I wrote this entry a week ago but didn’t publish it:
It is Sunday morning. I woke up rather early despite going to bed late last night. Footsteps pulled me out of sleep around 7:30 am. I stayed up to work on Vin’s bike, went to bed tired and woke up tired. For a while there, before reaching for my laptop, I got to enjoy a window of near complete silence. I find the beginning of the day to be so delightful. Especially in this part of town. It is a markedly peaceful neighborhood from what I’ve experienced so far. The front door was open for a short while and I was sitting on a chair across from it. I could hear the dogs going about their investigative duties and sniffing things outside. If I paid close attention, I could also hear the whispers of the street, the vehicles jetting off in the distance, the wind breezing through the trees, the birds chirping, the insects buzzing and so on. Thankfully, it was early enough that there were not many neighborhood pups passing by our corner that would happen to catch Maya and Rio’s scents through the bushes. Forget about silence if and when that happens as you can reasonably expect them to engage in a high decibel doggy conversation comprised of crying, barking and howling in equal measures. When they spot another dog, it’s only a matter of who would be first to freak out and how loud will it get when expressing it - if you know what I mean. Rising right before the action offers a magical experience with a pace which seems more suited for me these days. I can’t really decide which one I prefer; the calm before the storm of early mornings or the cold silent of the night. I find it hard to maintain relationships with people these days. It seems I’ve retracted back to my cocoon and don’t want to be bothered. I am so at peace within the confines of my soul that it is where I go for comfort. I delight in my own company and get lost in my own thoughts. I find that I can never have enough time with myself. If I don’t get enough of it, I head for either physical or mental collapse - if not both. I’m more and more cautious of people and what they say to me. Especially when favors are being asked. I don’t know yet for certain but I think it is a good thing because I do them and have grown tired of fixing and rescuing. I’ve learned my lessons - I think? The problem, of course, isn’t with doing them but with doing them for the right people.
Yo… This timing couldn’t be more perfectly synched up. By the time I had finished writing these words Maya barked furiously at someone outside and it snapped me right out of my elusive bubble of peace and quiet. Her bark is intimidating. She means business, you see… I feel for the neighbors though. Despite living in a pet friendly neighborhood, I ought to keep that in check. I can count on Maya to pick up on anything unusual; she’s on it! Always on high alert. Rio has assumed his role of watchman, posted by the bay window which stands above street level. From there, he’s got a pretty good view of what’s taking place on both ends of the street and little dude is quite the observer. He watches attentively and for extended periods of time. I haven’t encountered many dogs who hold eye contact the way Rio does. He’s a fascinatingly spirited young fella with a boldness and naïveté that will melt anyone’s heart - if they have one. He embodies Pages energy (tarot reference), especially the Page of Wands. Maya is slowly drifting back towards dreamland, perched atop the throw pillows, where one has a near complete circular vantage point of the entire living space. She’s the queen of her castle. She’s incredibly intuitive and nurturing. She exudes High Priestess and Empress energies. These two have very different personalities and end up balancing each other astoundingly well. They are two sides of the same coin and couldn’t be separated. These dogs are vocal, clever, loyal and insanely loving. Frankly, to me they display a greater level of awareness than some humans I know. They’re too smart for their own goods and too cute for words. I say this a lot but that’s because I mean it; they take care of me as much as I take care of them, if not more. I couldn’t imagine going through life without them, especially life as it is right now. Thank goodness Rio has halted is attempts at exploring the area on his own accord. He could care less about being reprimanded, it was always worth it to risk it all and vagabond around the block until myself, V. , my neighbors or some stranger intercepted him. Hopefully this doesn’t jinx it but they’ve been awesome lately - still the coolest dogs I’ve ever met. They’ve enjoyed tasty rewards for their top tier behavior and have been keeping each other in shape. Rio is becoming more and more grounded as he ages. He’s a wild card when he plays but when he chills, he chills hard. Maya is an old soul who can turn it on and off. When she lets loose she detonates but, generally speaking, she is a mellow lap dog who lives for cuddles and adores laying in the sun. Talk about a soft life… She might have invented it.
