photography by Anthon Smith

I returned to my birthlands from the depths of Sicilian eco-village life. Many months off-grid, living in a beautiful cave, learning to work with clay and cob, building my own bed, wood burning stove, playing with mosaic art, picking persimmons and juicy blood oranges every day, lots & lots of oranges, wild greens, spicy edible mustard flowers. Re-entering the world of technology and dates and times, grocery stores, photoshoots, blenders and television series is truly an experience in and of itself. I am finding my balance in this dance of life. In every dimension which I gracefully sashay or stumble into. The ultimate rhythm I am tuning into is self-empowerment. Self-love. Listening, opening, hearing the natural songs playing from within. Slow down today. Stretch. Drink more water. Have a play in the sun. Remember to breathe. These are the splashes of signals which chirp from inside me. Sometimes screaming like a baby neglected to be heard when I do not listen with loving care. Forgiving the symptoms of non-presence. Giving thanks to the cycles which orbit within & without. So much love for the moon. So why on earth is there a picture of me with a gas mask in a dilapidated asylum? First of it– it’s freakin cool aiy!? Yeah it was a crazy day of mustering the courage to free my bare skin in the dead of Maryland winter, still tan from the months spent basking in the Sicilian sun, and come into the moment, the artistic expression. Post apocalyptic  energies. What happens when we don’t listen to our cycles? To the calling of the earth to take good care of our mother. Air. Water. Lands. This is our home. Whether I am living in a forest, jungle village, or in a 1st world standard home with hot water and real wifi, I am home. So give thanks, the voice inside gently pips. Give thanks for the life all around. Take care of this body temple. Honor my flesh as I honor my heart as I honor my mind as I honor the Spirit which animates my Being. Thank you <3 Grazie

photography by friend&creator Dave Myles

May Your Heart Crack Open

This is a bit of poetry in which my lover shared with me (his version is memorized in French) as we sat on the rooftop of a mystical village home made of dirt walls and marbled rocks from the Himalayan mountains all around us. I didn’t understand every word, and yet I understood all of it. In the timeless realm where nothing is solid, words are spells and every-thing is vibra-ting, aLive, the sparKling rays of magiC shine through the Cracks. Those deep deep cracks found when we look shamelessly upon our hearts and realize parts have become so full heart breaks, hairline fractures like the tiny muscle tears which inspire more growth, strength & endurance. That is my heart. I am in love. And this is a poem which touches me deeply. May your heart crack open and make room for more.

The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee

I am a feather on the bright sky
I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
I am the shadow that follows a child
I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows
I am an eagle playing with the wind
I am a cluster of bright beads
I am the farthest star 
I am the cold of the dawn
I am the roaring of the rain
I am the glitter on the crust of the snow
I am the long track of the moon in a lake
I am a flame of four colors
I am a deer standing away in the dusk
I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche
I am an angle of geese in the winter sky
I am the hunger of a young wolf
I am the whole dream of these things

You see, I am alive, I am alive
I stand in good relation to the earth
I stand in good relation to the gods
I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful
I stand in good relation to the daughter of Tsen-tainte
You see, I am alive, I am alive

*Beppu Photo + Oahu south coast + gypsy mermaid = visual magic

The Essence of Art

I meet with my dear friend & tribesman Dave Myles for the first time since I returned from Hawaii & Guatemala… We know what we are here to do, and yet we have no idea what is going to unfold. In trust, no expectations, open hearts and minds, this is how we gather & create. I find a lotus of peace in freely expressing my Self – the release of physical body, emotional body, spiritual release, wild love of mother earth, infatuation with trees & soul connection with water bring me to my knees, lips to the earth, heart leading the way into the depths of my raw & real truth. It is not the final image that is the ultimate art, but the act of creating itself.

The adventures, the outstretched fingers, the fearless exploration of space & form. The squishy slippery beams which I slowly slowly cross without clothes, I can not pretend it was all just for the shot.

The balance & flow of my body traversing falling trees, in a box of weeds, nurturing my soul with skin of mud and hair of flowers. It is more than a photoshoot I experience. It is a dining of kindred souls. A nourishing of the wild creative nature within each co-creator. To express one’s truth, one’s limits & limitlessness & to hold space for this truth is a gift to all parties. A sacred quest of capturing a moment in time that embodies the infinite nature of the universe. In a single shot, the essence of what is within maybe just maybe can be seen in the visual realm. 

