So much time spent reading and researching to try and understand what was going on with my situation, so many attempts at finding answers for two years, so many promises of someone who could tell me exactly what was going on with my life, yet not one step closer to understanding what’s happening to me every day. I have no idea what’s going on, I’ve seen countless battles between old friends who knew and wanted to take advantage of that situation. All of that ends today. I am withdrawing from the world, seeking solace in the mountains. Even then, I am not safe. I have no idea whats happening, no one is telling me, when any of them could. Not one brave spirit among anyone, where is the truth that I seek?
Espresso doesn’t mean fast, it means expression.
There are so many options when you are ordering drinks from an artisanal coffee shop, and each has its own methods and teachings, handed down orally from years of knowledge. I know three and I’d love to discuss them here before I start my new assignment at Ebar at Nordstrom’s. I plan to offer all three I currently know, there are so many others, and each is wonderful and different. I have my own version of each of them, so please know when you’re ordering at any coffee shop I work at, that while my personal style is unique I can make anything you really dream of, from the deepest mochas to the lightest cappuccinos and macchiatos. I’m sure I will learn a new style at Ebar.
I don’t know the house style yet at Ebar, but my barista training taught me three methods, one I could call the Equator, with subtle, elegant microfoam, one I could call Texas96, an aerated, vintage, bubbly froth explosion, and one I could call Mill Valley School, as a working title.
Texas 96 is a frothy, aerated foam crested drink that leaves an espresso milk base completely separated from the milk itself, and it’s served extremely hot, pushing to the upper levels to the maximum 140-degree mark, but still drinkable. It’s bold like Texas itself. I was taught in a bookstore in Texas in 1996, as my first job, and so I’m calling it Texas96. It’s vintage, and almost a quarter-century old.
Equator is a modern style, which I learned from taking a barista certification course, which is really elegant, with a series of modern techniques creating a blend across and within the surface of the entire espresso drink itself, it’s subtle, elegant, and delicious, It’s so good that the last one I made I literally scooped out the remaining foam from the cup, and it was not quite a desert, but so amazing. I love making my version of it and I can’t wait to see what folks think about it.
And the Peets style, which I’m going to call Mill Valley School. comes from what I learned at Peets, which is a rather hot bold style that is all its own, which is a mildly frothy, un aerated mix that is inseparable in my mind from the experience of the cafe itself. I was taught by one of the lead baristas about this method one day in Mill Valley School, by an almost operatic singer who I worked the closing shift with one evening in the town.
Each is a style I can weave in between, and I have my own style in all three styles I could call Cloud School, which is the ability to have any one of these shapes and textures, just like clouds in the sky. In that way each belongs to me, no one, and everyone at the same time, just as clouds combine in our own imaginations into something that’s truly our own, in perfect harmony with all that can be, and all there is, in our bodies, speech, and mind.
Practised making espresso drinks for around four hours this morning, and each one was so different. Being a barista is like fine art, no matter what you read or get scientific about it (i know all of the chemical reactions and processes from my research).
The way each is contained, each espresso’s mix of milk and coffee, from bright white to the darkest shades of black and brown. Each one is unique, and in that sense, it’s truly alive, vibrant culture in one warm cup. It comes as a massive group effort, from the hands of farmers to the engineers who make the steam and roasting machines, from cultures far and near.
I understand why so many visual artists get work as baristas. It’s absolutely the same thing. Our cultures are like that. Everyone is different and all are equally amazing, and it’s exciting to get each cup and see what’s in store for your particular experience.
I hope everyone gets a chance to try an artisanal coffee shop, there are so many now, and I learned at one of the best, Peets. And if we take it with intention, we can realize that each moment is different, and just carefully observed.
It’s Sunday, I hope your morning was as good as mine was, and if you’re ever in the North Bay I hope you’ll stop by any coffee shop I work at, I’ll let you know where once I know more. I’ll make you a warm drink that is specifically yours. I won’t and you won’t experience anything like it before and anything like it again. Does that make it the best? Absolutely not, but each is a moment in time, and if that’s what I do as a day job, I’m excited and fulfilled.
We went down the hill and voted, no one really in line, everyone was happy, almost everyone, and it was beautiful. The elder townspeople and volunteers helping the polling place, the American Flags outside in people’s yards, the birds singing, folks from all walks of life. Each moment so peaceful, as if to remind me, of all that happens in the rest of the world, this space is sacred, not one place in a moment, but an idea in time, of shared resources, coming together, to choose our futures, and prepare for better days. What do we choose when we’re voting, the hope that we have in our hearts to make the right decisions, our own that will remain. Hope belongs to no one, it’s held in our hearts as solemn as a vow. It’s with us from our first beginnings, each step along the way. And what is more to hope for, than a hope for peace, that can be renewed with every life on earth, flowers grow, seasons change, a bird in a forest, gentle as a dove, the silences enwrapped in circular motion, in every moment a promise of home.
