Sunday, February 23, 2014

Astral Adventures: Calico Kali

Last night I had 2 very vivid dreams (that I recall) and I completely woke up in between them. Woke up meaning I got up, used the restroom, looked in the mirror etc. In the first I was walking out to my backyard and there were two raccoons and five calico cats. Raccoon energy has been around me a lot lately and the two in my dream have actually consistently been coming to my house in waking life as well so they didn't surprise me. I live with two Calico cats so that didn't surprise me either. What did get my blood pumping with awe was when I asked the cats if they were hungry, if they wanted to eat and all 5 lined up in a longitude line south to north and shifted their shapes into human beings. They smiled yet never spoke. I walked over and found my backyard had also shifted into a forest. One tree had become many and everything was natural, not gardened. It was night and everything was cast with a blue hue. The human cat closest to me held his left hand out and motioned for me to follow him. As I did, he swung his arm in front of him and it began to glow and give off sparks. But not firey sparks, more like fluorescence. I noticed a similar light coming from behind a tree and as we got closer I saw the other 4 human cats standing in a circle talking with a faerie who was glowing with that same blue fluorescence. The trees and all the plants around them were lit up as well. She looked at me and smiled...and then I woke up.

While I can and have already psychoanalyzed this over several times, I'm not gonna write about my findings. The words would dull how immensely beautiful everything was. What I will note is that my kittens were spayed 2 weeks ago. The night before their surgery I had a dream in which some being seemed to be consulting with me about them - like a pre surgical examination. But it wasn't about anything physically and what I was told was that Nixie was with me as one of my guardians. Which, looking back makes way too much sense but again, I'm not going down that road right now.

The second dream left me wide awake, walking to the store to buy coffee at 6:45am (on my day off) because I wanted to move in the silence of the empty streets to really dive deep into what had just been shown to me.

While the beginning may matter, this is the middle-end. I'm at what I thought was a giant pool party with four other girls. No clue who they were but apparently we were friends. One of them and myself went to the back of the house, though it was more of a mansion than a house. There's chaos everywhere as models are being tugged into clothes in various different rooms. The room we were in while chaotic, was still pleasant- that light hearted excited chaos that buzzes in the air. I'm gathering my stuff (apparently I had worked?) and the friend and I stop to take a photo. I look in the mirror and see myself wearing a long wrap skirt that opens a bit in the front with wind. Both my skirt and top are patterned with vibrant warm colors. The patterns don't match, but they don't clash either which I'm intrigued by as I've never dressed head to toe in (visible) pattern. As we're gathering my stuff to leave and return to the pool, Danielle appears to help me. She grabs my kit and starts to walk to the hallway. People are still talking and she gets pulled into the conversation. The three of us go to leave for good this time and my kit is nowhere to be found amongst the sea of people in the hallway. A bit of panic begins to creep into my brain and she starts apologizing and saying she'll replace it. I mumble about how she can't afford it but I'm not paying her much mind as I'm focused. Hunting. Eyes darting left and right, walking the hallway, glancing in rooms seeing several Zuca's but none are mine. I'm thinking someone must have confused mine with theirs and it'll pop up eventually but what if it doesn't? She's following me and I eventually stop in this area with 3 couches around a table that's covered with makeup. "please don't be mad at me" she says sitting on a couch to the left of the couch I plopped down on. "I'm not mad at you, I'm upset that it was taken because there's products that are irreplaceable and I need to figure out a solution" I say as I'm trying to recall what products I have at home and what PR contacts I have that I might possibly be able to utilize. I barely even noticed the man sitting across from me. He was so calm that I realized he must have just been killing time waiting for his next model. I only became aware he was even there because of her voice "Ohhh what's that?" I looked up to find she had been playing with the makeup on the table and had painted her face blue. He was handing her a pot of gold cream. As I watched her apply it beneath her eyes something clicked and I smiled and screamed "You're Kali!" and then I woke up.

A few months ago I replied to an email from a lost friend catching her up on where I was. In it I explained that while I told everyone including myself that doing makeup was why I moved to New York, I think the reasons were much deeper and...higher. Rather than thinking of it as makeup as in eyeshadow, foundation, eyeliner etc, thinking of it as make up, imagine, create. Make up your life. Learning how to create consciously. Kali is a creator and thus she's also a destroyer. I don't know what her relationship is to Ganesh but elephants have been creeping into my world as well lately and more specifically, Danielle and I have always jointly had a bond with Ganesh. If Kali is somewhat responsible for making my kit disappear, albeit in the astral realm, it's not something to take lightly. And so as I walked to get coffee I mused...

