Saturday, November 30, 2013

Air Quality

Freedom is an odd thing. Looking back, as I seem to be doing a lot of these days, it has always been those beings that blew breezes my way helping me to build my wings that I was deathly afraid of or I avoided at some point. Those who I swore restricted me and who I fought with the most often and most intensely. Revisiting old photos I am brought face to face with some beings that no longer exist in my world, others that are trying to fight their way back in, and a few who have remained by my side. The differentiation between the 3 groups I suppose comes down to both air quality and thus the amount of strength that was emitted from my heart.

Flight, (freedom), begins with struggle. To gain any sort of lift, immense strength must be exuded from the chest, (heart), fueling the wings to extend fully pushing the surrounding air downwards.

One thing I always complained about in New York and continued to complain about in LA is air quality. Maybe I'm simply an element snob. Perhaps San Francisco and California in general spoiled me, but for a sprawling city scape, our air is pretty damn clean. Geographically, we have a lot working in our favor not to mention that the majority of inhabitants live fairly green lifestyles. While I realize many may not give any sort of thought to it unless they're afflicted with asthma or something, the quality of air which you breathe directly affects you. "As above, so below" couldn't be more clearly demonstrated.

People are always surprised I have no tattoos. With 11 piercings and working in a creative industry it's always assumed I have them and they're just hidden. Not the case. The only tattoo I ever toyed with the idea of getting was the wind. The wind to me is that essential life force at work. You can't see it, but you can feel it. Some winds are so strong they cause you to clutch your coat and/or hat to your person, shivering. Others will gently caress your face and lift your hair for a dance. And then there's the kind somewhere in the middle that will sweep you off your feet to dance all while breathing new life into your soul waking you the fuck up.

Those souls that gave me the most lift throughout the course of my life thus far are of the latter kind. It is they who once I gave in to the dance, seemed to play songs my heart already knew, making her feel strong, confident and eventually fearless. Freedom seems to be just a heart beat away.

Friday, November 29, 2013

It's virtues, not it's sins are as scarlet.

"...There is your crop; here is mine. Mine is a sugar to sweeten sugar with. If you will listen to me, I will sweeten your whole load,--your whole life."
- Henry David Thoreau

It seems as though my world has been in a constant state of transformation lately. Which is good. I am a transformer and thus expect and welcome chaos to follow my moves so I may properly organize everything. It won't remain this way once everything is in its place. Until of course it's time to grow again. Changing with the season, giving reason to live another day.

The first and second nights back in San Francisco I spent going through my bookshelf. Old photos are always my first go to but with this writing kick I've been on, and wanting to throw stuff away (Leaving NY I realized I'm a paper hoarder and that must cease to be immediately), I sat at the dining room table and went through 2 file folders containing both college and high school papers. Papers I hadn't even peeked at in over a decade. One of the first things I found was a drawn out diagram of our family tree from 10th grade. Reading my 15 year old selfs fancy schmancy penmanship written in pink ink, I was flooded with feelings and memories and wanderlust. On my dads side I only know as far back as my great great great grandfather. Sadly, his wife's name I marked as "unknown". Being of the female species myself, my great great grandmother has been one of the names that has floated in my memory banks since I first learned it, Philomena Mammeucci. While presenting our project, a classmate and I mused how maybe we were distantly related as his last name was identical though the two m's were t's and when people came to America, names were often changed and written incorrectly. My dad was of the first generation on his side to be born in this country and after learning of all these uniquely named people that had lived their lives across an entire ocean, it ignited my first spark of wanderlust. While I have yet to visit Italy, or Europe in any capacity, reading the names has once again stirred...something. On my mom's side, for whatever reason, much less is known and I'm grateful for the information I was able to get out of my grandmother while she was still lucid. Though I also still have yet to visit Spain, I need only drive down Valencia street here in San Francisco to in some way get close to my great great grandmother on that side, Carmelita Valencia. The street was named after our families property apparently.

So as I'm revisiting the roots of our own family tree, my mom starts complaining about the amount of electronics my dad has in our garage as he has his own business and works from home. "I can't even get someone in here to cut down that tree because he's blocking the garage door with all of his stuff." The blood of my faerie side began to boil and I exploded "Cut down what tree? Why would you cut down a tree?" She sighed annoyed "Whoever planted that tree was an idiot. Who the hell plants a tree in the middle of a yard? It's in the way, nothing can even really be done out there!" I began to whine with fire in my eyes "It's a living thing. You can't just kill it." In all fairness she had a good comeback "Risa I'm a living thing too and whether I have 5 or 10 years of life left (she's 60 - insert eyeroll), I want to be able to enjoy them." I could write an entire book on my mother and how I wish I could teach an old dog new tricks (I never stop trying), but for now I'll just say that the tree isn't preventing her joy in any capacity.

So the next morning I went outside to say hello and take a look at her. The last maple I was friends with lived outside my apartment in Crown Heights. She received so many of my thoughts, my fears, my love, my wonder, my tears. She housed birds that came to visit me, squirrels while they played, filtered the sun and shared her beauty and knowledge throughout 10 seasons. The saddest part of leaving that apartment was moving away from her. Both apartments that followed lacked a tree to befriend. And so I was excited to see my old friend that morning. She still has a screw and a bit of chain hanging out of her bark from days when I spent hours hanging upside down from my knees swinging as I wanted to be a trapeze artist. Glancing at her base I recall spending hours playing with the beetles I found there. Looking up at her arms I remember the nest that once lived nuzzled between them. Winter is nearly upon us and though the seasons aren't as harsh out here, she has shed nearly all of her leaves and stands almost naked smack dab in the center of our yard. I don't know when it happened, but Spanish moss has begun to clothe her beautiful branches, and I'll be damned if I allow anyone to cut her down.

It's raining cats and dogs!

