Posts Tagged ‘art heals’

Borderline

Friday, January 5th, 2018



In the beginning, the plan for Year of the Kat was to get on medication. That, thus far, has not come to pass, mainly due to the runaround and wait times in seeing a psychiatrist meaning I had one single appointment before I left on tour (in which the psyche questioned whether I needed medication at all).

Medication is an option to enable a quality of life, and I may still come to be taking it before July and stay true to the intentions of YotK, but whether I am certifiable is no longer relevant to me. Reality dictates that, in conjunction with attachment difficulty, complex PTSD, and depression/anxiety, I frequently animate debilitatingly agonizing borderline behavior and patterns, and what makes those times relevant to me is that I suffer when in that state.



Observation and history dictates that, since my experience learning to care for myself is the origin of my ability to teach others how to care for themselves, I do indeed possess the ability to treat myself in ways that reduce the impact of those time periods, and potentially prevents them entirely. 

The issue of debilitation virtually always coms down to one of two things: I am being gaslit or otherwise abused by someone I trust in my life, or I am neglecting the care of my own self.

One tidbit I know works for me to maintain a sense of direction (I no longer believe, in my ‘higher’ self who compels to write these things, in the common concept of identity) is to periodically write out who I am for myself, rather than in order to display it for others — on tinder, my biographies on my websites, facebook.

We have experienced recently that you, Kat, are a person who cannot be healthy, and be talking to Dad, at the same time — and thus, I cannot be healthy, as you are a part of me, and I am a part of you.

 It’s about time I reminded myself, again, as ever, who it is that I am, so that I can hopefully better remember it, the next time you need for me to be who that is for you.





This is why Year of the Kat. This is why we reconnected. We have one another, to remind us of who we are.

—— W H O I AM —— Jan, 2018

Artistically, I focus my outward attention (and my internal monologue) on my advocates, sustainers, enablers, supporters; and do not give any of my true fucks to the people who do not know me, do not like me, either, or both.

Professionally, I continue to forge my vibrant, dynamic, challenging, grueling, and unique path of resistance and integrity; as derivative of white supremacist parasitic capitalism, and also source’ one that processes many a cathartic shit releasing what terrified white men in suits tell me about how to meet my needs or measure the success of my life’s work.

Personally, I fuck the binary, poop on rape culture, and disembowel the ableist colonial white supremacist heteropatriarchy however, wherever, and whenever I am able, oppression dynamics withstanding, and spoons provided.

Emotionally, I remain ever in search of my tribe, my home, my sanctuary, by continuing to search in myself.

Socially, I am committed to restoration, integrity, and decolonization, including for me. 

Especially, for me.

—-



We have one another, Kat.


I’ll handle Dad from now on.

WIP: I Hate The Fucking Internet Today

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

I’m working on a maxi-single for I Hate The Fucking Internet Today while simultaneously fleshing out the lyrics (WIP = Work In Progress, afterall).

It will be 5 songs I think, 4 of them versions of this one, and I think I’m gonna tack on What Kind Of Asshole Are You. I have a fast/cute solo ukulele version, a piano version, a guitar/looper version, and an Not Applicable version.

Been mucking around with the song this eve. Like, for long enough. But I had this urge to practice it again, even though now is the right time to stop.

While I was sitting there thinking about whether to push myself, I realized that my motivation to do that is out of fear that I will lose the mojo unless I force it down my own throat to exhaustion.

Like I actually have the story in my head that I will forget how to work the looper patch I’m setting up and practicing on, the foot dance I am literally fucking choreographing for myself around a song I’ve been chewing on for months.

I’m not really sure if this is actually how I learn, but I am pretty certain that the impulse comes from a deep insecurity and lack of confidence in myself in part because, get this: I find it so exhausting and strenuous to learn shit.

Like what the actual fuck.

#triggerwarning #mentalhealth

Monday, June 19th, 2017

#triggerwarning #mentalhealth

I’ve been struggling badly with my mental health since last fall. It’s been pretty awful in general, and then the small shred of resource and sanity I felt I had — my van/house/freedom — did what vanhousefreedom things do when they have 204,000 miles on them, and started breaking things.

Expensive things. While I was 3000, 1400, and 800 miles from ‘home’, which is a place I don’t really identify much with anymore, that I can’t afford to stay in, but is the most familiar to me.

