Healing through the Arts in L.A.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to join IPR Healing Artz Space in South Central Los Angeles for their very first Open Mic at the organization’s art studio on South Main Street. The event featured poets from in and around the historic South Central L.A. area, as well as the community’s very own South Central Vegans, who generously donated a much-beloved vegan-style pozole for attendees.

Poets described their sense of coming up on the South side and the area’s often ‘contentious’ relationship with the larger city of L.A., as well as their perspectives on the national political landscape overtaking much of the news of late, and more.

Representatives from IPR also took the opportunity to state for the record the organization’s commitment to radical change and policy, as well as the group’s plans for more art workshops and Open Mic events dedicated to the South Central community.

In turn, yours truly registered an affirming call to youth all across L.A.  to let them know that no matter their hurt, healing is always just around the corner; with the arts are one way there, and IPR and its partners demonstrating this in full.

Much respect and congratulations!

J.T.

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It’s All…

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…worth it, when home is at the end of the road. And when home isn’t just where we rest, but where we laugh and eat and snack like champions after another extravagant day of accomplishments because we got it like that.

Have a great week Los Angeles!

J.T.

Aaahh

I went to Manhattan Beach yesterday…

And I don’t care how expensive it is, and I don’t care how far from the hood it is…

When I grow up, I’m moving to Manhattan Beach.

Sitting on the sand there, away from everything, it was just the break I needed after the last seven months. Away from my phone, and away from my email, the mind-games of it all just faded into the background. Even my time back home as a brother and son was put into perspective. For a moment, I was able to step out of these roles to reflect on just what they’ve looked like over the last few months, and on what they can still look like in the days to come.

At the end of it, I resolved that the greatest thing I can do for my family is just to be kind to them. They’re people too, each of them going through the twists and turns of the world just like I am. As obvious as that might sound, it’s not always so clear when I’m in the midst of living alongside them in our little shack. But they’re so beautiful. As beautiful as the sparkling waves of the ocean at Manhattan.

And yet, even this is only a bit of what I felt throughout yesterday’s adventure in the South Bay. It was unlike anything in recent memory for me. Riding on the Green Line for the first time, I was a kid again, and discovering how it went over the Harbor freeway–I mean, that was just intense! For more than just a moment, I was scared that somehow, I wouldn’t make it back home! And yet, after seven hours and sixty-four miles of trekking across the city, I did make it back! And to just what did I return? To one of the greatest little shacks in the world, of course. With the most beautiful ones, again.