(random wayward emails building up in the pages of my journal… here, a purging…)
5/9/10 ~ harbin hot springs, california
the call of crows, the rustle of leaves, en route to meet new friends for dinner. tonight i am sleeping in a dome on top of a mountain at a hot springs resort. the roads are lined with families of deer grazing, intermittantly shaking their soft tails. i spent hours in the hot springs today, everyone threadbare. i fantasized about ancient roman bathhouses… invented a game, a form of distraction from boobies & boy parts. someone in the sauna told me that if you make 7 repetitions from the hottest spring to the coldest, you can stay longer in each one. audra & i did just that, getting blissed out more and more. rumor became fact. from a dark elaborate room, a toe in the naturally scalding water, then a foot, a gasp, a sinking, thighs, belly, neck. audra retracted her toe, her face full of doom. i held her hand and soon she was up to her neck in the healing water, both of us silent. “ok ok” and a rush out, climb the stairs, past the waterfall, into the freezing cold water, painful, shocking, the blood switched direction and again to the hot… and soon, the colors of the mountains took on different hues and the back of my knees vibrated. every cell shocked & purging.
6/7/10 ~ on a flight from LA to Chicago
fingers fumbling blind in the open slit of my camera bag, bypassig texture of lenses, wires, chargers, hesitating at this velvet book, pulling it free from its dormant pocket. i haven’t written. i am a writer and i don’t write. i see, i capture, i have told myself it is enough, but the gentler reflective self begs to resurface from time to time.
my photographer self is interactive, animated, instigative. my writer self is that hushed crone with eyebrows raised that sits, waits & answers only when asked. i don’t often ask. i just keep going, amused by her stillness, knowing that if i am off-course she will lean forward & clear her throat. in previous life phases, she raged. i have segued, merged some parts, discarded others but always i feel her, that wise patient omnipresent force that i will eventually have to reckon with.
lift off is intoxicating. to be forced back, full weight ascending, piercing into the sky, over my house, through the haze, belonging to the sky. a tilt of wings & city blocks turn geometric. highways, the veins that feed. announcements, permissions, that teacher tone. this process means i am in the pocket, in cue for the experiences i’ve conjured. i pick a city, use the internet to tell people i will be visiting and people book me for photo shoots… families, dancers, bands, clothing designers. this is my career, this is how i eat. it is miraculous in the sense that it is fluid now beyond any real effort. years of wishing, simplifying & staying positive have paid off…. and now every day i get to arrive in another city where people want to shine, where people feel they know me thru my art and wish me well. i feel the same….
it is magick, a real form of magick. it’s what happens after fear subsides, momentum gains, possibilities are executed, ego is side-stepped and the ‘you’ that is ‘you’ becomes a vehicle for another’s potential. there is a responsibility in this. i focus on end results, residual emotions, a blanket of YES:F*CKINGYES! if that means enduring countless emails going over shoot times, locations and licensing terms over and over, i will. if that means re-editing the cleft of a chin just so, despite a mountain of edits waiting, i will. part of being fully present in this is doing what is necessary, within absolute reason, for my clients to use the images to further their own businesses so that they may live THEIR dreams, banish someone else’s fears, guide just one other person in this world to their own blanket of YES… & such is the reverberation that i take pride in, the ripples i see clearly as the years pass by…
6/22/10 ~ new jersey
mom had a triple bypass yesterday. docs say she is recovering as expected. hard to see her in so much pain. even harder to realize that all of this was preventable. i’ve been in the hospital with her since she got here and am trying to help the best i can, seems not enough. my sister diana is magick… natural care-giving abilities and able to overcome her own emotions to jump in there and do the exact right thing at the exact right moment. i’m in awe of her, learning always from her.
being back in nj, where i spent most of my growing up years, i feel now as if i stop growing. i revert backwards. i am no one here. i doubt everything. my california life feels like a dream, someone else’s life that i can only wish for. i feel infected, misunderstood & ineffective.
6/26/10 ~ still in new jersey
“this is for mom.” “i do this for mom” that is my mantra this week. everything i do this week is to ease her mind & help out where i am needed. most of the week was spent by her hospital bed, coordinating 24-hr coverage between my sisters. she is on the mend and is out of direct danger now, just rest & rehabilitation.
my job yesterday switched to caring for my niece alexis who, at 15 years old, understandably just wants to be driven places & be with friends. driving, not being my strong suit, i sucked it up to do what was needed. i had been driving her around since 10am. at 7:30pm after dropping her off at a club in sayreville, i found myself circling around route 9 trying to go south to meet my dad for dinner. i kept getting lost, despite the GPS on my iPhone. to say i took a wrong turn would be an understatement. as i made the turn i caught a glimpse of the rest of sign, previously obscured by tree branches. “9 North/NJ Turnpike”. i just saw “9” and assumed i’d turn around if i was heading the wrong direction. what i saw erupted in adrenalin volcanoes and instant projectile tears. if i was a porcupine, all my spears would’ve detonated all at once.
i was on the turnpike with miles of bridges, 10 lanes of rushing traffic all merging together, 5 options of highways all nyc-bound and all depositing me in places i violently didn’t want to go… staten island being the deal breaker. i pulled over to the shoulder and endured a complete meltdown… punching the steering wheel, sobbing to the point of nearly tossin my cookies… and then i looked up and there was a large man standing there. this is the moment that tv shows like ‘i survived…’ prepared me for. i locked the doors, avoided eye contact and grabbed the phone, which, i’m sorry oprah but if my phone was in the backseat, i might not be writing this. no phone zone, my ass.
i called dad who walked me thru calming down, something i can usually easily do on my own with ANYthing besides driving on highways. i don’t understand what it is but i do know that i was out of my head at that moment in fear, existing on the sound of his voice as he tried to find me. the man backed up a few feet and did push-ups staring at me. dad arrived like a superhero, scoping out options. he walked 30 feet up to see if there was a way to get off the highway, all the while i’m in the car cussing at the man watching my dad, screaming thru gritted teeth “I WILL F*CK YOU UP IF YOU TOUCH HIM!!” i puffed up like a faerie cobra…
yes, he said, there was an entrance to the parking lot of this abandoned movie theater that i luckily stopped at, the last patch of grass before heading into the web of nyc-bound highways. i followed behind his red sportscar, navigating around potholes covered by overgrown weeds, decades in the making. my entire existance was my father’s voice and the bumper of his car. we eventually found our way out onto a lesser highway. dad read my mind and drove straight home. i parked the car, kicked it and hugged my superhero, realizing that i really and truly do need help about my fear of driving.
it is the most irrational part of me…. i can travel the world, overcome so many things, yet a highway brings me to my knees instantly, as if i don’t have a choice… but i know i do have a choice… and will take steps to face this. the origins of the fear are obvious… i had 5 friends die in car accidents when i was 18-22 years old. i lived in nyc most of my life and never learned to drive properly.
it’s just unreal. even now at 4am my heart is racing. my fear switch is on. the last time it was flipped on was on mile 7 of the kalilau trail in kauai in 2008. it took weeks to shut it off. the fear lingers in my sunken shoulder blades, i can feel where it lives within me. i feel helpless at the moment to smooth it out. i haven’t slept more than 4 hours a night… in 3 weeks.
my reset button has a name…and it is brady. that sweet man who equally lives his passions and takes risks, that man that i pour my world into but haven’t seen in almost a month. he isn’t afraid of anything it seems… he too is a superhero.
this is really a difficult time in so many ways… i am not used to this stress… at home i have my love, my morning hiking, my inspiring positive friends, my lemon tree, sacred time… i am in new jersey and everything feels threatening to me…