I’m broke, in quite a bit of credit card debt, which is rising as I’m trying to take care of my body, which is also really pissed, and enjoyed a ratio of playing shows that leaned toward the ‘really sad empty dive bar’ sorts of ways far, far too often for my tender worrysome heart.

I’ve got pals and a warm place to sleep, which is helping me not completely lose my shit. I’m also spending most of my time manically making slapdash art, or sobbing and paralyzed and thinking about how easy it would be to clip an aertery and be done with this shit.

Every day, though, I do something meaningful to get better. I’m seeing a chiropractor to take care of my spine. I got that horrible inflammatory IUD pulled out, and acknowledged my gratitude for the ten years of effective birth control that little angry shit provided me. I’m on antibiotics for an infection I’ve likely had for about 8 months. And for now, I am living somewhere I can actually stand up in.

For a while, I was taking classes to get my massage license back before recognizing the returns were not sustainable (and, let’s face it, I’d be much better off making sandwiches 8 hours a day than going back into the job of touching people). But I enjoyed the classes and I learned things. That’s what you take classes for, right?

I’m also working edges like usual, one of which being to get better at letting go of money when I spend it, rather than being attached to the notion that everything I spend money on be some sort of investment.

I’m having a particularly hard time working up the nerve to get back into therapy, though, and to get on meds, which I’ve recognized it’s time for me to do. Like, actually do, and go through with, this time. I have an appointment with my primary care person in July to talk about it, but frankly, I’m really worried I’m not going to make it that far.

I’ve attempted multiple times before when it’s gotten this bad, and self harm is becoming a regular thing to deal with the sobbing fits, like the one I am stuck in right now while attempting to get ready for the one damn thing I committed to doing today.

I spend so much effort holding in a wall of sadness behind my face, and when the dam breaks, relief doesn’t come with it. Just more pressure and exhaustion. I think about doing the morning walk-in freeforall at the clinic, or going to the ER, usually multiple times a day. But I don’t.

I’ve been trying to figure out why, after so many years of being capable of getting help after how hard I worked to get there, I’m so stuck now.

I feel like my spirit is broken and no one can help me.

I’m consumed with fear that hopping on a medication rollar coaster will make it worse, and I don’t think I can handle anything more.

It seems I’d rather smack at myself qnd bruise my own face to feel relief than walk outside and pull weeds out of the ground (and risk fucking up my back again, I say to myself. Oh, my back went out while putting my pants on a half hour before a band rehearsal about a month ago. Did I forget to tell you that? Probably).

It’s hard to remember a time I’ve felt so alone.

But even moreso, I am finding that I am deeply mistrusting of the health field now. The last two therapists I had (out of four) had pretty shit boundaries.

Both relationships were helpful in ways, but ultimately the situations were very messy and consisted of a lot of loss, especially the last one, which was long term and complicated and multifaceted and ended traumatically.

There are quite a few things I used to be interested in/enjoy that I no longer enjoy after realizing I had to get out of that relationship. And getting out at all kicked up so many self criticisms I have about my limitations in maintaining close connections, and so often being the one suffocated and scrambling to get away.

When that relationship broke, so did my last frayed ties to the ‘healing community’, my trust in it, and my trust in my abilities as someone who was once a teacher in that realm. It broke my confidence in my worthiness to continue to be any type of healing guide or mentor, too. For the best, maybe, but disorienting all the same.

Of course, as I have created distance, I have recognized where being in unethical ‘healer’ relationships enabled me to be unethical and damaging to others myself in my care practice.
For the bulk of my time in the scene, I was surrounded by and looking up to healers and mentors providing therapy to people they were fucking, providing therapy to people they then started fucking, providing therapy to friends who didn’t ask for therapy, incepting their own notions and beliefs into vulnerable people looking for their help, having unintegral boundries and phasing in and out of roles without communicating or garnering consent.. the list just went on and on. And I belonged there. That’s the kind of shit I did, too. I think about some of the things I chose to do now and cringe so god damn hard.

It was a shitshow and I’m glad to be out, but, I’ve not found an alternative for the positives being in those communities allowed me to receive. The modalities, when respected in safe containers, were very powerful and helpful to me.

My trust in writing, which in the past has brought me a lot of connection and relief in the absence of stable relationships, has also faded. I no longer feel empowered by posting vulnerable shit like this and writing about my mental health struggles here. Or anywhere really.

I no longer feel fueled or that I am ‘helping’ anyone by sharing my stories, after a lifetime relying on that to make finite connections while constantly growing and transforming and leaving people behind who were important in my life but wanted me to stay the same when I needed to move on.

