Navel Gazing with the Stars

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I am so incredibly uninterested in subscribing to non-inclusive dogmatic bio-domeing communities/events/organizations. Even if they do in fact happen to be changing the world for the better.

Regardless of positive chance, should we go forward in a narrow-minded way with, I would bet my life that the change will be temporary and transient. Many of the methods I see getting to this change are still running by the same consumptive dominant paradigm narrative and often are passively patriarchal/heteronormative. Thus not embracing the emerging diversity in the world that is begging to be seen.
Despite all the hard work and good intentions I fear this route will eventually land us in a place very similar to where we currently are. We the generation of people knowing something is needing to be shifted.

Yet still sitting on our thumbs waiting for the next Guru, Messiah, Mommy/Daddy, Profit, Teacher, whatever. When it’s so clearly not one man or woman that is going to, or even would be able to catalyze a lasting change. It is the great collective of us, working through our woundings, and going forward to share a broader vision for peace, healing, and a sustainable world. Not just for us well off, north americans, and not just for 3rd world kids in UNISEF commercials – but for everyone.

Yeah it’s a tall order, and yeah I will likely only see the seedlings of this new world in my lifetime. If I am lucky. But it’s not about what we see in our lifetime, it’s about the wake we leave to make sure the work doesn’t dissipate after we’re gone.

I think it’s naive to believe in absolute inclusivity in all situations. I do believe that knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, and wisdom is knowing that it doesn’t belong in a fruit salad. That said, I see far too many people and groups often unconsciously hiding behind the veil of how “woke” they are, and really not doing much to help anyone, or change anything, save the causes they have put themselves in the centre of.
No Human/s should be in the centre of anything, we should all collectively be holding space for that centre, for that change, for the better world far beyond our time in these bodies.

This will be uncomfortable at first. and many people tend to confuse discomfort with intuition. At first often the two feel the same, save one is driven by fear, and the other is driven by primal wisdom. We may never fully “get” each other, and if the fullness of that understanding never arrives it should enough to know that we each have our unique medicines to offer the world. If we are all offering the same medicine to the same people over and over again, it becomes nothing but a self indulgent spiral. Like any abused medicine, it becomes a drug. We become addicted to a twisted waking dream, fiending for our next manic fix of epiphany. Navel Gazing Junkies.

Being woke is hard, the best of us are only half way there. But encapsulating ourselves in the spiral of spiritual bypass, the “I don’t see colour” mentality, the “equalism” sans reconciliation mentality, bio-doming intentional communities, the all talk but no action activism, the untethered free spirit – yeah, that shit is easy. These narratives are all signs of a destructive circle of hollow progression.

Most of the people suffering these afflictions come from a good intentioned place, hell I’ve been there time and time again. Many people attempting, and desiring so hard to be living right now in the better future; the one of which the work has not been yet done to create. Desire is utterly intoxicating.
The work calls for all peoples to come together: all races, classes, ages, sexualities, genders, and so on to band together. It requires us to do the work of mending our differences, and agree on a shared vision of a world we want to build together. As many of us can concur, the vast majority of integral change happens outside of the comfort zone.

Perhaps though, we start in the comfort zone. We start in our connected communities, with the people and causes we feel safe with. That is healthy, and ideal for planting a safe firm foundation together. But do so with the intention of branching out once that foundation of trust is strong enough, once your morphogenic field is potent enough to withstand the pressure of your shared discomfort.

Once that is in-fact the case, branch out, offer your medicine, your gifts, and your experiences to new peoples, and ask in return for theirs.

Fucking unify. Unity, is damn important. Acceptance begets understanding, and even if that never comes the understanding that diversity is key to change should be enough.

I said that living in the dream is easy, what I meant is right now living in that dream is easy. But if we are lucky, and the lot of us reach a ripe old age, one day our great grandchilden are going to ask us

“when you were my age, did you know what was happening?

To which if we are honest, most of us will reply “yes”

” So what did you do?” they will ask.

And the answer to that question is not in the future, you are living that answer right now.
The future as we know it doesn’t really exist, it is always “now”, influenced by “then”.

And when our “now” is when these children approach us speaking of “then”, I hope to the gods that we have lived with integrity, and that we are able to provide a damn good answer for them.

– ac

 

Art by Tara McPherson​

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Being Human and Mental Illness pt 3

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Being Human is a constant learning endeavour. One of which the awareness in our culture is damn near instinct. But some remember, and many more are remembering to remember. This piece was written the second week of April, 2018.

“it is in the nature of humans to forget how to be one sometimes” – Stephen Jenkinson

I forget sometimes, it is less and less that I forget as I continue my path; but sometimes it still arises. Sometimes my mental state takes me over and I forget everything about why I go on; I lose myself in “the nowhere place”.

“The Nowhere place” is a place that devours my humanness, a place that tries to convince me I am nothing but food.
This was my experience during the month of March. This past lunar cycle I felt as if I was drowning, and yet everyone around me could breath just fine. I lost my voice, and even if I had it I didn’t know how to communicate what was wrong, or what I needed. I needed something, but I had no idea what.

The nothing place whispered to me:
“Just let yourself die, your weakness is a burden. Do not let them be poisoned by the vacancy where your heart should be” and to this I nearly listened.
I felt myself fading each day, and my face becoming a plasticine mask, a twisted and posed version of myself.
My perception of what “fine” looks like.

I have a mental illness, this will never go away. It is the shadow to my passion, my artistry, my quirkiness, my inspiration, my magic. Sometimes I will go 10 years without a deep depression, sometimes it will be just a few months a part. But this is part of me, and loving me means loving me when I am ill. I’m not saying this for you to hear, I am proclaiming it so I can read it over and over again. I am not broken, I am just a little scribbly sometimes.

