In April, when I was living in a house I rented with Brandon and our friend Bernie on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala a desire to paint, to draw with my hands and fingers opened it's sleep crusted eyes after a yearlong slumber. I started painting on the kitchen wall with acrylic paints, and then with oil, until this (click) came to be. When I returned home to Canada at the end of May I brushed the dust off an illustration marker I had bought at Michaels the year before. I'm not sure why I bought it, I just had a feeling that I'd need it one day. Intuition foretelling a year in advance. I've been sitting in front of Brandon's pool, below towering douglas firs, nose glued to white pages fastened to a clip board. This piece was one of my first.


Stranded in Paradise (Part I)

It was in Mazunte that I found out how little I needed. Brandon and I couldn't afford a bed in a hostel or even a flat dusty ration of dirt to camp on so we slept in the van while the others scattered around the town. I was perpetually dehydrated from the heat, bug bites polka dotted my skin, and the reality that we were stuck in Central America with no money or a plane ticket home lingered in the air like the stench of an overfilled, heated compost container that filled the lungs like vapor or steam, something familiar yet rejected by the cells. Stranded in Paradise. 

I didn't need much sleep, or showers. I spent mornings watching the sun rise from the beach, meditating, searching for ways to hold on to something so overwhelmingly beautiful and sorrowfully fleeting. High noon was spent at Architecto, an upscale hostel on the beach with wifi, a bathroom and a restaurant overlooking the water. We spent a week using it's gathering space as basecamp, a week until they figured out we weren't guests and kicked us all out. Late afternoons we swam, layed out on the sand on oversized scarves and watched the waves until they hushed, or seemingly quieted. I never quite decided if they did or if I was imagining it. Waves of vigor that you had to maneuver, waves that mangled. Midweek I didn't run out of the water fast enough. I saw it in slow motion: The sand buried my ankles like quick sand as I pushed my body forward at full speed. I looked behind me, a wall of blue crashed against my back. My body was flung down, somersaulting, the salt water filled my mouth, my nostrils, my face met the sand as my body was dragged fifteen feet by the force. It was a few days until I built up the courage to get back in the water. Adrenaline flushed my veins, my hands shook. It was never quite the same. 



Writings from last spring, a week in solitude. 

April 4, 2014

5th full day here. I'm not sure if I'm ready to leave this safe haven. Three more days remaining and I have to return to the world that perpetually tempts me, where I'm perpetually reminded where that engulfed, pulsating, ball of nauseous energy, which flares up within the cavity just below my rib cage, where it originated, within the city's imagery it's irritant lurks. 

I see life for what it is now, and it both brakes the heavy solids into crumbles of minuscule particles and sweeps them away into an abyss, yet it also reinforces the importance of the structure, the importance of the dance. The importance of my dance. I am both I and Everything that is. The I is the reflection of the Everything experiencing itself from a unique perspective, from this perspective. The "I" is both real and not real. Both the Human and the Tao. 

I came here to save myself from my poisons, and what I received was the most incredible experience I could imagine: a glance into the nature of reality. If you search with enough determination, eventually you will find. 



Writings from last spring, a week in solitude. 

April 3, 2014

Every single thing that I want to do, from my very deep truth (when I connect to my spirit self) is what I need to be doing in order to play my role in the Earth's (which is a living organism) evolvement and for it to move forward and grow as intended. If I choose not to connect with my pre-planned path and confuse myself by thinking that there's something else out there for me to do, then I fail my mission and steer off the track and end up dying out and shriveling away and not contributing. Every single movement on the planet is carefully in motion to keep the planet (cell) alive and living. We are Earth's life. And every single thing and being on this planet is part of the mechanism that gives Earth life, everything on Earth combined is a living organism in it's movement and maneuvering. 

With each day this cell (Earth) is gaining intricacy, complexity, intelligence and evolvement. Everything that is happening right now is perfect, perfection and progression of life and the evolution of consciousness. We will eventually turn ourselves into robots. The Earth is striving for perfection, hence Natural Selection. There is an invention, it reaches the masses, the masses find ways to perfect it, the best of their inventions inspired by the original survive and so on and so on. Same goes with our bodies, we're trying to perfect our physical selves with exercise, fashion, make up, plastic surgery, gene interventions, etc. The people that go overboard (extreme body builders, plastic surgery addicts, etc.) get weened out, the people who have balance are risen to higher influence. 

