Monday, November 14, 2016

Burn2: The Temple Burn

By Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday October 23 was the final day of the activities at Burn2, Second Life's largest annual art and music festival. For over a week, this virtual reflection of the real-life Burning Man had been going on. And now it was time for the last of the events there: the Temple Burn.

The Temple Burn is different from the "Burning of The Man" in two ways. One is it's not the signature event of the festival as when "The Man" is burned on the previous day. It's also an event that usually has some solemn moments as before the burning, people put notecards with messages in the Temple censer that are read aloud as the structure is aflame, often messages of real life or Second Life friends and family whom had passed away in the past year.

 But over the course of the year, a number of people with connections with Burn2 had passed away. Among them Ladyslipper Constantine whom was a well known name whom had passed away just weeks before. So she was never far from the minds of many of the Burners as they gathered at the Temple at 12 Noon. The Temple would later be brought back and burned again at 6PM SL time.

"Now we would like all Lamplighters to stand please. Then everyone, please come into the Temple with us. We will stand together inside as it Burns." iSkye Silverweb shouted, "Come in, everyone! Join us in the Burn!"

Toady Nakamura, the builder of the Temple, was among those at the event.

The Temple censer would call out, "In memory of Ludinha Kamachi, member of Burning Life Access and Linguists, White Tiger Mentors, Mental Mentors, Mentor Lounge, Ez SL Mentor, Mentors! and Ajuda SL Brasil groups, who left us last 27 May 2010, after a terrible struggle with a cancer.."

"We will always remember Ladyslipper Constantine. Osprey Therian... Lumiere Noir... wish you were here."

Eventually, it was time to get things started. These images of burning structures in the middle of the structure briefly appeared.

"Ladyslipper - this is for you, remembering your brave, strong, loving heart and all you did for so many of us in Second life! Saffia."

Then the structures vanished. But something was still burning, hidden by the lag.

"Lady Slipper, It was my honor to have knowing you & to work with you all the years. You where a great lasdy & will be missed! RIP my friend!"

And soon the top of the structure was aflame.

"As long as there is still Music, Creativity, and Imagination there is Hope."

"Always remember - it's not who you are, but who you have become. Your decisions shape your future."

Among those watching on the outside were Avariel Falcon and Daniel Voyager, the later whom would write his own story on his Flickr page. "Loving the burn this year." he would say.

 Inside, the fire lit the area around the people where it had been dark.

"Peace and love to all who have come before and for all those who are yet to come.. may be leave it to them all."

 The fire slowly spread downward, the more detailed and decorative parts in the middle catching afire.

"Shady, my Black and Purkle buddy, this Burn is for you. Keep Spinning those tunes and enjoy the Bakkon!"

"This has been a tough burn. We lost a family member, we've said and done hurtful things to each other.  It's my wish for us to listen more and show compassion and understanding to one another.  Please make amends so we can be a family again.  -Pman"

The fire further burned the decorations in the middle.

 "Ananda, I love you and deeply miss you! The angels are lucky to have you. Thank you for your unconditional."

 "Peace and love to all who have come before and for all those who are yet to come.. may be leave it to them all."

 Eventually, the flames on the top of the structure began to die down, leaving only char.

Then the top began to crumble, turning into ash and bits of charred wood.

The fire had soon reached the bottom of the structure, with every remaining part aflame.

 "Huntress, iSkye & Suz, you are the glue that holds this family together.  Often, your hard work goes unnoticed, seems unappreciated or misunderstood. But you truly are loved and appreciated by many.  Your passion truly shines. <3 -Pman"

 "To the entire Burn2 staff: All of your hard work, dedication and sacrifices are appreciated. We're not perfect.  We've had our disagreements and obstacles to overcome. It's been rough, but we made it work. Thank you for all that you do. <3 P-man"

 "Huntress ... you made Second Life deeper ... Talking with you on levels that changed my heart from broken to healing  ... your passion in all you do gave me a Hero. I love you ~Daark"

"Piano ... Thank you for your Friendship, thank you for all the smiles, the cries, the Laughter, OMG your laughter heals me ... Thank YOU ... I love you ~Daark"

 Inside, the floor now burned, along with some of the Burners themselves.

 "Xiija ... Everything you do is amazing. Your willingness to help your abilities to create and the heart you do it with is un equaled. Thank you for your friendship ... I love you ~Daark"

"iSkye ... Thank you for all your support in all I tried to do .. thank you for listening,  thank you for sharing ... I Love you ~Daark"

 Eventually, the flames began to die down as most of the structure had been consumed by the flames.

 "Thank you ALL for making this possible, I wish sometime in future i can go to the rl burn, but this is nice to have in while time :) thank you ALL."

 "Thank you to all the hard working staff that spent months planning this event & to our participants WELCOME HOME & HAPPY BURN! \o/"

Eventually, the Temple was completely gone.

 iSkye shouted, "Wait for the pile of debris, then you can fire away." Once there was, there would be occasional flare-ups.

 I continued to watch from a distance, even when across the sim border as fire and fur do not make for a good mix.

 "Now the Real peace will come one the World thanks to all peoples."

"Begin to make the world a better place! Hug your neighbor today! Seriously! DO it."

 With all the solemnity over the departed, there was some room for clowning around. One guy shouted, "My backside is on fire!!"

And one renamon decided as long as the embers were still warm, time to break out the marshmallows.

Toady was thanked for her work, "Beautiful Temple Burn!!! Thank you TOADY!, Amazing job." "Indeed. Beautifully done!"

I would later speak to Toady, whom told me she had put aside a trip in order to work on the temple. It had been a lot of work, but the results were spectacular. She wasn't sure if she would be able to build it again next year, though.

It was a great Temple Burn, and a great finale to Burn2.

Bixyl Shuftan