How lovely it is to return to Los Angeles as an adult and absorb it from new heights. The last time I was here I was seventeen years young and doing a college tour with my dad and high school bestie. I didn’t like it. Coming here now, with clear intentions and worldly experiences, I soak it in with pleasure and excitement. I sense my alignment with this here energy and recognize the opportunities to grow in my career. Of course as a visitor I have fresh optimism and have not yet absorbed the struggles of everyday life. But I see and feel my own potential in a city soaked with like-minded pursuits, creatives, and ambition. The past few days I have gotten to explore Venice by bicycle. Oh how I’ve missed the ocean! It woes me and brings peace to my spirit. Saturday morning I went to an open house at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood. The first time I scoped out that school on the internet I was eleven. Funny to be there, in person, taking it in. I am interested in vamping my technical skills in production and engineering. The idea of being in an academic setting with structure and a sense of direction is very appealing. The journey as a musician is a long one that is refined through experience, and having a framework through which to refine with proactive intentionality is comforting. When visiting a city, I like to reflect on my “before”, “during” and “after” perceptions. A city is like its own universe, and as soon as you enter its portal it becomes more and more translucent. There are so many realms through which to roam, layers upon layers of culture and consciousness, all thriving at once. And it’s all so relative. Coming here, this time around, with a clear intention, focus and an adult brain (not to mention a 60 degrease increase in temperature) has set the stage for a clear understanding of what this city has to offer me. !
This past June the band and I had the opportunity to film a half hour show with Baby Blue Arts, a Minnesota non-profit that films quality, professional videos of local musical acts. Founder and director Laurie Patton, is the sweetest most sincere person and a joy to work with, as is the rest of the team. It was about a half a day’s shoot at a local television station and within two months’ time the video was released on the organization’s website (each month they have a featured act). This was a great experience for myself and the band, as it was our first “live” filming. I felt it really kept us tight and on our toes. There was also an interview portion, which I also have not done a lot of; it is funny and interesting to watch yourself post interview. Both the facial expressions I made and how I chose to articulate myself are huge insights for my personal and brand development. Lately I have been thinking a lot about representation. How I am presenting myself and how I want to be received. Ultimately you have your intention but there is absolutely no guarantee that every single person is going to interpret you the way you’d like. At a certain point you have to let go of control and just express yourself. Finding a balance between output (expression) and input (interpretation) is something, as an artist, one is constantly navigating. But, that is also what makes it so interesting, is that ultimately you’re going to impact each person in a different way. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to film with Baby Blue Arts and that I get to work and play with such amazing, talented and dedicated musicians.
The rest of the show, which includes 4 songs, can be viewed here.
Lately I’ve been missing parts of myself. The wild child, the animated goofball. The lady who impulsively buys a plane ticket to wherever she feels like it cuz she can’t sit still. The flirtatious provocateur who gets tipsy, dances and makes out with cute strangers at the club. The chick who runs naked through the streets in the pouring rain. This love of mine has been missing for a while now. Sometimes when we are letting go of relationships that are no longer healthy for us we temporarily lose parts of ourselves, the parts most associated with the people we once loved. Not that we ever stop loving them completely, we just choose to no longer act on that love. Amongst the loss we try and forget the memories that bore the attachment, the slivers of our identity projected onto the souls of others. Through the haze we may stagnate, flail a bit, stew in ourselves until we are ready to spread our wings, create new memories and reenact the lost parts of us on new terms. I have been, for long enough now, in the faze of stagnation where I am choosing not to “act” on old patterns. The withdrawal has given me a stale taste of complacency. My spirit is beginning to stir again, craving its freedom; to express with wild abandon all its colors on the canvas of my life. Now is my time for reclamation of the pieces of myself that I cherish, with new wisdom and an expansion of self-love.
A friend recently made the comment that “we are all just organisms” and it has been spinning in my mind the past few days.
