We moved sand with our hands

“Okay, now let’s think about this. Come here, sit with me,” The Bullfighter said to me, motioning me to the floor.
We both sat on our knees, staring at eachother, waiting for the other to say something.
“Face the other way, put your hand together,” he said, “and ohhhhmmmmmmm.”
I tried not to laugh but did what he said. I put my hands together as if to pray to some non-existent being.
“Ohhhhmmmmmm,” I repeated, halfheartedly. He knew.
“No no no, like feel it in your being. Ohhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmm.”
“Ohhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmm.”
Then we changed hand positions.
“Ohhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmm,” we said in unison.
“Now come back here, and sit like a frog.”
“Um, yeah, I don’t think I’ve done that since I was five,” I said, struggling to switch positions.
“Yeah, um ok me, too. Scratch that. Ohhhhmmmmmmmm.”
I tried not to laugh, but my smile was way too obvious.

“Okay, now lets search in the sand.” The Bullfighter moved on to grabbing at the beige carpet, acting like it had more weight and volume than it actually did. He grabbed a handful of sand and tossed it at me. And for some reason I almost felt it.

So I followed. I reached out my hand and took hold of some sand, then held it up and watched it pour slowly down in a straight line. The wind picked up some sand dust and spun it around us. I spread my fingers and ran them through the sand, “I’m searching for an answer. I see something dark, and bold. Dark and bold. And I see something real.”

“Will I be ugly?” asked The Bullfighter.

“Sure, if you want to be.”

“I want to be just real, myself. Just flat out ragged.” He explained.

“Well yeah, you. Whatever is you. As real as you can be.”

Just barely before I finished talking, another band member brought over a magnetic board with word magnets. So randomly necessary.

“Oh god, I’m glad there aren’t any kids around,” The Bullfighter said.

“What? Why?”

“Because I’m about to write the most inappropriate sentence ever.”

We dove into the word magnets, pulling them off, sticking them back on. Arranging, rearranging, borrowing from one another. I got so into my word play that I didn’t even notice what he was trying to spell out.

“Do you have the contracted word ‘don’t’?”

“I don’t see one,” I answered, not really trying to find one. “I’m picking out words to describe the shoot.”

“How does it make you feel? How do you want others to feel?” He asked.

We fought over words and stole from each other. It felt like a race against our own minds and creativity. I stopped only because I ran out of words to describe what I wanted.

“Bold, black, dark, inspired, raw, photo, emotion, true, creative, tattered, anger,” The Bullfighter read my words aloud. “Yeah, I see you.” We then stopped, and looked at each other, into our inner workings. “Hey everyone,” He said to the group, “Listen up! She’s got something to say.”

Everyone quieted down without a fight. 

“Everyone is going to take this plain white paper, and a marker. Go into that room alone, and just write. Whatever. Just write. About the music, about your day, about your life or philosophy on life. On anything that moves you.”

The Trombonist got up first, grabbed his necessities and left the room. Music blared through the hallway and we turned down the lighting. Somewhere in the midst of silly banter, The Bullfighter took my camera and told me it was my turn. This is rare, but when it happens I try to set the example of a good model–not that it always works, but why not?

We went into the kitchen, and my clothes happend to match the scenery so perfectly. He swung open cabinets and centered me in the room. 

“That look you did earlier, do it. Now clench your fists, like you blew open the cabinets.”

I did what he said at first, with a half an ounce of doubt. So this is what it feels like. Shit, this is hard. 

“Yes that! Right there! keep that.” The Bullfighter said, stepping back between the refrigerator and the table to get a better angle. “Yes! Right there!”

I occasionally turned the camera to fix the settings, resulting in occasional photos of me reaching out. In the end, bright, tungsten-tinted portraits in a wrath of kitchen supplies and alcohol bottles. Teal, orange, yellow, brown. Young, alive. 

Brilliant.

And all in a matter of minutes. 

I sat there looking at him, and he looked at me. For a split second, our artistic minds seemed to switch. Music was on my mind and photography was on his. 

One of the best part of being an artist? Collaborating with other artists, to the point that brainwaves sync up into a harmony of sounds and colors. Ultimately high from the experience, it reminded me why I do what I do. 

 

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Me and the Thinker

Me: I like hearing things and locking them in, strangers.theres so much back story to what people say.

The Thinker: To everything.
Me: and i may never know that story. I like that and dont but, meh.

The Thinker: What do you like and dislike about it?

Me: it depends on the mood i guess

 The Thinker: Elaborate.

Me: some days i feel apathetic and dont care about the backstory. Or some days i want to know every detail and will spend the rest of the day wondering about it

 The Thinker: Why? Examples?
Me: I don’t know, when im emotionally exhausted i can be apathetic

The Thinker: I get that.

 Me: Or when im happy and remind myself at the beginning of the day that we only live once so to take in every detail like i used to when i was 5. Ill wonder about peoples stories and meaning behind what they say, study all the wrinkles on their face or some days im happy not knowing anything. Theres beauty behind being human and not super human, just knowing what we know without digging deeper. The simplicity of it.
The Thinker: There is depth in simplicity I suppose.
Me: yeah, but the depth doesn’t always have to be known. Like the sky. Its the same for humans. Theres also no possible way to know 100% of a person because were all our own centers of our universe.
 The Thinker: I don’t study very much. I have a pretty simple outlook, and I’d say most of my knowledge is in my intuition. I trust it.