Natural Selection is happening in society: those able to adapt to society experience the most affluence and nourishment and status. Their children grow up more stable, with less mental and emotional problems. The poor and least adapted end up in "tribes", they form their own miniature societies where they are all brought together, where they have their own weening structure and Natural Selection is present on it's own within that structure: the fittest, most intuitive, intelligent, affluent, etc. survive and pro-create. The weaker die out. All creation is birthed from Love. Everything exists because of Love. Love is the Force of Creation. 

Remember your place in everything, follow where ever your inner guide wants to go because it's part of the greater design and will both sustain Earth on it's intended path and guide your soul to evolution as well. Life is a game, each day is it's own game, each week, each month, each year, each lifetime, each soul level, each grand cycle, and then you return to the Tao.



Writings from last spring, a week in solitude. 

April 2, 2014

Writings from a current state of mind:
That wasn't the first time I ended up at the bottom of an ocean of alcohol, drugs, depression and no self-control. I've been acquainted with that bed on the bottom more times than I can count on two hands. It began when I was thirteen, the destruction of my organic form by pure enjoyment. I was a shy and sensitive child, the first time I got drunk, at the Rib Cage in English Bay while passing a bottle of whiskey around a tight held circle, a boy played the guitar, his body reposed, curved with the cage, the words from my throat were set free. It was as easy as a few putrid gulps. That was my portal, my entrance into the circular labyrinth, and I began to walk. As I continued, the sights changed, the view changed, but it was but the same ground, at one end positive, on the other end negative. And I'd walk in circles: An effort to be good, a waning, the vices would take over, blissfully slide into depression, self-sabotage, reach the bottom, release the influences, try to reconnect with self, rise, rise, get too comfortable, slack, reach for the vices, and on and on and on for nine years, nearly a decade. 

Synchronicity is a Safe Zone, have only good intention in the synchronistic flow and you will be safe, happy, healthy, and on your higher path. You have been everyone and everything, this has happened before and it'll keep happening again. Life is a cycle, but you have the choice of experiencing a higher cycle with a clearer understanding of the bigger and bigger and bigger picture. Each state of consciousness you experience a different plane of understand of the same thing. Lower states of consciousness your understanding is narrow and compartmental, zero-ing in on something small and giving it all the meaning. The higher your state of mind, the further and further away your vision and understanding zooms out. 

We're all pieces of a cycle, a cycle that will keep going no matter what we do. It goes up, it comes down, it rises back up, it goes back down. Evil takes over, Good takes over, there's a balance, then Evil takes over, Good takes over, then a balance. Cycles in time, cycles in weather, cycles in civilization, health, life, death, Reptiles takes over the planet, Humans take over the planet, and so on, on a loop. The nature of the cells in your body mirrors the nature of civilization, mirrors the nature of Planet Earth, mirrors the nature of the solar system, mirrors the nature of the galaxy, mirrors the nature of Space, and so on and so on. We are all part of the same rhythm. This cycle is sustaining itself, we are but a small mechanism of it's process.

But what I do believe that we have control over is: we can choose to reach for the positive energy of the spectrum or the negative. We might be meant to, in this moment in time, to be among the negative, but we can fight the natural flow and strive towards the positive. All the powers sustaining the current of the Universe might be doing all they can to knock you back to the negative so you can keep sustaining the cycle, but maybe if you try hard enough, you can break through to the positive and help Good spread a little further. 



Writings from last spring, a week in solitude. 

April 1, 2014

Sun mottled backyard, sitting a top a paint chipped picnic table, rows and rows of young veggies sprouting up in the house garden, a vacant stick and string tied structure awaits tomato vines.  An eagle soaring overhead, a vast blue sky. Three days ago I packed my lap top in my little black suit case, two sweaters, a pair of jeans, a white woolen shawl and bought a one way ticket to the only place I knew I could go to escape from who ever it was that was inhabiting my blood and bones. A self-induced rehabilitation. I can pin point the very hour this version of me awoke, it was four months ago, the middle of autumn, the ending to a month, the approaching of a new moon. 

