Monday, October 25, 2010

Life is slippery. Here, take my hand.



We all have those days, born from the frustration of merely existing, where we experience the most bizarre and upsetting realities. Everyday, as I walk the streets of New York City, I pass the writhing, dirty masses of the underworld, of a subterranean landscape of mental illness and social irresponsibility. We can walk by, walk away, but no matter where you turn, it finds you and confronts you. Humanity is a twisted souless thing, and the depths the mind will go in sickness and the effort of running away from expectations... are unfathomable.

I watch it, I consider it, but sitting in the midtown library, at 40th street and 5th avenue, I have been graced with the profound and terrifying and cannot turn away. I find myself paralyzed in mutual fascination and horror, as a woman in her late 40's plopped her unwashed body across from me, and has slowly acted out complicated and overlapping story lines. It is like watching one person act out a kipling short story, a cut away from alice in wonderland (including graphic descriptions of brain tissue being ripped out and losing herself in her cerebral cortex), an argument with a wheelchair bound dead father (how dare he try to steal an elephant's identity and give pieces of her brain away to other people to utilize), be shocked into sobs, inform herself there was no wicked witch's castle, because the wizard and wicked witch took up residence in allison's labia (which was only for her husband's use, privately), manifest a british accent, discuss the depravity of the british royal family, asking to be removed from the russian crown and turning down 100 billion dollars, of tits being ripped off, being in a courtroom pressing charges for attempted rape, sodomy, and murder, and dictating someone's foreign policy in regards to saudi arabia. But to be clear, she did state that she does not want to live with her daddy in the 1950's. She wants to live in her own time period. I can understand that.

The power of her conviction, the breadth of the stories being acted out in her helpless frame... shock me. That something can bubble up so concrete and perfectly formed from the recesses of our brain, entire lifetimes of non existent memories can wrack one person's body like truth...

And I sit here, as the stories continue to pour out of her ample, impassioned, and pungent frame. Accents, sobs and physical blows shuddering out of her as she plays every single role, from a dead father figure to phantom almost-husbands, sisters, judge, lawyers, royal families... and I actually sit here, bearing witness to this. This is the stuff of nightmares, of a bygone era where writers spent their nights in opium dens and their days obsessing over little girls, to eventually write stories about them delving into other-worlds of childish fancy with Freudian overtones... the power of the human brain to manifest realities, to hold on to pieces of information and weave together elaborate contexts and torture the uneducated and lost soul sitting before me with a cacophony of other people's imaginary lives.

In the lunacy of this day, there is a woman wandering around loudly and tearfully distraught over her lost library card, like a child had been ripped from her womb, and an insistent sound of a bullfrog I finally realized is emanating from the old man using the typewriter at the end of the table I sit at in a state of shock.

This is reality folks.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Collectively Dismissed












Stephen Hawking and a number of biology and physics theorists have come to the lofty conclusion that " the whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired". The subway taught me this. Life has taught me this. But when reading the theory of relativity, which redefines reality as consisting only of contextual truths, which perpetually vary according to our mass and speed in space and time (which has conceptually become the same thing in science, aka spacetime) I begin to wonder what then becomes of Memory.

The proposed 4th dimension, if we were all to travel at the speed of light, exists as a continuum where time=light, so by moving at the speed of light, we are also moving at the speed of time, and the future is behind us, with the past at our fingertips in front of us. If history is possible, time travel must be possible. Perhaps the laws of inertia are in play with humanity, and we simply haven't ricocheted in the opposite direction into Unhistory. But if we had the profound ability to go back in time, would we hold on to our memories and relics of passing ages and people? Is this proposed 4th dimension somewhat of a key into the Collective Unconscious, that there may be an overlap that hints at the future experience? However scientifically learned we may become, one serious thing cannot be accounted for by space and time and quantum physics. This aspect of reality is as contextual as any other aspect, and reading the flow of history, of movements and recessions, temperature fluctuations and the resulting human reactions, we move with a force and depth of emotion through spacetime that makes the powerful evolution of a river much more appropriately used to describe history from its emotional/human side than for the Time association of the word History. OR maybe they two are intimately and inextricably connected. If Time heals all wounds, speed of time changes according to our emotional output, that it is possible to wait forever and remember forever, it seems Emotion is also a definitive aspect of our definition of reality, an ethereal quasi-component to the dimension we exist in: EmotionalSpaceTime. Emotion+Time=Memory. History is a Byproduct of Memory. Without the ability to remember what came before, we would not exist in Time. If we didn't exist in Time, which is equal to SpaceTime, we would not exist in Space. Without our emotional context, we would not exist at all.

