It’s 2:22pm. I’ve settled in. Day one was hectic. I’ve been down at the farm since. Things are better. My creativity flows more freely down here, with the water and the swaying trees.
Damn… residency is kicking my ass and I’ve been here a day.
If you’re looking for a place to smack a mirror right up against your face this is it. This is the place.
One day here and I’m already restless as fuck. City life is more my pace these days. But I see myself without my usual vices. I’m going to run out of weed tomorrow and then what? What happens when the internet goes out and I’m stuck with myself and my racing, distracted mind?
This is a lot. I don’t know how I did it last year. Makes me wonder if I’m even cut out for residency life—for the hard work that being an artist entails.
Nonetheless, I did a good deal of work today—I started writing a new song. Granted I have started writing many new songs this year. And how many have I finished?
Ah, but the point is I am getting closer to my sound. Each new track brings me closer to BTRFLY’s true essence. It’s wonderful to see my learning coax my aesthetic out of me. So I’m here for a week. And a long week it will be.
But I am committed to what I’ve committed to—working, playing, working, playing, creating, being, creating, being.
The black mirror of my laptop screen will continue to reveal my ugly truth to me.
Here’s hoping I can wipe it clean.
‘I got angels all around me. They keep me surrounded.’
I woke up today to a heartbreaking text message from someone I’ve sort of been dating. I got out of bed, went upstairs, turned the shower on, climbed in, and sat there crying while the hot water fell upon me. Ta-ku was playing on my phone. I Miss You More. I cried for the first time about all of this—the details of which I will spare you. Suffice it to say, journal, it was a sad start to the day—a day I expected to spend alone.
But it didn’t go how I thought it would.
Jeanette messaged, asking if I wanted to go on a river walk—where the ice floes touched a rock outcropping in the center of the frozen Missouri current. I said yes. Actually I said, “You have no idea how much I’d like that.” I think maybe she did. So she said she’d pick me up in an hour. In the mean time I did my hair, put on some overalls, made a breakfast burrito and peppermint tea, and sat taking in the morning and my emotions.
Healing will never be a linear path. It will always be a circle.
Jeanette and I, no matter our struggles, love each other a great deal. We sing similar songs of the heart and soul. We howl in similar tones, and cherish too the strangeness of nature. She took me to a part of the city I’d never seen before. Funny how I’ve lived here my whole life and never gone that far east. How I hadn’t seen the river in winter time I did not know. But it was beautiful. A moving mosaic of ice and snow. A fractal of water in all its forms, caught forever between resolution and dissolution. She intended to lead me to a rock outcropping, as I said earlier. But our plans were thwarted by a steep shoreline. We only made it so far among the bramble and deer paths before realizing we’d have to turn back. As we turned to go back, I saw the pupper emerge from icy waters down on the river. He kept trying to climb out but either the water was too cold, the ice was too thin, he was too tired, or a combination of the three; he kept failing. I slid down the cliffside to try and coax him from the water, encourage him. Jeanette yelled jovially for him, saying he’s a water dog he’ll be okay. I’m sure inside she was shaking. But she didn’t show it. Finally he found his way and came running toward us at full speed. It was a beautiful and terrifying moment. Disaster was not in the cards for us today, only adventure and reconnection.
I wrote this poem earlier today after we hung out:
Follow Love on a walk by the frozen river.
Touch the dead green grass and the stunted branches that came of the Spring of November 2017.
Walk into endless bramble.
Lose your way.
See the puppy emerge from the icy water
the way your own heart is emerging from similar depths.
Smile when you’re peeing.
Laugh when you’re falling.
And when Love beckons you in its many forms, listen. Listen. Listen.
I am telling you all this for a reason. And I’m not trying to say it any particular way.
Here it is: the love that lives in friendship will forever trump the love that lives in romance. It is lasting and true. I am deeply grateful for the day I had today. I am deeply grateful that Jeanette reached out. We haven’t bonded like that in so long, and to have done so a few days before I head off to residency for a short stay… the timing was perfect. Thank you Universe for orchestrating such things. ❤
After she dropped me off, I went home to shower again and relax. Mostly cause I wanted to do my hair and I’d had it under a beanie all day. Please excuse my water waste for the sake of this blog entry. So I was in the shower and Yumi called me, asking if I wanted to get Pho. Mind you, pho is my comfort food (and ramen). And I love Yumi. It was totally unexpected and totally needed. We talked about so many things: sobriety, growing up, cherishing friendships, overcoming abandonment, caring for ourselves, standing in our authenticity and vulnerability. We shared our love for each other. I told her I wanted to nurture our friendship in 2018, to deepen something that feels true and beautiful and sweet. She agreed. The Angel. I love Yumi. I am grateful for her trust in me, her willingness to share her tough truths. Her friendship means the world to me and I am so happy to have her in my life.
(I’m not crying right now you are).