Two Fridays ago I hit a rock bottom, I say “A” rock bottom because I am clever enough to know that every rock bottom as a trapdoor where you can fall further. But I had spent a month falling, descending into this particular rock bottom. Alone, and imprisoned by my own thoughts; for the first time in 6 years I felt as if I was watching myself from the ceiling, in shock by whomever had taken the wheel of my body. This was it, the crescendo of my manic breakdown, and I had little to no control over it. Those of you that know me well know that control is my favourite thing to have, and the thing I often need to let go of the most.

That evening for the first time in 6 years I went what I would describe as “crazy”. My conscious voice became the voice in the back of me head, and the voices of disesteem took front and centre. I hurt myself in ways both physical and mental that I am not fully comfortable talking about in detail here. I relapsed into a place of self loathing of which I thought was long gone from my grasp. A desolate place where all that exists is me, and the wolves that I set upon myself. “Everything that is wrong with your life, and those close to you is your fault. You are a disgusting, horrible failure of a person” Those are the kind of words that exist there. Kind of a mixture of narcissism and self destruction. I don’t recommend the visit, although I imagine many of you have frequented there at some point in your life.
My voice of reason finally dug it’s way out of the hole it had fallen into and went from a murmur to a fierce scream. I stopped myself before doing anything too damaging, and while I came out physically a little more broken, mentally I had a clarity that I had not had in at least 6 weeks.

I had been possessed by the ghost of who I used to be, perhaps because I never allow anyone to hear the stories of the things that happened to her. I have buried my stories of trauma and pain from the fear of being burdensome, finally the ghost of past me snapped. She wanted to be heard, to be seen, and she still does. What happened to her was not okay. This mixed with the recent deaths in my chosen family, the impending homelessness, and the chronic pain broke my walls down and allowed her to come crashing through.


“Travel far enough you meet yourself.” – David Mitchell

You know that meme of the cartoon dog drinking tea while his house burns down proclaiming everything is fine? Yeah that has been me as of late.

Although strangely enough once I reached that rock bottom, that dark night of the soul which called forth that clarity, things started to be actually okay externally. A beautiful (but not perfect) housing opportunity presented it’s self, my chronic pain subsided, and I started being able to write and make music again. My fear was this was a mania, that I dropped so hard that I spiked right back up. That suddenly everything was beautiful because it had to be for me to be able to survive it. It seems that is not the case though, I am present in mind and heart, I am aware that I need to speak more to close friends, and very much a counsellor who is well knowledgeable in breaking lose past traumatic events, I need to take better care of myself, and I need to allow myself to be aware that sometimes the shit hits the fan and it’s fucking okay to ask for help, even if I don’t know what that help looks like.

If I could set the words “burden”, “selfish”, and “failure” on fire I would. and I wouldn’t do it alone, I would allow everyone that has ever been hurt by those wounds of mine to also set these mother fuckers aflame. These things are ghosts, they only exist because I allow them to.

This is my underworld, last time I spent a lot of time here I wasn’t much. But now? I am a Queen in my own right. That evening was not my day to be devoured.

So I came out, alive, nearly well, and a hell of a lot more Human. The evening following this breaking I went and I performed at a good friends birthday party. Many of my old mechanisms told me I was too broken to do as such, but funnily enough another mechanism kicked in harder when i realized how horrible I would feel if I let said birthday gathering down. At my core though I wanted to be with them, through them I saw beauty, and through them I saw mirrors of myself that I couldn’t see alone. How could these amazing people love someone that wasn’t worthy of it?

Being Human it is a constant process of trial and error, humanness is an end goal that only comes with the knowing that you’ve lived a fine life and are ready to die well – dying well does not mean alone, in self loathing, and hiding from all the beautiful things that you’re able to achieve in this world. Being Human is it not something we are born with, it is something we are constantly being taught, and should we be so lucky; eventually we be able to teach. I teach on occasion, and more often I learn.
Sometimes I learn from the process of forgetting. Funny thing isn’t it?

“You’ve met me at a very strange time in my life” – Fight Club

I am a scholar of my own and other’s often clumsy humanness. I am dedicated to making mistakes, and getting back up again, I am ready to go on if even I cannot, I am cultivating the worthiness that goes far beyond my lifelines sight, but doesn’t exclude it. I don’t need to be remembered, I just want people to live in our collective wake and to continue remembering.
When we live knowingly in the wake of those that loved us enough to go on, we step into being a conscious rippling wake, or rather we become awake one could say.
Someone loved me enough to go on, and I love myself, my chosen family, my vision, and those that will come after me enough to also go on.

I am not the first, nor am I the last to struggle. But that doesn’t make my story one that shouldn’t be spoken to. So what does Mya need now? I don’t really know. To be heard, I guess that is what I am doing by sending this rock skipping into the digital ether of the internets shores.

What else? I like hugs, I like patience, I thrive on words of affirmation, and creative collaboration. I am moving to an alien to me island in two weeks and I would really like if sometimes people came to visit me, I fear my tendency to fall into my own head. I love it when people poke me to respond to messages and phone calls, but even more so when the pokes come with an understanding that my lack of response is not personal. Patience, diligence, and a love of my shadow. That is what I need. And ironically enough I am pretty sure I already have that on most parts.

