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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Angel Down

Ever feel like turning your back on the rest of the world?

Don’t, love.

You might have a hard day when you’re pushed to your limits and people come stomping (ungraceful as hell) into your path who make it so much harder than it should be but don’t forget all the people who need you. I need you. Just think of the pleasures awaiting you.

That someone who ruins your day can just as easily walk away, especially if you threaten their hate with kindness, love, and goodness. What would God do…They want your displeasure and when you don’t give it to them, they’ll go looking for it somewhere else. Sometimes they find it. Let them be and keep your head held high.

Someone unbelievable will walk into your life. That person is going to make you feel like your shoes are slicker than Cinderella’s, laugh like that first puff, even make you contemplate gravity because you are flying. Too much fairytale, not enough truth? Maybe that person was you all along.

Keep it pushing lovely. You’ve got too much goodness to answer for.

Xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Photo by @the_olivedistrict

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

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

Broken Mamba: Fiction

Despite her hate for him and everything he had done (she could still feel the shards of glass swimming in her soul) when they came face-to-face in the parking lot of a gas station their first reaction was to smile at each other just like old friends, or old lovers.

He looked her up and down as he use to do. Measuring her worth as if he knew he had her. While she on the other hand was able to control her traitorous smile into a flat straight line never taking her eyes off of his pale white face and gruff beard that had almost made him look like a stranger if it hadn’t been for the lie of kind eyes.

He had lost weight and his clothes hung on him with a face paler than she had ever seen complimenting his decay by bags underneath his once bright almond colored eyes darkened like soft plum bruises. Her first thought was that he was sick, maybe a lost battle of cancer or maybe he was on drugs. But his teeth told her otherwise; Straight, white, and clean. They didn’t pretend to not see each other nor did they cause a scene in the street. He walked up to her and she stood in place with her feet firm to the ground, arms comfortable at her sides.

Leon. She said his name softly, and no one around would have been able to tell that she wanted to scream the name until the two syllables reached the skies.

Rose. Poison on white roses whispered in the wind, just like he had always said her name.

She looked into his eyes and remembered. How a gentle touch of his finger to her cheek could feel like the earth had disappeared and they were no longer humans but their own species on a planet far, far away. How giving he had been..Of course that was before she had paid for all the happiness with an equivalent if not more amount of pain. She wondered if it meant she was weak. It would have been easy to pull up all the misery he had ever caused yet her mind made the effort to bring back their bliss and faded magic buried under layers of dust and heaviness of hurt.

No. I am not weak.

Leon. This time she said his name just the way he liked it.

“Leon, what’s wrong?” Finally he looked away and his facade chipped away showing an animal aware of it’s fate when it’s placed at the very center of the wolves table.

“Beautiful.” He use to call her that as if it was her name. And she did look beautiful, especially standing next to him, no longer in suit and tie which he had been accustomed to but  wearing soiled pants and a white shirt that bleach could never bring back.  He looked at his feet as if he could read her thoughts and looked back into her eyes making her remember once again. Almost but not quite an apology he said, ” I lost…Everything. The house, the money, my wife- she wouldn’t show him what that word did to her- They even killed my dog.”

She didn’t know who he was talking about but she wasn’t that surprise when he said the word killed like it was a word commonly tossed around in the streets among old acquaintances who meet in parking lots. Especially after what he had done to her. She did know one thing. Before he even said a word of his problems and jadedness which she knew nothing about, a plan formed in her mind like seismic land shift which when split, shook, and pulsed created a brief destruction and in turn formed a new beginning.

He was cut off by her question. “Where are you going?” For a walk. “Where?!” a little bit of the urgency she felt inside started to spill out and she knew that she would never regret what she was about to do. He looked to the east and pointed to a bridge with an overpass. “Home sweet home.” She had an urge to call him a bum, kick him in the shin, throw him to the ground and jab his back with her black widowed Louboutins. You took everything I ever had, and you even let someone else take it from you. She was unsure of what part about that she hated the most. Calmly her hand extended as if it was the most natural movement that she had ever known gently grabbing his his pinky finger. He was led to her white Lexus IS250 which was as polished and clean as her manicured hands. She didn’t think about the dirt that he would rub against her leathered seats, or the smell that comes from not taking a shower in over two weeks. Instead she opened his door and told him to get in. He obeyed with a smile that might have made her feel disgusting if she hadn’t already been engulfed by flames of pity.

