2020; Arête (ἀρετή); Shams Tabrizi

I certainly went into 2019 like a lion, in an attempt to make the most of another year, but the Universe had another path for me; a much more painful and rewarding path, but I will obviously shy away from getting too personal, as this is no longer a platform for that.

I will say that between my creative work dropping off over the summer, leaving me feeling like I was accomplishing nothing at the best time in our weather to do so, and my own personal journey, by Autumn the lion was a shivering lamb, and by Winter was a caterpillar incased in its chrysalis, wondering what the fuck was going on and having little hope. I realize I severely mixed up the metaphors there. Deal with it.

There were obviously some beautiful moments in there, and I am eternally grateful for the individuals I met from around the world, and the stories that I was given to finally expand my website and vision, but I focused a little too much on the empty moments in between. I needed to let go of that madness; and I needed to do it the hard way: suffering every little pain and wallowing in it a little; alottle.

This year we celebrated Yule, which was much welcomed. The last day of Yule is New Year's Eve, so we planned a little escape out to our spot in JT to burn some hinderances, set intentions, and bury something very significant that we've been holding on to for five years. We maliciously didn't plan anything creative to focus more on us just connecting with this beautiful family we've been given. That night we headed out to our spot to burn hinderances, only to find the road closed, likely due to damage from the recent storm.

Luckily, my tiny car easily fit around the blockade, and we did a passive little version of trespassing (the road wasn't that bad). Sorry, Joshua Tree. We honestly feel a little entitled to our secret little spot. On the first we did the same thing, heading around hoards of tourists, to bury (respectfully) our something significant, and set intentions. We were grateful that the road was closed, because we had our spot to ourselves, and were able to do what we needed to do without interruption. Now I have this strange joy; a freedom; like I am finally emerging from the cocoon, and everything is beautiful again... and I have wings... and I need to fucking fly. I already have a significant model booked for next weekend, and I am anxious and excited. I genuinely feel like my life is finally starting, but I also appreciate that most people feel like this at this time of year, so I am also incredibly grounded and just flowing with life. I'm not going to say this is the year, like everyone else, but I have been looking forward to 2020 for a while. It is leap year, so my birthday is on the new moon first day of summer, and I'm a cancer instead of a gemini. Things already feel so much different, and then Rumi gave me something this morning...

Love comes with a knife, not some shy question, and not with fears for its reputation! I say

these things disinterestedly. Accept them in kind. Love is a madman, working his wild schemes,

Tearing off his clothes, running through the mountains, drinking poison, and now quietly

choosing annihilation. A tiny spider tries to wrap an enormous wasp. Think of the spiderweb

woven across the cave where Muhammad slept! There are love stories, and there is obliteration

into love. You've been walking the ocean's edge, holding up your robes to keep them dry. You

must dive naked under and deeper under, a thousand times deeper! Love flows down. The ground

submits to the sky and suffers what comes. Tell me, is the earth worse for giving in like that?

Don't put blankets over the drum! Open completely. Let your spirit ear listen to the green dome's

passionate murmur. Let the cords of your robe be untied. Shiver in this new love beyond all

above and below. The sun rises, but which way does night go? I have no more words. Let the

Soul speak with the silent articulation of a face.

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