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.

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.

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.

 

 

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.

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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

(more…)

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.