I don’t know where I am going from here, but I know it’s going to be fucking harrowing, absolutely gorgeous, gratifyingly difficult, and ever curious. I have shit to do, and external/internal shifts to catalyze, I have a world to change and a me to mend. And I know for sure that I cannot do that alone.
I know that it’s speaking out like this directly after the thing has happened that will bridge the gap of my self exile.
Speaking now of my experience instead of speaking a year from now. A year from now when the story perhaps inspires and benefits you, but really doesn’t really do a whole lot for me in the realms of present me’s vulnerability. Because by then I will have already externalized it and processed it myself, and I’ll tell you holy hell am I good at doing that.
Sure it’s scary exposing your past self, but being open and honest about your present state is even more terrifying.

I am not looking for pity or attention, I am looking to be transparent and cultivate accountability with the people I care about.

I am looking to shatter the stigma that on whatever level this type of rock bottom doesn’t effect absolutely everyone.


This is me speaking, this is actually what I look like when I feel actually fine, taking the space to retrieve the pieces of myself. Kind of like when you have to clean up after a flipped board game. I won’t always be this fine, often I will be much better; and sometimes I’ll tumble as I have this past month. But if anything at all I become more and more human every damn day. With you, my fellow humans in the making.

With Deep Bows,

Being Human and Mental Illness pt 2

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My relationship to music is a very intimate one. I have often said that if it wasn’t for the presence of music in my life I would be dead. Perhaps physically, perhaps just emotionally. I cannot say for sure. But I have my guesses.

Throughout life I have been dealt some heavy instances, somethings I am only now understanding where not at all okay for a child to endure. And in my darkest hours music was there for me. From my walkman, to my discman, to my ipod, to my smartphone – it was and is rare that i didn’t/don’t have my comfort blanket on hand. Music, It never hurt me, it never abandoned me, and it held me and those I held dear when no one else would – or could.

Today was a dark morning for me, Dolores O’Riordan the lead singer to The Cranberries was found dead in her hotel room late last night. I’m crushed, and a sea of torrential tears followed. Dolores was not just her music, she was a Female lead in a country that certainly didn’t encourage that, she was fierce Irish Woman battling mental illness, she was an artist and a revolutionary, she was a Mother of three, she was 46, she was a heroine of mine since I was a small girl. She was art, and her art saved my life.

In Dolores I saw my own reflection. She taught me it was okay to be a rebel, to be a poet, to be different. In the end, in her ending, Music couldn’t save her, but it saved me.

Growing up my Mother loved The Cranberries, my mother loved music in general and most of our days were filled with the shared dance that came with knowing that all we had was each other, and our music. The Cranberries, The Stone Temple Pilots, David Bowie, Queen, and SoundGarden were all a staple. Now their front people are elsewhere than in the living realm. Dead, but not really.
When things got hard, as they often did, music would blare out our car window as we drove, just drove anywhere and listened to music. When my Mom and Stepdad’s domestic abuse would reach a crescendo, music would cradle us in our shared strife. Music was a Mother to me when my own Mother couldn’t be there, Music was her Mother too. The Cranberries often took this space. Her heartfelt irish wails cascading over our shared sorrowing. It encouraged nourishment, grieving, and going forward – only because of the fodder these sounds provided us.

I found home only in my Mother, but something in Dolores’s songs, in her voice reminded me of a home I had not felt yet. It reminded me of my blood’s mother land, it reminded me that revolution, courage and endurance ran through my veins. That I was put on this earth to be brave, that I was put here to receive and to give back ten fold.

Fast forward to me, age 15 – I’m sad, I’m lost and I have no fucking idea what am doing. I need guidance, I need support, I need something – but I am alone, scared and in that strange place in-between being a child and an adult. I reach a space of breaking, and for the first time in my life I go further than just contemplating suicide. In the Fall of my 15th year I took every pill in my house and waited for death to retrieve me, I was tired – and now looking back I understand that I was more tired than any girl my age should have been. The world was on my shoulders and I didn’t know how to ask for help. So I waited, and I listened to music. I listened to The Cranberries album “No need to argue” on repeat, and I cried whilst clutching my “last slurpee”. Melodramatic, hell yes. I never claimed anything different.

The immense physical pain hit, and the music played on. In my delirium it sounded as if she was singing to me, good gods I just wanted a strong, kind, Woman to sing to me. She sang her sonnets, these songs that effected me in a way I had no capacity to understand at that point. And suddenly my breaking point hit a wall; No. I didn’t want to die, I really didn’t. I just wanted someone to sing to me, hold me, and to empower me to make change in my own way. I just wanted a world where people would sing to each other when things became broken. I called 9-1-1 and they were there within 10 minutes.

I lived, obviously – and while I would like to say I was healed completely, I cannot boast such a thing. There were many other slip ups over the next ten years, the scars on my body only a minor reflection of the scars inside. But I was a little bit healed, and a lot less dead than I had planned. Bonus!
Music, has always been the salve that enabled me to pick myself up again, music has saved my life so many times. My desire was only to return that favour with my own artistic expression.

But Dolores is dead, and while this is shattering news to me I am proud that I do not feel the need to join her. We live in a world that does not know how to tend to the mentally ill, A world that sees it as something to be swept under the rug, as a cultural burden. This is bullshit, as it was the culture it’s self that enabled these woundings.

I woke up this morning and I sobbed for an hour, at first I sobbed for her death, and then I sobbed with terror – if she one of my heroines could not do it, then how the fuck could I? Much like I felt when Michael Stone and Chris Cornel had lost their battle with mental illness. They were so strong, how could I possibly keep fighting a battle they lost? And then I cried for her Children, I cried for her fans, her band, and then the plethora of people in the world that felt weaker knowing she had succumbed to her grief.

