Last night, I watched Animal, one of the most powerful, beautiful, provocative, and disturbing pieces of performance art I think I’ve ever seen. The artist happens to be my cousin, Cassie (aka Mama Cass), who’s modeled for many of my photographs. She’s spent years pushing the boundaries in her work but this piece is truly in a league of its own. Using a distressing recent family event as inspiration, she displays a tenacious fortitude in this that I’ve not seen in her previous work and can hardly recall seeing anywhere else, actually. This is pure guts, raw and dripping with overwhelming emotion. I am extremely proud of her, not only for the outstanding execution but for the sheer and utter fearlessness exuding from this short video. You rarely see such bravery.
I’m not a prude by any means. You don’t have to know me long or well to know that about me. I love fine art nudity, sloppy and amateur porn, the many crazy kinks and fetishes that abound, sex, sex, and more sex. I love exercised dominance on both sides of the gender field and so long as animals or children aren’t involved, I can appreciate any and all preferences, no matter how strange, in the bedroom. I especially love that women are beginning to feel less ashamed and more empowered in this realm and that we’re slowly moving into a world where it’s just as acceptable for a woman to embrace her sexuality as men have been doing without consequence for eons.
You know where to find your happiness. It’s in your heart. Follow it. Fear and logic may lead you down the path of least resistance because it’s easier and far less terrifying, but you’ll never be able to silence the aching whine emanating from your chest. Listen to it.
“Pretty sure you were the love of my life.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I can never stop thinking about you.”
I will persevere,
when your skin cracks open beneath my fingers,
when your bones become too brittle to hold you up,
when light and dark are indecipherable,
when ribbons of your blood weep to the floor threatening to drown us both,
I will laugh at the audacity,
I will inflate my lungs in defiance and
I will hold on,
I will persevere.
“Clearly our wounds need our attention. But when we concentrate exclusively upon our hurt, we learn to see the brokenness, losses, or injuries we have been given as the most important things in our lives. We cultivate an attention to these wounds in such a way that, over time, they come to occupy the most important place in our heart. Our wound lives in the center of our thoughts. In this way, we actually come to love our suffering.” —Wayne Muller
Her smile will level you
Quite like her big green eyes
Nestled unassumingly behind
Her fluttering lids
But her hands will embrace
Your throbbing throat and squeeze
Until your lips turn blue
And your memories of her
Dissolve into the blinding stench
Of dreams unrealized
At 2013’s end, like a raging forest fire I burned everything in my life down and started over in 2014 as something new. I spent this year fostering new growth, and becoming reacquainted with myself. And it’s been one beautifully eye-opening experience.
“The Church says: the body is a sin.
Science says: the body is a machine.
Advertising says: The body is a business.
The Body says: I am a fiesta.”
A friend once told me “Denver has no soul.” Until then, I hadn’t been able to articulate exactly why I didn’t take to the city and ever since and in every comparably sized city I visit, I find myself searching for its soul, its unmistakeable aura and personality like the feeling you get when meeting a stranger for the first time, that primal sense based only on feeling and emotion and in almost every one, it is unquestioningly undeniable.