Keeping that in mind, my recent New York explorations brought some interesting questions and observations to the surface. I recently moved off the island of Manhattan to the very close Jersey City, overlooking the spiky New York skyline and I quickly became aware that Ellis Island lay within a quarter of a mile of the New Jersey Coast. My history classes never mentioned New Jersey during the decades of Immigration booms, no book I have read has mentioned the obvious proximity to the rest of the country the short ferry ride to New Jersey is, and that only the immigrants bound for NYC actually traveled from Ellis Island to New York. Everyone else was shuttled through NJ. The Gates of America are in New Jersey. Why is it so important for us to believe that New York was the major port for immigration? Ironically enough, the Island itself was a tiny little thing that was increased through landfill as it grew to be able to hold the massive numbers coming in through its gates, and after the 30's and into the 40's, when immigration dwindled in the face of America's Great Depression and Wartime Era... it was simply abandoned. Forgotten. A profound symbol for so many of freedom and citizenship was stripped away by its lack of prescence in our Collective Memory and became what it truly was when looked at with no emotional context. It was a fancy building falling in on itself, floating on an island of trash off the Jersey Coast.

Ellis Island started to draw photographers in the late 60's and images from the rotting walls and remnants of beautiful architecture from another time began to surface, spawning a new interest in this important axis of our history. It was rebuilt to its original splendor and turned into a museum. The bizarre part is that what came from this place was profound amount of ethereal Emotional things... there is an overwhelming lack of physical objects, because you can't SEE citizenship, or joy, fear or freedom. We seemed to remember that Ellis Island was an important piece of our cultural development... but walking the empty halls, it seems like we have forgotten why.

There were some interesting three dimensional graphs about the number and types of immigrants, and obviously, to fill the space they had to be really creative - these graphs will be something i will never forget, due to the power of their symbolism and ability to impact you with a sense of the weight of what they were there to show. There was a number that did jump out at me, one I have never encountered before. According to the map detailing the (forced) influx of slave labor, it appears that the amount shipped to Brazil is HUGE in comparison to the amount that came to the states. Huge. Have I ever heard in a class, read in a book that there was even slavery in Brazil at all, let alone probably the most massive number of forced immigration in the America's history? No. With that startling revelation, my profound respect for the power of context strikes me particularly hard. Passing thoughts about our obvious sense of guilt as a country is apparent in our intense focus on our own slavery history, versus memories of talking with brazilian exchange students when I was in high school. I remember during one conversation I mentioned the Holocaust, and these exchange students, seniors in high school, had no idea what I was talking about. Images from the Holocaust are burned into our developing minds starting in the sixth grade, and American school systems make that a required section of every year of our education until graduation. Who defines what is important? History itself depends on the person telling it. There is so much bias and emotional context, History is a constantly fluctuating line, and just as me and my brother have differing memories of the same events in our life, History is a grand Memory. What is truth? We can all talk about God, but his face in our minds would be different to every single person due to their frame of reference. He will have a deep rumbly voice like someone's father, kind crinkly eyes like another's favorite Santa Clause, the one they went to the mall to see every year. One is black, or has almond eyes and dark lashes, a pot belly, is loud or gentle, embracing or stonelike and stoic.

Coney Island is going to be torn down - another relic from desperate times. P.T. Barnum and his contemporaries were the light in the darkness of the Great Depression, their bullshit and cheap thrills the only thing that the masses of poor had to lighten the monotony of starving and working and having nothing. I'm surprised no one has stepped forward to save some piece of this rich thread in the tapestry of American History, embarrassed when I saw how dingy and silly and falling apart it looked in comparison to the grand vision that resided in the recesses of my Collective Memories. Another symbol of the stuttering heartbeat of our culture, being washed away by the flood of people and their Greater Needs. What happens when we erase these pieces of history - the egyptians defined eternity through memories, and to wipe away someone's potential for eternity, they merely had to erase every picture and mention of that person's name from their records - when there is no emotional context, people who could remember these places and why they meant so much are gone, these places do not exist in space... will they cease to exist in time? Will they cease to exist at all? To continue on towards impending future and create new memories from our own context instead of just from a previous context of the people who will be phasing out during our lifetime, do we have to let certain memories go?

I recently saw the World Trade Center site for the first time. That is an event from my context, the images from that experience burned into the Collective Mind's Eye of my entire generation. A freshman in high school, my classmates and I spent the day wandering like zombies from class to class, sitting in silence, watching in horror as the trauma continued to unfold in front of us - every TV in the school stayed on. And we watched, and watched. It was not a Holocaust. It was not a Great Depression. But in our young lives, it is the only, the first and the closest context we have for the politics of horror, and the powerful feeling of helplessness that are the definition at the base of all of those things. They are building a museum on the site, and I am stricken with an odd sense of futility and devastation. We are consciously letting go memories of the light in the darker times of our development as a country, but forcibly declaring our priorities on remembering an act meant to strike terror in the American people.

