healing, health

shark week

Two things: 1. This post is about periods. If you’re someone who can’t deal with talking about lady bleeding, probably go lie down and have a cookie and then and come back and learn something that might help you help a woman you love. 2. I am okay. Everything is being managed at an Olivia Pope level of handling. Shit is under control. I will tell you if you need to worry. I promise. As with most human biological processes, we all have our differences when it comes to our bodies and how they work and what is normal. Due to the whole DO NOT GET ACCIDENTALLY PREGNANT fear most of us are hardwired with the day we bleed for the first time, most women pay close attention to our menstrual cycles. We know when shit is going down in the uterine palace, sometimes to the exact moment. Lots of us have been doing this for longer than you’ve not been a virgin, so we are good at knowing what our bodies do and how it’s supposed to be and when something is wrong. Also because we are goddesses who are cosmically linked to the oceans and the moon and the planets, but you know, women. Of course some variations are expected, and there’s nothing to write home about if you have an extra period or miss one here or there, even though you’re not pregnant. And like, everyone has extra periods when they are under massive amounts of stress. Like it’s totally normal if that’s…

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authenticity

Authenticity is quickly becoming one of those buzzwordy concepts that’s getting thrown around in women’s magazines and on daytime talk shows because everyone is suddenly over it with mindfulness and meditation talk and wants something new. We just love new ideas that promise to solve our problems overnight if we just buy the right product or do the right workout or drink the right green juice. We are addicted to an endless barrage of half-baked ideas and advertising that assures us we are one tiny, effortless step away from the answers to everything we dislike about our lives. If we just buy this book, or download this app. Just read this one TLDR article and you won’t really actually have to do anything of substance. We want a solution to our deepening fatigue, our exhaustion, our loneliness, our sadness, our quiet desperation, and our ill health, and we want it to be magical and immediate and permanent and take two minutes or less. Authenticity, however lauded by the happiness-in-a-can set, is not a gimmick. Whatever Don Draper-in-a-hoodie-and-shorts Buzzfeed intern decided this was the next big thing was right. Except…Well, it’s always been there, just like our trusty friends mindfulness and meditation. If you want to get real deep into the rabbit hole of existential authenticity in philosophy, by all means, but the gist is this: Authenticity is “the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures.” It’s no wonder, in an age of ever increasing force in every facet of modern life, that we are desperate to move inward,…

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vision quest: further future

On my way in every way Be my guide or be my ghost There are no two ways about it You’re my guide or you’re my ghost… Five hours of Donato Dozzy, Neel, and Voices from the Lake. Caribou. Rival Consoles. Andy Stott. Nicholas Jaar. Leftfield. HVOB. Playing all together in one place, in one weekend. The electronic artist motherlode. This is how I ended up lugging two suitcases full of camping gear and elaborate outfits onto a plane and flying to Las Vegas, getting on a bus, and heading out into the Moapa Valley desert to camp out at a music festival alone. This is how I found myself in the Further Future, sitting in a cabana with a clan of magical German night vampires dressed all in white, drinking their morning champagne at 11pm “Berlin is a city of love. You are one of us, everyone here is one. This world is about love and we are the same. You are with us. Come to Berlin.”   So, first, let’s talk about anxiety. When your brain starts getting barraged by fear and worry and angst from the moment you wake up and you can’t turn it off, life starts to feel pretty scary. My anxiety is a symptom of something being amiss. In this case, everything in my being has been screaming at me to move forward. To change careers, to open my heart and my life up to the endless possibilities before me, to be ready for a drastic metamorphosis, to…

