Never Say Never… Unless

Never forget what others have done for you in the past. Even if you’ve moved on, or they’ve moved on from you, never forget their smile.

Never forget the sweetness in their voice when you saw them with their guards all the way down. Never forget that surprised look in their eyes when they realized something they said hurt you. Never forget that they had never meant to hurt you. Never forget they too are human and flawed and recklessly beautiful.

Never forget that somewhere along the line of your relationship they wanted you to rise, to succeed, to just be happy. Even if only for a moment, a moment can last an eternity. Never forget; if they could feel hate, surely they can feel love.

Never forget when they stood by your side. Whether it was a walk through the park, or a walk to visit you in prison. Never forget that their footsteps can echo just like yours.

Never forget that they were young, reckless, and inexperienced. Never forget that they aren’t getting any younger and one day they will return from where they came. Never forget the last sentiments you exchanged.

Never forget that no matter how much you think they despise you, the right words could make them admire you.

And while you’re at it… you should probably forget that idiotic word: Never.

Xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Art of a Life

Oh how much I love…
Walking down the street as if no one can see me,
Driving in my car, pretending
That nothing in the world matters
Looking out the window
Wondering when everything will be mine
But in the meantime, I sit back and enjoy the ride
Cause I love this life
Savage
Brilliant
Beautifully
Stained
Art of a Life
To some it’s all a joke, but I have felt too much pain
To let it go to waste
So I sit back and enjoy the ride
Work my hardest
Love till my heart bleeds
Open my arms until my back is cut and bruised from the bastards
But I’ll eventually relax and enjoy the ride
After the work is all done, after I’ve gone past the farthest yard
Work
Play
Repeat
Try not to break
And in-between it all I will sit back and try to relax
Oh how much I love…
The days when I wake up feeling beautiful
When I go to sleep feeling peaceful
And in-between it all, try not to remember
Try not to trip and fall
One step at a time, one pair of lips
Plum bruised chapstick
God, how much I love
My life
Family
Food
Touch
Breath
Freedom, to be anywhere, everywhere, and nowhere
I wonder if they know…
How much I love them
You
Him
Her
Them
I love them all
Every single one of you
But in the meantime, I’ll just sit back and enjoy the ride
One single heartbeat at a time
Oh if only you could feel how much I love.
xoxox
Lindsay Reva
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Highway 395

Sitting in the car with her feet propped up against the backrest of the chair directly in front of her, she stared out the window to the fields and skies that raced by. The trees were magnificent. Electric flashes of orange at their tops, thickly molded and knobbed bottoms.  The mountains were monsters who kissed the clouds. Sienna orange swam past with streams of white, then blue, followed by the warmest brown that only comes with nature sans Mankind. She smiled at the scene remembering when she was younger; how the great expanse of American Land use to make her feel small. Now it just made her feel pure. She wanted more and so she closed her eyes. Her belief did the rest.

As slow as possible her eyelashes bloomed into open eyes and she felt the wind coming at her like a cold storm. Chills clenched her entire body.  A smile lit her face that would have been envied even by the Cherubs in Heaven. She rose. Higher and higher, unbelievably heights until she flew up into the white masses that littered the vast blue. She spun and twirled, laughing as if she were still twelve and unafraid of all consequences. She did not fall or sink. Still, she rose.

Her laugh could be heard all throughout the lands if only people were around. She gave a final burst and felt the energy consume her whole, becoming nothing but light, energy, velocity. If she wanted to she could have taken her momentum and power and balled it up into a magnum fire, throwing it down to raze the lands below. She could have looked to the east or west and cut the mountains in quarters with the point of a finger. Her soft almond eyes could have desecrated and formed craters. But she was not evil. With her energy, she only smiled more and released slowly until she stopped in a field of Mackarel clouds lazily in the sky, stretching; full and complete.

How lucky I am to be alive, she whispered into the thin air.

She sank. Faster and faster. Right before she touched the valley of weeds and grass she pulled her self up and soared into a speed that went passed Mach. Up and down throughout the mountains listening to their pains and flaws. Her fingers lightly brushed against the tips of grains. Her feet ran swiftly over white gushing rivers and fluorescently green tepid streams. She spun in the sunlight like an angel who had no control except to create goodness.

Wild pumped in and out of her heart and when she took one deep breath she could hear the way the world worked and how one thing needed the other and the other needed another. Everything sank into her mind like roots deep in a thousand-year-old soil. Her eyes never closed, and her senses never ignored their true purpose. She inhales, she believed, and she felt.

