change can look like staying

A few months ago, I thought I may want/need to leave Seattle.  Turns out I need/want to stay and committ fully to the relationship I have with this beautiful city and the people in it.

My dad ended up in the hospital for about a week a few months ago and this really jolted me into the realization that Seattle is where I need to be right now (my whole family lives in Seattle at the moment).  It also came to me that instead of leaving everything in order to focus on what was truly important in life (living in the moment), I could do that right here in Seattle, in this place I’ve started to call home. 

I want to go deeper into all aspects of my life here.  Fully commit to it.  Embrace it.  Love it, during the ups AND the downs.  I’m ready to take the bad with the good because the whole of it is quite lovely.  I’m ready to love this city and see where it may take us.

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after every step, there is another one….

….and you never know where taking the first one will lead to….

I haven’t written in a couple of months because I have been lovingly catapulted into some new level of my existence and I’ve been too busy digesting it all to be able to write about what was happening.  This may sound overly dramatic, but it is the only way I can describe what has been happening to me over the past couple of months.  My intense feeling, the last time I blogged, of “I think I’m on the edge of something big….” was right on.  Something has broken free inside me and there’s no going back. 

Minutes after posting my last blog entry, I was asked by a friend if I would participate in the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival by writing a poem inspired by one of the pieces of art to be displayed at the festival.  I felt like I had cried out to the universe and it had answered me!  Of course I said yes to my friend and proceeded to write in a way I had never written before and on a topic I hadn’t touched on prior to this.  I performed this piece during all three days of the festival and it was an amazing experience.  Sharing my truth in my most authentic voice with strangers in such an amazing setting was, I now believe, life changing.

I met some lovely new people at the festival and one of my new friends invited me to a hot springs outing with a group the following week. Once again, this proved to be one of those experiences after which life is different in ways that can’t really be articulated.  Something about being out in nature in this way, led me to connect with my innermost self in a way that can’t be planned or anticipated.   

Sitting in all the different pools of cold to hot water and especially spending an hour in a sauna-like naturally occurring cave was incredible.  The therapeutic waters of the hot spring had baptised me, it seems, and I emerged different than I had entered.  Something happened to me in that cave on an energetic level that I will never be able to explain and I will never be able to forget. 

The following weekend, a new friend I had met during the hot springs adventure invited me to go with another group of people to spend a few days in a hundred year old cabin on a lake a few hours outside of Seattle.  I was starting to really feel like one lucky lady!

The weekend spent being one with the surrounding nature and having amazing conversations about all aspects of life, love, and relationships was so lovely and felt so needed.  At one point, I sat on the ground by the lake and could not stop crying.  It felt like old ideas were earthquaking their way out of my body and were being released through the tears.  When I finally stopped sobbing, it felt like a weight I had no idea was even there had been lifted off my chest and like I had infinitely more room to breathe.  It was an actual physical sensation in the center of my chest. 

A couple of days after I got back to Seattle, it hit me really hard that I maybe needed to move on from this place.  This was startling, since there is so much I love about Seattle and I hadn’t had any thoughts of leaving the entire time I’ve lived here.  But the truth of this was “beamed” into me in a way I couldn’t deny and I started mulling over what this may mean.  I also wrote a poem about body image that was quite a breakthrough for me:

my body is not imperfect pieces

it is splending mystery of nature

my body is not bent wire to hang cloth on

it is skin o beat that makes heart dance

my body is not tan lines and stretch marks

it is heavenly contours unrepeated elsewhere

my body is not to be loved or hated

it is to be accepted

go by yourself to the edge of the river

peel off the clothes that scream their judgements

and listen to the wind as it whistles its approval

feel the sunshine as it kisses everything you silent scream at in the mirror

the trees are companions that don’t compare your shape with theirs

the earth holds you

the sky protects you

nobody blames you

play on the rocks

loll in the grass

drape your body unapologetically across a whitewashed tree trunk

close your eyes and feel where you end, where the wood begins, and then let go of the difference

know that you are as perfect as the air you breathe

accept that you were built with a purpose

All signs point to the fact that I’ve accepted a range of aspects of myself over the course of a couple of months that I was struggling to accept before.  Nothing happens in a vacuum and everything I’ve gone through prior to this has helped lead me to this point, but I distinctly sense that the events and moments I’ve tried to capture in this blog entry have been pivotal ones in my life and have resulted in a layer of the onion being peeled off in a way that reveals brand new “skin” (in every sense of the word, inside and out).

Last night, while I was out at a hip hop show, listening to my friend Cody (a.k.a Sadistik)perform one of his songs (Wake Up Dead from his album The Art of Dying), I had an epiphany when I heard one of the lines:

Weather in Seattle matches perfectly inside my skull
Everything is dark, everything is grey and cold/

All of a sudden it hit me.  This used to be true for me.  It no longer is.  This is why I may be feeling like I have to leave Seattle, a place that has given me so much over the past four years and yet a place that is becoming not enough for me in a lot of ways that are important to me.  Who knows where my next steps will lead me….