I simultaneously feel like such a loud obnoxious burden, and that I’ve forgotten how to take up space.

I feel like a complete sticky fucked up projectile mess, and also like I’m so constricted I can barely breathe.

But maybe broaching the subject now that I’m onto this will shift something. I’ve got shit to do, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let today be another fucking day I beat myself in the head to stop crying long enough to get it done.

P.S. if you are like I’ve been in the past and have become again and are hurting yourself to deal with your overwhelming emotions, this might help you feel like a little less of a freak about it. It helped me to remember how normal this all is, for all of 5 minutes, anyway.

bobbing cork in a bucket

Monday, March 30th, 2015

On one hand, my ‘fuck the bucket’ epiphany (and artistic ritual) was really valuable to align myself with a deeper knowledge.

Taking into account that myself, crabs who snip at my heels, and the crabs whose heels I am compelled to snip, were never meant to be in a fucking bucket in the first place really blew the doors off my views of the socioeconomic and interpersonal warfare I witness and am actively resisting.

It also really fucking crushed the shit out of my spirit, I am finding. It wasn’t apparent at first, but I am finding now that it was around that time that the little precursors to my epic nosedive, which I am still exhausted and recovering from, began manifesting.

It was around that time I started becoming quietly overwhelmed by the vast uncertainty in my life. Everything, from income, to vocation, to housing, to location, to intimacy, to resources, are in flux. It’s a time in my life where things I thought were stable are dying, where things I thought I needed are shedding. Things I invested years in maintaining are ending their life cycles, too. Everything is changing.

A friend described himself this morning as ‘Hanging in there. Like a cork on the ocean.’

Man. Do I feel that. Disorienting. Lonely. A little freeing, maybe? A cork on the ocean needs only to continue to do what it does; float. I relate to the frustrating simplicity in the circumstances of a tiny seabound cork. And I rather liked the implication of the impossibility of his drowning in them.

I won’t drown, either. Right?

Right.

Also I want some answers goddamnit. Any time now.

Perhaps they will come later this month, as I bob like a cork in the actual ocean.

It was time for me to buy some art, myself.

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Arms are inked, now. Sleeves: Inevitable.

Lovingly done by Mike at All Star Tattoo of Tacoma on a gut feeling, best tattooing experience I’ve yet had. Recommended. Thank you again, Tacoma.

For reference, this was what I was doing with my arms back in 2008.

Keep going.

Full Circle Zita

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

My signature (nude) aerial silks piece started as a homage to sexual relationship, to not giving up on loving someone, even when you get bucked off. The act began as a physical illustration of the struggle to shed the defenses that bind us, finding strength in being vulnerable, and how sex can contribute to the art of self discovery.

This character is established earlier in the show as someone who is timid and quiet – until they find themselves seemingly alone with their obsession.

The piece morfed meaning, and genders (I now know I am non-binary) over the years as I performed it, representing first a specific relationship, then love and connection as a whole, and then my relationships within, including the one I have with my sexuality, and lastly the one I have with my darkness — which I performed on black silks rather than red.

When I first started performing the piece, and for quite some time thereafter, I had to get to the green room right away when I came off the silks, because the wave of what I now know as grief was so strong I would convulse and sob uncontrollably.

Often the deep sobbing would start while I was still curled up inside the silks, and I’d come down as quickly as I could, choking down a river. When I was safe I would completely loose my shit, and something totally overwhelming would rip through my body like a hurricane, and last for extended periods of time.

Sometimes, when I was lucky, there would be a puzzled someone or two there to hold me.

Though I’d come to many theories about it, and over time that response softened, I had no real idea why it was happening.

Due in part to this reaction, I didn’t perform the piece often, perhaps once a year or two. The opportunities to perform it always coincided with a big level up in my personal growth, often cauterizing what had been a long psychic process.

Each time I performed it, the dramatic swell into my big drop felt angry, and forceful, and nearly always, sexual. It represented for me both what I valued about my personality and what I felt deeply ashamed of. That inevitable struggle for power that would result in me being batted away and hurting.

Now I know why. Now I see what I was trying to tell myself.

The following video cannot do this act justice. People who saw this in person were transformed along with me, and due in part to the nudity, the opportunity was rare. Zita was something special, this act was something special, and I am honored to have had the courage and the support to have done this in my life.

