Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Magic of Waterfalls

Back in my hometown of Chicago, is a beautiful hidden nature park that was created in a wetlands area. It has hiking trails, a butterfly garden, baby animals, a lake with water so clear you can see fish, nature museum and waterfall. The waterfall casts a magical spell. It is at least 40ft high and is the source of a small stream that runs thru the park. Near the west side of the waterfall, is a hidden steep vertical trail off the path winding up into the trees.

Of course, upon noticing it, I had to take that path to see where it led.

I climbed straight up into the trees. The pine scent was intoxicating. Suddenly, I was amazed to find myself at a secret secluded grove above the top of the Waterfall. I followed the echoes of water toward a big boulder at the end of the grove, and was on the edge of the waterfall, rewarded by a breathtaking view of the entire Moraine Valley. Miles and miles of green grass and endless forest and blue skies. Nature at its best! This was the picture perfect Summer day, the kind of faraway place you always see in photos yet wonder where and if it really exists. The kind of view you'd imagine from a Castle tower in a fairy tale land. 

It was also a hot day, and kids were playing in the water below. The adventurous ones had hopped the wooden fence into the stream to cool off and splash. Some had tried to climb up the waterfall but didnt get past the slippery wet rocks. Some waded across the stream to a little island in the middle of it all.  I just had to climb DOWN the waterfall because naturally, the spirit of adventure flows thru my veins. It was a challenge. And I did it. 40 feet straight down the old fashioned way using feet, hands, determination and wild abandon. 

Sometimes I get homesick and wish that magical waterfall wasn't so far away.

I am living in the Desert now. I discovered a waterfall here. The Vegas version. It is a mysterious flat waterfall ( I cant tell if its a wall of water or digital effects) built into a mountainside of Pine on the Vegas Strip. During the day, its invisibly silent. At night it comes alive. 

I first went there on the night of the Full Moon, and the Moonlight amplified the magical feel, even in this plastic town where everything is really man made glitter. There was more...lights hidden in the trees that turn the forest into waves of neon; emerald green, fuschia, deep purple and electric blue. The waterfall wakes up, turning into a larger than life video screen with Art and Music. Mysterious things pop out of trees then disappear again. Giant fuschia flowers bloom then softly dance in the Wind to Classical Music. Lights underwater turn the faux lake into a sea of hypnotic neon electric blue. 

As I sit on the outdoor Terrace over this "Lake of Dreams," drinking mint Mojitos or Kir Royales at Midnight in another part of the world, still wrapped in magic.  

Dream travels.


Thursday, February 9, 2006

Live From Las Vegas! 2006

How did it get to be 2006 already? Reflecting back, wow, how things have changed over the last 6 years since I got my first computer. I started my internet business from my home in Chicago with nothing but a single idea and advice from my ex's Dad who was a self made millionaire. It snowballed into an amazing adventure. Most importantly, it paved the way for me to leave my depressing hometown forever on December 29, 2001, and go West to Vegas and follow my Dreams.

Since then, my little AOL page that evolved into a 9 page website "Rock & Roll Revolution" has come and gone. All those long snowed in Chicago winter nights paid off, as I taught myself basic webdesign. Last year I starting designing websites for others, and getting paid for it. My online music column "Rock Report" is gone too, the webmaster no longer has the domain and no longer has the funds to keep it going. Interviewing and hanging out with rock stars whose Music I listened to growing up, was surreal. Never in my life would I imagine this to happen. As a college student in Chicago majoring in Art and Broadcast Journalism, who already had poetry published as a teenager and won awards for creative writing and art, I sent resumes to every newspaper and rock magazine for jobs, and was not given the time of day. But when I got to Vegas, suddenly all my dreams came true in strange synchronistic ways. My websites and online writing were noticed, and this led to paying writing jobs and paying Spokesmodel work around Vegas. It became a whirlwind of never ending VIP parties, last minute coverage of events, interviewing celebrities, reviewing shows and tourist attractions, being escorted thru crowds, red carpets, writing press releases, etc. My press pass from Rock Report, I do admit I had a lot of fun with it, probably more than I should have, even going all the way to LA to crash NAMM for exclusive coverage. In the end, I realized there were a lot of empty promises made to me, and these associations were riding off the name I made for myself on the Internet, yet they couldnt provide me with steady paying opportunities. All this glitter faded really fast, and I found myself unhappy as I was wasting my time on things that didn't really matter. And they were taking me so far away from my focus of Art and Nature. But I had easily made a name for myself in Vegas, a town where I moved alone, with 3K to my name, a bunch of dreams, and didnt know anyone.

After 8 years of being self employed, I finally am more content and successful being self reliant and creating opportunities from my vision, that having to rely on others. My vision has been my lifeline, and its a gift thats been given to me for a reason. Now, nothing is more important than feeding The Dream everyday, finding a great creative husband, traveling, and getting back to my true love which always was and still is, Art and Nature.

Those of us who live this artistic life have needs that are different than those who navigate the 9-5 path. Support, passion, and riding the waves of inspiration are essential to those who create. Sometimes we get stuck or blocked by society, negative people or pressure to produce, and the demands of an ever increasing materialistic world. There can be beauty beyond chaos and I intend to find it.....always.

Here I will document my works-in-progress, share some adventures, post my poetry and writing, and unleash nocturnal thoughts. My mind never stops and so here is a home for it. This place is kind of like a virtual press release from my Soul. Everything evolves, and things get streamlined in life as you come full circle. The things that matter truly remain, and the junk gets weeded out. Brassai kept journals in Paris during his artistic journey, and so in the time honored tradition, I will continue mine here.