As I feel the water rain upon my body as I shower, I feel the release of any stress or pain that may reside in my body or emotional memory. I allow the hot steam to rise around me like spirit friends who are surrounding me in ceremonial support. I am thankful for my life and my ability to survive and thrive to be an elder in this world. I have learned to accept every moment of the day as living lessons of breathing and receiving. And then, I have to give back. What I give back has to be of some value or it is not worth giving it back. So, I try to be careful what I share. I want my creativity, my acts of love to be a gift that keeps giving. I want to create a legacy of healing.
At this stage of my life, I want to share my gifts as a performance/spoken word/visual artist to be a vehicle of social change. I want to create worlds within installations where people can take their time within their minds to find their breaths while being within my living, staged spaces. I want people to understand the echoes within their own minds. I want them to find peace within. I want to reflect love without and within.
I happen to believe everything that happens to you is a gift in life. I feel the answer to life is to accept the way life unfolds and then learn to respond to it with a gifting.
I have had a sad, but beautiful life. And now I see the sadness was my unwillingness to let go of my personal pain. The sadness was the addiction to the trauma. The trauma became my living story. I have gone through life living within one addiction to another. Addicted to fear, pain, and loss. I was addicted to sex and the lack of intimacy, addicted to being reactionary to trauma. I led a life addicted drugs, alcohol and being spiritual. Because the alcohol and drugs are gone, I am now addicted to healing myself and the planet. My healing salve is my creative mind and heart in unison manifesting solutions in statements of living prayers.
but not broken
some say I’ve fallen
but I remembered to stand up, just bruised
but not broken
cuz I’m a slave to the rhythm
-Bruised but not Broken TWA
I see life in stories, movie frames of dialogue and visuals. I see life in breaths of joy and pain— sometimes happening all at the same time. I live to make statements crafted from my life as a “wounded healer.” I sorted out my life experiences from a childhood filled with strong family ties, molestation, bullying and racism–learning the basic art of storytelling from my mother and my grandfather. My life evolved in musicals, rock and roll, the blues, jazz, punk music, acid jazz and classical music training. I grew up playing in the Mission Inn and the orange groves in the heat of Riverside. I gathered personal statements and kept them as my holy grail. The statements come through me to be developed into many different forms, writing, singing, performance, graphic novels, creating installations, painting, photography, video and the “church of hair,” my healing modality of hair and heart,
I had to learn to be forgiving of others and myself, because we are all caught up in our individual stories passing like spirits in search of a ship’s sail. I wanted charity of the heart and the healing of my soul’s cry to be an entity that was treated as if it mattered.
“And when I stop thinking about what I think I have lost or gained
or if I was on the right or wrong train
I have a ticket to ride
time to watch the flashing movie outside the window lose myself in the peace the truth that will give me my breath back…”
-Bruised, but not Broken TWA
My charity had to start at home and then I am able to move it out from within. My voice grew to be stronger and in time it grew to become more sacred, even after feeling sometimes tainted.
Alone within my village of the mind and my community, city, state and country. I have friends in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. I am from simple farmer stock, born in Los Angeles with my father being from Louisiana and my mother was the first generation in California. Her mother was from Texas and her father was born in Arkansas. Her father, my grandfather’s, family was from Tanzania. I loved learning at the university and in the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and living behind the “Orange Curtain.” I have learned to be my own hero, to rise above my personal pain and sing my own song with a strong commitment to life. I am the sum of all those who have come before me.
I am a living reflection of my own mind and I have a slogan, a meditation and a living mantra in the form of a painting and a poem, “Bruised, but not Broken.” I have learned to value the sacredness of my personal story and I understand where my grain of sand belongs on the vast beach. These pieces and personal expressions are part of my one-man show, “A Sacred Artist in Modern Times.” The show’s theme is one of thriving past surviving. It is about being a spiritual happening every second, ashes rising daily to become more each coming day. I live in the state of solution and “I am caught up in the spread of my own wings.” I am bruised, but not broken. I always remember when I have fallen, don’t just lay there, stand up.