Up and up like the Queen of the Clouds, she rose one last time and closed her eyes forcefully knowing she was about to do what she regretted every time. I must go back…and be like them.

The song playing on the radio in her mothers’ white van was Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones. She opened her eyes as if she were bored and looked to her right again out the window at the landscape that passed by. Mountains dipped and rose, valleys continued forever, rivers danced, clouds changed, and she sat in her seat remembering how wonderful it felt when you were truly free.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

 

Warm Whiskey

She could always see the light when she looked into their eyes.

Other people called them demons, monsters, killers, murderers. But she refused to ignore how kind they could be when she handed them their food tray. She could not look away when they smiled with appreciation back at her as if on their tray, there lay not slop from the prison kitchen, but instead cups of miracles and bowls filled with rainbows.

She had worked as a prison officer for 21 years. Looking back on the time she had spent, she remembered the first time she was attacked. He was old and off his meds. Still, she couldn’t blame him. How would you feel if you received a letter in the mail stating that his only child was found dead in the alley, with teeth marks from rats? She couldn’t. she also remembered the time she fell in love with an inmate. He had so much light in his eyes, each time he looked at her, she had to look away and squint as if hiding from the rays of the sun. Of course, she never shared her feelings with any of the inmates. No one would understand, especially not them.

Her job was to oversee and sometimes assist in all inmate activity. Most of the other officers had hardened with time, but not her. She couldn’t decide if that made her stronger or weaker. The longer she was there, the more she understood their miseries. When they complained, every single word entered her heart and escaped in a silent prayer.

That’s why she couldn’t leave her job which other people despised and felt sure was the cause of her graying hair. No, she could not leave the prison. Despite the hate and cruelty that some of the inmates felt, she understood that there was always something in each of them, that was fighting to be good. Because of that, she never gave up on them. They cursed, they riled, they were the unbelievers. Yet despite the circumstance, they too had hope that one day something miraculous would happen and the doors would open up and present them with the glorious gift of freedom. A freedom that all freemen understand not.

They were never going to leave.

And they were never going to lose their hope.

Nor will I.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

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Head High, Soldier!

If you want something, go get it! Nothing in life is free!!! But you’ve heard all this mumbo jumbo before. Yet I repeat for the people who don’t realize how simple it is to invest in the path which you want your life to follow; The path which would bring you more happiness. Why depend on luck? That’s not even an option for me since I might be the most unlucky as hell person to roam the earth. There is chance, but even that doesn’t last forever. Go ask any high roller. Work for what you believe in and always believe in yourself. Head High, Soldier! Stop mopping around, unwrap your head from all that negativity and pessimism, and throw life into your future, one breath at a time. If you want more work, then you better be someone people want to work with. Not willing to change yourself? By God, I hope you have brilliance and brains… No matter, Head High, Soldier. Hit those notes, dash that work, reach the heights, live the life.

Sit on your arse, fine. But the fruits of your actions will cause your destiny to dry up like the remains of a cracked lake. You look into the vast bed of nothing, seeing the weeds and wonder how something so vast could all of a sudden shrivel up like the skin of an ancient being. No rain, love. No action. No change. Don’t even act surprised when you see your dreams walk away on shaky twig legs, barely able to make it out of the room before they snap into a cloud of ruins. You could try to run and salvage, but if you let them take those first few steps away from you, something tells me you’re already too far to catch up. The sloth on the sly holds you in its grip. Principles baby.

Isaac Newton’s laws of motion were first set down in his Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis in 1687. The first law states that an object will stay at rest or move with a constant velocity, unless it is acted upon by an external force.
The second law is the one that tells you how to calculate the value of a force. Force (measured in Newtons) is one of the fundamental physical properties of a system and comes in many forms. You might feel it as a push or pull (a mechanical force), while it is the value of your weight (the gravitational force of the Earth pulling on you) and can be seen in the repulsion or attraction of magnets or electric charges (electromagnetic force). A force might be the result of any number of fundamental physical interactions between bits of matter but Newton’s second law allows you to work out how a force, when it is present, will affect the motion of an object.