And I wonder what will go in this museum for 9/11. Pieces of desks and unidentified human remains? Melted glass windows, and post it notes with meeting times that somehow survived? What is it that we are really looking to remember, and like Ellis Island, what physical objects could possibly convey the powerful emotions that surround the events of that tragic day? Like everything else, I imagine it will eventually fall from society's context and no longer be reality. It will be replaced with new memories.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Watch the sun rise, say your goodbyes... off you go.




Listening to the resounding vibrations of the Tibetan Bowl that concludes every session at Yoga to the People, attempting to melt into the floor as the sound washes over me, I contemplate the quote of the evening. It seemed unusually long, and discussed/described the nature of love as being like the plant that grows in the warmth of love, and ripens with its sweetness, is cut away from its roots and ground into flour to become a part of something more beautiful because of the pain and growth, the questioning of our roots and our acceptance of the form we grew into stripped away by the stone that grinds us into something infinitely more malleable, and with new ingredients and compromises added to the new structure of our beings, we finally take our place in a broader scheme of things, to be partaken of by god as we have partaken in each other, a vague cross referencing of compounds and molecules that unite us in metaphor.

Wave after wave of pulsing washes over me and I am contemplative at my inner stillness, reflecting, I suppose on the parts of me that have indeed felt all of those things: blossoming with the power of being loved, and feeling invincible, because I knew that no matter what, when I turned around, there would be that one person there; I pause to extricate myself from the heavy tangles of my perceptions and the roots I had become so accustomed to and their expectations; My own self definition was being pulled apart and examined thread by achingly tender thread; My sense of self was lost with the love I had expected to be there; I found myself again amidst the crumbled pieces of who I was before, and have found myself in a new and exciting phase of my life because I was FORCED to grow.

And I appreciate and am grateful for every moment of it.

I know I am much more capable than I had ever realized, and finding my way back to a place of love and tenderness brings me to it with a core of strength and self acceptance and tolerance that came when I became a brand new loaf of me, and the fantastic new ingredients that are working to make me a whole person.

As people begin to slowly pull themselves up from the floor and weave through the remaining meditative students, I pull myself together and head out. I have things on my mind, but I choose to focus on my breathing, my swagger, the dampness of my clothes from the sweat. I eat, shower, halfheartedly listen to music. I've put off my work until the morning, and claimed this day for me, listening to the sound of my own breathing.

And I begin to remember who I am.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

sudden silence, sudden heat.


i'm drowning. i can't. i can't find someone who needs my skills and talents, i have no reason to create, no reason to draw, i feel like i have no voice, like i could scream and scream and no one would hear the sound as it echoed off the walls and my immense talent and passion slowly dried up like the sound of my voice fading from the air. almost as if it had never been.

you asked why i led you to the back of my neck, with my head bowed to your chest. maybe i led you to the top of my spine, to the throat chakra, so that your lips, so gifted, so appreciated in their skill, so powerfully communicative might somehow clear my metaphysical blockage, free my voice that the world can hear me speak.

i have spent so much time trying to make everyone else happy, to create things for other people, to fulfill someone else's wishes and needs... it's time to stop and really think about what I want to say. maybe in college i had it wrong, i was so focused on giving teachers what i thought they wanted... i never paused to ask myself what i enjoyed doing, or what i wanted to communicate. maybe in the year since graduating i have developed a voice, and it is fluttering and beating at the walls of my body to get out. but reality and inspiration cancel each other out. who am i to draw and paint and design, when i should be applying, and sending out resumes, and scraping together money to get by? who am i to use my expensive art supplies, when i can't afford to replace them?

why am i here?

what am i supposed to be creating?

this whole hip hop scene is fascinating. I have never before heard such subtle genius and eloquence, before i met these impassioned wordsmiths. maybe that is a part of my epiphany, watching the evolution and movement of language into a powerful medium to communicate their thoughts, but at the same time, the words become complex sounds that throb and pulse, meaning surfacing randomly out of the flow of staccato rhythm from the highly trained and symbiotic instrument that fills the lungs... their voices.

voice.

that what this all comes down to, right? same theory and composition, different medium.

so while i sit here, writhing and choking on my growing voice, but not letting it tentatively make a few interesting points, or argue for the value of its existence, i have nothing to show should an opportunity arise.

maybe, if i start to speak, to feel, to paint, to have a conversation... the opportunities will avail themselves to me. i guess it's time to stop caring who would or wouldn't like what i have to say, who i offend, who has hurt me in the past, or stopped loving me because they wanted me or my work to be something i'm not, to take a stand, to finally pause...

and listen to the sound of my own voice.



maybe having a voice is what i was missing this entire time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"I am the ghost of a corduroy child- never listened, much too wild."






