For over a century // We have helped hunters and saviors and warriors // We were made to ensure safety // But we are ending up too often in the wrong hands… excerpt from When the bullet strikes by Idris Goodwin
In October 2016 I was part of the Los Angeles team that produced The Every 28 Hours Festival, a collection of 72 one-minute plays centered around a study from 2012 that showed “that every 28 hours a black person was extrajudicially killed by vigilante, security guard, or the police in the United States.” The play festival was sparked in 2014 by the events in Ferguson and created by Claudia Alick “developed with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The One-Minute Play Festival with over one-hundred artistic collaborators across the country. Collaborators include Tony award-winning artists, activists, family members directly affected by police violence, politicians, cultural organizers, and law enforcement.” In February 2017, my co-producers and I were commissioned to mount another production at Cal State Dominguez Hills. This month, March 2018, we must continue the conversation because it wasn’t just a one-off production for us, but a message and a movement that we must continue, to stand, to march and resist. In support of our youth and the March For Our Lives, we bring you a video collaboration of the one minute play When the bullet strikes by Idris Goodwin, one of original collaborators and writers for The Every 28 Hours Play Festival. I’m looking forward to the year that this is a memory of a festival that we produced and not something we have to continue to add names to.
You are // made from everything // That I am // We are // made from everything // That the stars are // I can feel // Your heart // beat // Within mine // The rhythm // Of a blood that runs deep // thru valleys and peaks… excerpt from 19th Birthday.
I never thought that I would want a home birth. In fact, I swore I would never not have an epidural when giving birth. Why would I choose to feel pain? That’s crazy talk. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would have anymore kids. However, I did know if I were to have another baby, it would be under much different circumstances than my first. I was 14 years old when I got pregnant and a lot of, like all of, my decisions were made for me. I couldn’t drink (legally), I couldn’t drive (legally), I couldn’t buy cigarettes (you see the pattern here) and I was told exactly what would happen to my body and to my baby without asking me what I wanted or how I felt. I was induced early, I was given an epidural and I placed my baby girl in an open adoption all by the time I was 15 years old. It was rough, for a very long time. As difficult of a time that it was for me, I do want to add that I’m very grateful for the family that adopted my daughter and the closeness we’ve been able to have over the years. They are my extended family, but it still wasn’t my choice. I had no voice during my pregnancy (which I hid for the first 6 months), the delivery or postpartum. Shoot, I didn’t even really know what postpartum was until my recent birth. I am sure that I suffered from PPD, but I shoved it all down, deep deep down into the crevices and numbed it up with substance abuse.
Fast forward to adulthood and living in Southern California amongst the hippies with homebirthers all around and I’m starting to like the sound of this home birthing business, that’s actually not a business at all, (please watch The Business of Being Born, it’s pretty much what sold me on the whole idea at the end). Having a home birth would mean that I had total say over my birthing experience, the environment, who would be present at my birth, I would be in my home from start to finish, with my delicious home-cooked food, my music and the energy that we’d been creating in the space. I envisioned that after my hypnobirthing experience where I breathed my baby down and out through affirmations that my midwife would shower me and put me into bed with a warm meal and a baby suckling effortlessly at my breast. Very romantic, n’est-ce pas? Is that what happened? …kind of…no not really, but that’s for another post. Although it may not have been as romantic, we did have a successful home water birth and I delivered my big ole, 9lbs 2oz, healthy, veggie-made baby boy at 11:11pm on September 18, 2017 and for that I am forever grateful.
Ciao, adios, sayonara my dear friends // Jose, Grey and Henny, you been with me through thick and thin // We’ve had some fun nights with the ladies and the mens // but now it’s time to say goodbye to day drinking, hangovers, recapping in the AM // I’m starting a new chapter, a new life, so that’s it, I’m fin // Cleansing my temple from years and years of sin // Bringing new life & adding wealth to my kin. // I’ll think back on our time together with mixed feelings and a grin // maybe one day I’ll revisit, but for now, I gotta go hard for the win.
A rare look into one of my last drunk nights captured on video.
So as you know, we’ve been working on an ongoing preconception plan for a minute and one of the ways to really get prepared is to cleanse our bodies through our food choices, adding vitamins to our daily regimen and cutting out all of our vices! Yikes! In preparation for alla that, we decided to spend our last pre-baby summer micro-dosing on shrooms, going on DMT journeys, road trippin, nude beachin and we were even lucky enough to be able to take a work/pleasure trip to Spoleto, Italy for a month to macro-dose on red wine and theatah! I will say once we got home from Italy, weening off the vino was not easy, especially since we were hosting my sister from Amsterdam who had a bottle waiting for us upon US arrival! Even with all the temptations, I knew I would put in the hard work to clean out this temporary home for my future bambinx. With a party night here and a party night there, I began the process as you’ve seen in several of my previous v/blogs. This video is def not about the cleansing, but one of my last crazy nights in the streets of Italy! I hope you laugh as much as I did when I found it the next morning!
PS. At the beginning of the insert video, I say “where Josh and I are walking”, I was trying to say “staying” cuz I was def walking home solo. D-ruuuuunk!
Red eye to the east side for a ritual to say goodbye,
collectively we’ll inhale-exhale as the spirit ascends,
passed the limit of sky lines,
to a place not tied by earthly binds …’til we meet again on the other side.
No v/blog this week. My boo’s grandfather, a man who lived, what I’m learning was, a rich colorful life, passed away last week and we’ll be flying 3,000 miles away to be with our ginormous family and to be a part of the homecoming and grieving rituals. Let death remind us to not take these breaths for granted.