A midlife crisis became midlife Transcendence, through Love.
A Love for Skateboarding, a Love for DIY Ethos and a Love for Family.
Encouraged by the Love of my Family, I went back to the Sources of my Joy (my Family being one of them) and I Reconciled and Reconstructed my Life by bringing all three of them Together into one Vehicle of Consciousness and Life: Street Plant.
I had to make a pilgrimage to the depths of my own Heart, my own Soul.
Back to the place of my Fascination, my Imagination and my Dreams.
This is where my Life began when I was 14, and where I was Reborn at 45.
Where my Life is Fulfilled.
The way out was the way in.
Street Plant is a 100% Independently owned and operated Family business.
We exist to Support, Service, Inspire and Empower our customers – Skateboarders – The Freest, most Unique and Creative people on the planet – By making the highest quality Skateboards and Skateboard accessories.
100% Independent Skateboarding for Love, for Fun.
No rules, no divisions, no schools.
Just a Skateboard as a Paintbrush and the World as an Empty Canvas.
I ran out of rope.
Instead of just hanging there, I stepped out of the noose of what was, and onto the Floor of Truth of What Is.
One chapter ended, it was hard, and another one began. That was hard too.
I know, I know, no one said it would be easy, but until we do those miles ourselves, we can’t really know for ourselves.
Still, the choice was simple: Let Life Live Me or Choose to Live MY Life.
It became very clear:
THERE IS MORE THAN ONE JOURNEY!
And with that, the second half of my Life began with the same Zeal and the same Passion as the first.
It’s still hard sometimes.
It still hurts sometimes.
I still struggle sometimes.
But I am Devoted to the Work that Enlivens My Heart, and is the Internal Beam that Lights the road ahead!
Additionally, I will be attending the Matthew Ryan / Jeff Caudill Show at Hollywood Gardens in Rochester, PA on July 26. I am only attending this show, I am NOT performing. Come hang out and take in some “Folkering” by the Great Matthew Ryan.
A Movement away from hype towards Substance.
A Movement away from despair towards Action.
A Movement away from industry towards Community.
A Movement away from tradition towards Optimism.
A Movement away from image towards Character.
A Movement away from culture towards Individuality.
A Movement away from distinction towards Connection.
A Movement away from effect towards Cause.
I traded their conference rooms for the Kitchen Table.
I traded destiny for Freedom.
I traded branches for Roots.
I traded trust for Knowing.
I traded fear for Dignity.
I traded contracts for Peace of Mind.
I traded obligation for Sincerity.
I traded artificial for Authentic.
I traded despair for Action.
I traded distinction for Connection.
I traded general demand for Poetry.
I traded culture for Living.
I traded security for Independence.
I traded acceptance for Self-Respect.
I traded industry for Family.
I traded sponsorship for Honor.
I traded their boys club for the Garage.
I traded sacrifice for Love.
The word – Love – being written on all of our Street Plant Boards is simply about Personalizing Every Board, Touching Every Board that passes through Garageland, and Imparting some Good Energy onto / into them. It’s an idea, a Good Thought — to send the Boards out with Love and Kindness. The Recognition that the Person who receives the Board IS a Person, not a faceless consumer, but Someone Connected to us through this small interaction, and Someone that we Value Greatly.
We came from Florida, Brooklyn, Portland, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Long Beach and Japan to meet in Houston, TX — Open Arms and Open Hearts. Our Common Ground: Art, Music and Skateboarding. From there, well, Anything Is Possible!
No corporate initiative or marketing strategy, just Friends Coming Together to Express their Love for the Peaceful Arts: In-Tune-Ment. What started as a Dream has become a Community: The Street Plant Battalion.
Once Houston was pinned on the map, we reached out to Friends in Austin, Dallas and Wichita Falls, TX as well, with a simple idea: Skate, Create, Relate and Enjoy! And this became the Open Hearted Texas Tour 2017.
We were 4 hours late to our visit at Evol in Izumo, Japan. When we were still an hour away, Hiroshi said to me, “You have a lot of fans waiting for you.” It sounded so implausible, amusing even — “Fans” — like that was a real thing. I mean, I understood what we were doing, driving a great distance to meet people but I had never thought about it like that and I just don’t and can’t frame things in my mind in that way. I just don’t think in terms of “fans” or that I have any sort of obligation to do this. For me, it’s about People and a desire to Connect. I just show up and Live in that Moment. I don’t take for granted that anyone will be there, ever.
As we turned the corner onto the street where Evol is located, we heard a loud roar rise out from the parking lot. Everyone who had taken the time out of their lives that day to come see us, and had extended that time into the night, cheered our arrival. I hated being late, it just feels so typical, but this really was a special moment. Still, I immediately thought of those who may have had to leave and miss our visit because of our tardiness and so, my joy was leveled by an equal pang of regret.
Any exhaustion we may have felt after driving all day and into the night was immediately vanquished by a surge of excitement, fueled by the Love and Enthusiasm of the Beautiful Faces greeting us as we stepped out of the van.
Photo and autograph requests ensued but due to failing eyesight, I had to step into the well-lit skate shop to see what I was doing. Also, I wanted to make sure that anyone who had waited that long to see me at least got a decent photo. I hate to be rushed in those situations, especially when people are pressing in, that’s when it becomes vital to slow everything down and humanize every interaction. Or what’s the point?
Once we’d shaken every hand, signed every item and taken photos with everyone, spotlights were focused on a jump ramp in the middle of the parking lot indicating it was time to Skate.
I grabbed my board and helmet and joined Joey and Kristian in a jump ramp session under the lights. It reminded me of being a kid and playing Little League Baseball. The night games, under the lights, always had an elevated aura and I’ve always Skated better at night. Not that I Skated all that well this night, but the energy was right.
My now poor nighttime vision, a very skinny jump ramp and a crowd pressing in too close (making me concerned about bailing and my board striking someone) made for a Fun yet reserved session for me. No one seemed to care though, it was all in Fun. Plus, Joey and Kristian killed it and I’ve found myself having as much or even more Fun documenting their Skating as pursuing my own at times.
All in all, it was great visit in Izumo. Much Love and Thanks to Tomokazu and EVERYONE who came out to see us at Evol!