Swirl beads and a tiny heart locket. I recognized it right away in my best friend Janet’s jewelry box: the necklace I’d made it for her years before. She wore it everywhere back then: to Burning Man, dinners, parties. I had no idea she had held onto it for so long. Now, helping clean her apartment after Janet’s death, I’d come across this little talisman, full of memories. I’ve been wearing it ever since.
This sweet, unexpected discovery made me think of the way jewelry and clothes hold our memories—fun nights out, meaningful connections, and even intentions we place on an item and wear in hopes of changing our futures.
As Burning Man comes around again, think of all the care and planning that goes into every outfit for the week or three that you will be out there. For many of us, every little detail is carefully sourced and curated. What you wear, how are you out there is an expression of who you are and who you want to be—and sometimes a glimpse of a self that only comes out for Burning Man. That’s what I love about clothing and accessories. They tell us so much about each other. An outfit is a celebration of self. I love finding designers who source their materials conscientiously and think about their impact on the world from start to finish. Whatever the item, whether influenced by tribal traditions or nature or the colors of a particular gem, I love it when each piece I have chosen to wear becomes a further expression of its maker, which is then transformed further as I add myself to the mix. When you buy and wear a piece of jewelry or clothing, you make it yours in more than the obvious ways. Everything is connected.
When you plan for Burning Man this year I would like to invite you to think about the planet and your own store of memories: not just buying a disposable bracelet that you’ll wear for an afternoon on the Playa and throw away, but a meaningful item that you’ll wear for years at parties and business meetings, something your friends will know you by or something that you will pass on to someone in a beautiful moment and they will cherish. What you do out there matters, and can be brought home, too.