abstract

time loop

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I write you from Joshua Tree. There’s 8million stars splattered across the sky, and the quiet is dense enough to make sound. I was last here three years ago to The-Day. Time loops similar to this have caught me up enough times this year to scratch them down on a tally sheet.

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With them, the memories. Scent sound vision patterns repetition; in large scale and small, physical and spiritual. For as blatant and plain-spoken as they often are, they leave me in a heap of bewilderment. Again?! Gotta look at this stuff - AGAIN? Didn’t we just do this last month/year/quarter life crisis? “We” the preferred pronoun for what’s grooving in the Physical Plane and the wild entity that’ll travel on long, long after I shuck this earthbound outfit.

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It’s impossible to not be deeply curious about the whole cycle, and our multi-dimensional place in it, when you’re in this particular line of work. As a florist, nearly every day I yelp with glee over the re-emergence of something. The peony shrub is budding! Unicorn anemones are back at Blue Heron! The trembling delicacy of the desert bloom - I stare at their tiny faces so fiercely it makes my eyes water..

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And every day, I watch it all die. Crushing the slug from the peony shrub. Toss the faded anemones into the bin. I drag out the compost and feel relief that the studio is reset.

Flowers as a medium are one that, after some time, you discard what you made and begin again. They demarcate a moment, a fleeting experience, a tie to the temporal. People enjoy looking at flowers because it helps them remember the past, and are a soft finger-brush on the concept of our own, inevitable, mortality.

Joshua Trees do not bloom every year, but when they do it is universal, synchronized, mystical. Makes me think of the synapses of the brain, and the larger concept of the mycelial network we are all connected to. That is a whole other post, brother.

Next March 30th I’ll remember these, where I stood, who I was.

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I’ve had an on-going conversation about the identification of nostalgia - particularly when it applies to the American South. I’m closing in on a decade in the West, yet I continue to identify as a southerner - why? There’s much shadow that holds the notion of a place against hot, muddy ground under a high noon sun. But there is also mystery there, a whisper from the unseen, a giving over to what Nature aims to take back. It’s good to remember.

I’m back in ol’ Virginny first week of May. It’s when the bearded iris are blooming in my father’s garden. My mother turns 65. The Derby runs, and I suppose I’ll have a bourbon. May 4th I’m teaching a class in Richmond, aim to fill the whole of Dear Neighbor up to the brim with local blooms, and listen to all the long-vowel sounds of my students under the Taurus new moon. If you’re in the area, you should come. Not often do I just share flowers for the fun of it - I mean, you’re reading this…shellacked with diatribes on transformation, inner knowing, knocking on the door of the basement-level of your key soul, (ready for a nap yet). Who cares about all that today? Let’s just drink rosé, smile at each other and make something pretty for a time.

Julia Holter

Tuesdays, with a little luck and some dedicated overtime, I hike. Alone and far if I can swing it. I like to do a little research, bahiker is my go-to. I consult the weather, the traffic, do I have to pack a pb&j or can I last until I get back. I usually deliberate too long, leave late and forget the pb&j on the counter.

You can work through a lot of shit on the trail. Are you good at your job, is your partner still wildly attracted to you, are you letting friendships go by the wayside, (this is when I usually stop, reconnect to the Grid and text a number of people to try and drum-up some affirmations. Back on Airplane Mode), I like trails when I can attack inclines on the first half; when I can barely hear anything but the to-do list in my head - quad-burn and gasping runs a good distraction. If it's an estimated a four-hour trip, I aim to do it in three. 1. Overachiever 2. Pb&j is on the counter and it's 1:30pm

By the second half, I remember to look up. A few years ago I was on one of my favorite trails, blasting through the duff of a Buddhist retreat with a soul-sister, when she quipped that we might as well be on a treadmill. Head down, just moving through rather than being IN. You know where this could go. All kinds of meta directions.

There will be plenty of heavy-meta blogging to come, so don't you worry your pretty lil head.

For these 7.4 miles, there was fog and wind. A treacherous yellow jacket's nest I ran through like my tail was on fire. One Jerusalem cricket - goddamn if I don't hate those things yet remain intensely intrigued. Retired Marin hippies three-times my age leveling damaged trail swaths with pick-axes. Just a little bit of water trickling from the Mt Tam watershed, making it's way to the sea. Flora I can't identify, coyote scat and the bewildering streams of consciousness.