Tagging along with my sometimes lover and passionate best friend, who always leads me into fascinating experiences and surprising depths of emotions, I once again found myself facing the heavy gray door of the Drilling Company in the early hours of the morning, scraping up tape and painting over a myriad of scuff marks, baptizing the tiny theatre's stage new with a coat of black semi-gloss latex paint. My partner in crime was designing the lighting for the theatre's newest experimental production, to which she only vaguely described to me as being "organic", indefinable, possessing no book... and I painted barefoot in the night, with lights of different position and hue coming up and down, fading in and out in bursts of varied speed and color as she flicked through cues in her head. I wore patches of black paint as we stumbled home in the early dawn. It had been a year since I had painted a stage, since I had been up all night painting a space that would be brought to life by bodies moving across it. A year since I had to fiercely scrub huge parts of my body to barely remove those patches of paint, and I covered them as much as I could with sassy heels for my afternoon interview. Only later did I discover the parts I had missed on the backside of my right arm. I am what I am, sir.

That evening I was a part of the crew, one of the gang, I overheard bits and pieces of a runthrough, I was ready. It was a cool subject, cool group of people...

I had no idea what was coming.

A sassy waitress slung around drinks and coin change, the M.C. for the evening took names for the poetry slam that was supposed to take place. As the audience stumbled in a group at a time, a few people did come forward and speak with the M.C. before finding their places in the audience. With ease and familiarity, with subtlety and nervous energy, the intimate space quickly evolved into an interactive, all encompassing evolution, a tempestuous and vaguely uncomfortable transformation from the stereotypes we all hear, we all know to something we cannot escape. At first these social grenades are achingly brought up from the interaction of the multicultural cast, in artfully earnest and organic personal discussion with each other, that quickly escalates into pointed, witty commentary on the origins and perceptions of those stereotypical thoughts we all pretend to disassociate with. We as the audience are suspended in the perceptive dialogue, each of us responding to a different wealth of assumptions from the outside world, agreeing and disagreeing in our heads, wholly sucked into the Cypher...

what is the Cypher?

according to dictionary.com, the word cypher:
ci·pher also cy·pher (sī'fər)
n. The mathematical symbol (0) denoting absence of quantity; zero.
One having no influence or value; a nonentity.
A design combining or interweaving letters or initials; a monogram.

and thesaurus.com states:
Cypher Synonyms: device, emblem, figure, hieroglyph, letter, logo, mark, monogram, number, numeral, rune, sign, type, answer, clarify, decipher, dissolve, elucidate, figure out, illuminate, illustrate, make plausible, make reasonable, puzzle out, resolve, solve, straighten out, tidy, unfold, unravel
Notes: character is what one is; reputation is what one is thought to be by others

One of the actors described it as being in a circle with no end, a literal translation of the numerical character we know as zero. It is also specifically associated with a code, and the cracking of it, or, as the last line of the definition vaguely describes as "a design combining or interweaving", letters or people, the act of multiple "characters" folding in over each other multiple times is a deft allusion to our lives and perceptions and experiences overlapping with other people's, that we are inextricably linked to the perceptions and experiences and evolution and epiphanies of the others caught in the cypher with us. So as the actors spit rhymes and make poetic and striking allusions to different forms of racism based on stereotype, the flow is periodically interrupted with a clinical/encyclopedic discussion of what skin really is: the history of evolution evidenced for us on our bodies. At the same time, we are reminded that biologically, once past the initial melanin content that floats on the surface, we are constructed alike, with membranes and tissues, muscles and nerves, emotional reactions, blood, sweat and tears.

The piece closes with the characters being reborn, baptized new with tap water and awareness, as they first investigate what they see on their own skin with fresh eyes: color, metaphor, experience, emotion. Reaching forward into the audience to describe what they see when they look at the individuals in the audience before them, the room resonates with words like "honey", "mahogany", "earth", "open", "cinnamon", "cream", "golden". Suddenly, these actors are speaking the language of my artist soul and heart and hands. No person's skin color can be found in a paint tube, all luminous and convincing skin is painted with equal parts light and shadow, warmth and coolness, subtle combinations of dioxazine purple and lavender reflections, of sienna and ocher and cadmium red, oxides and cerulean and titanium white, just as we are all colorful reflections of our environment and history. The actors find in us, the audience, the broad palette of colors and emotions that an artist begins with, all of the colors that will build a final product, a creative incarnation, a child born of inspiration and passion.

Just as this piece was born from the intellectual coupling of brilliant, inspired and passionate people.

Welcome to the Cypher.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Prayer for the dying







What is there to say? Taking the biggest scariest risk ever has been one of the best choices I've ever made. I dropped, left, threw away everything I couldn't carry, and moved to New York. No job, few friends... only the knowledge that somewhere out there, someone needed exactly what I have to offer. I now sell a designer's jewelery on the weekends at a beautiful street market and am interviewing with companies like Polo Ralph Lauren.

