USA: Letters From Home

In place of a resolution, the new year has become a time to express thankfulness.

A time to review the kisses, the slaps on the wrist, all of the blushes of shame and failure, and the victories individual and collective that have arisen. All of the spectrum of sensations that knit together what it means to be human. To evaluate your role in the creation and destruction of ideas, because even accidentally, by giving our tacit consent or by creating small ripples, we are a part of the greater social consciousness. The time to rejoice is always at hand, as is the time to seek new balance.

Above all, I seek truth because without truth our daily routine is not life, but a pale imitation of life. Without truth, love cannot exist nor the kind of beauty that stems from the deep trenches of the soul. Without truth, we are enslaved. I seek to share my life with others with a commitment to liberation through cross cultural communication. I seek to strip. To uproot institutionalized deceptions. To smash the barricades and lay the dynamite to let raw sensations flow unbound. For the resources and environment that have produced this in me, I am thankful. For the political freedom, the basic human right to express discontent. For the privilege of my education. May we never turn on those seeking the same platform for speech.

I stepped onto a plane, 19, sweaty palms and knocking knees with a fresh excitement that persists. Even then I felt the weight of a pen in my pocket. A shitty hotel side table pen, but of the perfect weight and craft for the job at hand, it fit in my hand in a way that must have been divine. I traced the length of it in my pocket with my thumb, savoring the power of it, and also the delicacy. Words give us wings as much as they are our weapons. It is books that dared me to find self reliance and courage in adventure and filled my daydreams with the landscapes of the great beyond. The pen lasted a summer in Costa Rica, but a love affair with the written language is a lifetime.

I am and have always been meant to be fluid like water. Fluid like ink.

Now I have started to feel my roots creeping into Philadelphia soil, hugging its cement curves and flirting with its hard metallic depths, but I am meant to ebb and flow. I am surrounded every day by creative and loving and open armed individuals, brimming with inspiration, who push me to seek all alternatives and fill my very foundation with their solidarity. I dread those goodbyes, weighing my teeth down like anchors, and yet, it is time to once again challenge the limits of my flexibility and seek new adventure ahead. So this new year, I savor all the moments that have filled me with fire and the strange indelible magic of the unknown. I savor having lived in a community that extols the individual. I savor having a community that makes it so difficult to say goodbye.

My brilliant and brilliantly talented Norwegian songstress goddess of a friend Jamie Glisson created this video of a very special moment for me, a surprise goodbye surrounded by said creative community. Thank you. I love you.
Check out her music at http://www.cape-wrath.com

May we forever laugh at our attempts to construct permanence, for all is impermanent, and instead of attempting to recreate past happiness, build from it, find inspiration in it, and add to our world’s cultural inheritance.

Straight on til morning.

Warmth,
Arlene

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