Omg, you guys. HELLO.
I don’t even know what to do with myself right now. You should see my outfit. I’m wearing my Rocky Balboa sweats with a poncho and a baseball cap. I’ve been gone so long I forgot how to do regular life. Though, arguably, I’m doing it just right with this get up.
Anyway, if you’re following me on Instagram (where I mostly hang out making stories because Facebook is overwhelming) then you already know… I just got back from the homewardbound leg of an epic road trip to visit southeastern Missouri, a place that I have a lifetime of stories with.
It’s not where I was born. It’s not where I’m “from” – whatever that means. Does it mean something more Celtic or Visigoth? The indigenous lineage of us white folks is on my mind lately and is a recurring theme with my Portland brain trust of Rachael Rice and Marybeth Bonfiglio. Perhaps the re-culturization of us could curtail our created culture of appropriation, gentrification, and colonization? Whatever it takes, ya’ll. Let’s do this.
Wait… you know them right? You know about Marybeth’s writing workshops? And the Magical Radical Retreat at Rachael’s pink palace this summer where we are all three of us, plus some folks ( who are way cooler than me) will be teaching/facilitating/attending? Are you coming?
Anyway. ALL TO SAY. I WENT TO MISSOURI. For so many reasons, but primarily, to spend time with my rapidly aging grandparents. Which felt like a really big, emotional deal.
And it was. Huge.
See, I spent nearly every summer of my childhood and teen years with them. They were as much parents to me as my single mother. They were more parents to me than my absent father. They were more of everything to me. And the hundred-year old farm house they bought in a lush Ozark valley, back when I was still looking forward to moving into a big girl bed, ended up being the one home that was ever a constant for me. That house was the only place that has ever felt like roots.
So there are the stories of my childhood, cloistered on a magical farm of arrowheads, whippoorwills, chiggers, barnwood, and Queen Anne’s lace.
Then there is the nearby city, where, when I was in my early twenties and in an addicted and abusive relationship in New York City, I escaped to, signing up for cosmetology school to commit. I stayed a year. I graduated. Even did hair for a living.
But the commitment didn’t last, the boyfriend connection was too strong and I returned to New York, and to the relationship, even after all of that time.
So there’s those stories too. The Great Hair School Escape.
Then the Drug Mule Returns. That year after I moved back to New York and started flying MDMA into Springfield. It was a choice that I was heartily hoping would empower me, and maybe it even did, but it also landed me in federal prison.
So there’s the story where I was indicted, and sentenced, in Springfield Missouri. It was the city where I spent my first five weeks, and first Christmas, in county jail awaiting transport to a federal prison. Yeah, talk about stories.
It is the place where I left my baby boy when I had to go away. So it’s roots for him too.
I was released from prison, back into Missouri, where I lived with my mom, in her tiny house sharing a room with my toddler, until meeting, and marrying, my (very soon to be officially) ex-husband. (Divorce will be done in a month!!! AHHH!)
There was my yoga studio in the artist’s colony in the eccentric Victorian village of Eureka Springs story, my son’s Waldorf school in the woods story.
And so many more stories.
I ended up owning three houses in Missouri, and found a whole new life there with a crew of women in an obscenely gorgeous neighborhood, the likes of which, you may never imagine being in the midwest. Oh, it’s fucking there. This place has a powerfully unreported (until this post and maybe this Vogue article?) gorgeous side.
It’s been seven years since I left for the last time and moved out to Portland. Seven years since my marriage ended and my coaching career began.
I feel like I’ve lived so many completely different lives in Missouri and have never had the ovaries to call it my home town. What.
So, ahem, there was a lot to revisit. And it was beyond. I saw a bestie from hair school days She’s a fabulous hair dresser herself now! She says she was inspired by me and that makes me feel so freaking good.
I got to go to a farm to table dinner cooked by my first cousin who I’m so close with that we function as sisters. She is Auntie to my son, and me to her daughter. She is a fantastic natural foods chef and yoga teacher. Eating her coffee marinated brisket tacos and farm fresh veggies in the garden was a dream.
I got to go to an art opening of another dear friend and, after, have a glorious sleepover with a whole pack of women and kids, night swimming and laughing till we leaked.
