I suppose.. ( about my digital footprint)

pregnancy, writing

 I suppose when you get to a certain age, you start realizing you’ve been putting efforts into the wrong things.

For whatever reason, this week I read through all of my previous posts. The digital footprints I’ve littered across the internet. I’m too conscious to ever litter in the real world.

This kind of litter, I guess it’s not that bad compared to a plastic grocery bag a turtle might get caught up in. Or an old Dr. Pepper can of soda that becomes the eventual home to a school of fish larvae in the gulf.

Various moods, visuals, different pains resulted from different situations. Romantic partners and goals that have swallow me up and spit me back out. It’s like I’m constantly treading the harsh waves of the Atlantic ocean.

Hello, I am Camille and I feel sad. Happy. Ecstatic. Terrified. Angry. I’m feeling all kinds of ways.

I thought 2014 was as hard as things could get for me. I didn’t know the capacity for pain life carries with it back then.

Definitely didn’t expect to have to deal with drug addiction in my family again. Not with a sibling. I never anticipated a nephew that has to grow up in an environment even worse than was the situation was for me and my siblings.

Never imagined that kind of pain a little boy that survived despite the world working against him from birth would bring me. It drove me away from my home state of which I love.

It’s cold out here, but at least I don’t know anyone and the pain ain’t so close to my heart.

Unable to drive up the street and look at it. There is suddenly no need to see those tattoos, those track marks, those rotting teeth looking back at me. Asking to borrow money, for my forgiveness, saying cruel things.

That they could become such significant stressors to me was mind boggling. Even from 3,000 miles away, eating away at me until I can’t take it anymore and just cry.

Into my pillows, a strong shoulder, whatever is available. Grow up, be a woman, you’re almost 30 years old, I tell myself.

This all feels so unfair.

Unsure of who to talk to, who could I talk to? They just say “I’m sorry” and I am sorry too because it’s a problem that can’t be fixed. If ever I had an enemy, that entire situation would be it.

I want to shake the world and find peace in the hearts of the people I love but my hand keeps getting bitten.

My heart turns cold and it just hurts and hurts and hurts.

Trying to let go is hard.

All of the effort put into others was misdirected.

Yeah, I can proudly say I broke out of my “caste system” and made something of myself. but I still feel incomplete.  Like I left my soul somewhere on the floor and left the room and left the house and left the state and now I don’t have one anymore.

My soul has become a puddle somewhere that gets stepped on and ignored and is more or less a mess that no one will ever clean up.

Perhaps it’s too late to get that soul back, but I found a way to build a new one.

Stop paying mind to everything that hurts and build a love inside myself.

Cells multiplying every day, cells made out of love and maybe some biological material and DNA too but mostly love.

Rebuilding my own soul is tiring work.

Sometimes I think it’s probably the worst feeling I’ve ever felt.

It’s rebuilding something I lost a long time ago, and so the exhaustion, it’s probably worth it to me. It will be my greatest work of art. The building of a brand new soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What happens when you die on the internet?

technology, writing

We’ve all been there by now. Browsing the internet in it’s many forms when you notice “RIP brother, fly with the angels” posted to so-and-so’s wall. It’s 2018 and this is still a process untouched by technology. Despite its powerful ways of solving problems, technology has not touched death. Not like this, anyways.  You have a friend or family member die, the person gone forever from your life.

Facebook shows you “On this day” posts from this person in the past.

Navigating to their social media accounts and what you see is a human and his respective data frozen in time. Whatever mood they were in when that last post was made is how they will be remembered forever in the digital world.

A specific tragedy that we all saw coming

I’m thinking about an old drinking buddy of mine from back in Florida. I remember one night scrolling through Facebook seeing a lot of wild posts from him, blacked out drunk and posting nonsense on Facebook. The next morning was a Saturday morning, and he posted that he was lucky he didn’t wake up in jail.

That Saturday night, there weren’t as many drunken posts. Just a tag at a bar from earlier in the evening. The next day on Facebook, I’m seeing R.I.P. posts on his wall and my heart is sinking. His body was found face down in a pool outside of the gated community he lived in.

He must have been too drunk up too walk properly, and had fallen into the pool and passed out. That beaming smile and fuck-it-lets-party attitude will never be sitting at the bar downtown. He’ll never be at another house party, or Florida Gamers event. Rest in peace, my dude.

Every few days I would visit his profile, and reread his posts about waking up in jail. It would ring out to me “someone should have been a better friend” or something like that. I come up with all kinds of narratives about what happened and how shitty it was no one ever put their hand on his shoulder and told him life could offer so much more.  I would sit there and think about how Facebook was just memorializing him at that point in his life, and not really anything about who he was as a person.

Every time someone died, I would do the same thing. Adoringly visit their internet profiles as if they were tombs in a graveyard. Rereading their posts as if they were unintended epitaphs to their life.

Is there a right way to handle death on the internet?

