December 25, 2016 I said 'YES!” to being a crew member aboard S/V Atraxia and crossing the Atlantic on a 50 ft. sailboat- my gift to myself. And now, three years later, I am saying, YES! to another adventure that I'd like to share with you. But first, in these days of reflection, I'd like to review 2018 and what brought me to where I am and where I'm going. In these remaining days in Florida with family, I depart for the west coast in roughly 48 hours, driving cross country and dropping anchor in the East Bay, the lands of the Ohlone and Chochenyo in what is today called El Cerrito, California.
But, first things first. I want to go back to Mexico 2017 where the seeds of intent where planted.
What does devotion look like?
I saw two paths, continuing to wander // travel // nomad to the extent of continuing south on a 75 ft S/V called Diamond Head to South America OR circle back to the intention set when I said “YES” to the Atlantic crossing- healing my heart & learning more about myself uncoupled from other(s). A desire to take those experiences (you can read more about in Love Notes) and incorporate them into the ordinary world in relationship to others and in service to our collective healing. I desired to explore, move & face some known and unknown fears & assumptions about who I am so that I would truly & authentically serve youth in a deep and meaningful way.
It was an alluring idea to become like the hermit in the cave, never to truly test who you are in reflection to others. In my opinion, you can spend a lifetime in self-reflection, never to swim in the emotional waters of intimacy reflected thru and with another. I enjoy my own company. Why would I mess with a such a good thing I had going with myself? In Mexico, the tug of the original intent for setting out on this most Queer Odyssey rang in my ears: I recognized it would be irresponsible to continue serving and inauthentic to ask those I worked with to search edges I was fearful to search myself. Just like there is a Call to answer, there is also a Return to answer to, as well.
So going to Mexico to look at what devotion to something, someone would look like, feel like I came to these conclusions to follow and track in the coming year 2018.
So what happened in Mexico when I asked questions of devotion?
February 7, 2018 to April 2, 2018 Queer Calling - Returning a Different Way, Rite of Passage Journeys, Youth on Fire & Buy Me Time....Keep Me Moving were seeded. I had a map, markers to test my learning, reincorporation with communities I call family and pleasant surprises along the way.
I am a Healthy and Attuned Adult. ALIVE. Living OUT loud with all of my Heart.
This is the intent statement I created on my 3 day solo fast as part of the Rite of Passage Journeys' Leadership Intensive I participated in June 2018. You can read about my experience here.
“You don't attract what you want. You attract who you are.”
My time on the land, severing from old relational patterns no longer serving me, taking ownership of my impact on others, recognizing certain energies I had been attracting & committed to “devote and partner with others who resonate with me.” Devote and partner with, not only in the context of how my work in the world shows up, but also a willingness to open my heart to an intimacy and love I had cut myself off to the past few years. It was while standing waist deep in the Colorado River in Moab UT on my birthday July 23, 2018, when I softly proclaimed, “I want to open myself to romance ++” that things began to really shift. Speaking something out loud is no joke in my world. I've been called a wizard and have a huge amount of respect for my manifesting qualities when I put my mind and heart to something. I was already seeing “results” in how I showed up, took risks in putting myself out there (just asking for someone's #!) & swiftly how manifesting occurs....I was kissed under the moonlight of my birthday just hours after proclaiming my readiness for romance.
What was clear when I looked at devotion and how it felt in my body- I was not (going it) alone. This because life & work are not compartmentalized, inevitably led me to consider & admit the ideal. I actually came to this conclusion sometime over the winter when I had a 'aha moment’. I know I can bring my gifts to my community regardless of a partner/buddy/comrade/lover who wants to create with me. But it sure as hell doesn't sound as much fun.
Abracadabra I met Angus at Youth on Fire in Boulder, CO just a week after my birthday. WE danced and the chemicals running through my body fueled me for my drive back to the Pacific Northwest, where I spent August back with the Caravan in Seattle AND supported ROPJ Queer Quest in Bothel, WA.
On 8/8/18 they wrote (& I feel summarizes nicely the trajectory we are on):
I'd like to propose a toast :)
ahem (the clearing of the throat)
clink-swirl (the wine glass afloat)
"Here's to the radical honesty and the gentle deepening of connection I feel myself hungering for with you. Here's to All being open, free, and worthy of dialogue between us. I choose with you, as with other romantic relationships, to cast off normative assumptions and enter queerness with embodied intentionality. With no limitations on what we can say to one another, how we can feel about one another, who we show ourselves to be to one another... with no disciplining force punishing us for authenticity: whether fear or ease, whether the need for space or the desire for closeness, whether the unhindered pangs of love & lust or the ambivalent feelings of doubt and confusion... I'd formally like to welcome everything that arises between us with patience, gratitude, and curiosity. Here's to the awkwardness of truth, and the fumbling of feelings. I think i'd really very much like to get messy with you: mud, paint, blood... all of it."
