Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Finally figured out who this was for

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Serendipitous gifts

Friday, August 5th, 2016

“The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.”
James Baldwin

Just now, I texted everyone I have a current iMessage conversation with “Thank you for being human with me”. It is because I associate those people with the ones I maintain the closest friendships to because we share our phones messaging app between devices.

This is, invariably, a false equivalency, though it became more balanced when I changed my phone number and worked through (am still working through) who to tell.

The truth is there are many filters that would leave deserving people out of the loop about this mass, and yet personal, messaging spree I just went on, but what alarms me is to discover that the selection process is not as intentional as I’d like to think it is.

It’s not even a selection, really. It’s laziness, lack of awareness, automation, which causes me to turn to iMessage. The fucking automation. The fucking machine that plugs my supposed need for that kind of connectivity and false belonging to sell me unethical products that are not meant to last.

Look. There are people I will never talk to again who deserve to hear me say “Thank you for being human with me”. Every single person I’ve ever met deserves this recognition. And I deserve that recognition from all of you. And I think it’s fair to say that it seems pretty universal that we have all been unconsciously programmed not to acknowledge one another in this way, but to pretend that we do. Like the quotes in Embodied said on the walls of Fred Wildlife Refuge,

“I am the collective effort of everyone I’ve ever known.” — Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Apart from never being able to truly trust anyone, I wasn’t a hacker, or a bone fide hardware geek. I appreciated that stuff, but I was drawn to hackers because I was a *communicator*, and I could relate to hackers. I like being clever and sneaky and destroying shit as much as I like creating it.

For a long time, being a part of the hacker community — and later the little red studio, specifically, had me feeling very special. I felt popular, I could say whatever the fuck I wanted, I threw weird parties, and I had a community with which to be creative.

In both those instances I’d locked societal woundings with whole communities, and the learning was fertile and priceless. We were communicators who wanted to build our own god damn platforms, to cultivate relationships with our expression forms, and with technology, that mattered.

Well, as far as I can tell, most of us still want to do that. But where the fuck are we? What the fuck are we doing? We are on facebook, and google, and twitter, and none of us trust these fuckers with the soul we give to them.

How is it that we got to the point that your fucking words, your thoughts, your fucking anniversaries, your fears, your personality scores, your rants, your sorrows, your calls for justice AREN’T YOURS, AREN’T OWNED BY YOU, instead being fucking manipulated and distilled and romanticized for profit.

What the fuck.

My space. My fucking space.

That’s fucking better.

I have a deep desire to be in structured school, with a goal, challenges, variation, and letters after my name. So many of us do, I think; we crave knowledge, a safe space to explore not already knowing, guidance, and we crave our own continued understanding. We crave the idea of education that the educational system abandoned in order to survive civilization.

For people like us, right now the best we can be doing is learning by teaching what we know to our communities, but more importantly to each other, our fellow activists; especially those of us who recognize that without drinking water, without being able to be naked outside in the sun, without food, without air, without the ancient peat bogs and rainforests holding so much carbon for us, we are fucking lost. Those of us waiting for the cleansing fire. The birth to the destruction to the birth.

It’s people like us that need to be learning from people like us who are focused on different parts of The Thing.

Start hosting workshops to teach the shit you know. Start risking your ego to make a difference, to open yourself up to learning by empowering others. Make that shit happen, and do it with fucking integrity. Give credit where it’s due and don’t make money off the backs of those society deems yours. Admit you don’t know it all. Explore. Let them come to you, and when they do; Teach.

Teach.

Y’all want fucking revolution? Then let’s use our fucking skills to prove it, and create one.

One day at a time, one habit at a time, ween yourself and take responsibility for your own shit.

Stop fucking leaning on the systems you recognize are corroding your fucking soul.

Learn what it is to nurture and toil the food you eat before you eat it. Learn what it means to be have less stuff. Explore options of supporting yourself that don’t rely solely on the internet, or invisible slave labor. Invite a friend over to your house to chat. Share your mentors with the people you love. And ffs stop fucking maneuvering your most precious relationships via fucking text messages, ya fearfulass Previous Me insufferable text-dumping asshole.

I’m not sure exactly what that looks like, but when I really sit with what it feels like to give facebook and even instagram the product of my mind, I feel a gross sense of self betrayal inside. I’ve grappled with it a long time, but I think I’ve made good headway lately.

And I’m fucking watching you, Patreon. Every greedy fuckshit mistake you make by us, I’m holding your asses accountable and taking fucking notes. You have to earn the shit out of my trust. The shit out of it. Do better.

The Notebook

I am noticing one of the blockages I experience around my writing, is that I rarely write. I type. And that’s different.

I have also noticed that my organization of ideas is scattered as shit. Self sent text messages, voice memos, emails to myself, google spreadsheets, soundcloud, patreon, my blog, the notes app on my phone, and hardcopy notebooks — all house my fractions, experiments, and prose. Ideas for my current album, Cold Front, span all of these mediums. Even if I wanted to work on it, just going through my fucking notes is like looking into a shattered mirror.

While I excel during projects when I allow the process to be messy, and I do best while fragmented and having multiple, different projects in the fire at once, I recognize that I lose myself in obsessive tracking and procrastination when I do not start those projects from a place of organization, grounding and levity.

It is time to carry a notebook. Everywhere. And to utilize technology as a backup, a failsafe should something happen to it, rather than.. Whatever the fuck it is I have been doing. Amusingly, I was just gifted one by a new pal.

I made him sign it. Oh, the pressure I put upon y’all.

One of the people who passed through my life at one time is a very famous, beloved author. He understands the value of a hand written page. I am thinking about him as I make this commitment to myself, and my work, to intentionally try things just a little bit differently, now.

Besides. I know how the brain works, at least in regards to how it processes information in the context of expression methods. I learned this as a student at Brian Utting. Writing, with my hands, on paper, making marks, will download the essence of what I want to capture into a place that is very unlikely to be taken away from me, even if something happens to my notebook.

And when I was out in the woods, exhausted, overwhelmed, spread to the breaking point while literally holding up another human being, losing my own mind and breaking my own heart and remembering what really fucking matters; the safe, private notes I drew to myself kept me going.

Keep Going.

I trust me, and my mind, which god damn fucking WORKS, to level up about the kind of care, thought, and and attention that goes into my functioning effectively. Efficiently. Conservation, restoration, nutrients; they are not just for the world around me, and not just applicable in the literal senses I am learning these skills via.

I trust me to fucking take care of myself, even though I have spent, and will still spend, effort and time struggling, and making mistakes, in that department.

I am ready to take another step towards strengthening me, so I can hold what it means to be bigger. Braver. More. Less.

Funny, how significant, this dumb little shit can be.

I’m Courtnee Fallon Rex, and this is only barely scratching the surface of what kind of writer, activist, teacher, and human being I can be when I am fulfilled in my work, selective with my friends, appreciative of my fans, careful how I spend my energy (and why), have the means to support and nurture myself, bathe, farm and harvest my own food, am seen, and paid, and create and perform my music on my terms for fans who truly appreciate my. Fucking. Work.

So thank you, for being human with me. I know I am not alone in this. I know I am not alone in my frustrations, my desire to see more empowerment outside of the constrained, incompetent systems that are all we’ve ever been truly encouraged to know ourselves by. In every career path I’ve taken, I’ve been the one standing up and asking: Why? Why are we bowing? Why do we immediately attempt to contort under these strains, these fucking invented, arbitrary oppressions? When the fuck are we going to stand up?

We are. It’s just.. slow. And I am going to keep doing what I need to do, respecting the influences, the tides, and the sheer fucking magnitude that is the task of standing up. Over, and over, and over again.

I am angry, at society. Today, and to some degree, every day. Today I also accept the possibility that this will not change.

Returning home has been a long, steady, breakthrough; a return on previous investments. Level: up.

Next challenge: learning how to respect my opponents.

Ugh.

ANNIVERSARY: NAME DAY

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Every year, google calendar reminds me that June 27th is my Name Day.

Unlike my birthday, which is a passive obligation based in celebrating something I had very little to do with, my name day brings me a sense of pride and reverence for myself and the work I have done to actualize my own personhood and stand firmly within my own integrity.

Two years ago, early in my Year of the Nee, a year of celibacy, therapy, teetotaling and self focus, I became Courtnee Fallon Rex.

My drivers license picture is of me beaming from that day. My most vivid memories are of walking downtown after taking myself to the market, glowing, because something about me had broken open. Something that flourished and gasped gratefully in the raw, rushing air. A seed so sealed and protected, only the tire fire that was my life at the time could have set it free.

I won’t go so far as to say everything changed that day I simultaneously released myself and claimed my masculine royalty. That would be an offensively simplified version of the events that lead to and preceded that particular June 27th. But, I am able to think of very little of my life that has remained the same since.

Now, after that dense year I dedicated to only myself, Name Day is the lingering milestone. An appreciation for what has come, gone, been gained, and lost. I still think about the many casualties of that fire. I am grateful for their sacrifice as I continue to refine; into my Self, into my vision, into my senses, and into my appreciation for who I, so uniquely and messily and strangely and passionately, am.



** As I continue to fine-tune the edit I notice that this piece appears to be about my transformations over the last two years, specifically illustrating the experience of music as a catalyst for moving forward, while existing in a world which most of the time I clearly do not belong.

