Don’t worry about falling asleep, that’s what bedtime stories are for.
I know you know, but I’m not saying it to remind you.
I’d fight the hordes of hell for you, but wouldn’t co-op be more fun.
It’s dangerous to go alone. Take me.
I’d give you the world, but what would you do with all that crap`?
If you ask me real nice I’ll sing for you, even if I’m sober.
I’ll survive without you, but there’s more to life than just surviving.
You’re not too bad, and your kids aren’t that annoying.
Screw this! Let’s go exploring.
I’ve done a lot of stupid things, but you’re not one of them.
You’ll do, and that’s more than I can say for anyone else.
You’re not perfect. You’ve got your flaws and failures – your annoying habits and your crazy ideas, but I have to think real hard to remember what they are.
I prefer being alone, but it’s okay if you’re there.
Screw it, I’ve written you enough cards, so here’s a book instead.
If I were the here and you were the captured princess it’s be a stupid analogy. My princess wouldn’t get herself captured.
If I were the hero and you the captured princess, you’d probably have rescued yourself by the time I was done searching through all the wrong castles.
If I were the princess and you were the hero, I might find it a bit awkward, but sure, as long as it’s not every time…
If I had to choose someone to spend the rest of my life with, you’d be on top of the list, and it wouldn’t be a list.
Blah blah blah (etc…)
I can’t be there with you, but I’ll be here for you.
This is never going to end well, but I’m all about the journey.
It’s not an easy road to travel, but I wouldn’t have asked you to come along if I thought you didn’t know.
Our passions burn with different flames, but the fire is the same.
You hold my heart in the palm of your hand. You should probably be wearing gloves.
I was going to buy you a ticket and fly you here, but there’s no way I’d make you get up that early just for my sake.
GIMME A BIG HUG!
It’s late and I’m tired and I can’t sleep. Did you forget to turn off the muse again?
Will you sing with me? This is a moon for howling.
Sure, my life would be a lot easier if it weren’t for you, but don’t worry, I’ll manage.
Sure, my life would be a lot easier if it weren’t for you, but you keep me from making it worse.
It’s probably better for everyone if you cook, but I can do the dishes.
Just because you fall asleep doesn’t mean the story ends. I’ll read you the rest another day.
Home is where the heart is, so why do I spend so much time where you are not?
Home is where the heart is. Leave no trace.
Home is… Have you seen my hat?
I often worry about running out of ideas, but with a muse like you, that’s kind of silly.
You broke the world. You changed the rules. You tore me apart and threw me to the wind. …just by being you.
I’ll build you a castle, and if you get the pillows from the bedroom we’ll have a moat as well.
You’re the wind in my trees and valleys. You dance through my forest over hills unknown. – Can I be the sunset on your reefs and islands? Can I paint your sky with fire?
I can’t carry your burden, but if you’ll let me, I’ll hold your hand.
Potato angle buffalo.
Nice boots. Let’s go exploring.
Nice boots. They’d look great in the desert, covered in dust and with your feet all laced up inside of them.
It occurred to me I never told you that I think you’re very beautiful. I must remember to do that.
You’re free to leave. It’s okay if you want to be alone – for however long you need. Forever? But I’ll leave the door unlocked. I’ll keep a light burning. You know where the coffee is.
It hurts me to see you in pain, but I’m glad you let me see.
I’ve got a plan – the lonely kind, but wherever I go, my memories of you go too. (I think the correction here might be relevant and I may get the book updated to reflect it)
I wanted to send you all my love, but what would remain of me?
I wanted to send you all my love, but I couldn’t figure out the postage so I made you a cake instead – and then I ate it so it wouldn’t go bad in the mail.
I’m not perfect. I don’t always get it right. I’m not as funny as I think I am. There are times I’ve been so clever I have no idea what I tried to say. – But that’s okay. I trust you. I’m allowed to fail.
I’m so tired of all this. Will you sleep with me?
Yes, the madness is my own, but you don’t reach this level of crazy without a quality muse to misguide you.
Sometimes I feel I ought to leave you alone and give you some space, but it’s really difficult when I can’t tell you how hard it is not to talk to you.
I know you don’t love me the way I wish you would, but as long as you let me love you, that’s okay.
Sure, it’s not like it was that one time, way back when, but we’re still here.
There is no happily ever after, but this is not the end of our story.
There is no happily ever after, but I’m not gonna let a silly little thing like that stop me. Are you?
I know I can’t always make you smile, but it’s really hard to accept.
I may have shaved my head, but you’re still the wind in my hair.
You’re the key that the song of my life is sung in.
Back Cover: I love you. Deal with it.