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If you’ve seen me recently, you might think I’ve gone off the deep end. In fact, I have decided to throw one hundred percent of myself into what I claim to do: Spread Love. In order to accept that challenge, I have set goals for myself.
This is February, the second month of the year. February is about Love. Love can grow like wildfire. I’m starting a fire, one that I hope catches in the breeze, which means, this might be the only explanation you get. A year ago I embarked on a journey with no possible expectation. It was a leap. I stayed present and open to anything that came my way. It’s been a hard journey, as many read in my last post, sometimes I have no idea why I’m doing it or how I can move one more step. I still move. I’ve moved beyond mountains, deserts that stretch as far as the eye can see. I have become that which I couldn’t imagine, which means I have yet to see anything. If one year can yield the growth, love and dynamic knowledge, what could the rest of my life contain? Before I get ahead of myself, as I often do in side swept tangents, I’m starting in February. Let’s take a look thus far:
On February 1st, I awoke in California. I biked in the dark to the center of MarsVista and opened the yoga studio. I was able to take the class because it was so early and it felt good to stretch my muscles after the whirlwind of my weekend. I stayed to watch over the shop before the next person came to take over and wrote love letters all over the sidewalk intently spreading love to anyone walking past. I walked through my old and new ‘hood, taking in all the changes and the new faces. I ran into a human who has drawn my eye for over 2 years. The excitement within me when I saw her for the first time jumped again as I saw her walking towards the same corner. I approached her not knowing exactly what to say, and so I began by explaining I had first noticed her while I cut hair at Floyds. She always has the biggest smile on her face, as if this moment is the greatest. She wears a brightly colored skirt and jacket, tailored as if she is going to a Southern Baptist Church on Sunday morning. Her entire persona is framed with a matching hat, the wide straw brim filled with pink flowers, frozen in full bloom. I told her that while I didn’t even know her name; I loved her and she had brought me joy from watching her walk through this town I call MarsVista. I told her I had painted Janis down the block and I wanted to paint her too. I definitely overwhelmed her, and realizing this, I backed off to let her speak. She told me her name and that she had taken a picture of Janis, that she loved the colors. She asked me what I do besides paint and I replied, I only try my best to spread love. We parted ways as her smile became ever bigger, even though she had imparted her wisdom, and it forced my teeth to show and feel the warmth of love from a stranger.
After a few meetings and haircuts in the afternoon, I was plucked out of the westside pocket and transferred to a downtown warehouse where a friend was holding an art show. This friend hasn’t been my best friend, though knowing him has led me to a new community. I agreed to work the door, knowing it would most likely not yield any financial wealth, although there had been a promise. In my fierce and forceful way of spreading love, I refused to have a list of free people, instead I asked each person who claimed no money to make their case. If they were playing music or adding anything to the ambiance, they were welcome to slip inside. Flippantly, those who attempted to sneak by me or to argue over the price, I smiled and forced them to pay double, suggesting maybe they could impart a few words of love.
February 2nd started with sunrise and a dozen fresh donuts from Krispy Kreme, some of them pink sprinkled hearts, filled with a cool creme inside. A couple of Beths, driving back to the westside. She let me pick the music and the crystal clear notes from a piano serenaded the car as the sun rose to our backs.
After a nap and a few errands around the house, I trekked to the Santa Monica REI and purchased my brand new Blue backpack for Nepal. Traffic was horrendous and my travel companion was less than thrilled to be on the road. I could only think of my love for Nepal and all the things my backpack and I were going to experience. I never imagined I would have a blue backpack, though when I received my red one almost 4 years ago, it changed my life. Blue is the color of communication and it seems appropriate that I’ll be traversing the world, with communication on my back, filled with all my belongings.
A few hours of traffic later, and I arrive back at home to join my partner in a bike ride up to MarsVista. The GrandView Market is hosting a music night and people are sitting and standing around to listen and dance to a group of energetic musicians. The drummer is wearing a red and gold mask, the lead singer jumps around in a beachy tank and I keep catching the eyes of fellow MarsVistans whom I haven’t seen in around a year. Many people exclaim that I’m back, while I have to explain I’m about to leave again. Over and over I’m exclaiming today is February 2nd 2018 and there are so many 2s, it’s inevitably a wonderful day.
February 3rd brought many difficulties. I was worn down, feeling the extertion of so much love emptied and not refilled. I was hungry and frustrated and filled with despair. I tried reminding myself it was February 3rd, the third day of the second month of the year, a month of love. I was left hanging, fearing as though maybe after 2 days I had reached empty. I was hurt, feeling broken and pain erupted within my frame, causing me to become lightheaded, cramping and the need to sit down. Fighting and that empty void where love had been, exploded out of me and as it took me by surprise, I also couldn’t stop. I had anticipated nourishment would happen from those who surrounded me because I was giving haircuts and working. Instead I remained hungry, attempting to hold space for love, which proved more difficult than I could single-handedly express. At the same time I hurt the human who thought he was helpful. I biked to the grocery store, spending my last remaining $20 in cash on food for my fellow housemates, venturing in on guessing that they too might have hunger. I returned home, fed my people and myself and collapsed with exhaustion; emotionally, mentally and physically.
When I awoke this morning, refreshed and feeling energized again, I echoed my sentiment: Today is February 4th, 2018. What do I love? Today I cleaned and helped my partner organize. Today I expressed my love for everything that surrounded me. Today I chose to remember what love is. I refuse to back down, I refuse to stay in a place that is not loving. I refuse to have pain in my body any longer. February 4th, I’m relaxing again into love. It hurts when things don’t go my way, and I also can’t allow my love to go unreplenished. The only way I see for my love to spread is by sharing it with everyone, even if they aren’t ready to feel it. I’m spreading love with a force, even when it isn’t reciprocated, even when it hurts, even when I’m angry. I will take a step back, remember what it’s like to be free, painless and living in love. My body feels lighter, my heart feels more open and I have more energy.
I invite you to join me this month. Each day, commit to recognizing at least one thing you love, and let’s see how much our love can evolve. Today is the Fourth of February.. So let’s start with 4 things you love.