This weird little project was made possible by my supporters at http://patreon.com/courtnee

#bloated

Friday, June 10th, 2016

I notice my body changing.

It happened in my 20’s also, in a specific shift, when I went from being sedentary to active.

This time, it’s the other way around. Things are softer and they are settling. I have begun to show my age. I notice it, especially, during the times in my cycle when I’m bloated and retaining water.

I’m so fucking thankful that I reached this stage in my life having done the work I needed to do not to be crushed by this hyperawareness. Long ago, I thought not being young and pretty would have been just about one of the most soul crushing things imaginable.

I rarely use mirrors anymore, and I am also the most well adjusted I’ve ever been.

The number of lives I’ve lead, even just so far, staggers me sometimes.

ROAD UPDATE: Pensacola

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Originally posted to my Patreon community at https://www.patreon.com/posts/4413008

Mississippi: OH EM GEE you’re heeeeere omg yay! Here, have a welcome center with all kinda free camping with picnic benches and spigots and shit and a FUCKING NASA SPACE CENTER!!

Alabama: Fuck you. Welcome center closed.

Florida: Fuck you. Show us your vegetables. Then welcome center, maybe. Also toll roads. Also palm trees. Also fuck you. — Facebook

The above selfie was taken in the divey bathroom at The Handlebar last night in ‪Pensacola, where I played an impromptu show for a tiny, tiny audience in a mostly empty bar. I got a nice fueling practice in and made my beer money back.

New Orleans shaped me as a musician. It is different now; stronger. More solid. More joy in it. Truly beginning to embrace and simultaneously transmute the darkness. Thank you for that. I like being a performer. I just needed to figure out what kind of performer I am. It’s taking a while, but I think I am well on my way, now.

Here are some amazing pictures of me doing my thing, taken by an amazing man: http://neevita.net/louis-maistros-lower-decatur-street-new-orleans/

And here is some soul healing no nonsense darkness for anyone who might be feeling the pitch lonely creeping in today, or know someone who is: http://blog.neevita.net/archives/14927

I plan to be in Florida playing and enjoying the weather/beach for a bit, then moving up northish. I’ve shifted my long term plan, and will be back in WA state this summer rather than heading all the way up to the NE. I need to see a doctor about a few things and get my motorcycle sold.

Keep Going is a year old today. It is an album I released last valentines day about healing, heartbreak, patriarchy, sexism and rape culture, which is surprisingly soothing and, if I may say so, well-crafted. It’s well suited for the day particularly if valentines gives you the intense desire to side eye the fuck out of everything.

Http://courtneefallonrex.net

In a somewhat fitting turn of events, on the same day as Keep Going’s first birthday, Wounded was played on That Indie Thing with Rob on sinwebradio.com! As far as I know, this is my first radio play from the album. https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1182534628424252

Also, Reverbnation keeps sending me emails complaining that my ranks are slipping. So, this seems like a good time to mention that there’s a pretty decent sampling of original music up there including most of my originals from Keep Going and a couple of my old ambient electronic tracks. It is representative but also not too long. If you wanna go stream ’em and give RN something happy to mail me about I wouldn’t mind. :)

I’ll be picking from my Feb 14th random pool of $15 a month and above potential art receivers and notifying the winner today. $5 and above Patrons: Also look for another Seven Deadly Days of Naked (SDDN) post in a few minutes.

Glad you’re all here with me,
-nee

For Kirsten

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

I told you so

There is nothing
So precious
As a sisterhood
That softly cautions
Of ones ability
To disregard
Our profound knowing
Instead, to fill
His jagged caverns
Brimmed in untapped dark
With the naive light
Of our hopeful
Imagination

Belonging

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

I used to think I would never find a place I belonged.

The lonliness filled me to the point that for a long time I didn’t even have the energy to wander anymore, looking for it, literally or figuratively.

I’d talk myself out of going anywhere I felt I might find my place before the possibility could take shape.

I talked myself out of distancing from people who I could feel saw me as projections of their fractured selves and believed they were smarter, better, and more worthy than me.

I struggled against a rising tide to stay where I was, even as it became clear while the life I’d built for myself fell away piece by piece that it was time.

For years, opportunity and the damn near limitless directions I could take overwhelmed and paralyzed me. And it seemed as though no matter where I went in the world, no matter how well my skills or personality fit into a certain group of other humans, I would never be free of that feeling; I don’t belong. Anywhere.

So in a way, it didn’t matter what the fuck I did. But I had to do something.

So I decided to belong to myself, even though I only felt it part way.

I decided before I was ready, before I really believed, that I had to figure out a way to believe that the possibility of belonging was someplace other than where I was told it was, where I had been encourage to look for it.

I decided to give up most of what I know the majority of the people in my life to work their entire existence stabilizing. I let go of things that I know friends of mine lose sleep over getting, having, and keeping.

I gave away massive amounts of expensive possessions, one of a kind art, things that had defined me for decades.

I flew the nest I’d spent 17 years building and tending as it smoldered behind me, wrought from the merciless determination of a universe demanding transformation, and I left.

One thing I’m quickly learning after doing that, one thing that keeps coming up for me as I look around Texas and camp and experience myself in this environment, is that I don’t actually ‘belong’ any more here and now than I have in any other time of my life.

Yes, it’s true, this camp is strangely well suited for my natural theatrical gifts. And yes, it’s true, the recycling mentality in Texas makes me actually cry sometimes. It’s a mixed bag. Seattle was a mixed bag, too.

But the path to belonging, that feeling I thought meant I was so close to having belonging for myself for so long, was actually control, and dominance. I felt I belonged when I was in charge, when I was leading, when I was on display, and when I was in power.

I learned a long time ago that sort of ‘belonging’ was not only fleeting, high maintenance, and high anxiety — but that I didn’t feel very good about myself once I was dethroned, either. The mist that rationalized the oppressive nature of my height and status, and the grief of having worn mask after mask to maintain the facade that I enjoyed it, once gone, paved a view of someone I was deeply ashamed of.

Belonging is something I now know as a learning.

It’s something that helps me grow, expand, and something I take with me in my soul when I move on.

It’s not popularity in high school, it’s not being the better half of a beguiling power couple, it’s not running a nonprofit — belonging is a muscle I work, that gets stronger and stronger when I am where I should be, experiencing and connecting in ways that feed my soul.

So much has changed in my life. Almost everything. But those changes aren’t why I belong where I ended up.

What’s changed is me.

I belong with me.

The journey that began thrice

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Originally, I was planning to leave for Spokane last Friday, giving myself a whole day to prep for the house show I was to be headlining in Spokane on Saturday.

Alas, a 3 hour brake job ended up taking all day long on Thursday, setting me back and causing me to be working late on other elements of the trip. It took forever because my emergency brake light was stuck on. They checked and checked and checked, and had gotten to the point of tracing wires and dealing with electrical, convinced that it was not a brake problem.

By 5:30 I said fuck it, and just decided I would pull the damn handle before I moved the van ever, and call it good until I could get down to New Mexico to hang with my pal who has a shop (and who I will be doing work on the van with anyway) to figure out what the stupid electrical problem is.

And of course, the tow equipment I ordered arrived late Friday evening without all the proper hardware I needed, so it was a somewhat stressful pain in the ass to get put together, too.

By the time I was planning to leave on a 5 hour trip Friday evening, I still had some things to deal with in Seattle and I was a deep fried shade of worn out tired. So much tedious shit had gone wrong I was walking around muttering ‘skullfuck’ most of Friday afternoon. So I decided to leave Saturday morning, rested, instead.

That was the first time I didn’t start my trip. No biggie.

Take II:

IMG_6413http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6413-1024x768.jpg 1024w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6413-460x345.jpg 460w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6413-688x516.jpg 688w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

I left around 11am Saturday morning, driving by that fuckass eyesore inconvenient ass canoe fucking sadium for the last fuckass time in a long while, commemorating my pleasure at this by snapping a picture while I waited at the light.

Not long after North Bend, I started having the roadtrip feels. During my first solo road trip in 2011, the surge hit me as I was maybe 20 miles south of Seattle. Pearl Jam’s “I’m Still Alive” came on the radio.

I hadn’t heard it in years, but that trip was all about confronting the darkened hallway of my past in California. I didn’t understand exactly what I was in for at the time, but I did sense that song was the perfect floodgate opener for what would come in the weeks later.

This time it was about 20 miles outside of town again, east this time, listening to Keep Going, when my cover of Heavy in Your Arms came on.

Like the Pearl Jam song, there were a lot of applicable layers to why it hit me like it did. It’s a fresh wound that’s also been salted recently. And like the Pearl Jam song, there is hope there.

I recognize how I anchor myself stationary in order to ‘be’ with people. How heavy I HAVE to make myself to justify doing that, how hard I lean in to them because of it. And I also recognize how much I received from them while I stayed. I recognize how much I still miss some of them, sometimes. A lot, sometimes.

But mostly I recognize how done I am with all that shit. I cried out my doneness. I cried out the regret and the pain and the loss and the missing. And I let in the goodness and the openness and the raw cold air taking its place. Just like I’d done with Pearl Jam, when I’d finally gotten done being anchored by my heavy past life in Sacramento.

Mixed in with the missing and the hope and the exhilaration was a sense of relief, of freedom. Against many odds and my own resistance and fears, the van was packed, running, stopping, full DOT inspected, puttering down the road. My motorcycle was softly swaying on the tow carrier and I had alternative, maneuverable, affordable transport other than the huge van. Just that I was here at all proved I could count on myself, and that I could trust my instincts well enough to ask and receive from people.