The perfect cinnamon lacquered nails pressed the start switch bringing life to the engine and Stromae’s “Formidable” came like a crushed lullaby through the speakers. He brought his dirt stained finger to the volume and Stromae made his exit leaving them with silence that could be felt like an electric shock in the closeness in her car. Of course he was the first one to break it. “So where are you dragging me off to? I might have to charge you by the minute you know…” She blinked at his words that might have made her laugh when she had half the experience and two fold the ignorance. Do I really want to take him there? Yes.

” Were going to paradise.”

He looked at the road remembering how he had studied her and calculated his every move to get her to crumble. She looked ahead at the road forgetting the destruction and started to plot the new beginning.

Xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Black Mamba Kissed: Fiction

I sat in a room with four beds covered with flowered and flamboyant sheets, hues you might find on an old Hawaiian woman’s dress and across from me a door is opened no more than a foot wide. I’ve been peering out that crack about 90 times in the past 48 hours. I can’t help it. If you saw what I saw you’d be addicted too. Its the ocean of Fakarava, a tiny island in the middle of no where. At least that’s how it feels. The waves lap against the house I sit in, teasing like a whisper in my ear. I fall asleep to the song of water. Is it laughter I hear or the pain which makes it hard for me to sleep? When I wake up my eyes automatically go towards that door, open even during the nights so a breeze can come through. It smells like sea and mangos. But it rained last night so what I see beyond the opening seems duller than usual, less of a distraction. How unfortunate. It starts off muddy grey then quickly fades to brilliant turquoise and if my eyes can detach themselves from the brilliance it furthers to a darkness that comes with depth and imaginations of what waits below. How far does that darkness reach? On a clear day without rain I can make out a tiny motu littered with coconut trees that looks bigger than a football field but probably isn’t. On lazy days I stare at the motu and wonder how long it would take me to swim to that little island from where I sit on my comfortable dry bed protected and separate from the doubt of how friendly sharks in the South Pacific really are. But it’s not a sunny day on this bite size island, which took only a few hours by plane from Tahiti. It’s raining. Not that it’s going to stop me from swimming… Neither did it stop you from loving him.

Slowly I look away from the window in disgust trying to block out the vileness of past remembrances. My body clenches at the onslaught of memories. Please STOP!!! They don’t. Instead something happens inside of me as my stomache aches with a hunger that has nothing to do with food. “This is paradise, lose yourself.” The words of my family play back, annoying and optimistic. Lose myself? Don’t they realize how lost I’ve been?! No. I need to find myself. I try to calm down by listening to the waves crash against the foundation of my fare like a small roar mingling with the clutter going around and around in my head. His words. With each crash they grow louder. Do they really think I could forget everything? Anything..What a dream that would be. If I could forget how beautiful his smile was or how AFFECTED I was by a simple brush of his fingertip. Months and months I tried to forget him but here I am on a tiny speck of paradise and still he makes it feel like Lucifer’s pit. The rain falls harder and my eyes sweep like a urgent signal to the place that I have replayed in my mind over and over, searching the waters but only seeing his perfect face before he left me forever…

The first time I saw him it rained. I was such a fool in my pencil skirt and Steve Madden pumps, trying to impressed a potential nobody client. How was I suppose to know it would rain in the middle of August? I had walked soaked like a wet cat into Downtown Hilton headed straight for the conference rooms but in the lobby with 10, 20, maybe even 50 people who were nothing but static and white noise, he stood tall and elegant like the men I had seen in magazines. His eyes met mine. Sometimes I wish it hadn’t been so… Just think of how different my life would have been if I hadn’t been given that glance of hope! Only when I ran into a table did I break our stare. The marble didn’t fazed me, the humiliation did. I walked on to the conference room with my face the absolute definition of Rouge. Before I stepped into the doorway that would separate us forever I took one look back and never in all my life had I felt so much JOY to know that he was following me. Nothing in the world could calm the wings that were soaring in my heart. I didn’t dare look back again but instead I neatly sat down at a table next to a window where my client should have been sitting. But he wasn’t. How typical and late. I stared out the window and watched large drops plummet the glass and gracefully fall into rivers, down. Someone called my name softly, almost like a lover would whispers the name of the one true beloved. He had been expecting me you see and I often wonder if things could have been different if we had started off on the same even scale with no expectations or commitments hidden in our agendas. But he had come with a plan, as had I. Yet no one warned me how finely shaped his jaw was, how sweet the line of his smile curved, and how soft his kiss would feel when he pressed his lips to my cheek. Neither did they tell me that when he left me it would feel like recognizing the colors and patterns of the Black Mamba, after it bites you.

