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  • Writer's pictureMarisol Pesquera

Burning Man 2022

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

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 communicate this perfectly imperfect experience, and I don’t even know where to start.

I have plenty of photographs depicting every step of the way but will only share a fair few of built week/strike and some shindigs here and there.

I didn’t go to BM searching for the most picture-perfect instagramable moment or outfits. I just wanted to be present.

I was about tremendous expectations in the past, 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.

I loved every single unanticipated moment!

I’m grateful that a handful of hardcore luminous 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 was quite the show.

The unavoidable happened, built and struck camp during whiteouts (dust storms) with severe temperatures during 12-hour shifts. Burning Man is an enormous load of work physically and mentally, particularly 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 conveyed his 4th large scale sculptural masterpiece and Black Burner Project. At the same time, they constructed 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. Still, 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 outstanding-looking individuals at their best and not-so-best (occasionally you need to drink a bit more water), this place is for you.

I’ve always dreamed of a big family (I had the opposite when growing up), so I swoon heavily over family-style brekkies and dinners; I got all of it and more at Spirit Matters.

The food brings people together, and I feel 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 hearts all over the place, and that my friend is a lot of euphoric energy in one place.

I loved seeing how my stunning roomies (veteran burners) carefully curated their shinning outfits, how they navigated the deep playa at dawn in search of the best beats, how amusing 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, unlimited tea drinking, sauna vibes, massages, sundown disco dance party (beats by Yoram) at camp while sipping mezcalitas by Thomas and espresso martinis by Eric, never-ending flirtatious exchanges and good mass-produced 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 faves… Meeting new people, encountering the deep playa entirely alone at times without a camera, having the BEST DANCE of my life, and a constant 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 construct 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. Still, 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, remember to call out your bullshit (myself included) because we’re all humans still learning to navigate life and others around us.

Fourteen dusty days later, life will never be the same.

Thank you to all the veterans that led the way for this virgin to encounter the burn the right way, prepared for anything and everything, from always having sunblock on you, water, a drinking cup, zip ties, and extra batteries to life-saving refreshing wet wipes when shit gets real (no pun intended).

Thank you for your playa offerings; thanks to those who 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 an essential playa gift I could ever receive.

“Stop waiting. Feel everything. Love achingly. Give impeccably. Let go.”

You burn and learn.

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