And then I cried for my mother, she was my best friend, my sister, my home – and now we are estranged. She choose a much different, and very much conflicting path than I. And after Amplify Her came out what little remained of our relationship imploded. These past 3 months I have lost a hero, a home, a Mama, and a very toxic relationship between them all. I cried because I knew somewhere, she was crying too.

I miss my mom, I miss Dolores, and I miss all my dead heroes.

But I still have their music. In addition to that I have my own. and perhaps that is the only respectful form of immortality available to us. One day, I will die, I will feed life with my death and that is proper; but perhaps having lived in such a way that the music and art flowed through me authentically I would be offered the ability to keep giving after my dying. Much like Dolores has.

Her death was too soon, I will not fuck around and say otherwise. She lived in a sad world, one that we all lived in – and she gave until she could not anymore.

I have much to give, far past my young age, far past her age of 46, I have shit to do and a world to fill with art and love. And I promise you I will not do this alone.

There are no lone wolves in the wild, lone wolves die.

Thank you Dolores, thank you so god-damn much for holding me and the others that you did, in the way that you did. Thank you for stirring my ancestral memory as you did, thank you for fighting as you did, thank you for the revolution. We will continue on where you left off.

In my blood there is music, art, magic, power, grief and an infinite amount of love. And god damn it one day I will be in my 90’s telling my great grandchildren all the stories I have been fated to collect. Surrounded by the living, and surrounded by my dead.

This I promise you.

Being Human and Mental Illness – Pt 1

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This was first written inspired by Self Harm Awareness day. In the spirit of taking some of my greatest wounds and transmuting them into my greatest gifts. This is my consistent practice, and my ever pushed edge.

TW: Self Harm, Depression, Mental Illness etc

#SelfHarmAwarenessDay – seems kind of trite doesn’t it? But I would put forth a wager that the part of me that believes this triteness, is also the part of me that doesn’t like to talk about these things. Not in regards to myself at least.

Self harm, what a vastly misunderstood subject. I’ve been exploring through my thoughts on the experiences and pain that many of us share – yet seem to continue thinking are completely individual to each other. I’ve come to understand we cling to individualizing pain because we attach ourselves to it, see it as what defines us.
“I am not in pain, I am pain, and as such I am in control.”

I’ve been sifting through on my own ordeals of doing that exact same thing – my previous refusals to release the sovereignty of trauma. As if it was the only that actually made me special.
So if not the individual, where does it come from? Oh gosh thats a pandoras box of a question. Let’s open it just a crack.

The disregard and nonchalance that our society scoffs upon those openly experiencing loneliness, depression and acts of self-harm is abhorrent. The act of pushing away our psychologically injured is an obvious banishing of a bigger cultural mirror, one most would rather not accept. We all feel this ache, some just feel it louder, some feel it for those who can’t. Often it’s those who can’t bring themselves to feel their ache that offer the most apathy around the subject of “mental illness” and self harm.
Self Harm is much more than a cry for help or attention – it’s a deep festering cultural wound that touches us all. Perhaps thats why many are so reluctant to talk about it without triggering an influx of medicinal adhesives and pillow talk of “Shhh it’ll all be okay”.
What has befallen a peoples of whom it has come to this level of toxic concealment?

Let me make something very clear, not all people who inflict self harm upon themselves are suicidal. More often than not they aren’t seeking death; they are seeking release, punishment, and sometimes even sanctification. This isn’t always true, but often it is. Many people who practice self harm feel so fucking much, and they have no idea where to put those feelings – so they bleed them out.

Another note: self harm is a huge umbrella statement, most people think of solely cutting/burning/etc. Self harm is exactly that, an act of escapism that is hurtful to the self. This could be, alcohol/drugs, workaholism, eating disorders, bad relationships, etc. It all comes down to escape, punishment, distraction, pain.

After copious years of self harms prominence in our western world, I see it now as learned behaviour. Passed down through generations. It’s very much developed in to genetic and environmental trauma.This is far too big to be swept under the rug of demanded and addictive positive thought. Addiction to positive thought can too be a form of self harming escapism. Isn’t that a twist?

It’s not a coincidence that in a culture devoid of elders, initiation rites and village that 1 in 12 of youth teeter towards suicidal thoughts and acts of self harm…. of which generally starts around puberty. It isn’t a coincidence that those the least valued in our culture are the most prone to suicide, those two being teens and the elderly.

We all ache. Some of us wear it on the outside, some of us hide it. Hoping to the powers that be


“Please don’t let them find out I am broken, please don’t let them leave me”

That’s the core of it all really, feeling broken, fearing being alone, feeling so fucking much, all of the time. As if feeling made us broken.

This isn’t some ambiguous story I’m speaking about, this is my story.


For over 15 years, starting at age 12 I consciously self harmed. Even today only the brave ask me where all my scars came from, most just look away uncomfortable in their quiet curiosity. And those are just the scars on the outside.
Some call me brave, for speaking of these things. Yet I have barely mentioned anything of my personal story, and at this point this is all I will mention of it. Brave, maybe, tired of seeing my friends suffer? Definitely.
I see when the people who suffer speak up. They are often met with dehumanization, condescending coddling and made to feel like an infectious pariah, like infants, or burdens. The majority at large do not want to be reminded of their own shadow, their perceived life failures, and even more so want nothing to do with that of which reminds them of their mortality; especially death. Our culture is inherently deathphobic. Funny thing considering one way or another it is absolutely going to happen to us all. You would think we would have gotten used to it by now.
I made it out of the deepest depths, mostly. Many of my peers are dead now, thats the damn truth of the matter. Many did not make it out, and even more will not. Something has to change – like now, yesterday even. You know it, I know it, and it’s doable; but not in conjunction with the continuous ignorant acts of peremptory blind-sightedness.
Our shadow is screaming to be acknowledged and then respectfully tended to.