Hovering not against a solid ground, one in constant motion over the expanse of time, holding an ember glow of soft cadences, clear as birdsong in a silent forest, open without sight or mind, in the stillness the promise, a cry of a plane overhead, wars, years in moments. Each sound becomes frequency, and in. silence becomes an oscilloscope in a science class somewhere, deep in memory, green and flickering across the black grey surfaces, each murmur a diagonal, each in its own hidden promise, like a growing spring, come late into summer, as the seasons change. But what does it know of the cool of the evening, the warmth of the human heart, the rust becomes rainfall, the garden becomes a dream, and here we sit, not against a solid ground, one constant in motion, but the expanse of time, held in the ember glow of soft cadences clear as a song in a silent forest, eyes wide open, for all that we can ever hope to see.
Some friends only know about this site for updates into what I’ve been up to, and honestly I work so much that I haven’t slowed down to take a step back and look at the year so far, but here’s what I’ve been up to, sorry if this is a little like a laundry list, but it’s a good laundromat! And you can see how much has happened in what seems, like such a short time, but was in reality, so deep and rich that I can barely remember it, but here’s what happened:
In January I developed and released the Light Fields Film and subsequent art, from a book I worked on in 2021, across character design and architecture and individual works of art, dozens of new digital works in all five experimental films which are likely a preparation for a time when processing power can complete the film series.
In February I worked on the paintings and edited the film for the Fairfax Climate Action Committee, and devoted myself to immersion in French Culture and Language Study because first of its beauty and second of all, I dream of working at the UN, or having a cafe in France, in no particular order.. War in Ukraine started, and I started working for peace activism across any means I had.
In March I had my 1st art show in SF, continued peace activism, United Nations focus, new Four Eyes issue, mastered digital drawing with a Cintique and completed mastery of Photoshop, and moved toward that as my main creative tool. Had to give up 3D temporarily because of cost.
In April – separated my art and activism accounts across Twitter, building a new global brand series to focus my work into different perspectives. Finished the website and film for the Climate Action Committee, and the Wyndy Comic began.
In May I was elected Vice-Chair of the CAC, redesigned my website, started back at Peets, entry-level team member, taking orders, cleaning and closing the store, cooking and getting back in to the flow. Everyone at Peets knows the full store eventually so you start doing it all. Online Featured Art Exhibition at Art Placer, All books released on Twitter, #1 New Release in Modern Art. Released absolute best artwork on Foundation when gas was low. Continued Peace Activism late May – Dragon Diver game production began.
June – so far finished author accounts, started Barista Training, enrolled in an art program for building an art practice, and began looking for publishers. Secured my first volunteer graphic design gig for emerging filmmakers on Catchafire. Helping Lead Hour of Action at Climate Changemakers tomorrow.
Completed my plea for the war to stop. Separated my art and personal accounts for professionalism. I Began an Art Strike for Peace and Climate. No new works, in honor of the fallen and how many of our voices have been silenced in the brutal war. And that brings us to tonight, where, honestly, I’m a little frightened for the future with all I now know, but I have the resolve to keep trying for peace and climate activism, in whatever way I can, which is honestly all this has already been for.
Cryptography in computing, not in allegory. Open fields within nature, sound crying, moving senses, reflecting absolute, nothing without another, multiples, immutable change, river flows, forest not garden, garden become forest. Open fields, opening, past resolved, new reality.
what the last one, another, then, another then, which will to the what will too? Painting by number, telescope, aldermaine, tesseract, telescope, then again, another one, this one too, synthesize, analysis, sympathy, emoticon, octagon, just as much, telescope, this one too.
The small town I work in is at the foot of a mountain, on a quiet square in what feels like a peaceful village. It’s a small coffee shop, and I met everyone for the first time today, folks with long histories in the shop, and it was very clear that we all loved being there. It’s still too soon to know regulars, but I loved everyone I met today. And it was a sad day to join the community. Some customers (honestly I can’t stand calling them that, it seems to impersonal) came in and were visibly distraught from the school shooting. I couldn’t help that think that one of the children in the store, whose mother bought her a hot chocolate, might have been one of them. There was a genuine hush behind the counter in the shop, I remember hearing in the warm silences that seemed to envelop us all, as our barista asked what temperature would be best for her. We made the drink very carefully, and the family walked out the door and into the bright, grey day.