I started smiling through my tears. I started feeling the excitement. I started believing in the possibility, in the adventure, in all the shit everyone ELSE has been so excited about while I’ve been making big asks, and doing a lot of physical and soul grinding work to make this actually happen. I started believing in the positivity of my choice to leave, not just the necessity of it. I started having faith.

And then I smelled the smoke.

The first time, I figured it was the semi next to me, burning some brakes, like they do. I recently saved a friends van transmission with my nose and insistence that we pull over in Maui, so even though I thought it was likely nothing, I rolled my window down and sniffed and paid attention. Then the smell went away.

..And then it came back, right next to a road construction site another mile up the road or so. I wanted to believe I was smelling something in the air, but as my friend Neil so elegantly taught me not long ago, while wandering a crowded area with a friend, if you smell the same fart twice, that means it’s your friend farting.

In that teaching moment, I was the farting friend, in case you’re wondering. And in this case, I was pretty sure I was the farter by now, too.

Trouble is, I had no shoulder and nowhere to pull off for another 3 miles or so. The smell was getting worse when I opened the window. It took me a while to figure out my cab was filling up with a delicate haze of white smoke. And my brain kept spinning back and forth between believing it was me and thinking it was some horrendous tire fire or something somewhere.

As if I didn’t know tire fire smoke is black, or what burning breaks smell like. Stupid brain.

I finally pulled into a rest area, went to the semi side, got out and popped the hood. Nothing. The smell wasn’t even very strong now, mostly in my scarf and clothes. Then I took a look down the passenger side of the van and saw this:

Neato.

I wasn’t particularly worried — I have AAA, I’d mentally prepared myself for breakdowns of many types, expecting things to go wrong. I wasn’t expecting them to go wrong on my first day, with a system of the van I’d just had worked on two days ago.

I knew it would take forever to get a tow (I was right – 5 hours), and that I was too far from Spokane for that to be my destination, so I cancelled my performance immediately, thankful that the house show organizer had found a couple of openers and the show would still be great without me (it was). Then I started trying to figure out wtf went wrong.

At first, I thought it might have been the weight of my motorcycle on the back. That was the only thing that was different from yesterday, when I’d eaten half a tank of gas driving that damn beast around running errands, and the back of the bike made for the load to be slightly heavier on the right side.

I know how ridiculous that sounds NOW, but at the time I had decided I wanted to take the bike off the tow carrier, turn it around, and try to make it the 30 miles into Cle Elum without waiting for a tow.

I walked around a bit and asked a couple truckers to help me get the bike off the rack (it’s not possible for me to wrangle it off myself). Once we got the bike off, one of them asked me what was up with the van, looking at my tire pensively.

We talked a bit about what happened, and soon thereafter I had confirmation from three separate people who tow shit for a living that there was no way the bike caused my breaks to seize up. We tried backing the van up to release the brake adjustment, which we confirmed was stuck slammed to the inside of the drum.

I suppose you could say the van moved.. If two inches of strenuous lurch and then locking up again under a tremendous amount of engine torque counts as moving. I tried both directions. Both back wheels were stuck as fuck. Which begged another question — why wasn’t the left back wheel of a rear wheel drive vehicle, which wasn’t brake seized, spinning?

Thus began the wondering of whether the ebrake was stuck on, perhaps the cable broke while I was driving or something. Plus that stupid light being on. But that seemed unlikely, given that I’ve left my ebrake on before (who hasn’t) and it’s more of a lagging kind of thing rather than a seizing up kind of thing, and I felt nothing while driving. I thought maybe it could have been the ebrake, and with the drag at 60mph for god knows however long I was driving, maybe I’d friction welded my breaks or something.

“You got a jack?”
‘Yeah.’
“Well, I’ve got tools. And I don’t have anything better to do, my pick up got cancelled and I’m stuck out here til Tuesday. This sort of thing happens to our rigs all the time. I’ll bet we can get this fixed”

The plan was to get things cracked open to see if I’d thrown a spring into the brake which had gotten stuck, check the shoes/see if I’d need to ride over to Cle Elum to get parts or not. So my new friend Marcus started working to get the wheel off and the brake cylinder open, while we talked about what could have caused the seize and what to do next.

*bang*bang* .. and the break cylinder open. *pry* … and the break cylinder open? … *tap taptap* OPEN SESAME, FUCKING BREAK CYLINDER!!..

Or, not. Not is fine too, I guess.

By this time, I knew I was getting towed back to the place that had done my break job, Tire Factory in South Park, and I’d be spending another night in Seattle. In fact, Owen eventually worked out a way for him to come in the next morning (Sunday) to get me back on the road, so I didn’t have to wait the entire holiday weekend.

That sounded about right, to me. I was convinced this was their problem, anyway. In fact, I was pretty pissed off, especially about that brake light, and letting them convince me my breaks were fine while the fucker was on. I was handling it super well, though. Like someone I didn’t really know very well.

Like someone who knew they could count on themselves, maybe.

Many hours, a nap, and much conversation later, including two more people coming over to see if I needed help/drinking water/etc, and my tow driver stopping by to let me know his person before me needed a tow to Tacoma (4 hours! yay!), Eddie from Cle Elum towing showed up, for the second time, to rescue Vandwell.

IMG_6373http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6373-1024x768.jpg 1024w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6373-460x345.jpg 460w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6373-688x516.jpg 688w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

Day 1: Spent at a rest stop outside of Cle Elum, waiting for this. Rear right brake (which was adjusted along with other brake work two days ago) stuck and burned to utter shit over the pass, van won’t move. Met many helpful people, was actually a pretty enjoyable day all considering, perhaps a blog post about that tomorrow. For now, lotion on my increasingly roughed up hands, an unexpected extra night of KEXP radio, van tea, and sleep.

PS: Loretta’s in South Park for breakfast around 9:30, if you want the in person version, or are curious what fried brake smells like, cause everything I own smells like it now.
I will quit you yet, Seattle. (And sorry I am not performing tonight, Spokane)

Her name is Vandwell now, btw. And as she was pulled onto that tow bed by a metal rope with a skid under her back paw, I saw her big pretty face for the first time, a little sad, a little scared, a little sick, and I realized: I love my van. I love my big stupid rusty gas guzzling van. That, and also there was something in my eye.

I also noticed that with the skid, passively, all three of the other wheels were rolling, and the ebrake caused a noticeable change/lurch when Eddie took it on and off. So, no ebrake sticking there.

Eddie and I took my tow carrier off the van, since her fat ass took up his ENTIRE tow truck bed, and ratcheted it to the bed floor near the cab. I rode the bike back to Seattle, into the sunset, as it were. I beat Eddie to the tire place by a few minutes, hung around while he dropped off the van, got the tow gear back on her big dirty butt, and wished him a safe drive home.

And that was the second time I didn’t start my trip. Somewhat bigger biggie.

Take III

IMG_6338http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6338-1024x768.jpg 1024w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6338-460x345.jpg 460w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6338-688x516.jpg 688w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

I didn’t sleep very well that night, in a deserted parking lot BY THE RIVER (y’all happy now?). On Sunday morning, Owen rolled in around 9 and started getting to work on what I felt surely would be a much bigger deal than he seemed to think it would be. I was thinking for sure I’d friction welded my breaks dead and I’d be in Seattle another fucking week getting them fixed. But hey.. better than Cle Elum where I don’t fucking know anyone, right?

I started wandering around to find a place to get breakfast. The place I wanted was closed. I met an artist rapper named Kaev on the sidewalk. We walked for a while, chatted philosophy, drugs, trust, art. Sat in the Subway for a bit, until I gave him the $4 he asked for to cover the gap between what he had and the sim card he wanted. Then he disappeared. Funny how that works.

Did you know, btw, that if you stop in at Subway really early in the morning and order a cookie (so you can kill time in their shop, being the only place open at 9:15am on a Sunday in South Park), there is a possibility they will tell you with a crinkled nose that those cookies are from YESTERDAY, as if you wouldn’t want them? And when you say, well, how about selling me two cookies for the price of one, then, they might look over the entire case of cookies, about two dozen maybe, and offer to sell you the whole fucking batch for three bucks? Cookies have been on me ever since. YMMV.

Since I was back in the area, my friend Chris, who walked me through making the brackets for my bedframe last weekend, met up with me to get breakfast. Around the time Loretta’s was about to open, I got a call from Owen, asking if I was ready to hit the road.

I stammered a little, cause actually, I wanted breakfast now (that wasn’t cookies), and I was a little shocked that it’d taken less than an hour. Incredulous even. I had questions.

“You got the cylinder off?”
‘Yep! Needed a chisel and hammer, but yeah, it came off. Those semi’s, they’re big, they use big tools. I’ll bet what your friend had just wasn’t small enough to get in there.’
“Wait.. the pads are still good?”
‘Yep! You caught it early! They’re still super thick.’
“And the spring is still there? It didn’t break/get caught?”
‘No problem with the spring. Your adjustment wheel just froze up. I had to really work at it to get it loose’
“I’ll be right over. Do you still have the wheel off? Can I see?”
‘I can totally take it back off for you and show you.’