After dinner, she picked up Mazzy and dropped the two of us off at my place to go do laundry.
Then Mazzy and I spent the next couple hours working on the Octo Octa event page. We sat on my bed together, talked about our hopes and dreams for 2018, our desire to hone in on the things we’re good at, we talked about our history together, the first time we met, the many ways in which we’ve been tethered to each other ever since we met, whether we knew it or not—our destinies were tied. I read our astrology and boy was it spot on. Let me tell you something about Mazzy. She’s a Gemini. So am I. We push each other. We challenge each other. We bother each other. We inspire each other. We invoke profound artistic and philosophical sensitivities in one another. We love each other. And the blossoming vulnerability we’ve been sharing has been a true light in my life. I hope she knows that. I hope she knows how fucking proud I am of her and how passionate and excited I am to help her achieve her dreams, to let go of my belief that I know what that path looks like, and to be humbled in my ability to support and uplift her as she does me. The Angel.
Today I woke up feeling alone. Tonight I go to sleep feeling loved and held in a community of beautiful humans whom I cherish with my deepest heart and wish desperately to see their greatest dreams made real.
Thank you, Universe, for reminding me of my bounty, of all the magnificent abundance in my life—for my father, and my sweet sweet mother, for my great friends with their giant hearts. I am truly rich in love. And I have this warm bed, which I get to return to each night, to sleep, perchance to dream. To find myself waking up again… surrounded by the Angels in my life.
My brain isn’t quite ready to turn off. It’s 4am. I hosted open mic tonight. It ended with a freestyle jam session with some lovely souls. I left feeling invigorated and reminded of my strengths and the light all around me in this community. I want to focus on building bridges in 2018, bringing the musical community closer and closer together, carving out spaces for queer and trans artists and supporting, allying, and uplifting artists of color. I see so much potential from KC’s young people. We’re all doing wonderful vibrant things in the community and I want to see myself and my peers hone in on what we’re good at, what we do best, and own that. Like my rapping for example: if I feed it and nourish it with intentional energy i can truly bring it to life in 2018. And I’ll still be writing but in a different form. I just want to not stress myself out, to know when to delegate, when to lead, when to back up and let others carry the vision. I feel so strongly about all of this. It touches the core of me. And it is from that core that all the abundance and success in my life has flowed. I am deeply grateful for all the opportunities in my life. All my friends. My incredible family. My father. Pete. Mazzy. Thomas. Lorelei. Austin. Helen. Desmond. McKaylea. I am grateful for my artistic talents and all the abundance and richness these gifts have brought me. I am a truly rich woman. And I am thankful. Thankful for my bed. My mom. Good chiefs football. Pink Floyd. Grateful for so much and somehow I feel something awakening in me, something blossoming, and I need not worry. I am blooming. And I am grateful and for this moment at least I am happy and at peace with who I am and how I fit into this strange strange world. I am ready to heal my wounds and reclaim my personal power and energy. I call all of it back to me now. Universe, show me the way into my true power. I am listening.
P.s. I like it sometimes when no one reads this so it’s just you and me. Writer and page. The most glorious combination in my life.
What do you want from me? Focus? I’m tired. I spend time on my phone so as to avoid the crushing sense of reality. I avoid work and stress myself out about it when i do do it. I sense a great gulf between who i am and who i want to be, and in that gulf a great deal of hard work i am eager to complete and equally afraid of beginning–or should I say deepening because the work of fulfilling one’s potential is a continuum and not a foot race.
I’m just tired and I came here to try and sort out this mess I call my head. But now I’ve forgotten the specifics. I had something in mind and I lost it amidst the tumult. The thoughts of Elie. The thoughts of Anna. The thoughts of work. And the murky things I am desperately avoiding.
The shadows lurk regardless of whether or not I look at them. And last night I sensed the absurdity of the whole situation–stressing about a set I didn’t play.
I am both invigorated and tired and scared of the future and the possibility that I crash and burn, that I realize I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m in way over my head.
I don’t know…
I’m just tired of being distracted.
Tired of feeling out of step with myself.
Ready to declutter my mind and figure out what I want to accomplish most this coming year–where is my art to take me? How can I move forward in my purpose? What is my next move? These are the questions I wish to know the answer to? How do I ground my dreams in the here and now? How do I leash this mind of mine, that wanders so quickly and so relentlessly?
I am an artist.
I am a strong artist.
I am a powerful artist.
I live embracing rather than fleeing.
I live in acceptance rather than denial.
I live in my whole heart rather than just its wounds.
I am sleepy now.
I can’t help but think of her when I braid my hair. And the day she taught me. Or the day she read me an angry poem about how I was stealing her identity. Funny how the interweaving of hair strands could arouse in her a fear of enmeshment. Meanwhile I was desperate to braid my hair every day. To give to myself what she could not: togetherness.
Sounds > Words