Tuesday, December 30, 2008


cocktails, originally uploaded by Justin Davis Davanzo.

sitting on the edge of the bed listening to the wind this morning we marvelled at the trees bending and blowing in the wind...wise grey bare and old they moved and we wondered...do trees smile in the wind?

I think they do...Nita was right if you think about it...most of the time they are pretty still..so is this play for them? and i mean the wind was whipping all night long..50-60 mph gusts easily...it must feel good to sway and dance and move with the wind. Like a brush through a childs hair maybe? Or maybe it makes them feel wild and free and gets the funk out...you know, it helps clean them out a bit.


Trees outlive us.
They are always growing.
Sometimes they break.
They help us breathe.
Squirrels like them.
Birds like them.
Hammocks can hang between them.
They whistle.
They creak.
They have leaves during the spring.
They can be hundreds of years old.
Dogs pee on them.
They die.
They get sick.
They see things we will never see.
They feed fires.
They build houses.
They built planes and boats.
They have built bridges.
Bows and Arrows.
Wooden spoons.
Wooden bowls.

I like trees...so anyway...i think the trees are smiling today and having fun.

Love and Understanding.

Monday, December 29, 2008

off track

lonely, originally uploaded by Justin Davis Davanzo.

amazing how a bad cold can completely send you off the tracks of the daily routine..it is beyond me why this happens to me every time i get one...i mean, the thought process of it all. I find myself first being really frustrated that i got sick and blaming myself and my environment for not being strong enough or healthy enough. Then I try and figure out why i need to slow down...what is the cold telling me? then i get mad again...why the F am I sick??? again??? what the hell??? Then after a long nap and giving into the whole business, i enjoy it for a moment, then I feel like a big huge loser....doing nothing, making a mess, unhealthy, not able to go skiing or spend time with Nita or the family. Then i blow my nose and fall asleep and dream really wierd Nyquil induced, stuffy nose dreams...then I awake and look outside and wonder why me...why am I the ONLY one who got sick? huh?? what did i do to deserve this?

after my 5th movie and trying to do something "productive" like reading or writing, i fall asleep on the couch wondering what it would be like to have lots of money and no worries and servants who bring me tea when i ring the bell. (another Nyquil induced dream and thought) It is usually at this time that I decide enough is enough, get up, take a shower, get dressed and then think about doing something...and then realize, that i am not being very nice to myself...not treating me with care, or giving myself the permission to be ok in stinky pj's all day...would I do this to my child when I have one??? heck no...Can you imagine what that sounds like??
"Get dressed already! You've been lying around for 2 whole days doing...lord knows what! You're not sick! Take it like a man! Get going and finish up your work and the things you are putting off!! And while your at it...be stronger, be smarter, be better, and don't ever get sick again!:"

yeah..something like that...I would be taken away for child abuse and neglect probably...so...why is this ok for me to say to me? it is not...that is the point.

I think this is one of my life lessons that is probably the hardest thing for me to learn and move beyond...I am so hard on myself during times of strife and i am fully aware of it, but continually have to fight against it and stand up for myself and work against all the negative crap that i put in my own head...now imagine...couple that with all of the other negative input we receive throughout the day from other sources...wow...it is a wonder sometimes that we can get up and stand at all...the battle we wage to maintain our "track" of daily life...the reality of our goodness is always under attack by the voices and the signs that try and pull us off track...

I find solace in knowing that it is a common human condition that we all go through every day...the daily struggle to shine our light into the darkness of our own minds...the knowledge that we cannot see past our own light in our world, but trust that the light will reveal its path with each step forward...and only then will we see what the reasons were for being sick, for losing, for trying, for being scared, for loving, for giving, for not knowing....

our light is the pathway to our own maps if we trust that the maps are leading us down the right path...

so..here is my reasoning for being sick...my batteries were low and they needed to be recharged so i could shine my light and see the details on the map more clearly...

love and understanding.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


sit with me, originally uploaded by Justin Davis Davanzo.

so here it is...the eve of Christmas...seems surreal really. I am up and it is a beautiful day here in Boulder. The sun is shining and the world seems just a bit slower, except for the squirrel i saw running back and forth from tree to tree in the snow next to the frozen gray stream out of our window...i suppose he is looking for one more nut to store, or maybe he is just enjoying the day...i don't know, but that was the first thing I saw this morning...so i got up...shuffled out barefoot and Tita was there with the coffee ready and i think my hair was a bit punk rock off to one side and my throat was dry and i put cream in the coffee with natural sugar and proceeded to the creative nook in our small dwelling...the place we go to live in our world of music, photos, paintings..the box, the sunken studio, the creative cube...there is a small heater in there we named Herman the Heater...he is on and working hard to keep us warm, and our small tree Herald is sitting with his lights on and presents under the tree...did I say small? yes...i mean little, but big in spirit...and the wood floor is cold on my socks and I am slowly waking up to another day in the soft world of creativity and love.

