Edit August 10th:
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… We are always searching for a Group of People, a Tribe, a ‘ Family ‘, to Inspire, Empower, Lift Us.
This is why I am drawn, attracted to, certain People, certain Places.
( And as always, Click the Pink for the Link )
The First time I ever heard of The Beatles, was when I was in 7th Grade, and we were told that John Lennon had died. I vaguely recall a Classmate saying ‘ Who’s John Lennon ?’.
Fast Forward to Sophomore Year in High School, and I became enamored with the 1960’s and began to Voraciously Devour anything related to that Decade. Of course I came across the Fab Four, but it wasn’t until:
… These Albums, some of my most Prized Possessions, from a Box Set bought from Price Club, did I finally fall in deep with the Lads.
As I made my way through each Album, every Track; I was Enthralled, Mesmerized, Seduced.
I began to Read, Research, and become immersed in their Wondrous Journey together. And for the very first time in my Young Life, I became attracted to the idea of surrounding Oneself with Like Minded, Creative Folk. To give Birth to something greater than Yourself.
Making Art, and Living Life as Art.
Thank YOU, Fab Four. You Hooked Me, line and sinker.
I became an expert on all things Beatles. I bought, borrowed, bartered for anything on The Four:
… I even did an English Lit Paper, comparing Chaucer to John Lennon’s Books with an accompanying Cassette Tape with Beatles Songs!
I borrowed this Movie hundreds of times from Tower Video on Watt Ave:
… The above scenes single handedly defined why I Parade.
And then because of The Four, I was Introduced to these Women.
Women that helped shape, continue to shape, my Creative Life:
Photos by Linda McCartney
Quite unexpectedly, Linda had a Show of some her Film Prints, at the now defunct, ’Darkroom’ here in Sacramento in the Fall of 1985. Seeing her work mere Inches away, blew my mind, and in one fail swoop, I wanted to be Her, and she made me fall in Love with Photography.
Endlessly, Thank You Linda. You are why I am a Photographer.
Then there was Yoko Ono. I fell for her Sensibility, the Bravery in her Art:
She is a Formidable Asian Woman and I was enamoured. I was so moved after visiting Strawberry Fields in NYC in the Summer of ‘ 86, that I wrote her a long Impassioned Letter.
This is what I got in return.
Thank You Yoko, I will sing your Praises, Forever.
Fast Forward to London, 2003. I finally made it to Abbey Road:
Another Aside, I could have gotten into Abbey Road if my Ex would have used his Connections with Tape Op Magazine. I Threatened to go knock on the Door and say that he works for the Magazine, but it was not a happy alternative. A few years later, I did get to hear some Top Secret Vintage (Unmixed) Beatles Tracks Recorded at Abbey Road: I call it even.
I have also Followed the next Generation of the Four with Awe + Admiration:
Bond Street Store, London 2003
Mary McCartney follows in her Mum’s Footsteps, In Her Own Right and then Julian Lennon is also a Brilliant Photographer and overall, Renaissance Man. And Julian’s Brother, Sean Ono Lennon ? He is just Transcendent on every Level. I’m waiting OH So Patiently for all of them to Collaborate Together, can You i m a g i n e ? But in the Meantime:
Pics like this will keep me Blissful.
Image via Google Search
… so, going to Liverpool? A Pilgrimage.
Then I took the first in a long line of Memorable Uber/Cab Rides that I had during my Sojourn in the ‘Pool. What made them so Memorable, you ask? It was like each and every Driver knew what (Philosophical) Question I was going to ask before I did and knew the Answer I needed to hear! Each and every one of them exuded such Kindness, Warmth, and Tenderness to this Wanderer so far from her Comfort Zone, that every time I bid them Adieu, I did so with pieces of a Well Fed Soul.
Here is an Example of my many Wonder -Filled (Unedited) Talks and I was Respectfully Careful, to not film their Faces:
Then I was finally on the River Mersey …
And whilst I waited for the Ferry:
It was Windy, it was Cold, it was Magical:
Had an Intimate Tour with a Liverpudlian Lass that Introduced me to the City’s Rich History + Shared with me Secret, Local Only Places + I Quickly fell in Love with the ‘Pool:
As the Sun set, it became increasingly colder, but I didn’t let it deter me in finding something to Eat. True to form, however, I Stumbled upon The Tate Modern Liverpool just before it closed ( Turn Sound Up! ):
… and I felt like getting into the Holiday mood, so I took an Uber to The Liverpool Christmas Market:
Before I left for my Trip, I stumbled upon this Article about an Organization Selling Scouse Pies at the Market. I was on a Mission, to have that be my first Liverpool Dinner! I finally found the stall and I struck up a conversation with the kind Lad who wrapped up my Steaming Scouse Pie. He lit up as he started to talk about how the Organization helped him off the Streets, how through it’s Football Club, he’s gained back his Self Esteem, how he’s Empowered to start looking for work, and how he has healthier Living Skills. It hit me, as he happily wrapped up my Pie and told me what Stall to get the best Hot Cider at, that our very Human, Humbling exchange, is the reason why I Travel. As I paid and prepared to walk away, I said he was incredibly Brave and that he has Inspired Me! He ran around and gave me a great big bear hug and said, ‘ Love, You’re Brave and Inspiring for having an Adventure all on your own!’