A beloved professor told me about his experience in NYC, before I realized the desperate reasoning that our conversations really consisted of, described a feeling of being packed in with commuters, of rushing on mass with a large body of other people, unindividual, faceless, pointless.

Like a mirror, we choose what we see.

Since being here, I am constantly enthralled with the flood of individuality that surrounds me. Every once in awhile, there are the ghosts of people I've known in the past, specters with faces I sharply remember, from high school, from college, people who might know private, vulnerable things about me, but are merely dopplegangers, look alikes, God chuckling as I am being reminded that I am connected to some larger fabric of the universe.

I have found, in this beautiful city, everything I need to live my life to its depth and breadth. Constantly stumbling on more of the quaint, bizarre, modern, profound, having so many random interactions that spawn connections, revelations, direction, purpose...



but there are things happening in parts of the country that are a deep part of me the rocks me to the core. Yesterday was the first day of hurricane season - and the gulf is a minefield, a disaster, choked with oil that refuses to capped off. Hurricanes are the earth's way of cleansing, exfoliating... with the steady increase in the water temperature, they have grown to consistently massive sizes in the last decade. How will they respond to the current state of the gulf? We already deal with the red tide, the algae that was spawned from run off polluted water from the mississippi and now rocks the gulf coast by sucking up all of the oxygen from the water and killing all forms of coastal life. How will the beaches of my childhood, where I swam while still in the womb, the only place I truly deeply call home... how will they look after this disaster?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

how my heart behaves.


Rich dark coffee and rich, crooning 50's style music throbbing through the coffee shop. A profound sexiness fills the air, screaming with electricity and independence. It is overcast and moody outside, surprisingly autumnal after the summery days of the previous week, and the coming thunderstorms are metaphorically foreshadowed by today's bizarre intensity. One of my favorite people in the world, a most daring and independent individual decided to call me, further tickling my sense that the wind is changing, and beautiful mysterious things are around the corner. And I knew she would appreciate how Audrey Hepburn in Funny Girl I seemed today, I often think of her when inhaling a dark, perfectly made latte with a delicate lacy design floating on top. I feel the strength and sexiness of being alone, of being strong and quiet and powerful to the core of my scorpio self. Something has been asleep, afraid, I'm not even sure, but I feel it waking now, and calling opportunity to me like an irresistible force.

I'm ready now.

Come, Michael Buble, let's croon together, you and I, while I make manifest my seductive lifestyle plans for a fast approaching future.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cry me a river... oh cry me a river. i've cried a river over you.

Surreal to wait for a bus in the deep southern darkness, reminded me of a Miyazaki like image. I can see how he came up with the idea of a spirit bus, as in the darkness, each pair of headlights flows past me, gliding like twin souls. Waiting and watching, jumpy and pacing, the behemoth buses are silent in the distance, orange streaks of light hurtling towards me, but looking like slow motion, like an afterthought, the bodies of them blocking any headlights behind them. They move through the traffic like gaping holes in the flood of concrete and winking lights, with alien shaped strings of light floating towards me, everything with its own little halo, thanks to my poorly cleaned glasses and tired eyes.

In New York recently, with my lover and best friend, we groped through the fading light through harlem, hoping to find her new apartment before the ghosts of the homeless and mentally ill came seeking us out. Coming up on a park that descended steeply before us, I looked out and saw a body of water stretching out before me, the lights from the buildings winking at us from their reflections in the water, writhing playfully in the dark. Extremely confused, I stopped in frustration, as we were supposed to be heading inland, not towards the hudson, and we had already dragged our luggage through the subways and on a cab.

When I paused to express my severe annoyance, the vista changed, as my eyes caught up with my brain, as Christina laughed at my mistaken identification, as my visually trained perception clicked into place. we were standing over a late night rush, and the silent ebb and flow of the traffic had at first registered as water and reflected light.

Big City Survival Guide from a small town girl with big ideas.

RULE #1:

ALWAYS assume the people around you are crazy, until they exhibit some obvious form of coherent thought.


i.e. people sitting next to you on the bus, that guy drinking his starbucks, those annoying guys that hand out coupons and follow you through times square talking about your eyes, the crazy fucks that post random personal bullshit on your professional blog...



RULE #2:

Just because they write "homeless" or "veteran" on their ridiculous pieces of cardboard, doesn't mean they don't have a perfectly lovely home and beautiful family they go back to after you've coughed up your pity change. *

*please see the section referring to stepfathers

Saturday, March 27, 2010

anyway my dear little phoenix, feel better soon and try not to have so many regrets

invaded. i feel deeply hostile and invaded that my tool for accessing the collective, my creative discussion with myself that i have used to define my writing style and direct a professional body to consider my writing as a skill set i have to offer has somehow been misunderstood for some tortured desperate plea for a hero, in the shape of a figure i exorcized years ago.