Performed June 9, 2010, four years before I wrote about my epiphanies regarding rape culture, for “There must be something in the Air”, a benefit for Versatile Arts, the aerial gym I call home.

The music is from the Batman Begins soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. Video footage courtesy of Block My Eye Films, which I edited over one insomniatic night.

Goodnight, Grandma P.

Friday, May 30th, 2014

In addition to directing the performances this year, I have two small pieces of work that were juried into the Festival (first time), and have modeled for Jim Wilkinson’s installation “Stall”, as well as being the model in the photograph Jim Duvall chose to be in the show as his Masters of Erotic Art piece in the festival.

Today I am most thankful, however, that no matter how stressed or overstretched the task may mean I am, each performance production I direct invariably gives me at least one opportunity to console and remind a troubled artist (as well as myself) that I do what I do because art heals.

Break many legs, and have a great Seattle Erotic Art Festival, everyone.

My Bleeding Heart

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

I sold a painting I’m currently showing at Broadcast coffee today, while I was making another one.

Print available (and pillows, clocks and tote bags too)
Original is for Sale

I’m over it now.

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

I’d stopped really writing here for a while.

I did it because someone who was formerly influential to me in my life, who is historically by far the most damaging and hurtful person I’ve ever experienced a relationship with, shamed and mocked me for it, and for my artwork, and basically said a lot of really fucked up cruel shit to me.

This reenactment a few months ago spawned a wave of child devastation that I am still struggling through but haven’t written about.

Whether I choose to write about the actual incident here, I have not decided.

What I have decided is that I don’t care what she thinks.

So in case you haven’t noticed, I’m back.

The infirmary

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Injured, fed, home. Playing the walking dead game, sitting in the perception that there are worse imaginable things I could be going through, like it were a mental stitz bath.

This has let me feel something, other than my mental anguish, my how the fuck could they, my I can’t believe this happened, my why is this all happening now, for the first time in a week.

When the sensations come in my guts I stop to hear them and experience them arise and pass away, and that calms my mind down. There’s no room if I just focus on the roller coaster in my gut without thinking things to go along with them. Just focus on what my body is saying.

Not how disgusted I am at person one. Not how utterly gutted and horrified and crestfallen I am about person two. Not how focused and guarded and exhausted I am.

Being able to tune that out to see deeper now brings me hope. I’ll heal. I know how to now. I can feel myself doing it. I’ll be stronger after this. I’m already stronger after this.

Perfect clarity helps with that; I am so. Fucking. OVER, weak men.

The biggest part of the reason I am in this place now is the people who have shown me allyship. The ones who allowed me to be in my experience while I’ve processed this without judging me, expecting me to rise above it, or inserting themselves into it.

To be able to hold space for someone in true crisis like that is a virtue, and I’m glad I have people around me who can do it better than I can most of the time.

Without those people, and my courage in finally opening up to them, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to trust anyone again to really turn to or talk about it with.

This experience has been such an eye opener. Such a lesson in rape culture and shame and utter betrayal and loss and stunning confounded amazement.

If I were to describe it, I’d say it feels like someone stumbling down an ally who just got buckshot in the gut, but isn’t dying.

It didn’t even occur to me not to spend this weekend alone until someone on my tiny person list really saw me and asked me over to be with them. Being with people has helped.

I’m a zombie. I’m in shock. I can’t do a lot right now and I locked myself out of my house accidentally. At best, I can stomach about half a meal in a day. I cried at a directors meeting. I’m a wreck.

And that’s what I’d expect I’d be, and that’s probably what I’m gonna be for a little bit longer. Not too long. But at least until my art and music stuff is out of that house and back with me, and I no longer have any ties remaining with either of them.

I’ve had a spoken word piece materializing as I learn this lesson and write the closing chapters of a long, long story in my life. The story of a rapist I’ve known since I was a kid and how their voice has effected me. I expect when I return to open mic, that is what I will have to bring.

I made new art today with Jim Wilkinson modeling for his SEAF project this year. I’ll see if I can post the pictures of me after the festival.

Time to go cry a little more now, and try to draw.

An introverted peace

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

For as long as I can remember, I have identified with with my thinking, and being thought of, as a naturally extroverted, gregarious, outgoing person.

It wasn’t a conscious choice, it just happened somehow that I caught onto the facts that a) I did well at creating myself as the center of attention and b) that people who are noticeable are the ones who receive the affirmation and encouragement I wanted.

