But an automatic life. Go to bed. Stare blankly,  turn right, long for cuddles from a cold shoulder. Stare blankly. Turn right.

Fall asleep.

Wake up and drag yourself to a computer. Type away, consider problems and their solutions. For hours. Take a break. Listen to loud music. Eat a light lunch. Go back to work. Stand up for ten minutes every two hours so your body stays healthy. Sit up straight.

Thinking about all of those years and that wonderful trait I love about myself where I do whatever I want and I have not any fear. I think it went away. It’s a muscle I stopped flexing. And I think that is okay too, because those whims don’t need tending to. There is a line, a path, trajectory that I can see now and it’s further away but I’m having fun deciding to carve at it, taking all of my time to invest in something truly sweet.

 

 

 

 

That’s what he said to me, the man with thin hair and the long black coat. I joked in my head that he must be going to the matrix that day. He turned back to me and said “It’s pen or perish.” and I asked what, completely taken aback by his comment. He repeated to me, “It’s pen or perish. Never forget that.” and just kept walking in the opposite direction.

I cannot stop thinking about it, and granted its only been two hours I decided I don’t want to forget about it (maybe it’s important?) so I’ll write it down. After I walked in my direction another half a block, I was stopped by an older traveling woman with a backpack asking if I’d be willing to purchase some legal marijuana at a shop in downtown Eugene, OR. I obliged and kept thinking in my head about what the matrix man said to me.

It’s pen or perish. Is he telling me I need to keep drawing? How did he know what he said would be relevant to me?

 

That’s just today. This month is trying me. I’m 28. Officially. I’m sitting in my room listening to The Apples. So much for joining the famous 27 club. Here I am. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on modern day women to get married off and procreate by now but I don’t really feel it, I just feel the ghost of a press into my mind’s flesh that should but isn’t there. People around me are flirting with me everywhere and I decided I don’t understand how to handle it despite how much biological sense it makes. It’s annoying and I wish it would stop and every part of me feels rude and problematic for feeling that way about it but the intensity has never been like this before.  The pheromones I am emitting are telling a story my mouth and mind never will.

I feel confused about my place in the world and I miss making art more than anything. I find myself often driving long hours just to stop at a coastal town for a coffee and turn around headed back home. As I often do. Is this what life is supposed to feel like, you are cheating on your soul just to survive? Am I just doing this all wrong?

I managed to keep some artwork happening in the last few months since I’ve arrived in Oregon. The new scenery is helping pull something from my guts. Scribbles. Paint. Making a mess. I hope I can wake up and do this every day, one day. If I’m not just going to drop dead at an early age I might as well start living for me instead of just living to survive and benefit someone else. I keep getting tired every day and telling myself excuses and being average and its making my bones shrivel up and my eyes feel dry and my throat feel like a leather wallet. I want to be a lush forest.

I didn’t even know that Portland was the city of roses until I got here.  The sweet aroma swelled me as I walked through the Northeast Portland neighbourhoods towards a coffee shop.  I drove over 3,000 miles to get here and I was excited and ready to leave the negative religious right pro-confederacy attitudes behind in the south.

Walked no less then 10 miles in New Orleans today …phone died by noon. Got coffee with a voodoo priestess, bought a chicken foot, blow kisses to the dirty kids in the french quarter, find some broken guitar, somehow end up in the bad side of town, sat on a stoop and made a conversation happen with a deaf guy who had a thug life tattoo..walk around with a guardian angel named Ronnie with two plates of shelter dinner trying to find a phone charger, gave up and traded $7 and a 25 oz Hurricane for a him to wait with me at a bus stop. Made way back to business district. Could not find where I parked, kind of panicked a little, just walked around in circles until I found the coop in some hole-in-the-wall parking lot that I probably walked past 3 times. Left, stayed in a dive hotel, woke up and left again.  I stayed in Colorado City, CO for a week with my dad and saw his latin fusion band, Sonrisa, play live a few times.

And then we got here, to Portland on May 23rd. Friday afternoon marked the beginning of Ramadan and I was planning to fast myself for unrelated stomach flu reasons. 

We had fun. Delicious foods and bus riding and exploring the city.  I didn’t read about it until the next day, on Saturday, that 3 men had been stabbed. Three white men on a train in Portland for defending some dark skinned teenage girls from a terrorist.

portland

I cannot stop thinking about it. How proud I am to be a human along side of them, of how protective they were in the face of evil. I want this heroism to be normalised.  To become a standard. I must nod to the sacrifice these men made and hope that more men after them will stand up for the rights and comforts of all humans. Rest in peace, Gentlemen. Thank you for everything.

