In 2017 I spent months working with a volunteer crew to build a 70ft tall temple in the middle of desert, then burn it to the ground. The temple means something different for everyone, but most agree it’s a place to grieve, and release the things we carry.
This temple consisted of beetle-killed pine donated by a utility company, and an absurd amount of very large screws. The geometric design meant hours in blazing sun and 100+ degree temperatures stacking and re-stacking 6x6 beams until they were perfectly aligned, to create lines and shapes that flowed from the base to the top seven stories above. After we completed building, we turned the structure over to the city, who created hundreds of altars, memorials, and art pieces to add to the piece. Unlike other burns, the temple burn is largely silent, and gives us all a chance to release the emotion and energy built up over its construction.