A Day At The Park
Tuesday, June 23 (yesterday): Shane, Simon, and I decide to take a few hours in the middle of a long editing/writing/woodworking day and attend our friend Amber Boone's birthday celebration at a park in Burbank. We're thinking the grass and sunshine and fresh air with friends will do us some good. It's been 3 weeks since our last big public outing together (the George Floyd memorial/City Hall protest) and none of the housemates or friends have symptoms... but we're still being careful with guests at the house and masks outside. I whip up some oil-free hummus and chop up veggies and fruit for later when we have the munchies and the cookies tempt us. :) On our way we scoop our BFF and neighbor, Lisa LBoogie.
Amber is a friend through iLuminate: a show that involves a lot of travel, a lot of different skills and styles, and a good deal of physical/mental challenge. These things have humbled us and brought us together. We call and support each other from our respective cities, get together on birthdays, and constantly collaborate through dance, music, visual art, and more. I couldn't ask for a better tribe, and I feel lucky every day to be based in LA where most of us live or regularly visit. These people are like home to me, and the circle keeps widening as our communities intertwine.
3:30ish pm: We arrive with our goodies, Simon's BumpBoxx, and a few sporting goods. the football and frisbee were most popular. :) It is indescribably refreshing to physically be around old friends and new. Shane and Simon alternate climbing a giant adjacent tree which becomes the obvious frisbee-catch zone. Amber is radiant and full of gratitude for everything, big and small. We dance to Simon's friends' excellent DJ mixes and sip kombucha and coffee. We tumble and twerk and share ukulele chords. We meet more genuine, beautiful artists from other parts of Amber's world.
5ish: Shane leaves to fulfill a truck rental at Home Depot for his next project. Simon and I make plans to leave but end up staying for 3 more hours as more people arrive with treats and style and good conversation. The park and people are beautiful. It's hard not to get loud and proud in our corner of the park, but these are unpredictable times, so we're extra careful with every piece of trash and every person who walks by. Luckily everyone is friendly and keeps a healthy boundary. Amber gives emotional speeches and we flood her right back with love--for everything and everyone she has brought together at a time when we need connection and creativity more than ever. We jam on a few verses about the birthday girl, orchestrate photo shoots in the summer light, and toss balls. Steph Ramirez teaches me how to spike a volleyball (a thing I could never quite nail in high school)--added to the growing list of a dozen or so things my friend Steph has taught me since I moved to LA. Monhand and I discuss the very flawed 'winner take all' voting system in America and the dismal candidates of the upcoming election. Jermaine Johnson tells me the story of how he went from touring with Shania Twain (on a precarious knee injury) to penning film and television screenplays while his knee rests in quarantine. Kat Marie and I jive on acting class wisdom, Filipino delicacies, and getting better with age. :)
I feel present. I feel recharged by my familiar fam and my fresh connections. People are so inspiring in such different ways, and I feel so fortunate to have opened myself up to those inspirations. We laughed and cheered and sweated in the sun. Simon and I still managed to edit for hours (fueled by pizza, but still), and Shane bought a pile of plywood and built a fancy ladder before the day was done. As I type this he assembles the scratch-designed media console he started working on this morning.
It's summer time. Take time to be in the sun. Take time to be with friends. Take time to be grateful for everything you've built and been privy to in your life so far. It's never not worth it.