silent sun

your pretty words
they string together like ____ ____.
he never got lost in me
we got lost together
lost in the way our minds mold together

why wouldn’t we try to catch the light of a thousand stars
pull it to face the storm
use it to remember what’s ours
i never listened to what the thunder said
keep writing your stories
give life to what’s in your head
they’ll never be our story

i met you ten feet under
summer in panama, its always summer in panama
i feel the sun on my skin
it burns my irish skin
you tell me my pale is beautiful.

my heart beats
because the universe told it to
its strength inherited
by the queen who gave me life.
its warmth comes from the embrace of a man
who breathes for me
who has always told me
that this life isn’t ready
for a storm like you.

you are the storm
a hurricane, though i’ve never seen one
i know they exist.
you are the calm before the storm
a delicate breeze, one that
tickles my shoulders
and makes me pull over
i run upstairs and grab the
retro adidas jacket we bought together
that word together, it burns the tip of my tongue
the way loose leaf tea does in the middle of the winter
you said, my cheeks turned a soft shade of red
i am bound to you

all of a sudden what once was all mine
is now somebody else’s
and it’s strength, and warmth, and fire
it sits on your doorstep
waiting for you to come home.
i don’t wait, i don’t play these games
i don’t walk away either.

i left a piece of me in semmering
you held it up to the light
and gave it a nickname
you’ve got these damn wide eyes
your body a picture frame
that holds the most intricate design on the planet
you are the most intricate design on this planet
you will always hang in my hallway

sometimes the sun is so silent here
the wordsmith said that to me once
sometimes i wish it would rain
so i could blend in a little better
wipe my nose on my favorite sweater

are you awake?
i’m writing you a letter
forget about the weather
i’m living inside my head
speaking of hurricanes
we just had a hurricane
my self-reliance is fixing the window panes
and I’m waiting for stoic to show up.

have i ever told you how beautiful you are
how many sleeps until your skin is up against mine

i always think of that one time we got high
i couldn’t stop touching your face
or biting your ear because i like the taste
every moment with you
i don’t even remember what life was like
do you

i heard the sun it finally spoke
he said I’ll meet you at three
bring your pen and your book
to write the tale of crossing the seas

tell us about the greatest love story ever told, he said
tell us about when ur hair turns grey and ur limbs get old, he said
tell us about your kids and your life and your intertwined souls
tell us about the greatest love story ever told, he said

so I wrote,
my words turned gold

the continuum

I try to approach spontaneous adventures the same way I do pulling into the gym parking lot full of piranha cars at 6PM on a Monday: a calm demeanor and a little faith that if you think it’ll work out, then it will.

When we booked a two night stay at the Dakota Tipi Village in the middle of Cuyama Valley three days before 4th of July weekend, that’s where my head was at. I was unsure with the fairly inexpensive booking and merely two reviews. Seemed too good to be true. But we had nothing to lose—except for a six hour round trip drive. Even that proved to be worth it.

Maxiwo’s (Mah-Hee-Woah) texts to Oliver were hard to decipher at first, which made us weary as we approached Highway 33, the right turn Maxiwo tried to explain over the telephone two hours earlier. We were arguably, as two city dwellers for the summer, in the middle of nowhere. We arrived to see two giant tipis and that there was, in fact, truth to the photos posted online.

We’re told that we are the fourth booking ever to stay in the tipis since Maxiwo built them on his proud piece of land in the valley, and that the beautiful photos on the listing were graciously taken and submitted by talented guest number one.

Simply put, my uncertainties were put to rest.

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Maxiwo showed us around briefly, introduced us to the couple staying in the tipi next door, and started telling us his story. He was drinking a Peace Tea, lemon flavored, and asked the couple to grab him another one as they left for the only market still open 20 minutes down the road. We spoke with Maxiwo for well over an hour, enough time for the couple to leave, return, and watch Maxiwo crack open his second round of Peace Tea.

He is a Chumash native. The Chumash are Native Americans who historically inhabited the central and southern coastal regions of California, in portions of what is now San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, extending from Morro Bay in the North to Malibu in the South. And apparently we are all saying Malibu wrong.

He spoke about the ancient spirituality of the land mostly – the vortex mountains – and even noted that if we see some sort of oval light beam above the mountain line, it’s probably a UFO. I can’t speak for myself, but our tipi mates Matt and Sarah swore they saw something eerily similar on two separate occasions that weekend.

Maxiwo’s a simple man and takes a gruntled breath before saying anything. He’s not in a rush to get somewhere and I like that.

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Maxiwo: You can take your car off-roading over there to the creek.
Me: My Honda Civic? That thing won’t last a minute.
Maxiwo: *pauses* But, that minute…

We really liked our tipi mates. They met traveling, too. We finagled dinner on the grill with limited kitchen supplies, drank good whiskey, exchanged travel stories, saw a couple shooting stars, and even gave Matt – from the UK – his first S’More experience.

The next day, we took a magical drive to Ojai, through hills and valleys so diverse and beautiful I couldn’t believe we were still in the United States. We made a pit stop at a Pistachio farm, an Olive tree farm, and a mossy waterfall. We slept in a freakin’ tipi. It was so cool.

Maxiwo was the topic at hand for our three hour drive home. We were in awe by his storytelling and his passion to share it with as many people as possible. He believes the nature of storytelling is to pass on knowledge and share your personal journey to those who may not have the chance to experience the same.

And he listened so carefully to our own stories, even while we spoke amongst ourselves and seemingly forgot he was there. Around the fire pit, he encouraged us to weave our stories into a roadmap for generations to come, to always speak proudly of our tales and use them to create a storyboard that is our life.

This piece of advice couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for me.

If you want to get to know Maxiwo and his small tipi village, book with him. As of right now, it’s still a bit of a hidden gem. A work in progress if you will. Embrace that aspect of it. If everything was in perfect order, it wouldn’t be nearly the same.