Where’s your force? Chaos and nothingness. If you want to create something already envisioned in your mind; the job that would make your life financially easier, making your significant other happier, taking that vacation to paradise (the list can go on and on), everything will take some effort on your behalf. EFFORT. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to figure that much out. But the hardest part for human beings (in my opinion) is how much do you really want it? Where’s your force soldier? That is the ultimate divider. Do you feel a pit in your stomach when you think of your dreams because you haven’t yet reached them? Do you break out in a cold sweat when you’re so close to touching them, palms clammy as hell? Does the image of your destiny stay within your vision day and night?

I do/it does. And it pains me. But it makes me stronger in the sense that I not only know what I want in life but I can feel it. I sleep so little and I’m fine with that because my soul won’t rest until I get the thing I want in life. If I fail? Fine. So be it! But I’ll be DAMNED if I fail because I half-assed this thing called life.

Head HIGH, Soldier!! You’ve got dreams to pursue. You’ve got your own wishes to grant. Feel like taking a nap? Okay pussycat, when you’re done don’t forget that the work you left behind, just like my boy Newton said, is either collecting a layer of dust or has converted to untameable chaos. Choose your weapon.

I choose fire.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Bow & I Shall Bow Back

First I must tell you that I absolutely ADDOOOORRRREEEEE you. Duh.

Second: You will never be at a loss for being too respectful or too kind.

Seriously, guys do you think a woman would slap you for opening the door for her? If she did, where the hell did you find her? In an Ubercarpool?! Ladies is it painful to say the magic words ” Thank you”. No baby, it’s the opposite. You say thank you, and they remember because thankfulness is sweet. What’s the opposite of sweet? Sour. YUK!.  LAWWDD, go ahead and run amok in ignorance of humanity and compassion, but what does that say about your character? What does that say about your mama? What does that say to the person who just bent over backward to help you with something they could have easily side-stepped from? It says a lot. Fathoms in the Mariana Trench, a lot. That’s a S*#% load. 

You lose nothing from being generous, polite, and respectful. But it doesn’t go both ways. I personally take rudeness as a marked flaw. That’s because I’m constantly evaluating my own actions. Did I forget to say thank you to Angelea for helping me remember why I deserve better? Did I forget to say thank you to my mother for being the sweetest soul God could have given me? There are so many people who help me. So many people who have offered me their heart on a platter. The heaviness of that realization makes me feel all mushy inside. Not like mash potatoes mushy (nahhhh) , more like pretty pink jello mushy after your spoon has had its way with it (ART!).

But also, being good to other human beings makes them happy. When someone is polite to me I want to squeeze them (can you imagine if my emotions had no filters? trouble!) I once remarked to a man, ” Would it hurt you to be a little more polite to me?” His response: GIRRLLLLLL, it’s 2018! You out here trying to be an independent woman, and all of a sudden you want me to open doors and take you on long walks in the park. When the hell did I say I was an independent woman (which I am, suckaa)? And what the hell does that have to do with walks in the park? I think walks in the park are nice, it’s true. But that’s irrelevant to how I would like to be treated kindly, generously, and in a respect that you should want in return. Can you imagine if everyone just ignored everyone? No hugs, no parting kisses, no remorse. No, ” Damn that was nice as hell, you just made my day” Life would be rough.

Onooo, couldn’t live in a world like that. HELLS no.

It all started when I was a child. I went to visit an elderly woman at the hospital. I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. There was a family next to me and as they greeted each other a boy about my age went up to his aging grandmother and bowed. Then he hugged her. I stared at him the whole time like he was an alien who had taken over the body of a blond-haired boy with freckles and blue eyes. Weirdo. But I was in awe of the weirdo. At that young age, I saw his respect for his elders and I also saw the respect the elders had for him. He went from weirdo to the respectable respected. I have no idea who the kid was but I do wonder what he might be doing nowadays… Maybe he became spiderman? Or maybe he’s in prison….Nahhhhh! He’s probably all about them spidey senses. Watch your back, villains!

You could lose a lot for being ungrateful, rude, and a complete prick. Friendships and family have been torn apart because graciousness was left behind in the dust like a animals skeleton which makes you wonder, how did this happen? We don’t know how it happened. We just know one day the streets were clean and today… Someone ran over a dog and didn’t even bother to pick it up.

Giving thanks takes some effort. But so does waking up in the morning, brushing your teeth, putting your makeup on, bla bla bla. All that work. Would it be so much EXTRA to add a dash of courtesy to your life? If it does, then by God you must be as busy as Trump himself.

Rude ones, keep away. I’m in this life for the goodness.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

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Why Did You Start The Heiva San Diego?

