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Where should I begin? Traveling and waking up in the Pacific Northwest

Well, its been two months and it feels a lot more like six. It’s frustrating when you continue drawing upon your own patterns to ensure some kind of disaster. Does it take a while before that part of your brain kicks in to do damage control, or is mine simply missing, or malfunctioning?

Sometimes, all the time, I fall in and out of love too easily. It’s as easy as the ocean waves saying hello and goodbye on the beach. Despite my best efforts when I know my love is like some sort of an opiate, it comes with great consequences and I can tell it’s going to be explosive and a part of me is excited about all of that energy coming from out of nowhere, coming from our little human hearts.

After a lot of spirals and headaches and crying and silent concern and walking around breathing as carefully as possible and heart racing and a mental breakdown and a lot of other necessary but uncomfortable feelings and situations, I guess foresight is everything and I have my space back as much as I’d like to have it and someone somewhere has to start fresh at the beginning of a full circle. It’s like watching clouds. I’ll be in my own window littered living room in less than 3 weeks and I’ll have plans hanging up and cute rugs and art everywhere and thats all I’ve needed for months now.

Feist is singing, my throat is dry and my skin feels soft and textured. One lover out, one lover in, this is my world. Exploring love. I’m smiling in the sunshine every day and its nice but I am excited for the challenges of my first winter in the Pacific Northwest.

I feel like my desire to plan or strive is melting away but it’s ok because I’m happy and I’m doing fine. There’s a theme of something going on out here. I went to a work related event in Vancouver, Canada and explored the city on foot. I drank at a bar with cowgirl table top dancers and laughed with large tables full of Italians. Did a dab with an editor and spoke honestly about art and emotion. I smiled, a lot, even though I hate my smile.

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Panorama of Vancouver, CA from Cambie Bridge

 

We’ll see how it goes. I’ve been painting again, and the results are bright and colorful.

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Tragic Heroes of Portland: 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche-

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.

 

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A long drive and a fresh tattoo

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.

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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.

 

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Life, or something like it. A micropreemie nephew and the cooler weathers of new territory

As the months swim by me, the changes and directions we are all experiencing are predictable and complex. My small family of humans, animals, plants and dreams. It is April 9th, 2017. A Sunday. Since we last spoke, my younger sister went into an early labor at 22 weeks pregnant. Baby Zeke managed to stay in until 23 weeks, when he was born at Tampa General Hospital. She was taken by Bayflight helicopter from Trinity to Tampa General after staying for 2 nights in Trinity with excessive bleeding. He is doing stable right now, but the reality of her micropremie and seeing him struggle to develop outside of the womb is completely heartbreaking and fascinating and generally super intense all at the same time. His skin at first was a bright pink and is now looking a lot like translucent flesh. He’s so small.. not even 2lbs yet. I look at him sometimes and just stare and every minute he’s in a different, fragile state. He doesn’t look real. He seems like another doll on the shelf, just this tiny human that sometimes moves his still forming body around and is breathing and existing with the help of some tubes and a lot of machinery. It’s been very hard figuring out how to react,  I am so scared for this little human and his mother. I feel like I have been reading prognosis journals ever since it happened, obsessing over the outcome and just praying to god and not even knowing what to say to my sister. He’s been a miracle for his entire conception and all I can do is keep praying grows stronger and stronger every day.

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Aunt Camille and baby Ezekiel Thelonious. Donate to his GoFundMe page here! 

When I leave the Hospital, I am still of course working and building gardens and this time around planning details of my very soon move to Oregon, on the west coast of the U.S.

Further away than I have ever been. A new city, a new climate, and new opportunities. The time has come to finally leave Florida and all of her bad memories and good memories and growth and fun and overpopulation problems and everything like that. I’m leaving so much behind, including a struggling nephew and a human I fell in love with and will always adore and a lot of bad habits, too.

I’m leaving behind my lack of creativity, my boredom and my cries. I am leaving behind beautiful gardens I made, and relationships I built. I’m leaving behind some heroes, some family and some friends.

But what awaits me, I truly feel is worth all I’m leaving behind here in Florida.

Life is not slowing down for me or anyone. I still have so much I want to do.