You know that feeling of having your stomach tear up as you say goodbye to someone you deeply care for, with the acceptance that it may very well turn out to be the last time you ever get the opportunity to interact in person? Yeah, that feeling… Saying goodbye without knowing when and if our paths will cross again. Life is so precious and unpredictable. We are suspended in transient states, moods, dispositions and circumstances for as long as we breathe - AKA everything is temporary and that’s the only constance. As you may be familiar with, attachment is another word for spiritual bondage or enslavement - if you will, in the spiritual community. As far as I’m concerned, I feel as though the minute I consciously vowed to practice and master detachment, the universe immediately responded by lining things up in a way that has put a number of people on my path only for relatively short periods of time. I speak of people that I would come to think of as having made a difference in my life, for relatively brief periods of time. It’s good training though. It builds up spiritual stamina. If the relationship enhances your life, you’ve got to show appreciation for it while you have it, knowing that things could shift at any moment. If the relationship feels like a burden, it’s best to detach from it and let go of the need to manifest a different context or outcome unless efforts are invested on both sides to make that happen. Either way, these brief encounters all have their purpose. You’ve got to honor it, “take the best and leave the rest” is what they say - I couldn’t agree more. It was fantastic while it lasted.
V. left town this morning for Burning man and will not be coming back. Sharing space with him has been wonderful. He’ll always have a home in my dwelling place, whether in Los Angeles or abroad. I had to stay up late last night to pimp his bike because, the way my ADHD is set up, I evidently procrastinated until the very last minute, handling other things and working on my customization project “in my head” as opposed to doing it irl. At the end of the day, as in the natural world, things may take time but all is accomplished. Plus in scenarios when time is running out, the added pressure tends to give an edge to whatever it is I’m working on while simultaneously consuming me with some level of anxiety. It compels me to think quickly, lean on my resourcefulness, in addition to relying on instinct and extreme focus to guide me fast enough trough the creative process. The bike turned out pretty dope. Lots of pink, but that’s about all I had on hand. Someone I used to know kindly gave me a couple of canned spray paint to experiment with back when I was struggling with immense grief and I’m so grateful that he did. I doubt any of this would have come to pass otherwise as it was all very last minute. I had a peach color x1 and some bubblegum pink x2. The shades were reminiscent of the creamsicle background characterizing my portraits. I didn’t have enough of it so rather than spraying the whole thing I ended up using paint tape, tarp, and makeshifts tools to add geometric shapes and symbols all over my canvas on wheels. The radiant soul who gifted me the paint pushed me to grab more of them. Upon realizing that the can of peach was nearly empty when I started using it, I thought to myself: “dang, I wish I had grabbed one extra color.” A pastel shade of icy blue, perhaps. The fact that I had mostly pink to work with forced me to take a route I wouldn’t have been on if I had the time and resources required to execute things my way. In hindsight, it worked itself out just fine. The spray paint had a priming effect for acrylic paint to adhere to it. I added details by hands and stuck to a palette of 6 shades. I didn’t waste an awful lot of time trying to draw every line perfectly as if AI did the work. It used to trigger major anxiety for me but I find that the more I practice divorcing myself from expectations, focusing instead on the benefit and purpose of my doing, magical things start to happen and all seem to fall into place organically. Performing an act of creation is in itself the art. What I make doesn’t always matter. At times, what drives me to make it is what captivates me the most. It’s a proper balance between planning on how best to approach the task at hand and winging it. To be skillful at free styling / improvisation comes with preparation and I’m working to build that muscle so that I am pre-wired to create in any given environment. V. was digging the end result. So did I. Plus he braided his locs with multicolor ribbons and synthetic hair strands therefore I believe he makes an ideal candidate for riding this bike around the whimsical town of Burning Man! As long as he’s happy with it, I’m happy as well. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being his sounding board for the past couple of weeks as he planned his expedition to the great north. He’s kissing goodbye to the United States with a loud bang, pulling up to Black Rock city on his way to his final destination.
