dispatch from the moon

Winter Solstice Pop-up Realness

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Here’s the deal. The long and the short of it.

We’re doing a month-long pop-up shop all December!

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12 06 till 12 22

Thursdays | Fridays noon to 5pm

Saturdays noon to 7pm

at CAMERON MARKS ANNEX

By stellar alignment; the amazing women of Cameron Marks have opened the doors of the Annex to let me shimmy in the space for the winter holiday season. Opening on December 6 (New Moon in Cancer) and closing on December 22 (Winter Solstice’ turn), I’ll sling a large swath of gorgeous flowers, botanicals and groovy offerings for your gifting/self-gifting needs.

There’s gonna be wreaths!

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Infinite-existence wall hangings!

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Bulb plantings, wintery botanicals, and table centerpieces available for pre-order and pickup! (More on how to order those at the Online Shop soon)

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And, to my great delight, a curated selection of naturally inspired products, hand-crafted by dear friends and fellow makers. Tea blends from Steep Tea Co, bud vases by Sarah Kersten, gorgeous fragrance from LAROMATICA and a few surprises along the way. You’ll just have to come by to see, (read: hang w me).

 bud vases by  Sarah Kersten

bud vases by Sarah Kersten

I’m stoked. A little nervous. A lot curious - if this feels right, 2019 may have a whole different tilt. To be honest, it does already - doesn’t 2018 feel like we’ve been trying to get out of a winter coat of hold-ups, hang-ups and bullshit for 300+ days? That’s another blog post.

So come over, peruse, hang-out. Looking forward to being a part of the beauty of your holiday season. ILY, K

Marvin Gaye

We continue to arrive, with gross repetition, to this place of cultural disbelief. Another young man taken from us. An explosive outcry against oppression, violence and killing. Brothers and sisters march through the streets, and eye one another with suspicion. We are like wary foxes in open fields, ears lain flat against delicate skulls as the concuss of heavy footsteps - racial inequality, hate, social injustice - vibrate up our legs.

In the 400 years since the origins of slavery in America, there are wounds that have remained oozily open by the perpetuation of false truths and inherited fears. This insidious pathogen of hate has been carried in the bloodstream of the most outrageous of the Klan, and by the most submissive timidity of a nervous housewife. But as we stand at this place of economic wealth, intellectual acceleration and societal recognition; no longer can we lay blame on our past. The past is PAST. There is far to much damage long done, with scar tissue far to thick to allow for new beginnings. 

I am a white woman raised in an abundant household. I never went hungry, or kept awake by the danger of my situation. I have never been forced to choose between saving my life or bowing down to someone more powerful. The acute awareness of my fortuity can feel like shame. The lack of conviction and justice for the systemic, calculated killing of those who have not been allowed to move through life as I have been allowed is inconceivable. But it is our reality.

What must we do to heal? Whom do we look toward for leadership? How to break these patterns, and these chains that tether us to an existence that simmers with quiet rage?

The answer is not bloodletting, nor the hunting out of a created nightmare. We can no longer lay the blame on our past, or wait anxiously for others to simply hand over our future. It is time to create our present. Happiness, safety, health and peace. Believing in the deservedness of Loving Kindness for all our Brothers and Sisters. We must clearly see the struggle borne of economic destitution and the suppression of an entire people. It's not just the lifting up of a class - it's the recreation of an entire class system. Speaking up for social justice, carrying the flame for those who have been lost, taking on the burden of change. Do not rely solely on our civic leaders. The system is too broken, and the cataclysmic shift exists only in us.

Start small and be a warrior, in your own life, for love. Extend your hand towards others. Speak to your children and your contemporaries about acceptance, about equality, about race. About the ways we may seem different, but - at our core, are the same. BREAK THE PATTERN. This is no longer our story! Though we may stumble through this red, heated haze, on the other side is the opportunity for the truest change our world can know. Do not sit down and wait. Stand up, make the choice to speak out, listen hard and bear witness.

Misun

Hey! Hi! Damn - sorry about that. I want to pick-up where we left off with a long weekend that deployed the reset button.  

In quasi tradition, Jacob and I sprint out of the city for a backpacking trip after the Valentine's vortex subsides. 2015 was overnight kayaking on Tomales Bay, 2016 was a 20-mile hike-in to Ventana hot springs; with a few tangents.

We got a motherf*ckin van, y'all! Thank you thank you thank you for everyone who ever supported the Big Dreams campaign; you made our down payment dreams come true. Jacob found the bus in Portland and flew up to buy it sight un-seen. This is like a trust fall excercise with my business credit card. After a hostel slumber party, and an involvement at a drag show, (this is not my story to tell, unsurprisingly involves admiration for his hair), the bus carried him back to Oakland. We got another tank of gas, threw the futon in the back and headed to Big Sur.

For years, in our time spent up and down the 1, Jacob has pounded the steering wheel of the compact car with, "If we just had van, we could pull over and camp wherever we'd want!" Well, check that off the bucket list. After watching the sun fizzle out with a bottle of wine and a bag of chips from the most ideal cliffside money could never buy, we wanted to sleep for a few hours before a Night Soak at Esalen. A full moon coming up from the behind the cliffs, we passed a joint and settled in. 

This isn't true, Jacob settled in. I got it into my head that I wanted to honor the moon and this awesome journey, cranking the tiny camp speaker and dancing wildly by the highway until I was a sweaty mess, throwing myself to hide behind the van when a car came. Fairly certain I sprained my ankle on the first 8-count, and convincing myself that it would heal in the baths later on.

At 12:30pm we stumbled a half-mile to Esalen and I had one of the trippiest experiences of my ENTIRE LIFE, which had a lot to do with being naked with 23 strangers. This, paired with the miasmic heat of the spring-fed pools, the Pacific crashing underneath and hemetic light of the moon turning every surface to metal. Hard to articulate, and when we woke up we weren't entirely convinced we didn't dream the whole thing. 

We loaded two-days of bourgie existence into our packs, and headed into the forest.


  Aquilegia formosa,  Western red columbine. Reminiscent of eagle talons and tiny spacecraft.

Aquilegia formosa, Western red columbine. Reminiscent of eagle talons and tiny spacecraft.

  Clematis ligusticifolia,  Western White Clematis. The peppery leaves and stems were chewed by Native Americans to soothe sore throats and colds.

Clematis ligusticifolia, Western White Clematis. The peppery leaves and stems were chewed by Native Americans to soothe sore throats and colds.

  Trillium ovatum,  Pacific wake-robin. Woodland perennials are a new obsession, and remind me of my parent's property which hosts an incredible population of Moccasin Flower ( Cypripedium acaule).

Trillium ovatum, Pacific wake-robin. Woodland perennials are a new obsession, and remind me of my parent's property which hosts an incredible population of Moccasin Flower (Cypripedium acaule).


We walked through damp, shadowed redwoods, up shambling cliffs, through arid, sun-baked passes and through icy-cold creekbeds. We talked about our family, spooked at poison oak, crammed raw seeds into our mouths. Our minds shut-up, and there was a creeping wish we were staying out here longer than we'd planned. As we walked in, dozens of people were packing out. Every person we made room for to pass, we'd hiss and chant to each other "get em out, leave leave, all to ourselves!"

At the end, we were one of 4 other sites - each far enough from the other to feel alone. Of the three pools, we stayed in one that positioned us nearly in the treetops, melting into the sulphuric 100degree water until the sun had long dissolved to moonlight again.

We met a woman from Sacramento who had hiked in with her Standard Poodle - a deer-like white q-tip that folded her legs resignedly beside the pool we inhabited. For a short while we were joined by a boy my age who was on hour 63 of quitting a 25 yr old smoking habit. He had hiked out to leave that old identity behind, and had no qualms saying he was trying to not look back, but knowing he would probably fail. I don't know either of their names.

When we clambored down, we forged a stream 40degrees colder than what we'd left. Dressed in every layer we packed, we ate ramen cups and slept by the stream - turning over every hour in the small tent. At 6am, we got back in the pools. No sound besides the push of the water and small animals breaking their fasts. 

#1 Dads

I get hyper-obsessed with sounds, songs, vocal artists. I may very well think of them more than I think about flowers.

This is the truth, we need to meet this head-on.

It's also the selfish reason why this blog tab is lined with emotional riffs and subconscious word vom rather than my opines on Stargazer Lilies, (non-committal), or porn shots of Ranunculus, (I'll still hand that out). 

I like to wallow in soundscapes with strange voices and oboes. I like to read all the music periodical, wikipedia and album review articles. I like to watch ALL the music videos. I especially like to imagine myself IN these music videos. I like to dance wildly in the living room when Jacob's at soccer. I like to have a little too much wine and lie flat on the hardwood floor with a single on repeat. I like to send links, mp3s and album covers to my friends, crowing how they CANNOT NOT LISTEN to this band.

Music is dually a communal / individual experience. We trip subjectively into a different dimension of our senses. We experience something together apart. I had a long stretch of years loving a man that shared the same kind of vocalized, vibrational headiness. He hasn't returned 1:37am texts since 2014. So mostly, I travel alone - stacking playlists, creating icons and style-plotting my eventual album cover. There will be all the filters, my head will be tipped back, a windfan will blow.

Back to what I said earlier about the line between my work and my muse. The experience of sensory art, in whatever form, is what makes us Human. We don't need it to breathe, but we need it to realize an exceptional, inherent system of percussive synapses, cones and rods, gravitational pull towards something bigger. Put me in a room with flowers or music, I'll react the same. I'll want to study it, move around it, talk thru the composition, level of saturation, requirements of production. All within the same luxurious language!

And I get to speak it with you.

