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Aug 31, 2020

Deep in the Black Rock Desert, way beyond the theme camps and the effigy that gives Burning Man its name, there’s another elaborate wooden structure: it blends art and architecture, inside and out. And, arguably, it’s the sacred and spiritual center of the event.

Burners simply call it “The Temple.” “Grief” is perhaps the most apparent emotion expressed and experienced here. That specific grief that comes with losing a loved one and the more diffuse grief that can come with simply being alive on this planet at this moment. 

Why is there such attachment to a temporary structure that’s little more than wood and nails? Reporter Jonathan Davis went in search of the answer.