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
-Robert A. Heinlein

In moving back home I brought both Hydra and Nixie, my two calico kitten sisters. My sisters dog who my mom adopted and renamed, Scrappy, already lives here. Introducing the 3 of them has been and continues to be quite the process but a joy to watch nonetheless. My girls were born with and raised by a dog. Their own mother Luna, was a kitten herself who really couldn't be bothered with her motherly duties aside from feeding them which even then, at times we had to lay her down and pet her so she'd stay still long enough for them to nurse. Ani, their doggie mom, would herd them when they were old enough to walk, constantly counting to make sure none had wandered too far. She groomed them and played with them long after Luna disappeared by jumping out a window. Scrappy too, as a young pup was raised with a cat, Bebe. She was his best friend and the two would spend hours playing together wrestling, tagging each other, stalking and hunting. Yet for Scrappy, that was now almost 4 years ago so his reactions and the way he attempts to play confuses and at times scares my girls and vice versa as he has become accustomed to solely playing with other dogs.

All parts of life reflect or parallel other parts of life, it's just the way the world works if one pays attention. In watching these animals get to know one another: understanding the others movements, vocalizations and boundaries, I can't help but think once again about the shadow side of human beings. Appropriately, anima and animus. Animals operate on instinct and while human beings are animals, our instinct, our collective consciousness for whatever reason has been shoved down deep in the dark and exists as our collective subconsciousness mostly. And so when our animal side peeks its head up from the dark wanting to play, we often have two things working against us. If our animal side hasn't come out to play in a while, we may startle ourselves causing a sense of anxiety because we swear we know ourselves. Simultaneously we may startle others as we haven't shown that side in quite some time. While nothing delights me more than observing animals at play, I have found that just like my kittens and resident dog, it can be a bit of a process.

Most of my life I've been an observer and was deemed shy as a child. In an unfamiliar environment, I am the cat in the shadows inhaling the scents and watching the movements of those around me. My tail does the talking for me. I study their strut, make note of their various play tactics and watch to see where their eyes land. Entering any social gathering really is much like visiting a watering hole deep in the jungle as there are a plethora of species at any given one who all come out to satisfy their thirst and lay in the sun. Once I understand and can identify who's around me I then and only then will drink and play and chase and pounce. There are other animals, much like Scrappy our resident dog who, just as curious as any cat, are namely ruled by their nose and delight themselves in getting closer, quicker, to breathe a little more deeply and understand the scent invading their nostrils a bit better. They are vocal and express themselves through sound howling and barking and whining, tail flip flopping like a metronome.

Both are curious. Both desire to let loose and just play with one another. But for now, in order for that to happen, the cats continue to perch out of reach, study his movements to make sure he won't hurt them, tail talking all the while and he continues to vocalize and smell as best as he can in the distance they've given him. Animals. You've gotta love 'em.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Uranian Alien

I'm not sure why but I've never liked being called names. Or rather, when I give that statement more thought, I've never taken kindly to someone else defining me. While I realize that kids tease and it's just what they do, as an adult I realize I mostly had it pretty easy comparatively. Yet regardless, if there was one thing that got my blood absolutely boiling and exploding with tears, it was being called a name. "Casper" followed me through several years, Dolly Parton Jr. (I developed early), Jessica Rabbit, Powder and the worst and the earliest from 1st grade onwards: Risa's Pieces.

Writing that list I feel silly. But what it all boiled down to was simply "Who the fuck are you to define me?" On top of the fact that rarely have I been comfortable with the amount of attention I receive. Especially for something as base as body parts. My mom tried to teach me, she really did. She would tell me to own it with a comeback like "At least I'm sweet!" (In response to Risa's pieces) But it still got under my skin like no other. Obviously I've learned to own it as an adult and ET was the one who changed my mind. If an alien loved the candy, then maybe it wasn't so bad.

My mom has always driven me slightly crazy. I suppose that's what a mothers job is but the more I become reacquainted with myself, I'm realizing that in my case, she was and still is teaching me to own a part of my light that I've struggled with since birth. She is an Aquarius, ruled by Uranus.

As in my last post discussing my dynamic duo of love and death, my light, my sun, simply cannot be defined without the revolutionary spirit Uranus embodies. They too, are joined at the hip for better or for worse in this soul of mine. (S)he is androgynous. A fiery and feisty bizarre being stirring up the status quo. (S)he intuits messages unheard by the masses and inspires revolution to occur so higher, enlightened ideals may be acheived. Needless to say, those who live their quiet comfy lives content to stagnate don't always receive Uranus well, especially tied to a Plutonic sun. My light is that of an Uranian alien. Where Saturn is about restriction, Uranus is boundless and doesn't wish to be defined as that would only limit all that (s)he is and can be. So as a child, I fought being put in box. I'll decide which box to put myself in, and then shift it when and how I see fit.

I have tempered myself over the years, and shunned my light in recent ones. If I am to wholly accept myself and shine my light with all my might I must 100% own the gift that my Mother has given me and accept that I am bizarre in moments, crazy to those who can't see, and will piss people off by stirring up their lives. Yet I trust and own that this gift I've been given is for the greater good of those I touch, whether they or I can see it or not. Today I am grateful for rediscovering another piece of myself.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The passion of lovers is for death said she

"I only knew what hunted thought
Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved
And so he had to die.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"

-Oscar Wilde

One of the last books I (re)read, was The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho. The theme of the book is founded upon the notion that we tend to kill the things we love the most and explores why we commit this crime against ourselves. It tells a story of the author journeying on a road trip with his wife in an attempt to learn how to speak to his angel.

Though nearly every single book of Coelho's has resonated with some part of me at some point in my life, it was this book that caused a vibration to stir deep down inside some place of myself that I had forgotten about. I've been speaking of Venus often and in all fairness if I am to speak of her, I must also speak of him. Pluto. Hades. Whatever name you'd like to attribute to him, he is quite simply the King of the underworld. He is the Grim Reaper and tends to the seeds we plant deep down within our being. He is death. He is sex. He is rebirth. My own view of him is the paternal personification of the dark Mother. He carries his torch within her womb providing nourishment to the pieces of ourselves we may have forgotten about, shoved deep down within.

The way in which my unique energy structure came to enter this life, is with her, Venus, and him, Pluto as eternal playmates, lovers and friends. Attached at the hip, wherever Venus decides to bask in the sunshine, Pluto can be found laying in the shade of an umbrella beside her, hands intertwined, smiling as she beams. Souls within this soul of mine, they are each others mates.

