GOODBYE




Grandfather passed away last night. The news came as I was cleaning out my closet. When I heard about what happened it knocked the wind out of me; I went into shock and hung up the phone without saying anything. I sat on my bed and stared at my reflection in the mirror, feeling alarms going off. I felt overwhelmed by feelings of grief at a time when all there is available is to suffer in silence. Alone.

I feel so much gratitude to him for raising me and mentoring me in various aspects of my life. His life story was one of overcoming limitations and finding great success. He traveled to every country and saw the world, then came back with trophy souvenirs to remember his travels by. He did everything he ever wanted to do and he started a very close-knit family. We have done everything together. He went to all my graduations. He infected me with my love for tactile paper and the postal service. He taught me discipline and seriousness, but above all he taught me diligence and honesty.



One day when I was a kid he drove me to the post office and taught me the very comical "proper way" to mail out letters. He instructed me to tell the mailbox where my letter was going, and to say goodbye to the letter as you pushed it into the slot of the mailbox. The letter made a soft klunk as it hit the floor of the mailbox. I still remember the intensity of the sun as it hit that parking lot and the way my young face was reflected on the window as I peered out from my seat. I had light brown hair and my eyes were two large, deep pools of antimatter. My hair was swept back into a ponytail that got messy from my running around the house. I had loose streaks of wavy hair framing my face. The memory is so distant now that I rememember it as if I was looking at a Kodak photo. The edges of the photo have started to weather and yellow with time. It feels as if you're looking through a time machine at a very different set of hues from the vivid colors you can see around you now.  Memory fades as it ages.

I remember when he taught me how to cook, how affectionately he explained step by step of his process. He was so proud of how methodical he was, and the precision with which he carried out his organization was militant. As militant as I am. His office was spotless, and his pens were all borrowed at some point when I was going to school. I used so many of his sticky notes.

I remember long afternoons at his house, watching Tom and Jerry on the television and eating hearty home cooked meals that were prepared with lots of love. I had a quiet retreat with a ton of room to run and grow in, undisturbed by anybody as long as I was around them. Both of my grandparents sought to shelter me from the world and raised me with more love than I've ever known from any other person. They fed my love for dinosaurs, coloring books, space, science, aliens, Disney, Japan, pets, birds, doing the right thing, and cooking/eating. I didn't know anything other than how to enjoy life and how to eat myself into a coma in my time at their house.



As relieved as I am that he is no longer in pain from the Hellish holidays we just endured together, I feel the hole his departure has left. I feel more alone, one step closer to a future where I have no one who remembers my story or saw it happen.

I have to sit through an entire day of travel to go home and I am dreading it. Having someone around forever makes you feel they'll never be absent. He knew me my entire life. I only saw one third of his.

I am writing this entry today to commemorate our relationship. My heart is broken. He was unconscious the last time I said goodbye to him in person. I wonder if he remembered I visited the hospital at all.

I'll never forget his jovial humor. He made jokes most of the day and he knew how to enjoy life to the fullest. I'll never forget the lessons he taught me and the stories he shared with me. I was so lucky to have met him and to have grown up in his care.



Then the day that it happened I recorded this last bit, "I look forward to having lunch with you again."

CHLORINE




The new Twenty One Pilots video for Chlorine came out on January 22nd, 2019. Chlorine is from the Trench album, a deeply emotional sonic journey that dropped on October 5, 2918.

In the video, Tyler Joseph and Joshua Dun are filling a pool up with water to encourage Ned the jackalope to come out of hiding. It becomes apparent that Ned isn’t very enthusiastic about he conditions they expect him to come thrive in, and because of that he refuses to stay out and interact with him. He doesn’t want to enjoy himself, he just seems reclusive. Despite their efforts filling the pool up with water and chlorine, Ned just doesn’t want to cooperate. 

Even when the pool is nearly filled, Ned still doesn’t want to come out. They dump the chlorine into the pool and make it warm, possibly exhausting themselves in the process. Ned finally comes out and dives in, enjoying himself as his horns grow. He swims around a while. It's nice to see him refreshed and exercising.

At the end of it all the pool has been emptied again and Joseph Tyler is sitting at the bottom, visibly exhausted. To me, it even looks like he's possibly depressed. Ned apathetically walks up to him and gets offered to drink from his cup, but he doesn’t seem to like it and he is ungrateful for Joseph Tyler’s efforts to make him happy. They seem estranged from one another, like there is a ton of work invested in keeping them connected. His horns are once more back to a smaller size, he has gone back into himself.

The first time I saw this video I was confused. 

Joseph doesn’t drink from the cup once, and instead offers it to Ned who doesn’t seem too enthusiastic to drink from it either even after all that work to coax him out of hiding.



