One of my favorite art installations at Burning Man this year was basically a gorgeous tunnel which reminded me of Moroccan lamps!

People walk through from either end. When we did, there were several people waiting to greet us and give us hugs! We thought they “worked” the art, or built it. But they were just regular burners exploring the playa art like ourselves! What a way to embrace humanity and others – hearts open, with love, acceptance, willing to give with no expectations.

Brought me back to my first summer in college. I was 19, living and volunteering abroad for the first time, in Rabat, Morocco, through the global AIESEC network via my chapter, AIESEC Illinois. And WOW – my whole perspective of travel, this world, and its people shifted.

My heart opened, my mind widened, my faith in people exploded to infinity. The family I found there – my housemates and fellow international interns, our Moroccan friends who took care of us, my students – set against the backdrop of stunning architecture, food, nature, and the beauty of it all individually and even more collectively, still lights me up inside every single day.

No matter what happens in this world, no matter how big we perceive the steps backward or forward, always come back to what I see is this tunnel.

Let’s hug every movement. Give without expectations. Embrace the world like your family. Admire our kaleidoscope in all its forms of existence. Because the beauty lies in our diversity, in variety, in the uniqueness we all bring into the light. Collectively, we shine brighter than a uniform group could ever shine.

How will you choose to interact with others you meet in the tunnel? The choice is always yours.

So let’s light it up! 😉

Here’s a bit more about art we can learn from, art that can build community:

Roshanai (Illuminate)

by: Charles Gadeken (SF) and everyone who works to make it happen




ROSHANAI is a path of enlightenment, shifting colors in static form. Along this corridor, perspective changes and opposites unite. Islamic mathematical art is married to the great Western landscape, serenaded with the voice of your heart and the whisper of the Playa.

ROSHANAI comprises two double-walled panels that create a 108-ft long tunnel of light and sound with a 3-ft corridor. The sides of the hallway rise from 8-ft tall at the ends to 12-ft tall at the apex in the middle. Simultaneously, the panels sink into the ground to form a shallow valley. Fractal arrangements of Islamic geometric patterns are cut into the outside panels, lit from within to illuminate the patterns and cast fantastic night shadows. The entrances will be 16-ft tall gates inspired by the Great Mosque of Isfahan in Iran, pointed arches filled with sacred geometry. The inside walls are smooth and lit in solid colors by daylight-visible LED spotlights embedded in the edges of the floor.