Awareness. it begins with self awareness, a most elusive creature. the fabric of the universe has fallen into a most compelling pattern, bringing the sewage to the surface, laid bare and unapologetic before all of us. these times are not for the fragile hearted, and i hope the country comes out scrubbed clean of delusions and more sure of our priorities. love is not enough to sustain us. it can fill us and invigorate us, give us purpose and passion and joy, but its very existence demands a glaring awareness that when it is gone we will be empty, bare, less than we were before we knew it. so we hoard it. we try to bottle it up for a rainy day, build a fortress of jealousy and questions to protect it from an atomic blast of reality, and in doing so, like a flame, we take away the very oxygen it thrives on - spontaneity, freedom, lightness of being.

i always knew my past would bubble up and threaten to eat away at my sense of wholeness. I have been stocking up for that time, building an elaborate defense against a villian and a vanity that i barely remember. similarly, in love, i found the minute i stumbled gracelessly and passionatley upon it, i began the terrified countdown for when it would eventually eradicate my sense of self, and with that , my existence.

i believe this is a love letter. the love letter of a cynic.

i don't believe in forever, words that made me cringe when they fell so easily from her perfect, unappreciated lips. i know forever is a joke, a ploy, a simplistic human creation to hopelessly define the smallness of our existence in the universe... but quixotically i fathom the intensity of my passion in that same term; something i feel i could never find a match in, the depth and breadth of my emotional commitment. part of me can see the dance of our souls and see her for what she truly is: my soulmate in so complete a form that lifetimes and human lovers and simple words will never have the capacity to define. that part of myself knows no fear, and has unending faith in the truth of that fact... but some deep unapproachable, illogical part of myself that i have refused to acknowledge reacts to the reality of my humanity in so sharp and fast and painful a voice, i am helpless to the tidal wave of my hideously human emotions like a thing possessed. jekyll and hyde must have been written by a similar soul.

i've been caught in a psychological mirror for the first time in my life, presented with the reality of who and what the world was seeing... what the love i had so vehemently protected... i finally saw the fortress of my love for the cage it had become. i exstinguished the flame by which i was trying so desperately to see by, and the voice of an equally strong and powerful woman fell deaf on my ears. i didn't know i lost the light, because i was blind.

so maybe the mirror was there the entire time... but what good is a mirror to the visually impaired? what good is words of love or hate to a person who cannot hear?

that elaborate fortress has served me no purpose. i sit here broken and empty not from a lack of love, since i had long since lost it, but broken from what i finally saw when i opened my eyes and gaped in horror at the reality of my fears manifested. like an alcoholic in a 12 step program, i want to reach out and ask forgiveness to those who were swept up in the deluge of my obsessive, controlling destructive love, more powerful as its own entity than i could ever have guessed. i have somehow missed that this romantic misanthropic beast had filled my form and consumed all of my relationships, its hunger and greed deeper than an uncharted ocean, fathomless. it seems everything i touch crumbles away, receding like a nightmare, like light from the day, turning into night horrors as the words fell from my lips.

i have met the beast finally. the doppleganger that robbed me of my joy, and consumed the love that filled me like oxygen. for fear of unleashing the monstrosity of my fear and jealousy, all i can do is walk away. walk slow and steady, ignoring the ache in my soul that i left with her. i can't look back or i'll lose my nerve.

all i can say is that i did it out of love. for love.

still love.

forever.

Friday, March 19, 2010

god, women and fairytales






wandering lost and heartbroken through the west village, trying to lose myself and this profound sense of loss in its quaint beauty, i walked past a shop window and paused. the cat statue in the window looked so real that i had to double back and really look at its suppleness. it was real fur, but had none of the stiffness of a stuffed creature. that is one skilled taxidermist, i thought to myself. then it blinked.

leaning back to see what the establishment was, much to my amusement, i realized it was a psychic's place. interesting, cause the word psychic was nowhere to be found. just the neon script in the front window that read: past, present, future. never has something felt so cosmic or meant to be. i rang the doorbell. a scrunched up old lady pushed the cage looking door open and squinted up at me. i asked what she offered and her prices, which were extremely reasonable compared to psychics i've encountered in the past. with nothing but a check card to offer, she sent me across the street to an atm. i took out 40 bucks.

the reading that i chose was a double palm psychic evaluation for 25 dollars. she spoke with a slightly foreign, but strongly new york accent and demanded my right palm and cupped gently, looking into its shadowed crevices. than she began telling me my life. my two crippling relationships, the seriousness of my feelings for my recent lover, the depth of my pain, the intensity of the baggage she carries with her, my recent decision to change my life and move to new york, the resentment towards my one parental figure, towards all my parental figures, my inability to connect with men so strong and clear that she paused to ask if i'd ever even been with a man sexually, my struggle to find a voice, that i opened myself up to the wrong people, untrustworthy people, my stagnation in the environment i was currently living in, even she saw a trip i had been considering the possibility of quietly in the back of my mind. she also had some intriguing comments about the next few months that are exciting to contemplate.