Two days ago my mother stood in front of me at the coach bus station, wrapping her arms around my weakened shoulders "You've been asking why I've been so sad lately, it's you Vera, I don't recognize you anymore." I held myself together and attempted to breathe some weightlessness into the air, "I'll be fine Mom, I promise." I spent the next three hours in delusion, shaking, examining the cigarette burns on my hands, too empty to read, too disturbed to listen to the music on my phone, how did I get here? 

Four months ago I had ambition, I woke up every morning and jogged, I was being notified that my photographs would be published in several publications, a book even, my vintage shop was getting the attention of several interviewers and collaborators, I had big dreams, a sea of motivation. And then... I sacrificed it all. A bargain with the devil, all self-control in exchange for the immediate satiation of my cravings and desires. Four months ago I had two choices: to attend my second AA meeting or succumb to my darkness. When you're not busy dousing light in the inner nooks and slivers of the all encompassing Mind, there's no resistance, no effort, no worry, no anxiety, not a care in the world. How tempting that was to me, after so many months of strengthening self-discipline. I craved excitement and adventure, and I got it. I craved hallucinogens, empathogens and my long time friends whiskey and indian pale ale, and I got them all, more frequently than I even wanted to. I craved eccentricism, a life on a film reel, beautiful guitar string picking boys, music that rearranged my cells, hand rolled tobacco, magic, divination, an exploration of the spectrum. I wanted to to run away with nothing but a backpack nestled to my back, rubbing long ware marks on the back of my suede vest, a string puppet of thirst, no plans of returning home. I became a slave to my own freedom. Oh the irony. 

I thought I had tapped into the ultimate mode of living, "life doesn't have to be difficult, if I remain in this flow then the Cosmos will bring me everything I could ever desire. As long as I don't worry about a single thing, I can continue along through this magical existence". I began waking up craving a drink, so I drank. I woke up the following morning craving a drink, so I drank. I went to work, during my break I would drink. After work I began to drink. During my days off I drank, painted, smoked, drank, danced, took M, dropped acid. I was living with my best friend, money was coming to me whenever I needed it, spring was approaching, our nomadic summer was all planned out, life was good. Depression began to slyly creep in on my sober mind, easy fix. The Friday before last I blacked out into a telephone pole and broke my nose, got stranded in a neighboring town with no way home. Last Saturday after being dropped off at home after a night at the bars I spent six hours pouring vodka down my throat, alone, I blacked out at 8:30am. I woke up and tears began pouring down my cheeks. Uncontrollable, muscle jolting tears. Who the fuck was I and why was I back here again? 


The Bull of Utu

An uncertainty of distance or time, with every individual we asked giving us a number different from one another we bit down and drove as far north from Tapachula as we could. Mazunte was calling our hearts, and at sundown on the second day after leaving Guatemala we saw the western coast line for the first time in months: minuscule and glazed with shades of cool from atop the highway cliffside bends. Certain that we had several hours to go at midnight we parked on the side of a road and tried to sleep. The buzzing of mosquitoes, May's southern Mexico humidity and five sweating bodies sprawled out in the van, it only took about twenty minutes before a simultaneous halt was put to the torture and a decision was made to drive through the night. 

A confirmation that no one in Mexico quite knows the true road distance between towns we made it to Mazunte by one that same morning. Running straight to the beach, barefoot and clueless of the barricades put up to protect the villagers from the monster waves that a few short days ago crashed into the town, destroying many beachside hostels. We slept on a platform on the sand, rising with the sun. That sight will remain with me always: the ballooning southern sun illuminating the most beautiful beach that I have ever layed eyes on. Sand infused with shades of pale pink and orange, smoothed like a silken sheet. Water like liquid smithsonite, it's roar gargantuan, I could do nothing but surrender. I climbed a jagged rock formation and stood atop it, chanting seed syllables, sending out an offering of sound, tuning to this natural kingdom's salt speckled vortex.