Better to Give Than to Receive

Friday’s show at Actual Cafe in Oakland was great; It was amazing how it all came together.

I played with two new musician friends of mine who came through for me at the last minute and was blown away: They were both stellar performers. A lot of people I have recently met and think are neat showed up at the cafe; we had a good audience that ebbed and flowed throughout the night.


In other news, my sister drew a picture of the Jinxes I was talking about the other day.


Like I said in my last post, jinxes are mystical weasel cat creatures who love to trip you up when you decide to invest in any particular plan. I rue the day the jinxes pop up…they’ve been all over the place recently. But they have an upside. When they arrive, I have to check in with my gut. They make me pay attention to what’s going on, consider if I’m on the right path.


It’s all speeding up right now, the shift from old life to new, the change in living circumstances.

Somehow, even though everything is up in the air, I feel pretty steady. I truly believe everything is going to come together just right. My old life that wasn’t working, by some grace I can’t even fathom, is completely falling apart while a new life where I have friends who blow my mind, am in the center of a hub and can work on my art and be understood and not forced to change my very nature are coming together at the exact same time. It’s hard to straddle these two worlds: One that wasn’t working for me and was causing me duress, and one that seems so perfect I doubt it can even be real because I feel I don’t deserve it. And it still feels terrible, on a visceral level, to be leaving the familiarity of my previous life.

I  lost about 15 pounds in a month from stress and lack of appetite, but at the same time, in spite of the anxieties and fears of not being taken care of I’ve felt peace beyond peace. I can’t wait to find a good healing space where I can get settled and start to process all of this upheaval.


Another update: A reading I did for Lip Service West in January is now viewable online. I think it turned out well…it’s better to make a story about relapsing on Nyquil funny. Because it is funny. You’ll see. (Raaawr). I hate watching myself on video…it reminds me at 31, I look like I’m still 18. I guess that’s not a bad thing…

[vimeo w=500&h=375]

I’ll also be reading for Lip Service West again (a story about my life as a teenage gutter punk and the importance of my crusty hoodie) at Beast Crawl in two weeks. You won’t be disappointed.


It’s all a waiting game at this point. Where I’ll live, where I’ll put all my stuff, how I’ll get my stuff at the apartment cleaned and moved (one day at a time).

I’m working hard today on letting go and trusting the universe.

I’ve been very sad and twisted (it’s only natural), but also very happy and feeling tapped into the slipstream again, which is great. If I trust that calm centered feeling inside that says I am doing all the right things and meeting all the right people, I feel OK. It’s those late night hours when my stomach’s all screwy and I’m facing my transitional reality that’s physically and mentally hard…those night hours when I question how everything is going to play out and start losing my faith.

Truth is, I just don’t know how things are going to turn out, but I believe the best possible outcome for me will transpire. Life is for learning, you stop learning when you’re dead and for so many months there I just couldn’t get out of my head. I’ve been reaching out to people struggling with issues I’ve faced in the past (i.e., trying to find support for their art, or trying to get clean and sober) and that seems to be helping a lot. The universe is suddenly sending them to me because I’m taking the steps to make myself available. Even simple stuff like saying the St. Francis prayer, which talks about making myself a person seeking to comfort rather than be comforted, give rather than to receive, is helpful to do every morning.

This blog is one thing I do for other people, and it’s paid back in spades, so I am going to pay more attention to it this week, and please, if you have any topics or struggles as an artist, writer or musician and you want me to approach those topics from my point of view, do share in the comments and I will use that for a blog subject.


  1. Tom says:

    Kysten, I think you are one of the courageous persons I know. First, you wrote a very intimate personal real life story experience. Second, you read that personal life story live to the group of audience. Third, you shared all that experience to the world on this video. That takes a lot of guts to do what you just did. In this video, you appear very calm and entertaining the audience very comfortably and at ease. You are a great reader! I don’t think I can ever do that. I am quite shy to do something like that in public.I am more of a shy and quiet guy in public,but wild and creative in private. I am very proud of you and admire your courage and your public persona. Keep up the great work and looking forward to your future performances.

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