"she loves you very much" she told me. i know, and i don't know. "do you believe in god?" she asked. yes, in my own way. an answer to which she chuckled at. "you are so talented, but you are disconnected from your spirituality. you want things so strong that they come to you, but they always end badly and you don't really know where it is you lost the thread." i couldn't speak, i was too busy sobbing. "you have felt like you have no purpose, haven't you? you are happy on the outside, but on the inside it is not so."

"but i can help you. let me think and search, because i do not believe this bad karma to be your own. someone somewhere gave you there emotional scars, their negativity has damages some of your chakras, you know what chakras are? and there is scar tissue lingering still." funny, i grew up speaking of chakras and auras, tarot and karma, and it seems she can read my comfort with the language she speaks in. i haven't spoken these kinds of spiritual words since i started dating my last roman catholic girlfriend, and it was like greeting an old friend.

"i charge for this service only 75 dollars." amused, thoughtful, i could only honestly say i didn't have that much in my bank account. she told me, she would take what i could give her, and she would give it all back if she couldnt figure out how to help. so i left her the 40 i had taken out, and left with specific instructions. i was to locate a yellow rose, cut the stem short (the length of a pen), get in the shower, and meditate under the stream of water while i held the rose to my solar plexus. my sternum, the place in between my breasts where my girlfriend snuggled into when she woke from nightmares in the dark.

interesting, the revelations that come when you pause to really think about something, with no fear, and no remorse, when you hold out your arms and ask for help, to the empty room, the steam from the shower swirling around me, from the small piece of sunshine cupped to my chest that swooned open in the heat as it gracefully collected the rivulets of water and my burning, salty tears.

so i was there the next morning, to bring her the rose that meditated with me in the shower, and slept under my pillow, soaking up my tortured dreams, and handed it to her when she asked for it. "i will take it with me to church" she says, "and i will pray over every petal, while the wax from the candle drips, you understand?" yes. i am not about to question this intense, loving mysticism. "this weight you carry is not from god, if it were, i would not be able to help you. it is from a person, and i will find it so we can clear away the scar tissue." she's looking for someone who hurt me... but to be honest, there are so many sad insignificant instances that could lead up to the trauma she describes. she asked if something dark happened on my father's side, a suicide maybe, but i have no answer for her, as my grandmother with 7 different husbands in her lifetime, the gifted astrologer who taught my mother everything she knew is little more than fairytale to me, a myth i grew up hearing about. aside from her, there is a sister that ended up in an insane asylum, and my father who fancied himself a warlock and disappeared during the early years of my cognitive development. it strikes me sometimes, how bizarre and mythical my life sounds, especially when so much of my knowledge was fed to me in the form of glorified and emotional memories. it often seems that i've had to construct my early childhood from someone else's loves and disappointments, fears and romanticized way of dealing with their reality, so it didn't seem so lonely. i'm not surprised this scrunchy old lady sees other peoples hurt weighing me down. that is, in utter truth, the story that is my life.

she sends me away with more homework. she pulls out 4 sage leaves, pale and soft with a fine downy white coat of fibers, and instructs me to light 2 tonight and cleanse my aura, and to do the same with the next 2 the following day. sage was used by the native americans to chase away dark spirits and purify the atmosphere. the leaves burn like incense, and emit a strong herby odor, that is usually combatted with burning sweet grass at the same time (as my mother haughtily reminded me, a running critique that interrupts my explanation of my experience.). once again, i am struck by the familiarity of this act, like deja vu almost, and i am momentarily sad that i let so much of where i had come from get forgotten. for however fabricated my evolution and existence might be, and subject to the whims and memories of emotional and absent minded people, it is all i have that ties me to this world, and this lifetime.

the mormons have become my friends, and they stop by in their rounds and kindle my sense of being connected to some community. they broke up the loneliness and monotony of my first few weeks in richmond. recently in our talks, one of them asked a favor of me. he wanted me to ask god if he loved me. i immediately informed him that i had no doubt of the reciprocity of a greater power than myself, i do not fear a lack of faith in being a natural part of a powerful being. "no" he said. "please ask." ok fine. whatever. but later, in the stillness of my room, reading a book filled with jewish mysticism and kabbala, i contemplated that strange request. the room was suddenly filled with a stillness so deep i was falling into it, everything was saturated and every single texture was perfectly discernible... and i was so terrified i couldn't voice the words. so when this ancient and earnest little lady tells me i am not spiritually connected, i have to stop and think... i have heard this before.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

just so stories.