Twenty One Pilots
share a message I can get behind. They talk at length about struggling with depression, struggling not to go with the call to kill yourself. It takes a lot to keep working on getting out of the dark mindset, just as Dema keeps people trapped. I love songs like Car Radio and Ode To Sleep. They illustrate the weight of the shadows that persistently haunt us. More recently, Legend has been very relevant to me personally.

As a struggling artist I relate to this song and video on a personal level. While I feel the compulsive need to create, achieving it takes a lot of work and often exhausts me. I stress a lot about how I don’t do it enough despite wanting to. I stress about meeting my responsibilities and getting everything done. When I finally have some time to myself I have no energy left to funnel towards my creativity. I’m spent. The rest of the night is spent feeling guilty, and feeling like a failure.

I know I’m not alone and I know many other creatives struggle with a persistent block. On the days we do endorse our skills we feel better, and that’s enough to keep us going.

It’s even harder though when your passion becomes your responsibility. When you’re facing the big challenge of having to overcome yourself. It hinders your ability to be free because of the pressure of what you need to do still. It lends itself to a ton of stress, and to burnout.



Anyway, it's important to address mental health. It is even more important to look after yours. If you feel you are dealing with burnout, please remember to be kind to yourself. Give yourself some time to decompress. Show yourself some compassion; it's necessary.

I feel like this blog has been a great outlet for me in my own time of need. It has encouraged people to reach out to me privately with their own stories. Writing about how you feel really helps digesting the reality and reaching your own personal truths. Keep a journal, reach out to your loved ones and try to remember in the scope of everything what matters the most is finding your happiness.

Check out the video!
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CLOAK & DAGGER 01/08/2019



Last Tuesday I took my boyfriend to my favorite club and introduced him to all my Nightside friends. He even got to meet my dear friend Father Sebastiaan. I was overcome with an ecstatic sense of euphoria the entire night, hugging everybody for the first time in the new calendar year and feeling proud of the company on my arm. Its these moments I live for, and I want to commemorate the love of the night posting our photobooth portraits.

We had an amazing time. I'm so happy I can share the magic of my Cloak & Dagger community with somebody outside of it. I'm also very happy we have a safe space to express ourselves and to explore the highlights that can be found hiding in very dimly candlelit tables in the darkness.

I felt really lucky to enjoy the company of my beloved in my most favorite club. Holding his hand in the darkness validated many of the struggles we've overcome, just to earn us a moment for us like this one. He makes my heart sing so loud.



Really enjoying the momentum we got into at the start of 2019. I wish for us all to be successful in progressing towards the kind of people we want to end up turning into. On my end I'm trying to prioritize what really matters in hobbies, priorities and especially connections to other people.

The Serious Relationship Relationship Club.
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EPIC TAROT



Today I am going to review Riccardo Minetti and Paolo Martinello's Epic Tarot by Lo Scarabeo.

This is a strong fantasy deck that includes mythical creatures and imaginative worlds to explore or interact with. Some of the sights are imbued with fantastical imagination and will inspire you to look past traditional systems of reading the tarot cards. Fantasy lends itself to narrative almost seamlessly. I love the fact you have a range of small creatures going all the way to colossal golems. I like how interactions between all the sentient beings in the cards can correlate with our own personal paths and struggles.

I am a huge endorser of feeding the imagination and keeping a logical foundation throughout. It is through dreaming that we allow ourselves to formulate plans that are uplifting and keep us purposeful. Being lit with inspiration will keep us working harder towards achieving what we hope will one day come to pass.

The colors are mostly shady, with some pastel contrasts to build dreamy layers in the illustrations. This deck is best approached with an imaginative, open mind and a warm heart.

The illustration quality is really nice. Despite the mood of the illustrations being different, this deck definitely reminds me a lot of the Universal Fantasy Tarot, which I loved since I first laid eyes on it. 

The Epic Tarot comes in a standard Lo Scarabeo box, and the card format is very comfortable to use since the cards and card stock are thin. I find this deck format very easy to shuffle and fan out. The cards have fully reversible backs and attractive framing borders, which change color according to the suit. There are no titles to identify the cards, just number and suits or illustrated courts.






I need to note in this review that the court cards are very confusing to read. Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings have been changed to Unicorns, Griffins, Phoenixes and Dragons. I can’t tell which is which intuitively and need to check the booklet to figure out what they are. I can especially not tell what is a Griffin or Dragon. If you have a white gel pen or light metallic marker you can write on them. I, myself plan to write down what is what in a post-it to keep close when doing my readings. I like the way these cards look and don’t intend to write on them. Because of this change in the court cards I wouldn’t recommend this deck for beginners. If you want to learn the tarot tradition you can still pick from a variety of other beautiful decks. But I think everybody is entitled to start their tarot journey as they see fit, though. So if this is the deck for you, full speed ahead! You’ll figure out what the courts are meant to represent eventually.