I'm taken back to visions of Mya's video for "My Love is like Whoa". As someone who took tap dance for 13 years, I remember how enamored I was with her bringing a craft I held so close to my heart into mainstream society. On top of the fact that she began the video perched in a zoot suit, smoking a cigar, dressed like a dude and yet oozing with the power of her femininity. The lyrics, well, they speak for themselves. And I remember feeling like somehow she had observed my life and was writing about me. I love hard. Some may say I love too hard. But that's me, it's how I exist and I don't know how else to love. All or nothing. My love is like whoa... I've tried to temper it which does nothing but distort my actions and sentiments.

On twitter recently someone described Pluto as the dark stranger in the alley who sends chills of fear up your spine. I replied that he only manifests as such if you're not in touch with your dark side. I am an avid defender of him as he is so close to my heart. And as a Solar, Mercurial and Uranian Scorpion, (which he rules alongside Mars), he is my light, how I see, how I hear, how I speak, how I love and my vision. I see and I feel the dark side of others. Those pieces they hide away from the world and themselves. It's not always pretty and yet I always see beauty as the struggle to hide away those pieces that are bursting to come forth is such a beautifully arduous process. It's watching cells split beneath a microscope, a seed bursting open and pushing its way through the soil to eventually shoot up towards the sun.

I have found that quite a lot of people, self included, grow afraid of themselves. Why, I cannot answer. As children many of us become afraid of the dark, the monsters under our bed and skeletons in our closet. As someone who loves the dark side of others and someone who loves hard, I've often found myself in a conundrum as people push me away. I don't think I realized that I too, have done it myself over the course of the years. If we can't love ourselves wholly, including our dark side, or more potently, if we for some awful reason feel as though we don't deserve to be loved wholly, then who the hell is this other person to do so. Off with her head! And here's a dagger through the heart as well. Must kill this scary beast.

For some, I believe it's an issue of trust. That was my reason at least. Not knowing what will burst forth from the depths of the underworld can be scary and its a life long process (hopefully). When you don't really take the time to explore every shadow and get to know who you are and accept who you are, how can you trust yourself? And if you can't trust yourself wholly, you can forget about trusting someone else completely. And so the cycle continues. Who is this person? How dare they come shining their light inside my darkness! We then attempt to surround ourselves with people who are content to take us at a superficial level. People who likely wouldn't even understand our dark side if we dared to reveal it. People who quite simply don't ignite our shadows. But the universe is wise and light cannot exist without darkness. She will do as she does and whisper in our ears, send scent filled winds our way and haunt us until we somehow, someway are brought back face to face with our other side.

I'm unsure what my own body count is at exactly but I've maimed quite a few. And in all reality, none of them had to die but they were either pieces of myself that were too painful to admit existed or whom I didn't believe I deserved simply because I did not value myself wholly. As with his book, I too have finally learned how to speak with my angel and from where I stand right now, with Pluto's fingers clutching my own, no one else will die without the other aspect of death which is rebirth.

And somehow, I've stumbled upon a sketch from years ago that resurfaced directly after posting this. Life continues to amuse... :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fuel, Family and other musings

Yesterday I left the city of Angels, bound for the city I was born in who's name literally translates to "Saint Free Man". As I walked to the train station, I saw a beautiful bright white kitty across the street, ahead of me. She wasn't in my path and I was on a mission to get to the rental car place so I decided against crossing the street to greet her. Almost immediately after I made up my mind, I feel a set of paws on the back of my thigh. A fluffy beige and white dog of some sort had come up behind me wanting pets. As I turned to bend down and return his affection, the white kitty appeared on my other side. Simultaneously, they had both approached me wanting love. She rubbed against my leg and threw herself on the ground wiggling around staring at me with bright blue oceanic eyes. He licked my hand and leaned into me looking up with those love filled eyes that dogs have.

I smiled to myself and at them. I felt like both sides of me were coming together again. Finally.

4 days earlier a photographer I worked with in NY posted on Facebook. A song I only sadly became aware of a few months ago, I immediately had to watch it as the man is a genius whom I've always loved and lived for his creations. Watch it or don't but I did for exactly 1 hour and 6 minutes. The song is so uplifting and so positive and so addicting that it doesn't annoy me on repeat. Anyway, the whole point is that after meeting these animals, I rode the gold line which I had never done, down to Union station, where I had never been. And when I stepped off, I realized that Union Station was where Pharrell had filmed his portion (and a few others) of the music video. Because I'm a huge dork and felt the strongest sense of déjà vu, of course I immediately began to blast the song in my headphones. And 10 seconds later, the one person I love most in life aside from myself called. We rarely have the pleasure of speaking on the phone so I was taken aback. Dizzy and overwhelmed with a feeling I cannot even attempt to describe, I attempted to babble to him and explain about this waking dream I was in the middle of but don't think I succeeded. It was nothing short of amazing. My mood and everything that was happening around me could be summed up by the song that I felt like in some weird way I was in the middle of the music video for. Like it was my turn. (if you watch the video, you'll understand what I mean.) Life led me to that exact location days after becoming aware of it's existence.

The drive home took 6 hours and thus gave me time completely to myself to ponder everything and anything. When I initially moved to LA, everyone asked me why. I asked myself the same question. The only truthful answer was that I was done living in New York and I had always wanted to do a cross country road trip. So when my friends invited me to move with them, I was more than happy to join the adventure. Yet once we landed, I felt like a fish out of water. I have a birds sense of direction and can get myself anywhere, rarely getting lost yet the word of the year came up time and time again. Value. Did I really want to spend 2 hours commuting by bus to a job I didn't want to have to pay for a room I didn't want to be in? It didn't make sense. And yet sometimes, we need to land in the "wrong" place to illuminate where we should be.

I don't know if I've ever met anyone as family oriented as my two friends I drove cross country with. Where I've longed to spread my wings and leave the nest time and time again, this was his first time truly doing so. While in NY he would talk of LA and his family constantly, telling stories of his youth and showing me photos of this beautiful place he called home. She was completely unreachable when home as if her phone didn't even exist because family commanded her attention and there was something so beautiful about that to me. Living in a house with the two of them along with another family made up of a grandmother, mother and two young boys, I was more or less adopted. And yet, I felt like the odd woman out. It wasn't until visiting a home away from home that I realized I might just be in the wrong place.