So many times people have asked me why? Why do this? Why didn’t you do that? Why!? Why!? Why!? Most of the time I give them the It’s none of your damn business look. But there is one question that without fail hits me like a Deer in the illuminated tunnel of oncoming headlights.

Why did you start the Heiva San Diego

When those words leave their lips, memories pour into my brain as if it were yesterday that I stepped barefoot onto the To’ata stage, feet raw from dancing for weeks on concrete, my stomach screaming from nerves, and a thousand electric currents pulsing throughout my hearts’ core. Oh yes, that is a question that makes me not only remember, but makes me feel.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Heiva San Diego, it’s a Tahitian Cultural festival and Dance Competition that takes place every year in August located in Sunny San Diego. This year the dates are August 11 & 12 and it’ll be the 8th year that my family and friends have put together this gathering and event. Every year I hope to bring Tahiti to San Diego. I fail in some aspects, in others I succeed. No matter the outcome, I keep trying.

So why Lindsay? Why did you start the Heiva San Diego?

As a child, I grew up around my mother, aunties, and grandma talking about the Heiva I Tahiti (Check it out!). It was something to gossip about on a tiny island where everyone knew everyone. Almost every single woman in my family had danced in the Heiva. I could imagine them as young women full of life up on stage. Then there was my older cousin Vairani. She was the most beautiful person I had ever seen and when she performed on stage with her hair long and crimped hair,  makeup and red lips, she was transformed further into something untouchable to my young awkward self. Her skin turned to gold. Her hair was spun silk. And even that stank attitude she always gave me because I was her little cousin dissipated. She was no longer the prettiest one in our family to my mind, she elevated into Vairani, Island Goddess.  OMGAWWWDDD I was such a twerp! You better believe that after I saw her up on that stage I would have done anything for her (This probably made her despise me even more!) I followed her around like a pesky mosquito while she tried to smack me out of the way (and she was real smooth not to do it in front of the adults!). But I didn’t care. She was Goddess. Goddess’ can do whatever the hell they want! That was when I was a young chump. Eventually, I grew up to be an older chump.

As I matured my memories of my cousin never faded. I remembered the way she smiled on stage and how infectious her joy was as she swayed and moved in ways I couldn’t. I would never forget how beautiful she was. There’s just no way in hell I could erase the impression of the costumes, colors, and sounds as the drum echoed across the courtyard into the waters that made the island a paradise to most and a prison to others. Every time I saw bright red lips, my inner bitch would shake her head and comment. Sure can’t rock it like Vairani. No one can rock it like my cousin did when I was young, impressionable, and wanted to be just like her older cousin with the perfect everything…Nobody!!!

Then I hit rock bottom. Not really rock bottom…Let me restate that; Teenage Rockbottom. It involved teenage heartbreak to a guy who I was better off without. I stopped eating and I didn’t want to see anyone. 20 lbs lighter and disappeared from my usual group of friends, my soul searched for something else to cling onto and somehow I stumbled upon Healii’s Polynesian Revue (HPR ). They were doing a performance in a parking lot. BAM! Just like a magical abracadabra, my lost teenage soul who felt soooooooo damn ugly after being dumped by her good for nothing boyfriend, saw the red lips, the bright costumes, and heard the drum beats that made her blood hot as if she were standing in the middle of a summer storm. I went through highschool uncommitted to everything and anything(except douchebag boys) but at that moment I tugged on my father’s sleeve and looked him in the eyes with an expression that meant Business. “I am going to dance with them.” He probably liked the ways my eyes lit up with fire..but he might have hated that he was going to pay for my dance lessons. Thanks, daddy! So I dance, and the more I dance, the more I fell out of love with scum bags, and back into love with myself. I felt beautiful on stage. The dances made me part of something that I had never experienced before. I learned about other islands as well as my own and more importantly, I formed bonds with others that made me stronger. My hula sisters.

Slowly and surely I wanted more. MORE! MORE! MORE! More dance…. but especially more of Tahiti. Healii’s was mostly Hawaii. They were wonderful, but my soul searched for something that my younger self had seen; Ori Tahiti. When I turned 18 I found an opportunity impossible for me to pass up; Competing in the Heiva I Tahiti. The competitions of all competitions, which my mother had even participated in when she was my age. I WAS ALL IN, BABY!

