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This trip to Los Angeles definitely was not what I expected, but as the song says, it was just what I needed.

I left the MiniApple early in the morning, it was dark as if the sky was contemplating letting the sun rise. I arrived on the plane to a woman in my seat who made a fuss, so I took the middle seat until we were in the air. I ventured further back on the plane and found a row to myself over the wing. I stretched my legs and imagined huge murals across the world, brightly colored hands and feet, imagery to stop and smell the roses. I imagined painting these walls, alongside others who saw the wall and now are smiling with anticipation as we share stories. Stories. Conversation makes the world smaller; conversations are like stories.

This week, all my ideas fell through. I felt overwhelming sadness at seeing all that I’ve worked for float away. I opted to not go to Joshua Tree, feeling instead I needed to surround myself in love, a kind of self love that only one place has ever offered. I made a deal with a friend and we drove out to the Mojave Desert on October 5th. Our dark and dusty arrival coincided with my cousin just off the highway and we excitedly hugged and drove onto the sandy unmarked roads.

Each Moontribe has held significance within my timeline, for the last 3 years I’ve stolen away each chance I can to dance with my family under the stars as we honor the power of a full moon. This one was called the grandmother moon, a special significance with my anniversary. I let go with such bold intent and the realizations I grasped threw me into the sky. I have no foundation, I float among the trees having only my thoughts and morals to vouch for my honor. I am fiercely free in a way that many have never experienced, though I’m tied to that freedom out of a fear everyone encounters: where next?

As the sky burst with each color of the rainbow, clouds gently rolled over the mountains and I sat with my back to the grove of trees. When one can go in any direction, what’s the motivation to place the next step. I have wanted to paint murals across the world since I was laying in my magenta bedroom in Plymouth, Minnesota. I dreamt of showing that split second, when the world stops for a breath and everything is peaceful. I may have dragged myself away from that dream for the last decade, though the lessons and tragic beauty I witnessed speaks for the PinkRiches of the future. I was looking at sunrise, remembering the strength that passed while the delicate moon now set. Cycles of time align with the phases of the Moon and Sun, I understand how difficult forgiveness is and that we can’t be in two places at one time. It’s the only thing I have left, right? Memories from interactions and humans who may or may not remember the same story. We all have stories, memories contained within stories contained within our physical selves.

Love has remained a constant source of inspiration, as I explore etymology and meaning, one type begs to be mentioned. Storge is greek for a kind of love that rests within memories, as in I love this seashell because that time at the beach when it was found. As a sucker for love, I collected everything; rocks, shells, leaves, even dirty tissues. Getting rid of my material possessions was less painful as I gave my memories away with them. Even so, I still have memories and sometimes I attach myself to the memory of sleeping in Myrtle for the last night in Gilroy, wishing I could have another, or sometimes I attach myself to painting my big strawberry lady in the living room of my apartment in MarsVista, my roommate was sleeping in the next room and I was mourning the love I had just lost. I have other memories though, some are stronger than attachment and I hid behind them like they defined me. Just like the clouds which rested above the mountains and soaked up the first pink rays of warm sun light, I am free to look toward the sun and I am free to watch the moon set. I think I’ll point toward the peak of the biggest mountain surrounded by the light of a new sun.

I believe in finding the beauty that surrounds us in order to bring us closer to truth and peaceful happiness. Until then, I’ll point out some flowers to smell along the way.



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