At Burning Man and regional burns, the period of camp set up is referred to as “build”. It can be gritty, especially in an extreme environment such as the desert. But the flames of anticipation are fanned into a frenzy, as the stage is set and casts of characters develop. It is a new beginning. It may be experienced as a kind of mental foreplay.
Since the pandemic has gone down, I’ve wondered how to get that mental experience– novelty and anticipation and a sense of building. Building SOMETHING, whether physical or not. I’m wanting this to not only counter depression, but to maintain fresh enthusiasm with projects.
Gardening is one activity like a build to me, but I can assure you your garden will NOT be prepared in a week. Well, you do you, but I doubt it would yield a variety of plants. And everyday construction is something I would be interested in, but have not gotten involved with as I have so many projects going already.
But looking at activities I do on a regular basis, I actually can see something that captures some of this spirit and time frame to me. It probably takes me about a week to “build” the skeleton of a short story or drawing. (*Editing is a completely different can of worms. It takes forever is ever for me to feel a piece is “good enough”.*)
With stories and story-related art, I can build a setting and linked events. In these times where burns and other constructed events are off, it’s comforting to have this back-up.
I definitely dream of the days of building camps again, but for now I wonder what more can be done with this concept from home. Do you have thoughts on this? Let me know!
P.S. Some of my characters settle into their first week of an imaginary festival below!
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