Sunday, August 10, 2014

"If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough"

I imagine there comes a point in every one's life where it becomes necessary to draw upon an inner strength you never knew you had, simply because there is no other choice.

I don't know if this place is the same for everyone. For me it was almost holy, meditative, a sacred space, & also, like being engulfed in fire.  It was going so far inside myself that I was floating above.

From there, we looked like two birds locked in a bubble, holding hands & I had fallen & I was hot, very hot.  & the fact that I was hot seemed to be the easiest feeling to grasp beyond your hands not letting go. Everything loud & unbearably vivid, & also, trance-like.

I don't remember if my eyes were open or closed, & I don't remember what the people talking to me said, only that there was a voice reverberating from within telling me to breathe, breathe, though I was panicked, & your hands were warm. & still, I don't understand & I understand at once how one can be so calm & so scared simultaneously.

The calm told me "if a woman can birth a baby, you can do this."  & I did, though honestly, I had no other choice.  You will find you can do anything if you will it, especially when you're pushed past your limits.

I'm sure it wasn't that graceful.  I'm sure I was more like a deer, panic-stricken by the sudden oncoming of headlights & then - slam of metal - & there was definitely a lot of profanity involved &, I heard tell, I was a demanding ass of a passenger on my first ambulance ride. (I'm sorry, dear helpers, whoever you are. You were saints & I was out of my mind).

I'm not telling this because I want you to feel sorry me.  Everyone deals with hardship in one form or another, no one is immune to life's unexpected accidents.  I'm telling it because I've always written, because it's my way of problem-solving.  & it helps to share, helps to know that others might find some familiarity in my words, or else, that they might see something entirely new because of them.

I'm telling this because sometimes it's as if I'm transported back to that moment where I plummet, again and again and again.

& that, I've got to let go of.  Because I know, deep down in that sacred space, that there is no winning if fear is in control. so, I must find that inner calm & learn to cradle it, learn to be it.

I'm telling this because I have no choice, it has to come out.

Sometimes I feel like I have lived a thousand lives, & in this one I am still a child - eyes wise & wild. still, I am old enough to know, I know nothing at all. But I'm learning. I know that time moves differently depending on the day.  Know it's possible to be both happy & sad, brave & scared.  & that's called being human.  Or better, that's called being.

& I like this being thing. No matter what life throws.  I know I am lucky, & loved.  I know I can be brave.  I know that whatever I desire resides within me, that I have the power to will it if I really want it.

On Friday, after 2+ months of being wheelchair bound I stood.  & then I walked with Ursula's walker & my new leg-braces.  & believe-you-me, I was beyond scared, but I did it anyway.  Because I know that everything I want is a step outside my comfort zone.

& I am willing.  With each slow step, I will walk outside my comfort zone, & then I will dance.

& that's Redbrick fire, & it's fueled by me & it's fueled by you.  & for that, I am thankful.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"I think of the trees & how easily they let go"

I drove South with tears in my eyes, Lorde crooning loudly as the drops fell. I cried for a loss of love, a loss of control. I cried out of fear, of being such a tiny girl in this big old world. & when my eyes couldn't continue, the sky took up the task. a soul cleansing. what a release, to let go. 

this past year has been a huge lesson in desire vs action.  because, baby, I've had dreams.  grand beautiful dreams of mountainsides & farmlands, of Portland, & holding one man's hand 'til the end.  but a dream isn't enough, no, a dream is just a pretty thing.  there has to be action.

it all came undone.  one after another those pretty little dreams fell to the ground like moths with over-beaten wings. how it hurt, how I felt felled. & still, the world seemed achingly bright & clear, like a North Carolina springtime early in the day, after a fresh rain.  so startlingly vivid, so alive.

I left swimming sea turtle blue walls & the home we had built filled with all those memories, all that love & all that ache. or, more, I was a baby bird, fallen fresh from the nest. & I was welcomed with open arms by Ian & Maggs to a house on the lake, way out in the country.  I can't explain my gratitude, it is endless.  because there, in their warm embrace, on the silence of the lake, with the pottery wheel, & all those deer, & the wind whispering & howling, & the music always playing, & my limbs wildly dancing, I was healed.

see, I've been dancing the dance of the grouse & talking with the wind.  I quit my job. I sought solace in the medicinal powers of music. I went to every live show that presented itself.  I was cleansed in mud at Shakori Hills, song after song beating through my bones, rain falling down. & I was warm, fire burning inside my soul despite the outside cold. & in Asheville, Moses Sumney made the crowd go "shhhh" & our breath looped & looped & chills crept over my body, my heart bared on my chest for when Local Natives took the stage & wooed me. then in Greensboro, Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band taught my limbs to dance in a way I never knew I could. see, through music, I've been freed.  

today I am in Florida, learning to be present, to live in the moment.  when the sun sets, I sit in the grass with the pup, watch the trees, listen to the breeze.

I don't know where I'm going, I don't have a plan.  one of my current mantras is "I think of the trees & how easily they let go" & I am trying hard to follow it, to hand over the reins & trust that if I follow my love, this magical universe will guide me.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

to ponyboy.

November came with warm rain in sheets, my favorite tree on fire in the backyard, and all the other trees around her too, showing off their spectacular colors. The dogs on constant squirrel watch, ears perked, noses twitching.  The squirrels wary of the hunt.

Just yesterday our tree was wreathed in a ruby crown; today her leaves gust-by-gust giving way to bare limbs, reminding me to always keep my perspective moving.


And I'm changing.  I feel like I'm growing so fast that my bones might push past my fingertips at any moment.  It used to be I would get so caught up on my past actions that I'd become stagnant, laden in guilt and regret.  But mistakes are human, and we can either render them useless or allow ourselves to learn from them, to ensure that in the future we are who we want to be.

