This was a tough one to record. i almost didn’t. And then i recorded it and i almost didn’t share it. Almost…
Normally i listen to each episode after i’m done just to make make sure what came out was what i was intending…this time i didn’t. i couldn’t. So i’m just trusting the process and the universe that it all came out okay.
When i woke up on January 1, 2020, i had no idea how truly difficult and transformational 2020 would be. To say that it has been hard is an understatement. To say that this year has changed me, society, our culture, our world is really not to give it the weight and magnitude that this time in our history represents.
We have never seen anything like this in our lifetimes—systemic racist structures being burned to the ground. Major companies coming out in full out support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, commissioners apologizing—trying to make amends a little too late; Black women and men leading small business that have always been white-centric into new territories of inclusivity (Thank you Rachel Cargle and Rachel Rodgers and every beautiful strong black women out there for your work).
When i started this podcast last year, it was a whim of a response to Alexandra Franzen’s call to create a tiny project. Something small. Something you could just do really quick. Don’t over think it. Follow your hut—a beautiful term meaning heart & gut that i’ve since adopted.
But even at the onset of this project, i was feeling. . .off. Discombobulated. Fragmented . . . like i wanted to change, to shift in a big way but i didn’t know how. i was feeling the same kind of internal pressure that i’ve felt pretty much my whole life—regardless of how successful i looked and was from the outside.
And so, One Minute Sparks For Artists—and really my entire public body of work from my website to different moments and performances in drag, to my newsletter—was really created from inside the question of “What is it i am trying to grow into?” “Who am i trying to be for real?’ and not necessarily as an answer to all these soul questions. Because i didn’t know the answer. i still don’t know the answer. All i really knew these last 5 years of venturing off into the wonderland of working for myself were 3 things—the same 3 things that have threaded my entire 42 years of life together regardless of the medium in which i expressed it—creativity/art, activism, and coloring the world diverse, representational, inclusive of all.
And the first season of this podcast was very much in that vein. You can hear it.
And then, just as quickly and effortlessly as i started, i stopped hitting record.
This wasn’t’ it. This wasn’t what i was trying to create to birth both into the world and inside myself.
i’ve spent the last year feeling like a huge piece of myself was missing from everything i was putting out save for a few things here and there.
The shit of it is, is that i already knew what it was before i even asked myself the question…i already knew… don’t we always though? We already know the answer but often we are too afraid to say it out loud. This was no different. i knew, had known since i was 16 what was missing was, my spirit. My whole spirit.
The parts that fuel the work. And the parts that reside way deep down inside. Depth. Deepness. Wonderment. My deep sense of interconnectivity, my love for all things deep, meaning, powerful, transformative—deep conversations, deep reading, deep art, deep, depth, and wonderment. My daily act of always questioning everything around me and trying to understand how all the world connects with itself.
What was missing from this podcast, from my art, and my work was my spirituality. i am a deeply spiritual being and no one knew that. Well, a few people did but not nearly enough for me to feel whole—or my work to feel truly representational.
i was on this deep internal journey when i returned to the podcast early this year. You can hear that shift too in the subject matter, in my voice, in the words that felt foreign to my lips but home in my heart.
And then…everything that will define our generation, define ALL of our lifetimes started happening…
My Black Trans sister in Dallas and in the South were being murdered.
And then COVID happened.
And then George Floyd was murdered.
And then … something totally unexpected that has, will, and forever (re)define me happened…
My 4-legged companion of 14yrs died.
i was 27 when i got him as a puppy and he has seen all the life of me. Witnessed it. In non-judgment. In full-on love.
i knew that Monday morning when i was on my second night of being woken up every 4 hours by his yelps what was going to have to happen later on that day. But at that moment, 6:37 am June 1, 2020, i knew that i wanted, that i needed to do something i had never done with myself or with him—watch the sunrise.
And so we sat. Together on the balcony that we shared many laughs, many quiet contemplative moments, many a cigarette (for me, not for him), and many changes. i held him in my arms like i had begun to carry him down our stairs to go outside 6months ago because his back legs had started to give out. In my arms, belly up, his face facing my face, like a baby, wrapped in my baby blanket. Me savoring the last few moments with him and releasing all the gratitude i held in my heart in the sunbeams that lit up his beautiful face.
i thanked him. For everything. So many things, so many moments in our years together that he made me feel calm, seen, unconditionally loved. For all the things he taught me. . .patience, care, and love. Real love. i am only able to love C, myself, and the world because he showed me that i could—even though i never believed i was capable of love someone more than myself.
And before we went inside and made the trek to our inevitable future, i made him one last promise.
i looked him in his big round brown eyes and i promised, that from this moment forward, i promise to be as brave as he was being right now. i said it twice. Once for him and once for me. Because i needed to hear it to let it soak up in my connective tissues.
And so this podcast and its new focus of sharing from within the trenches of spiritual artivism where art and creativity intersect with activism and spirituality is in honor of my promise to him. The first of many private acts of very public shifts.
And a promise that i made to myself a long long time ago, to always use my voice, my art, my life to say something. Anything. Something that feels like and hopefully creates change.
But i have to change first. i have to be my first transformation.
i cannot ask you to choose differently, to be open, to shift your perception…i cannot write the book that is hovering in me about this journey into, through, and within Spiritual Artivism if i am not willing to go first.
i cannot keep my promise to him to be brave or to myself to be the change if i am not willing to rip off my own suit of armor and show you who the fuck i really am.
And so here i am. Open. Real. Raw. Fully exposed. Knowing i can never go back.
And being okay not to.
i am in a sea of transformation. And i hope you will stay and continue to ride the tides with me.
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