We are all here together floating in space, hurting, loving, feeling, longing and creating – If we want to heal ourselves individually it’s time we start to comprehend what it means to truly heal as a collective first. What would it mean to support each other, regardless of the fearfulness that surrounds us, regardless of the mirrors that it provides.
We need to heal this together. No more heroes, no more villians, just humans doing the hard work as a collective.

As a life long advocate of extreme independence and “leave me the fuck alone I can handle my shit” syndrome this is a damn hard thing for me to say

I was wrong, this can not be done alone, I cannot do this alone. No one can, and no one should feel they should have to.

Ponderings from the essential shadows of Humanity

To be continued….

The Accidental Addict

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I have a story to tell, and I will prefix it by saying the very idea of this vulnerability terrifies me. That said I am inspired by my recent admiration of the recovering alcoholics and addicts in my life.

I’ll start by being blunt. July 14th, 2014 was the last day I ever took an opiate into my body. Codeine was the vice that took me by surprise. It was the one I hid from the world, the one I normalized because it was legal – it WAS normal. Codeine is a hell of a drug, one that wears the face of a medicine, and for some really is medicine. For a time at least. Profound empathy and emotions have always been both my gift and my burden, imagine my shock when I found a way to turn them both off nearly completely. This was the most dangerous form of seduction I have ever endured.

TW: talk of depression/suicide/opiates

I have never celebrated this anniversary, I guess it’s because a part of me still doesn’t want to admit that I was/am an addict. But that doesn’t stop it from being true, in 6 months I will be celebrating 3 years sober from codeine and other pain killers. I will admit that not a week goes by that I don’t feel the tug of oblivion, that said thats a hell of a lot better than when i felt the tug every day, or every hour even.

In the spring of 2009 I had my first tooth abscess, the mixture of several bulimic relapses over the course of my teens and then becoming pregnant wreaked havoc on my teeth. Over the course of 2009 and 2015 I suffered 7 abscessed teeth. Now let me tell you something, I have the pain tolerance of a masochistic horse; but infected tooth-nerve pain is a special kind of hell I would wish on very few. Electric, hot, blaring and absolutely unignorable this was the type of pain you would do anything to stop. And betwixt raising the thousands of dollars for dental work I tried pretty much everything to sooth the anguish. The doctors in their piteous gaze were more than happy to provide me with a plethora of pain killers. These I learned worked a lot quicker when you mixed them with hard liquor – and actually wait! Not only was my physical pain gone, but so was my emotional pain, and mentally I felt better that ever. Really fucking great, oh hot damn I could take on the world. What I didn’t understand then was that much like my physical pain, the emotional hurt wasn’t going away, it was just building up. Waiting to crest in the moments where I wasn’t cavorting in euphoric numbness. Those moments were the worst.

So I guess I became an addict, but I had no idea. Throughout my years of being around substances and as a “bad kid” using various party drugs I never found myself particularly pulled to continue on taking any of them. It got the job done sure, but it was merely experiences. Even with smoking I was very much aware that I did it for the social lubricant, the connection. In my hubris I had thought myself immune to such an affliction, how could I be an addict? I know better than that.

I once was given the reflection

“You are a very real person, in a very fake world. That is why you hurt so much”.

While the expression was well meaning it only plummeted me deeper into a space of emotional exile. Why did the whole damn world get to be fake and I had to deal with realness. I wanted to be fake too, I wanted to stop hurting.

So around 2010 life got hard, really fucking hard. I, awash in stereotypes tried to balance life as wounded knight, a single mother, a private dancer, a vengeful lover and a starving artist. Even after my teeth were fixed I still continued to pop these pills, openly I would state I had migraines, or that I took them to stay awake at parties. When you’re so nonchalant about something so frequent people start to believe you’re just fine, I certainly believed as such. In late 2010 I went to the doctor, at the end of my rope with my depression. He gave me a test and after spending 15 minutes talking AT me concluded I was indeed dangerously suicidal and needed to be medicated right away. He prescribed, Effexor, Ativan and Quetiapine. I expressed my trepidation in being given the possession of drugs that could result in overdose, he scoffed and told me they would balance me out enough so that wouldn’t be an issue on my mind. For the record it did very much continue as an issue on my mind.

“Don’t worry” he said “I am on effexor, and it works fantastically. I feel great”

Desperate and bamboozled I agreed. What he neglected to tell me is that Ativan should never be mixed with alcohol, and effexor’s withdrawal has been described as more intense than trying to quit a heroin habit. But thats a whole other story. So the next year was a whirl of fog and self medication, and as it was utterly endorsed by my doctor I still had no idea I had a substance problem. I knew my life was a mess, but for a variant of other reasons.
I couldn’t have a substance problem. Not me, I was wild, sensual, silly and fun – unless of course I was behind closed doors being a total venomous bitch or feeling inconsolably hollow.

2011, I go to burning man, the Temple breaks me open in every way I need to be broken open, I soon after leave Effexor, Ativan and Quetiapine behind me and never touch them again.
“I’m cured! I no longer have a dependance for anything. But, you know. I get these headaches still…..”
Post Burning Man I start to get my life in order yet I am still fluctuating between elation with life and crippling depression, but at least I can feel again. And when I don’t feel like feeling, I have the pain killers.