And show me he did. The shoes were, in fact, in darn good shape. There was a fresh coat of shiny metal goop on the adjuster mechanism that I found out was lubricant. He also told me about how neither wheel would move under engine power because the right wheel is always the drive wheel, so the left wasn’t trying, either.

I got under the van and looked at the star wheel through the adjuster hole and was taught how to use a screwdriver to adjust my breaks if they ever lock again — which they shouldn’t. But, as is made clear by the existence of this story, sometimes shit happens.

Slowly and surely, it was coming back to me, how much I liked working on my own cars when I was a kid. I started remembering my drum breaks on the Superbeetle, how I’d change my own muffler, and how I’ve periodically been thankful for my Dad teaching me about tools and cars when I was younger.

Chris, Owen and I put the bike up on the rack, and said our goodbyes.

The moment when I put Vandwell in reverse and she MOVED was very exciting, indeed. We were back in business, and while I wasn’t thrilled with losing 60 miles of gas, I was very glad I’d taken her back to Tire Factory and gotten complete with them, without being charged, or having to wait for the holiday weekend to be over, even. I gave them a chance to take care of me, and it worked out. Otherwise, like if I’d gotten towed to Cle Elum instead, I might have been farther along in my miles, but I would have been out more money, and stayed pissed at those guys for a good long time.

I took the opportunity, since I was in Seattle again, to hit up Ballard one last time to pick up my NAS, which I’d realized I’d left just before this break shit went down. I was getting low on gas, the needle had hit empty, and I remembered still having about 6 gallons left the last time it’d been there — plenty to get 9 mostly-highway miles away to the Safeway by the shed for the cheapie gas. Right?

#nope.

Not only did I run out of gas, like full on engine death out of gas, I ran out of gas … on 99, in the battery street tunnel.

For those of you not in the know, it’s a two lane one-way tunnel with a 40mph speed limit where people regularly do 60+, with zero shoulder in sight, an onramp/merge point about 50 feet past the tunnel, and a concrete median between lane directions once you’re in the daylight again.

In short: A motherfucking death trap. Even if I could have gotten out and pushed, it would have been a level of stupid I just won’t go to anymore.

I can still hear myself mumbling encouragement as my dead full ton van full of everything I own in the world rolled along like a fucking steel whale in the dark. Just a little farther, boo, and we’ll be heading slightly downhill. Maybe we can get off the highway and onto Harrison if you have enough momentum, big girl. Hoo, that’s not looking so likely, creepy mccreeperson. Just get us out of the tunnel, then. Keep rolling until we’re out of the tunnel.

I came to a stop a few car lengths outside of the soul eating dark, with my hazards on, and my eyes unable to stop watching in my rear view as people blasted out of the hole, seeing a horizontal motorcycle hanging off my ass end, gears in their heads turning, changing lanes around me.

First things first: I called 911. I never call 911, and honestly, I was pretty cool and focused about this whole thing. I knew what to do, that I wasn’t getting out of my car no matter the fuck what, and that I had AAA and I’d be covered (if you don’t have AAA, fucking get it.).

But I did use 911, because that was the quickest way to get the information I needed to get to the people I needed to get it to rather than trying to fuck with my shit cell service to look up numbers. Besides, I knew I was about two freaked out drivers away from having the cops called on me, anyway.

I am in a very large stalled vehicle in a very, very unsafe location. I said, yo, you need to know I’m out of gas on 99. I’ll call AAA after you, it’ll be a quick fix, but I have no idea how quickly they can come to me, and when they get here, they’re gonna be a sitting duck in the road (my gas tank is on the drivers side, and I was in the right lane where I’m supposed to be). You might wanna get someone down here. Like, now.

I called AAA for the second time in as many days which is as many days as I’ve been on this fucking ‘adventure’, and get an estimate ‘within the hour’, but I’ve been red flagged, so it should be less than that.

Well let’s fucking hope so.

I settled in, continuing to watch Rear View Roulette in some weird abstract fascination. Being a holiday weekend, traffic was fairly loose. I wasn’t bogging anything down save for maybe two or three cars when someone had to actually stop and wait a few seconds to get around me. But it was steady, always cars coming.

I remembered hearing that they generally ticket people for breaking down on the bridges and wondered if I’d have to deal with any shit when the cops showed up. I hoped since I wasn’t actually fucking traffic up they wouldn’t think about it.

At one point, a big truck changed lanes smoothly behind me, seeing me in plenty of time — but the Car to Go that had been tailgating that motherfucker blind barely, barely missed my bike.

Every time a large vehicle came up on me slowly, I fantasized that they’d stop, hop out of the car with a gas can and come ask if I just needed gas.

I wondered if maybe I should make a cardboard sign that says “Need Gas!” and keep it in the car, cause, despite the encouragement from my friend that I keep 10 gallons of it with me in the cab.. that ain’t gonna happen.

Then my phone rang.

“Hi, this is Mikey from AAA.”
‘MIKEY. How far away are you man.’ (in my ‘I have a sense of humor AND this is fuckin serious’ voice)
“I’m about 5 minutes away. Are you past the denny onramp? Or before it?”
‘I am just outside the tunnel, before the onramp. I’m blocking the right lane.’
“Ok. I will be there soon. Hang tight.”

5 minutes. Ok. Cool.

About two minutes later, a giant truck pulled up behind me. I watched in the mirror as the door opened and showed a big WSDOT on the side. Then I noticed the light bars — not tow lights. MOVE THE FUCK OVER lights. They started blinking bigass arrows toward the left.

The tension broke and I laughed. FOR ME?

The driver walked to my passenger side, I shuffled over (the van is so wide, I can’t adjust the rear view mirror while sitting in the position I drive in.. it’s like two steps to the passenger side) rolled the window down and let him know AAA was close, and thanked him for showing up so quickly. I wasn’t sure what they’d be sending, but I was really pleased it wasn’t a cop, which is what I guess I was expecting.

I really don’t like cops. Not because I have anything to hide or reason to fear them, other than not having the money to pay the damn tickets they write, but because the police as a system require a bunch of brainwashed (in the best cases) uniformed oppressors masquerading as service workers. The institution of policing is one of the most violent dirtyworker tools of the imperialist capitalist colonialism bullshit I fucking hate about America that’s infecting the rest of the world. Their jobs exist, and have always exited, to bully and injure and kill a demographic of people I have come to care about, and many Seattle police have fucked over and hurt and maced friends of mine. Upon first glance I pretty much fit the stereotypical demographic they’re supposed to ‘protect’ (rich/not obviously poor, white) but I don’t trust them, I don’t think we as a society need them, having them around makes me nervous, I can’t pay their fucking ransoms, and I don’t like dealing with them basically ever. Which is kinda why I don’t call 911.

But I’m glad I did, in this case. For me, it was the smart thing to do, and having that truck on my ass felt like the most direct protection I’ve had in recent memory. I was in a bad way and someone flat out had my fucking back, no question, literally, standing up and in the way for me. I really felt the bigness of the truck, the power in the engine, the magnitude of that signal saying, fuck off, get out of the way, heed, we’ve got this. I felt covered. It was good.

I’ve had a lot of support from a lot of people in recent weeks, amazing support. And, I didn’t realize until I wrote this, after having some rugs pulled out from under me by people I thought I could trust to stand the fuck up for me and help me when I’d fallen flat on my face, how much I needed to feel something just like that truck at my back.

And then a second WSDOT truck came, stopping behind the first, and I chuckled again. YES I AM THAT GUY. I AM THAT FUCKING GUY WHO RAN OUT OF FUCKING GAS IN THE WORST POSSIBLE PLACE EVER.

IMG_6412http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6412-1024x768.jpg 1024w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6412-460x345.jpg 460w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6412-688x516.jpg 688w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

I called Mikey back to let him know I had a posse behind me now. He said he was almost there and he had an officer with him. I had a flash of a cop in the cab with him waiting to fingerwag me and write me expensive tickets. I pushed the thought away and decided I’d play that as it came.

Mikey showed up a few minutes later, escorted by a police car with lights on, who rolled right past us and kept on his way. Mikey got me my gas, shared a few commiserating words (He has a suburban that likes to run out of gas before empty — I just didn’t mention I actually WAS empty :P), was helpful, fast, and friendly, and did in fact completely avoid getting run down in the middle of the street just as I’d suggested.

Mikey left. The WSDOT guys smiled, waved, told me to have a good weekend. I was moving again, about 15 minutes after I’d stalled in the tunnel. I got back to Ballard and picked up my NAS, filled up my tank, and went on my way toward Spokane.

I stopped at the same rest stop, which will be closed permanently in two days, to get a healthy picture of Vandwell, pleased to not have been inhaling break smoke getting up there this time. It’s really a shame, save for the Bonneville Salt Flats rest area, this was by far the nicest one I’ve been to.

IMG_6411http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_64111-1024x720.jpg 1024w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_64111-460x323.jpg 460w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_64111-688x484.jpg 688w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

I caught up with Marcus in Ellensberg for lunch, still hanging out waiting for his next pick up of hand sanitizer or apples. “I wish I’d thought of lube!”, he said. Indeed. :P

And, I stopped at a scenic overlook, walked up (and down) a bigass hill in flip flops to snap some pictures.