I have been using this deck for a few months now and I find it very easy to get adjusted to. You will appreciate the change in scenery and characters because it will allow you to take what is in front of you and weave the story according to the nuances of your situation. For this reason I’d recommend this deck for artists and writers especially. Keep the craft alive!

If the upcoming interview is any proof, this deck is still able to deliver sound advice that feels custom tailored to your situation. All you will need is the time to decode the message, and to keep things moving in forward motion.





What is your most important characteristic?
The Empress. Holding space for yourself and others can become a responsibility you take on lovingly. I intuit this means the advice you derive from readings will sound like advice you get from a knowledgeable parent that has shared the same experience. This means that when you tune into the mindset of looking into your life, you should have patience with yourself and be accepting of the circumstances. Know that you hold your own space and can make just about any experience manageable so long as you still have some influence over it.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Emperor. Persuasive strength that comes lacking in intimidation. You can be sure answers will be direct. It feels like the answers will seem apparent at first glance once you’ve gotten settled in and adjusted to reading with this deck.

What are your limits?
Nine of Swords. If you are anxious or outside yourself, your focus on deriving intuitive messages will dwindle. It is possible your anxiety towards needing to know will stress you out. Because of this I’d advise taking a few deep breaths, getting grounded back in your space and emotionally detaching from anything you are about to look into so you can be fair. Avoid getting overwhelmed by pacing yourself.



What are you here to teach me?
Four of Cups. If you are getting discouraged by circumstances you are in you didn’t see coming, don’t pressure yourself further. Instead of being bitter, huffing and puffing, try instead to give yourself time with your mind off the issue. Distract yourself, rest, do something that matters to you. The time will come when it is important that you do something again. Until then, take it easy.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Judgment. Learn to answer calls for action. Be prepared before it is time to act. You can achieve this by planning. You can achieve this as you develop foresight. If it is not something you were born with then trust it’s just a matter of time until things start making more sense. The difference is knowing when you are called to act, and learning to identify when to hold back and be patient still.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Six of Swords. Taking a risk can feel like throwing it all to the wind. You don’t get lost if you know where you want to go, because you set the intention. If you are uncertain about your future, you can use this deck to figure out where you’ll be going next. If you trust intuition you should find the path becomes clear the further into it you venture.



Which card do you want to show off?
Five of Swords. Often the most difficult times in our lives are the ones that encourage us to push forward. Being faced with the most dire of circumstances can force us to reinvent ourselves and to find a way. All we need to do is believe in ourselves. This is really eerily optimistic for this kind of card. Even when faced with tasks that overwhelm us, we can use the power of thought to create new solutions.

How do you see me?
The Lovers. Immersed in an intimate bonding experience. It takes being open and vulnerable to consecrate the art of connecting to others. I curate that experience, and live it in example.

How do you see yourself?
Three of Coins. A deck that will work with you, for you through the toughest circumstances. There will be as many options present as you allow yourself to see.



Visit Numerology Sign for really great tarot card meanings!

I really like this deck and feel it is often overlooked. I've had mind to rotate it into my work table to use with others, but haven't done so because some treats you just want to reserve for yourself. I get so much enjoyment out of using it that I don't want to exploit its magic treating it like a workhorse.

It is worth checking out! Let me know what you think of it if you've interacted with it.
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PROMISE RINGS


After careful consideration and acknowledgement of how I felt I decided to give my lover a promise ring, to repeat the decision we took to commit to one another one year ago. This blossoming relationship has brought us both intimate moments of joy and childlike enthusiasm for adventure. At the close of the year I summed up the highlights to our year and found we had done a ton and taken an overwhelming amount of photos, despite many instances going undocumented. Those tender moments live on in memory only.

It is with great joy that I am writing today to document something very special happening. I don’t get the privilege of participating in life-altering rituals every day. This instance was a real treat for me, as I’ve never been graced with the honor of asking somebody to formally commit to me.

As our relationship matures we have noticed the nuanced changes in our own personalities. Each one of us has been influenced slightly and started to change according to the union. It fills you with love when you grow together.



Ever since I slipped that ring on Chris’ finger I feel proud about it. I want to shout it from the rooftops. It’s a good feeling to have more than enough, and to be steadily crafting the sacred space of home in the heart of the person you love.

We should all hope to be so lucky as to find somebody who accepts us with all our flaws and sticks by our side with reaffirming faith in that things will work out for the best.



Rachel Nash, the creatrix who crafted these rings is a true artisan. I went crazy for her designs as soon as I saw them. She patiently ushered me through the process and had many ideas to accommodate my custom requests. Please endorse her skills!

"Let’s cherish our lives together and take nothing for granted."


Rings by Rachel Nash of Upscale Hare.
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