In San Francisco, I always knew who I was and believed in myself wholeheartedly. Regardless of the various "versions" of myself that I tried on over the years, I was always supported and that support gave me the freedom and comfort to express and explore myself completely. Something as simple as the support of my family was always my fuel, though it took me 33 years to realize it. Unfortunately, I never really developed a support system in New York. I met a series of sparks that lit me up from time to time and one flame who continues to do so but that was the extent of my family.

And so Dorothy is back in Kansas thanks to the angels. I'm not entirely sure what or who I'll end up transforming myself into this time, but for the first time in what feels like forever, I actually feel supported and as though it's okay to be me.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Care Bear Stareeeee!

Growing up the Care Bears were some of my favorite friends along with their cousins. Sunshine bear was the first I owned which seemed all too appropriate as my favorite stuffed animal prior was a bright yellow bear or maybe rabbit- his ears could have been either-given to me by my grandma whom I aptly named, Sunbathing.

This morning I woke up to find scattered rainbows on my floor. I realized I had left a glass of water in my window sill and the rising morning sun had shone his light as he does through my glass spewing colors everywhere.

A few years ago I was riding the train in New York beside my best friend when the thought occurred to me and I wondered, were the images that adorned the bellies of the care bears akin to their solar plexus? I mean I doubt that was the creators conscious vision for the gang but it is kind of appropriate. I had been teaching myself about Chakras and couldn't help but remember the infamous "Care Bear Stareeeeee!" they would engage in when fighting "evil". Each bear (and cousin) had a unique image on their belly and for the duration of a care bear stare, they'd essentially shine their light with all their might creating a rainbow which would then disarm whomever they were focused on.

Recently I was given the title of an "Emotional Bully". And I suppose it's true. Emotions are where our power lies. Reading about Psychokinesis, and exactly how spoons are bent without being touched and all that jazz, the art comes from emotion. Specifically from that feeling of awe when your heart is filled to the brim and exploding while your eyes are focused as if there is no other place in the world that exists. The Care Bears were on to something. Where water is an absolutely necessary ingredient to create a visible rainbow, emotion is an absolutely necessary ingredient to create your (illusion) of a world.

We all do it whether conscious or not as we all exist with emotions. The key, I believe, is to monitor our water quality. We may be feeling angry or sad and not even be aware of it. The longer we hold onto those feelings, and shove them deep down within, the more stagnant and muddy they get and unfortunately light doesn't shine too well through muddy water. Rainbows need crystal clear, pure water to exist. Then again, I suppose rainbows aren't for everyone. But they're certainly essential in my world.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Despite my love of science, and aside from my shockingly provocative and liberal Human Sexuality class, the classes I remember the most from college were my Ethnic Studies courses and English/Writing. The professor who still manages to reside in my brain 14 years later taught a combination of both. I sadly don't remember his name and I vaguely remember his face but his words, the images he painted and literature he introduced me to have followed me through life. He brought Popul Vuh into my world and introduced me to Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights by way of (I believe though could be wrong) Always Running. After reading the first chapter as homework, he began the class by asking if anyone knew who Hieronymus Bosch was. Silence. He then stated "So none of you really understood the imagery the author presented you with then." In the book, the author described a hillside in Tijuana as being akin to a Bosch painting. So our next assignment included researching the painter, picking one his painting and writing about it. I chose Garden of Earthly Delights and have never once forgotten the artists existence.

I think I wrote about him before, possibly in this blog. The other question he posed us with over the course of the semester was "Could we identify the pieces of our world?" He used trees as an example stating that a good writer paints a picture and if we couldn't readily identify our world, how could we paint a picture? A tree is not simply a tree. There are vast differences between an Oak, a Willow, a Pine and a Eucalyptus. I never really knew why he made such an impact on me but I'm grateful for his teachings as now, years later, they've been helpful in my life.

As the years have passed and my brain has finally (I believe) healed from chemo, I find myself being even more of a nerd than I was as a child. Especially with google and smart phones, my first inclination is that I must. know. NOW. Any and every animal and creature I meet and cannot identify is searched for in field guides. I'll spend hours in bed reading about chemistry and physics and astronomy and history and the etymology of words and names. My appetite for knowledge has been insatiable these past few years. The roots of everything that enters my world has become so utterly fascinating because I've finally become interested in identifying the pieces of my world. While branches are beautiful stretching towards the sky, the roots are the source nestled deep down within the Mother and there's just something so divine about that.

And in case you were wondering, the root of the word tree in many ancient cultures is Oak. Interesting, no?

The golden road - NY Stories

March of 2011 landed me working at a bar in the West Village on the corner of Houston and Sullivan. Cayenne Lounge was owned by a sweet and gentle soul, Shai, whose face very much resembled Hoggle, Sarah's dwarf counterpart in Labyrinth. He was an older man in his late 60's and had opened the bar only 3 months before I began working there. His daughter Talia, a wide eyed beauty blessed with the mane of curls I spent much of my youth trying to create each morning, was a freelance web designer. She had bartended all throughout college and helped him get the place up and running. She was the one who hired me and the only other bartender on staff, Rainbow.

Cayenne should have thrived. It seemed to have all the necessary ingredients upon first glance. Beautiful space, wonderful location catering to both business people and NYU students, friendly and bubbly staff etc And yet it closed 7 months later. I wish I could remember what Shai had done for a living before opening it but I suppose it doesn't matter. He didn't really know much about the business and was too kind and too trusting for his own good. A month after opening, the scavengers arrived. A duo of apparently longtime New York club promoters who made a deal with him to throw parties Friday and Saturday night guaranteeing a crowd. The catch was that they would bring in their own bartenders and he was to have none of his own people on staff. Only of course it was phrased differently, dressed up pretty to make it seem as though he wouldn't have to worry about a thing. The day I trained was a Friday night for a few hours and Talia had told me I would split half the tips at the end of my training. Working alongside one of the promoters I immediately became protective. He was absolutely physically beautiful. I don't think I met a man as striking in the entire course of my years in New York. He was also charming as any good bartender is, which of course I saw right through. At the end of my shift, I counted the tips, split them in half and handed him his telling him how much and asked if he wanted to count it. He smiled an irritated smile, closed eyes and shook his head slowly leaning to his right. "Darling, I don't know how they do things in California, but you're in New York now. You don't get paid to train but here, take $20 so you can take a cab home to Brooklyn.", with the word Brooklyn rolling out of his mouth as though it were maggot infested. So I smiled my own sweet charming smile and instructed him that I had earned my tips and was taking them. "You won't last long here. Shai will not be happy with you." was his best retort. Slowly, I started seeing what was happening and that Shai was being blindsided and taken advantage of. After working a full Friday night as one the promoters bartenders was ill, I knew the register ring should have been higher and saw how they gave top shelf liquor away to nearly everyone and pocketed the generous tips.