IMG_6407http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6407-1024x688.jpg 1024w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6407-460x309.jpg 460w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6407-688x462.jpg 688w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

I’m now safe in a little attic in Spokane in my friends, Craig and Mark’s, house, who have been fans of my music from the beginning. I played their house a couple years ago for their wedding, my first house show ever, and here is my home base for the next week or so, complete with a bath tub that I am using indiscriminately, along with the ridiculous selection of bath sauces Mark picked up for me knowing how much I dig his tub.

I’ll be getting the glass tinted in the van on Friday and after that, be continuing on my way, potentially camping a night in Coeur d’Alene. I’m thinking Zion, after that, but the for-sure part is that I’m heading south, toward Los Almos, and what is sure to be a prime selection of problems to solve, working on getting the AC functional in the van.

Here’s hoping I’ve gotten this good batch of teaching moments and calamities out of the way, and I’ll have mostly smooth sailing for a while. I was shocked at how tired I am today after all that excitement and problem solving and learning. Which, it turns out, I’m remembering, I’m actually quite good at.

Also; My stupid parking break light? Still on.

It’s been a long time since a blog post took 4+ hours to write. Time for another bath, I think.

Maui 2015

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Back in April, with a little help from my friends, I returned to Maui for a week, where I was expertly whisked directly from the airport to Baldwin beach.

OH GOD THE WATER SO GOOD SO GOOD OH GOD OH GOD SHO GHOOOOOOOD OH GHAAAAAD — Facebook

Mostly, I spent my time sleeping, reading (the Percy Jackson books, to prepare for Camp), learning some basic archery, and swimming about a zillion times a day whenever I needed to cool off (or felt crabby, which usually meant I needed to cool off).

I also ate lots of cake, drank lots of water, cooked breakfasts, shared shaved ice and fresh coconuts, enjoyed the jungle, hiked small cliffs, and swam with turtles off the coast where I was staying.

I returned to Little Beach, shaved my head again, got naked a lot, rescued an umbrella from a tree after a split second wind storm, and it was a good week had by all — even when the van overheated, dumping its transmission fluid, and we needed to be towed a zillion miles on the road to Hana. I also added a bird and a branch to my sleeve tattoo (reminding me of the importance of rest) on my last day.

Here are some pieces of photographic evidence of my downtime, taken by Shawn Jezerinac. Thank you especially to Shawn, for offering to share his fortune of a place to stay on the island, and Cliff, for helping me get there.

The few photos I took are on neevita.net

Year Of The Nee: 2.5 months

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Today, I experienced that moment, when you find out you have unlimited mental health visits.

There were tears.

Today, I also experienced the facilitation of my first Grief Recovery Method practice group, an 8 week course I began teaching this evening. I was really stunned at how knowledgable I am about the realities of grief (and the things we need to look at that are in the way of recovering from it), my tempered but genuine passion for the work, my ability to naturally connect with the participants energetically, and how easily I slipped into my own style and groove with delivering the concepts the method is based on.

Yesterday, I began a 6 week self defense class, which was incredibly empowering, and I recommend it to every single woman I know. Due to that first session, I am learning in an experiential sense that the single most detrimental thing I have done to compromise my personal safety (which includes my emotional well being) has been to unconsciously presume that announcing my intuitions that something wasn’t right would be an adequate defense.

The next most detrimental thing has been to take others at their word when they told me that intuition was wrong. Others who often insisted they were trustworthy and yet utilized the subtle behaviors of a predator, behaviors I knew were fishy but I ignored and made excuses for.

I am angry in those classes, but it’s the right kind of angry, the result of having removed the veil of smiley floweriness I once used to disguise my deep anxiety for my bodily safety while walking down a public street alone.

Also, I am learning how to beat the fuck out of people, if I have to, and letting off some bag-slamming “I. *BAM* DON’T. *SLAM* FUCKING. *POW* THINK SO. *BANG*” steam. It’s pretty fucking great.

The day before that, I wallowed, puzzled and pathetic and sad, on the tail end of a rough Saturday, in which I was mortifyingly reminded that even the best of us sometimes catch ourselves having hoped to see a fish climb a tree. When that fish simply continued being the fish it is, I didn’t exactly take it very well.

Being in mourning is frustrating and draining. In this case I managed not to isolate, or apologize for having feelings, and I’m really proud of that.

Before all that nonsense went down, I spent some time after my second Saturday yoga therapy session out of 5 contemplating the distinction between pain and suffering, surmising that one is an inevitable part of existing, and the other, is not.

The day before that, I returned from a 5 day vacation in the bay area with a long-time lady friend of mine, a trip taken in homage to our deep life transitions which parallel in timing.

We drank iced teas, ate desserts, ordered room service, and read a tremendous amount. I frequently played the baby grand piano, sat in the sauna, and got the first massage I’ve had since February after my motorcycle crash. It was an incredible gift that I am deeply grateful for.

Currently, I am doing Yoga therapy sessions, self defense class, Cognitive Process Therapy, and mime lessons every week. I am constantly learning on both a physical and mental level, about myself, my strengths and my potential, by doing things that are new for me on a bunch of different spectrums.

Most of these activities materialized in trades and cosmic circumstances, and though I often feel lost and sad and confused in my child psyche while I maneuver a life that doesn’t include filling the space in my thorax with the wants of (or the [un]conscious search for) someone else, it is clear that right now, I am exponentially supported.

Tomorrow morning, at 8am, I will awaken to Kenny Loggins serenading me into the Danger Zone. And, should I need to, I will face the book with my new-to-me Paperwhite Kindle, which arrived today complete with a badass case, and temporary my little pony tattoos, handed down to me by one of my favorite people to stalk on twitter.

I am, for lack of a better word, blessed.

Sketchbook update

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

First page with color in my tiny sketchbook. It will be full by summer, I’m betting.

The thread

Friday, May 9th, 2014

I began my Patreon campaign in November of 2013, in an effort to both fund and emotionally encourage my work.

Since then, through my art sales, a few equipment selloffs/trades, and my supporters/patrons, I now have:

Framed my artwork for the first time
Had that framed work juried into the Seattle Erotic Art Festival
Renewed my Soundcloud Membership (so I can keep posting music)
Purchased watercolor pens, papers, brushes and misc. art supplies
Purchased an art projector, digital recorder, and vocal effects processor
Been directly gifted or traded equipment contributions for: an acoustic-electric ukulele, an acoustic-electric guitar, a wireless microphone, and 12 bass accordion.

I ain’t lyin’ – life has been really fucking heavy lately, on a personal/psychological/spiritual level. I’ve been getting the living shit kicked out of me, and barfing up a lot of old hurt in response to those re-enactments.

Art has been saving me, flat out.

The ability to put this much funding, moxie and juice into my work without having to cut off my nose to make it happen has made a profound difference in my life, and in the rising quality and consistency of the art I am making.

All I can say is thank you.

Thank you.
-nee

EMFUCKINGBODIED

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

I swear I just saw myself for the first time

I told myself in the mirror

As I cried after connecting so incredibly profoundly with multiple people (And once again meeting another incredible man I can’t have in my life like I would prefer, god damn stupid growth opportunities)

“You are..

An amazing woman.

And you will ALWAYS be
An amazing woman.

No matter what
Anyone else thinks.

And when you die,
The world will be a better place

Because you
were in it.”

I am an artist.
And I am fucking amazing
And I am going to get what I want for myself.

Because I am worth it.
And there is no worthier cause than my happiness.

Thank you for showing me what is possible.
And thank you for believing in me.

SEAF 2013

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Disclaimer: After a long week on my feet, I am a bit fried mentally, more than a bit exhausted physically, and yet still rather awake and energetic. My creativity is in the shitter, though, so if you’re hoping for poetry unfortunately I doubt you’ll find much this time. You will, however, find a blog entry about my experience performance directing for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival this year, and a little bit of a backstory as to why that’s kind of a Big Deal for me. Also; I speak only for myself on this blog, and do not represent any official stance of the FSPC or SEAF directorial committee here. Enjoy.

Well, that was really something!

This year’s Seattle Erotic Art Festival had us returning to one of my favorite festival venues – the Showbox Sodo – which, at the time of our last occupation in 2007, was the Fenix. The Showbox had the best facilities and friendliest staff of any venue I’ve worked in, ever. They were wonderful and contributed highly to my enjoyment this weekend.

After many years of vastness and what became a disproportionate focus on spectacle performance art and dance parties, it feels to me now that SEAF has again embraced its roots as an *ART* festival. Though the event wasn’t perfect (um, we seriously need to strike those walkway tables after 10pm next year – great when there’s 100 people, not so much when there’s more.), I would be hard pressed to be more pleased with the results of our hard work this year.

Up until 11pm, patrons could browse, hold a conversation, ask about the artwork and purchase pieces without being interrupted, or having to scream over loud thumping music. During our after-parties when we’d raised the volume some, patrons never had the lights illuminating the artwork shut off on them and were still capable of browsing and buying, and were never forced to pay attention to anything they didn’t want to.

The artwork was the best I’ve ever seen at the festival, which is including the catalogues from previous years in which I did not attend. Most of the pieces that weren’t really my style had a clear validity and seemed to belong in the festival regardless of my personal preferences. I think I only truly disliked perhaps two. The film exhibition, which I unfortunately had absolutely no personal experience with due to it being offsite (I’d like to see the films onsite, or staggered next year with the visual art festival on another weekend), was spoken of incredibly highly and sold very well.

My absolute favorite parts?

