I didn’t realize until our first camp clean-up day that Decadent Oasis had earned a stirring award from some of our neighbors in Black Rock City. It’s almost like they know us. The award reads:

The Preparations that are required for an Expedition to Black Rock City each year … are Not for the Timid.

Jobsite Politics … Rampaging Ambitions … Money in all its scary forms … Zillions of Tools … Design by Committee … It is a complex series of Trials and Deadlines.

This Journey is always a Test … to Navigate the Life Changing Conflicts that litter the Path each year. It is no surprise that many of our Fellow Citizens run into problems so demeaning, that they never return for a second visit to Black Rock City.

But some people just grow more twisted with each blow. They partially assume the shape of their disasters. They get faces with “Character.” They become the “Wild Ones” in their community of friends … or … “The Brave Ones.” These Survivors become the People who are reaching beyond where their friends and families can see … into spaces invisible to everyone else … simply because the others do not come to Black Rock City … To The Edge of Now.

Show up. Endure the Myriad Pains that come with this Journey. Return to your life. And then see if you can do it all over again.

It is a Rite of Passage … Each and Every Year

This expedition is always a Training Session … focused on who you Wish to be. A larger and wiser person is created each year by this Journey into Beauty and Stress. We are Made Whole by the Pains and Joys of our Efforts.

And You are the Best Among All These Travelers. The work you have presented … has given us all a Target to aim for … A point we can use to pull us past the dullness of life … into a brighter tomorrow. Everyone who sees your work is made a Winner. When they see what you have done … or … see where you are pointing.

When we return to the Default World, we will look back on our Journey and ask ourselves, “Did I pass the test? How much did I change? How much more can I see now?”

Then we will think of your work. And the joys of our Journey will live again, show us that Our Expedition …

Our Rite of Passage … was a Splendid Success.

– JT Eckley, Phil Schmitt, Ready Johnson (88275)

The words hit especially close to home this year, as our planning committee had a bit of a breakdown in the weeks before the event, possibly even a Life Changing Conflict for some.

The art is beautiful as well. I especially enjoy the layout of Black Rock City twisted into a distored maze, the man entering from the top.

Thank you for this beautiful award. It means a great deal that you recognize the sacrifice and hard work – the labor of love we so gladly undertake – to build and participate in Black Rock City.

Proud to be one of “The Brave Ones.”