One of the things that I hate is small talk. And small talk on set is especially jarring because people intend to keep it light not knowing the question they ask always takes me to a deep place and they end up diving with me. Where I'm comfortable diving, the same can't always be said for those asking the question. "how did you start doing makeup?" I had leukemia and it was my therapy. As a friend told me a few months ago, "You created something beautiful out of such darkness. You should be proud. Not everyone is capable of that." He's absolutely right and I'm endlessly grateful for the hundreds if not thousands of people I've met because of it. The places I've been, the experiences I've shared, everything I've learned. Universe, from every cell in my soul, thank you.

Yet, I have to rewind and consider a few things. I fell in love with the craft for purely selfish reasons. It enabled me to visually express how I was feeling and who I felt like being in those few hours. Focusing on line placement and color gradation made the constant "Why did this happen to me? How long until I'm healed?" disappear from my mind. I did it purely for myself. Watching my face shift shapes and eyes change color was amazing! For me it was about becoming whatever character I wanted to be. Once I started working at MAC, I began to see that this seemed to be rarely the case among people who would come to the counter. For them, it was about fixing perceived flaws and painting them into this one character that they were comfortable in. I learned to hate, and still to some degree do, applying makeup on "normal women". *yawn* how boring! Play with all your facets! Try on different masks for Christ's sake.

Working in NY was half way satisfying. I had more say in what I applied as models are the canvas. They play the character everyone else applies to them through hair, makeup, clothing, lighting etc They are creatively directed and bring that vision to life. Yet I say half way because there's still industry standards for most things unless you're testing or working with a really open minded client.

All things considered, I don't want to stop doing makeup. I don't think that was the point of the dream. If I am to think of my kit as my essential potions for creation, my "magic hat" then it's time for some serious revamping. Removing some to make room for others. Upgrade across the board. New, new, new. I've done this bit by bit over the last few years with my actual kit but much like the dream, perhaps it's time to lay it all out on the table and redefine what belongs there. And then go find whatever is missing. It's time to create some new characters and shift the story. My new response will be "I liked playing with colors and creating characters."

Sunday, February 9, 2014

"I knew myself before I knew anyone..."

I remember getting a t shirt as a birthday present from some classmate at my 10th birthday party. It was white and had a photo of a shopping bag with the words "I shop, therefore I am" across the chest.

Am...what? That shirt bothered me for years. I remember asking my parents what it meant and not receiving an answer. Long after the shirt met the end of its days in my world, it's ghost would still saunter through my memory banks teasing my brain about what those words meant and what an odd present it seemed to be for a 10 year old.

This happened from time to time for 17 years until I took a philosophy class and was introduced to Descartes. Only then did the phrase finally, kinda make sense. Though I know it was a play on his words, the choice of "shop" still left me pissed.

This past week was a nuclear week which doesn't happen too often. My sister came to visit and thus the core energy I grew up with, sans any additives, was present. Of course we've all shifted in one way or another over the years so while it may not be the exact interaction, it was still some form of it and quite revealing. I saw behaviors displayed that I had adopted at one point in my life.
"Ohhh so that's where that came from!"
And I'd think to a time when I had exhibited the same behavior and remembered hating myself in the process because it didn't feel right, but it didn't feel like it was something I could stop myself from expressing. And then I'd suddenly feel stronger, realizing that wasn't my innate, core behavior but rather something I'd learned, which meant I could drop it.

The "identity crisis" continues...In an appropriately Uranian kinda way I changed my profile on both twitter and Instagram to say a single word. I don't know who reads those things or if anyone even does but summing myself up with a list of terms to define myself just felt so wrong all of a sudden.

With mercury retrograde my sister visiting felt like a catalyst. Reminding me of what I am, who I am, ways in which I am and conversely reminding me what I am not, who I am not and ways in which I am not. All those "nots" are mostly my mother. Some are negative, others positive but none are truly my own organic unique energy. Watching old videos, viewing old photographs and laying in bed with my sister I'm reminded of who I was before I began to adopt personality traits that aren't actually mine.

I am feisty and playful and my silliness can border on nerdiness. I laugh a lot at tension in a room because it feels ridiculous and tickles me. I am strong and confident 95% of the time. My favorite past time is allowing myself to take flight and get lost in realms of possibility. I am air headed. Spirit lives through me. I am a dreamer. I am endlessly curious. I am stubborn. I know what I want and how I want it. I am flexible. I am strong willed. I believe in the mystical. I am the mystical. I am a caretaker. I am filled with love. I am a hopeless romantic. I enjoy challenging the world from time to time. I am a pot stirrer. I am extremely sensual. I am a creator. I understand more than I ever let on.