Burning Man 2022
Ok, It’s time to address this otherworldly event.
They say home is where the heart is…
My heart has a new home.
The address? 9:00 and K.
The name? Spirit Matters.
I’ve been thinking about how to express this perfectly imperfect experience and I don’t even know where to start.
I have plenty of images depicting every step of the way but will only share a fair few of built week / strike + those who were part of it or hung out in SM.
What I really want to say is that I didn't go to BM in the search of the most picture perfect instagramable moment or outfits. I just wanted to be present.
In the past I was all about massive expectations but life taught me a few lessons so I had to rewire my brain.
As a Burning Man virgin I had 0 assumptions and I fucking loved it.
Loved every single unexpected moment!
I’m grateful that a handful of hardcore brilliant minds came together and said:
“Fuck it, go big or go home and Spirit Matters is the way to go.”
It manifested in front of my eyes and it was quite the show.
The inevitable happened, built and struck camp during whiteouts (dust storms) with extreme temperatures during 12 hour shifts. Burning Man is a massive load of work physically and mentally, specially when you’re building camp for 70 of your friends and family and in charge of feeding and supporting a total of 160 souls including Marco Cochrane's team as they brought his 4th large scale sculptural masterpiece and Black Burner Project while they created their first installation in deep playa, who doesn’t love a good challenge? Spirit Matters became an "art support camp".
Building, living and having fun in inconstant weather is an extreme sport not for the faint of heart but if you like a good growth experience, you fancy camping, eye candy, art installations, good music, radical self reliance, self expression, community living, hugging, loving, cuddle puddles, meeting really good looking people at their best and not so best (sometimes you need to drink a bit more water…) this place is for you.
I’ve always craved a big family (I had the opposite when growing up) so I swoon very heavily over family style brekkies and dinners, I got all of it and more at Spirit Matters.
The food chico, it brings people together and that’s when I start feeling like part of the family.
I had the chance to share space with 70 other human beings at Spirit Matters within Vertical Village ( "a livable art piece by Ariel Sutro" ) totaling 160 people (approximately), close to 80,000 other wild souls all over the place and that my friend is a lot of euphoric energy in one place.
I loved seeing how my beautiful roomies (veteran burners) carefully curated their shinning outfits, how they navigated the deep playa at sunrise in search of the best beats, how funny we all looked after a dust storm, the struggle of riding a shitty bike through bumpy roads, never leaving your camp at night without a coat, our scheduled family dinners, endless tea drinking, sauna vibes, massages, sunset disco dance party (beats by Yoram) at camp while sipping mezcalitas by Thomas and espresso martinis by Eric, never ending flirtatious interactions and mass produced but really good oxytocin, a Cheshire Cat art car ride with the best cuddles one could wish for, playa gifts, sake nights (SM version of a Netflix and chill at the tea lounge) and my ultimate favies… Meeting new people, experiencing the deep playa completely alone at times without a camera, having the BEST DANCE of my life and an endless mood for love.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how hard I try to explain what BM means to me because BM is whatever you make it to be, it’s up to you how you want to enjoy it in whatever way you think it’s best for you like everything else in life but it’s safe to say that if you haven’t been in a dust storm while cruising your bike without visibility with a badass outfit you’ll never know…
Anything that can go wrong WILL GO WRONG and that's part of it, how you react is what makes the difference.
Also never forget to call out your own bullshit (my self included) because we're all humans still learning how to navigate life and others around you.
14 dusty days later life will never be the same.
Thank you to all the veterans that led the way for this virgin to experience the burn the right way which is TO BE PREPARED for anything and everything, from always having sunblock on you, water, a drinking cup, zip ties, extra batteries, to life saving refreshing wet wipes when shit gets real (no pun intended).
Thank you for your playa gifts, thanks to all of those that took a second or a bit more than that to get to know me and ultimately thank you for listening.
HATS OFF to Spirit Matters core crew that made this happen for all of us to enjoy, thank you for hosting and providing the best experience one could wish for, thank you for being an "art support camp", you guys (and girls) are the true warriors and the most important playa gift I could ever receive.
“Stop waiting. feel everything. love achingly. Give impeccably. Let go.”
You burn and learn.
*Additional photos by Tio Mateito