 Me: I like that

 The Thinker: It has its pros and cons I’d say. Working to be more of a studier.

Me: Theres a balance
 but also, people spend too much time studying, i think, taking in information that is wrong half the time then regurgitating it using big words to sound more intelligent than the person next to them. People forget to critically analyze the information they get and ask questions. or just think for themselves completely.
The Thinker: Everyone is just trying their best I suppose. In reality we all suck
Me: no we dont, we are all just changing and learning about ourselves, its all good
The Thinker: Dammit. I guess I just suck then.

Me: as long as you take from your mistakes and others and dont hurt anyone on purpose in the process. Nope. You’re a thinker. Not a studier and regurgitater. Maybe you just feel youre not balanced

The Thinker: Haha, I’m working on it. -my favorite phrase. I feel great about myself lately actually, so no need to be so nice. I appreciate you calling me a thinker, I think you are too.
 Me: Im not just being nice, I just think you dont give yourself enough credit and just because we are all different in our process doesn’t mean you suck over someone else’s process. Fuck it.
The Thinker: No really, I think I give myself a very fair amount of credit!
Me: mmmmk…..MMMMMMMMMKKKKKKKK
The Thinker: gonna kill you…
 so hey, my computer is dying and I am sleepy and I have an interview tomorrow morning so I’m gunna sleep.
 YOU GOTTA PROBLEM WITH THAT TOO BAD!
 Anywho, let’s talk more tomorrow please. For now, goodnight and may you have the most beautiful dreams. Further more, I hope you wake up with a smile on your face and something to look forward to. Good evening madame.
 Me: I look forward to talking to you again. Because you always put a smile on my face. And if you don’t, its because you meant to annoy me only to make me smile later….goodnight you. And good luck on your interview.
The Thinker: Gracias chiquita. Buenas noches.

welcome home

Last night, I sat in a room surrounded by some of the most talented people I know. I sang along with musicians from Colorado and then hugged and kissed familiar and new people. I talked about my origins and they talked about theirs. And either the wine enlightened me to a point of drastic appreciation, or it was always there and there was never an opportunity to relish in it. But I sat there, and looked around the room, listening to acoustic guitar and a voice that gave me chills. All I could think, wow, what a great life I have. I’m so glad I’m staying. I’m so glad to be a part of a group that encourages my art, and I encourage theirs. They don’t need to take part in my everyday. They don’t need to know where I am at, every second of my life. They don’t want to either. And they don’t forget their strengths or weakness, or mine. And best of all, the conversations are real. Real people, real problems, mature outlooks on life, with the balance and energy of child’s play, and a balance between the harsh realities of this world and their ideals in fixing it. So much talent, so much strength and fragility. I’m so incredibly glad to be a part of it. My friend always says to me when he hugs me, “Welcome home.” Home I will stay.

I’m done, and my friends were there

I love the moments when it feels like time stands still. I was sitting on the famous red couches, in between two of my good friends. We were surrounded by more friends, all passing around a smoothie. We would talk loudly, over each other fighting for the spotlight, then stop and take it all in. It’s like we all simultaneously knew to shut up and breathe in the moment. And we did. And in one of those moments, I realized how much I matter to all of these people around me. They came out to see my stuff in the gallery show, then sat with me in a building I once called home, until we finally figured out what to do with our night. And in that moment, I felt like I was walking on the rim of a raindrop suspended in time. I love every single one of them. So much.

And it’s in the simplest of things. They don’t need to spend money on me, or go everywhere with me. I don’t even have to see them everyday, not even once a week. I don’t need to know where they are or the details about what’s new in their lives, and they know that the details of mine don’t change what they love about me. They went to my show, and then just sat with me, and would occasionally remind me how done I am. They’re just as excited as I am to have more time with me. And that simple knowledge gets me every time. They don’t overdo it because they don’t try, and they shouldn’t. We just all click. As we should.

If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be staying in this small town I now call home.

 

Breakable

I used to converse through email with a teacher of mine. I miss him dearly. People may even think I’m weird because I ask him advice still, like he’s still around. But I guess he is. He always will be. He sent me these lyrics once. I miss him. 

Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?

Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts

So it’s fairly simple to cut right through the mess,

And to stop the muscle that makes us confess

And we are so fragile,

And our cracking bones make noise,

And we are just,

Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys

And you fasten my seat belt because it is the law

In your two ton death trap I finally saw

A piece of love in your face that bathed me in regret

Then you drove me to places I’ll never forget

And we are so fragile,

And our cracking bones make noise,

And we are just,

Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys

And we are so fragile,

And our cracking bones make noise,

And we are just,

Breakable, breakable, breakable girls-

Breakable, breakable, breakable girls-

Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys

The coffee shop window

Sitting in this coffee shop. The warmth from within against the cold windows has frosted them over completely. And as I sit here attempting to focus on my work, I can’t stop watching this young girl drawing her imagination in the fogginess across a 6 foot long window. I can watch this forever, I swear. Handprints everywhere, along with their masterful renditions of rainbows and self portraits. This is amazing.

The coffee shop window

Sitting in this coffee shop. The warmth from within against the cold windows has frosted them over completely. And as I sit here attempting to focus on my work, I can’t stop watching this young girl drawing her imagination in the fogginess across a 6 foot long window. I can watch this forever, I swear. Handprints everywhere, along with their masterful renditions of rainbows and self portraits. This is amazing.