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Who knew we would be here on January 21st, 2017?

The day is breezy and sunny in Tarpon Springs, Florida. It’s fifteen minutes past 11:00am and the whirring of construction is nearby and in full swing. Flowers have begun to uncurl and birds and playing along the power lines.

Across the Tampa Bay area, thousands of women are on their way out to downtown St. Petersburg to march in the Women’s March on Washington to protest against the inauguration of Donald J Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

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It is a painful reality to confront at 7:45 am as I walk to Hellas to get a cappuccino while my household slept.  The newspaper says there are protests happening with hundreds of thousands of people in around 250 countries.  A small flock of tears are welling but of course i’m in public but I feel proud as can be for the fighters and their stories.  This is the reality of that future I spent years dreaming of.

Those of us enamored with the idea of technology believed: surely the internet will bring the world together. Surely we will finally have peace and equality for all on the planet. Learn and love each other for the first time.  And maybe we still might, but the journey will take longer than we knew.

There is just so much more hate than we could have anticipated and hate is hard to unlearn.  You can consider the huge advance of programs, not even programs with the internet but programs from entrepreneurs and businessmen and women who want to see everyones lives improve because technology has that power.

In fact, these companies are investing more in educating the people than any of the government programs which have been left collecting dust for so long while we spend trillions of dollars on war and bailing out the big banks.  You look at LinkedIn’s investing and acquisition of Lynda, the uprising of MOOC culture and sites such as Courser.org , Udemy.com, EdEx.com, and even universities themselves offering training and educational content for free.  The way we teach and learn as a society is evolving because the danger of having and nurturing uneducated masses is more obvious than it ever has been before.

For so long, we allowed systemic gentrification and mass relocating to the massive and growing urban sprawls, meanwhile allowing rural communities to be driven into economic collapse, abandoning them, their education and their future.

I hope now, as the Unites States of America, we the people can really ACTIVE ourselves and make a difference in the direction of good in 2020. We need to stay strong through this presidency, and fight every step of the way to protect our rights and our progress so far. We need to hold our governments accountable, as they represent us.

We cannot stand by and expect them to do good, ignoring our rights as citizens. These are truly dark and historically significant times and the time is not now to do nothing.

 

 

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6 months ago: a retrospective

I have not written here in 6 months. That is a long time for someone with everything to lose. The things that can happen in a month would astound you. You never think about time and how it truly changes things until you are thinking retrospectively and can put in the proper perspective to realize the vast evolutions your life goes through.

The array of feelings, situations, the choices you decide to remain consistent with. The breakdowns. The feeling of fear, of regression, of being incapable.

The flowers I have grown. The smiles and tears.  The different stages of my home.

moonlake

In the last 6 months, I went to North Carolina and back twice. I drove through the foggy mountains alone and I slept at a rest stop. I walked in the woods along the highway.  I turned 27 years old. I  moved out of my first apartment. I lost my best friend and beautiful cat, Duchess. I’ve had acquaintances die suddenly,  and lost my ability to drink and socialize. I’ve gone hunting for antiques my my home area of Florida and collected new dolls and interesting relics. I’ve concentrated on death. I’ve lost the ability to feel proud of my work. I stopped painting. I invested my time in building a garden and have grown into a love of earthships, sustainable living, and terraforming.

I got a call from a hospital in Maryland and found out my sister attempted to take a number on her life and I dropped everything and went to get her. I drove for 4 days there and back, returning to work on a Friday.

I brought her and her boyfriend, Chris into my home. We are building the trailerhome together and making it beautiful and worthy of the title “home”. Best of all, I think  we are making it work. It’s such a relief having one less thing to exhaust my mind with, the safety of my baby sister is no longer one of them. I sleep sounder in that knowledge.

All in all, everything feels stable now. Everything is as ok as it’s ever been, and looks to only have potential for getting better every day.

I have so much new art and thoughts to share with you all, I sure wish I weren’t so shy.

Until Next Time,

Camille Taylor

Continue reading 6 months ago: a retrospective

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I own this terrible home, or rather, this terrible home owns me.

It takes at least 3 generations to break a family out of the poverty line. Something like that, I recall during one of my recent late night “reading” or “scrolling through my phone in the dark” sessions, the modern day equivalent of what one may have imagined as flipping through a book or a magazine even just ten years ago.