But the days belonged to me and Rainbow. She brought life with open mic nights and I kept the neighborhood visitors happy. Shai's mom got sick and he rarely came in and my own happiness began to dwindle because I hadn't made time to do what I loved and was in NY to pursue, makeup. Every weekend Cayenne was the last stop on an interactive mystery theatre tour, the theme of which was the Wizard of OZ. Groups would come in and watch a video of modern day Dorothy stressed out at NY prices and the chaos that ensues there, instructing the crowd to find a key and collect their treasure or something of the sort. Joe, a little person who would show me photos of him and Will Smith in MIB every chance he got, would pop out and scare them delivering a painting of the emerald city as they had solved the mystery! Though the munchkin land music played with each group finale got repetitive, it was my favorite time to work. There were kids and tourists happy to be on vacation in contrast to the darker nights filled with people spilling their pain.

One night a beautiful woman walked in wearing a very convincing wig. She ordered a drink and shared that she was an ex model having just moved back to NY from Australia, her home. She asked if I liked her hair and then sighed "what am I doing?" and slipped it off her head. I hadn't actually realized it wasn't her hair until that moment. We chatted on and off while I served other customers and played with Tambu, a beautiful terrier pup who belonged to Molly, one of the regulars. Hours later, the beautiful woman still sat in front of me and asked "How are you so happy? How can you stand in front of me with a beaming smile on your face in this?" I asked what she meant exactly. "I know you're here to explore and pursue your career, but since I've been here you've had to deal with me and my life rants, I've watched you calm a drunk, irate man screaming and crying and pounding the bar about his wife cheating on him rather than call the cops, clean up the pee of someone else's dog, and you did it with a smile and don't seem to be bothered by any of it. You deserve better than all of this."

I don't know who she is, but I love her. My response was that we choose our mood and being irritated never makes a task any more fun or easier to complete. She needed an ear and I love to hear people's stories. The man who's wife cheated on him was obviously in a tremendous amount of pain and I've felt that same pain before. Sometimes, having someone validate your feelings makes you feel better. And Tambu brightened my day every single time I saw her, she was my favorite customer! Cleaning her pee didn't bother me. While I still stand by my words, the reason I loved that woman so very much was because amidst her own darkness, she illuminated my world and made me really think about what the fuck I was doing. Settling. Passively standing by just letting shit happen and (mostly) smiling while I either played with what came or cleaned it up.

All of yesterday and this morning I've had Oz in my head, echoing the now cliche term, "There's no place like home" while visions of Dorothy's ruby slippers clicking together dance across my current reality. Tomorrow I'm moving back to San Francisco. Home. I have walked the golden road, explored the emerald city and now I'll figure out what the next step is after learning all that I have about myself.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I'm your fire

November 15th I stood in the middle of a glorious field. Silhouettes of mountains framed the early morning sky and I held the hand of a small boy. This sky was the perfect shade of indigo fading into cerulean as the sun would soon rise. He was silent but the excitement I could feel emanating from his tiny hand flushed my own with the warmth of a raging bonfire. His eyes were bright and wide as he took in the scope of the sky with the purest sense of wonder and awe wearing a smile he couldn't contain. In the distance, just over the peak of the mountain range was a brilliant white light that pierced the space in the sky where the two shades of blue bled into one another. I pointed and explained to him that that was the morning star. That was Venus.

Burning like a silver flame.

Though my dreams have seemed to stream steadily in recent months, this is the most recent that I can recall. And while I generally keep up on astrological weather (what sign planets are in, who's going retrograde, who's playing with whom etc), I hadn't realized that Venus would soon be entering her shadow period as happens with all planets prior to retrograde motion. As I've mentioned in other entries, the concept of value has been a personal theme for some years now. With my natal sun in the second house, ruled by the phrase "I want" or "I desire", I attributed my reason for focus on values lately solely due to my solar return. This is not the case.

In reading my twitter feed, articles that pop up and in damn near every conversation I've had, people have been steadily beginning to express and question what's important to them. What they value. What they desire. Venus rules all of these things. In her second house Taurus home, she is representative of earthly delights. The 900 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets that make your skin squeal with delight? That's Venus. The luxury perfume that causes your nostril to orgasm? Venus. This is her lower vibration as I understand it. In her seventh house Libra home, she expands to include others and rather than touching her, her vibration is one you feel with your eyes and heart. Here she becomes responsible for taking the time to beautify yourself and your surroundings, and with this beautification comes judgement as demonstrated by her scales. From a simple question of "Should I wear red lipstick or pink?" to "Does this person add or detract beauty from my life?" It is in this space that she ultimately seeks harmony. What I have found true of most Libra/Venusian ruled beings who are often labeled as passive aggressive, is that if harmony and balance cannot be created, they will solve the problem by removing themselves. Because you see Venus is a creator and finds great joy and delight in her creations. Her dance is fueled by the sacred fire that smolders within. If her creations are not harmonious and do not add to her state of beauty, she'll destroy them by simply walking away and creating anew, akin to animals ceasing to feed the weakest link.

I'll use my eyes to invite you, my lips to delight you and all of the charms of the feminine wiles to excite you.

In reading a bit about her existence in Roman times, it tickled me that what began to play in my head were lyrics from Eartha Kitt's song, I'd Rather Be Burned as a Witch. While Wikipedia isn't always the best source, the statement that "her cults may represent the religiously legitimate charm and seduction of the divine by mortals, in contrast to the formal, contractual relations...and the unofficial illicit manipulation of divine forces through magic." warmed me at my core. If I'm taking that statement in the way I believe it was intended, to invoke Venus is to seduce the divine. Unfortunately while writing about her second house vibration, the term "guilty pleasure" came to mind. Perhaps that's my own Chiron in Taurus being touched upon, but it begs to be spoken of. We currently live in repressed times. Venus is anything but repressed. She lives for pleasure, for what else creates true harmony? Guilt should never exist in the same sentence as pleasure and yet it's become a standard catch phrase.