In addition to this, I directed a suite of beautifully organic and diverse performances that included many shapes, sizes, and colors that complimented the art, captivated our audience and helped maintain a dignified, elegant and erotic atmosphere.

My team was impressive, I had an excellent stage manager, and every single one of my performers made me look really fucking good.

In addition to that, my workload was reasonable enough that I got to have a lot of fun at the festival, both during my tenor as a director and after my performances were finished. The vibe in the venue was positive, and everywhere I looked patrons were smiling and happily chatting. I even spent a bit of time at the bootblacking station overseeing most of the venue, smiling, watching people slowly pour in through the cash doors.

And boy do I fucking love being on a headset!

These are only my vanity pictures. To see the other amazing pictures of the festival check out SEAF’s flickr stream and be sure to log in to see the ‘adult’ ones with buttcrack and boob.

SEAF for me carries a long backstory with many deep layers, in regards to my individual growth in sexuality, as an event director/performer, and in terms of healing from an abusive relationship. I was first involved in the festival as a model in an accepted piece in 2003, and nearly every year since then.

From 2005-2008 I contributed to SEAF directly as a performer, patron and director. After the 2008 festival, in which I had directed aerial performances and performed, I stepped away from SEAF during a bad breakup with the Performance Director at the time, who had eyes on directing the Festival.

When we split up, we were both heavily involved in SEAF and the Little Red Studio together. In the separation, though we never officially divided things, I basically got LRS, and in turn got Obsidian (If you don’t know about that show, you probably should.), and he got SEAF, and with that, the Director title he’d wanted, eventually.

I was angry, hurting, mentally dismantled, and felt left out by cutting myself off. I was also busy with my own creative endeavors, and really, I had no choice but to leave given the circumstances.

Over the years, I heard through the grapevine of the changes being made to the festival, how it had become bigger, more glitzy, more stage show, bigger, bigger, bigger, and less focused on the artwork or feeling like an art festival.

In 2011, I submitted artwork, a performance proposal and returned in a limited capacity under the direction of Eva Luna as an ambient performance artist, with my most estranged year away being 2012 in which I strenuously returned to having no involvement.

I had no idea how much I missed SEAF, in part due to these changes I didn’t agree with and my bitterness toward the person making them, until I was capable of returning in a directorial capacity when my ex left on bad terms in December. I wrote after being invited to the first planning meeting I’d been to in 5 years;

It’s funny, when something is simply off the table, how disconnected with missing being involved in it you can be. – http://blog.neevita.net/archives/13498

I had forgotten that SEAF, when available to me, is one of the few places I absolutely, without doubt or apology, belong.

My reentry has been validating, satisfying and very fruitful after a rough start in preproduction earlier this year. I can attest with no hesitation that we pulled off a miracle given the circumstances and logistical/administrative turbulence we all went through.

One of my favorite things to do right now is marvel at how impressively all the people who remained involved stepped up and gave this event everything they had. We worked together naturally and without any pettiness, arguments or personal difficulty that I could see. Everyone was amazing at their jobs and awesome to work with.

I am so thrilled that I stuck with this through my storm of concerns over the last few months. I have learned a lot in the past 6 weeks and grown as an event director as well as personally through this experience. I really just can’t express in words how lovely it is to be back, or how proud I am of what the festival has become/returned to being.

As the smoke clears I can see that the occurrences which lead me away for a while had also saved me from the corrosive aspect of the learning experiences the org went through during the time my ex was in charge, and for that I’m thankful. Had I still been working on SEAF since 2009, regardless of my personal feelings regarding him, knowing myself as I do, I suspect I would have been worn of it and have moved on by now, just as it’s getting good again.

Instead, I get the best of both worlds – I didn’t have to continue working with him, didn’t have to be around him, I got to take a break and focus on my own work and artistry, put on some amazing shows, created an arts nonprofit, nurtured my massage and gallery business, and now I have the ability to reap the benefits of his work and what was learned from his mistakes regardless. Thanks, dude!

Now Extrovert Entertainer Whip-cracking Chatty Me fades into the background, and Tender Introverted Drained Me begins her recovery from intense connection fatigue and activity of the last few days. I connected with a LOT of people in profound and significant ways, my feet are killing me, and I am very, very tired.

For now, I will be behind the scenes again for a while, tending to myself, my personal creative work, and processing through the emotional impact of a very big few days – which includes being rather elated and prideful of my accomplishments, and planning my strategy for next year.

It feels good to be back to what was my element for a long time, and to again embrace it as a keen expression of who I am and who I want to be in the world.

Sweden: Two Weeks in Photographic Review

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Like a glass of tasty bubbles, all good things must come to an end..

Click the first thumbnail and use the arrow keys to advance.

Check the Sweden tag for all posts from my time abroad.

Midnight in Sweden

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Meeting Stockholm

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

In the airport feeling sad and disconnected, so I bought myself a new friend.

One of the stewardesses on my flight asked me if I’d named her yet, and when I said I hadn’t, she declared that her name is Nalle, which is Swedish for “teddy”. For some reason I was really touched by that. Once the stewardess had moved on, I petted Nalle’s head and cried quietly for a little bit.

It seems, having traveled internationally now a few times, that my body tends to freak out a little on these long flights. Maybe planes tend to fly higher for longer trips or the amount of time I am in the air matters, but for both my Ireland and Sweden flights I’ve had weird shit happen to me physically.

This time, after an hour or so in the air, I felt nauseous and had the salivation indicative of impending vomit. I noticed I was incredibly sensitive to the loo chemicals and was getting waves of discomfort every time someone opened the lavatory doors a few rows behind me.

Based off my experience after eating the (delicious tasting) airline food last time, I skipped dinner this time around, and thankfully I wasn’t very hungry anyway having eaten before the flight. My stomach was sour and I couldn’t escape the discomfort, so I went to the lavatory to stick my head closer to the chemicals that seemed to be contributing to the feeling and try to throw up.

About a half dozen dry heaves later, I realized that wasn’t going to do anything for me either, and decided to sit back down. I never lost consciousness like I did last time, but I did fold in half and rest my head on Nalle and the tray table, periodically falling into a deep strange sleep that felt like a heavy energetic vortex.

It was like I was tapping into a river running under my conscious brain which then sucked me down into sleep. It felt sourceful and calming despite what I appeared to be having to go through to get to it. Notably, I haven’t felt the hopeless alien sadness that I’d been battling, fairly consistently from the beginning of my trip, since. It was like I reconnected with myself a little.

Periodically, I’d wake up in a haze, having to burp up giant amounts of gas, both folded over and then urgently having to sit up to let more out or risk choking on it. Then I’d get more light headed again, feel the river, get sucked back down, and fall asleep for another hour or two.

Eventually my body stabilized, with no cold wet sweats or voided bladders. Later on in the flight, about an hour before landing, my sinuses and teeth ached but also balanced out, and thankfully none of my descents have resulted in ear pain or uncontrollable pressure which is very common for me.

I was glad to have Nalle for the rough parts, and the rest of the flight was pretty uneventful. I tried to watch the new Cirque movie, but found myself completely bored, so settled on the Bill Murray film “Hyde Park on Hudson” which I related to in ways I wasn’t expecting. Customs was a breeze, and Per was waiting for me at the airport.

Per explained to me on the ride home in no uncertain terms that my trip to Sweden was his gift to me, which included my food, our shared outings, and necessities like a transit and bike pass. The way he presented these facts left me totally at ease and immediately feeling lighter for not anticipating nickel and dimeing myself and continuing to skip meals to save money, which I kinda hadn’t realized I’d been doing this whole time already.

And then I saw the house. Shit on me this place is fucking adorable. Tinyhouse inspirations everywhere, including their incredibly compact bathroom and exceptionally comfortable stripy fold out loveseat.

I’ve said more than once that, god forbid they both die in a plane crash or something, I’ll totally take the condo, and I’m up for house sitting with enough notice to get back here.

Their cat, Bosse (boo-sah), is super chill and largely keeps to himself but gives a little cat dudenod when you give him some attention.

Per is on an extended vacation right now, and up for adventure, or lazing around, or both, which we are doing all of in spades. Ingrid, his supercool wife, will also be on vacation next week, and I’m really excited to have girl time with her getting facials and shit. She’s on the quieter side, so Per and I are doing the social things, like Karaoke, after she goes to sleep (which is early).

We’re authoring a list of stuff we’re all interested in doing together which includes some neat museums, walking through a massive graveyard, a flea market, some schmancy food (you’ve never had OYSTERS? BLASPHEMEY!), and checking out a 16th century warship.

Thus far we are gelling nicely and they basically think I’m the best houseguest ever. I’m sleeping a fuckton, letting them feed me and doing dishes. I feel as though coming here is really cementing an already genuine and long term friendship and adding to my membership of chosen family. It feels good, especially to have another strong woman in the fold that I connect well with.

I had hoped this trip would feel more breezy and vacation-y once I left America, and I am glad that is what came to pass. It’s been rainy and cold here, too, but the sun came out today, and will on other days, and really the periodic rain is a good cue for me to take the day to chill out and rest. Now that I’m finally doing that and don’t seem to be so chewed up inside I don’t mind it very much.

