Happy Cactus

Happy Cactus

I was hiking and came upon this guy. A thought floats through my head, that’s a very happy cactus. Immediately I interrogate this thought. By happy, I mean healthy? By healthy I mean unblemished? By unblemished I mean..? What do I mean?

Aren’t cacti especially adept at weathering drought? Isn’t their whole claim to evolutionary fame their ability to withstand hardship, to endure in the face of incredible scarcity? This cactus hasn’t done any of that. He looks well watered if you ask me. That’s some bright green sheen with nary a needle to mar his vanity inducing surface. Can he really be happy? What has he survived? What does he have to be so proud of except for something he is one hundred percent sure to lose? His “good” looks.

That sets me to pondering all the cactus up here that don’t inspire the thought happy. I wonder if they are in fact quite happy. There are some big ass bunches of cacti just taking over. They are clearly doing well for themselves. Some pads are scarred with dead skin that looks almost charred but new pads thrive from this base. They seem to have an indomitable spirit, a what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger kind of vibe. Are they happy? What is happy?

I want to be like these guys: tough, leathery, protected, in community, supporting, hearty, interesting, unique. Thank you to all my cactus friends, real and metaphorical. Let’s be needles out together.

What Value Matters Most?

What Value Matters Most?


Essay done.

Okay, that’s true for me personally, but I’m asking in regard to the creative process not human relationships. Here’s why.

Voyage LA magazine did a profile on me in 2018. A few weeks ago, they asked if I wanted to participate in their Shoutout Series by answering one of several questions. Well doesn’t that just sound super up my alley! I would love to, thanks! I select What value or principle matters most? Would you have rather heard the answer to: What’s the end goal? Where do you want to be professionally by the end of your career? The answer to that one is easy; I want to have made an absolute ton of art and I want to die suddenly while doing it. I don’t want to be anywhere professionally, hopefully I will die on my own free time. Not up to me though and I definitely don’t want advance knowledge. I do however, very much want to know the answer to the question I’ve chosen, but what is it?

I sit down to write it out and get this: Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Cute start but then nothing else comes. I know repetition is important, but it doesn’t seem very inspiring. I move to intuition, much more mysterious. Maybe too mysterious? I need to write something that helps people foster that value and don’t know how one can become more intuitive. Could observation get the job done?

I throw all three out to my Instagram friends. What do they think? Should I write about Repetition, Intuition or Observation? A wealth of thoughtful reponses helped me see all three were related. If for some reason you are a curious weirdo (I know I am so it’s not a slur) you can read their insightful responses here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIYVPgyHqmh/

The overwhelming consensus was observation. I was leaning that way anyhow so it’s a slam dunk. I am going to write that one. Because it’s for a general audience that doesn’t know about Sidewalk Face, my offering will probably be a bit light so I’ll also attempt a deeper dive here, for you guys, and really try and nail down once and for all how these three skills interact and contribute to the creative process.

Will post more when more has been accomplished!