Which brings me to her third vibration. The 12th house of dreams, Pisces. Yes, the fish is ruled by Neptune but just as Uranus is a higher vibration of Mercury, so is Neptune a higher vibration of our lovely lady. Now if something as simple as indulging in sheets that excite your skin, or telling someone "Get out of my world, it's prettier without you!" (Albeit in a gentler manner - Pluto is tied to my own Venus so he goes where she does), evokes feelings of guilt, how then can you truly invoke her highest vibration of all and create your dreams? Guilt should be bound, gagged and thrown in the ocean to drown. There is no place for guilt in dreams because Venus wants you to be ultimately pleased and tickled pink, no matter the cost. She wants you to dance and sing and play and most importantly, orgasm as often as you can. She is the pleasure principle and asks simply, what pleases you?

Friday, November 22, 2013


"You cannot carry anyone's pain for them. You must remember that everyone has their own path they must walk."

In February of 2010 I made one of my usual trips to New York. One night, I made plans to meet my best friend half way between him and I at a train station. I hadn't seen him in a few years due to a fight we had and my own stubbornness. I remember walking down the stairs of the station and my eyes swallowing every piece of him. It's funny how you can find home 3,000 miles away from your physical one. On our way to meet up with mutual friends he exploded with words and dreams as he always does and presented me with a dream I had had that I never imagined being able to actually touch.

A few years prior in the height of my Paulo Coelho obsession I read his book, The Pilgrimage. What an experience! I've always existed as equal parts city girl and nature faerie and yet mostly been surrounded by people that will only camp in cabins, let alone cross the entirety of Spain on foot. So when he told me he was going and asked me to come with him, my soul was literally torn in half. Moving back to SF from NY 8 months prior hadn't proved as lucrative as I thought it would be. My bar tending shifts had been replaced and I just wasn't making the money I was accustomed to. Also, I had decided that I had given up on NY too easily. If I really wanted to stretch myself, I'd have to try again and not even consider moving back an option no matter what happened. Yet as it stood, I only had enough money to choose one. Move to New York, see where that led and be able to see him along with everyone else as often as I liked, or buy my ticket to Spain and spend 2 months there with him at the end of which I'd return to SF. I chose New York.

It's a decision I regretted from the second I stepped off the plane. But looking back I realize that New York was my pilgrimage. When I think back to 16 year old me walking through the streets of lower Manhattan, I realize I’ve never known why I felt that initial tug to live there, just that it was of utmost importance and something that couldn’t be ignored. I seemed to be able to inhale deeper there and over the next few years my heart leaped with every mention of the city.

Reflecting on the girl who stepped off the plane 11 years ago when I first moved, I'm reminded of how brave and adventurous my heart is. I leapt from everything familiar into the complete unknown without a soul beside me. Until recently, I always saw that move as a failure considering it only lasted for 3 months. Time is no longer a deciding factor for me though as the end creation is what ripples onwards. New York may not have lasted for me on that go around because while I thought I knew how to live, I hadn't yet learned how to die.

Death is an absolutely essential part of life. Throughout the years we accumulate so much stuff. Baggage. Ideas and beliefs we hold about ourselves and others and life. It begins at birth and when I first moved to my city of shadows, I didn't know how to transform myself. I only knew that my shining gem, what I was good at, at that point, was science, education and dance. I was too young to realize there were so many other parts of myself to be explored. Looking back, even then, the shadows lurked. One of my roommates was a dancer on broadway - a dream I once held, that I never fulfilled. That same roommate also introduced me to the pro side of MAC as she had her performer discount with them. She was both my past dream that I never lived and a glimpse into my future though I didn't realize it at the time.

Older and hopefully a bit wiser, this time around I learned how to use what I knew, and build upon and transform what I was to get what I wanted. Now, while I can't say I feel entirely successful in accomplishing what I wanted while there, the journey made me confront nearly every single fear I had and even those I didn't know existed. New York placed a huge mirror deep into the bowels of my soul and made my darkness a reality. I came face to face with pieces of myself I didn't want to believe existed. And at the end of it all, I'm still here. A little bruised, a little shaken but aware. Now that I can readily see what I refused to before, I can decide whether or not I want to keep those pieces or not. Those pieces are luggage, baggage. While some are pretty accessories that I can adorn myself with from time to time, there's others that serve absolutely no purpose any longer. Had I not been brought face to face with them they would have continued to ride along like barnacles feeding on everything that my soul devours without really offering anything of sustenance in return.

As much as it still to this day pains me, I'm not so sure I would have faced as many shadows had I chosen 2 months in Spain over 3.5 years in New York. Only now that I know my shadows, do I feel like I can walk beside and play with the sun.


I initially wrote this on July 3rd. Yet it has remained as a draft until today. I can't find any reason I had for not posting it other than once again being afraid of my own voice. So today, I release these words written 141 days ago

This morning I woke up on my own accord. This has not been the case since I brought Hydra home as she insists on attempting to get me up to play anywhere from 3am - 8am on any given morning. Today something shifted. Things have been shifting, but today there was a certain flavor in the morning light that I haven't tasted in awhile.

Though I can't recall where I've been, each night I've been traveling and thus each morning when I'm woken up by a tiny creature pouncing and pawing my face, I'm left in that groggy, liminal state, feeling like part of me is still wherever I was. Echoes have been steadily streaming from the most unlikely of sources. What once haunted, now evokes a creeping warmth that consumes me with the most potent power: love. Somehow, I've managed to transmute pain into pleasure and I lie floating atop the waves of emotion while the sun kisses me head to toe.