*flower boxes of gratitude- @Davemylesphotography

Warrior Woman

Never on time, yet always in the perfect moment, I connect with my dear friend and creative partner in urban exploration crime. I meet TAD (The Abandoned Dream) in a parking lot by a trail of steampunk ruins from civil wars passed. Broken glass, rusty metal, abandoned tunnels, shades of grey, warrior plants punching through cement, brambles and vines crawl up and over all. This is where we find ourselves, no one but the deer stand and stare, watching my naked expression in raw & poised freedom.

To be honest, I tune in to my recent losses to feel in to the depths of my self, to come from a place of pure real emotion and feeling. Memories. Holding space for what I believe I lost. Loss of ‘security.’ Loss of ‘home.’ Loss of ‘lover.’ And in this shedding of layers, I see the illusion behind the comforts. I see the cracks in the treaties I thought we had signed. I see the beliefs which do not serve me, which are not my truest truth, and I take a moment to breath in to the pain. Surrender in these shadowed and sharp feelings. The ache of my heart. The void in my belly.

With my cup empty, eyes dry from wind and calm, I turn inwards and feel the life flowing through me. The beauty and radiance and strength of my Being. The evolution of this life I lead. My lungs continue to breathe. My heart never stopped to beat. The love inside is not dead, not even in a coma. I see, I FEEL that I love myself that much more.

And once more the waters of emotion flow freely. I know myself. I am warrior woman.

Chaos & Passion

It is in those raw and surrendered moments I discover what I am made of. The cracks in the image we think we see, a breadcrumb to follow into the forest, look deeper, what is past the frontier, below the surface, where chaos and passion thrive, art spills out, hands open up to receive each deep & soulful lesson. When I lose my sense of self, it is the knowing from within, always, that brings me back to remembering who I am. Infinitely changing. Free. Strong. Wild.

*expressive journey shared with The Abandoned Dream

Something Sacred

The sun was still far from the horizon when we strapped up our ninja shoes, coconut oiled our bodies and walked out into the streetlights of downtown Washington DC. Our urban pirate & fotographing phriend had been scoping out beautiful nooks for weeks. We knew where we were going and which part of the fence we would hop. So hop we did, stealthy & exhilarated we climbed up & over and made our way through the botanical gardens. Taking off our thin easy layers we melted into the cool waters of the wishing well.

Photography by Lamar Graham

It was in the name of art that we ventured into this very place on this very early morning, without permission or permits or papers. Something sacred called us to intertwine our bodies that day. Something wild & free.

We had just met, Free & I, the night before. But instantly there was a connection. She opened up and shared as I held space, she felt safe. And the next morning as we frolicked and stretched our beautiful bodies through beautiful spaces and places, we knew each other in ways of timelessness. In ways of soul. Cheeezyweezy as it may sound, these are the best words that can describe what it was like to share space with this kindred spirit. Totally different paths of life we were walking, but something deep connected us. Like the rhythms of two very different drums beating harmoniously, we danced entranced enchanted by one another’s reflection of the goddess. 

Finding Freedom in light of Strobe

With virtually no information as to concept/outfits/theme/etc I agreed to meet Germaine for a shoot 30 minutes before the start time. It all flowed together so serendipitously, it is no surprise that I understood his language. Movement. Expression. Emotion. And GO! He had me explore a tiny space with limitless self expression, and it did not take long for sweat to begin beading on my skin. My body woke up in lively & vibrant ways, and my spirit smiled out and rose to the challenge of freeing the body.

Photography by GMNE – Pittsburgh, PA

There was a rather funny moment where I asked if he was interested in any fabrics or sheer clothing, and he quickly said no, second guessed himself, I presume it was curiosity which peaked a tickle of interest, and so I took out my favorite sheer fabric and became some sort of dark feathery angel. Tuning in to my breath, I was able to connect to the wild nature without being in a forest. Yes, I found free expression in the heart of a steamy strobe-lit studio. And it was awesome.