The train loves you, too.

 

Portland, Oregon is 3,051 miles away, equivalent to 46 hours drive. When I wake up on Wednesday morning, I’ll be sure to apologize to my mini cooper for the adventure and the extra luggage. I cannot wait to stop in the diners, drive through much of America and plant my feet in new earth and try to find myself out there. It feels like I’ve spent many nights grapsing at some white lights which have remains just out of reach. I can only hope I am getting closer.

I’m so ready. I said all the goodbyes I have the energy for. I finally got the passion flower inked into my arm forever like I promised my sister I would 5 1/2 years ago. The passion flowers at the house in Moon Lake are blooming the day I am set to go over there and pick her up and head to Modern Moose studios on 54.  They were breathtaking, and I went outside to capture photos of them while Allie called her boyfriend on the phone and generally got ready to go.

passifloraink2

On the ride there, should told me how hard this week has been and about how Ezekial loves to smile  and has a few less tubes in his face. I’m happy for him, we’re going to grab a small bite to each before spending 6 hours at the tattoo shop getting some memories represented on our bodies somewhere for the rest of our lives. I loved the pain. I’m also not really surprised I did. I’m not sure I’d ever get another one, as I never saw myself the “tattoo” type, and already the conversations it starts with other humans is noticable and endearing.  Three more days, and I’m gone. Me and my mini cooper and a lot of stuff and memories, driving for 46 hours. Maybe even, probably, even longer.

 

Are you ready for the singularity? Do you have enough food stored away in a temperature contained enclosure?

It’s 27 minutes until clock in time and my black coffee gets colder by the minute. By every bassline strum by the velvet underground I am preparing for 8 hours of troubleshooting, typing, comparing data and answering questions.

None of my images have synced up into my google cloud since January. I don’t have anything I could update you with, there’s too many repercussions included in admitting the truth.  I had fun once but it wasn’t legal so I couldn’t even tell you about it if I wanted to.

I am driving to Colorado soon, just me and my stuff and my car. Make a few stops along the way, find some humans to smile with, and see my big blues guitar strumming bad joke telling retired career criminal daddy with those blue eyes.

 

 

 

Saturday, February 25th 2017. I’m in a bright room in Tarpon Springs. I clicked to quit photoshop and opted out of saving my work, for the fifth time today.

There’s four cats here, four humans and lots of love and appreciation, it’s very nice to have when the reality of the world maintains awfulness. This week, there was a mosque in Tampa that was burnt down and ruled arson.  I feel very uncomfortable about the future of the United States and no matter how beautiful it is outside I cannot let go of that discomfort.

 

 

Every morning, drinking water and then coffee and reading the news. Going for a walk. Digesting it all, barefoot in the grass. Circling around all of the facts, and all of the alternative facts… I wonder, what will we do?

 

 

Every morning at around 7:45am I go outside and sit in my garden. Growing flowers, tropical plants and succulents in the ground and watching them over a cup of coffee or tea while the sun emerges from the wet okayness of the Florida skies that early in the day.

This is easily one of my favorite parts of each day. Some mornings, I  will water my gardens in the traditionally inefficient way of using a watering can. Other times, I simply walk around with my bare feet experiencing the wet earth and dew covered grass.

In the morning, sometimes there are morning glories in blues and pinks that show themselves for a few hours and crumble away as the sun begins beating down on them later on. In the evening, we have the elegant flowers I love to refer to as unicorn flowers, as they look just like a unicorn horn before they bloom. These flowers smell so wonderful and look like a flower made of silk. There are 3 rose bushes in various pinks, a philodendrum, a Florida cactus tree, marigolds, rosemary, elephant ears in abundance, fern, Hawaiian tuberose, basil, and many more plants growing in my beautiful yard and every day a few times a day I will always sit with them and think of them.

The parallels between growing plants and businesses have always been evident to me, as you cannot grow something if it is not planted in the right environment and has all of the needs of a plant of it’s type. They are so fickle and yet, when you know how to care for them and what they need they can prosper. Seeds plant more seeds, just like customers plant more customers.

When the coffee is all gone and the beauty of growth observed through the new shoots of my banana tree or fresh buds of roses on my rose bush every day I go inside and grow something else entirely.

With the year 2017 here, it is more important than ever to continue to foster this nurturing relationship with plants while society exists more and more on the internet in an open and connected way.