Art as My Sacred Playground

The world is my sacred playground. I explore recklessly and faithfully, diving into chaos and softly landing into wisdom until my next dive. Creating visual art allows me to transcend worlds and play in my inner magical world. Through my experiences of love, suffering, and loss, I feel I have been invited to sit with this inner world more often.

I invite you to sit with me. 

Although I am becoming more familiar with and appreciative of the light that surrounds me and inspires others, I have to place my intimacy with my “dark side” as my muse. This allows me to paint my fears and insecurities onto a canvas, so that I may walk towards them with the sturdy weapon that is my paintbrush. You may notice themes of transcendence, culture, identity, death, loss, suffering, and liberation in my work. With these themes in mind, I call on you, the viewer, to reflect on how you relate to your inner and outer worlds.

My Beloved Parents ❤ lil cuties. Each time I visit them in Dallas, a new humbling realization surfaces. This time, I thought about my parents’ role in my spiritual journey ✨
Before my brother and I were born, my parents had an explicit conversation about not forcing religion onto their kids. This is uncommon in our Indian culture - for kiddos to have a real option to explore spirituality, uninhibited by societal constraints. My parents never told us what they thought was the ultimate truth, but they had their own relationship with The Higher, and they still took us to church. They listened to our praises to whoever/whatever we thought was God, but they also listened to our denials. Anytime my brother or I outright rejected the existence of Spirit or became blindly/ignorantly devout to any system of belief, they would softly guide us to check in with ourselves and inquire about the root of our wittle existential ponderings.
As I prayed in my bedroom of my parents' home a couple weeks ago, I felt into a newfound gratitude for their thoughtful, hands-off approach to religion & spirituality in child rearing. Their intentionality led to the creations of my own devotional practices, contributed to my capacity to be a dope ass therapist and a relatable teacher, and has reminded me to check in with divinity, whether it is Kali, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, or the tree around the corner. It initiated my journey of healing, a healing that allows me to look into the eyes of my parents and see beyond their roles as my caregivers and consider what lies beyond this lifetime. A healing that expands my view of self to Infinite Self and identifies with my parents' Infinite Selves. A healing that permeates the veil of illusion, shatters my judgements of what a good parent is, and gives birth to visions of my parents as beautiful souls on their own spiritual journey. This is a healing that is familial, ancestral, cosmic 💫
Because religion & spirituality can be sensitive topics and evoke emotional reactions, disclaimers: 1. I do see the value in parents relying on a specific doctrine to support themselves/their children. 2. It's difficult for me to discuss the particulars of my faith outside of an intimate setting, so I'm happy to chat about all this in a 1-on-1 if I feel safe with ya.
Grief & Loss
You'll notice a lot of references to a "Jared."
The world lost Jared on December 13, 2019.
Voice of an angel, heart of gold, strength of a warrior.
I’ll never forget the way you looked at me on our first date 2 years ago.
Honored to have met you, to have known you, to have loved you, to love you, and to be loved by you…all are gifts.
While we came from two different worlds, you brought something in my back to life. Creative, ambitious, and a truth-seeking visionary, you inspired me to reconnect to what I lost. You saw me - the whole me. You wanted me to be free, just as you wanted to be free. As I told you many times, I see you as a teacher. You helped me deepen my spirituality, strengthen my artistic identity, and allowed me to realize I am so much more than what the world tells me. Your heart was grounded in the truth of interconnectedness. You knew matters of the mind, body, and spirit that could not be learned in books. You opened my eyes to so many truths in life, and I know you will continue to teach me.
To see you evolve over the last couple years was a gift, and I am beyond honored to have been a part of your growth. The last time we hung out was about 2 months ago. You updated me on your growing thrift store business, criticized corrupt political systems, and made me laugh until my cheeks hurt. You have fought for inner and outer peace your whole life. You are, without a doubt, the most tenacious person I know. I am so proud of you.
I’ll never forget how you shoveled your driveway and drove in the snow to pick me up, showed me music from different decades and tv shows from back in the day, taught me how to work out properly, and cooked vegetarian food with me, even though you weren’t about that life. One of the most meaningful moments of my life was lying next to you at night and I asked you to sing me a song. You sang “babygirl” by Musiq Soulchild. I felt your words in my body, nothing but love and soul in your voice. Another night, I wanted to hear your mom’s voice, and you played me a video of her singing. Your emotional reaction to hearing her voice showed me how strongly connected you are with her, and I’m honored to have experienced her through you. The way you talked about your mother, your friends, your pets…you have so much love to give. Your only dream was to support Grem-Mob and lift your brothers and family. That was your only dream - to help.
I wrote a post recently about what I need in a partner, and I had you in mind the whole time, hoping you’d see it and know it was about you. The post was centered around social justice, and man, were you doing the actual fucking work. You uplifted your brothers, talked about systemic issues, and empathized with me. A few days after I posted it, you reached out to me, and I had my last night with you. I keep coming back to that night. I’m grateful.
I still can't believe you’re gone. I have so many regrets, so many unanswered questions, and so much pain - pain I will carry for the rest of my life. Pain that makes me feel so sick, so angry, and so tired. And when I feel the bottom of this pain, I remember your spirit and think about what you'd do. You'd create.
Our love was a young, deep, divine love. I loved loving you. To be with you on your last birthday, to have my 2019 New Year’s kiss with you, to just be there for you, so grateful. You told me one day, “We have to remember that we love each other for very real reasons, reasons that we can’t and won’t find in other people,” and you were right. Our connection was electric. I'm grateful for our meeting in this lifetime.