After a month of humbling, comforting and saddening correspondence regarding my letter: I Was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past, I simply needed a break.
Two weeks ago, I was still spinning from the reaction to my letter. I went from being silent about my own issues as a promiscuous teen to vocalizing my experience to the world. The response was staggering. All of a sudden, I became a person that other women felt safe revealing their own secrets to. I was told of others' similar promiscuous behaviors and stories of horrifying sexual assaults.
While I was discovering that I wasn't alone, so were many others who read my letter. All of a sudden, a veil was lifted and I became a safe ear for women to tell their own deep, dark secrets to. I want to say, that I am glad to be that ear and I will gratefully continue to listen and receive. However, it was WAY intense and something that I was not prepared for because, frankly, I thought that what I went through was kind of unique. Man, was I wrong.
I was talking to my husband one afternoon and told him about the turn that all of this had taken. I told him through tears that I was, "ready to think about nothing but unicorns and puppies for a minute." His response was, "You should come with me to Las Vegas next week". He had a trip planned that originally, I was not going to join him. I'm not much of a gambler but a getaway with my man, a nice dinner and a show sounded like a good distraction.
And so off we went. My first discovery about Las Vegas was the amount of incredible art that is there! I wandered through massive hotels, each one trying to out do their neighbors with spectacle. I saw works by Henry Moore, Julian Schnabel, Frank Stella and James Turrell, just to mention a few. The Chihuly installation in the Bellagio took my breath away, not to mention the amazingly explosive fountains out front. Wowsers.
There were so many choices of places to eat that I told my Hubbie that I wish I had four stomaches. However, the eating came to an abrupt end when I got food poisoning that reared it's ugly head half way through my truffle tasting menu at the very fancy Le Cirque restaurant. Thank God their five star bathroom is a single stall so no one else was subjected to my five star vomit.
I must admit that I felt a twinge of guilt not checking my email to see if I had new correspondence from women who might have been waiting for a response. Also, it was very hard to see the billboards on trucks that advertised "Hot Babes Direct to You", rolling by every time I went to cross the street. All of the women who reached out to me were still very much on my mind. Now that I'm aware of the hardships that women have to endure, it is difficult to ignore it, especially when it was being shoved in my face on the back of a pick up truck.
Now I'm back at work. I'm in full preparation mode, making new art for the holidays and getting ready for my holiday pop up shop. I can't help wonder if I'll ever be able to go back to just talking about painting and art and surfing and the ocean. How do I revert back now that I'm being turned to as a person with a voice on the topic of sexual assault? It seems insensitive to just change topics all together. Honestly, it seems insensitive to be talking about the woes of Le Puke at Le Cirque.
I suppose the only thing I can do is to just keep doing what I've been doing which is talking about my truth, my artistic process and the things I do to keep myself sane. Last week, it was Las Vegas. This week it's getting caught up on work and next week, hopefully I'll get some surfing in. I guess I'll just take a lesson from my past and take everything one day and one topic at a time. In the mean time, here is some eye candy from Vegas. If you're having a rough day, I hope it distracts you with a brief moment of nothing but beauty and amazement.
Thanks for being here. I hope I don't make all of this sound like a burden. It's not. I'm so grateful to be here with you.
The Chihuly installation as you walk in the Bellagio is stunning.
Here's a close up of the Chihuly. It was so vibrant and alive.
Yup...in Las Vegas, art comes out of vending machines.
No, not New York, but the New York New York hotel on the Las Vegas strip.
I found the mermaids in the desert. They greet you when you enter the Mirage.
Our five star view from our table at Le Cirque. I got to enjoy it for a second. The photo at top is me under the big top at Le Cirque. Million dollar vomit happened shortly after that photo was taken. So freakin' embarrassing.
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Join me on this crazy beautiful artventure to receive early access to my December Pop Up Shop where I'll be offering some paintings from my Reclaimed Hearts series, inspired by the power I took back by publishing my letter, I Was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past.