i just traveled through 15 states in 12 days by way of car. spent most of the time on the east coast.
i am home for two days until i get on a plane to travel to the other coast for another couple of weeks.

but i woke up this morning lonely in my bed.
i just ate a grilled cheese and some tomato soup on my kitchen counter.
comfort food.
thinking about the same things i was thinking about before my trip.
being sad about the same things i was sad about before.
at the same table i sat at before.

i know that traveling doesn't take away problems,
but i'm just wondering...did i do it wrong?


i left without a proper goodbye

mariah is driving as i write this post. it's been a crazy trip so far, but the most meaningful state for me has been virginia. 

for lots of different reasons. 

so while we are still here, i wanted to write this. 

dear virginia,

you've always been a mystery to me.
you still kind of are, 
but i was surprised how well we got along. 
i feel like there's a reason i was born in a hospital within your borders.

i want to say i will see you again soon 
but i sort of feel like if i pen that, i won't, and i'm not sure which i'd prefer at the moment. 

so i won't pen either of them.  
i'll just nod my head at you and try not to wish i were still there (because now that i am finishing this, we are already a state or two or three away, so i am not).

thanks for the two-day adventure.
it was bittersweet, to say the least.


(the picture: my last night in arlington)


50 minute ride

i don't have more than a few minutes, and i wish i had more time to write this post in a way that could clearly reflect the poignant experience it depicts. but i don't. and i'd rather just get it out. 

i awoke at 7am in arlington, virginia this morning.

after getting lost on last night's extended bike riding adventure, mariah and i weren't exactly keen on getting on those bikes any time soon, but this morning i was anxious. restless.

7:30 let me know that i'd fail at sleeping any more, so i got up and knew where i needed to go. it was an idea i'd toyed with last night before drifting to sleep. i thought of driving, but the idea of morning traffic headed into DC made me think twice.

i slipped out alone, later than i'd have liked by this point, the chilly virginia air swimming around my skin. the morning was lovely, the sun calm and the breeze perfect. i liked the feeling of starting out alone, as this east coast trip has been wonderful so far and filled with so many wonderful people and friends, old and new, but i have missed the intentional company of being only with myself.  this would be a lovely outing.

my pace was hurried. i reached up and scratched my forehead, a bit startled to find my eyebrows completely knit in tense thought. clearly my subconscious wouldn't be fooled by the calm of this morning.

i will ride until i find some sort of solace. 

that's what i wrote on my phone when i got to the bike share station. 

i got on a bike and headed out on the trail. 

i started out all hardcore biker. feeling my still-exhausted muscles from yesterday's journey around all the monuments and the bike ride back to my brother's home, it slowed into a more ponderous ride as i put on some music (while google maps still crooned over the top at times). 

the ponderous ride turned a little more therapeutic and the knitted eyebrows, unwelcomed as they were, resumed their position as i allowed some more difficult thoughts to drift into consciousness. riding certainly helped. 

there were some amazing vistas, and i didn't let myself stop to take pictures because nothing could really capture this experience anyway except for experiencing it, partially because of all the sensory input and partially because of everything that was going on in my head and heart. 

i crossed a few bridges and vaguely remembered my brother mentioning that he and his twin brother used to stand on a bridge and watch planes take off. i felt warmer and close to them. being 15 years older than me, we grew up in completely different worlds. i wondered what bridge it was.

eventually, the therapeutic ride turned into lost tourist. a little annoyed at myself, i realized that i hadn't payed attention when my intuition told me to go one way and i thought google told me another way (the same thing happened last night; perhaps i should learn from my mistakes)--but instead of correcting myself as we did last night, i kept going the way i thought the map had told me. i was a few miles in what i guessed might be the wrong direction. 

at this point, i was really low on energy, both emotionally and physically. the banana i'd eaten back in my brother's kitchen had worn off in the first few miles i'm sure, and the gatorade i'd packed became my energy. so, my lost-stops became gatorade-and-look-at-the-pretty-view breaks. though i really wanted to get to my destination. 

eventually i figured it out and continued on. i went slowly but i kept going. SO MANY life metaphors swept in and out of my head; i suppose that's just how my mind works to get me through physically hard challenges. 

anyway. finally i saw the landmarks that assured me i was headed in the right direction. i took a few more breaks and pedaled on. 

i guess i was sort of surprised when i rounded a bend and saw the bike deposit spot, with my destination just beyond that--and it just sort of happened upon me. i hadn't realized it but i had sort of resigned myself that i'd never really get there, but i was just going to obediently follow directions. right, left, go over this bridge and take the left fork...but here it was. i deposited my bike and dismounted. 

i walked up to the monument. i was glad, relieved even -- that even though i'd gotten here later than planned, i was alone. this was the whole reason i'd even wanted to go. i walked up the white steps and through the great white marble pillars, and mister jefferson greeted me. 

just like he did yesterday, when other people were buzzing around him. 

i stood right in front of him. i wondered what he'd have said to me.
i could use some good advice right now. 
then i sat, and i thought. 
then i read, and then i wrote, 
and then i read and thought some more. 

now, the rest of the experience is for me. but the journey there, i guess, was for me to tell you. maybe because i'm out of time, maybe because i got stuck up there in the details, maybe because it's meant to be that way. 

but either way it was lovely to find a place this morning and make it sacred. even though it was hard.