V. is headed back to Canada where the immigration apparatus is largely more welcoming of foreigners and drastically simplified. He first attempted to extend his stay here in Southern California but the Universe laid things out differently for him. With time, it made sense to move on to a new chapter as opposed to resisting change. V. lived in Canada prior to settling in the US during the pandemic. He previously had the chance to develop a very strong connection with the country and its people therefore it wasn’t at all an unpleasant alternative to fall back on. As we moved from week to week and options took on a different face, he gracefully embraced the opportunity to make Canada is forever home and began reframing his mind to seek out paths that would allow him to pivot as best as he could while his life took on a new trajectory. Forever may not be the correct term here; V. is always on the move or preparing for one. From what I’ve heard lately though, he’s starting to feel the urge to settle down for a while and his old country of adoption appears to be a place where he could see himself long term. Here goes a taoist saying I incessantly go back to for it applies, as he started walking on the path, the path revealed itself. I admire calculated risk takers who are open to taking a leap of faith at any turn, trusting in the process and in their ability to push through as they strive to self actualize. I’m truly happy for my buddy. I think he made the right call and has brilliantly managed his transition so far; he’s been handling his move like a pro.
Sharing space with V. has been a truly awesome and uplifting experience. His departure has pried open this good old abandonment wound buried deep inside my inner child. When her sense of safety and stability feels under attack, that wound gets sore and it is the case here. V. and I had found our flow and got on impeccably well as housemates. Both of us are ambiverts who require a proper amount of alone time in order to feel like ourselves and give our best to the world. We enjoy being stimulated but too much socializing will instinctively be resented as detrimental to our optimal conditions. It seems our needs for individual space and for decent company were both met in this dynamic, without much left on the table; time spent interacting with each other never felt wasted. It was typically just right and the lines of communication were always open. We shared meals together, split our groceries and hooked each other up with food, tools and information. We gave each other honest and thoughtful advice, shared stories and learned a lot from each other’s cultural background. We physically stepped in to help one another and make each other’s life easier. We connected on an intellectual and spiritual level, breaking down future goals, mappings things out, discussing ideas in great details and identifying what steps to take to manifest them in the physical world. He was awesome with the dogs and that’s worthy to mention. He would watch them if necessary, ensuring they had kibbles and water in their bowls in case I wasn’t around to replenish their food supply. He acknowledged them, talked to them, played with them, handed them treats, disciplined them and cuddled with them. He volunteered to help me with shuttling them to the dog park or taking them on hikes to break their routine and let them run wild. Him and Ri were tight. It was lovely to witness. They would kick it on the patio while V. enjoyed his daily evening hookah and stock trading pattern’s debriefing ritual under the string lights. Little dude grew pretty attached to his new homeboy and would rebel if I didn’t let him join when V was outside… Poor thing has no clue his friend his gone and on his way to building a new life. It’s the little things that make a world of a difference. It’s smoking medicinal at the end of the day, stepping out in nature to get some fresh air, revisiting childhood memories, hyping each other up and checking on each other to verify that all is well. It’s finishing each other’s laundry, fixing each other a plate of food, picking up after one another, introducing each other to new friends, ordering for the both of us and helping each other decide on which to buy, where to go, what do do, what to wear, etc. Most importantly, it’s valuing each other’s opinion, being receptive to learning something entirely new to what we’ve known before, immediately resolving misunderstandings with the