i remember thinking in Santa Monica, that the norm is not the norm but if you are there it is the norm..what the hell does that mean??? you ask....well for example..here in Boulder everyone, and I am not exaggerating, i mean probably 70% of the cars you see on the road are Subarus....ok, so in LA, the norm is Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedes, Lamborghini...more so than I ever remember...oh and Bentleys..that is a big one too...i mean, man..how the heck do you look around and not feel like that is just...well...normal??? to have a car that costs 150 thousand greenies...? ok...what does that mean. Nothing really...just something I noticed. the unreal world of the world, the perception of the world around us and what it sometimes looks and feels like...

here is another one...how about the perception of love? I'll bet if you stand or sit in one place today, and watch, you will see that the norm in this world is love...watch for couples and families, and mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers...watch them all around you...i'll bet that when you see it, you'll remember that things are the way they are supposed to be...Just like the cars, there are times when we forget to push past the perception of the world in which we live and are told to fear an worry and forget and not love...

Sitting in a chair quietly today, writing and wishing that the way i have lived my life had been stronger at times, I realize that this is the best I can do...i don't say this for being in need of a pep talk...i say this in the reality of the life we live...the thing that matters is today and the courage and strength it takes for all of us to sit and reach out and live and laugh and love and say what we are really feeling and thinking at the moment we need to...or not...maybe just smiling and standing up and leaving that moment to a magical bench in a park on a day you saw the world pass by in love....smiling to yourself because you managed to catch a glimpse of those two in the grass who just realized they can't be without each other....

Love and Understanding.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


handle it, originally uploaded by Justin Davis Davanzo.

this year is coming to a close quite fast...it has been a whirlwind of family, gift preparing, working, resting, and wondering...wondering what the next day will hold and how things will work themselves out in the coming year. It is easy to get caught up in the unknown i think .....right now I feel a good amount of unknown and in working through it i feel like a small being sitting by a fire on the top of a mountain having council with the wind and the snow and the direction of the moon.

the recent cold weather here makes it easy to sit inside and work on the things that need to be worked on..the writing, the photographs...but it also plays tricks on the mind and the body and then i realize why bears hibernate..i mean...why not? to some extent it makes perfect sense, and beside, it will be summer before we know it and we'll be outside and then we'll feel like we don't have an excuse to stay indoors and drink warm drinks in flannel pants and shirts while eating the 3rd helping of left overs from the holiday meal. I suppose that last winter I was forced to stay inside due to the knee so it wasn't as obvious as this year, that I am for sure affected by the weather. I am not necessarily depressed or sad, but I feel as though my whole body has slowed down and for me that is an adjustment.

I am better in my life now about "doing nothing", whereas my earlier years I would freak out and couldn't sit still for too long for fear of...what? I don't know. I am using this time to rest and be ok with the slower pace of things, the introspective times and the cozy world of winter...

so I travel back to the image of me on the top of a mountain by a blazing bonfire looking out over the vastness of the mountains around, which is my life. The mountains i have climbed and fallen off and walked around, and burrowed into, and flown over...and I have somehow made it to this particular mountain and for some reason, there is a feeling that the mountains ahead of me are not as steep or dangerous, because i am now an experienced climber...does it mean I am not afraid? of course not..to be afraid is the ability to save ourselves from disaster and making mistakes, but it is also an important reminder that i have been afraid before and as long as I step with purpose and care and put into practice all the things i have learned and the tricks of the trade in this life, I can look at any of the mountains around me and go to them and sit on top and wonder about how I got up, how I will get down, how I far i have come, and how far I can still go...

the mountain of 2008 was probably the largest expedition yet...and i have spent each day of the 365 on a great journey, of which the journey to the next mountain will take me and fulfill me again and again. That is what I have remembered and learned most this year...the journey...

the journey is the path of the beginners mind, the peaceful warrior, the armored angels, the artists way, the human being...there is no end in site for me...nor would I ever want there to be...odd that i am deathly afraid of heights and yet i understand the idea of climbing a mountain and then getting to the top and looking for the next one...not from a standpoint of prowess, but from the place of living for each moment, each moment that foot trudges forward in the face of danger and beauty...all of this i see and feel this moment and I am embracing the fullness of the wind that is always at our back.

I have shared this journey for a year now....and as I look behind i see the world from a different place...a place of a tiny bit more understanding and patience and love....all those that have believed in me and loved me...

may this year come to a close with the feeling that you too have climbed your mountain and now as you sit, be amazed at your strength and bravery...this is the journey we are on...remember, there are still seven oceans after the mountains...so pace yourself....

Whatever it is you celebrate, i hope it is complete this year.

Love and Understanding.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


cacti, originally uploaded by Justin Davis Davanzo.

And so it is in this life...I just took a walk outside, in the cold to get coffee and go to the bank and then it happened...a homeless man having a seizure named Bob...I was there as it was happening and in the past I wouldn't have acted i think...but these days, having the first aid and the job i have, i am more inclined to get involved...so I did...he was seizing and foaming at the mouth and two other guys stopped and together we were able to help him...hold his hands, call 911, get him calmed down a bit...i was scared he was maybe going to die in my arms...He took this huge breathe and reached up for me and grabbed me...like it was his last moment and then all the breathe went out of him...just for about 2 seconds...then he seemingly fell asleep...his pulse was only 60 bpm...scary...so we waited...and in that moment i was sad...sad that this human being was alone and scared and then I felt ok...i was there with another man holding his hand and letting him know that someone cared for even one second....this is not about me saving someone because all i did was take some action, but it is about remembering our place in the world and the preciousness of our life...the recognition of others lives and the opportunity we have to help those in need...and so life goes on, and I walked home...

