At age 14 I had my first hit of Crystal meth at 16 I dropped out of school and started working full time with my father, at 18 I was your run of the mill alcoholic and drug addict thief. When I looked forward all I could see was grey when I closed my eyes all I could see was Chaos. I had already began my relentless journey into no where.
With my father's family being from Georgia, but all passed away, and my mother being Native American and living in the same area as her family... I had been exposed to more of the Native American/ Hispanic traditions and addictions rather then being exposed to traditions of Georgia (and what ever my fathers back round is). My mother had lost her sister to a car accident, her father to cirrhosis of the liver, her brother to bad drug deal and her older sister to lupus. When my mother and father first met they realized that there was one big thing in common, they both had been running for a long time.
My grandma Lupe was the sweetest old lady who had the strongest accent and the best cooking. She passed a few years ago to blood cancer...F-cancer. She would call me paully-wog for what ever reason while my uncles would call me Pablo. Most of my cousins would call me Paulito meaning little stick of the tribe and from that my buddys called my Lito which until this day is how I signature most of my canvas art work...oh and it is how my wife calls me to fix stuff. My Uncle Johnny was a huge influence in my life and showed me how deep the river ran from our blood line and how it was filled with art, music and dancing. He would speak of the practices he would participate in and this really allowed me to take pride in my past. As a young man I was taught to fish, hunt and how to skin animals for the use of their hide. I remember once I was on a job in Fallbrook, Ca. and I had a hispanic man working for me who didn't speak english. He was jumping around and waving his hand toward the floor. When I walked over I noticed a snake by his feet. He was frightened so I stepped on the snakes head, grabbed my razor blade and cut it off. I pinned the body to a 2x4 and gutted the snake spreading the skin and removing the spine, then I took a package of salt from lunch and spread it over the skin. Once dry I wrapped it around a piece of hide and made a belt that went around a cowboy hat.
Growing up my father had a short temper, I remember getting in trouble at school and my dad taking bamboo, extension chords, or fig branches and whipping my ass. I was always doing something wrong at school or foolish things like the time I blew my older brother up on accident. I threw a spray paint can in the fire and my bro tried to get it out but was to late. They had to skin graph his face...maybe that's why he's a deuche to me. Just kidding...I'm good with my brothers.
When I was 10 years old I went on vacation with my little brother and father. At the time I didn't realize my dad was meeting his mistress at the same place we were going. My little brother actually told my mom about the girl (he was like 7) and until this day (he's like 24?) he doesn't speak to my dad. This would begin the ending of an 18 year marriage to my mother. See my dad had lost both of his parents at the age of 14, Father to colon cancer, his sister died of AIDs, brother died form heroin and only other brother is a junkie in georgia somewhere. He had lived most of his life running away and this was no exception.
After years of running (myself), I finally have come to a place where I felt I had the strength to let go and make peace with my past. I wrote a song about these experiences called "Man On Fire" which talks about my struggle with addictions. On my guitar strap I have put the letters SPR to show that I have made peace and that I have much love for my reservation.
From the good vibes put into my life from others I was able to reach a point of peace and self confidence. I am a long way from where I once was and I have plenty of family and friends to thank for that. From a young age my Aunt Angie investing her positive perspective into my life. From her and my uncle Tom I was exposed to the "Surfer" lifestyle. I remember being given old surf magazines and being told old surf war stories that sparked interest in this whole other "natural" world. There was something about the ocean... I recall arriving at the shore and just feeling peace.... For once in my life when negative emotion came in I could feel it leave with the ever changing salt water and sea weed.
Everyone knows they need healing but people are afraid to admit that they were powerless and that they couldn't help from being hurt. Some think that making peace shows weakness but in fact it shows great strength. It is hard to forgive and control your mind but by doing this It brings the ability to free your mind and free up your life. It is much easier to hate then it is to love it is much easier to be angry then it is to let go.
I know there is healing in the ocean and that there is healing in this earth and for me living in the mountains was what I needed healing from. Now it is my turn to be a positive influence for the broken.
We are of One Love.