This feels like a sage-smudging with words. An effort to clean out the old paradigms of connection in favor of the new. I don't think it can be said enough.
With keen eyes, eager hands, and loving attention,
We also addressed early on the chrononormative narratives of age & romance. I'll just leave this here. Watch Youth Spies and read the accompanying description to gain a feel of how this conversation has developed. It wasn't till 8/21/18 that Angus and I talked on the phone (for 2 hours). Up until then, we had communicated via email or text. On board the Amara Zee that same night I wrote:
And I'd be re-missed if I let the blatant opportunity pass to share this with you. You because I can see, pretty clearly, the possibilities (the how, when, where logistics, not so much) and that sweet fertile ground to tend. I want to tend.
I think, similarly to your writing from heart-break to love invite, that calling in, that invitation, that willingness to ask for what you need and want resonates with me (and doesn't scare me).
A highlight from their response:
Hey, we’re SUPER into similar things, we like the hell out of each other, and working together would be a blast! Let’s do it. Simple, easy. Honestly, that’s always been the dream for me when it comes to partnerships and loverships and friendships and mentorships... I really strive to get together with folks I can co-create my vision for the world with. You are DEFINITELY one of those people. HOW that happens between us is still a mystery and, especially not being in the same place, will take us time.
I’m also very aware that we hardly KNOW EACH OTHER but also know each other very well having been through YOF together especially. And sometimes the souls and bodies have a way of knowing each other that the minds need to catch up with. But still... connection takes time.
AND THEN they were invited to Pine Ridge Reservation in S. Dakota the first week in September. A Gathering with Youth Passageways I'd been preparing for months to support. With the theme of Spirit Led this gathering of our mutual communities witnessing our tending to this newly developing relationship was a new and loving experience & what a sweet container, reinforcing this allowing of the mystery (& getting out of our way to allow for something beautiful to grow.
I drove Angus to the Nebraska airport en route back Seattle (because it's totally on the way), again not knowing when I'd see them again for sure. But, I'd also started looking at how much “out of the way” a trip to San Francisco would be en route to Atlanta, GA. For my nephew's wedding Nov.4. And the seed was planted when they heard I was going to a wedding in Escalante, UT late October, when they hinted, “Do you need a date?”
Before going into the field to support the Umatilla Quest in La Grande, OR. I sent the Invitation on September 12, 2018
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.'
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments. ~Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Along with pictures of the scenery in Escalante, back-story of my friendship to the Bride + pictures and options for traveling to & from for them so that they arrived back in time to resume classes at CIIS.
I said, Join me? I'd LOVE to have you on my arm & share this land, my dear friend's celebration & dance under the stars, kissing every inch of you.
Angus responded (& I’ll just state the obvious right here that one of the many things that had/has me swooning over Angus was/is their way with words)-
Dearest Jett Cazeaux,
This invitation of yours is deeply touching, so much so, as if it's touched me bare, rubbed me raw.
I say yes to this.
I say "I want this" & "you can have this", all at the same time.
When creatures come together in mutual adoration of each other, it is a gift from beyond.
this time together feels like that gift; of being in the right place at the right time with the right cutie by your side.
Let's get groovy, let's lubricate some souls and delight in our naturally-arising joy. I want to be in our energy, share that energy, and receive from that energy - as fully as I am able - as much as I allow myself... and more.
life is full of everything.
and as we learn to be here for the grief and pain, we must also learn to expand ourselves in order to be here for the joy and love as well.
(that was a note to self ;)
Michael and Josie seem wondrous and I can't wait to hear more about them from you and to be part of the group of humans to witness them in their partnership ceremony & celebration.
oh my goodness. the land looks absolutely stunning! Agghahahasdkjfhasbhlfvkasjhgia;rflsdjk
I really can't wait!!!! Can't wait for you, can't wait to celebrate a good wedding, to be on a dance floor with you again soon, to be on that gorgeous land (which i've been wanting to visit for YEARS), to road-trip, to watch the stars, to meet your dear friends, to dress-up, to linger with you in every moment that extends itself to us, and to play fiercely and tenderly with you.
thank you for the sincerity, beauty, depth, and integrity with which you've extended this invitation to me. The poem (one of my favorites and deeply personally meaningful), the pictures, the offering of logistical support, and the connection to our hosts... speak volumes to the way you hold space for others and... turns out, more and more: me. I'm a very lucky kid.