and i have to just kind of laugh at myself when i think of the journey it took to get there: hardcore and determined -- emotional and pensive -- wandering and lost -- exhausted and desperate -- surprised and quiet. i kind of just think that's the general repeating pattern of my life.


sometimes i leave the state to wander

smart: doing laundry before a trip.
not so smart: doing laundry that can't be dried in the dryer the day you board the airplane.

smart: blocking social media sites on your computer to prevent yourself from getting distracted.
TOO smart: picking up your phone and logging onto said social media sites to distract yourself from using your computer in productive ways.

smart: getting glasses before the trip so you don't have to wear contacts while you drive home across the country
not smart: not getting them in time for the "drive across the country" part

smart: finding an online glasses company who will ship glasses to your brother whom you will visit on the trip
not smart: losing the glasses you already own (which go over your contacts to assist you with things like, oh, driving across the country....) the DAY YOU BOARD THE PLANE

smart: transferring money from your savings to checking account in preparation to travel
not smart: forgetting your debit card at home and realizing it on the way to the airport

smart: getting to the airport early
too smart: early enough to find out that your 11:25pm flight has been delayed til 1am. 
also smart: calling back your ride and going to iceberg drive in and eating a lot of food to lull you into a food coma to sleep the plane (at least that's the hope).

...this was also smart because there was literally NO line at security. and it was actually a pretty fun experience. 

so it begins....




i walked out this evening to find this waiting for me.

it was beautiful and i stood there, on my front porch, and against my will i watched it fade. 

but then it didn't fade fast enough

so i took a picture 
and hurried along my way.




i don't want to sleep.
i desperately need to.
i'm exhausted.

in so many ways that i can't even process it all.

but things are so close to the surface.
and sleep is like a division.
it closes one day and starts a new one.
the next day will come but it's like sleep is consciously accepting that, you know?

and tonight came so fast.

i've been alone with my art for so long.
so, so long.
just hours in my basement, painting.
thinking. feeling. crying, sometimes, honestly. praying.
it's been pretty soul-wrenching at times.
goodness, i know i'm tired because my emotional guard is down for me to actually type this. and pause and blink and not delete it and barrel on like a train through some dark tunnel.
but this has been the most honest, heartfelt show i have put on since my bfa show.

it was all i had.
i unabashedly loved every piece i made.
i am proud of what i put on display.

and then i showed it...
and three hours later opening night was done.

it just felt so short.
i mean the art is up until the 27th,
but i'm leaving town soon and so i won't even see it very much.

it was a relief tonight to find out that my work wasn't just selfish.
i had a few conversations where i learned more about some of my pieces
(i really like learning about my work from the insights of others).

it was nice to be surrounded with some people whom i really care about and love.
i was surprised to see some people whom i hadn't seen for quite some time.
it was lovely to be helped by a few angels whom i wasn't expecting
and by some i was.

i also missed some people.
i wanted some to be there that weren't.
i don't know why some didn't show
and i knew why others couldn't.

but it's done.
and now i'm sitting in the same place i have sat so many times in the past few weeks,
but it seems so cold.

i realize it's because my paintings are gone.
it feels sort of drafty.
which is weird because it's the exact same room
as it was before i started painting.

but after you create something and then take it away,
something in the atmostphere shifts
and you can't quite put your finger on it.

also, my van might have died tonight.
wouldn't even start after we tried to jump it.
so i'm sort of feeling the juxtaposition of a quick and mighty triumph
with the pang of an odd sort of loss.
with more subtle undertones wafting the scent of other losses.

so yeah.
weird feelings.
not sure what to think of things.
feeling lots of stuff.
they don't mix well with sleep.

my soul feels like it should feel sort of patched up
because i just processed a hecka lotta stuff with art,
but instead it feels sorta patchy.

new music time.


warm fuzzies: the recent evolution

sparkplug has recently become more like a quiet neighborhood stroll that i take every once in a while, rather than the daily commute of thoughts rushing back and forth.

recently (thankfully) i've started writing again a lot, but just in other places. i write here at sparkplug (or more fondly, warm fuzzies), and in my journal on my phone, and in my little notebook i carry around, and in my notepad on my phone. i also write in my paintings and i paint in my writings, and i write in the form of pictures, too. yeah, you read that right. riddle me that, batman.

that being said, have you been over to my art blog lately? there have been some crazy things happening.

well, not crazy, but there have been like 2 or 3 recent posts.

and even more crazy has been my facebook page. that's where i've been slammin' down art like nobody's business.

although i've missed writing this blog. i've missed the familiarity of writing posts. for some reason, it really lets me just be me in a way that conversation can't, and neither can visual art or any other medium. i'm regaining this slowly but surely and i'm looking forward to it.

it desperately needs a facelift to really be my blog again. but that'll have to wait a while. for now, i need a place for my words and sparkplug is one of my most comfortable places.

but i won't promise "more" or "less" for sparkplug because i just don't know as far as quantity goes. or content for that matter. i don't know if it's gonna be pensive like it has been the last few posts or if it'll be sort of jaunty like this one. but i can bet that it will continue to be what i need it to be, and i'd love for you to continue to accompany me on that journey.


also. you can't really tell that i was soaked and it was crazy windy and how conversationally stormy it was so i hesitate to even post this (perhaps this is a good reason of why i need all the arts), so that's why i only allowed this one image, but this is the only documentation i allowed myself from that one time i chased the rain.