“I don’t NEED them though”

2012 I am off to Burning Man again, two days before-hand I get another abscess in my tooth, stubbornly refusing to cancel my trip I go to my doctor. He prescribes me 80 (eighty!) Tylenol 3s. I feel the joyful glee of one hell of a time in the cards. It was a hell of a time, probably one of the best times of my life. Even though I can’t really remember much of it, I’m pretty sure it was fun. Right.

The years pass and while my life has balanced out significantly I am still battling depression and frantic bouts of rage/suicidal thoughts – mostly in the privacy of my own solitude. Where was this coming from? Or was I just broken by nature?
In 2014 my Partner at the time and I were having a heated argument, he went to the bathroom and while he was gone I popped a handful of pain killers and washed them down with whiskey. He returned and I was subdued, my eyes glazed over, a perfect apathy washed over my face and I motioned him to continue. He looked at me with a bewildered pain in his eyes and asked

“Where did you go?”
“I’m right here” I smiled
“No Mya, no you are not” he said.

He was right, I was gone. That was the end of the conversation. He later told me he had never felt so abandoned by me. Abandoned? How could I ever do that? What was I running from? The next few days were a blur of emotions, me alone at home by myself, feeling irritable, heart broken, suicidal, erratic, physically worn out; the intensity of it all didn’t hold any logic to me and suddenly I had a thought.
“Is this withdrawal?”

I hopped on my laptop and consulted Dr. Internet on symptoms of codeine addiction. “loss of appetite, depression, irritability, anxiety, stomach pain, psychosis, mania”

Cue life bomb in 3….2….1….boom.
Holy shit. I was addicted to pain killers. And I had been for a very long time. Life happens fast, and sometimes you pick up some crazy demons along the way, never even noticing they have latched on to you. So I stopped, I admitted it all, I quit. It was far beyond anything I would call easy but I quit, cold turkey. Catalyzed by stigma, shame, and guilt I haven’t touched pain killers since, even though gods know I wanted to. This addiction was like biting the proverbial apple, when you are always well aware that there is a magical little pill that can make your intense emotions stop dead in their tracks. Not just the negative ones, all of them, even the amazing emotions are a lot to deal with. The seduction of that knowledge is always there, whispering its pillow talk into the back of your mind.

That was July 14th, 2014, in addition a few years later I would also quit hard alcohol because of the triggering connection I still held between the two substances. I never gave a shit about craft liquors, what year they were, what their history was. I just wanted to stop my heart from expanding so rapidly, I wanted to douse my fires with an apathetic “nothing”. It’s been nearly 3 years (if you round up) and it’s taken me this long to even begin to tell people that I had a problem. It started in my shadows, and that’s where it ended. There is something very sad about that.

It’s true, I am a very real person, and much of the world is very fake. Much of this is because of the same reasons I fell into addiction. We are lonely, we have lost our village mindedness, many of have no sense of home, family, and beyond the mask of ego we are constantly fearful of losing love, or that we at our core are ultimately worthless. This isn’t true, but it sure is easy to believe.

The world isn’t fake, the thick veil of worthlessness that most of us are smothered with, THAT is what is fake. On a micro scale I am a recovered addict, on a much larger scale I am in the process of recovering from a very shattered culture.
It’s when I am alone that my cravings are by far the strongest. There really is something to be noted about that. So I am taking the time along with others to peal back those voices of disesteem and go deeper. This can’t be done without emotions, without love, anger, grief, and without each other. It’s hard, but baby it hurts so fucking good.

So yeah, theres a little piece of my story, heres lies my little tale, still in the midst of being written. Each day I step more and more into me, although sometimes it’s hard – I wouldn’t wish to be anyone else, or to have become as such any other way.

‘I assure you, I am not put together at all. Nor am I broken. I’m recovering – finding the beautiful in the ugly and stitching it into my life’

The Dualistic Myth

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Ever since I watched “The Force Awakens” (with excited clenched fists, several times) I have been curious to where the Star Wars movies are heading with this new trilogy, I note the similarities to the originals but with some blatantly obvious differences. Perhaps this is on purpose, perhaps I am idealistic. Perhaps perhaps perhaps.

That said having seen the first two in the new trilogy I still hold a hope in my heart that it’s new story being spoken to is one of inter-being, verses one of the ever constant battle between light and dark.
What would it mean to take Star Wars, the current western cultures most prominent story and use it as a catalyst for shifting the stories that we are living out globally. Instead of telling the same tales over and over again what would it mean to have them support our growth as a species.

To move from creatures of oppositional violence, to beings of evolutionary balance. A world without war, but still one with stories that enthralled us. Could that be done?

When faced with a choice, what would you choose the good side, or the bad side? Despite the seduction, despite the inkling that each choice by it’s very nature is RELATIVE to one’s perspective. By choosing, in this culture at least – you immediately identify yourself – stamped right on the forehead:

“am I a good guy, or am I a bad guy?”

I noted they touch on this a few times in the film, that by choosing the path of the light that an equal in the darkness would inevitably rise.

“All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.”
―Joker ” The Killing Joke ”

You see this over and over in western literature and pop culture, the knight slays the dragon, the Hero thwarts the Villain, the champion saves the day. It is rare that someone asks, does the “bad guy” believe themselves to be the “bad guy” or are they in their minds fighting for the righteous cause. What befell a peoples that we must identify an opposing other to feel that we have value as individuals?

The film it’s self is called Star WARS, although as a child I didn’t connect it to war. I connected it to the noble and just battle between Good and Evil. Between the forces that would chose to support life, and the forces that would choose to destroy it. Not understanding at the time that for life to thrive sustainably it needs both to be nourished and to endure much death. Destruction clearing at path for new life to begin. Not at the hand of man, but at the hand of nature it’s self.

