One Step

5. Pieta (Untitled Art Fair 2018)

Lao Tzu famously wrote that the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, which despite its face value, “yeah, no shit” philosophy, tells me that even the greatest achievements and distances are realized in the smallest of increments, and that paramount to all, is that there is a start. One must simply start, as small a step as it may be, in order to get from here to there, as great a distance as that may be. I find myself at the precipice of the trip of a lifetime, but much different than any I’ve ever taken before. […]

Waking Up to the Wonder of Difference

Objects to Remember You By

I grew up in a half white, half Mexican neighborhood in Roseville, CA. My best friend was Hally (Angelica) Rodriguez. Her parents were Mexican immigrants. Her older brother was a cholo and sold drugs from her house. He was a dick. Her older sister was tough and foul-mouthed and her bangs stuck straight up in a great wall of a tidal wave above her forehead. She was so cool, I barely dared to look at her for all my unworthiness. Her mom, Diana, was a second mother to me, as mine was a single one, working nine to five. My twin […]

Approaching the New Year with Love

tic tac toe pregame

The New Year comes like a new baby: unavoidable, headlong, and full of promise. We can worry that the amount of promise the new year brings is entirely up to us (and that is certainly one way to look at it), but as with a new baby, the new year will most likely thrive and bring us all the joy and fullness we could hope for, if only we approach it with one thing. As my Uncle Claudio says when I start arguing as to why I am afraid to have children, “It is just love, Christina. Very simple.” Easy […]

Calculated Irresponsibility

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“An ounce of gold will not buy an inch of time” – Chinese Proverb “If I could turn back time…then maybe maybe maybe…” – Cher I’m standing over the wash sink at my twin’s and my cafe, speeding through a mountain of dirty coffee mugs and breakfast dishes because we are running out and there is a steady stream of people waiting to order more food and coffee, when my cousin, Liz, asks if I’d like to spend twenty days with her in Thailand. Liz always likes to drop in for a visit at exactly the wrong time. Well, obviously, I’d love […]

…Is Good for the Art

TwoFridas

Nobody seems to know who said it, but some wise rhyming person once said, “What is bad for the heart is good for the art.” Is anything more true? I write songs. I didn’t start writing them until I was thirty years old when I finally figured out, after eight years of dinking around on the instrument, how to play the piano without having to read notes (which I did very slowly). It happened to be about a month after I discovered that my long time boyfriend, for whom I’d changed my entire life, had been in a mostly-but-not-always long-distance […]

It’s All Life

Shanti Grumbine, Asemic Tablets (detail), 2016, ink solvent transfers on Hydrocal, 3 x 3 feet

If you Google “work relationships,” you will find, among a very long list of articles on the subject, a surprising number of seminars and workshops which, for a cool $200, promise to teach you in one day how to not only maximize your effectiveness in the workplace, but how to get along with almost any personality type found in your office. I call bullshit, but I’m going to try to do the latter part in one article, for free. Work relationships consist of those same kind of contrived interpersonals we had in elementary and high school. It’s not to say […]

Travelers in Love; Not Tourists.

me tat

It has been many years since I traveled to places unknown, but as the details of what I have seen and done in my many journeys begin to fade, it is the feelings I have experienced in those places which remain clear in my memory. As the Danish writer, Peter Hoeg says, “traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” I don’t remember the name of the castle I was looking at, but I remember the wonder that I felt – the enchantment of touching a wall that was standing in the eleventh century – the way my imagination soared at […]

The Muppet Factor

muppets

“What really matters is what you like, not what you are like. Books, records, films – these things matter. Call me shallow, but it’s the fucking truth.” -Rob Gordon in High Fidelity It’s advice I often give to my friends when they are considering the pros and cons of a partner or potential partner while stumbling through the minefield that is dating. It becomes especially true when viewed as encompassing more than just our taste in entertainment; but for a first date, it really is a good starting point. To recap on last month’s article, each member of a couple […]

A Bid For Connection

engage2

Are any of us really good at relationships? I think it is easier for some people to find a partner and even to be in a relationship, but “easier” is terribly relative. Even the best is still fumbling in the dark when it comes to navigating the needs and desires and reciprocal fumblings of another person. Three out of ten achieve happy longevity with their partner… that’s how much we all suck at it: thirty percent, and that thirty percent still goes through heart-wrenching trials and tribulations. There is hope in that thirty percent, though. It means that happy coupledom […]

Where’s the Love?

love rocks

Two words: Love and Community. Where do the two meet? It strikes me that without love, there is no community, in the most fundamental sense. Love (of the romantic variety) gives way to partnership and children and growing families to extended families to villages to towns to commerce to cities to countries and so forth. Then there are all the little communities within a community: the churches, the retirement homes, the neighborhood watches, the D&D groups, the cribbage clubs, the weekly soccer match, fill in the blank. Aren’t they all based, at least in part, on some form of love? Part of […]