The concept of value has been a theme that has only increased in weight over the past 4 years. I blame Saturn's transit through Libra as more of my planets live there than any other sign. Where I once existed as Venus with claws, I never questioned my own value, I just lived it and reaped the rewards as any solar scorpion should. 2 months after moving here, Saturn began sauntering through my life. Dreams came true and I remember thinking "This is amazing...why is this happening, what did I do to deserve this? Why me?" Nightmares came true and I thought "WTF? Why is this happening, what did I do to deserve this? Why me?" The mind is a dangerous thing and I was introduced to a feeling that had never truly existed before, at least not that I was aware of - self doubt. Which bled over tainting even the best of circumstances. I accepted what I was given and settled rather than demand my worth, all because I doubted my own value. Silly girl. Thankfully, part of whatever is shifting, is now highlighting the extent of my reach. The various places I reside aside from my own mind have shown me my value. I always have and always will embody Venusian vibrations and I'm finally comfortable with that again.

Visited by a firefly last night, she reminded me to trust in my own rhythms, that those moments when I'm not lit up for the world to see, are just as important as the glowing ones. The energy harnessed and built upon while resting provides fuel.

Today I woke up and glanced around to find my world glowing with echoes of my value: my love.

The heart of a child

*written 11/20/2013

What are little boys made of? What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy-dogs' tails, that's what little boys are made of. What are little girls made of? What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice.

As life would have it, for the time being I am sharing a household with 2 little boys, 7 and 1 years young. The 7 year old is bright and smiley and playful and intelligent and vocalizes his belief in magic. I took him outside one night to show him the full moon and he exclaimed "it IS a full moon tonight! That means the wolfs are gonna jump into it. Imagine if we can see them!!!" When he spoke, he made a statement. There was no air of wordplay as often occurs with adults, the pure belief he held in his heart dripped from every word and shined like a million candles radiating from his eyes. He begins a lot of his sentences with "Imagine if..." Needless to say he has swiftly stolen my heart. On Halloween he couldn't wait to get home from trick or treating. So that he could GIVE candy out. It's his favorite part of the holiday and when the candy ran out, he yelled for his mom demanding she bring him his candy that he had just received to give that out.

The 1 year old is just as bright and smiley and intelligent but he doesn't speak just yet. At least not with words. His body, expressions and vocalizations are his words as is with all beings, it's just more pronounced as there are no words to convolute what he's saying. His reaction to the candles on my birthday cake was the best gift I could have received. A little Leo who turns the gas on the stove every time he enters the kitchen, I've nicknamed him fire baby and he has the temperament to match. Upon seeing the blazing flames atop my cake, he began screaming "Oooohhh oooohhh!" And wiggled and writhed out of the arms holding him to stumble over and climb onto my lap. We attempted to blow them out and make a wish together but he was mesmerized by the flame. After I successfully wished for my hearts desire, he reached out to touch them. I picked one up and put it to his mouth thinking he wanted to taste. Nope. He wanted to touch where the fire had been and looked at the charred wick in awe.

Living with them has been a beautiful experience and forces me to time travel back into my own childhood. Which is frustrating. I hear people speak of vivid memories and my own are so few and far from vivid. And if I attempt to explore the concept of magic and belief, my memories consist solely of disbelief. My first friend was a girl named Alice. Her mom and mine met in a park when I was around a year old. Growing up, Alice always wanted to play pretend and I never understood it. I remember her getting mad at me because I couldn't see the horse she was pretending to ride. And I remember begging with my Mom to be honest with me about Santa because it just didn't make sense that he could visit that many houses in one night and get into them all and carry all those gifts. Whereas Alice, believed he was real long after most because one Christmas when her parents were broke Santa brought some really expensive toy she had been wanting.

I can't pinpoint it. I wish I could. While writing this I asked my mom if I had always been a skeptical child or was there a time when I believed and apparently yes at one time I believed in bath tub magic where magical cups would go from being empty to revealing animals. But that seems to be the extent of it.

The weird part is that looking back, and having a better understanding of manifesting as an adult, I was a machine as a child. Anything I wanted would appear as if by magic. I'd either find it or someone would give it to me without me even saying I wanted it. I saw orbs of light around me all the time and though I don't remember their name, there was a being I played with even though I was an only child until 5. Hell I even believe I manifested my own sister. To this day my mom calls her MY star baby. I do actually vividly remember the night I wished on a star for her. And maybe that's it. Maybe that's my answer, when I became afraid of my own power. In the words of my 7 year old friend, imagine if, I manifested a real living breathing person?! What if my belief and desire were so strong that in some realm the fairies heard my heart and sprinkled their dust around my parents causing them to conceive a child? It can't be disproven, so it could be true. See but, she was born with heart problems. And if I were indeed responsible for her creation, thinking and desiring her into existence, then I would be responsible for her health or lack thereof. Yep, I'm diving deep. No other way to do it. Maybe that's it. I don't know.

What I do know, is that somehow in the last 3 years, magic has found it's way back into my life. I've passively played with it from time to time but somewhere lurking deep within my subconscious there has been a fear. It's mirrored itself all around me in various beings and its time that I'm honest with myself. I don't know how exactly but it's time I relight the magic that exists in my child's heart so I can once again consciously create my world.

Puzzle Pieces

*written 11/19/2013

Fuck what mommy and daddy said, sometimes strangers really do have the best candy. While I indulged strangers in conversation from time to time while living in SF, it was New York that flooded my senses and truly made me open my ears. It's a seductive sensory playground not for the meek of heart. Everyone wants a bite of the forbidden fruit. I remember when my ex came to visit and expressed frustration because I always seemed to sit near the loudest people on the train. At the time, I hadn't given it much thought. It wasn't a conscious choice and besides, while alone, I did what the majority does: I learned to disconnect. In a city swirling with near constant chaos one must. I'd shove my headphones in and immerse myself in sounds I controlled. I'd close my eyes and meditate and it was in fact my favorite place to do so. The irony...yet the speed of the train seemed to push images behind my eyelids as though I were watching a flip book.

A few months after moving east, my phone was stolen while I was working. A slick drunk thief placed a newspaper over it while I conversed with his girlfriend and slipped it in his pocket. Ahh but I am not a force to be fucked with. His credit card slip revealed his name and a quick google search along with a threatening email prompted him to meet me at Columbus Circle and return it a week later. The grand lesson I walked away with, was to pay attention. In a digital society where everyone walks around with their nose in their mini computers, I was forced to exist without one as a distraction for that week. And had I been paying attention in the first place, it wouldn't have been stolen.