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ride the wave

One of the not awesome things my brain does to me when I’m stressed out is give me paralyzing, terrifying, cold sweat, hallucinatory night terrors. Tornadoes. Losing all my teeth. Being stalked by a vaguely French floating demon while the Eiffel Tower burns to the ground. Horrific car crashes. Aliens. Roaches and spiders. Something evil living deep in space. John Lennon’s ghost. End of days level civilization destruction type shit. Sometimes I wake up and can’t move, but I can see and feel the shadow of the force that’s determined to end me. I’ve been known to have conversations with the art on my walls. I’m dreaming, but even when I wake up, I don’t really know I’m dreaming right away. Three days ago, I was awake for five minutes before I was lucid enough to understand I didn’t need to call the emergency room because I HAD NO FUCKING TEETH AND I WAS BLEEDING TO DEATH FROM THE MOUTH. I have had vivid nightmares and nighttime hallucinations as long as I can remember. When I was a little kid, I used to sleepwalk. I would wake up in the dark hallway of our house, heart pounding, not knowing why I was out of bed, scared out of my fucking mind. Pure terror. When I was six, I had this recurring dream about the earth from space. I’d think very intently, as six-year-olds do, about that serene blue image we all imagine when we think of “Planet Earth,” our collective stock photo memory. I started…

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kintsugi

金継ぎ kintsugi – “golden joinery”      To repair with gold; The art of repairing metal with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. I am sitting alone in Central Park, in the grass on a rich plum colored scarf on the Saturday afternoon before Easter. It is a beautiful, serene, Lou Reed Perfect Day. I’ve got hot coffee and have just finished a gooey, warm chocolate chip cookie. I’m not wearing shoes and wish I were wearing pants instead of this miniskirt and tights because my Texas skin shivers slightly when the sun goes behind the clouds. I am exactly where I want to be.  Late March is always a peculiar time of year, filled with a mixture of relief and despair that all the fun is over forever. SXSW ends, and by some miracle, downtown Austin is pristine and put back together like nothing ever happened. Like thousands of people weren’t tearing across her streets in droves looking for inspiration and hope and oblivion and love and new beginnings. The thing about doing big, epic, fun things is that you really crash after they’re over and everyone goes home. I tried for a softer landing this year and left town immediately, which was wise. It is Spring in New York City and I can feel the golden powder flowing into the bits that got shattered this time and sealing up the cracks. There is no sadness that walking the streets of New York City…

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ten days of falling

Holy cherry frosted poptarts, how is it always March in this magical city? I swear it was December like five minutes ago. Alas, the time is coming friends, for our dearly beloved annual smash and grab, the badge wielding corporate trash blanket we call SXSW. For the 30th year in a row, in fact. It’s our drunk uncle who just won’t die, but who also gives us lots of money because he is very rich and knows smart people. So every year, I end up writing something about how much I love this horrible, wonderful festival in spite of how much I also fear it. It’s like running an event laden booze-fueled marathon in day and night appropriate rock and roll outfits. As any still-SXSW-braving Austinite or longtime attendee knows, you have your good years and your bad years. Sometimes there’s a bit of both, but generally it’s either a shitshow of epic proportion or the best week of your life. SXSW does not take prisoners, it either rains down glory upon you or makes you wish you were dead. No amount of free food and booze can save you if it’s your turn for a stinker. You just hold on and put things in your face, remain upright and try not to die. If all else fails, get the fuck out and stay out. FOMO is not real and you’ll be better off. No one cares about Kanye West anymore anyway. The 5am hangar party out by the airport will never happen again. Your…

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impermanence

“Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” – David Foster Wallace When I was a girl, I remember this M&M’s commercial they’d play on Saturdays while I was watching  Punky Brewster and Smurfs cartoons and eating Mr. T cereal. It was always tweens hanging out at the mall, eating peanut M&M’s, laughing, flirting, not being at school, wearing lots of acid wash denim, being nonchalantly cool, and having the best goddamn time of their lives. At the mall. With no adults. Where boys and lip gloss could freely intermingle in the dark arcade. Where $5 could get me a slice of pizza and a tiny bag of glittery stickers and temporary tattoos. Where we’d be left alone for hours on end, because nothing bad ever happened back then. Now, when I get that giddy ‘something amazing is about to happen’ feeling, I sometimes remember that ‘almost summer, just any day now’ vibe I’d get the last few weeks of school when Mom would pick me and my friends up in the Jeep, having taken the top off and left the doors in the garage for the duration. There’s nothing more exciting to a ten-year-old just out the door of elementary school than riding around in a convertible, wearing a pink miniskirt, listening to Purple Rain so all your friends can bask in your exquisite coolness. My Jeep driving mom was cool. I was cool. My friends were cool. We cursed and called radio stations and listened to…

