an explosive farewell and my undying gratitude. (whytestone creative outcrop.)

I sit here in my living room, exactly underneath where the lyra was dangling, just barely a few hours ago. In one week, I will be boarding the plane to South Africa, where I will begin my Fulbright experience and open/close respective chapters of my life.

I am so grateful that for the past six months I have been living at the Whytestone Creative Outcrop, which has been not only the safest of havens but also the most playful of workshops for an artist like myself. Ideas catch spark here like nowhere else—one minute we’ll be making jokes in the kitchen, the next we’ll be writing books of material on post-it-notes. Birthdays here look like handmade animal masks, dance parties, and choreographed videos. Our lives are filled with balloons and bonfires and beehives.

I have always wanted to provide a space for friends, family, and strangers to come together and show each other the masterpieces we all work on when we’re alone. I am a strong believer of the creative growth of collaboration. Mix blood. Hear ideas you would never come up with on your own. Our art party is not only intended to showcase talented people, but to broadcast their vision and infect everyone else with their art.

If you enjoyed your time and found some inspiration last night, do me a favor and do something with it—write a poem, pick up a paintbrush, design a board game. Keep the energy alive while I’m gone. Talk to your friends who take pictures and play guitar and do taxidermy and read tarot cards and open up portals with crystals. Keep coming together.

Please don’t ever be afraid to say “Hey, look at me!” and don’t be afraid to reply, “I see you. You’re amazing.”

If you want to follow me and my journey, this is my travel blog (ugh) and I have a Facebook page. Please understand that I am eternally grateful, from the bottom of my heart, for all of you sharing pieces of yourself with me. All of you.

I love you. See you in nine months.

facebook.com/tobetippy/

photo credit: Daniel M N Turner