It was only later when I got to know his ways that I figured he had studied me from a far. Nowadays all you have to do is google a persons name and their life unfolds before your eyes. The enemy and his wicked tactics. Mr. Sun Tzu would have been ashamed of me. He would have told me I should have done the same if not more. But to give myself a little credit, I was naive. My grandfather had taught me that everything you gain from a person happens when you work right besides them. Maybe in another time period Gramps. So I let my guard down and smiled back at the beautiful face who I had seen in the lobby and who also happened to be my potential client.

His name was Leon and I gave him everything, including my heart. When he had it all, my secrets, my money he didn’t need me anymore. So he left me without a goodbye or a note, his phone cut-off with a operators voice that infuriated me more than any injustice I had ever felt. The fool that I was… Damn you. Never will I wear pencil skirts in the rain, nor will I smile back at a man who says my name like red poison on white roses.

I stared out past the door and beyond the sea. The sun was now setting in glorious pinks and purples and it had stopped raining. I smiled and didn’t even bother to wipe the tears away.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

The Impossible

For days, even after the jet lag wore away, I sat in front of my computer and stared at a blank slate for the story that I had been meaning to write about.. Writer’s Block had no mercy.. But was this writer’s block?

No. It was something else.

How could I write about something so meaningful to me, something that had its claws wrapped around the contours of my heart? How could I capture those perfect words that should be free sailing through the skies of my memory… Yet I tried and I tried and BY GOD I tried again. Finally I am forced to throw down these imperfections that won’t even come close to what my minds eye continues to stare at boldly, unwavering, and ADDICTED.

Visiting the land of my ancestors in French Polynesia; My Beloved Tahiti. 

Be advised. Compared to the reality of each moment written down, I felt ten fold. Maybe a hundred fold. Even the unwanted parts make me throw my head back in laughter. And it goes a little something like this:

I stepped off of the plane and immediately a wave of warm morning air hit me. 5:45AM ISLAND TIME. I inhaled a scent that would never exist in America. Or if it did, someone tell me where so that I could go after it. It was like the freshness of sea mingled with sweet Tiare, a white 7 petal blossom that only grows in the islands. There was also a hint of city population, diesel, the makings of mankind, and even that was overpowered by natural vegetation that I could make out on the mountains which surrounded me. Again, I took a deep breath and held on as long as my lungs could go pretending it would stay with me forever; my first breaths of Tahiti. Yet it wasn’t my first. I had been to Tahiti probably 15 times. I remember my mother pulled out my very first passport and being amazed that at 6 months old I had traveled to the place that some people spend their entire savings to go visit. It also amazed me that my 6 month old picture was just as bad as my 29 year old picture. But this time was different..

It had been five years since I had returned to the islands because of time wasted in Japan. I remember when I was in the land of the Rising Sun dreaming day and night of the land of real Magnificent Sun in Polynesia. yet it had been so long that it felt like a fairy tale. Years passed and things were being forgotten, faces started to blur,  and the longing only grew. It rested inside of me like an animal and every once in a while when I heard a Taiko drum or saw a woman with beautiful long black hair the dreams of Vahines and the pounding of Pahus and Toeres would strike me from the inside, resonating like echoes from the past. Eventually I started to believe that I would never make it back to the Islands that had once felt like my home. I thought that I would never see her again… When I accepted that, sadness crept into my life that felt close to mourning.