This is something society never had to think about before, but it can’t keep sitting untouched a topic. Is it invasive, to have the digital content and histories of the dead reserved? Is it public domain and there is nothing sacred? Even I don’t know how I feel about it, but the thought is constantly itching at my mind. I wonder, what is the last piece of content I will leave behind? It’s like a form of accountability. Before you post this or that, would it truly be a good impression to leave on the digital universe after you go away? Are you leaving an impact? Is it pretentious of me to be thinking so deeply about it, even?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I cannot wait to see the world touch on them as it grows harder and harder to ignore the fact that people die every single day and the content they produced in the past piles up.

The implications of the digital afterlife are strong when you really consider ownership and privacy of memorialized digital content.

I drove from Central Florida to Central Oregon myself.

photography, photos, traveling, writing

I was asked a lot while I was stopping at  interstate gas stations in the middle of nowhere.

“You’re really alone? Thats awfully brave of you.” the clerk would say, knowing that I am obviously not from around there.

Watching the landscape change and hearing the accents evolve simultaneously. It was fascinating, and as I reached each clerk I asked them all to filler’ up. I drove through flat oak tree covered Florida, watched it get real swampy. Then the vastly dynamic landscapes of Texas until it started to get very red and rocky. Finally, further north I am in the mountains.

Leaving Florida was bittersweet for me.

I didn’t want to do it, but I knew deep down I had to.

The Mini Cooper I drive was filled to the very top, with just enough space to form an empty window that I can use for driving. Off I go. May 10th. Got to New Orleans, LA late that night and slept in a hotel room located in the heart of the city. It was very close to the beautiful French Quarter.

Adventures in New Orleans brought me into the window of a stranger’s van to hit a joint, and the stoop of a strangers home in the lower east side. They led me to get completely lost in circles, on a public bus and frantically searching for my car. I was in a huge city of which I have never lived and on a dying phone. I ended up buying beer for locals to help keep me safe as an act of self preservation.

This worked eventually and after 9 hours on my feet I finally found my Mini tucked away in a small parking area in the middle of the French Quarter and made my way Northwest towards and through Texas.

Texas took a very long time to drive though, it was vast and empty and beautiful.

I drove 100 MPH through a small stretch of highway near the New Mexico border. My heart was racing as I clutched onto my life at the steering wheel.  Feeling pleased at how happy my car was purring along the highway. It was made for this. I only speed up to 99-102 a few times during the trip, and for only a few seconds at most.

The roads were so empty for so long, and when you have over 3k miles left, you need to do something to keep yourself excited.

At least thats how I justified my dangerous speeds. The few days traveling from Florida to Colorado forced me to grow into myself. I had to stand tall and be defensive, strong and alone.

There’s something about the solitude that makes you feel so vulnerable in the world. Some days its clearer than others that my discomfort is because I am a woman more because I am a human.

Only in New Mexico for about 30 minutes while I traversed from Texas to Colorado when I got a speeding ticket. Thanks, New Mexico.

I got to Colorado City, CO the next day at 3am and slept in my car. This was uncomfortable to say the least. In front of an empty lot in a trailer park, I was unsure which was my dads. Defeated, I went back to my cramped car and nervously slept until dawn. The experience isn’t one I would suggest to anyone.

I woke up, of course as soon as the sun came up and met the handsome mountain across the street.

He had snow on top and was one of the many mountains surrounded this small town and the surrounding towns of Pueblo county. At an elevation of  ‎5,853 ft , I was way up high for a gal from Florida for the past few years of my life.

I stayed with my dad, who is a blues guitarist and musician and a retired pot dealer. I had a great time with him and we went to several gigs where I could see him play and have a few drinks and dance! He is playing with an amazing group called Sonrisa.

Traveling through the rest of Colorado, Wyoming and then spending the night in Twin Falls, Idaho was an adventure filled with the most amazing landscapes I’ve ever seen. I had to pay minimal attention the beauty surrounded me because I was also driving in the snowy mountains.

The rest of this journey, and a lot of my summer 2017 are kind of hard to think about, and especially to write about but I feel like with 2018 rapidly approaching, it’s about time I at least dance around it.

The truest description of this beautiful, crazy summer was just an explosion of very intense emotions that left me a little scared. Living in Eugene in nice and I have a nice bobcat brain on a shelf in my living room with a small tv and a couch and sure it’s a little cold outside and it will be for a while but I have someone to snuggle now and I have my cat and that’s the end result, then I’m ok with it.

I don’t know what I was really looking for when I left Florida.

But this seems alright. In 2018, I am opting to have less income and more time, for as long as is necessary to take something off the ground. What exactly? ///…

Traveling across the USA and waking up in the Pacific Northwest

traveling, writing

I’ve been traveling now for two months and it feels a lot more like six. It’s exhausting business and traveling has allowed me to notice some behavioral issues I am having. 

It’s frustrating, I notice myself when I continue falling upon patterns that ensure some kind of disaster. Does it take a while before that part of my brain kicks in to stop me, or is mine simply missing, or malfunctioning? I don’t know whats wrong with me. I’ll spend all day just disagreeing with my behavior. 