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colony collapse

Let go of the things that no longer serve you. This is my 2016 mantra. I run shit into the ground pretty hard, particularly things and people that turn out to be negative influences on me for a myriad of reasons. I just can’t fathom giving up sometimes until whatever it is has gone so far off the rails that it might as well be dead. I need it to be dead. I’m driven by hope and possibility and probably an unfailing, naive optimism that people are their highest selves inside somewhere, and that I have some magical power to bring that out in them. What a narcissist. Instead of being irritated at my natural compassion and huge threshold for pain, I try to frame my relentless exposure to patterns of self-sabotage as some kind of samsara of gaining knowledge and tools so I can climb higher. I choose to believe life gives me what I need to have, even if sometimes that’s painful. Seemingly pointlessly so. I value closure, resolution, and hard stops. Completion. I like things to be finished and know the whys and hows. I want a bow around it, and I want to know I did everything in my power to save it. I will analyze and turn things over in my mind until they are just abstract concepts, as if thinking obsessively could somehow will things into being as if by magic. I will stay awake at night trying to decipher someone’s cryptic motivation for…

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the man who fell to earth: a tribute to david bowie

The Man Who Fell to Earth, 1976 I’m sure everyone has reached Peak Bowie by now, but it took me some days to wrap myself around the idea that David Bowie is Dead. Like forever. Permanently. Being dead means he was a human, just like the rest of us. Not invincible. Not able to beat cancer or outlive us all and explode into a whole planet with giant rings the many colors of his Ziggy lightning bolt. He was so human, and yet death has proven him immortal just the same. There have been so many beautiful, heartbreaking, intimate things written about David Bowie over the last several days. Not only by artists, actors, musicians (Brian Eno’s is my favorite,) celebrities, and friends who knew him, but by so many people across my network of friends. It seems as though everyone had a special David Bowie shaped hole in their hearts that he filled up with his music and film and art and fashion. Each of us found him in a different space, a different life phase, and we each have our own unique Bowie experience. The genuine love and loss people have expressed makes me happy to be part of a music-centric community that loves and respects this artist, this legend, this alien chameleon. And more importantly, it makes me happy to be human and alive. In an age where the daily media onslaught feels toxic and dangerous, seeing the world come together to honor and mourn the loss…

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obligation zero

Alberto Oliveira “For fear you will be alone you do so many things that aren’t you at all.”  ― Richard Brautigan A year and four days ago, I found myself painfully hungover, stumbling through the aisles of Red’s Indoor Range, waiting for my turn to pick up a gun and shoot it into the dark metal ether. I’m sure there were targets. There were men. Men and tension. It was packed to the gills.   Guns. This is a great idea. Guns will make you feel better. Shooting guns will somehow make leaving the person you desperately loved stop hurting. Right? For fuck’s sake, try something new!  I stared at rows of men with three, four, five different kinds of guns each. Rifles. Handguns. Scary military tactical shit I don’t even know the names for. They owned these guns. They owned multiple, many, myriad guns. They had more guns at home. They wore gun guy clothes and had gun guy faces. They were happy and I was dead. If someone told me a year before that I’d spend my next New Year’s Day recovering from a sobbing whiskey bender in a gun range, I’d have laughed them out the door. Are you insane? Don’t be ridiculous. That would never happen. Not ever.  It occurred to me to retrace my steps. The irony of my being there was not lost on me, and I clearly didn’t belong. Hey everyone! Look! Liberal Feminist Nonbeliever in a Gun Shop! It was like that…

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