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Nothing to do but wait. These last few days have been one stop and start after the next. A test in patience. Have I ever mentioned I am not a fan of tests? Especially ones where there’s no way to prepare. Or submit extra credit to stay in the higher scoring bracket. These tests exhaust my core and then take a little more. Centering myself the best way I can, by putting up a sheer veil and hiding from my responsibilities. Like any good adult does in these situations. At least my waiting game will be over soon enough. For now I’ll keep listening to the ticks of time slowly click away.

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This is my house. And your house. And our house. Splashed brightly with the colors of our combined nature. Each new member adding layers of depth to the structure. A malleable form. From within these walls I hear a crash. A splintering sound that draws my investigation. Peering from a portal, I’m greeted with shadow. What appears to be a threat. Looming over all that we have built. We can let it cast doubt over our being. Shake our foundation. Or we can strengthen our walls against it. Stand as sentries. And protect a place we call home.

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Instead of a classic Easter egg hunt, this hoppin holiday, I found a treasure while combing through my closet of forgotten purses. Tucked away, underneath countless color clashes of faux leather, was a rustic brown bag. One that I loved to the point of discoloration and an additional hole. Peeling back the faded flap, I found a handful of treats. Peppermints, hairbands, lint balls, sand? But there was this one thing. Nestled next to fortune cookie statements of “you’ll travel far” and “your artistic soul knows no bounds”, was a little black square. Could it be? Oh yes, yes it was! A memory card full of pictures from my hiatus. Little gems waiting for discovery. And I can’t wait to share in the future. Exciting to find images that I thought were lost down some rabbit hole. What a great Easter egg surprise!

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For those that missed my Instagram picture yesterday (and for the ones that didn’t quite understand it); here is an article explaining just what is that blimp in the upper left corner. That sucker is parked right over where I had Easter dinner. I knew about the launch in Dec. But seeing it hovering over the backyard, motionless, was eerie and infuriating. No one else seemed to be bothered. The residents had grown accustomed to it, saying it didn’t bother them. Looking from face to face, I felt like an alien in a room full of people from planet surveillance. A place where people willingly give in to their watchers. And enjoy indoctrinating television programs that make the art of surveillance palatable. Swallowing the surveillance state, we finished dinner and continued to ignore the white smear in the sky.

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Opening my heart this flamin friday. Trying to remind myself that through the act of living, I am learning to love myself. When faced with unanswered questions, remember that I don’t have to harbor all the answers. Just be open to the possibilities ahead. See them as a new opportunity for a deeper understanding of me. And when tears come, to let them. It’s okay to cry. Okay to feel. To love and cut one’s self some slack. After all, it is easier to be kind and accepting of others than of myself. Kindness doesn’t have to just be for the rest of the world. It can be directed inward. Softening any negatives that may be found there. Knowing that is the first step to living on a path of self acceptance. Until then, I’ll continue to offer kindness to others and perhaps that daily practice will teach my heart how to love itself.

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A wasteland surrounds me. The trail an endless sheet of fissured rock. Too lost in openness. I seek shelter in a crevice. Where the warm earth encapsulates my being. Growing down, around, and with me. A union sprouting life. We rise. From one into many. The fertile ground splitting open from our defiant shoot. The twisting trunk gnarling skywards. Puncturing the blue void with outstretched hands. Our roots sinking deeper. So that we may extend further. Branch outwards. Grow oblong. Marking a new form of hope in a place of conformity.

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When it comes to hair maintenance, I’m one of the worst. Grew up with a bottle of bleach, daily frying, and let split ends run rampant. So it shouldn’t shock anyone to learn that I tend to cut my neglected locks but once a year. And this time I decided to buzz it all off! Just kidding. To save me from cue-ball status, my stylist chopped just enough for a healthier, bouncier do. My happier hairs and I tackled the weekend with renewed excitement. There was a farmer’s market that produced many a delicious treats — the best being homemade granola that was eerily reminiscent of my own recipe. Getting lost on roads to nowhere while discussing nothing. Tea with an old friend before discovering a gem in a well-loved oasis. And capping it all with a dinner date at a restaurant I wish I could recommend. The local flavors were divine. Instead of yelping about it, I’ll spread their menu message the old fashioned word of mouth way. Feeling refreshed after a solid few days of good food, people, and maintenance. Amazing how much freer a few inches off the noggin can be — maybe I will make this a biannual event!

