they left angeles city in 1967, the largest populous city in the province of pampanga, in the philippines. angeles city was home to clark air base, and my family entered into the united states on military clearance. my life has been based in the bay area, new york city, and my relocation to los angeles has seemed like a full circle moment. blessings spinning from the sky and into my heart in only a way that angels could carry. i sat on our way to work and told leya, “you wanna know something interesting? my family is from angeles city in the philippines- and now i am in los angeles” when i first arrived in from NYC. the first born grandchild of the third generation of my family, my cousin angelo graduated from UCLA; and now my entrance into this city leads me to new paths. all things by design of god; i often think of the signs that god is giving to me, the blessings that have come and those that have gone. i remain rooted in gratitude, but in this space, in this city and in this chapter of my life; in becoming my fully destined self, i think of my grandparents, who guide me now, from the heavens. the concept of angels. the thought of salvation. of making it to the other side and coming into the light from the darkness. the battle of facing fears versus losing to them, and the irony of victory through surrender.
my life has been a constant challenge of resistance and release. whether looking to stay in control, or acting out of control- the pressures have always remained. survival is in my blood, transcendence is a family tradition that i find unavoidable for myself. it’s an inheritance. challenging myself and others around me, as if to wrap myself in my own figurative wings in life, i’ve gone out of my way, above and beyond to protect my own purity, hoping to inspire greater purity in others. the results of that still yet unrevealed, things i touch are heavily scented with my aesthetic, my darkness shines like light and none of that is in vain. it’s through the hard work of the generations before me- my understanding of what it means to be american, about celebrating women, about crediting culture- i am who my ancestors, and relatives were and still are because i am survived. i told my sister last night, “you can feel however you want to feel about me- I’m in your bloodstream” – and like the cancer that spread into my grandmother’s GI tract, giving her only 7 days to live after prognosis- my purity will run through the symbollic blood flow of life, my hope is to infect every cell into purity until true beauty is more accurately defined.
i’ve discussed concepts of beauty at length in this space, feeling much like i do in my expressions of love- that no words, actions or intentions are enough for definition. to fight, commit and dedicate oneself is a life long work. you study it, you rehearse it, recite it and present it. you defend it and move into spaces where the purity is called into question; but the only thing that will remain is that of what is true. because what is true purity if it has not been challenged by the unpure? what joys can be felt without contrasting of pain? for it is those who give that will receive. those who are paying attention who will be paid in return. it’s all vibes, moods and attitude. awareness is meticulosity, and in that cleanliness exists the purity of details and the refinement of what is real. beyond DNA or thought process, and into theories of higher power, and evidence of that- will live forever. as i sit gathering myself for strategy, i am humbled.
losing to win, leaving the familiar to come back into a space with such a gratitude that you fall to your knees. there is no way that i could chop this shit up so you could understand what it’s like to live it. the pictures, the articles of beauty, and then seeing true beauty beyond the computer screen, but then seeing all this shit is connected. a blessing, beyond any greater truth. it’s so real, all of it. in this full circle moment, each second is contained within a circle like a halo, and by the way i heard that song today, lending to greater notion that in my referential space, all is connected. the presence of angels in life and death are undeniable, for those who have actual faith. it is in life’s surrender that the truth comes. vulnerability for strength and all those others comparatives that i could type out for you- if you get it, you do. if you don’t- you never will. and that is what probes my sensitivity; my quick nature to walk away, or to disengage entirely at improper phrasing, poor choices or lack of poise.
from cold concrete streets and rotting subway rails to a land of sunshine and freedom and root my upbringing, gratitude can’t be cited enough in this time. counting every single loss as a blessing for having existed, the time is now realized as the most powerful, where you make it count or get counted out. you have no time to waste, and even in that wasted space- it’s still by god’s design. giving me my strength, are my gramma and grampa. i see you and feel you; regarding my relationships with you as active and still standing. first and second generations here are represented as another symbol of me, as i sit in the third row generation, watching as generation four enters the runway. and in that, i love.
jeremy danté is now living and scouting in los angeles, ca
to schedule a meeting email LITA@jeremydante.com