a lifted lid
a trove of treasure beneath me
flashes to carved blue skies
a face pressed into a Cure t-shirt
firmly gripped velvet
colored glass stained lips
the sea and unspoken prose
a cathedral bell score
for our white sheeted heaven
the scent of crushed violets
I taste salt
Traveled/Visited: Tucson to see Ginny, Saguaro National Park, Mazatlan with my family + R, Barcelona with my Devil. (again! *swoon*)
Shows: The Cure, The 1975
Bucket list ✔️: La Sagrada Familia
Music / 2023 Albums/Releases:
Sleep Token – Take Me Back To Eden
Labrinth – Ends and Begins
Full Of Hell/Nothing – When No Birds Sang
blink 182 – One More Time
Truth be told, there is just so much damn music in my life. It is a constant of new, old, every genre in the book. And the best part is R sharing in it with me and in some cases, corrupting me with her taste which is always welcome. She got me on some good shit this year. I made a playlist of some of this year’s bangers and they absolutely do not go together but ask me how much I care. I am all about being broad. You can listen to that nonsense here
Chiffon by Solstice Scents
Caramel Oud and Lemon Tart, both by Theodore Kalotinis
Firecracker Pop by Bath & Bodyworks (cause everyone needs a cheapy body spray)
Qaed Al Fursan by Lattafa
Lord of Misrule by LUSH
Stroopwafel by Scent Trunk
Notable Good Moments:
Road tripping desert adventures with Ginny and seeing the saguaros!
Barbie movie in corpse paint with R
A very overdue visit from Stephen
Taking R to her first Cure show and getting to share it with Brent.
Every. Single. Sinful. Delicious. Thing. About Our trip to Barcelona – I fucking adore Spain.
Hotpot Friendsgiving with the Chicago coven
R turned 17, Lucifer 2, Gomez & Judas 12, me 49. (the last year of my 40’s. whoa)
A nice dent in debt reduction that was a heavy burden
Listening to R singing in the shower, laughing from the confines of her room and taking her shopping to the Affliction warehouse sale – seeing her smile and be excited will always make my day.
The Hard Stuff:
Ending a connection – while for the right reasons, still hurt.
Mom making her transition into another realm and ending her battle with Alzheimers
Witnessing the corpse roadkill on the freeway – that is something I won’t soon forget
Almost losing Gomez and the vet bill damage to save him.
Parting ways with “friendships”. It’s a good thing – but going through it and seeing how little people value loyalty and transparency is disappointing to say the very least.
Arriving to the realization that I have trauma that I need to work through, still. Sure, there has been vast improvement but you don’t realize just how deep things like gaslighting and betrayal permeate and seep into things until someone inadvertently walks into your field of land mines. At the very least there is still so much more awareness and accountability for my part – makes navigation a lot smoother.
2023 was the year of reconnection. While all were short-lived in duration, I got to see so many of my absolute favorite humans who happen to live far. My sisters all at once along with our Dad, some of my besties, most of the Chicago-coven and my British star. The privilege doesn’t escape me, especially in this day and age where safety, time, health, life, finances are tougher to line up for many. I hope it maintains trajectory because I really needed it this year. I went through one of the most painful things someone can endure and then we went straight into the pandemic so I had to sit with a lot of things, on my own in so many ways. And then my mom died. The fact that so many beautiful reunions came to fruition only makes me prioritize those connections even more – especially with those who value me, my time and are filled with ease & wonder. Life is entirely way too short to surround myself with those who don’t provide selfless care, safety and love. And my circle is fucking MEDICINAL. More, please.
As is with many of my new traditions, I drew my one tarot card for the year: Strength. She got chased by The Sun, The Lovers and the VI of wands. All a wonderful indicator of what is to come. I find it rather fitting and no coincidence that R pulled the exact same one on her deck.