It was almost a thunderstorm, like the coulds could burst forth at any time. Each person in the shop was like that, a sadness that could really be felt, and one man suggested that he would renounce his citizenship. It’s a thought I heard echoed by friends of mine who thought that there’s nothing we can do, like nothing will ever get done. What you feel when you’re serving coffee on a square in a small town though, is that you’re very much a part of America. The community we are in feels almost like it’s from a different time, one where this kind of violence didn’t happen, but there it was as it was felt by all of us. “I’m sorry for crying,” a man said as he was overcome with emotion. “It’s OK, it’s human!,” I said back to him. The day just drifted. We were busy but there was a hushed tone, not delicate, just whole. You could feel the community together.
I understand this feeling. I did research when I got home, exhausted from the days work but able to sit through the press conference, and I’ve never seen the press pool like this before, everyone was affected by it, it almost seemed like this time could be different, at least from what I saw when I got home. But it may not be, it could very well be, as an article in the BBC I read suggested, that any laws that will be passed will likely be overturned. It’s easy to give up on America in times like this, but feeling what i felt today in the square wasn’t like that at all. I was in a perfect place to understand just what would be lost if my partner and I left the country, and in the shop and in the people I met, I found something that I didn’t have before.
Something beautiful to protect, at all costs, our multicultural place of happiness in the shop around the square, the shops all around us, the people walking by, the pop music on the radio, the promise of a way to make ends meet, the families and high school kids that came in for some coffee for the day. Every moment I had in that shop made me fall more and more deeply in love with this country, and protecting it is worth fighting for. I’m one small voice, but I ask you, whoever is in the government right now to do everything they can to find a solution to this crisis. This time has to be different. I’m in a community where it could happen. And it can’t happen here too.
We’re part of the community, I felt it from the very first day. I’m not outraged anymore, something else has given way, the deep resolve, so different this time, that we have to protect our communities, at every level, in every shop, in every community center, and that can only happen when we have the tools to do this. Do this America, keep us here. I don’t want to leave, but we may. It was a difficult but beautiful first day in the shop today, one I’ll never forget.
There were no storms today, because the people held up the firmament of the heavens, with every heavy heart, every compassionate cry, and I hope we warmed at least someone in an uncommonly cold summer day. We’re doing all we can, but we can’t do it alone. Do everything you can to change this country, what I saw today gave me complete resolve, I’ll do everything I can, for the communities we’re in deserve true peace, every minute of every day, until we are all free.
It was February in January, and January was cold. She walked to the edge of the city slightly beyond the lattice wheels, held aloft by a slow rumbling thunder, the sounds of a blanket moving in the darkness, bright as a raincloud. Have I been here before, she asked an open window, that had been following her all morning. “I have no idea” said the mantlepiece. There were two aprons on the shelf underneath her. She picked each one up, trying them on until they resembled a strange dance, held in place by silences, Open is, she said, she didn’t know why. She had come to this part of the city in order to try and make sense of it all, the 12 people she had met briefly before but never had any real conversations, who always seemed ready to destroy her, and take everything away from her. I have a job to go to tomorrow, and it’s important, she wrote out loud on the kitchen side pavement, and then there were ostriches, several in fact, light as air in the winter cold. The sun it was mid-April, now she was July, and she sat awhile and cried, cried for the countless games that people made her watch in horror as the days dragged on, making her life almost a living hell. Each of these people, or resemblances of them like sigils , tried to make a color for each of their own, and January, now back from mid-April, said simply, I refuse to let this happen. I refuse to let this color countless generations, and I’m calling your bluff. My world is a forest, I am neither it nor of it, and I’m not playing a game. Then she sank into a deep slumber, waking three times until she had managed her way up a mountainside, with every closed eyelid a jump across zyx coordinates in a software system display in a museum somewhere, really anywhere I guess. Where was it? Somewhere really Anywhere I guess, anywhere is better than this was, there are infinite colors, not just the ones you chose, if you choose them, enjoy the mess you made, I”m turning away, and never looking back again. Some say they never saw her again, some say she fell in love, some said she was an orangutan, made of newspaper clippings and rumours of unhidden audio cassette cases that played nothing inside. But she knew, she was happy, and walked away, and lived her days in peace and happiness, at least she hoped, and turned her attention to the real things, not the stratified advantaged positions on the radio dial. But she believed in a few things, like her best friend, her cat, and making coffee for strangers, isn’t that good enough for now? And that was how we were told sandwiches were made in cafes on that cold wonderous day. And sometimes that’s enough. I remember me in the gentle places, unremarkable, the quiet of drifting water in an office park, the wind through a suburban landscape on a summer day, the cicadas talking, the espresso machine, and whenever I hear my voice, which is never, not even now.