oh sunshine. it has been a long cold winter. i dream of the beach, and curl up into a tight little ball without the warmth of my girlfriend to stretch out against.

exausted and overwhelmed, i've decided to lie low during my trip in NYC for this one decadent evening... responses from publishing companies, work i will be going home to... i'm just going to let it go. be just another human being for the evening.

hand somebody else the world i have on my shoulders for a few sweet moments, and just enjoy the fading sunshine.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

breakfast and puppies.





sooo got a few things on my plate at the moment, but here are the pieces i sent up for a show in new york. i was kinda rusty, but i got it done and sent out. we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

musings from santaland

what kind of childhood experiences lead a person to grow up and follow the path of professional santa?

not all santas take it seriously, often it's just a job that comes up for a few months every year... but not my santa.

the first few weeks after thanksgiving, we had children arrive in short bursts, with lots of spare time for coffee runs and chats with st.nick. it never ceased to be fascinating, watching a cantankerous old man making snarky comments to us and overheating in a vermillion suit suddenly become that jolly red cheeked man that haddon sundbloom painted into history on every coca cola can in the 1950's. he was santa clause, and bells on the roof, and gingerbread smells, and presents under the tree, and christmas lights, and he was Magnificent. reaching forward to take chubby little hands into his cheap white gloves, i was always humbled as i watched the children see past the worn costume and pretend leather boots to the crinkles at the corner of his wintery blue eyes the looked out over his wire frame glasses perched at the end of his pink nose and see the magic hiding within his earthly body. his ability to guess the children's ages accuratley as they stumbled, giggled, bounced, ran up to him was impeccable.

santa has a similar bizarre effect on grown ups too, coming to us through the touch and go of the masses. old broken men wandering through the mall came to tell my santa about their surgeries and survival, old women came out of the woodwork to flirt, and to sing to him, to make him bear witness to their age and the generations they gave birth to, adults found themselves confessing, touching, laughing to this crotchety old man from colorado.

he's magic.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

sometimes, we get lucky. sometimes everything is ok.

Walking through the crumbling museum district today, on a crazed search for coffee in perfect temperatures and golden sunlight filtering through the lush growth of monument avenue... I've found the best cup of coffee in Richmond, at a weird, shifty corner, across from a 7-11. Nothing makes one's day better than being handed a beautiful cup of coffee with a delicate creamy foam flower floating on it in perfect shades of pale mocha and rich browns. I forgot to worry about the dingy atmosphere, cause it took me back to a memory much preferred:

I was in the young professional quarter of Washington D.C. a few months ago, on a road trip from LBI to Richmond, crashing overnight with a friend and her roommates. She doesn't shave anything, doesn't feel the need to, wears loose fitting thrift store finds, and has an obvious chest tattoo that escapes delicately out of her shirt. Everyday she rides her bike to work at a government office dealing with green design and environmental technology... I think she edits descriptions of the stuff that goes on, or something along those lines. She is hysterical, and it excites me to no end that our government is becoming progressive enough to accept nontraditional individuals into their workforce. She directed me and my travel buddy to a coffeehouse on our way out of town, before she pedaled off into the morning fog. We pulled up to a shack. A shack where we were heckled by a homeless person across the street as we walked up warped boards through a door... And it was heaven inside. An ocean of warm, shining mahogany flooded with morning sun, large white coffee cups all with intricate floating designs atop fresh brewed espresso. And we were the only ones there who weren't sporting a security badge on our hips. What a seductive, titillating atmosphere.

On my walk back to the apartment in Richmond, I walked past a jam session of the jazz kind, pouring out of an ancient row house, took a breath, smiled into my coffee and felt like all was right in my world.

let the sun shine in.










meet dudley and lucky. Two of the most spoiled, adorable and slightly annoying in a good hearted way dogs being raised in the west end. we very much appreciated spending a week in their multi million dollar house with them while their owners were away.

I absolutley loved lucky's long legs, but when the munchkin, dudley chose to roll around in slow motion on the carpet, in the sunshine... i couldn't help pulling out my new camera and snapping some glamour shots. in most of these pics, dudley looks like a muscular little badass, but in truth he has a droopy little whiner that liked to steal dirty underwear and chew the crotches out.



Santa was very against the idea of pets. he told me a story once of the neighborhood cat man at his home in colorado, and how all of his cats started using the sandbox he built for his very young grandson as a gigantic littlerbox. what did he do? he set up huge lobster traps and drove into the mountains and deposited all of the cats in the wilderness. when the catman came by looking for his cats, santa just shrugged his shoulders and told him to start keeping them in the house.