As the three of us wandered through a small portion of Stockholm looking at antique shops and hitting up a cafe for fika and shrimp sandwiches, I was reminded again of one of the reasons I think it takes transplanting myself into different cultures to relax; Being in a place where I can’t read the signs produces a calm something like being in nature, in that it is impossible for me to be accosted by advertisements and media like I am at home and as I wander, I’m not really paying all that much attention. There is a sense of calm and belonging, and everyone here speaks English, so I’m managing to get around really well even without being able to read anything – best of both worlds.

England wasn’t quite so effective at this advertising cushioning effect, as the large American corporations have a fairly big presence there, and I remember being somewhat disappointed by that. But as I recall Ireland, Amsterdam, France, and most of all Sweden are rather untouched by the tendrils of American corporate greed and indications of their existence here are few and far between. So far, the only US company I am seeing here in Stockholm is 7-11, which for some reason isn’t really bothering me.

The more I learn about how things work around here (Per is super talented at explaining things and likes to talk aloud a lot) the more I like the thought of immigration. The economy is solid, in part because Sweden resisted the Euro, and their politics are very progressive and supportive of the humanities, even more than Amsterdam, which also sounded pretty fucking good. In the 50’s this place was just as sexist as America was, but they’ve really worked to get their shit together about it, and the benefits of being employed here are fucking staggering, including paid leave for fathers as well as mothers. It’s also expensive, and white, as fuck.

Still, every time I come over to this area of the world, something in my tectonic plates gets set right, and I wonder what the fuck I am doing in the United States. I am so fatigued and tired of watching the US fuck everything up, starving for basic human rights like health care and mental support, scraping at the bottom of the barrel and feeling subhuman because I care about shit that’s actually important in life when the culture around me doesn’t.

You can’t judge a place by a vacation in it, and I know that. But, no matter what I was doing for work, so much of what I constantly stress over in my daily life would be alleviated if I were just doing it here, and the more of the world I see the less I believe I belong where I am. Even if I don’t wind up in Sweden, I can’t help but think maybe it’s time to actually listen to what travel is telling me and make some long term plans that enable me to do something about this.

For now, I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here, have met a few people already (we went to karaoke upon being invited by a shopkeeper today when Per mentioned to her that I am a singer) and am looking forward to continuing my explorations. I’m slowly figuring out the subway and where I am staying geographically in reference to the different areas of interest around the city, and figure I’ll be ready for extended solo walkabouts by the middle of next week.

I’d like to take this moment to extend my gratitude again to Per and Ingrid for their fucking amazing gift, as well as to the others in my life who have supported my ability to have experienced more of this world.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Yesterday, I believed I never would have done, what I did today.

Namaste, suckers: My Qi Revolution experience

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012: Packing for a 4-day, 36 hour Qigong seminar at the Tacoma Convention center. I am not bringing a laptop.

Recently, along with about 425 other people, I trekked down to Tacoma to attend “Qi Revolution“, presented by Jeff Primack. The course is $99 and the CEU (continuing education credits, which are required to maintain a massage license in WA state) hours are a whopping 32 hours for 4 days, so you can imagine why most people were there.

I went to the workshop with very few expectations. My hope, however, was to have an enriching and calming experience in the midst of increased stress in my life lately. I’ve never done qigong and understood it to be similar to taichi, which I have seen footage of, so I figured we’d be moving through forms like that.

The first thing I was struck by when I walked in was that the production quality was excellent. I liked the sound setup, the stage setup, the visuals they were using (This Aeon visualizer, was one of them.), and I liked the instructor Jeff Primack. His sense of humor was accessible and fun and he is a good public speaker and very personable. I also liked the Tacoma Convention Center, enough that I snapped a photo of it on my phone, which was mostly off for the first day, and the staff from both the center and the Qi organization were all smiles and assistance.

While registering on the first day, I had already begun thinking about the parts of my personality which had emerged, or perhaps more accurately had been muted, in this particular environment. I rarely spoke, to anyone, and did not strike up conversations with the attendees. Being at this workshop was a window into some of the personality changes in myself that I’ve noticed over some time (like discovering that I am in fact an introvert) and a great opportunity to consider them, especially since, with the exception of a few surface conversations in which my hair or hat was complimented, I didn’t want to spend any of my time talking with anyone. I spent a lot of time quietly observing, and waiting for energy and intuitions.

After we had learned and attempted our first form, I found myself suspecting in the first few hours that I did not, apparently, like qigong. It is extremely slow and hard to relax into, and I just wasn’t feeling the love after standing in one place and following instructions regarding how we should be moving our hands slowly through the air for 40 minutes

By now, Jeff Pirmack had used the G word one too many times for my taste, and had begun incorporating his personal spiritual beliefs into the lectures, which I hadn’t reacted negatively to, but was aware of due to the direction they showed to me that the workshop was in danger of going. He was also quoting religious scriptures, which I consider tall tale fables, and interpreting them rather literally, which.. you gotta wonder. But he had done so with the preface that he would do it occasionally and hoped it wouldn’t offend anyone, and I appreciated that, so I wasn’t really offended.

Then, we did the “Breath Empowerment” exercise, in which we all laid down while Jeff lead us through a breathing exercise in which we hyperventilated ourselves for a number of minutes. Many people had many profound experiences, felt vibrations, heat, cold, saw God, etc. I was physically effected by this, in the same ways I’ve been effected by having the wind knocked out of me or crying too hard, but the thing I found most impressive about the presentation was how well the sound guy had incorporated the breathing audio we were being lead by while still allowing Jeff to instruct us. The thing I found the least impressive was Jeffs assurance that we were not, in fact, hyperventilating.

Saturday, mid-day: So far, my favorite part about this qigong thing is the music they are playing. I’ve felt a vibration or two but nothing like the crazy religous experiences people are crying about here. Reminds me of landmark, with a physical bent and without the hard sell pyramid scheme (Though overhearing the wide eyed fast talking volunteer trying to talk some chick into buying a $125 book is grating on me.). I am learning some cool things and think the experience worthwhile, but the more I go to things like this the more I understand that some people just arrive ready to pop and believe, and some don’t.

By the time I’d written this update, it was becoming clear that many of the people in the room I was in were on a train I had not boarded. People were crying and gushing slowly and profoundly on camera about their experiences, and I felt that there was a strong possibility that they had been manipulated by the so-called “Breathing Empowerment” exercise. Overall, I was feeling positively for the experiences other people were feeling and know what it’s like to have a big breakthrough, even if you later discover that it wasn’t quite the miracle you though it was at the time, and that was fine by me. If it works it works.

That said, I was beginning to dislike how physical manipulations and over oxygenation were being touted as spiritual/energetic miracles, and it was pretty clear I wasn’t in this for the long haul.

Saturday, late-day: 99% certain I wont bother with this entire class. I like the instructor, the class is neutral and accessible, but standing around holding my arms out for 30+ minutes is just not my thing. Reminds me of my craniosacral elective – great stuff, love receiving it, and also not my bag. I could get into dance based on similar principal, but this energy harnessing shit is difficult and frustrating and I suck at it. It would be like another job to take this on and be any good at it. I am fine with my attunement with woo being somewhat divine and random.

After the first day, I had noticed very much the lack of personal instruction when attending a physical workshop of 425. I was working through a completely new experience with the aid of a couple video projectors and some great animations, but if I wanted a closer reference all I had to go on were the hesitant motions of a person near me who was also trying to fumble through with the same tools I had. I wondered if part of the reason I wasn’t liking this more was because no one was ever correcting me or interacting with me directly, but I also accepted that honestly, I most likely didn’t care enough about qigong to take a smaller class later.

One thing I very much enjoyed about this experience was the food and nutrition lecturing. Some of it was very similar to the nutrition class at Brian Utting which I loved, with different presentation and slightly differing naming conventions (Jeff Primack calls them ‘phytochemicals’ while Brian Utting called them ‘phytonutrients’, for instance).

In that vein, it was a fabulous review for me and by far my favorite part of the information that was presented. But I was very wary of the continual claims by Jeff and his associates and followers of miraculous healing and complete disease reversal based off his nutritional and food related teachings. I absolutely believe it’s possible and firmly consider food to be both the source and the solution to many, many medical ailments, but something about these claims and the consistency in which they were being presented didn’t sit well with me.

I had also noticed, by now, that the way Jeff Primack speaks shifts into a strange and subtle “Engrish”, and I found myself wondering if this person who is clearly a marketing and presentation genius didn’t do that to intentionally confuse and simultaneously play a race card. I don’t know his history or if English is a second language or what, but the fact that my guts were going in that direction about him spoke to my flags being up.

That said, many of the things he talked about resonated with me, and the experiences I have had with food, and my philosophy on eating well. I am still interested in his cookbook and may in fact buy it.

Sunday morning: Day 2 of day 4 (maybe) and I am borderline zombie. It was an act of sheer will to get out of bed, even with Tim Minchin playing and a large cat person pawing at me to get up. The nutrition portion of the workshop yesterday lit a fire under my ass that I’ve been needing for a few months, and today we get to try some smoothie recipies that I hope to add to my arsenal. I have also concluded that a vitamix is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather an element of my health that is important to me, and it’s now at the top of my “once I’ve saved up a few months” list. I want more living food and seeds and pits and stems that I won’t eat without a blender that can break them down.

I came back Sunday knowing I would almost inevitably not be returning Monday or Tuesday, yet open to and even hoping for a more profound qigong experience. As per usual, I loved the second part of the nutritional lecture. The level 2 qigong sequence did very little for me, but that was fine — I already felt like I’d gotten my $99 worth in other information from the course, and had committed to finishing Sunday out so I’d also gotten 16 CE credits, which was a damn good deal.

