Photos by Tifani TrueLove
My mother hasn’t taken a vacation in at least ten years. Maybe twenty. This year when Jaden asked to see the Grand Canyon over summer break, my mother asked to join. Jaden and I were excited - my mom was willing to take a break from work and that we would create a classic Summer Family vacation.
The night before my father passed away I had a dream that I drove him to Zion National Park (a place I’ve been many times). In the dream we were traveling to Zion and my father said “I don’t know how to get there.” I said, “Don’t worry. I know the way.”
I always asked my dad to travel with me, especially to the Middle East (a place he always wanted to go). He always refused - mostly saying that he was too old to travel.
In the dream we made a pit stop at a convenience store. I went in and met a man my age, who I know. He opened up his hand and offered me money, a crystal and another object that I cannot remember. When I left the store, expecting to return to my dad and the car, I instead was on my father’s (and my) high school football field. I walked through the field to the doors of the high school and woke up.
I knew then that my dad would leave the next day. I rested, listened to “The Boxer” and songs by Hall and Oats, danced and cried in my room - then packed my bag to head to my father’s for what I referred to as the Death March. I found some lightness in the namesake from my friend Clovis. Last Summer he worked for Art Support Services and on Temple Crew. One day when he was walking between the two jobs he referred to it as the death march, trudging through the mid day sun.
When mom told Jaden and I that she wanted to accompany us on our trip to the Grand Canyon, I knew that we would need to include Zion on our list of destinations.
Aaron and I attended Catharsis this year, a regional burn held on the mall in Washington DC. It is an incredible gathering - to see a collective of hundreds on the mall in festive Burning Man attire, art cars, stages with music and art. A lot of the art was politically charged (obviously), and I received so much being able to play in, essentially, the back yard of the White House and engage with my community fully. I’ve seen this space activated so many times for so many protests, and I always find it revitalizing. Public response in DC is so beautiful.
We spent the evening walking around Catharsis and talking to participants. A few of my favorite things - Meeting Chuck, a local soon to be burner from my Hometown of York, PA!, Listening to a black “preacher” with a small choir sing and preach the word “NO!”, dancing together to stay warm and a beautiful peace sign installed at the base of the Washington Monument.
After leaving Catharsis, we walked around and came upon a beautiful old institution and ate oysters and drank wine. We parked along the mall, and slept in the Hearse.
The following morning, I had the pleasure of taking Aaron to the “No Spectators” Burning Man exhibit at the Renwick. The top floor of the show is still up until the end of January! Chop Chop if you haven’t made it in yet. We also stumbled upon a beautiful little art gallery with a wonderful show, over 60 artists works responding to our current presidency. I’ve included images of some of the works.