… and My Dinner:
… Back to Downtime at the Airbnb:
( Turn Sound Up! )
Then in the Morning, the True Celebration Began:
This 51 Year Old is ready in Pink + Leopard …
As I waited for my Uber down in Front, I was Chatted up by two Friendly Builders, asking me where I was from, because I didn’t look ‘ Local’. I answered ‘ I’m Californian and I came to Liverpool to Celebrate my Birthday, Today! ‘. To wit one of them answered, ‘ What a Brilliant way to Celebrate your 21st! ‘. Really, that was the b e s t Gift, ever. Went into my Uber Beaming, and the Driver said, ‘ It must be Your Birthday Today!’ … Really, I kid you n o t , and we Preceded to have the Second Best Uber Conversation of my Solo Trip. We discussed Trials, Triumphs, Living Free, and Traveling ‘ Open ‘ . I stepped out, elated by our Deep Connection, and I Thanked him for the Gift of His Wisdom.
He Answered, ‘ You have the right way of Living, don’t let anyone take that away from You!’. Needless to say, I stepped onto the Bus, High:
It was 2 Hours of Nervous, Excited Energy, and feeling like I could jump out of my Skin at any Moment. A l l Bucket List.
I was Bouncing up and down in my seat, gasping, crying, listening to Stories, I’ve heard a million times before. And in the place where they were Birthed.
What follows, is how I Documented such Bliss, even with a Stubborn Instax Camera, and one rapidly dying Leica Battery. Lesson hereafter, A L W A Y S carry an extra Camera Battery and Thank GOD for the iPhone. Nothing could deter me from my Happiness, however:
One. At the Start of the Tour …
Two. Love Me Do …
Three. … George’s House:
… Around the Corner:
Four. Penny Lane …
Five. Saw a bit of Local Liverpool:
Six. Strawberry Fields …
Being an Advocate for Social Justice, my Heart swelled to hear all the Empowering things they were going to do with their new Facilities! They open their gates for the first time this Summer: Click here for more details.
I know John would be Chuffed and I’m putting it back on my Bucket List.
Seven. Paul’s House …
This pic? See the smear of Tears on my Glasses? I had just had one of those ‘Spiritual’ Moments that would reoccur throughout the rest of my Day …
Eight. Cemetery that Inspired Eleanor Rigby …
Nine. John’s House
Ten. Then this Moment …
I was Joyfully Singing to ‘ Help ‘ and Recording what I saw, when we drove by this Park. I saw the Soft, White Mist, hanging just slightly above the Grass, like a layer of soft, sticky, Cotton Candy. It was then I noticed random people with their Dogs, boldly making their way through it all, totally unaware that it looked like they were actually, floating.
It was Bewitching, it was Beautiful.
It shook me.
If you listen closely, you can hear Me saying ‘ Wow! ‘ …
My All Time Fave Beatles Song that I want played at my Wake.
My Review of the Tour? Sweet, Addictive Icing, surrounding the Layers of Cake, that was my most Brilliant Day.
After the Tour, I took a Taxi back to my Airbnb to grab my Extra Camera battery.
But really, this Liverpudlian Cabbie:
Before heading back out, I took Advantage of the Bright Mid Day Light and did a bit of Honoring my Mate Kat’s Beautiful Airbnb:
And no Birthday would be complete without a visit to a Church, not one, but two Churches. I mean, come on, it’s Europe and a Street called Hope, I had to.
At one end of the Street, the Catholic Church, The Metropolitan Cathedral . Truly, one of the most Beautiful, Modern Catholic Churches, I have ever seen.
I Prayed, I Cried, I always feel at Home in a Catholic Church.
On the way to the other end of Hope Street …
This Statue: Please Read the Inspiring Story Behind It: It’s Made of Used Switch Blades …
I was Mesmerized.
When I walked inside the Church, I automatically k n e w who’s work this was.
The very First Female British Artist that I Fell in Love with, Tracey Emin.