For months I trained with a small group of girls in America and it went a little something like this: Watch video’s of a Tahitian dancer and memorize the dances. That sounds so easy. NOT! I lost about 15lbs in the first couple of months. We trained every day like dogs doing moves that normal human beings just don’t do. During training..our hips could NOT lie. Instead, they SANG TRUTH, louder and louder as the days passed.. well you get the point. When it was time to finally go to Tahiti and meet the group that we were joining things only got harder. Dance, dance, and more dance..Oh and BTW when your finished dancing, you better dance in your sleep (which is exactly what my dreams made me do!) It was so damn HARD, but every single second was pure BLISS. Even the blisters on my soles felt worthy. Finally, I had found something in life that I was willing to work hard at. Yet, when it was time to actually perform the dances, I would have never expected what happened…

My hair was amazingly big and puffy. My lips were fire-truck red. The costume I wore fit perfectly. I was ready. We were ready. Vairani, you better watch your back..I’m bringing it! And together the beats took their toll and we stepped on stage as one. At that moment I could feel the heartbeats of everyone standing beside me. Their breathes were rhythically aligned with mine. The crowd looked at us and I did not shrink back. Together we were brilliant with our flaws and all.

That night we didn’t win first place. I can’t even remember if we got second or third.. but that wasn’t the point. There were over 100 dancers who had learned the same routines as me and I could feel every single one of them besides me that night. We were one and the same MANA. Their power was mine, and mine was theirs. Happiness swept through my soul like a dove through the blue sky and I knew that after this night never again would I be the same. I had danced as my mother had danced. I had become what Vairani had once been. I had reached something that seemed untouchable. I competed in Heiva I Tahiti.

So Lindsay, why did you do it? Who do you think you are bringing the Heiva to San Diego? 

I created the Heiva San Diego for one reason. That feeling that swept through my body as I stepped on stage with my new brothers and sisters. I wanted to share that feeling of camaraderie, passion, dedication, and mana with the world. Not everyone can go to Tahiti. Some people don’t even know the difference between Tahiti and Haiti!!! But if I can bring part of Tahiti to America, maybe I can show them my hearts addictions. And if it’s only one person who can believe in what I believe, it’ll still be worth it. Tahiti will always be worth it.

In the beginning, only my mother believed that it was possible. Nowadays, there are some people who talk behind our back and shake their heads. I care not! One day soon, San Diego will see why Tahiti and the islands are utopias, paradise, Eden, and better than  Sweden.

Why did you start the Heiva San Diego? 

Because this is what I was born to do.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

📸 : Ivan S Harris Photography

Words, Don’t Let Me Down

How many of us say one thing and do the exact opposite? Everybody. No? Not you..you’re an exception? Well then, do you shift things around so that it’s not as far away from what you had originally set out to do? Same damn thing!!! You said you would do one thing, and you didn’t do it at all. My brother never commits to anything. You ask him if he wants to go to a birthday party and he’ll respond with, ” We’ll see what the weathers like.” You ask him if he wants to hang out and he’ll reply with a, ” Can I let you know later” which usually means right before its going down. But I respect it completely because at least he’s not breaking his words. Sure, getting him to attend a family get together can be tricky as hell, but you can’t break a promise that was never given in the first place.

I bring this up since someone I care about does it to me ALL THE DAMN TIME. I wait for them to call because we had a rendezvous…and the hours’ roll by, on and on and on. It’s not that they’ve forgotten about me. Okay no, they’ve forgotten me completely or found something better to occupy their time. Let’s not make excuses; That’s life! What they choose to do is fine and dandy, I won’t hold it against them(or maybe I will secretly). But that will never be my life. If I say I’m going to do something, I better damn well do it.

No, I will not settle for never committing nor venturing down the endless road of unfulfilled words. They won’t leave these Cinnamon tinted lips. Text messages and emails are not discounted either. If you commit, you committed. Dr.Seus knows what I mean by,  I say what I mean, and I mean what I say.

TRUTH! Live up to your dreams and plans. Say you’ll do it, and actually do it. Say you’ll make it, and make more… When I tell my family and friends that I will be there for them, by God I better be there! And when I say I’ll get something done… Then I better pull up enough momentum to knock it out cold. Television, I despise you. Couch, your comfort is lethal. Instagram, you will be the death of me.

I want to be a person of my WORD. I will be a person of my WORD. Procrastinators and bullshiters stay the hell away from me. I’ve got things to do and WORDS to fulfill.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Photo by Poeiti Bordes

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