I feel so seen and heard and valued in my request for an official invitation. Thank you.
You're such a gorgeous and kind wizard-creature, you know that? I think you do :)
Will you pretty please, with multiple cherries on top, keep coming closer to me?
scooch your butt all the way over here please.
your dashing date,
Angus Maria Moore
AND THEY WANTED TO SEE MOAB TOO!!! I was (& still am to this day) THRILLED!!!
I wrote back:
Darling, darling...thank you thank you for accompanying me. Yes, dashing date indeed. gawwww.
I feel so honored and excited to be met by you in mutual adoration. Truly a gift, magic, kismet...a reward even of a job well done of healing in a really good way and tending to my heart in a way that would be open to giving to and receiving from a beautiful human such as yourself. Whew. I recall sometime not long ago tears welling up in my eyes, so relieved that the capacity to feel like this hadn't left me. I'd given up on the thought many times over the past three years, fearful my heart couldn't take it, resigned to not allow it. But, I decided on my Quest back in June to LIVE and that meant my heart needed to come along for the ride - the joy of giving and receiving love far outweighed my fear of (a note to self too). And on my birthday wading in the Colorado river declaring that I was ready to invite intimacy and affection with someone into my life. I'm just over the moon at the capacity to hold it all....life & everything. And that we have crossed paths and get to journey together. I'm a lucky kid too ;-) It's gonna be so much FUN. ALL of it. And kind & sweet & real & deep & honest. You have my word.
"thank you for the sincerity, beauty, depth, and integrity with which you've extended this invitation to me."
I'm simply reflecting/mirroring back the openness and communication you have extended to me. I very much appreciate the quality ways we express ourselves to one another. I can't say it enough.
I'll keep coming closer.... And even when it's not coming closer in physical proximity I promise to keep coming closer in all the ways we can creatively make so. Cross my heart.
I get to show you MOAB?! Really?! Pinch me.
your wiz ;-)
We made a plan for a visit prior to us driving to the wedding in Utah. At first a 2 week visit turned into the potential of the entire month of October. We'd been taking about the sweetness and sacredness of the spaces we had spent time together in thus far. Both Youth on Fire in Boulder, CO and the Gathering at Pine Ridge, SD and how we wanted to share space in the “ordinary world” before I was thousands of miles away in Florida for the winter. That that time together could ground a relationship in a reality and truth of how we show up in the mundane before considering if we would be willing to put energy into a long distance thing over the winter.
After the Umatilla Quest I traveled to the Radical Faeries Sanctuary in Wolf Creek, OR. And rested for a few days, continuing a slow meandering down the Lost Coast of California, landing, finally in Berkley, CA. Have a look at my travel map to see all the places I've been!
October 2018 & my visit with Angus and the beautiful Bay area + our drive to Utah and visit to Moab ending with us bowing to each other before they boarded the plane, the details of which we are writing together and sharing another time are left to pictures for now to share.
And so this is why, in roughly 48 hours, I begin my journey westward. YES! I’m coming out and shouting from the rooftops - I fell in love this summer! Angus and I want to give this a GO! We are creating a relationship of our own making & Queer AF - We are both frightened & excited! We adore each other. Por que no?! Right, Angus? ;-)
I've had the privilege of setting up my life in such a way that I have been able to work and travel and I have faith in maintaining that with some adjustments. Poco poco. And as I mentioned earlier, I considered while in Mexico, looking at devotion, that if I were to meet someone that resonated with me, I would go to where they are. This is happening & I couldn't be more thrilled. This is the next chapter of Queer Odyssey. From initiation to initiative. From self to community. From liminal space to anchoring in a place. From heartbreak to love invite.
2018 a year of Liberation...2019 a year of Abundance. Creating a life with Devotion.
Coming home again and again to this body, no matter what is happening externally has been the greatest gift these past few years. A readying to have that reflected back in intimate ways is the most vulnerable act I can imagine. One that I am excited to share with this incredible human.
I keep saying that if for all the hard work I've put in the past few years is in equal measure to the gifts I am receiving thus far in relationship to Angus...damn I did something right. And that quote I mentioned earlier, about attracting who you are, not what you want, yea that one. Well, it all looks really good from where I'm standing.