We visited Eureka Springs and one of my favorite haunted hotels. (Yep, I have more than one favorite haunted hotel. Duh.)
We went to an amusement park where I learned that I don’t care about rollercoasters as much as I remember…. ouch.
Every morning my grandma made me coffee and we sat and talked about life and love and how to medicate her pain with plants. My grandpa, unable to fully follow a conversation, looked on and smiled wide while petting his chihuahua.
I reconnected with another cousin and took a trip to old haunts with him, including the old farm. I hadn’t been back there since I was sentenced to prison fourteen years ago. A couple of years ago it burned down. I wrote about it here. But the visit to the old land, the old barn… something happened there. It was, unmistakably, a visit Home. When we turned off the pavement, my hand automatically unbuckled and rolled the window down. I’d been doing that for nearly four decades, it had become our language of that land. The rain had just stopped and the moisture rose, warm and thick, off the cold creeks. The sun streams poured through the walnut trees in great crests. We stayed until the darkness began to rise, the lightning bugs started to blink, and the coyotes howled in the distance.
A life that had once looked, to me, so simple, so basic, so ordinary, so much less interesting than what I imagined a summer home in the Hamptons must look like, suddenly turned, to me, into something magical, something so fucking true. Something that actually did belong to me. Something that I wouldn’t trade for anything else.
And just like that, this place that I wasn’t born, I didn’t go to grade school, or high school, has become my Home Town.
CAN I GET A WITNESS?
Isolation and disconnection can go die!
Anyway. I’m here. I’m back. I’m working so hard to be free, to help you get free. Whatever that means, because I don’t fully even know, but I suspect it means physically, mentally, and spiritually connected. To ourselves, to the other humans, and to our mother earth planet, the land that is all of our home. It is my hope that, together, we can seek a kind of collective narrative that is more expansive than our tiny bubbles of identity, a narrative that will help us converge our reality back into a community.
On my trip back, I got to visit the offices of my favorite super food slinging supplement company Life Equals! SO MANY FREAKING HUGS. They filled me up with balance shots for my long drive and it helped so much. There is nothing more nutritious, nothing more real, nothing more loved, or more generous (serving for serving donations to Vitamin Angels!) than what this crew is putting out for our health.
I’m pimping them because I adore and believe in them. Also I’m their ambassador which means I get cash money from sales of their righteous gear. Lucky me! Lucky you! So please go try them out. Use my code: Wor50 which will net you 75% off your subscription and you can pause or cancel any time! Also, I’d be happy to connect you with a sample… just email with your snail addy!
And, IMPORTANT, if you haven’t seen the last couple posts, I’m also venturing into the world of holistic cannabis consulting. The more I learn about the efficacy of this medicine on everything from serious ailments and pain to simple nutrition for body and mind, the more I believe it is primary medicine for the people, for the women! I believe it is medicine of our past, and our future.
So I’m doing a beginner’s group to fund my further education, and to fill up your cups with knowledge and support from me and your peers. It’s a place where we will be able to openly discuss moving away from abuse, and into conscious use, how to have a healthy relationship with the plant, how to procure (legal states only) what will work for you, how to consume it effectively, how to understand how it will work for your unique constitution and complaints, and how to dose it for maximum wellness. Even joy!
WHAT OTHER MEDICINE HAS A SIDE EFFECT OF A DEEP FEELING OF ONENESS WITH ALL LIVING THINGS?
I hope you read that side effect in TV commercial voice. And then decided to join us.
And last, but most definitely not least, there is room in my private practice for new health coaching clients. I’m super energized and into discussing your whole self nourishment.
Let’s talk about what you feed yourself with your fork as well as all of your senses.
Let’s solve that problem that’s been on your mind with a powerful new perspective.
Let’s expand your identity definitions by discovering your own familial, artistic, and human lineage, your birthright of earth dweller, your best, most joyful and connected self.
Let’s redefine the fuck out of your health and life.
It would be an honor to be your guide and witness. Go here to sign up for a free 30 minute consultation to see if we are a good fit for work together!
Good lord, did I get it all in?
Probably not, but perfection is a bore.
Thank you so much for being here. With all of my heart, I love your heart.
Questions? Hit reply and ask me. Or just say hello. I love hearing from you.