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.

20170720_164317-PANO

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. If you would like to see more of my travel photography, please check it out here!

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

Posts tagged as "artists" from the blog, writing

I never knew that Portland was the city of roses until I got here.  The sweet aroma swallowed me as I walked through the Northeast Portland neighborhoods. My partner and I were headed toward one of the many available coffee shops.

After driving over 3,000 miles to get here, I was excited. So ready to leave the negative religious right pro-confederacy attitudes behind me in the south. I had no idea that the first day I got to Portland that something horrible would happen.

Something that would affirm my understanding that white supremacy and related violence is not just something that happens in the south.

Leaving Florida and getting lost in New Orleans

Walked no less then 10 miles in New Orleans today …phone died by noon. Acquired coffee with a voodoo priestess, purchased lucky chicken foot, blew kisses to the dirty kids in the french quarter. Walked around exploring, eventually I find some broken guitars, and 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..walked around with a guardian angel named Ronnie.

I carried two plates of shelter dinner walking with him, trying to find a phone charger. Then, I 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.

I then left, stayed in a dive hotel, woke up and headed back on the interstate.

Staying in Colorado with Billy Bongster, AKA “Dad”

I drove through Texas, through a small part of New Mexico and all the way to  Colorado City, Colorado. This is where I stayed for a week with my dad and saw his latin fusion band, Sonrisa, play live a few times.

After that, I picked up a passenger / good friend from Colorado Springs and we left for Oregon after a fun night in Denver at my dads show.

Arriving in Oregon

When 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 normalized.  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.

A long drive and a fresh tattoo

Posts tagged as "artists" from the blog, writing

Portland, Oregon is 3,051 miles away from my current location in Florida. That is equivalent to 46 hours of driving. When I wake up on Wednesday morning, I’ll be sure to apologize to my car for the mileage and extra luggage. My journey to the West coast will finally begin.

I cannot wait to stop in the diners, drive through America and plant my feet in new earth.

As cliche as it sounds, I am going to try to finding myself out there. It feels like I’ve spent so many nights grasping at some white lights which have remained just out of my reach. I can only hope I am getting closer.

I’m so ready. I said all the goodbyes I have energy for. I finally got the passion flower inked into my arm forever. Fulfilling a promise to my sister from 5 1/2 years ago.

The passion flowers in Moon Lake are blooming the day I am scheduled to go over there and pick her my sister. We would be headed to Modern Moose studios on 54.

They were breathtaking. I went outside to capture photos of them while Allie got ready to go.

passifloraink2

On the ride there, should told me how hard this week has been. She spoke about how Ezekial loves to smile, and how he 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, unsurprisingly. I’m not sure I’d ever get another one, as I never saw myself the “tattoo” type of person. Already, the conversations the tattoo helps initiate with other humans is noticeable 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.

A micro preemie nephew and the cooler weathers of new territory

micopreemie, writing

I wasn’t expecting a preemie but I guess you never are. As the months swim by me, the changes and directions we are all experiencing are predictable yet 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 micro preemie and seeing him struggle to develop outside of the womb is completely heartbreaking. It is also 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.

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 prayers going and hope this preemie grows stronger and stronger every day.

17861872_10210947181348223_157569018046506359_n

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.

Political Depression – Who knew we would be here?

writing

Today sunny and there is a nice gulf breeze constantly kissing my cheek in Tarpon Springs. The time is 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.

ro

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 in my eyes.  I’m in public and trying hard not to burst but I feel proud as can be for the protestors 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.

The volume of hate has increased so much. It’s way more hate than we anticipated. When you are raised with it, hate is hard to unlearn.

It was like a punch in the gut, realizing that despite the movement to educate people and promote love and equality, there is still so much hate in the USA. There is a movement in tech to fight this, and because technology has that power this movement shouldn’t be ignored.  But it doesn’t feel like its working.

These companies are investing more in educating the people than any of the government programs. The same programs which have been left collecting dust while we spend trillions of dollars on war and bailing out big banks.

Have a 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 relocation 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 we the people of the Unites States of America can really ACTIVATE each other and make a difference in 2020.

We’ve got to stay strong through this presidency.  Fight every step of the way to protect our rights and progress so far.

We need to hold our governments accountable, as they represent us.

We cant stand by and expect politicians to do good,. They haven’t been and they wont.  Decades have gone by with the American publics concerns sidelined in favor of the concerns of big money. These are truly dark and historically significant times and the time is not now to do nothing.

6 months ago: a retrospective

Posts tagged as "artists" from the blog, writing

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

I own this terrible home / this terrible home owns me.

earthship, Posts tagged as "artists" from the blog, writing

My home is rotten, my home is a tin can. My home is also where my heart is.

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 just a decade ago.

This one little piece 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. Constantly wondering if it’s just a self fulfilling prophecy. At the same time, I find myself longing for the irresponsible pastimes that I know would get me in the very same spot I’m so afraid of being in.

What truly 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? Or 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.

It feels like 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.