This  one little tidbit of information, as inoffensive as can be, brings me such great anxieties. Do you ever live in fear of repeating the same exact mistakes you were born into? I’m constantly at ends with myself, wondering if it’s just a self fulfilling prophecy, and then at the same time longing for the irresponsible pastimes that I know would get me in the very same spot i’m so afraid of being in to begin with.

What matters in life? Is it being comfortable, having something people would be proud of?

Is it something else entirely, some other random thing that brings you personal joy? Is it a number of things, the variety of experience itself that lends to you your happiness?

I’ve been so tired lately, and so sad, I am missing things. Im working my life away, and when I am not working I am trying my absolute best to turn something terrible into something beautiful- which can sometimes be a simple task but it gets quite complicated when that terrible something is a ruined home, and that beautiful thing is a restored, beautiful home.

I feel that I cannot rest and I am overwhelmed. I am 26 and I didn’t know this would happen to me and I am wholeheartedly overwhelmed.

I own this terrible home, or rather, this terrible home owns me.

I miss myself.

 

 

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feel weak

You. You are just standing there, and you feel weak. There are loud noise around you in echoes because you don’t want to feel the loneliness of quiet. Not today.

It is abrasive and sounds like the banging of trashcans in the rain. Head hurts. Heart hurts. Eyes are dried open. No coffee today, just watching the fog lift from the lake out back and letting noises take over.

“ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, this is going to be ok.” you reassure yourself. “It’s just annoying, nothing more than annoying”

 

 

 

 

 

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earth-ship baby on the trash mountain

“The nasty parts of things are important to keep in mind in order to better appreciate the beautiful.”

At least that is what I have been telling myself every time I pull up into this mass of trash pouring out of the front porch, like some sort of a monster just waiting to suck up the entire yard and planet. It’s a sort of a funny representation of the state of the earth and it’s mine now. A lot of mess, just junk. In heaps. I’ve been overwhelmed by things, this non stop accumulation of physical objects I just cannot keep up with.

This week, the trash will be gone. The roof will be fixed. This week welcomes a new level of decency to this raggedy  piece of shit, my empire of dirt. This trailer that I cannot seem to figure out why I care so much about. I bought flowers, already giving more consideration to the environment of which this property lies that the property itself.

gorgeous purple flowers

All the while working away every day. Getting older and more tired. My mind so busy, never able to sleep. Crying often, reading constantly, I feel unhealthy. Unbalanced. I don’t know how I became so stressed within the span of 8 months. So many things fell into my lap at the same time, life disregarding my comfort. Every decision feels like a tragic mistake lately, but at the very least its a decision and I was never good with those. I’m posting this is my first “before” in regards to the moon lake earth ship. I want to create a beautiful space with the help of my sister and her boyfriend and brother, TJ. I want to share this experience with you. It will probably take me a year, but this is hopefully going to be the most rewarding thing I ever do in my life. a butterfly garden, a fruit and vegetable garden, a beautiful home with bamboo floors and enough food to feed for a month. A chicken coop and a reading nook. A tree house and a koi pond and a spiral herb garden and butterfly visitors and bee visitors and art everywhere!

But in order to best appreciate that future dream, in 12 months, no matter what happens I need to relish in the fact that it looks like absolute shit right now. It’s elegant in a way, seeing the house I spent most of my early teenage years in complete shambles. A mountain of trash. This is poverty. Even the biggest pile of trash can be rebuilt, and I believe that.

Expect

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figuring out emotions

In this pretty art room, watching my cat roll around in a mess of off-white blankets and listening to Vashti Bunyan sing about feeling shy and I am looking back on the last 2 days, and the last 3 months that led to it. I learned a lot of lessons, I think we all did. I have learned:

  • It’s ok to get lost sometimes
  • It’s ok to be yourself
  • It’s ok to stress people out
  • It’s ok to love them still
  • It’s ok to fall out of love
  • It’s ok to learn to forgive
  • It’s ok to love a friend
  • Relationships will always have hard parts
  • If the love is real, they will always be there

I know what love is. Its being able to smile and laugh and have fun whether you are doing nothing or something. It is patient and sweet, it is remembering. It doesn’t hurt that much all the time, but it can hurt a lot sometimes. If it is meant to be, you don’t have to force it. You dont have to feel angry or upset all the time. You can simply exist, and even when things get stressful and bad, it is mutually handled because love is there and love fixes things if you let it.

