Sketchbook No. 5

Pattern #1

Photo by Ken Beach

Photo by Ken Beach

Grazing follies, falling foolishly before me.

Accepting, I foolishly fail me.

Solar Plexus, perception, a “could be.”

What we want, not always our reality.

Our truth more dynamic than our dreams.

Yet we thrive off of the lies of fantasies.

Without you there’s no me, now we’re both deceased.

Grazing follies don’t warm beds, they fill vacancies.

Get numb to be done,

wash, rinse, and repeat.

-Namii

…for the art of it

Have you ever felt used?

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Photo by Ivan Oelrich

This revolving door has opened to you without question, and allowed you to play freely. Swinging on the handles you gleefully laugh, and I admire your childlike discoveries, and provide safety for your play. I kept you close when you were dizzy with joy and could not discern if you were entering or exiting. This revolving door did as you expected and continued to revolve, continued to evolve to your needs, for your needs, rotating with each breath of change, rolling with the punches. Punched, kicked, slapped, face planted into me, you slide down my fingerprint streaked glass leaving your fingerprints for passing strangers to know you were there. You are out and in and out again, before I can replace the shattered pieces of mirror implanted into your face. You return with new scars and this revolving door excepts them back into rotation. Disease returns when the system is weakened. Steel bones, don’t make the flesh impenetrable and your penetration is deep. Steel bones may not be broken, but you are hot and they can melt. Steel bones have nothing to do with broken glass, but can keep the door rotating and push the shards of broken to the side so that you can step back in without injury. You deserve a 1,000th chance. There are unlimited turns through this revolving door, so you return to this revolving door. The yellow caution tape and “closed for repairs” sign is not a deterrence, is a welcome mat for you to wipe your feet on before entering again. Maybe one day you will step into the lobby and check in with security, sign your name in the guestbook, and take a tour of the building. Did you know it is still heated by a wood burning furnace? Will you ever venture into the greenhouse in the back that is fragrant with sage and roses? Is the 360 degree penthouse view ostentatious? There is no elevator, but the climb is worth the exertion, worth the increased heart rate, worth the feeling of accomplishment on each and every floor. This revolving door does not lock at midnight, come in at 12:01 sex smeared and glowing, tired and crying, selfish and needy, spiritual and enlightened, broken and hurtful, damaged and neglected, this is your safe space. Between in and out your decision is not your destination here. This revolving door, a passing thought, it doesn’t matter where it leads.

-Namii 2015

…for the art of it

Beyond Words

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If I could write you, you would not be a poem you would be a novel, full of fields of flowers that we would roll around in, moist with dew and lost in time.

Sandy beaches would absorb us in its rip tide, we would return to the source and be birthed into ecstasy.

A mystery never to be solved and the greatest love story never told.

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If I could write you, I would use led on cotton instead of pen on paper so that the words would slowly fade over time and I could rewrite us compulsively, impulsively adding new comprehension to torn edges and weakened fibers.

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If I could write you I would need to be perched on a mountain side to absorb the full breadth of your existence and the magnitude of your unwavering love that only a birds eye view could contain.

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If I could write you I would not need you the way that I do, and that thought alone is enough for me to never write a…

-Namii

All photos by Jim of NatLight Studios in Palo Alto, California

…for the art of it

1 Day Away!

So I have not posted nearly as much as I would have liked about all of the work I have been doing to prepare for “SWING,” but I am hoping that this show will be mounted several more times and I will have the opportunity to continue exploring each piece deeper with each show. I can not believe that the world premier is tomorrow!

With this show I have shed more tears than I have on any other project I have ever worked on. Yes, there are a lot of personal stories being shared, but there are an equal amount of other people’s stories being shared, and I want to make sure that I honor these womyn’s struggles. I described my process to a friend today as “therapy on crack.” I spent afternoons in rehearsal in a tight ball in the corner crying uncontrollably, about the audacity of grown men taking advantage of young girls, the spiteful hatred that womyn spew at each other because of their own insecurities, and sometimes I cried just because my body needed the release after a long rehearsal.

Now this show is not all gloom and doom. I am finally getting the opportunity to sing some of my original music that has been in tattered notebooks for years. I am also GEEKED about having an actual audience to interact with for some of the more fun and sexy parts of the show.Yes, there is audience participation, so if you are coming to the show prepare to get involved.

I may make you uncomfortable….

I may crawl on top of you…

You may witness the darkness that makes my light…

Here is the song that has fueled many of the pieces of “SWING”

https://soundcloud.com/joviamusic/black-bird-yaw-produced-by

And here are a few pictures from the final days of rehearsal

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…for the art of it

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His First…My Trigger

“You are the first African American model I have ever photographed,” said the excited, experienced photographer, as I walked out of the bathroom in my robe and heels. I noticed that he had no models of color in his portfolio, though it was very good. Is it Seattle? Is it you? I began to get nervous, even though it was the middle of the day and there was another model scheduled right after me. Was it his excitement, or my prejudice that put me in fight or flight mode? The studio is filled with costumes and props and some…not so tasteful photos. I have been in this situation before. I am triggered, but keep my cool.

The last time I saw photos on a wall that I knew I did not want to take I was 19 years old, it was late, and there were two men. There was a drink of rum and coke mixed with what I later…too late, found out was laced with a common date rape drug. 

…but I keep my cool.

I am older now, I trust my gut now, and my gut said, he was excited to shoot a black model, because he lives in Seattle, and let’s face it…it’s Seattle. For a second I questioned if I was really good enough to have booked this gig or was I being set up. No, I was good enough and I BOOKED THIS GIG! It is crazy how even after several years of talking, dancing, acting, crying, venting, about past traumas with ruthless photographers that I can still get triggered by little things like excitement from someone who wants to work with me. On top of that, I am still shocked that I am modeling.

Well I am. And here is another fabulous shoot that I had a blast doing. Thanks Patrick!

 

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…for the arts of it