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Holly Ramos: All Transformation Is Possible 

Holly Ramos doesn't experience life. She inhales it. Stands it on end when necessary. Then searches for the gift inside. Which is why she was able to close the door on anguish - and fill her life with love. Why it's her conviction that, "All transformation is possible." And why Holly's words speak directly, to our hearts.

Parallel Magic 

New York City is like a vein running through me. It's a road to who I am, who I was, and the Joanie I will always be. An energy that breathes life into my soul. And a heartbeat that lives in my mind.

And Los Angeles? Los Angeles is a link to my past, to my future, and to the me I am yet to become. It's a land where shadows playing hide-and-go-seek with the sun, morph a simple string of parking meters into a magical path of long-stemmed guitars. Long-stemmed guitars that point me toward the unknown - and into a vein of adventures yet to be taken.

So even as my right hand draws childlike faces in the snow, my left hand draws childlike faces in the sand. Because to me, New York is the moon, California is the sun - and together they run through my veins.


Overheard in NYC 

One day, while standing at a stoplight, in NYC, I overheard a woman behind me.

"Honey, where would you like to go while we're visiting here?"

I knew how I felt about this city that is often thought of as, "the hub of the Universe". So I couldn't help listening to see what someone else was drawn to.

"Mommy, can we go to a library?!"  answered a voice that was all of eight years old. A voice that was filled with wonder, and with hopefulness.

I felt like my head literally swiveled! I looked at this proud mother, and her little daughter. Her little girl who might have asked to go to any store in the City; yet she wasn't interested in shopping - not even in a bookstore. All she craved was to be in a santuary - for books!
I told them that they truly touched my heart because, as a writer - one who will always work to further the arts -
their conversation was beyond golden to me. And because, more importantly, as long as there are people like the two of them - the arts will always be safe!

East Coast Meets Left Coast! 

There's only one thing that I don't love about living in Los Angeles. Part of me feels like I'm cheating on New York! Because New York lives in my soul - and did even when I was growing up in Iowa. So when I moved there? I thought that I was home, forever! I was right about part of it anyway. I was home for six and a half years. And then, my two little "babenus"...drew me to LA like the two little magnets they are.

The irony is that Los Angeles has always lived in my soul, as well. I just didn't realize it until the Universe started sending messages my direction. The first was fifteen years ago, when a set of pottery dishes "found" me, while living in Chicago. Pottery with palm trees that swayed in the breeze from a watercolor ocean, and a watercolor sky. Pieces that resonated so deeply, I could almost touch their energy!

They were just dishes. And I knew that I intended to buy them. But more importantly, I wanted to know why. So I played a two-week waiting game to see if the answer revealed itself. And when it didn't? I bought them anyway - and trusted the Universe to give me the answer in time.

Life moved forward - taking me, my dishes, and my curiosity about them to NYC - and dropping clues like breadcrumbs all along the way. Clues - like both of my daughters moving to the "Left Coast".  And like me - visiting as often as possible, learning the lay of the land, and making friends who felt like family.

And then, two years ago - thirteen years after the first major sign - another major sign arrived. Big wet tears that appeared unannounced, and rolled down my cheeks as I stood barefoot on a beach, in Manhattan Beach. Tears that had nothing to do with crying. And everything to do with California calling me in!

And then...

(To Be Continued)


Copyright © 2018 Joanie Strulowitz. All rights reserved. (Photography courtesy of Megan Conrad.)