I realized that anxiety and depression work against each other and that letting love perform its healing magic is necessary part of depression and anxiety to ,make sure two people can communicate their different needs. It is easy to fuck up. Its easy to get mad and overreact but if you put enough work into it, fixing it can be easy too.

I think everything is all figured out. I can be happy now. I kept smiling this weekend. I can smile now.

Until next time…

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Things I’ve learned about business through art

It’s the last weekend of May and I am just barely making my one-post-a-month blogging commitment but let me tell you: I’ve been having SO MUCH fun working with AdEspresso so far.  This is a journey I could have never, ever predicted I’d be taking right now at this point in my life. Nichole just said to me for years since I was 21 that I’m going to be an “entrepreneur” one day and I just wasted time painting and working odd jobs until she threw this interview in my face and by some miracle of the gods it worked out.

I wasn’t ready but if I’d trusted myself instead of her I’d never be ready so I agreed to work with them despite a few setbacks- mostly being the complete absense of skills in Facebook advertising, in SaaS, in anything, really. I’m a graphic designer with a few udemy course certificates and a neverending addiction to reading business and marketing journals.

I’ve done research enough to know this team worked together from a web development firm into developing this tool together. Theyre friends, they know eachother and the product inside and out and came to the United States to participate in a round of seed funding and joining 500 Startups and people love the product! I have done a number of research on the company, the team, and the competitors and it’s pretty clear to me after 4 months that we have the best product around, and probably the best founding team around. Interviews of these other founders with Facebook advertising platforms give off the obvious “I just want your money” stench but I can tell in every conversation and shared call I’ve been on that our CEO just want to educate people on the power of paid advertising as well as provide a tool to make it easy to do so.

The paralells with art I’ve noticed so far are noticeable and beautiful.  When you create a Facebook advertisement, you are creating a work of art that is designed to produce a desire in a complete stranger. You have to think of who your customers are and what they like. If you aren’t targeting people that would love what you have to offer in a way that flows just enough with their actual newsfeed that it isn’t annoying all the while standing out enough to catch their attention and that is not something you can automate.

It’s something you have to teach. It goes beyond the tool itself, we are educating our users in the art of marketing and business and its such an amazing opportunity! I’m amazed constantly at the power of my words and suggestions to all kinds of people: business owners, consultants, creatives, CEOs and Founders, marketing agencies. We have this power to make their jobs and lives easier and it’s amazing to me. Nerve wrecking and beautiful.

This is my new art. It’s my new obsession. I wake up early in the morning and water my garden in hopes to see a melon and some lily blooms and then I have my coffee and get to work growing something else entirely: our business. our customers business. It makes me happy to do so. It makes me happy to struggle with it and learn from it and I can’t wait to see what kind of a person it ends up turning me into.

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God is Mathematics

I was talking to venus as a boy as I have been a lot lately and I’m really fascinated by him. His curiosity and enthusiasm and faith in himself and everyone and the entire world.

Dark eyes dark hurt guttural screams feral thoughts perpetual smiles and unparalleled joy.

I’m sitting here wondering to myself, “are you real?”

I told him about God and he said he prays sometimes but does not admit it to others often. I told him, yo, all religion to me is the exact same energy disguised and acclimated to all of the different entities and societies that want to lay claim to God. I am sure to measure his reaction and he gets it!!!! Exclaimed with just enough explanation points to make no mistake about the genuineness of his feelings. I can feel the smile beaming at me through the pixels in my screen and it is fucking overwhelming. Its like a violent gust of wind. It feels so nice the wind is making my hair whip me in the face.

I told him about the snowflakes restoring my adolescent faith in god, about how they are all unique and someone, some force of the world makes sure they are all unique and different and that’s Incredible to me. There is a magic out there, that is undeniable and I pray to it when I am scared. All of this that I feel, and he gets it.

The breeze.