And so connections that I let slip, I will spark again.  And if I want something, I will work towards it.  And if I don't like something, I will work to change it.  And if I can't change it, I will change my attitude.

Everyday I battle these human flaws: jealously, anger, selfishness, laziness.  Everyday I recognize them, accept them, use them as a practice in patience, kindness, selflessness and self-reliance.  Everyday I fail and succeed, and that's just fine.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

a change of seasons.

the end of Summer came in a solar flare.  my first ever booth at a festival.  Tate St. Festival to be exact, with my eccentric, creative, beautiful friends.  we rocked it through the rain on the streets of my college town, my mom & niece & Max & pals there to support us.  love everywhere. 

Angelina Rodriguez
(Photo above was taken by Lina)

It's been so awesome launching Lucky Little Warriors.  my family & friends & even strangers have been so incredibly supportive.  I am beyond thankful for them, their support is the fuel that keeps me chugging along.  it feels so good to be creating on a regular basis, & to know I have a tribe of warriors at my side, pushing me forward.  thank you, thank you, thank you.

I feel myself more connected with the changing seasons this Autumn, & also, I feel like maybe the planets are dancing some funky dance throwing everything out of whack.  It is exciting & scary.  I feel wildly ambivalent; happy & sad & loved & full of love & scared & positively pumped.

This past week has been one big test after another, & with patience & thought & ultimately the magic within myself & the humans I surround myself with, I'm proud to say I passed.  It is a wonderful gift to have friends to hash it out with.  who are understanding & forgiving when I speak in anger. who remind me to speak in love.  who dance like maniacs with me into the night, music beating in our bones when words just won't suffice

this life is beautiful.  nothing is guaranteed.  nothing constant but the ever changing seasons.  this used to scare the daylight out of me, but now it reminds me I am glowingly alive.  & for that I am thankful.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

lucky little warriors.

everywhere I go is different than the place I imagined.  and I love that.

I stopped wishing to create every day, and started creating.  at maggie's farmhouse, down in her pottery studio, I learned to use her wood-burning tool and fell in love.

I carved pictures with fire across the crepe myrtle discs I had sawed from my favorite tree.  I didn't want to stop.  honestly, I haven't since. Maggie's borrowed tool in hand, I have been feverishly creating trinkets for tate st. fest and my new etsy store.

it started out a love letter to Max.  I'm sure if I dug around in our boxes and baskets I would find it still, a simple love note I wrote one day and left on the coffee table for him to find.  lucky little warriors, I called us.  and I meant, we are fighters in the only way fighting can be good; pure, positive force.  love.  and I meant, count your blessings.  be grateful.

I am lucky.  to have such creative, eccentric, inspiring friends around me.  grateful Maggie invites me over to create with her, and then allows me to borrow her things.  (I promise you, I'm getting my own wood-burning tool soon, Maggs)

I am lucky.  to have friends who invite me to share booths with them at craft fairs because they believe in me.  to have people in my life who encourage me (big shout out to my Aunt Debbie for being my first sale on etsy, your support means the world to me). 

I am so happy, every day I create something new.  every day I am encouraged and excited.  I am doing what I've always dreamed about doing but didn't have the guts or the gusto to do it.  I am fighting my laziness, my doubts.  I'm making the best of these days I'm given.  and baby, it feels good.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

mountain scale.

sometimes, I get so caught up in the dream, the idea of how I imagine life should be, that I forget to sit back and appreciate life as it is. 

we drove to the mountains, my best friend Caro & I, for a wedding of a friend from high school.  Kaela was a stunning bride, & we danced & laughed & maybe cried just a smidgen, as she glowed down the aisle.  & before we knew it the night was over, & we curled up in our hotel room & just talked.  a sigh of relief.

I have always kept too much in, a wallflower.  I've never liked to cause a commotion, & I mostly like to listen more than I like to talk.  but with Carolyn conversation comes easy.  it felt so nice talking to her, tucked cozy in our beds.

our talks opened the flood gates, & when I got home, I broke.  it all came rushing out, every little silly thing that's been bothering me. mind you, I've been sick for what feels like forever now, & I'd been lacking in sleep, so it wasn't eloquent.  but afterward, when it was all out, with Max's arms around me, I felt like I had been cleansed. it was just the medicine I needed.

mountains have always had a good way of putting everything into perspective.  & so maybe my dream life looks a little different than expected right now.  doesn't mean I can't love it with all I've got. I hope you're loving your life with all you've got, too. 'cause there's beauty everywhere, if you look for it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


this week has been all flower crowns, winged things & rivers, summertime.  we floated down the Dan twice in three days.  I love that river, the way the light sparkles upon her surface then glows beneath.  the rocks, smooth & jagged.  the butterflies & dragonflies following us downstream, dancing around us, briefly landing.  there is a peace she brings to me, reminds me I'm just a little thing in a stream.

we stopped on an island & built rock towers that glittered in the sun, all mica & sand, the waters rustling around us.  with no camera, I etched the day into my mind.  serenity.

as I floated, trusting her to carry me gently, safely, I thought about a time, not so long ago, when I was on the farm at Bonnaroo with a family of friends.  in reality, the river & the farm are incomparable.  but they both brought upon me the same self-awareness, made me search my soul for truths to stack high & hold tight.  I treasure both places dearly, keep their memories close to my heart.  am beyond thankful at my life & the beauties I experience.

with that being said, no words I could write about Bonnaroo would do it any justice, the place was far too magical, too separated from every day life & the standard rules & expectations of society.  it was freedom in a field, full of music & beauty & love.  I'll let the pictures do the talking.