Cheers, My Friends!
I hope you had an incredible holiday and are still doing so as we enter Hanukkah! What a year 2016 is turning out to be. I believe spiritually we must be evolving forward through these testing and troublesome times. I see more self awareness. I also see signs of massive change with the evolution in technology and in business. We all do.
I believe these almost impenetrable and stressful times have now stretched since 2001. Hopefully now, after a divisive election and a year that has taken so many legends, it will start a more evolved dialogue over cups of hot coffee as we enter 2017 and beyond. Or, to be, as some may call "dramatic", maybe these are the end of times, as we know it. Honestly, I anticipate we will cherish everything more, and maybe that's the turning point in all of this. Nothing, and no one is forever. However, It does seem as if we are appreciating life's gems more. I am grateful to feel the yearning to learn, in a way that allows me to open up with you, Conquistadors of the Soul.
You can always come to me too.
If these are the end of times as we know it, I am sure thrilled to be sipping on the finest coffee in the world and sharing a cup in spirit with you. That's not a selling point. It's a fact.
Stressful 2016 started with my best friend, my dog, Tyson, dying after 14 years, practically on his birthday in March.
Handsome Tyson pictured below:
Then, like a meteor, came the loss of Bowie (Master of Reinvention), and then revolutionary for a lifetime, Prince. Many others this year have seemed to leave us faster than years before...
Pictured below: a take on Sergeant Peppers Lonely Heart Cover, but with the loss & madness that is 2016- Photo by: Chris Baker
Is it old age?
Well, all of them barely made it to the actual "old age" of our time which falls much later in these stars' lives. We live in millennia- old age for us, with smart technological developments in medicine, and knowing how to maintain our bodies better, now falls into the late eighties, nineties, and hundreds even. However, statistics show we are dying for different reasons at all ages. One theory, is because of the very thing hurting coffee, and that's the stress of man aiding climate change, and overall stress of social global change. I am not sure why it seems all the greats are passing away, but all I know is life feels as if it is fleeting now more than ever.
With that feeling in play, I knew it was important to have a memorable holiday. So here I was, avoiding the thought of our troll- elect who would be leader of the free world in a few weeks. I ignored the feeds, the bad news, wars, the inundation I refuse, and the thought of all the legends we have lost so far.
Through it all, I had an epic Christmas, just relaxing and enjoying the little things. One of those was Colombia Valle de los Puentes as a salted caramel latte-- or just enjoying it black. It's sweet like a caramel apple.
To make sure the festive season was in full swing, I had gone to Leavenworth, WA. Before leaving, and to add to the magic of the season, we went to Pacific Place in Seattle. Lauren accompanied me to the movie 'Lala Land' which was beautifully done.
Above: Picture I took on my Iphone 6s+ after the movie and we walked through the rain. It was as magical as the movie felt.
All in all, it was a lovely holiday that I hope will continue until well past the new year. They say you can keep the holidays in your heart all year long if you try.
Stevens Pass above.
Mission Accomplished: Over the weekend we had done a fantastic job at ignoring the news which is almost impossible nowadays. The next morning, after Christmas, on the 26th, my mom called me and told me George Michael died. Whew, this hit me hard. It brought back instant memories for me. I don't usually get too upset about celebrities, yet George Michael felt like an old friend.
There were so many memories with George Michael's music, such as the make-out sessions I had to his classics. He made timeless ballads that I related to. That voice that haunted any long kiss in the best of ways stayed in my heart as the soundtrack to the memories. However, the most valuable songs and memories, were when I was youngest. I would play tennis with my dad daily after school for a few years until I was a pre-teenager. Back then crushes were secondary to a good run and time with Daddy.
My dad, who is in the hospital today on the 27th. Yea, I woke up to that news today. Don't even think about it 2016!
Back in the day, I would play 'Freedom' and 'Faith' in my head like it were the anthem in which to beat my dad at tennis. My dad is good, always has been. Every single day after school we trained like we were training for the Olympics. The Olympic games never came to fruition, obviously, but back then it ran through our minds as we met up each afternoon to practice.
Essentially, I dissed my young friends to play George Michael in my head and train with my Daddy.
I cheers to George Michael, knowing he may have been one of my favorite singers of all time being part of the soundtrack of much of my life. He was also an inspiration to me in ways that go far past his music. He was a philanthropist. He also came out when many of us had no one to look to in the LGBTQ+ community. I remember thinking how brave he was, and how I could NEVER do that. I later did, around the same age he did.
Above: La and I doing a bunch of holiday things. Fourteen years of riding holiday style!
Today this is a moment where again, my dad has me playing George Michael in my head. This time, 'Praying for Time'.
Below: My mom and Dad on Christmas, 3,500 miles away in South Florida, two days ago.
"My dad is making a weird hand gesture. Idk. No Nazi. Maybe a little Fem at times!" - MT (FB)
Just when you think 2016 is done, Boom, Carrie Fisher is up. She lived such a full life with an awareness of who she was. It makes you strive to spend more time understanding yourself. This is a spirit many strong women & men look up to. Carrie Fisher was one of those women who showed us all that your spirit made you sexy. She had swag of an immense bad-ass energy. Growing up as a kid of the eighties, Star Wars wasn't just a movie, it was breath. It was our culture, and has continued to be something we all cling to.
Times were different when Star Wars was around in its prime, same for George Michael, Prince and Bowie. No one was in their "so called prime anymore" but their work was still being celebrated, and new work was being worked on by all these artists.
Fact is, it was too soon. It all seems too soon. Life is too short.
Which begs the question, when is our prime? How many prime moments do we get? Are they limited to our 20's, 30's, 40's, early 50's? None of these people had souls of a person of "old age". I think old age is an accomplishment if we are lucky to experience it, not a destination.
Many of us know there was a message in Star Wars among many righteous messages. The Star Wars franchise and its story symbolizes the conflicts in life, and acceptance of others, where good beats out evil. Much like the theme of the franchise, the characters were larger than life. However, Carrie Fisher was so much more than the franchise. She herself, was a trailblazer and someone I looked up to as a kid and into my adulthood. She was larger than Star Wars and LIFE. One of a kind. Unique. Genuine.
Fisher transcended her life, handling addiction and mental illness with an awareness that made her wiser than her time. She helped us understand the human condition, while maintaining that appreciation, and respect from others. With her candor and openness about her inability to change the things she simply could not change, she allowed us all to accept our own quirks, abilities, and to learn humbly and honestly from our mistakes. Sharing her many stories has changed many lives. Mine included.
I have seen Carrie Fisher address sexism, ageism, and womanhood with the spirit of a warrior. Today we lost another legend. We lost another soldier in the battle of patience. I thank her for her words that will live on, and remind us all to live a little bolder, freer, and to never settle.
Carrie Fisher quotes:
Cheers to you, Princess Leia, or more fittingly, Queen Carrie!
This picture was drawn by artist: John, why?
Twenty Sixteen has ended an entire era in a year. We all need to not only pray for time, no matter what you believe, but appreciate every second of it.
Update: My dad will be in the hospital another few days, but my mom says he is in good spirits and feeling better.
Also, mad love to Debbie Reynolds who passed on the 28th, only a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher.