Category: fashion + style

1: 4 – L IS FOR LOVE

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the first of a four part installment, this series will capitalize and expand upon values and perceptions, which construct the work that we have been doing and will do at LITA mother agency. equipped with myself and now two girls to our roster, we all share a sense of loyalty, understanding and sensitivity to time; as well as patience through facilitation of a higher power. in my own understanding of just how important communicating in this space is to my work, how connected i am to you as an audience and to my own mind; let this serve as a reminder when i fall short on my own path. allow my own recognition in writing, be a therapeutic and prayer-like practice, as it has been for me, in my life as an artist. i regard my girls as artists themselves. they build, develop and question elements of themselves to move forward to anticipate growth privately, and to sense cultural shifts publicly. in areas not just limited to fashion; what becomes stylized are their minds. through this mental strengthening comes the indestructible force of love. as each letter of my mother agency spells out a short form version of my grandmother’s name, estelita; i find it vital to reveal it’s values in detail.

representation is more than just an image, its about connection. it’s about a true commitment and in this four part series, love, like many other things in life- is the starting point. the birth of a child, the union of two individuals, the catalyst of confidence following a pursuit of actualization of self- these are processes that have lingered in this space, hiding at times, between the lines- but visible to my true readers. translated through an energy of transcendence; love is always the first. i contemplated this series in april, on the 8th day of the month. and really took time to re-think love. following the passing of my grandmother, and my grandfather a short three weeks after her- love had to be re-examined. things that i valued at a higher level were meaningless, the meaningless seem exhaustive of valuable energy and time. in my own thought process, i found myself thrust into a dream realized. and since that day in april, have been sitting with the thoughts of the first and foremost value of my creative work done as a mother agent- to love. aligning the similarities and dissimilarities of love- in friendship, in romance, of intimacy, of family- through cousins, and love from mothers and fathers to sons and daughters. bonds are bonds, many obligations are done as form of routine while others are done with elevated sense of care and concern. it’s in those intentional motions that the relationship of mother agency and model are most powerful. but in the unseen, or sometimes unspoken, there is power as well. where senses lead, is where success lives. and as we entered our first international placement, in cape town, south africa- faith never fails and we causing a response that only breaks the dawn where we’ve sat waiting patiently for the last, almost two years.

love is about dedication, and pushing through difficult moments. love endures, it strives but still needs to be fed, inspired and consoled. while it can be forgiving, it can also be demanding; at times out of control and needing restraint. love is all things. among them strength and suffering; which leads the important third component of love- which is balance. balance is found in support, understanding and awareness. love is all of these things. love is uninvited, but welcomed when it comes to stay. it is quiet but always felt. love wakes at night, sleeps in the day and acknowledges no one’s agenda but it’s own. love is life, in all it’s unpredictability and love is the answer to all of those questions we have. love is private, and love is secure, but through the process of privacy and security needs an opportunity to grow. love can shine publicly, when it’s been loved preciously before it’s debut. winning and losing are a part of the game of love, and true love will withstand through failure to secure the win. love holds to hope, the way the faithful cling to prayer. love is about liberation, and is not about restraint. and in this, i love you.

the second installment to follow part one is ‘inspiration’
follow this 4-part series, and our development methodology at LITA
for more information visit http://LITAmotheragency.com 

SOUND VS. STYLE: CARDI B.

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the story of cardi b. is that of a cinderella story. but in the most american way. american in the way of a brown family venturing into the states to make a better way for their children, only to be met with poverty stricken circumstances and struggles of project living. american in the way that immigrants often times go to community colleges to cut costs on education. and that’s what belcalis almanzar did. while attending community college and working at a mid-town grocer, she decided to enter into the world of adult performing to spike her own financial status. and that she did. with means to an end, the bronx girl planned to work as and adult performer from 18 at 25, eventually ending her time in the clubs at 23 years old upon social media superstardom.

in an age of social media artificiality, filters and make believe; cardi b. defines a brand of genuine appeal through simply being real, from a human level. never one to shy away from the spotlight and share her experience- struggles and glory alike; anyone that comes across anything she’s done or doing is immediately taken with her personality. one aspect of her career that was almost outshadowed by her superstar personality was her music. after her entire feed on instagram went viral for literal years, she was then cast on VH1’s “love and hip-hop” as the sparkle from their own star was beginning to dim for the new york edition of the franchise. She starred on the show for two seasons, which showed her trying to get DJ’s and producers to take her music seriously; while also knocking Billboard on it’s back with her mixtape-gone-major smash, “bodak yellow”. the single shattered radio airwave requests as card’s star rose into historic hip-hop territory, being the longest running #1 single by a female rapper atop billboard since lauryn hill, in 1998. while her style is a culmination of female rap greatness, while cardi manages to encapsulate her own unique interpretation of everything from homaged rap flows, to inspired looks on the red carpet. it is with great recognition, that i share my adoration for who she has become as an artist. against the odds, defying what others thought or even didn’t think possible for her. today she drops her first full length studio LP. appropriately title, “invasion of privacy” the album boasts 13 back-to-back tracks of sonic greatness. one of the strongest efforts that i’ve ever heard by any female artist, let alone any rapper at all. cardi has a unique way of showcasing her personality through rhymes in a way that is thoughtful and as close to what is current as anything out- across the board. she’s a pure trendsetter who understands the path that was created for her by the artists who’ve come before her. for this, she is honorable. while i don’t often take time to etch out song by song reviews; as cardi is an exception of many things- i will make an exception for her.

the album starts off heavy, packing powerful bars with even more powerful production, with “get up 10” where cardi talks about odds being stacked against her and the details of her come up. this is an especially important starting point for the album because it shows cardi’s own grounded nature. “drip” features migos, and was dropped at the top of this week with the intention of creating buzz for the friday release of the project. “bickenhead” sees cardi borrowing melodic queues from project pat, as the ‘folio of rap bangers starts it’s upward climb. “bodak yellow” enters the sequence at track 4, reminding us of the smash that we had all been playing in our cars and on our phones, and bobbing heads to at the club all last winter and summer. coming in at track 5, the mid-point of the album is “be careful” which again dips in tempo and adds an homage to big pun, while cardi is heard flexing a little bronx muscle to an ex love, heeding the warning of caution by a woman scorned. track 6 sees cardi taking a more commercial route of fun and free on the chance the rapper assisted, “best life”. a show of optimism that allows us to celebrate with cardi and all her success, as hard hitting hip-hop takes a backseat to a sweet flow that is dripping in dollars and smiles. borrowing from pete rodriguez’ 1967 hit “i like it like that”, cardi sprawls in spanish flavor amidst a feature of bad bunny and j. balvin on track 7, aptly titled “i like it”; which gives you that washington height in the summer vibe, perfectly. on the track cardi tells us all the things she likes from text messages from exes begging for a second chance to diamonds and handsome men. kehlani shares a track with cardi on the album on “ring”; which shares a softer side of the female rap star, as she debates whether to call or not call the dude she’s feeling, through vibes of pride. my favorite track on all the album is “money bag” – which allows cardi to dominate in a space that could easily be the musical soft spot of iconic rappers like lil kim and foxy brown, in today’s musical stratosphere. “money bag” enters the sequencing to remind us that this is a hip-hop album, and true to rap form- boasting and showing one’s own money takes center stage as cardi raps about girls so pretty that they should bridesmaids, but still just as hood to be ‘gang, gang’. track 10 showcases the single drop of hit “bartier cardi”; which seen cardi dropping a glitzy music video, and celebrates 100 million streams on the musical platform, spotify. YG rolls through with the ease of california on track 11, where sex appeal and repetitive lyrics of designer bags cite cardi as being bad. everything from physical features to album features are game on this record, which is yet another track that is single-worthy. “thru the phone” is where cardi shines through rap vulnerability and feminine strength, sharing a story of woman scorned versus heart on the sleeve warn; cardi sings beautifully on the record and showcases a dimension not often seen through her uptown bronx exterior. i love this record and admire cardi’s artistic development most, on this record, which is the antithesis to all the bangers she’s had thus far. the album closes out with a feature from SZA, on “i do” as cardi shares sentiment on female empowerment, being your own boss and bad bitches being a gift from god.

all in all, cardi’s style evolution as a celebrity is secondary to her rap career and ability through musical composition and success through executing the job. the album is a milestone, not only for cardi; but for all rappers and especially for women. to rise though the odds, and mark your own seat for success is what the american dream is all about. i congratulate cardi b. and atlantic records on this amazing showing of female rap. i encourage all to listen to this album to enjoy it, and if you do, to share it with others with encouragement to listen. this project is evidence that culture has won.

cardi b.’s first studio release with atlantic records is available on all music platforms
purchase the album here or stream through apple music now

BRITISH VOGUE BREAKS BARRIERS

vogue-may18-cover

what yo’ name iz? adut akech, faretta ,
fran summers, halima aden, paloma elsesser, radhika nair,
selena forrest, vittoria ceretti, yoon young bae

the announcement that edward enninful would be seated as editor-in-chief of british vogue came november of last year. and now we see the black british editor-in-chief, the first and only black EIC in the condé nast universe, never had this been done before. he put black model, adwoa aboah on the december 2017 issue- the first of many that will be included in his portfolio as EIC. that first issue, showcased a nostalgic look at fashion covers of days of old. it was an homage to 60’s glamour- a unique creative choice for a a first glimpse. now, just five short months after his debut issue, we have this. in all it’s glory, this cover represents us today, and now. it’s a beautiful cover that bursts as a first of many firsts, and captures a multi-dimension of diversity the only way a true fashion cover can. ‘new frontiers’ reads the cover as some of the most dynamic fashion faces of todays modeling stratosphere stand with strength, together in unity. of varied skin tones, ethnic backgrounds and body measurements, this is a look at the future. i could not be more excited about what fashion has come to represent in our modern day redefinition as an industry. from beauty trends, to expansion of representation, there are many changes that have been in play and bubble below the surface for the last decade. much of that decade we’ve spent here, cataloging creative choices, noticing girls and noting aspects of growth. this cover represents that and drives that forward. from virgil at vuitton to edward creating new editorial environment on the global stage, there is much to discuss and it will be done here, as it has for many years. this cover is emblematic of the changes that we’ve craved for fashion. “representation matters” is a remark i’ve seen typed as a comment on a number of things i’ve shared across social media. and those matters are now seriously being dealt to us, the real wakened audience of creativity, thought and culture. i had to take a moment to catalog this great marker of visual change on the editorial front. a breakdown of each girl, in order of appearance on the may 2018 cover of british vogue, from left to right, is as follows:

vittoria ceretti is an italian model, who’s mother agency is elite milan. through elite’s ownership stake, this sees her represented by the society in new york. she’s walked the runway for just about everyone since her catwalk debut for dolce & gabbana. she is a fixture on the editorial and runway circuit as one of the games top 50. halima aden is represented by IMG worldwide and is unmistakably visible on the fashion scene as she’s garnered several bookings whilst still showcasing her somalian heritage. she is always photographed wearing her traditional jilbab. she walks all runways and shoots campaigns and editorials with her head covered and has significantly opened the market to muslim models everywhere. a true trailblazer. adut akech burst onto the scene as a global exclusive for yves saint laurent, and has been a tribute to the brands legendary love for black models. soon after her debut on the YSL runway, she landed the campaign and has kept up her momentum as one of the most promising faces in fashion. represented by the society, adut is a runway superstar. faretta is represented by elite worldwide, and the society in new york. she hails from croatia and is another fashion face staple, who is seen for all the top shows and can also be seen in the spring campaigns for both ralph lauren and salvatore ferragamo. paloma elsesser burst onto the scene as the new gorgeous plus size model at muse management back in the spring of 2016. she quickly began booking campaigns and interesting editorial features, and eventually became one of rihanna’s fenty girls. being a brown skinned model, and a plus sized model as well, paloma is of the new school faces who are bodying the game, and not letting size restrictions limit their success. radhika nair is an indian model who’s mother agent is storm in london, in new york she is represented by ford, where she debuted in the spring of 2016. when she landed a booking as global exclusive for balenciaga under the creative direction of demna gvasalia; she booked campaigns for net-a-porter, and continued to dominate on the runway, while being seen in the current chloe campaign; she was also cast for the pharrell for adidas campaign. this is her first vogue cover. congratulations, radhika. yoon young bae is another stunner from the society, true to form; she debuted for prada and booked the campaign. as those types of starts are often unavoidable success drivers, she hails from south korea and continues to break barriers for asian female models. fran summers is a british model, who’s mother agent is storm models, and got her also placed at ford in new york. after her runway debut in the spring runway season of 2017, she broke out when she walked for prada the following season in 2018. since then she’s booked campaigns for prada, can be seen alongside radhika in the current chloe campaign and is also cast for the current marc jacobs and zara campaigns. selena forrest is an american model, and quite possibly the biggest model face on this cover. represented by NEXT models in new york, her debut season seen her booking six campaigns, with no stops every season thereafter. she’s the most in-demand model in the game and walks each season for everyone from chanel to saçai. since her debut in new york for proenza schouler. those not familiar with fashion may recognize her from the fenty ad campaign which showcased her as one of their main faces on all platforms. this cover is evidence that is dreams do come true.

read notes about this cover and why each girl
was selected by edward enninful for this cover

VIRGIL TAKES VUITTON

virgil_portrait_by_mark_vassallo

i liken this moment in time to when barack obama took the white house. white being the operative word; the leaps and bounds that black talent has risen through persistent work and re-working of rules in order to break them have been an area of focus for me in this space. looking at ways, that we- people of color, are not represented and thinking of the ways we should be represented. what virgil has done, creatively; whether his work in the music industry, breaking barriers through components of musical media, to his DJ’ing. there are so many aspects of his creativity that bleed into other elements and accentuate his true being as an artist. he’s a cultural arbiter, a true taste maker- of the street. intellectual, subliminal, from the root and foundation of the structure- virgil abloh will has saved fashion. in an era where things are washed out, everything is overpublicized- exists abloh in the crux of the beat; in the eye of the storm. from his early days with PYREX vision, to even the others that are a part of his creative collective- these young black men are what the future of fashion not only will be, they are representation of where it has been and what it is today, most vividly present in a way that can only secure the future through design. before the collections walk the runways at vuitton, and after the news has become announced and everyone has heard- i had to take a moment to share, in this space, what this appointment of virgil, as creative director at louis vuitton not only means to me, but what it means for us.

dehonney and i attended a nike party, for then nike collaborator ASAP bari, in NYC, back in 2016. the line stretched down the block, and when we got in; we were right in the VIP section; which was more like an elevated bleachered, platform space. not far from this area was the DJ booth, and virgil was spinning at the party. i observed him from the sideline, not wanting to disrupt the moment with the nuisance of asking for a photo. i seen others asking and even aiming their phone in his direction, with him motioning to them, “no pictures”. he was in his phone, and was calm and focused, even amidst the hype of the party- one of the most sought after that evening, being fashion week. for a long while, i had tried to get in touch; but never got a response. even after my infamous kanye tweet, sending emails seen no response. which wasn’t surprising, but still my attempt was definition worth the shot. at that time, there were so many things bubbling under the surface. his loss of the LVMH prize, which i was almost certain he would win. there was the denial of the givenchy creative director spot; which would have been perfect for him as well. but no opportunity is as meaningful or important as his vuitton appointment. i think the world of fashion truly has not seen the greatness of virgil. we have long looked at him as a hero and true genius; and this appointment is only further solidification of that. all that we have known, and celebrated, the rest of the world will see. his play with words, images, sounds and structure- through deconstruction and architecture- all of these elements that work against and in contrast with each other, through his work. i struggle to find the words to say, to express how important this moment in time means for all of us.

let the future live today, as we enjoy the vision that we’ve already been a part of. let the black american roots bleed into the european fashion universe and release all that has been trapped, held back and kept invisible. let the blurred lines become defined, while the new revises what has been known for what will be demonstrated through clothes shown. this, by design, is the work of god- and just the moment that i, you as the reader, and all the creatives that we’ve spoke of and with in this space have all been working toward. virgil is the first and quite possibly the greatest to do it, and with him leading our future is now brighter than ever. through him, for us all, it is all possible.

congratulations to louis vuitton
on acquiring the talent of virgil abloh
to virgil, we thank you.

HER NAME IS DEHONNEY

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in the same vein of dedication exists a girl, named dehonney. a valiant beauty of enduring presence. the summer of 2016, i found myself at a turning point, deciding to change the course of what i thought would come to be for me, in new york city. in fortitude, i called her and encouraged her to leave where i felt she wasn’t supported, knowing what i knew from the industry from the inner lining up to that point. in pure support, with no ill intent to damage or seek retaliatory reckon for what happened to me; i offered to help coordinate meetings. in agreement, it was underway.

we took meetings we didn’t think possible, reaching the summit of the industry; we sat nervously together. waiting on responses, we remained united. it was after that first meeting, on the subway and in the corners of my big white walled room that she said, “why don’t you become my mother agent”. i gasped immediately, at my own inexperience, citing that i couldn’t possibly take it on. but it was then, i knew, a call of destiny. a pathway that was seemingly lit for me, and she lead me to it. it was seamless. the opportunity presented itself and the chemistry, the camaraderie was completely organic. when i first met her, it was almost like she was part of my family already. and with that agreement, we decided to go the journey together. to strategize and rebuild what had been damaged in the process, prior. the summer soon fell into fall, and the winds of change blew my way. at high speeds, those changes could not be predicted. i found myself nervously getting to JFK, 24hrs before my flight with the sense of dizzying emotion. when i called to tell her, she encouraged me, saying, “no, family is first- that is more important”. and as fall fell to winter’s cold- my grandmother passed away as our entire family knelt at her bedside. in a blur of what i cannot recollect; i was back in NYC. somewhere amidst the blur, i then lost my grandfather. riding the same blur in my return to the east coast, i continued our plan for dehonney to join me in new york city. where we would reside together. elements fell into place, and our journey’s beginning came together beautifully. in my hopes of recovery and mourning, i was able to take on the city with an aerial view and renewed sense of promise. as creatives, we blended ideas, and grew together. it was decided in january of 2017, that we would launch a mother agency named after my grandmother. and we did, which was also announced here. beyond perfect measurements or photographic presence is heart. and this would not be a space of model-esque beauty, without mention of dehonney and the ways she has allowed my vision to be perfected at such early stages. she is the perfect representation of what my grandmother would see as poised, and promised.

and with that promise, we’ve rebuilt, regenerated our strengths together as individuals and as a team. as we look onward to expansion and bringing on other faces- dehonney is now and will forever be, the first girl. the face of LITA, in it’s embodiment of love inspired through adversity. through inspiration of unity, dehonney came together to power through this adversity that we both experience from opposite but intersecting dimensions. understanding the unpredictable nature of industry; let there be no more doubt of what is possible today. for a young, brown skinned beautiful young woman- the world is not ready. and our mission has guided us powerfully, together. i am proud to represent dehonney, as mother agent- and with no lacking form of sentiment, let that be heard, remembered and understood. to represent, to embody- to become. in growth and in possession of such grand awareness to allow beauty to shine from within, that is who dehonney is and greatness is what is destined for her. let the confidence of my information now inform you- that the future is here. and her name is dehonney.

for more information on dehonney visit litamotheragency.com
global options for representation in multiple markets are currently underway.
for booking information email, lita@jeremydante.com 

DEDICATION OF A DECADE

jeremy

never has a complexity to cope rendered such beauty as this. and as a concept, that beauty transcended and bled into my life and off the screen, in ways that i never dreamed manifestation would ever even allow possible. a decade ago, i sat in my loft apartment, with nothing but time and a sense of desperation to cope. to cope with the longing sense of belonging, to my then boyfriend, and ex-fiancé. measured to a standard that was so far past perfection it seemed impossible to reach. challenged in ways, emotionally barred and held captive to a commitment that served none, but one. and as he spent his nights away, drug induced; leaving my line tied with unanswered calls, vague text message and fragmented fears of loss that was all but avoidable.

and so every time i missed him, i wrote. in this space, i filled empty promises with information, and lonely days that turned to lonely weeks and weekends that felt that they would never end. i did that in this space. an outlet towards the inward, this space filled with information due to lack of communication, and what made me feel less than transformed into what was realized as my being better than. taking shape and strengthening in that form, was you. and with you, we grew together. and invisibility became a light. so we grew, and learned here. we learned of process- of casting, campaigns, themes and culture. culture thrived in spaces where our light was seemingly dimmed. and on the glossy pages of all the fashion magazines that we thumbed through, digitally, in this space- the editorial textures of girls of industry standard- those things blurred the blemishes of my everyday reality.

the reality of new york city seemed distant, though it happened. that guy, that old boyfriend, that expired fiancé- he never wanted me to go to new york. but i did. but only following a six year period of visit, reflect, deflect and reject. the process was liberation and in that liberation, there was new love. never fleeing without challenge or the tug and pull of loss and light, love and linger- there i was, still in this space, each step of the way. what i wrote seemed to become reality. and as chopped as i configured the context, someone always read through it. a boy avoiding moments of missing his emotionally unavailable boyfriend, turned to glittering lights on a world stage in the number one market in the world. and so it is, my greatest dedication was not for the unavail of my then, wrongly regarded, love. my greatest dedication was not to fashion, nor the models- but it was to myself. and in that came triumph. the beauty that i defined in others was only allowable by the ways i was able to identify the same in myself. for without the root, there could be no tree- intended examples to demonstrate growth. and you, my reader, the one who continued to read and to understand the message- you’ve acted as the water while i was the sun. because the sun can overpower, and burn- it can kill, but it can grow. and my dedication of self, today, is a gesture of true gratitude.

gratuitously, your generosity to me has guided me lovingly and back to the light. creatively recognized, and crowned, in subtle yet powerful ways. your silence has been stronger in moments that allowed my voice to be heard. and when i sat in silence, your responses broke the night and struck through the days where there was nothing but rain. models saved and paved the way, in their careers we’ve watched and applauded. beyond photos, and in-between characters of runway and composition- we love and live here. a decade later, what has trailed away has highlighted who has stayed. glowing beyond the surface, lies the true beauty- which doesn’t fade. forever is tangible, and love lives forever in this space. heroes are female, and men are silent in ways that build women to greatness through understanding of cultural codes and yes, strength. here, vulnerability straddles displays under lights soundtracked to bass and digital sounds which show each season. it’s beyond fashion, and in the interweaving greatness of style. it’s personal, and private, yet shared with many for worlds over to see and to discover on their own time.

exists here, no ownership, only relationship. not limited to fine print, only limited to expression of true artistry. a grain on a photograph, a meticulously altered face, but a striking glance into the lens of who we are together, and also even apart. a decade of dedication to only mark a beginning. and no fears of an ending even call to question the present, because the time that we’ve shared was never forced- but always self imposed. leaving the exposed as, again, a way to cope. but not to the unemotional, but to the sense of art. art of self, art of discovery. love of the depth, admiration of the darkness and closeness of the delicate in a way that no added light is needed. rich and boundless, this love will live forever- in you and me, and together we will be, dedicated.

to all who have lived, loved and endured in this space. 
may you continue to find and share inspiration for yourself and others. 
this dedication serves in your honor. 

10.00: THE TEN SERIES

 

we’ve spent a decade together in this space. in what was originally intended as a personal note pad for understanding the industry process of fashion became a foreground for a cultural narrative that was embraced by a global audience. to commemorate our time here together, i will be curating a year long series of 10. everything will be shared; the most stylish, the most influential and the greatest culture shifters from my generation and from my view. from cassette tapes, to the breakthrough of compact disks, boom boxes to stereo systems and trunk thumping bass. it’s all about style and through to the core. trickling the influence from cities across the U.S., and floating through the international fashion scene, this series will see me reveal the root of my inspirations.

i am most excited to share this series with you, the readers, who have taken time to share, read and provide support from the many countries you’ve allowed me to enter by returning to see what content was being placed here. as an independent digital persona, you’ve grown with me and there is no greater form of gratitude that i can provide, other than to share even more of myself with you, through what inspires me. we’ve ripped through the magazines, and torn down the runways year after year in this space. and we’re still here, continuing to push and still looking for our next source of inspiration. Ahead of the series, between a range of collections, i’ll be sharing archived interviews that have never been published, that have been collected through the years.

the beauty of this space is that there are no boundaries. elements of influence, questions of structure and challenging of perception has all been done here. from supermodels to the super talented, those subjects of content have become friends and in the process have opened my world into greater possibilities and even bigger ideas. a decade ago, i sat in my loft apartment with very little money, but an understanding and a vision. today, i sit with you from a view i had never expected to be a part of, and this year long series is a dedication to you for allowing me to connect and reveal a part of myself that i wasn’t able to, many years before the rise of the internet. thank you for being a part of this dream, realized. and thank you for guiding my path with your light to higher ground.

with all my heart, i thank you.