will to better understand our interlocutor’s perspective and trusting each other with valuables or sensitive tasks. Our bedroom doors were rarely shut whether or not we were in it. I was likely the first to notice when he came home with a sprained ankle after a surf lesson. When he’d sense that I was stressed but had ran out of my highly favored smokable stress relief, he’d leave me a nugget of weed or would cook something I love with the intent of sharing it. If I cancelled plans to step out into town at the last minute, due to exhaustion or the urge to journal or make art instead, he’d never take that personally. On the contrary, he’d often get ready, roll me one as he grounded, rolled and packed his nighttime supply and text me after he had got in his car and left to notify that there was something waiting for me on the coffee table. We looked out for each other. When my account was in the negative and I couldn’t afford dog food, he was there to help me get by. He treated the house as his own and took it upon himself to purchase top soil, fertilizer and seeds in an effort to make our dream of a green grassy front lawn a reality. He watered them for two weeks determined to actively support their growth. While awaiting my next sale and being pressed for cash to cover the bills, he loaned me some or kindly covered for me until I I was in the clear. There was no convincing, no questions asked, no pressure on his end. He was confident I would pay him back and was helping because he could and because he wanted to and could. Early this summer, he assisted a NYC trading conference and lost his wallet containing his ID moments before his flight. I expedited his passport to him so he could swiftly return home and minimize the added cost of being stuck on a trip for additional days, not only to our finances, but also our energetic balance. It rings true for someone likes V. who is a fine example of the freedom that comes with maintaining a strict routine in order to perform well and live life on his own terms. He regularly suggested that I borrow his car to get my errands done if I needed to but would end up taking me instead. Although I’d decline more often than not, he’d consistently invite me to dj sets, art shows, mini road trips, random drives, yoga classes, hikes and the likes in case I might have been up for it. V. was family to me. He helped me with my haircut a couple of weeks ago and would gladly assist with trimming the excess in the back if I couldn’t finish the job on my own. Whenever he wanted to chop it up he’d say, “come on Jih, let’s smoke one and talk. I want to brainstorm and I’d reply “Word. Meet you in a sec.” His presence here brought me comfort, laughter and harmony. He’ll have a home wherever I dwell, whether in LA or abroad. He’ll be sorely missed.
My dear friend V. turned out to be exactly the kind of spirit I needed to be around in this season of my life. Good lord… Since when have I become so emotional? Man… If I wasn’t keeping it together like a G I could easily cry right now. I knew it would be bittersweet but I honestly didn’t expect to be this affected by his absence. I’ve been feeling it in my guts for the past two days, letting it wash over me. As I prepare for what’s next, I am submerged by a wave of dread for what’s ahead. I’ll admit it, I’m not all that thrilled for change. This past year has been an intense readjustment period, delivering incessant calls to adapt to new situations. Had I already found someone long term whom I felt aligned with and was stoked to open up my space to, it would be a different scenario. For now, I have no idea what things are going to look like just yet. My creeping anxiety is definitely rooted in the fear of this living arrangement not being followed up with something which will work as effortlessly as this did. My home is my sanctuary. Sharing my physical and energetic space with like minded individuals whose energies I deeply cherish means so much to me these days. V. and I vibed well. My hope is to find a replacement who is as laidback, straightforward, open minded, free handed, dependable, considerate yet headstrong as V. is and, if I’m lucky, an individual as insightful and interesting too! Whenever I tell myself that I might be asking for a lot, I am reminded of the number of times I doubted that things could turn out as nicely as I imagined them to be and was pleasantly surprised with a far better outcome than anything I could have hoped for.