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Some days I just want to channel my spirit animal — the cat. Lapping up the little pinpricks of light found in darkened rooms. Excessive carpet rolling leading to a force field of static. Skirting all responsibility (and clothing items). Artfully ignoring the calls of others to take charge of complicated situations. A day spent on grooming the soul. Instead of such a blissfully lazy day, this flamin friday I have been successful in ticking down my to-do list. Pretending that I know how to wear my adult hat. While dreaming of a cat day. One where I could linger longer in this dimming sun spot.

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Puddles staining the ground. Reflecting the hollowness of this place. But this one is different. I look different. The me staring back seems darker. Hungrier. Wanting to escape the viscous confinement. Murky figures shift in the background of her world. Slithering closer to the surface. Intent on occupation. A gust of wind distracts my attention long enough for my darker form to latch on to ankle. Her slimy tendril-like fingers embedding into my skin. The serpent shadows consume the liquid space. Darkening the view. Our face contorts. Filling with black. Before she successfully climbs up into me. Removed from the ink well. Have I saved her through this osmosis. Or did she corrupt me.

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So there was that one time I went to the Oscars. An event like nothing I’ve ever experienced. That involved lots of stressful planning, nerves, celebration, and of course THE dress. The day started too early with hair and makeup. Followed by a red carpet walk. Then cocktail hour(s) prior to the main event. Announcements were made down to a two minute warning, before everyone was finally in their assigned seats. I sat with Citizenfour’s nominees for best documentary, just a few rows from stage and 6 seats in. Bright lights, dancing/singing, and acceptance speeches consumed the next several hours leading to the moment our little section was eagerly anticipating.

Having won best documentary, the previous day, at the Spirit Awards (an event that I felt more comfortable attending; being that it was my arty scene and on the beach), I felt confident that the Oscar would go to Citizenfour. Which had folks from the film asking me if I would go on stage with the nominees. No pressure of course. Just the thought of 36 million people tuning-in was enough to make me hesitate. A decision I didn’t make until the lights dimmed for the slide show reel of nominated documentaries. Would I regret sitting in that orchestra seat instead of walking on stage? Yes. I had come this far, why stop just shy of digesting the entire winning event. We walked up there and 60 seconds later were ushered back stage with 3 statues in hand. One was handed to me and, with its 7lb weight, the moment sunk in. We won a motherfucking Oscar!

Celebrations commenced immediately, with high fives and clinking of glasses. Then Twitter went crazy with people speculating if that was truly me on stage. Amidst the insane tweets was my favorite from the designer of the dress I wore — Nha Khanh. Shocked to see her dress on stage at the Oscars, she tweeted for someone to pinch her. I was elated to wear such a beautiful design. And I kept the lace/tulle going all throughout the after parties that went well into the next day (thank god that dress was comfortable!). There were so many little moments of wonder throughout the Oscars weekend, that I couldn’t possibly describe. But I think the overall feeling of comradery that the crew exhibited and allowed me to join, was the part that I enjoyed the most. Citizenfour is well deserving of its Oscar and the people behind it are incredible super heroes that I feel honored to have met.

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This shoulder-pinching ladder wasn’t my only constriction today; my inner artist was struggling to see merit in this shot. And she had a hissy-fit. I’ve always placed an extraordinary amount of pressure on myself. Demanding perfection and feeling that acceptance is a form of failure. Even though I have learned that these self-imposed requirements are not healthy, there’s a part of me that can’t let go. Recent history has only exacerbated my constrained voice. Winding my insides to a point of frozen mutedness. I start to write or shoot or converse in an open way, only to stop short. Remembering the multitude of reasons for remaining guarded. Maybe it won’t always be this way. I won’t always feel limited. But today, my inner artist cried out. She could not be soothed by accepting that this shot was as good as it could be without re-shooting. (or maybe she was responding to the pain of being cramped under that ladder ;)) Whatever the deeper feelings, I’ve had to console my little artist. Remind her to make what is available work. To most importantly, create. Create in the discomfort. Create in the joy. Just create.

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