Thursday Valentines Day: Love, Culture, & Solidarity

Valentine’s Day was almost an entire month ago but I can still feel all the energy, solidarity, creativity, and love like it was yesterday. Folks who did not got to P.O.D.E.R.’s Open Mic: “Love & Peace in Our Community” missed out on a night of local artists  activists, and community coming together for something beautiful. I’ve been to plenty of “Open Mics” before and have been performing for quite some time but something about this night was different, this night specifically taught me quite a few things that have begun to influence my most recent influential decisions :

Perspective on Open Mics 
My entire perspective on what a good Open Mic event even really is has become more apparent since this event. I’ve been to plenty of Open Mics and everything matters, the set up, how the chairs are organized, noisy doors,
whether the setting is “institutionalized” or not, decoration, the expectation it was advertised to be, accessibility, sense of community, and many many others. The fact that this night had so many of these amazing features made me realize I didn’t have to settle for noisy, white, privileged, “experienced” poets vibe, type of Open Mics and that immense amounts of solidarity, rhythm  art, love and passion really can be cultivated in a room. 

Quitting Almost All My Commitments 
This night was just one of the many that made me truly reflect on what the fuck I’m doing with my time and more importantly my energy. There’s no need to explain any further when it’s already been explained here. 

Leave the UCSB – IV Bubble
I’ve thought about it before, but this night was the final push I needed in being fed up with the fact that most of my biggest networks only consist of those who either attend UCSB or live in IV. This is understandable and not necessarily a bad thing, but it is personally problematic to reflect on the fact that it is a big fucking world and only 1% actually even attends college.  I also recently read up on Isla Vista on Wiki ( I know, I know) and was supervised/ not surprised to know that IV is one of the most expensive places in the United States to live in. There are some amazing, artistic, cultural, intelligent, and strong members of our community who don’t go to school at all or live in IV and I am thankful to realize something so obvious and be able to act on it while I’m still here. In the past month, I have connected with people I never would have thought to do about a year ago. Life is MORE than college. “College life” and being a student is a much smaller part of my life now and I have never been happier.

All these things have been in my mind for so long now, this night just provided me with the final bit of inspiration I needed to get started. To this very day I have been keeping in close touch (& are currently producing collaborations!) with many of the beautiful souls I met there and will continue to grow the seeds that were planted on Feb 14, 2013.


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