I never use that word.
Honestly it’s because outside of my skin it usually never fits.
But something strange is afoot in my life, something I am shyly embracing for what it is and what it may someday be.
I returned to Taos after checking out Southern California.
I should’ve seen it coming as I spoke with the manager of the hotel/hostel hybrid that brought me in to do the wall. The mountain in Tahoe is named Heavenly, and rightfully so. And I looked up at it everyday. And after four months rambling across the picturesque deserts of the American Southwest for life affirming art gigs, up the west coast to my bucket-list locations of Monterey Bay for the winery internship and Vancouver for a wild midnight showing of a bad-assed blood and guts film called Dead Shack during the Vancouver Film Festival, my voice kept getting weirdly wistful over this idea that kept tumbling from my lips.
“Tahoe makes me feel like holing up in a cabin and writing all winter.”
There were plans. South Cali plans. No snow, a wall…sun…seventy degrees all the way through. And every single one of them shifted as soon as I hit the road from Tahoe and led me back to Taos the long way.
…Taos. Up in the mountains. In a cabin…waiting for the snow to come and hoping the winter boots I ordered get here before it does lol. I came back to open arms at the skilodge…into what I can only refer to as love that I haven’t known before. Into the first place since nyc I can hear referred to as home in regards to me and be okay with how that sounds.
It’s surreal. Maybe this is my Victoria. William Gibson holes up on Victoria Island up in British Columbia for chunks of time supposedly. But whatever it is…it’s kinda cool.
And it makes sense of the longing for this chunk of the country since 2008, of the wait for entry, rescheduled again and again due to life. It even makes sense of how my running down Off this mountain organically led to me hitting Sedona, Flagstaff, Tahoe, Vancouver, Monterey Bay and finally at least Seeing Mount Shasta from the train, as well as a taken care of twirl through LA and a surreal spread of days in San Diego, Oceanside and Solana Beach during the Breeder’s cup. Every place that made it so I couldn’t sit still in LA in 2016, that made me charge out to Joshua Tree to be saturated by high desert, by this wild LIFE the last year has been for me, its highs and lows… I have tasted and seen was good.
And yet I am back here. Just like they all told me i would be before I left. The ones who quietly made me love it so much in the first place, who let me put down my guard enough so that I could heal.
I had all the funds lined up for Hawaii on September 19th, 2017 when I hopped on the train up to Washington to just RETREAT from everything, intent on writing. And I prayed so hard over it, over just buying the ticket and just going where I’d said I planned to be this winter and being done with it. But something changed in me due to Sedona, due to finally getting to Vancouver, due to wandering around Carmel & Pacific Grove- I would’ve gone to Oahu and still had all this curiosity festering, all this elan. ..That I don’t have anymore.
I still need to see Chaco Canyon.
For myself. And Mount Shasta has let me know in no uncertain terms, there is a destined date between us. And what’s mine in LA will be there when I get there and can BE there the way my heart needs to be.
…but I’m happy to be… Home. For now.
I am happy to be able to say that and mean it. To dig these rugged individualistic weirdos the way that I do and to be dug right back…for who I am, accepted how I am. It’s a good way to spend a winter, right? Knowing that where you are…there actually IS love and art and food and goofballs.
Maybe my winters are meant to be here from now on, at least for a while.
We shall see.