Recent tests have been all about patience, surrender, faith and steadfastness. It’s been about expecting the best and divorcing myself from any outcome or result. It’s been about trusting the process and allowing things to germinate on their own timing once the seed has been planted. Sometimes there are perceived delays which can be very uncomfortable, very unsettling, due to the uncertainty that permeates the wait. I insert the world perceived a lot when describing a challenge because it posits that we lack the omnipotence of seeing the bigger picture in its full form. What is regarded as a delay is simply experienced as such from the perspective that we hold as transient beings bound to practicality and tangible three dimensional responsibilities. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as too early or too late. I say this over and over again; everything unfolds exactly as it should and all good things must come to an end. Each one of us follows suit according to our own timing and whatever we most need to experience in order to progress on our evolutionary journey. I expected this to come to an end. I mean, it’s not like V. and I were going to be housemates for the rest of our lives. I expected this and knew it was coming, just not so soon… V. was originally not meant to live until November and was intending to return to LA after a 3 months break in Canada and India where is family resides. Permanently relocating to the Canada where the immigration framework is easier to navigate was what needed to happen for him based on what he was looking to do. I was glad that he was at peace with his decision and was able to plan his itinerary so well. As we plant roots of ourselves in the friendships that we nurture, we may experience a friend who leaves as a loss of a part of our own identity. In today’s world where long-distance moves are more functionally common, we find our social networks spreading across the country, or even the throughout the globe. With our current fast-paced culture of infinite choices, we may find ourselves leaving behind people, as well as being left behind ourselves. It is what it is though; people come and go.
Reflecting on the fleeting essence of life is gives rise to useful point of views. We can not personalize it too much when loved ones drift away. Their life choices simply echo their goals, wants, needs, dreams, hopes, and so on. Change is hard but also liberating and quite literally inevitable. Feeling sadness in response to change or missing someone is normal and I’m feeling very nostalgic today. That said, I’m excited to receive visuals of V. riding that bike around Burning man and having the time of his life out in the desert. I’ll be living vicariously through him until I finally get a chance to attend Burning Man. I feel that 2023 will be the year I make it happen. We shall see! V. left a handful of lovely household items and home decor here that will remind me of his presence. I’ve made it clear that he has a home here and wouldn’t be surprise if he popped up again after the New Year for a brief visit to the land of gorgeous women, weed and weather. He’s a big fan of the state of California! I’ve been sitting here with my feelings and calling in more positive and genuinely caring energies into my existence.
Mmmm, legendary sambar and basmati rice for dinner! Cheers to my mate who’s now gone. I’ve got the blues, but even that he anticipated and left me a taste of joy and relief in the form of a meal he knew meant so much to me. It’s been a true blessing having V. here for six months. He made my life better in so many ways. Currently smoking the last joint he rolled. I bet Rio sends hugs. We will all miss V… Dang, I’m going through it right now. It’s like, I observe myself consciously muting my emotions but the moments my mind reminisces of what no longer is, my heart gets pinched and I’m immediately prompted to mute them again by redirecting my attention somewhere else. It’s not working too well, of course. I’ve tried dismissing these familiar feelings of grief and loss for the past two days but they have persisted in coming back magnified. I know that this isn’t just about V. leaving somewhat abruptly. This is about what the relationship represents and the place it holds in my beaten heart. V. was like a brother to me. He offered perspective. He cheered me up. He poured into me… It’s happening. My eyes are watering. I’ve said enough. I’m heartbroken once more. Farewell buddy!
I felt a rush of emotions flowing through me and had a silent cry for a short while. I then washed my face, sat on the living room sofa and rolled another joint. I watched the above videos and I swear it was the cure to my blues. The right messages came through at the most opportune time and the wisdom found in each one of them set me straight. These links are part of As a early dinner I plated a strange combo comprised of garlic and herb couscous, glazed melt-in-your mouth Australian lamb chop courtesy of B., topped with some paneer in curry sauce left being by V. Lord have mercy. That thang was a banger! The various elements paired well with one another and their layering caused for a burst of incredible flavors. After rolling a joint and sipping on a glass of red, I gravitated back towards the refrigerator for another round. This time I enjoyed some sambar for dinner with heaps of basmati rice followed by a chocolate and cherry cake brought home by B. which was the great revelation of the night. I would have never ordered it if it was up to me but it has got be some of the best stuff I’ve tasted lately - stupid good. How could Complain about anything at all? I am so fortunate and blessed.
#ThankYouMorePlease #MyFriendVin #OnlyLove #Farewell