Throughout the course of my time in NY, numerous thing like this happened. I had a breakdown in communication with my best friend while I was in the hospital and my phone decided it would stop working. As above, so below, right? Though I don't remember exactly when I began to truly give life my attention, I did have an extremely vivid dream where people were getting cosmetic surgery and having eyes implanted in their ears- maybe it was then? Either way, the more I paid attention, the more I realized that what I heard around me were things that if I was honest with myself I needed to. Because in some (often twisted) way, they mirrored or paralleled my life, my energy and what was happening.

Of course there was and always is white noise, but it's as though I instinctively began to know when to listen. After so many "omg how weird! Me too!" moments shared with strangers (that they weren't even always aware of), I couldn't help but listen rather than hear. And if I wasn't in the mood and wanted to turn off, I always had my headphones.

Last spring while puppy sitting, my fur friend jumped up and down barking and whining. A dog who is always cool and collected, I figured that she must have to pee. So I hurried to put my shoes on and dashed her outside. She pulled me in the direction of a square of earth she had taken to peeing in amidst the concrete and chaos, yet kept pulling once there. Now halfway down the block, she abruptly turned to cross the street. One of the things I've always been firm with regarding dogs is letting them walk me. It is an absolute honor and I implore everyone to try giving up the reins to their beast. She pulled me up 2 blocks to a small "park". If you can even call it a park. Aside from Prospect and Central, they're all a joke. As she approached the center of the triangular cement area with benches on east 10th street, she looked up me, smiled her doggie smile and squatted releasing herself. It was then I noticed a huge beautiful white bird sitting on a mans shoulder. Being in a funk and existing as a hermit for several days, I didn't necessarily want to talk to anyone but this bird was so beautiful! And his owner couldn't stop staring at my friend. He walked over and began to ask about her, forcing me to push my mood aside because sometimes when you don't want to talk to anyone is when you need to the most.

I asked what it was that he did for a living that he could afford to be out in the middle of a weekday in a pricey neighborhood enjoying the sun with this beautiful expensive bird on his shoulder. "I'm a professional magician." Not the response I was expecting by any means but I immediately reverted to my 5 year old self and stared at him in awe. He asked what I did, about the dog I was with and introduced me to his bird, Warlock. It was very much like a dream,. The sunshine illuminated his feathers in a way that seemed could only exist in another world. Now, part of my moodiness and hermit state were because I was on the cusp of making a major life change and unsure how to to go about doing it or even whether to do it at all. This complete and utter stranger, who just so happened to be a magician with a witch bird whom I wouldn't have even met had my canine companion not urgently insisted I take her to pee gave me the advice and strength I needed to make that change. He spoke the words I needed to hear, that no one in my immediate circle could say. Candy.

Michael, was one of many. And not every character I've met has specifically given me advice either. Sometimes, they end up talking purely about themselves. But more often than not, what they share in some way, shape, or form, resonates. So I listen. I always listen. I don't know if its part of the bible but what comes to mind is some old story about a king in beggars clothing, demonstrating that you never really know who you're talking to. And if you really listen and pay attention, you begin to realize that everyone holds a piece of the puzzle.

1,000 years / Out of the sea / Zion

*written 11/18/2013

"Come my lady, come come my lady, you're my butterfly sugar baby"

How did 10 years manage to pass so quickly and yet I feel like I've existed as at least 6 different people and thus lived at least 6 lives within that time. Damn. As circumstance would have it, today is my mercurial birthday as well so I'm feeling all kinds of aligned in beginning this, today.

The last time I sat down to write, the little mermaid was on my mind and as life would have it, shuffle decided to play that song once again prompting her brand new name. Mercury is about listening just as much as speaking and that's the side of the mountain I've existed on the past few years. Zion began to play next. And as I've learned, when you pay attention and truly listen you begin to hear synchronicity. Last night, while planning a road trip, I decided Zion will be one of our stops. Do I understand it's resonance completely? No. But if it's synchronized, it must be important, something she needs me to hear. And the moment I began to actually write, "Butterfly" began to play. I'm hoping to fight my way out of this chrysalis soon but until its complete, enjoy the revelation.

The first thing I read this morning came by way of my Facebook feed talking about transmutation. Which is a term I've used in the past few years and understood though I'm not sure I've ever defined it. A honey bee whom I hold in high regard, consistently buzzes in my ear about understanding the definitions of words. And while I can't always speak fluidly explaining what I mean, I generally understand. However, keeping with the theme of actually taking the time to define things, it was nice that this article began with a definition and jumped right into talking about Hermetists.

It's everything that's come up in the past few weeks and that Pluto deeply drilled into me about this weekend. Though I've been mostly silent to the world, and focused on listening, I'm realizing I haven't been silent to myself, the most important person. And everything I've been whispering hasn't really been conducive to my existence. When I went for a reiki session the first thing she said was "wow! You're really not in your body are you? It's like you have form but you're formless." Which, has been fun. I feel like a shapeshifter half the time but one of my downfalls is that I can view everything in a positive light and when viewed in such a manner, there's a peace with it that's accepted rather than a desire to change.

It's like children and magic- if you believe in something enough, it becomes real. I don't know when it happened or why or how, but somewhere in this life of mine, I stopped believing in myself and I've been stuck in the aether without even truly realizing it until 2 days ago. And so begins the transmutation process. Speaking to myself consciously and writing myself back into existence. Reminding myself that like the bee said, my sole purpose in life is not to be an accessory.

I remember when I used to shine and it was all so effortless without any sort of conscious thought. I want that again. I'm worthy of it.

Out of the Sea

At the beginning of this week, I started yet another blog. Monday was my 33rd birthday and along with a solar return, I also experienced a simultaneous mercury return. What better way to celebrate my birth than cry for the world to hear, especially after so much silence. Yet, I'm realizing I succumbed to my old ways. Inspired by my muse, I realized that creating a new blog wasn't exactly utilizing my vocal chords. The blog isn't private but it's like the tree that falls in the forest without anyone there. Does it actually make noise? That said, I'll be transferring the few entries I've written into this space.

If I can't even consistently plant roots in a web space, how can I expect to do so in the physical world? I'm moving yet again. This will make 4 moves in the past 11 months alone. Brooklyn - East Village - Queens - Los Angeles - San Francisco and 9 moves in the past 4 years. The gypsy inside me needs to chill out for a little while.