2024? Not sure what I want from her just yet – I know I need to elevate my game in many places – especially career-wi$e, my art, my health. But also know that there’s solace in a place where I can find acceptance in being content where I already am. With who I am. With what I do have. Sure, there is always room for change but I treat it as evolution and growth, not this whole “new year new me” nonsense people like to sign up for.
This foundation, at my core is already solid and the experiences I have endured, good and bad, have brought me to this very moment. I like quite a bit of me – I lean into kindness and honesty and it is because of my experiences and hardships, I know when I see good, when to pick out a phony with greater ease and why I love and protect with the viciousness that I do. One thing I do know: It will be a lot less talking and a lot more doing. Showing the fuck up for myself, for my brilliant daughter and those who are worthy of me, my sanctity and grace.
Last year I said “best birthday ever”. Sometimes I have to be careful about the things I say because I just may one-up myself and wouldn’t you know, I sure as fuck did.
One of my besties was kind enough to come stay with R so I could have a handful of days away. When you’re armed with co-conspirators who know how special and deserving this is, paired with the fortune, privilege and sheer will to make something happen, on the morning of my 49th birthday I woke up in a nest of white linen in Barcelona. Wide eyed, fingers in my hair, church bells ringing in the skies.
Truth be told, I could have gone somewhere else but I fell in love with this city so hard and there isn’t enough time to see and do it all – especially when you’re very distracted by such beautiful company. I needed seconds. And thirds.
This time we…
Touched the Mediterranean and collected rocks and sea glass on her shores
Bathed in sunset light and marveled inside La Sagrada Familia. A stained glass and stone masterpiece that photos will never do justice of.
Rode cable cars over the harbor up to a Spanish Castle
Drank sangria and laughed in a bar from 1820 that once housed the likes of Picasso for my birthday
Wandered around a flea market looking for treasures
Shared: delicious food, walks, glances, firsts, words, alleys, art, music, hearts, souls, sin, bubble baths, vulnerable exchanges, wonder and breaths in/on/up against cathedral walls
Laughed, connected, soaked, touched, talked, slept, worshipped, wondered, marveled, imbibed, cried and sighed… with this absolutely magnificent city as our stage.
Such are the moments where the arrivals are brimming with excitement and anticipation. Reunions like no time went by and goodbyes that are a haunting and heartbreaking lullaby. They feel like that moment you put on a song because you already know it is going to reach right into your ribcage and hurt you so good. And then the time to part ways arrives and you feel like a piece of you goes to another part of the world while you take your salt clad lips home. It is all rather poetic in its own, very special way ~ and definitely not for the weak. But I see it this way, I would rather have fleeting moments of exceptional than a lifetime of average. It treats me well. So well I don’t know how to take it in at times and all I can do is brim with tears because I have never felt peace and care like this. Who knew it took a pandemic, hardship and flying half way across the world to collect some of these pieces of myself again. I knew it was going to be good but what I didn’t expect was that this would be even better than before.
And this is what it was… Another monumental set of beautifully effortless memories. Another perfect, Spanish Autumn. A standing ovation.
Spooky season magic
Celebrated my babe’s 17th birthday on Friday the 13th: she got herself a much coveted eyebrow piercing, stek dinner, Deftones tickets and Knotts Scary Farm. I normally don’t go for haunts but that was a lot of fun. We need to do that again and next time when we’re both not nursing stupid coughs. Last night I found myself reading old, now private entries, when she was a wee thing, documenting her milestones and things she and I used to say and do. Man did that kick up some dust and feels. Sometimes it is hard to believe I am a parent to an almost adult now. Shit is wild and an absolute privilege to be a part of.
Way too many medical appointments and body related nonsense to count – for both of us! The medical industry in this country is a fucking joke. I hate the ER with a damn passion that’s for sure and it is absolutely criminal that a 5 hr visit with minimal care merits a $16k bill. Thankfully we are both on the mend and the we have insurance, cause woof.
A solar eclipse in October – I only got to see a portion and I snagged that photo from a livestream cause I don’t own that kind of equipment. The energy that entire weekend was weird as hell. The universe is a wonderful place.
