Thursday, February 28, 2008

blowing your own cover

photographer, bartender, bar attender, model, graphic designer, ramblin' woman, waitress, shop girl, ice cream sandwich enthusiast, chinese translator, commercial actor and hesitant blogger-- just a few of my occupations, otherwise known as distractions, for the past few years. thinly veiled as jobs, hobbies, or even passions, I know that in truth, they were just clever little distractions I had devised to keep me from what I really wanted, music. well, after a long drawn-out battle between my head and my heart, and after some serendipitous stumblings and after only a few practices, I will be playing in a newly formed band with some seriously talented musicians. this sunday at hotel cafe, the temporarily misnamed ben pringle and the bros--ben pringle, jeremy burgan, ry sarmiento and myself (the least bro of the bros)--will be rock and rolling it. our musical magic will be taking place at 8:00pm sharpish. music for a good cause--that's hard to beat.
beat beat go the drums. beat beat goes my heart.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

monkey hearts pigeon

the abandoned monkey finds hope in the embrace of a white pigeon. I will no longer look at my neighborhood pigeons, wobble-drinking-gutter-water-eating-trash, the same. a reminder, love comes in all kinds of wrapping, but is always, red bow or not, a gift. open every present with a open heart. oh, and give give give.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

jam on it!

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.

~George Bernard Shaw~

my left fingers are numb as I type this. no I have not been gripping an ice cold suicide slurpee. no I did not drive through the alps with my hand roller coaster riding the wind out the window. no I did not give bare-handed ice-fishing a try. my fingertips are numb because I am in the midst of learning to play the bass in two weeks.
my friend ben pringle has asked me to play in his upcoming show at hotel cafe. catch is, he asked me to play an instrument that up until 5 days ago, I had never even touched. it feels amazing. at the end of practice I feel ravenous like I have hiked for miles up a mountain. I've been living on a diet of burgers and pork roast and fried chicken. protein. memories are made up of proteins--perhaps memorizing all this music is depleting my protein supply at an unusual rate? either way, I'm happy as can be. I feel simultaneously more worn out and more energized than I've been in years. purpose. life is made up of finding a purpose to excite you, to inspire action that takes your baby soft hands and covers them with calluses. I have been blessed with this challenge and although I've lost feeling in my fingertips, my whole being feels more alive than ever.
jam on it!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

happy martyred saint valentine's day

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." ~Rumi

my friend alisa ochoa took this picture of a romantic potato at a flea market in new york. it wasn't valentine's day, it was just a day like any day. love doesn't need a holiday for us to celebrate it...or to think long and hard about how we feel about it, how we go about giving it, or seeking, or keeping, or destroying it. love may not be blind, but it is easy to be blind in the overwhelming process of loving.

tom robbins said, "we waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love." I have a feeling that may have something to do with the fact that creating a perfect love is something we can't rely on anyone else for - it's easier having someone else to blame when our aim misses its mark and rips our chest wide open. it hurts much too much to hurt and to have to realize that you're the one holding the bow and arrow. pat said, or sang, it best - love is a battlefield, but when you raise your white flag from the trenches and peek out to see green pastures do you finally realize the only war you were fighting was in your head? is it then that you stop the resistance? you are your own medic, and the only cure for a wounded heart is plenty of love. today, and everyday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

life and death valley

wandering and wondering through death valley, I was filled to the bursting point with life. earth pushed up and turned inside out all around me, exposing itself unabashedly. buildings bleached by the sun stood crumbling and bare. even box springs laid scattered, stripped of their fabric. everything was naked. I felt silly in my clothes.

it seemed simple enough. sara kaye would pick me up at 9 and we would head east. the california sky knows so well how to be blue and the open road moved against its horizon effortlessly. in no time we were there, in baker, filling up on gas and gas station snacks about to turn down the 127. this was a first, and it seemed unusual that it was so easy to leave the usual of los angeles living to enter into the vast space of death valley. but there we were, and there it was - purple mountain majesty, and orange and red and green and gold mountain majesty too.

death valley is a land of extremes. it is the hottest and driest of the national parks as well as the largest outside of alaska. it also contains the second-lowest point in the western hemisphere at badwater basin, which is 282 feet below sea level. standing at this point you can imagine yourself deep underwater - the stillness makes you feel more like a fish in the ocean or an astronaut on the moon than a person holding a camera in a park. the air feels different and the sun sets in a way hollywood can only dream about. I stood there astounded, how brilliant the sky and how loud the silence.

surrounded by so much space, your mind is left to fill in the blanks. we bury ourselves with too many distractions. in our endless journey to get somewhere, we forget the substance of where we come from. the desert is a powerful place, it forces us to remember all the things the city has forgotten. being out there, unprotected, I wondered what it was I needed protection from? we are only afraid of the moment right before we understand what we fear. what feels like a giant leap is really only a small step - a small step well worth taking.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

the not-so-lonesome highway

Each friend represents a world in us, a world of possibility not born until they arrived, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. ~Anais Nin

I know one of the biggest reasons I met her is because she shares my love for daily discoveries. whether it is a hidden library or a desert highway, skl is good at getting me out of the house and into the world. from dodger's stadium to death valley--she inspires the will and provides the way. it is because of her that I spent saturday, along with my right hand man and my sister, driving down the pearblossom highway. the landscape made a special attempt that day to astound us with its beauty. the mountain were whitened with snow and then wrapped in the gauze of slow moving clouds. the sun made a grand exit, splashing golds and magentas across the cyan sky. we drove along, licking on lollypops, laughing and enjoying the shift we felt. with every new day, a new experience and with each new experience, the shift. sometimes subtle, sometimes explosive. small or large, the shift sets your feet on new ground, your view is altered and your head and heart grow as they adjust to the change. we are here to shift, tirelessly and openly. driving through the desert with my three companions, this much was clear.