Stepping off that plane changed everything. I had made it and never in all my life had I felt more alive, more FREE. When we made our way through customs some of my favorite people in the world were there waiting for us despite the early hours and heat. They put flower leis around my neck that made me smell far lovelier than my Mademoiselle Chanel ever could.

I was in TAHITI!! I HAD MADE IT BACK. No one could tell how happy I was to be back, no one knew how every single moment was being measure and dissected in my mind because I never EVER wanted to leave these memories behind. No, my darlings, I love you too much. We went to my auntie house which was just up the hill and most of my family and friends made their way home to give us some rest from the red eye flight. If only they knew that I had planned to sleep a bare minimum on this trip and instead LIVE WIDE AWAKE! Sleep would not bother me. So I went on a walk. Outside my aunties gates past the houses of my cousins, uncles, and distant relatives to a road that had a view of the Faa’a Airport where we had just come from, and beyond was the ocean where Tahiti’s sister island Moorea stood like a gem peering out of the sea. As a child I would always disappear from my family and come here to this spot. I would be gone for hours sitting on the side of the road and stare at the planes take off or watch the ferries push forward to Moorea’s port. I’d stay so long that day would turn to dark; My favorite time of all. The sun would set with a golden orange arc and a blanket of stars would glisten from above. The constellations seemed to be right there with you, all you had to do was reach out and pluck one from the sky. My diamonds. The airport lights would come on in a bright turquoise blue and even in the darkness I was reminded of the crystal clear lagoons that awaited me in the outer islands of Rangiroa, Fakarava, or Apataki. I never wanted to leave. But I was young and the wild dogs scared me as did my mother when she worried about me, so I always made my way back. Here I was 29 years old sitting at the same spot that I had come back to all throughout my life. Had I changed? Where had I been? And where was I going? Who cares, now was not the time for those questions. The answers would come only when they were ready. The sun was baking me and the humidity licked away at my skin, my paleness that hadn’t felt so much sunlight in the past 5 years combined. I was no longer a child who could disappear for hours and hours. There was no empty road for me to travel down. Slowly, feeling like every single step led to the direction of goodness, I made my way back to my Auntie and Uncle’s Fare that stood high at the City in the Sky.

Everything that followed was like a brilliant rush through silk rainbows. They spoiled me. Breakfast, lunches, dinners, and never-ending snacks. People wanted to meet, some for business and some for personal reason but every reacquaintance was paired with food. Food that had my eyes widen with lust and my stomach shrink back with apprehension, and it was all in different shades of variety. Chocolate moose served in a wine glass, Raw fish bathed in coconut milk, freshly squeezed lime over poisson crue, Fried banana, Avocados the size of melons, Tuna the color of a Geisha’s lips, Coconuts cracked open and sipped through fluorescence colored straws, Mahi Mahi hamburgers, Luscious grilled steak topped with a bed of fries, and lets not forget the baguettes and chocolate croissants. I ate like I hadn’t had food for a thousand years. But the odd thing about it…I wasn’t getting bigger. If anything I was changing shape but not becoming bigger. I felt better because the food I was inhaling left and right was REAL. Chemicals and additives neglected and un-heard of. So I ate and I ate, and when I couldn’t eat anymore, I simple ate some more.

Seeing these golden skinned locals was wonderful for my soul because a Tahitian spirit and mentality are not quite like what I deal with in America and no where near to what I had been accustomed to in Japan. Some Tahitians are overly generous, fire hearted, and at their core they have a goodness that I can only call innocence. Of course not everyone can be classified as such. What land doesn’t have its fair share of good and bad apples? For the record, I aim on surrounded myself with good people and on this trip I succeeded in that. Thank you for the guidance God.

Some memories still burn inside my mind, a flame that will never go out. I went to a secluded beach with my best friend Bene and while we were in the water it started raining so hard. Each time a drop hit me it was like a tiny bomb of happiness penetrated through my skin. The water was warm, the rain was warmer and here I was away from my electronics and city life. Away from my French school and my Event life. I was incomplete and yet completely full. Damn, it felt good to get away from the world and float in the waters of Tahiti not caring about a thing except being silly with your Bestfriend like we use to do when we were 14.