Errand running and a dentist appointment in a nun habit for Halloween. “Of course you did”. It got a lot of love and Sister Garcia from the Order of Perpetual Traviesas is happy to oblige. A nun and Elvis walk into a Target and then she got her teeth cleaned by Pinky the Pac-Man ghost… stop me if you’ve heard this one… fuck, I love halloween.
Counting down the days to impending travel, a beyond overdue and deserved break and birthday celebrations of Devilry. The gift of experiences and memories supersedes anything I could have ever been given and I am grateful I get to do this in his company. Again.
Setting up the first Dia De Muertos ofrenda that included my Mom… that was a hard one but also felt right to see Her there, knowing she’s somewhere better, free of so many things. Even Dad approved which felt nice to hear.
Routine establishment and trying to stick to it. Gotta finish what I start.
The feline terrors turn 12!
Swapping lists of wants, what to see, pack, share and do to one another. Encore.
Waking to poetry I inspired in my messages – I will never tire of being His muse or reason those dimples sink deeper.
Finally got to see the 1975 and it was *everything* I had hoped they would be.
Knowing with certainty that all the time, sacrifice and effort will be so worth it in the end.
Ice cream dates
The unsettling moments of staying in the present when all you want is to know what is next.
When you’re finally shown your instinct was right because holy shit was that a bullet dodged.
Scoring an Art Deco armoire on the curb for free
When you find something with someone who understands and values your attention to detail, conveys it and only wants more.
Couch naps with Judas during sunset.
Pumpkin carving with R to ofrenda glow and Corpse Bride
All the pumpkin chai lattes
Guilty pleasure trash tv shows
The magic of a 3 ingredient meal
Audio recorded whispers that are the gift that keep on giving.
twelve. more. days.
Picking passion fruit in the front yard on a bright & warm day.
An unexpected yet utterly welcome floral delivery.
The symbolism of Autumn’s impending arrival with grocery store pumpkin sightings.
Watching a spider bounce and weave her magic in the golden hour glow.
The rain bringing in a petrichor scented breeze.
Kitchen witchery in the form of pumpkin foam for my coffee and lemon coconut sugar scrub.
The romantic entanglement of a passion fruit vine and a sprig of lavender.
Having my letters/mail referred to as “an experience”.
Training those difficult boundary muscles.
Wet n’ Wild lip liner in shade #666.
Smelling like Lemon Tart and acting like it.
When the things you say+do paint colors on my flesh like an impressionist sunrise.
Walking past a couple of women on an ice cream cone date as one tells the other, “ice cream will always be a good idea”.
Revisiting that one track you had to take a break from because you listened to it into the ground and it being better than ever.
The last, fighting gasp of Summer.
The confidence of a freshly well-executed haircut.
My finding out that “Spain” means “land of rabbits” and the sense it makes.
When the muse knocks on the door.
Eggs paired with Boursin
The bravery of difficult honesty.
Locked pinky finger cab ride daydreams.
Double rainbows on both coasts and on a day a lot of people needed it.
A list inspired by the blue supermoon…
Knowing pieces of me are scattered in so many far away places.
How missing things, places and people can cut… deliciously and beautifully.
When the cruel realization of reality arrives.
When I am doing the work intended for many and I only have two hands.
A different shade of blue when He called me “solace”.
How I am expected to carry my own basket of hurt on the timeline of others.
When disparity and imbalance become commonplace.
Listening to meticulously crafted playlists that you know will sink you and you do it anyway.
How 49 looms but then I think about the where+who I spend it with and it doesn’t sting. (At least not in a bad stinging kinda way)
How people seem to forget I too have wants, needs, feelings, desires and I deserve to have them because I am more than just my roles.
When the moment arrives that you need the equivalent of a forehead kiss or band-aid as to say “everything is going to be ok, I got you” – and it doesn’t happen.