I remember a specific interaction I had as a very young person, as I began to withdraw in response to the pressures of significant dysfunction and tension in my home life. A no-doubt well-intentioned, somewhat concerned figure of authority and reverence to me, probably my Dad or one of my favorite teachers, took me aside and mentioned missing the bubbly me.

In that moment, I determined that the quiet, introspective me, wasn’t good enough. That being that person made the people I cared about hurt and worry, got me in trouble, and being available and seen was what was best for everyone. Through this and other observations, over time nurturing my fledgling ability to communicate my desires authentically and effectively was overlooked.

It is true: I have magnetic, charismatic social talents, and I do occasionally truly and fully enjoy going out into the world and sharing them. Coupled with my intuition and understanding of people, I’ve experienced amazing, even transformative social interactions that I highly value as part of the life I’ve lead, and I am certain I will again.

However, I have habitually, and with potentially misguided examination, met my more frequent tendencies toward solitude — though intense and from a deep place — with shame, and all too often with a vehement self inflicted emotional punishment.

In my teens, my deep desire for a quiet safety and security was under constant, incessant attack. Though eventually recognizing the wisdom in doing so, I left high school an angry, guarded, self-perceived social failure, even though I passed the equivalency exam with ease at the age of 15, immediately and very successfully joining the work force.

Due to many factors I spent years in an agonizing isolated depression, in pain, online; a constant pressurized stream of my fears, my weaknesses, and my disappointments lurching passionately from my mind into IRC channels full of people ready to commiserate and affirm my negative beliefs, which were carefully constructed to appear as though I thought they were completely and utterly right. And I probably did.

It took me until 27 years into my life to be able to say, compassionately and authentically, that I didn’t enjoy loud live music, crowds, and bars so packed I’d find myself having to scream in order to be heard speaking. Due to other facets of my personality as well as prioritizing social interaction, it was scary and incredibly hard to ask for the closer one on one and small group connections my soul was really seeking.

Until my 30’s I met the physical disturbances in my body, and the numerous emotional hurdles present in most of my preparation for social events, with blame and negativity. For years, I’d get churning nervous shits while preparing to go out, holding onto the promise of inhibition annihilation by way of drugs and alcohol to power through it.

I have often been assuming that those responses were just me being weak, and seen my anxiety an unnecessary obstacle, or worse, a fundamental psychological flaw. I have scorned myself for wanting to be alone, for wanting to hide, for wanting quiet around me, when I feel scared or threatened or off kilter or tired.

Self scorn, and more frequently now self-doubt, is still my first response toward wanting to be with myself, in many cases. It’s a long road back from it being nearly impossible to trust when I need to be alone, and when I am trying to withdraw to punish myself in silence. Over time, they had simply become the same thing.

As I’ve aged and learned more about how and why to be alone, I’ve started to embrace alone time, usually in the form of travel. For a long period of my young-adult life I forced myself to constantly value expressing connection over taking time for myself, in part for fearing that if I took that time my job/lover/friend/parent/insert-connection-of-value-here would be gone when I returned, and as such often undermined the limited time I had so boldly and bravely taken.

Boldly and bravely may even be an understatement. Even now that I am beginning to master recognizing my need for solitude in wilderness, and having felt the amazing freeing power in listening to that call, prioritizing it is still incredibly challenging. Over these last few months as I’ve been frantically struggling, I’ve known and even proclaimed to others repeatedly that I desperately need to get away for a while, even just a few days, and have yet to make it happen.

There are many, many pieces to this puzzle of worth, of connection, of belonging and feeling accepted, for every one. What this woman said helped me find another one of mine:

In health and otherwise, my introversion is where my revelations come from. It’s where the meaningful, impactful words I write, the ideas I share, and my awareness of the connection I feel with humanity comes from. It’s where my performances come form, it’s where the layers upon layers in my shows come from, it’s where the compulsion to create Vita Arts came from. It’s where my paintings, my music, and every self photograph I’ve used in this post comes from.

My introversion is the birthplace of my extroversion. It’s how I communicate with my soul.

Hiding isn’t always a lie.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

“Art making is like being badly sunburned: you’re peeling, you’re trying to get the layers of the world off you to get to yourself.” —Michael Goldberg

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Thank god for the internet or I never would have done anything artful in front of anyone.

