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solstice

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” – Og Mandino I like to think I learn things, both through the experience, and then processing and writing about it later. This has been my tried and true method for years, so much so that when I decided to stop writing here, I felt like a vital part of me was just gone. Evaporated. Journaling just isn’t the same. There’s some kind of validation I get from confessing my flaws and my powers to the great information void, even in relative obscurity and anonymity. I need it, and I always come back here. It’s part of my being now. I don’t know if it will always be in this format, but for me, writing and music and wisdom come to me together in a unified trifecta. It was brought to my attention recently that I write about the same themes over and over. That maybe whatever I’m doing isn’t working. Is it really progress if I have to keep revisiting, rehashing, rediscovering the same lessons I should have learned already? Yeah. The thing about me is that I’m the tortoise. I’m the mountain climber and the mountains are endless. I climb and I fall off the side. I start over. Again. And again. And again. It takes years of practice to really make progress as an adult. As a human. I don’t just pay lip service to…

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in permanent ink

Heart of the Dragon: Socotra, Yemen 2010. Dragon’s blood tree (Dracaena cinnabar)‘Glimpsing the dragon’s blood trees that mantle the Haghier Mountains, one can imagine that this is what the world looked like millions of years ago. Living up to 500 years, these bizarre trees are unique to the island of Socotra. Growing in severe conditions, they have raised their branches upward over time in an effort to obtain moisture from the highland mists – hence the distinct appearance of their canopies, like an umbrella blown inside out. ‘  Round 1 After a couple years of imagining and fantasizing and planning, I finally sat down on Sunday with the brilliantly talented Rachel Kolar at True Blue Tattoo in Austin and got to work on my left arm sleeve. This is my second piece with Rachel, and after getting my right arm done in 2011, I knew I had found my artistic, inky siren. She has always been able to take my collage of images and concepts and ideas and hopes and turn them into something magical. She just gets me, and that is rare and amazing. Like most of my favorite things in life, my tattoo creation experiences are big, messy, beautiful, organic processes that take time, creativity, patience, and trust. They are the ultimate union of self love, communication, aftercare, and human connection. This piece is, for me, the pinnacle to end a year of recovery, rebirth, and finding my way back to honoring the highest and best in myself….

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give up the ghost

People always ask me if I have a favorite Radiohead song, and I usually say “Yes, all of them.” While that’s mostly true (I can’t pick one favorite, don’t be insane) I have a very serious, special soft spot for Weird Fishes/Arpeggi. This song. This song is everything. When I am sad or lonely or hopeless or depressed or despondent and shattered over something, someone, some loss or broken fantasy or dashed hope, this. When I’ve followed another phantom to the end of the Earth, when I fall off, this is what I listen to. This is how I get home. This song brings me back to myself. In the deepest ocean The bottom of the sea Your eyes They turn me Why should I stay here Why should I stay I’d be crazy not to follow Follow where you lead Your eyes They turn me Turn me on to phantoms I follow to the end of the Earth And fall off I’m struggling lately with things being thrilling and fast and exciting and happy and terrifying and overwhelming simultaneously. I suppose that’s the nature of change and growth. When the things you fear come to pass, then the fear is smaller and behind you and suddenly, eventually, it’s powerless and everything is different. Everything is okay, and it’s good. Somehow, after everything, I made it to the place I want to go, or I can see it, and I’m inside the gates. Life is manifesting the things and people…

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epically fuckable

Oh boy, y’all. Mama is riled up.  I have something to say about being the tortoise who works so hard to gain self acceptance and live in her own reality. Sometimes other people are casually cruel and mean and give you no credit because they only live in their shallow world of traditional, generic beauty. Sometimes, what you have done, what you are, your journey, is still not quite inside the borders of what society drills into us as acceptable and lovable and fuckable. Age and physical beauty are huge, dark hurdles women must come up against every day. We fight ourselves, the voices we have inside ourselves that say we aren’t good enough to be loved. The truth is that even if you get closer to “ideal”, when you are flying and feeling your highest, best self, someone will always try to knock you down. Someone will look at your heart and body and mind and only see the outside and find you squishy and soft and instead of knowing your strong, infinite softness is sexy and unlimited in it’s ability to receive care and give comfort and pleasure, he will find it off-putting and foreign and feel like he has an ownership of your self worth. He will offer to engage with you in spite of your deep, ancient beauty instead of because of it. And to this, we say no. NO. We, the soft, curvy, strong, voluptuous, Rubenesque-bodied goddesses, we epically fuckable women, decry your modern aversion…