How it’s not so simple to surrender trust because you’ve been so grotesquely wronged.
When you still don’t have the answers as to why it was so easy for them to walk away and knowing you probably never will.
When I catch myself reverting to those old ways of feeling I have to prove I am worth the effort – but I catch it and adjust because I know better.
When water runs dry but the feelings remain.
How gestures of kindness and sincerity feel like a firing squad of flowers.
When the reciprocity palpably wanes.
When everything can bring you to tears (good and bad. water sign. I know.)
There is only one of me…. and not enough time.
(from my journal)
The evening and night skies have been a Pantone book of color as of late due to weather phenomenon and celestial alignments. Every tone of blue, bonfire and smoke. Rarities like us. I feel like a moth with tattered edges circling a blue-eyed votive flame. Nature may be stroking the sky with her best but when words set me ablaze into a shade that rivals hers and the color of my hair like no other? This is ritual in its most alchemically visceral form. There’s beauty in Our dance.
And the burn.
The moment before the sky parts with rain
In the eyes of someone who sees you without being given a map
The sunrise in Bali, sunset on the Pacific… or desert
The arrival section at the airport
Comfortable silence and shared understandings
In unapologetic authenticity
The roar of an airplane going places
When dreams come true
When timing serendipitously aligns
Lips and hands that feel like home
The look in someone’s eyes when they blow out birthday candles
The crispy pages of a new journal
Inside of a kept promise
When you discovered the toy inside the cereal box as a child
Crossing firsts off your list
When a flavor is laced with nostalgia
A wondrous display of nature
Ripping gift wrap apart
Grazes in unconventional and overlooked places
A perfectly made playlist
A vulnerable exchange of trust
Laughter through tears
When you find beauty and peace in a not so nice experience
Our secret language
My daughter’s laughter
When you’re moved by a song in a language you don’t speak
The comfort of that one movie you watch over… and over again
When the air smells of thunderstorm
When you get no red lights AND rockstar parking
A freshly made bed… and then destroying it.
(from my journal)
You are welcome to make me the villain in your story. You’re the clown in mine.
Summer thus far….
Solstice rituals and the return of stunning sunsets
Witnessing a run over body on the freeway with a carload of teenagers. An accident I came very close to being a part of but timing and fate chose otherwise. I still haven’t completely shaken that visual.
Feeling more in touch with my body and self.
boba + movie dates.
Unlocking core memories and putting away old ones.
Monarchs dancing in the yard.
A heightened sense of appreciation and gratitude.
The inevitable write-off and disappointment of the disloyal.
Pulling up to stoplights with the windows down, blasting “it’s raining men” and singing with R at the top of our lungs.
Pressing charges on some grown ass creep for hitting on my kid. Between this and the highway corpse I have met my popo quota for the year. Although getting flirted with by the CHP wasn’t something I expected to have on my bingo card but here we are.
Return to art, journaling, writing, walking, moving.
The thought of the dimples I know my portrait of him brought to his face.
Reconnection, reinvention, acceptance, amplification.
The decline of anxiety that was amplified by the pandemic.
Going to the Barbie movie with R clad in corpse paint and sharing not only that moment and ridiculously fun movie, but a bond about mother/womanhood with her.
“I am the way I am because of her” *wipes tear*
Not sharing everything because some things just have their place and sanctity.
The collective joy and awakening that something so simple as a film about a doll or a Taylor Swift concert has brought people together.
Lemon and smokey pineapple fragrances on my skin.
R is now a Junior in high school. JFC where has the time GONE. What a privilege to be here for all of it.
How utterly unabashed I have become. Is this what happens when you’re cusping the last year of your 40’s? I got no time for nonsense.
The impact of being shown reassurance I didn’t have to ask for. The bar is so unbelievably high.
Halloween goodies in July + August and the restraint to limiting myself with them.
The craving for experiences way more than things.
The conspiracy, plotting and countdown to our communing devilry. Encore.