Speaking with Jenn about the Frederick Douglas autobiography audiobook she's listening to, I had an epiphany: I should stop trying to do things that I'm not good at and refine things I am good at. It's not so much defeatist as it is hopeful: I want to know how this whole "living" thing works. I want to live life well—to be good at it. I decided to quit the Temple project. In a matter of days, the Black Rock Arts Foundation will make a request for "Letters of Intent" to apply for an art grant. I might be able to make the temple; I might not. But what is it going to do—to prove? Rather, I want to focus on projects closer-to-home—something I'm good at already and can get better with practice.
I started working on the grant to get it done for the February 1 at 11:59 a.m. PST deadline and realized it was insane to try. Even if I got everything in place, it would simply be dumb luck if we hit the right dollar amount to cover expenses.
I woke up this morning at 5 a.m. with an idea for an art project: the temple. It's a tree that gets filled with people's messages written on the slats from palettes which form the "leaves". Yurt-like structures surround it if I remember right, although I think a larger structure to enclose the trunk is the way to go.
I realized I had no choice but to proceed. I e-mailed some of the art people at Burning Man and they said that the Temple is considered one of the art projects in the normal grant process. Grants are due at the beginning of February, and the cycle hasn't started yet. I started looking into it.