So today...and throughout the holidays, be an angel for those who need it most...even a smile, a moment...you never know who's life you will save...

Love and Understanding

Friday, December 12, 2008


chute, originally uploaded by Justin Davis Davanzo.

so i have travelled back to Santa Monica for the weekend and I marvel at the space around me...not the physical space but the mental space..the place i have created in my own mind and place to walk here in the busy world of LA and feel like I have a HUGE space around me...breathing room and an identity that I never had before when I did live here. A different perspective i suppose than before...like I am outside looking in. there is a calmness with that in this crazy frenetic energy that makes me realize that it isn't so bad here, you just need to have a super strong realization of who you are and how you stand...I am not saying I suddenly know who I am, but having some clarity sure helps. I find myself not working to stay out of negative mindsets like I used to, but actually being a part of the affirmative world here; looking at people in the eye, listening to them and bringing a real moment to them. Those moments in this city are rare and I wish it weren't so, but it is...point being, we need to make the effort to be kind and to spend the small moments wisely so we can spread the good energy around.

My dad and Swirly have an amazing set up here and have managed to do just that...they are the beacon in the storm here, where those who are lucky enough to share a part, get to visit and be taken care of and nurtured. there is a quiet place in the house upstairs that feels calm and cozy and i always feel ok here.

I have the same feeling in Boulder when we sit in our cozy little place and feel safe and taken care of...i think it comes down to how we set up our nests so we feel ok...so we feel like we can return any time we want and feel ok...that place that is the sanctuary for our souls and hearts and minds....i realize that being here in the nice weather reminds me that i am really adjusting to the winter for the first time...i mean last year was new and novel and i leaped right in..this year it has changed before my eyes and i find myself wanting to hunker down and be still and quiet..i get it...part of my feelings lately, have been for sure related to the winter months...something I am not quite used to yet. I like it, don't get me wrong but it feels, well....different and I understand it better from a distance, which makes it ok. Winter is a time to hunker a bit and get introspective and make the adjustment into a slower pace. it just is...

so here is to hunkering down in the winter and feeling ok with that.

love and understanding.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

1 year

and so it is...one year to the day since I got in my truck, loaded with all my entire life's belongings in a trailer, said goodbye to Santa Monica, and half of my family, and set off with my best friend Gus to Boulder, Co....a year... it seems surreal really that 365 days have passed by and in those days so many things have transpired it is mind boggling...it is snowing here today and grey and I am fighting probably the worst cold i have had in a while...I wouldn't say i feel melancholy or sad or anything like that, but there is a certain feeling of quietness within, a reflection of my life.  How is it that 1 year has passed already?  

I am proud to have jumped off a cliff and trusted the wings that would sprout.  I can't say it has been easy all the time and I can't say i haven't felt lonely at times or sad, but i can say that i am more alive now and in love and more content with my life than i have been in a long, long, long....time.  I don't really think leaving Santa Monica and coming to Boulder is why...i think, that like a cocoon, it just took me a long time in life to get there...to get to a point of some feeling of contentment...some feeling of understanding and perspective.  I am not done with that, nor do i pretend to be content with the beginnings of that, but I am happy to feel my wings getting stronger and bigger....

I couldn't say this a year ago and mean it....
" hi, my name is Justin Davis Davanzo and I am a writer, a photographer, a strong man, an amazing husband to be, a loving son and brother, and a brave warrior...and the luckiest guy around."

one year...thank you for all of your love....

love and understanding.

Monday, December 1, 2008


barbed, originally uploaded by Justin Davis Davanzo.

funny how procrastination works huh? Yesterday I cleaned the house...i mean really cleaned the house...I vacuumed every nook and cranny and wiped the blinds down and got out the wet mop for the floors, and scrubbed the toilet and sinks and tub, and even managed to shorten a few of the blinds for the windows...something i have been wanting to do for a long time....I dusted, I wiped down the fridge and the stove and the washer and dryer, i did two loads of laundry...Like a hurricane I was...a category 5 cleaning hurricane for about 2.5 hours...and then i went and bought a small christmas tree..not a real one, but a great little fake one that looks real and already has lights on it and we named him Herald...not Harold, but Herald..you know, clever like....and then it finally happened...3 hours later, I found my point of entry into my work again...I spent the next 5 hours lost in my studio.

I guess it works out that way sometimes. I knew i needed to be in there, but couldn't quite find the moment of entry, so I cleaned...and cleaned...and mindfully procrastinated. I say mindfully because I knew all along that I would end up there, but it was just a matter of timing....like creative foreplay...yes...that is what it is...Creative Foreplay! Aha..see, this really works...I think that will be the name of one of the chapters...

gotta go now, there are a few drawers I have been meaning to organize....

Love and Understanding.