Earlier this month, I sort of went off on a tangent about the desert. I don’t think I meant to go on so long about it, but if there’s one thing I can do it’s beat around the bush.
It’s probably because I’m in, or was in denial. I’m excited and sad at the same time because I’m leaving Los Angeles. There, I said it.
It’s been a long time coming, this ultimate plan of de-stressing my life. I think I’m slower than the slowest desert tortoise in all of Joshua Tree. But at least it’s clear to me now. I’ve been needing to slow way down and rest my weary bones for a long time and I’ve been meaning to make bigger moves to get to this point for a long time now.
Joshua Tree has given me more inspiration than I could ever ask for, so why not stay there full-time? It’s my muse, my solace, and my calling. I’m looking forward to a restart.
I’m hopeful. Maybe it sounds extraordinarily sad (because it is), but I haven’t been hopeful about much in years now. In fact, I’ve been at the complete opposite end of the spectrum for like a decade. I’ve been through a lot. If anyone has read my book might know, it was too much. I don’t think I really started to find my real footing until I finished that book. Getting it to “market” was scary, but almost the day after it was published, I felt a huge sigh of relief. So much weight lifted. So much guilt and shame left me. That’s not to say there isn’t any left, but I can’t tell you how much of it has vanished.
Much of it had to do with a culmination of all the little baby steps over the last few years. The first 15 years out of Scientology was just the beginning. I’ve had to shed myself of bad relationships ever since, one realization at a time. I spent way too much time in my life cultivating and repairing relationships that just weren’t good for me, some of them were downright abusive. It’s no wonder, when looking at my upbringing and all that’s happened, I suppose I gravitated towards what felt familiar.
I feel like I’ve been through a war. I couldn’t see through all the smoke and debris how destructive all these relationships really were. At the time each of them were ending, I only felt like something was askew with me. How couldn’t it be? I was burning so many bridges. Who wouldn’t think that? It’s not you, it’s me. The last thing I thought was that I was getting healthier of mind. But these relationships were not ones I chose to pursue as an adult. Most were totally by default. With some of them, I felt I had no choice, even though there were problems time after time. I’d jump right back into the fire to “fix” them because that was what I was trained to do in Scientology. I was always “responsible.” And I mean for 100% of it.
But I am not responsible to be on the receiving end of abuse, or rape, being treated badly, or manipulation by people that aren’t taking any responsibility at all. I don’t deserve to be dismissed–even if by blood. (No, it’s not thicker than water.) Muckier, yes. One can only take so much shit though.
Anyway, even though mjp and I panned on retiring in Joshua Tree eventually, the time has come early for reasons beyond our control and it’s a blessing in disguise. Will I miss LA? I’m pretty sure I will. But it’s not like it’s so far away. It’s not Las Vegas, or San Francisco, or the fucking moon. It’s a couple hours, sometimes less, sometimes more. Depends on where in LA you’re going and what day and time you’re leaving. This is why I got the storage space in Riverside, in case you might be wondering what on earth I was doing that for. It’s a sort of half-way point between the gallery and Joshua Tree. Either/or, it’s on the way, just off the freeway, and it was less than half the price than one in the city, and it’s climate controlled. Can’t beat that with a hefty-ass rhythm stick.
So, this image I posted from Part One is actually my new street:
And this is my backyard:
And more is to come in a couple of weeks.