NOTE: From here on there are Star Wars Spoilers. You’ve been warned. Put down your vengeful plastic lightsabers.

I felt myself siding with Kylo Ren a few times in the film, despite his overt (Grand)daddy issues and emo haircut his attempts at logic resonated with me.

He pleaded with Rey mid-film to join him in letting old stories die. Releasing the ideology of Jedi, Sith, the Resistance, the republic, the empire, all of it. He pleaded that a new age be allowed to come forth. YES! I thought. Hell yeah Kylo Ren! Neutral space, finally.

He continued on: all they had to do was allow the people that still believed in that outdated dogma to die out at the hands of the First Order. Wait. No, no Kylo Ren, no! Bad Kylo, thats a antithetic Kylo Ren, no.
Despite his desire to move forward into a new paradigm of grey area, he still was working towards it with “darkside” methods. Kill everything that is oppositional. Which clearly our doe eyed Rey wasn’t having any of. From my perspective the idea seemed quite appealing to her until it suddenly involved letting everyone she loved die a horrible fiery space death. After stating this she wouldn’t allow herself to hear anymore of what he had to to say. Thus he once again become all “SMASHY, KILL, “You’re not even my real Dad! WAH WAHH!” adolescent, and she became the stoic sassy girl next-door hero. Perpetuating the now toxic stories that have throttled their lives and families.

In spite of feeling the call to move into a new way of being they both continue to occupy a space a of polarity. Rey and Kylo Ren are self identified still too far on either end of the spectrum to meet in the middle. Balance remains unmet.

Rey is a wrench in the workings, I really hope this is a purposeful maneuverer by the writers. It was exposed that her family is in-fact not part of the holy/profane skywalker bloodline. She comes from “no one” and from “no where”. The Force is it’s self trying to rid it’s self from the galacticly enforced constraints of ” the good side”, and “the bad side”.

We’ve been hearing the plea from Jedi Masters from the beginning “Bring Balance to the Force” and to do that it seems that the darkness needs to be embraced, just as the lightness would be. No Jedi, no Sith, just pure Grey energetic force. Luke Skywalker says himself, the force is in all of us, and Rey’s sudden appearance as a strong power pulled to both the light and the darkness supports that theory.

What is to happen to the Human being once the Hero walks off into the sunset?

Some say that the new star wars betrayed Luke’s character by turning him away from his people after releasing evil into the world. But this was not the first time that a Jedi master had gone into hiding – Obi Wan Kenobi vanished on a desert planet into anonymity, Yoda reclused deep into a huge swamp. It only makes sense that baring the golden hero’s weight that Luke (like those before him) would collapse into bitter self loathing and exile.
Seriously, fuck the prolonged Hero Archetype. And while the Heroes Journey is integral to our initiatory journeys, it means nothing but fodder for the ego if we don’t have a dedicated support network to return to. A devoted family, a mirroring community, a village to hold the human once the Hero’s weight causes him or her to collapse.
A Hero untethered may very well be the worlds most dangerous weapon.

In our world, in our history how often have those we proclaimed as heroes, teachers, and visionaries fallen from grace solely because it was too tiresome to carry the burden of being a champion alone? That breaking is almost inevitable.

I would put forth that the next saviour wont be a person but instead a collective consciousness.

I am tired of these dyadic stories of black and white, I am tired of watching entire planets (RIP Alderaan) explode, and in real life entire countries becoming desolate wargrounds. All this for the sake of some group of peoples opposing ideas of what is wrong, and what is right. There is a new story that wants desperately to be born, and it is up to us to midwife it into consciousness.

What if this whole Star Wars chronicle of Darkness and Light has been a 40 year build up to the most epic mind bomb mic drop that we have ever witnessed?

Perhaps I am being a radical romantic, but I know who I am routing for – not the good guys, or the bad guys – but instead the Human beings working towards an interdependant world where wars (both internal and external) are a thing left in the old stories.

No good, no bad, just evolving humans. (and whatever other alien species joins us along the way……. I’m looking at you Chewbacca)

​The terms and Conditions of attending Erotica Electronica

In purchasing a ticket and/or attending Erotica Electronica you are agreeing to adhere to the boundaries of those attending the event. In attending you are agreeing that you understand the lines of consent and are self aware of the power of your own energies.

What is Consent?

​At Erotica Electronica ​whatever your status, gender, age, race, role, alignment,​ or whatever, Consent is​ absolutely mandatory​. We define consent as when one person voluntarily agrees to a proposition or desires of another/s.​ ​​A mutual coherence to proceed with each other in respectful contact.

In a​ ​physical and/or sensual​​ context mutual consent means​ the​ respect of intimate boundaries and desires. In building a consent culture we do not coerce or force someone to do something they are not enthusiastically willing or desiring to do.
​At EE ​consent is​ not​ limited to ​intimate interactions, and should play a role in every interaction.​ Want a hug? Ask first. Care to join someone in a dance or conversation? Ask them.​  Consent does not “kills the vibe”. Quite the opposite, it amplifies the courtship of connection. Respect, each other, respect yourselves, respect the safety of Erotica Electronica’s container.

1.  Consent must be explicit

There’s only one way to know for sure if someone has given their consent: if they tell you. It’s no good just to assume that the other person is as into it as you are. It’s extremely important to check, because any non-consensual sensual activity (even kissing and touching) is harmful and against the law.