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spinning ’round, with my arms out and my head thrown back

This photograph I ran accross at represents how I’ve been feeling lately.  Standing in the middle of somewhere, lots of possibilities all around, and no idea what I’m supposed to do next.  Its not a helpless depressed kind of not knowing.  No, its like the feeling that I may be on the cusp of something big and that I may just burst before the something big is fully revealed to me.

For the past couple years, and the past year especially, I’ve been really inspired artistically and have been allowing myself to explore this new side of myself with the support of some lovely people in my life.  For a person who spent about 20 years telling herself that she wasn’t artistic, this is a pretty big deal.  Taking photographs and writing pieces that I perform at open mics around Seattle has been my humble foray into the world of the artist. 

When art touches me, I think of it as a knock at a door somewhere deep inside me.  My attempts at artistic self-expression has been me opening that door just a wee bit of a sliver.  And now I feel like there is SO much behind the door that I can’t even fully grasp all of it at once, nor do I know what to do with it!  I’m excited, inspired, overwhelmed and don’t know where or how to channel my energy.  It is ALL I want to do!  To experience art and to try and create some of my own.  There’s this thing inside me, roaring to get out, and its making me feel like I’ll go crazy if I don’t find a way of setting it free.  All of my attempts to do so seem feeble and small compared to the way I feel inside, but its all I’ve got at the moment.

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its a journey inside

I’ve lived in Seattle for almost 4 years and last summer was my first time to the Capitol Hill Block Party. It was alright. Lots of drunk people stumbling around, smell of spilled beer everywhere. I hear back in the day it was free and not fenced in like it is now. The highlight of the afternoon/evening that day for me was stumbling accross a group I’d never heard of at one of the smaller side stages. The write-up on them in the Stranger looked interesting, so I wanted to check them out. I was very pleasantly surprised by Air 2 a Bird. This local hip hop duo’s show produced a vibe that afternoon that just made me feel good!

I ended up chatting with both Gabriel Teodros and Amos Miller a while after seeing their performances. I ran into them, was nervous about saying hi (sometimes I just don’t know what to say to people I wanna talk to), and had a really pleasant exchange. A couple days later, I spotted Amos at Trader Joe’s (where I was working at the time) and bought the Crow Hill cd from him.

Like the show, the cd just makes me feel good! One of the songs I love is called “Let’s Ride”:

The Chorus:
let’s ride
hitting corners, lost, ’til we realize
its not us who’s really driving, take flight
past the skies, its a journey inside
i surrender to it, let’s ride

This song makes me think about my own journey through hard times and how, looking back on it all, it was all necessary to bring me to a place where I feel connected to God, to people, and to everything happening around me in a brand new way. I don’t know how others come to have faith in something greater than themselves, but I came to it through lots of pain. I have never been religious. In fact, I was vehemently anti-religious for a long time, thinking people “like that” were weak (thank God, I’m not of the same mindset now). I am still not religious and I don’t subscribe to any particular faith, but I’ve had experiences that have made me realize that I am without a doubt a part of something bigger and that something bigger is, at the same time, inside of me. The journey to this place has allowed me to let go of some of the control I’ve always felt I needed to have in order for things to “work out” in my life and I’m grateful for that and all the other gifts I get to experience in my life today.

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moved to capture a moment

I took this picture a few weeks ago on my way to work. I vary between a few different routes in the morning and one of these take me past a fenced in lot that houses abandoned old cars. Something about this lot really pulls me in. The cars have been there so long that some seem to be part of the vegetation that threatens to swallow them whole one day. These metal machines seem somehow soft and alive, like peaceful monks with dirt on their faces.
And then one day, the Mercedes (one of my favorites) had this open book laying on its hood. I love books (especially old ones). I was so curious! How did that book get there? What’s it about? The pages its open to, what do they say? Why did this book find itself on the Mercedes and not another car? There seemed to be a companionship there, between the car and that book. Who knows where they’d been before this, but right now they were a pair that somehow seemed to belong together.
As I write this, it has just hit me why the image of this book nestled on the hood of this dirty old Mercedes maybe made such an impact on me (I brought my camera on my next walk to work so I could capture it). The book and the car make me think of my father. He is in love with Mercedes cars and he loves books. As a gift, he once gave me a huge old french dictionary published in 1940. Its about a thousand very thin pages long and the blue cover is so distinguished. And its got that old book smell. There are things I do not understand about my father, but I understand his love for Mercedes cars and old books.

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latest obsession

When I get introduced to new music that I really dig, I get obsessed for a while. Frantically looking up any videos I can find on youtube, googling the artist to find out as much as possible about him/her/them, buying the cd and listening to it on repeat for days and weeks, searching out the lyrics of all the songs so I can go deeper into the music I’m hearing…you get the point.
Right now, my obsession is Dessa! A friend invited me (on Facebook) to Dessa’s show at Nectar Lounge this month, so I looked into who this Dessa person was and…I was hooked from the first video I saw of her performing.
I’m in love with her lyrics, energy, vibe, everything. So excited to see her live at the end of the month!

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here goes….

I’ve never had a blog before.  I’m always a bit behind the curve when it comes to technology, but I’ve been writing down my thoughts since a young age.  I’m not sure what will come of this, but I feel inspired to, so I’m going to write.

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