and threatened to carry off stages. But the castle held. Only the flags on top and streamers behind revealed the torrential quantities of air tearing past.
For those confused by the photos, I'll give a more descriptive, informative summary. The event was instigated by the death of someone who has been actively involved in the burn community and who did not want the grimness of a funeral to see him go but rather a celebration. That's why the military made an appearance. The flag ceremony was actually quite moving - I was emotionally affected throughout but when Hope was given the flag, she let out a scream of joy and celebration, the crowd followed suit, and then: music began, thumping away into the desert air.
What struck me about this event was how metaphorical the castle became. It was a representation of the life of the individual. It was created out of donated wood, brought together with the energy of volunteers, yet was something no one could predict. There were no images or blueprints drawn. It was made from casual, natural inspiration. It became bigger than itself, was celebrated, and music played throughout it. But the most crucial and emotional aspect was that it was taken away from all the celebrators before we were ready for it. People wanted to continue playing on the castle, listening to music and bands playing from it, yet it was taken before its time. We watched it burn magnificently, felt its warmth, but there was something tragic. As the coals began to burn low, we were all aware not of the castle, but the lack of the castle. It allowed us to all feel a sense of group loss. We all experienced the vibrancy and then the void.