2. You can always change your mind

​Consent should never be assumed, and consent can be retracted at anytime – with or without an excuse. This is a basic human right, and a hard boundary here at EE. You and your connection can decide at any time that you want to stop, even if you have connected previously. This is OKAY!

3. It’s good to check in with each other

Take notice of your connections’s body language. For example, if they seem tense or uncomfortable, pause and ask them how they’re feeling. But don’t rely on them to notice your body language – speak up and tell them how you’re feeling and if you want to stop, slow down, or take a break.

4. Inebriation affects consent

Intoxication happens, even if we do not encourage it/sell alcohol. If someones really drunk or high, they can’t give consent. And if you are with someone who’s really drunk or high and doesn’t know what’s going on then they cannot give informed consent. Plain and simple. If​ you that​ note someone is inebriated​,​ be proactive​, ​respect that persons state of mind​, and wait until they are in a clearer space to respond​.

Remember: if you’re all equally respectful and enthusiastically “fuck yeah!” about your interactions, it makes them SO much funner.


Still have questions? Please feel free to message our FB page, OR at the event talk to our Consent Ambassadors. We are here for you. If you have questions, concerns, curiosity we are here to support you. (even if you think you might have breeched consent, come chat! we’re friendly and love to help). Our trained consent staff are set up at the indoor entrance, and we also have roaming staff. Look for our rectangle “consent ambassador” pins.

Upon arrival you’ll be asked to sign a waver stating you understand these terms and conditions. (These will be kept private)

With fierce respect and deep love,

Mya Hardman/AppleCat – Founder of Erotica Electronica

 

Love Without Mirrors

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Love without Mirrors

The lovers tussle can become ingrown
devoid of faith, entangled in stories
without a mirror in sight
we two become a carnivorous mouth

she dances through the bony air –
like a hungry child
frothing at the scent of affirmation;
glistening off of destitute eyes
– the very sight of it –
a taste that all cast away hearts lust for.

If she could be a small thing, for just a while
she would live on the inside of him
for a moment
where decadence, meets defiance
and lays to rest
where time meets, complete silence
she is free to digress

-but you are not the home she seeks-


He, stretched marked and inflated
tired and furious
wolves beaten into subservience
a token for his eternal trespass
bound by blood and habit
he begs “please, make me whole again”

If he could be a hero, just for a moment
riding into the sunset, shameless
without consequence,
humanity cast to the wind, needing nothing
only passion and glory
and an exaggerated story
immortality at livings cost

-But you are not the damsel he craves-

You are lovers & together the maw rumbles
still hungry
repelled by the faithfulness
of seeing each other.
May you find your home,
in those that circle your waltz
those that hold space
in-between it all, to memorialize love.
to live beyond being food and conjure shared vision

These mirrors feed
beyond the beloved’s hand you hold
they bare witness to such nexus
the soul-storming steadfast village
that begs to awaken.
If you choose to chase the memory
of how we could be
love may become liberated
and truly be free

recoiled, in their own resounded rapture.
They may inspire, too powerful
to shudder and grovel
any longer

“In deep partnership – home is not found in the other person, but the willingness to make home together in the world” – Love Without Fear

-ac/mh

Canada

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Happy 150th birthday, right.

In my opinion
one cannot have a birthday
unless they were born

torn from the womb, history erased

without a consent
still born turtle island wept
kept on life support

spirit transmuted into a ghost

There was no midwife,
gently massaging her teet
insuring her comfort

coveted blood dripping from her brow

only insurance
that she would not remember
who she was before

we youth hear her quivering whisper

150 years
having landed, not arrived
food to wetiko

the hordes of our old ones rumble

the drum is calling
trespass runs hot through my veins
refusing to quell

she has been kind beyond her necessity

peaceful resistance
self loathing is narcism
we can do better

this land’s soil runs ancient

Open the in-between
decolonize canada
themselves & ourselves

Dance as if your feet were the flame

shake the ground with song
ecstatic connective reverence
bring in your lost dead

These are the spaces in-between stories

a shift’s precipice
a resurgence or a death
we can choose this fate

We can collectively choose life, together – and only together – we can thrive

#AppleCat

#WaterIsLife #LandIsSacred #Fuckthe150 #Canada150 #haiku #poetry#cananaday

The Decolonize mural artist credit goes to artist #LavieRaven

“Decolonize is a universal message to all people of the earth to reconnect to their ancestry, the earth, to their traditional medicines and knowledge, and to a global consciousness that we are all related. Everyone on the planet has indigenous roots to somewhere,”

Love Beyond WildFire

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Love until you’ve gone mad, and then once you get there – keep going. That’s where the lush stuff likes to hide.

Most people are taught to love with the transient and luminescent fragility of a candle’s flame. Leaving always a wondering of a greater capacity, a nagging “what if” whispering in your ear.

For a very long time I loved instead with the rebellious and destructive fierceness of a forest fire. All encompassing, passionate, erratic. Annihilative eros clearing all in its path. I burnt hot, I burnt out.
So then what else is there?

Rising from the ashes of that inferno, i embrace a rooted journey into the practice and scholarship of love. Roaming the crevasses and expense of the heart, to which I have yet to see any clear boundary or edge. Just an ever broadening horizon.

Instead of wild fire I choose to love like a cosmic catastrophe, as if every moment were a big bang. A constant and collective transformation.
Universe after universe dreamt through chaos, and crafted with order. With devotion and deep adoration in every beat in every sigh. I see now that authentic love is creation incarnate. I see that every moment, orgasm, heartbreak and wild abandon has been damn worth the continued fruits of the pilgrimage.

I cannot help but stand in awe at what strange and magnificent creatures we lovers tend to be.

– AppleCat