And then there was the time I went to the waterfalls. I danced among the eels in the shallow waters and the tourist from America and France watched me, taking pictures. And what a picture I must have been! ohh but it felt good to let my soul dance. When I was finished I walked up to the water fall and leaned against the wall of the cliff while everything poured down on me. My Pareo was soaked, but my spirit was alive. Awakening doesn’t quite explain it. But underneath that waterfall I could feel the layers of my past pains peel away. Layer by layer, tears to hurt. I walked away with a smile on my face and a strength guiding my every step.

Where am I going? Finally it was time for me to say goodbye to my loved ones and the life that was so different from the life I would be thrown back into. I didn’t cry when I said goodbye because I finally found an answer to some of my questions. Where was I going in life? Getting on a jet plane back to the states. But after that? Oh, baby I’ll be back.

I will be back. Xoxox

Lindsay Reva

The Perfect Rainbow

Today I was proud to be human. Strange statement? I don’t think so. Bullies, bombs, unlawful persecutions, hate, racism, waste, and a never ending path of pain laid out for us if we choose to follow it. There have been so many moments where I had felt ashamed to be part of this thing called mankind. Don’t we all have remembrances of seeing something so horrible that your stomach squeezes into a knot of disgust, while your mind tingles with an aftertaste of numbness because you can’t quite comprehend what just happened? If not, what a wonderfully sheltered life you must have. Then again, it could be your choice…that’s either a hell of a control you have on your consciousness or maybe you’re alien(some people call it lucky). I, however, am not. Seeing such disappointment, sadness, and bruises on the face of our times hurts me. Some days I get so tired that I feel lifeless.

But today was different…

While I was driving I saw a young man step besides his lover so he could take the path that lay closest to the on-coming traffic. I might forgive him for everything just because of how natural of a motion that was for him.

My uncle Remi had noticed that I wear rosaries in my pictures and today he surprised me with thee most exquisite Rosary I had ever seen in my life; Jesus’ silver body upon a cross of mother pearl and hung on a string of Tahitian black pearls that came in hues like the shimmering ocean. Could something more beautifully symbolic exist for me? If it does, I haven’t seen it.

My cousin who I hadn’t seen in 5 years wanted to take me out to breakfast just because. Simplicity at its finest.

I danced. For the first time in 5 years I put on a pareo(a simple black cloth tied like a skirt) and danced to the Toere and Pahu drums. It shook me alive and made me want more, more, more. And so I kept dancing harder even when the other girls skimped on their techniques because of fatigue. On and on until I thought I would faint. But my happiness carried me to the end. So I continued…I danced and by God I loved it.

But the most beautiful part about my day was when I went to the beach. Sitting on the shore I noticed that the sky was overcast and not as peaceful as I had hoped for. I looked to my right at Moorea, Tahiti’s tiny sister island and back at the fine thin line that separated the blue sky from the blue waters. There I was again, searching the horizon for meaning and I found it when I felt two gentle hands on my shoulders. I looked up to the face of Tehani who I had grown up with as a child. She smiled at me and spoke in a voice so soft that I could barely hear her. “Release everything negative, all your stress and let it go forever.” She reached to her back pocket and for some reason I imagined her pulling out a magic wand tapping my head with an “Abracadabra!” thrown in for good effect. But no, she wasn’t a witch. More like the opposite. She pulled out some Monoi oil and right when the top came off I could smell the sweet Tiare Tahiti flower with a hint of coconut. Tehani’s hands started to massage me from my head all the way to my toes. I didn’t even feel awkward when she started rubbing my stomache. The sun was setting but I closed my eyes because I didn’t want to cry. It wasn’t that I was sad, my life is AMAZING! But her every touch and word was so unselfish and kind that I felt like I was witnessing a miracle. When she was finished she told me to go deep into the waters so everything bad could be washed away and that’s exactly what I did.

Did it work? Who knows.

But one thing is forsure. Before that miracle I hadn’t really noticed the couple on the side of the road as I drove home from the restaurant that my cousin took me which I hadn’t really appreciated as much as I should have. Nor did I take the time to remember what it felt like when I moved my body to the sounds of life. Only when she placed her kindness on me everything became apparent like a rainbow after a hundred years of rain.

Let me never forget that as much as there is bad in the world, there is also good.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

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