Like all living creatures, we go through cycles. We are so complex and juicy and vibrant and beautiful. I love the visual of a jellyfish, its tentacles swooshing in and out, pressing against the sea, the tension it creates giving it momentum to glide through heavy waters. Like jellyfish, we open and close, taking in “water” and ejecting it when we want to move, or change directions. Or, like a rose, sometimes we are closed tight in a bud, engrossed in our internal realities and other times we are watered with love and light and come into full bloom, for all to admire our beauty. It’s all happening, all around us, all at once. An explosion of energy, a crescendo of fantastic realities expressing the intent of the universe. It’s a delicate balance, as an organism, allowing oneself to express, eject, explode, whilst also finding meaning and purpose within, latching onto particular threads of consciousness that resonate with spirit.
In regards to weaving threads of consciousness: I had fallen off with maintenance of particular aspects of my music career, and have recently reoriented my energies and am ready to regain momentum. I recognize that so much of building a dream, is the baby steps we take every day towards creating that reality. When we learn to love the process, the progress will come. These patterns come to define us! I feel blessed to have found the gem within myself that has given my life meaning, the artist. Through she I have found my endlessness. She is not an easy journey, she takes time, dedication, fearlessness, strength, compassion, persistence, and above all, love. On top of this she seeks experience, perspective, challenge, excitement, risks. She is the most real piece of me I have ever known, and I will forever dance in the chaos of her thunder.
You are building your castle. Your foundation has been laid, it’s time for the bricks. Take your time, for what you are building is a space that many will enter. Your castle must be secure. It is precious. You are precious. Know this. Respect this. Have the love and patience to tread gently. With kindness, compassion, awareness and joy. Have fun too! It is okay to let people touch you. Some will inspire your gorgeous architecture, while others will not always have your best interest. You must have or work towards the self-love, acceptance and forgiveness to let them go, for they are as human as you, dear one. Those encounters will give your castle character. That’s beautiful. Let them. That doesn’t mean they’re worthy of a permanent place in the building blocks of your queendom. You are the only one who can lay the bricks! You are the walls. You are the sparkle, you are the moat and you are the bridge. They can only enter if you let them. Use your best judgement at hand, and be okay with making mistakes. These lessons are a part of your precious journey! I love you always and forever my dearest soul. You are divine.
She was wild and her inner fire spilled out through her eyes. She believed once that she needed to change, and she set about trying to tame her inner dragon. By nature this was a silly game she played with herself. It reeked havoc on her bodily cage, her spirit clawing her insides desperate for freedom. She learned many lessons along the way and reached new heights, unleashing her mental demons and exploring introspective spaces untouched. Once she had had enough she broke away and flew to distant lands to recuperate. A great deal of damage had been done; she was wound up, the chains wrapped around her throat, suffocating her passionate demeanor. Unraveling would take twice as long as it took to wind herself up, and like a music box she began to open herself to the world once more. The harshness of these external forces charged abrasively through her, and amongst the chaos she floundered. As she arose from the ashes, wings spread, she took flight once more, this time with no intention of ever chaining her dragon again.
Loving her was as easy as breathing.
Like a reflex, I tumbled into her.
Amnesia set in and I had no idea how I’d arrived,
only that she was the destination and there was no place I’d rather be
As she unfolded before my eyes I opened myself to her presence and took her in.
She filled me up and I was high on every flavor of her essence.
I wanted to understand the meaning of it all.
How something so precious could happen so precariously
but she was slippery and unattainable.
Or maybe I was holding back too.
It’s hard to trust the present moment when the past keeps spewing up broken promises.
Broken dreams. She reminded me how to smile.
But I needed to learn how to love myself.
There was a broken door with a broken key.
Not even I could enter.
She was love.
On the other side of the mirror.
She was the one I dreamed for.
By the time I learned how to love myself
distance had eaten away at every chance I never had.
As I clung to the memory of what could have been
her presence faded into a shadow of my memory.
How hard it is to let go.
How ridiculously hard.