The Weather Station

Mind-blown:

1. There may be a NINTH planet, 10x the mass of Earth and 5000x the mass of Pluto.

2. We don't actually know why zebras have stripes.

3. The tiniest hummingbird built the tiniest nest, and it's incubating an egg. Right outside my window. 

4. I'm more than 2/3 the way towards reaching my goal. If you've graciously taken the time to look at the Big Dreams Campaign, firstly - thank you. And secondly, asking for help and then receiving it; even when you are pointedly working for it in exchange, is a bizarre, heart-stretching, humbling experience.

While 4. is major, and I contain gratitude to the extent that it feels awkward and stilted to express, I am consumed by 3.

The obsession started a few weeks ago. We live on the first floor in a 70's-era five-story apartment building in Oakland. The apartment's fine; I've loved many spaces I've lived in - I like this one. But the south-east wall is nearly all glass, and the view is down and in to the neighbor's backyard. It's a little Rear Window, and if I ever met the neighbor directly they'd probably exclaim, "oh, YOU'RE the lady that never closes the blinds and that I've seen naked close to three dozen times in two years WTF, you have blinds I know you do." Well, your three dogs are yappy and one barks like it has emphysema, so we're even.

The backyard has a massive Tulip Magnolia, Valencia Orange and some twiney shrub I can't ID. Hummingbirds buzzing in are no stranger; it causes an immense amount of predatory posturing and gang-sign throwing from the otherwise laconic cats. If I was a hummingbird, I'd be sipping magnolias and giving the finger to glass-contained cats all day.

 Cataracts post-El Niño

Cataracts post-El Niño

January was introspective, and I was at home a fair amount. I moved to CA at the beginning of the drought, and hadn't experienced a true "winter" here before. Days and days of grey and rain. Mild cabin fever with little escape. Flowers were painfully slow, infrastructure-anxiety high, but my sway to distraction slightly higher. Not much to do but puzzle over the Big Picture, (enter temporary paralysis).

Starting a business after working for and around other people for decades dredges up a lot of shit for me. Re-identity, new patterns, constant questioning. Am I working hard enough? Do I have to work this hard? Why have I been sitting in my goddamn robe for six-hours, and what is there to eat in the kitchen? Am I making any money to be able to eat something from the kitchen??  

One morning when I was moving around, (in my robe), trying to get an idea of spreadsheets or checklists that would assuage my under-productive malaise - I noticed a hummingbird was repeatedly diving to a place of full stop. There it was, the teeniest perfect nest, as small as the circle of your thumb to forefinger, built securely into a wishbone lateral of that twiney mystery shrub. Far enough off the ground from the yappy dogs, far enough from the thicker tree where a squirrel could shimmy in, and reaching towards my window.

EVERY DAY, I watched. I'd run straight to the window in the morning. I'd miss it when I was at the studio. I'd come into the apartment the back way so I could stand underneath to stare up at the wishbone branch. I'd will it to not be cold at night, or for the wind not to blow too hard. I became convinced that, if this hummingbird could nest this one tiny egg and make this one big thing happen - and I got to see it! Then all the rest of this temporal, surface-level shit would be put in perspective and I'd have some answers. 

 Look for the harpoon silhouette.

Look for the harpoon silhouette.

It's a sunny, warm February 5th. Business is beginning to pick-up, and I spent the entirety of yesterday in the studio with piles of flowers. January's general malaise and the crawly feelings I had with it have faded. I feel surprisingly grounded. We're booking out summer weekends with weddings. We're so close to signing a new lease on the studio. The hummingbird is gone.

You know because there's a new vacancy to the perfect, forefinger-to-thumb nest. It makes me feel a little hollow, disappointed, and embarrassed that I correlated a natural phenomenon to the barometer of my own self-expectation. But. I saw it - I really SAW it.

 Jacob in Mt. Diablo, Jan 2, 2016.

Jacob in Mt. Diablo, Jan 2, 2016.

As ego-consumed and unaware as we're helpless to in this culture, we completely miss happenings, interactions or emotions; almost as a relief-valve function. How can we answer all the emails, found a million dollar venture, work on our six-pack and be too busy/successful/dedicated to take a proper vacation if we're overcome to FEEL SOMETHING - and perhaps not akin to validation or public adoration when we cross into triple-digit likes on our social feeds?

None of this is new information. David Brooks has likely written three far more eloquent and concise books on the subject.  But, this bassline thrum is what I wanted in founding Eothen. What happens when you can deeply receive something, and let it be just that?  What happens when you witness a microcosm of a Life - and are ok when it's over? What happens when we stop posturing and play-acting to look around? What if it's not just about our created genius, or how far we're launching ourselves from the place we learned from?

What if the wonder and magic and awesomeness that many of us grasp for isn't something for the zenned-out, inspired or innocent? What if it's just a matter of teaching ourselves to see it again?

I have no answers, and no sense where I'm at on the sliding scale of finding them. But I know that I'm hitting on something I haven't been capable of before, which feels a little fathomless. It's also the reason why Eothen's three-months in, and there is no f*cking way I'm stopping now.