Embodied, Nov 9/10

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Embodied is a one-woman show illustrating a musical journey, and a rare public performance including much of my original music and distinctive cover songs. It depicts the sense of the personality fragmentation in youth, and the experience of slowly piecing ones self together to truly be a whole person. There will be live music, stunning visuals, palpable energy and an aerial performance. Anyone who enjoys being moved by the dark, melancholy, and profound will love this show.

Artist, performer, director and writer: Courtnee Papastathis (also as Zita the Aerialist)
Sound Engineering, back-up: Edgars Klepers
Visuals and Lights: Courtnee Papastathis and Miked Up Productions.

November 9th and 10th. 2011
8pm – 10pm

FRED Wildlife Refuge
127 Boylston St
Seattle, WA 98102

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Example track “Threshold”, from my first album, “Point of Origin”. Flash required to preview music.

Tickets are $20 at Brown Paper Tickets and at the door, space permitting.

ABOUT THE MUSIC:
I first emerged on mp3.com as “Not Applicable” in 1999, with my first track Infinite Reality immediately topping the ambient electronic charts. Over the next few years through mp3.com, two albums were released; Point of Origin in 2000, and Altercations in 2001.

Until the 2008 limited edition self released album “Songs of Leaving”, my first album in 8 years, I’ve mostly favored covers and lending vocals to other artists. In 2001 I produced vocals for The Dream Traveler (Joey Fehrenbach) for the tracks Structure and Headpusher. Described as “impressive and emotive”, both Structure and Headpusher were released together as a well-received single through Fade records in 2003. Headpusher was featured on Nick Warren’s Global Underground release Reykjavik.

In 2002, I sang on Scribe Machine’s album Replicant for the stand-out track Fragile, a top 10 hit on many college radio stations, which was later released as a Maxi-single through Plan B and Tower Records.

“Not Applicable (Courtnee Papastathis) is a spectacular and rather cinematic experience. The central texture is influence by Tangerine Dream & Brian Eno and periodically altering its orientation to Phillip Glass & Steve Riech. My favorite part of this music is the mysterious tension of the hauntingly beautiful vocalization. The Music takes occasional ominous sounding detours into new age, and even flirts with electronic windham styling. But the overall aesthetic is still very original.” – The Big Roll

“Not Applicable is a one-woman band (Courtnee Fallon Papastathis) who possesses the unique ability to virtually freeze time with her moving, highly emotional ambient landscapes.” – Digital DriveThru Essentials

“Not Applicable’s Courtnee Fallon Papastathis writes highly emotional ambient music, combining dreamy tones with an unforgettably beautiful voice.” – Mp3.com Spotlight

“For an album that has not one word, it still seems to speak to you; The music has a way of speaking its message through the pitch and emotion in the vocals rather than poetry. Point of Origin is the death of a loved one and the regret our minds ponder, the things that are spiraling around our subconscious every day. Not Applicable is a musical form of these” – Azriel J. Knight

Embodied was made possible by the generous donations of my Kickstarter Backers. Endless thank-you’s.

Take Me

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Photographed by Chris Clark

Protection

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The protected post “I Made This” is a sneak peak mp3 for the people involved in the production of Embodied, most of whom are my kickstarter backers. In a post that only backers can view on at kickstarter, I linked them to that entry and gave them the password — and I also said this:

For the past week I’ve been home from my trip, I’ve been periodically marveling at the idea that this all really happened. That this all continues to happen. That I’m getting to do what I love because I asked for help and was met with a wash of amazing support. Right now, it feels like a fresh bathrobe straight from the drier. I’m snuggling down in it and sighing happily.

Though clearly this experience effects me as a musical artist most notably, I can already tell this project is changing my life. The confidence I’ve gained from your advocacy alone has felt profoundly altering. Beyond that, even in small ways, like the song fragment that escaped from the clarity and gorgeous response in that microphone, every day I’m feeling you guys, and how your contributions set this transformation in motion.

I am going to blow your fucking socks off in November.

:)

There are so many people who deserve to see that recognition who aren’t on kickstarter, I wanted to post it.

I’m sure I’ll hit a few glitches, but I think the worst of my brief freakout period is over. Right now I know I’m going to put on an amazing show that’s worth the money people pledged to me and more. I know it’s all going to work out and the chips will fall in the right places. I know I can trust myself to spend the money wisely and be proud of what I accomplish with it. And I know that this show is giving back, rather than paying something I owe. If I know all this now, I can know it again if things start seeming hard.