By now, I could tell that 4 days of this experience really wasn’t for me, but on the second day I found that it seemed it was for the kinds of alternative healers and massage therapists I intentionally set myself apart from when I explain my practice on my website. The ones who claim to be human and real but behave as if they float a foot above the ground by the power of their perceived connection with some greater universal vibration, especially when collected in a sizable group.

Now that people had met and bonded a little, every portion of off-topic conversation around me that floated into my consciousness was about some kind of extreme philosophy, spirituality, some other form of energy work, discussing the intensity of the chi in the room, or anecdotal health advice. I imagine that was in large part because the people like me who weren’t sold simply weren’t speaking, but the environment began to color my experience, and I found myself in a consistent state of low-level annoyance.

Jeff had also taken to expanding his God/Bliss/Love talk, which was really starting to piss me off.

Sunday mid-day: Excellent. This is the last day of the food/nutrition portion, and I have decided to continue to take Monday and Tuesday off, for myself.

By mid-day, it was sealed: I would not be returning, and my time today and tomorrow were going to be better spent processing what I’d already experienced. We did some more qigong that day, including some walking qigong, and I found that I gravitated not only toward the smaller movements like spirals and pulses, but I preferred doing them while focusing on isolating different parts of my body in motion. I consider that a cool little tidbit of qigong that I am happy to have taken with me, and want to play with on my own.

After my lunch, and many hours of nutrition and excessive health lecturing, I passed Jeff Primack in the hallways of the convention center as he was carrying a bag of takeout. Huh.

Jeff spent a potion of Sunday afternoon talking about Chinese element philosophy in terms of personality and relationships, which was fun and interesting, but then completely lost me by his ending presentation on spirituality which was basically his take on how the world and people were created (people first, as receivers of Gods love, then the world, after we requested that we be capable of sharing as well as receiving).

Human beings are exceptionally complex and intricate, and no one is perfect, even if they imply that in some ways, they are. For a person who claims humility in his spiritual beliefs, Jeff Pirmack sure spends a lot of time “proposing” them to his students.

Additionally, Jeff speaks often in his lectures to the virtue of humility in teachers, yet teaches gigantic impersonal workshops to hundreds of people at a time, standing on a stage in a special costume on camera and under lights, often relying on misinformation and manipulation to synthesize a spiritual group experience. Though, to be honest, I eventually found the anonymity comforting, and appreciated that I was never approached or spoken to by him or any of his staff.

Similarly to the Landmark Forum, which I have also done, there are many things of value that can be taken from this mans performances. My concern is that a lot of people in that workshop did not have their critical thinking activated, and will not realize that was what they were witnessing, and will identify this man with a power he has not earned.

Sunday late night: Preparing for a long soak in a salted bath after enjoying an excellent homecooked meal with great friends. Fookyeah.

I liked a lot of things about the portion of Qi Revolution that I took, but none of them were the things that I was expecting to get based off the information I’d received in the mail. I went to a qigong workshop and ended up getting a food refresher by learning about Jeff Pirmack’s take on nutrition.

That said, it is clear that a tremendous about of work, planning and thought has gone into the various presentations that Jeff chooses to teach, and they are presented well. It is my opinion that there can be something for everyone in the first two days of this very affordable CE course. If he’s a swindler, he’s a pretty cool one, and I can think of a lot of people doing a lot more damage out there than this guy.

One of the most valuable elements of this experience for me was the connection I had with myself and my limits. Looking at the event-lineup on the website (note: There is no syllabus or paperwork regarding the course offered at this workshop) I am even more pleased with my decision to take my leave when I did. It appears as though the last two days revolve mainly around the 9-Breath exercise, which was being described in the course as a direct descendant of the “Breathing Empowerment” exercise.

Here’s a video showing a bit of what Jeff talks about that I agree with, portions of which I have found to be true in my life experience and other elements of my health/healer education. Here’s another one. I have a lot of notes that I plan to keep from this portion of the workshop, which I didn’t even realize I would be getting.

Jeffs courses are affordable. His materials, books, DVD’s, are all top quality productions and also affordable. Though some of his methods don’t jive with me, I still like him, and I expect after this writeup I will remain quiet and neutral about what he’s out there doing in the world. I will be contemplating many of the things I learned and discovered myself through attending his workshop for a long time and I found the experience valuable.

But really, I can’t help but say, in closing; to all the people who are still in Tacoma at the Qi Revolution workshop: Namaste, suckers. :P

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Snuggled in bed next to a pretty dozing boy, adding some stuff to neevita after a long, cracked out, but enjoyable day. As the benedryl starts creeping in, I wind down closer to the glorious 10 hours of sleep I’m about to get, with the bathroom fan balancing out the upstairs TV sounds, and a Pandora ambient station whisping through my ears.

I liked this weekend, and I am looking forward to my dreams, my future, and tomorrow.

Extended

Monday, January 30th, 2012

My morning has consisted of sleeping til 11, extending my hair back to the asymmetrical natural color I had back in 2006 (and it only took me half an hour!), making myself an awesome brunch of sundried tomato and goat cheese ravioli in kale and chicken stock I made from scratch that didn’t need a speck of salt, and juicing a few carrots, an apple, some ginger and a cucumber.

Now I shall procrastinate bussing to Burien to fill a prescription I don’t need for a couple days in favor of continuing to sort through my tags here and start a couple paintings before heading to Remedy to meet a friend later tonight. And it’s sunny outside.

Days like this remind me why I pay my dues so I can do what I care about doing, and not much else.

Profits, and loss.

Monday, December 19th, 2011

I just spent the last 2+ hours compiling a profit and loss statement for the Swedish Medical Center, of which I am requesting charity medical care so we can get CT scans of my sinuses and brain. This would be, at the best of times, a trying task for me; Math on its own avoids my grasp, and formatting documents isn’t far behind how daunting math is, so put the two of them together and I’m squinting fiercely trying to keep track and constantly having to rework things.

I got it done, and though it wasn’t the easiest or most comfortable thing to be doing right now, I am immensely appreciative of having to do it. Here’s why:

Though I’ve improved over the years, I still have a hard time seeing past being sick. Which makes the frequency of illness in my life especially damaging and annoying. This time hasn’t been any different, and I’ve had other things going on in my life as well to be down about, so mostly, I’ve been slow and mopey inside.

What this statement showed me is about what I expected: I have profited, after expenses but before taxes and living costs, just shy of $11,000 this year.

But my reaction to it wasn’t what I expected. My jaw would have dropped if I hadn’t been clenching it for the last 2 hours; what I found notable about that fact, is the reasons why that had flooded into my head.

In 2011, I:

  • Lived in a huge, gorgeous victorian house with people I adored
  • Made my living doing things I loved, in my own office with my own schedule, sharing my space with someone I admire, trust and work well with.
  • Trained as much aerial circus as I desired
  • Stayed at an amazing Bed and Breakfast in Leavenworth, WA, 3 times
  • Took a 2.5 week road trip in a fast, fun, new car all down the west coast, to LA, Las Vegas and to visit my family in Sacramento, all of which I stayed comfortably and safely in.
  • Attended Defcon, and the swankest party I’ve ever been to at the top of the Palms hotel in Vegas
  • Stayed a weekend in a gorgeous Bed and Breakfast in Port Angeles, WA
  • Put on an ambitious, expensive, AMAzing show of my music, and did it MY WAY.
  • Spent a week exploring Ireland.
  • Created art when, how, and why I wanted to.
  • Always had a way to see a doctor when I needed one, even without insurance (through Qliance)

I have lived a LOT of life this year. A lot. And I don’t go hungry, I don’t live in squalor, I don’t have to stress about feeding a family or insuring a car or put up with abuse.

And I was reminded of earlier today, as I was considering on the bus ride home from my testing of all the possibilities that could lie ahead of me; if I ended up finding out something crazy, something like I had a brain tumor and a year to live, there is very, very little that I would do differently in the time I had left.

Very, very little.

My world — this utterly beautiful, ruthless, gentle, amazing, infuriating, incredible world, is literally brimming with generosity, like my eyes are brimming with tears right now.

It is utterly staggering, and a relief to me, to finally feel something other than frustration, hopelessness, jealousy and failure when I look dead on at how much money I make for my incessant, hard work.

Money is symbolic for me in some negative way. I’ve touched on it in therapy before and haven’t quite figured out what it is yet, but I know that my relationship and self imposed barriers surrounding money are a source of deep personal struggle for me. I suspect it goes beyond simply being frustrated consistently lacking the resources to do the work I want to do in the world, and not having a stable home base to do it in. Though, those two things are pretty big obstacles, all on their own.

It is a relief in this moment to feel such a deep gratitude among the pain, disability and loneliness I’ve felt these last few weeks after my health deteriorated.

And it feels so, so fucking good, to look back on all the people, past and present, that have made this small, complex, vibrant little life of mine such a worthwhile experience.

…and I don’t think I’m going to have any problem, getting the tests done that I need.

Thank you.

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.

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

Monday, September 6th, 2010

4 hours sleep, artistic exuberance, chemical burned eyeballs, 17 miles biked, laying a beautiful instrument to rest, a wonderful show, topped with kisses under the sliver of a nearly new moon. Full day. <3