It’s nearly October and this is my first Honey and Smoke post of the year. I haven’t stopped writing, and have filled journal upon journal of my experiences, but now, mid-september, is the first time I’ve really had a moment to breath and focus on translating my experiences, thoughts, ideas, and concerns for a larger audience, which is to say, now is the first time I’ve had space to make art.
I’m in Paris.
A place I’ve dreamt of visiting for perhaps my entire life, which is entirely surreal. It is both a dream and entirely different than I could’ve expected. The past year has been a lot of growing pains, and it seems like they’ve reached their climax within the past month, so I know that being here on the move once again is exactly what my body and spirit need.
First, let me catch you up. I began to write this post in June, while I was still working as an Assistant in Puerto Rico. The original post is attached below the image, which I took in February, just before my birthday.
In February I got braids from an Auntie in Harlem, but my hair was too short and they quickly began to fall out. I was facing an incredibly difficult decision. I was depressed in New York, and thinking of moving back home and finding a new job. And my hair was falling out. My life felt like it was literally falling apart. In many ways, it was. What I didn’t realize then was that it needed to fall apart in order to come back together in a way that felt more authentic to me. This year has been that a million times over.
So, as I travel through Europe for the next month or two (one way ticket to keep things interesting as always), doing research for a new script, I will be asking myself those difficult questions.
A photographer friend of mine asked me the other day if I could describe in one word the significance of “Honey & Smoke”? I had this conversation with a friend the other day, and I wish to share with you more than ever the reasons why I continue to do this. To travel, to take photos, to write stories, to make art. I hope that you will join me on this journey, that you will offer your thoughts and well wishes, your challenges and criticisms. I hope that this can be a conversation. The world is in need of deep, deep healing. And I know that there are connections between all our differences, struggles and traumas. I aim to find and focus on those intersections, rather than the borders that we tend to focus on.
It's hard to believe we're halfway through 2018, and I haven't yet posted once here. I guess it goes to show how much of a whirl wind 2018 has been so far. I've been in Los Angeles, New York City, Tokyo, and San Juan. I haven't had much of a moment to pause--and when I am, I'm spending time with my family, practicing yoga, and catching up on sleep.
But I care to share with you all (whomever you are) some of the gems that I've come across. I'll start with this one:
It is a strange phenomenon that as a young adult I developed an airplane anxiety. I've been on plane since I was 3 months old, and always enjoyed the disconnected time to just write, and think. As a child I would collage using the Airplane magazines, now I tend to catch up on movies and journal. So it was strange when I few years ago I began to notice my breath catching each time I experienced some turbulence, as if suddenly I felt like I was destined to fall. But I never let myself stop flying. Instead, I grew more deeply into my spirituality, and confronted those irrational fears.
This year, I flew to NY in January, that's 6 hours. I flew back to LA in March, another 6 hours.
In April, I flew to San Juan, 11 hours with a layover, and at the end of the month flew back, another 10.
In May, I flew to Tokyo, 12 hours straight, then flew back another 11. A day later I flew LA to San Juan, 9 hours.
I guess you could say that the frequency of the travel forced me to just get over it. And I am grateful for that, because I am partly made of air and believe deeply that I am destined to be always in flight.
On the job here in Puerto Rico I am Assisting a director whom I greatly admire on her next feature. One day on the job I find myself admiring a pelican as it moves with the wind, then plunges head first into the Ocean to catch a fish. I want to be like that. Breathable, flexible, but also focussed. There are a million ways to do anything, and I want to choose the route that is most suited for me. And that seems to be one of a bird.