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help me lose my mind

Humans have always sought out oblivion. We’re wired to push the limits, and then to pull back, to rest, to reflect, to restrain, to tune out. Even sleep is a result of that need, to function and process and then disintegrate into the ether of our subconscious dreams. Magic, ritual, and religion have been bound together by this primal urge since we began walking upright in the jungles and started trying out what nature had to offer. Psychotropic plants, for example. “This one made Mary see the heavens!” “Oh, this one killed Bill, better not.” You know, on repeat, for billions of years. It took our ancestral psychonauts a long time to get us here. Since the evolution of consciousness, of deliberate thought, of awareness of the self, we’ve sought ways and means to escape ourselves and turn it off. Religion itself seems to have sprung from this mystical desire to know the beginning and end of everything, while still simultaneously holding the ripcord, hand hovering on the escape hatch lever. We want in and we want out, always. We want there to be a reason for this life, for yours and mine, for all the lives, for this planet, this space, this time. For us. We want to know the why, and sometimes we can’t handle it. Sometimes the mundane, the repetition, the certain rush toward the inevitable end becomes too much. Ignorance IS bliss. What if there’s nothing else? What if there is? What if this is a…

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all the way

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. If you’re going to try, go all the way. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. Go all the way. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. Do it. Do it. Do it. All the way. All the way. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.” ― Charles Bukowski, Factotum Making drastic life changes is a dicey process with countless twists and turns and stops and starts. At the beginning, trails are welcoming, wide and flat and winding, paved with optimism and good intentions and hope. The dark forest paths are tree-lined with time and space for conversation and dialogue and consideration of things like obligation and loyalty and how it’s always been. How you’ve always been. It’s slow, the change. Gradual. You start to break a sweat. What if…

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charisma

It’s October and even though some days summer still hangs on to the afternoon, those waves of oppressive heat have been replaced with perfectly cool mornings and night breezes the same temperature as your skin. Trees are casually beginning to drop leaves and acorns and bits of organic ephemera. We are entering the season of magic in Central Texas, from now until May or so, where everything cools out and gets real fucking nice. This is my favorite time of year because it’s always been a time of renewal and resetting. I always feel relief and comfort knowing cold is coming and bringing this energy that anything and everything wonderful is going to happen. This time last year, I was not confident. I was sad and broken and deflated. There was a time during the end of my last relationship and just after where I wasn’t sure if I would ever get my self esteem and pizazz back. I couldn’t find it. I had stopped doing all the things I do to make sure I take care of myself, and I was just doing things that made me numb to my situation. Shit was dire and stayed that way for a long time. I felt hopeless. I felt like it was going to be summer in the desert forever. Being lost on your career path or stuck in a terrible relationship or just feeling listless and directionless and lost for years feels very demoralizing. When something finally starts to click,…

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catalyst

I don’t know if this is actually a picture of two supermassive black holes colliding, but it looks like some serious space shit is going down, so I’m going with it. A couple days ago I read this article about how two supermassive black holes are set to collide with a force that could, according to some expert level smart Colombian astronomers with training in actual physics, “disturb the fabric of space-time.” Holy shit.  Firstly, how completely amazing is it that we can observe two black holes that are billions of light years away from Earth with some kind of accuracy that allows us to predict this will happen? That blows my peon human mind! Secondly, um, that doesn’t seem good really. Is that close? Should we like, move out of the way? Is Matthew McConaughey going to be involved somehow? Because please no. Oh right, also, we have about 100,000 years before it happens. But they are still super excited because they did some epic science. Those scientists are having a really good week. Right, so big deal, some space nerds are all jazzed up about a thing that’s not going to happen remotely soon, and yet, they know it’s coming. The signs are all there. The black holes in the constellation Virgo are beginning to do that twisty space dance and spin around each other, only one light week apart. Which a basically eleventy million billion years. So. fucking. cool.  I’m like a supermassive black hole on a collision…

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polarity

“What if I forgave myself even though I’d done something I shouldn’t have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I’d done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn’t do anything differently than I had done? What if I’d actually wanted to fuck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn’t have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?”                                                            ― Cheryl Strayed, Wild Modern success stories always go the same way. Some formerly overweight, addicted, sad, single, hopeless, directionless woman who has lost 200 pounds and kicked heroin is sitting in her tastefully decorated apartment next to her ratty old fatpants promoting her new travel weight loss blog which is now her full time job. Her cookbook is coming out next month in hardcover, and she’ll be on a book tour through Europe in the spring. Her emotionally intelligent, extremely attractive, sexually experienced life partner she met buying heirloom beets at the farmers market is by her…

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never ending circles

Kumiko Okada from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle “Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.”  ― Haruki Murakami I’m in that place. Finally. The place you read about in all the self help books while you’re waiting to get there. The everything is better now place. On the other side of the only way out. Through. That place that feels like it takes forever to reach, but when you look back, it wasn’t all that long. Oh fuck that, it was ages and eons and epochs. Then slowly and suddenly, you wake up alone one day and feel extremely, wondrously, magically whole. Relief. Where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. Our time perception is such a sadistic bastard, slowing down when things are dark and painful and speeding up when the world is raining joy down on your life so fast and hard you almost drown in it. Euphoria flood, shutting down the streets, stranding you on a balcony, locked outside with nothing on but a smile and you could not give a fuck. We want to hold on to that gorgeous peak forever, but we never seem to be able to, because life itself is a fleeting moment of sentient consciousness, the transitory and temporary essence of which gives it it’s meaning. The harder and tighter we hold on, the more permanent happiness eludes us, the more we lose, the farther away we are from our true, inherently perfect inner selves. We have to stay in the tender,…

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