Whilst in London for My Art Show, I accidentally saw her, and I was Flabbergasted. I hid in a Toy Store, and took this Film Pics of Her from afar. Hereafter, if I meet someone (Famous) that Inspires me, walk right up to them and tell them so:
Then to Another Spiritual Place, The Cavern Club !
As I walked down the stairs, I could literally hear my heartbeat over the Guitar Music playing in the distance. And with a Deep Breath, I stepped down into a Space that I have dreamt of being in since I was 16:
But to have been to one at the Cavern Club, Indescribable.
I touched the Walls, I had a Pint.
I listened to a Liverpudlian Musician.
I was Chatted up by some Lads, and I could have stayed there all Afternoon + Night. But I had an Exhibition to make before closing:
When I started to make Art, she was a Major Influence on Me. At Various Points in my Career, People have said that I reminded them of Her. I don’t see it, but Truly, I am always floored by the Compliment …
… So You can Imagine what this Exhibit meant to me:
That’s me Crying in the Elevator going up to it.
Before going into the Heart of it, a few Collaborative Art Pieces from Yoko:
My Contribution to the ‘ Wishing Tree ‘ …
‘ Peace is Power ‘
Shhh, I snagged one of the Crayons.
My Soul was Bursting:
I saw the Original of this in Central Park in NYC the Summer of 1986. I was so Moved, that I wrote Yoko that long Impassioned Letter.
And Random Brilliant Bits taken on my iPhone:
As I walked through to the end of the Exhibit, I was Empowered, Floating, Buzzing. I also swore, that I will have a Dynamic Partnership like John and Yoko did, one day.
After buying many Bits from the Gift Shop:
… I headed back to my Airbnb to Regroup, pick up this Card from Kat:
Then it was off to:
You know I chose it for the name, and did do a little Research, but nothing could have prepared this Foodie for my 2 1/2 Hour Dining Experience.
See that? Pure Happiness.
I was a bit apprehensive about my very first Fine Dining experience ( not to mention in a Foreign Country ) all on my own. But from the moment they took my coat, to making me a Custom Gin Drink, to all the various people that came and chatted with me between Courses, I felt taken care of, Loved.
The Food? Brilliant British Cuisine.
When in Liverpool, Go to ‘ The Art School ‘!
They will make you Happy, they will Fill You up.
Then it was back to Kat’s Lovely Airbnb, for the most perfect Night Cap I could think of, Listening to her Vinyl Records!
Exactly these Angel Numbers as I started Spinning …
Blissful End to Hands Down, the Best Birthday of my Life.
The Next Morning, I was off to Barcelona!
As I connected and chatted Happily with my Dear New Mate, Kat, I realized that I was going to miss Liverpool, Her SO Lovely Airbnb, and Her. I had Tears in my Eyes as I drove away, and I have to say, I left pieces of my Heart as I did.
Although, this Chat with my Uber Driver on the way to the Airport, made Me feel better:
And Airports always makes everything Much Better:
Next ’50th Redux Trip’ Post, Hola Barcelona!
But back to the Earlier Idea of ‘Living As Art ‘.
I felt it on this Trip, when I met Filip, Kat, Ali + Guillaume, Marc, Fiorella, Carla, Agostino, Rea + Leo, and Lulu:
I always feel it in Europe, truth be told. It’s the Reason why I will live there one day. As I stated at the beginning of this post, it was The Fab Four that first Introduced me to the idea of having a Tribe, of being Inspired by the People in your Life, and ‘Creating’ something larger than Yourself, because of them.
As I enter into yet another Renaissance this Lifetime, I revisit when my Life was Art, Literally ( as always Click the Pink for the Link ):
In all these Experiences, I have Met, Bonded, Connected with, SO many Inspiring People. I wasn’t consciously aware of it at the time, but I was adding to my Tribe. They have all permanently shaped my Creative Muse in some way or the other, no matter how Long or Brief our Time together was. And since then, I am always searching for that kind of Connection.
And sometimes, if You’re Lucky, You find it at work:
Single Handedly, Two of the Most Rewarding + Challenging Jobs I’ve ever had, but the perfect Examples of working with a Group of People to ‘ Create ‘ something larger than Ourselves, and forever being Inspired by that Experience.
An aside, I am Currently Looking for my next Big Creative Endeavour in California, the UK, and Europe at Large: Give me a Shout and let’s Chat!
… Thank YOU for being with Me on this rather Long ‘ Rabbit Hole’ of a Post!
Next up, My First Visits to Barcelona + Amsterdam:
Until then, Live Thankful, Live Big!
All LOVE …