One of the immediacies of Burning Man is the Black Rock Desert, a former prehistoric lakebed. With its vast expanse and vaulted sky, the Black Rock Desert is merciless in demonstrating that you are just a mere speck in time. Camping in this environ in a serious affair in survival, given the extreme temperatures, blinding dust storms, and occasional rainstorms. Only the foolish take life for granted under these circumstances. Here, nature offers plenty of experiences to contemplate her ways, like waiting out a whiteout while watching a heavy cast iron skillet, caught in camo netting, drift hypnotically up and down in the wind.
In conventional cities, taking life for granted is typical because of our routines and sheltered environments, until nature reminds us otherwise. With the almost two feet of snow, between yesterday and today in New York City, daily activities like walking beneath trees suddenly become more anxiety-inducing, especially when you hear a cracking noise, and a snow-laden branch lands near your feet. Plus, the “friendliness” of a resident raccoon may well be driven by a virus looking to replicate.