Thank you for helping me take care of myself, touch lives in the process, and gain so much toward touching more in the future. I’m unable to articulate just what’s happening in me right now but I tell you, I can feel it, and I’m leveling the fuck up something fierce.

The art is mine, but on an island, that kind of art can’t exist. We’re in this together, and I’m glad.

Protected: I Made This

Monday, August 29th, 2011

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

SEAF 2011

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Thank you to Adam Harrison for shooting this image, and so much to everyone who attended the Seattle Erotic Art Festival and allowed me a window into themselves this weekend. I was ambiently performing both Friday and Saturday evenings on a pedestal.

Some of the connections through that mask were absolutely amazing. So many people at the festival were so willing to fall into temporary possession, allowing themselves to be arrested, mesmerized, for a few moments and often longer. Through intense eye contact, stalking, mirrored movements, and even touch, I felt many connections with people I may never see again.

It was most definitely a Jekyll and Hyde kind of weekend for me, full of fragile connection contrasted against a sinister smoldering prowess. I found the performing intense, rich, fulfilling, challenging, and without words – Just how I like it.

In addition to being invovled in David Peterman’s Common Thread piece, I was also involved in Jim Wilkinson’s much more personal “Naked Truth” project. Jim and his models discuss what makes the model tick, and then choose something personal and likely secretive to paint on their body to be photographed. At SEAF, Jim displayed 45 16×20″ canvas prints on about 16sqft of wall space.

A project like this one has me written all over it (haww), and given what I’ve been up to with my internal work lately, I jumped at the chance to do this. Jim and I talked for nearly an hour, until I decided what I wanted to say. It ended up being about mom.

I stayed for dinner, and as we talked, we got to discussing how, for an erotic festival, there wasn’t a lot of erotic content in the project. So, I decided right then something else I wanted to say, and offered to come back to get a second picture taken, looking different enough that I could be in the project twice without it being too obvious.

About 4 days after the first amazing shot, we got this amazing shot.

Fucking. Awesome. I love my life. I was impressed with the festival this year and the tremendous amount of work that was obviously put into the event, and it was great to be ready to return after many years away for personal reasons.

Note: These are my versions of the images post-processed my way. The images submitted to SEAF slightly differ. Also; that’s my real-life utility belt. Because, as we all know by now, I’m the fuckin’ Batman.

Four of my favorite words

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

“You blew my mind”.

It’s most often difficult for me to accept that I have a fan base, and I think part of the reason I stay small is the fear surrounding embracing that and what kind of person that makes me. For me to think of myself as a person with fans… I just cringe at the size my ego must be and how much work it would take to keep it appropriately inflated. I know there are people out there with healthy esteem who could recognize fandom without fucking it up somehow but that doesn’t feel like something I have the wisdom to do yet. I’m not ready to handle fame gracefully.

And then I remember, that wisdom is what I’m cultivating in my life right now. Bringing feeling intuition into perspective, reevaluating how much hold I allow it to have on what makes my reality. I read back on that second paragraph up there, and I already don’t agree with myself. I already think it’s silly to be afraid of success like that.

So let me say this, as deeply and sincerely as I ever have; Thank you so much to the fans of my work. I am really blessed to have the kind of encouragement and support I have from the people who’ve noticed what I’m up to in life. You consistently overwhelm and fuel me in ways I couldn’t ever comprehend asking for. Thank you so much for being so generous toward me with your praise.

I can feel another layer of the gnarled, debilitating onion I carry around in my guts being peeled off like a piece of scotch tape against a hairy arm. That’s what sharing my stories with you does for me. That’s the kind of inner work you enable me to accomplish by allowing me into your lives the way you do. It’s inexplicable pure soul sharing and it goes both ways.

I have worked so FUCKING hard peeling at this thing inside me that was fucking my life up, fucking up how I thought, fucking up how I was capable of seeing the world, how I was capable of being with people. I’ve learned so much. And now I use my hard won abilities from that experience to come to meet, and stimulate, the hearts in others.

‘The task of art is to turn tears into knowledge’ – Schopenhauer

I shift lives. That’s what I’ve done with the desperate, massive mindfuck of a place that I came from. I earned this. I want to be doing this. I want to be this person. And I embrace and accept every beautiful thing I was told because of Friday night. Thank you so very much to all the guests and performers who made it an utterly amazing, transformative experience.

I see you guys. Thank you for letting me know you’re watching. I’ll keep on sharing and I’ll keep on kicking ass. For me. And for you.

<3