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Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

 

What I am about to talk about maybe a trigger for people who have been the victim of assault, so here is my heads up to walk away freely if you need to. For those of you that chose to remain reading till the end, I have one more thing to say.  Some of you will not believe what I have written, they will think it blustery or self-aggrandizement and you too may walk away. It is not your time yet and I sincerely mean it when I say, I hope you never know what I am talking about. For those of you left, some of you will recognize what I am about to say and we will probably know each other, because on some fundamental level these experiences change us and mark us for life with an invisible mark recognized only by those that have been there.8150080687_faa25346ab_b

About 15 years ago I was living in New York. I worked at a nightclub in the City on weekends and caught the last train leaving Manhattan for Queens around 4:00 am after finishing my night. Before I left work I always changed into army boots, tied my hair back and put on a hat; which was standard routine when trying to stay safe. I also studied Tae Kwon Do, another way to stay safe.  There was a serial rapist in Queens that they had not caught and that was that; you do what you have to do and what you can do.IMG_1162.jpg

So this particular night, I got on an empty train car and sit down in an aisle seat. About 2 stops in, a heavy set white man in his 40’s steps into the empty car and looks right at me.  (Now here’s that bit about if you have been there, you will know what I mean.) That man looked at me and in that look, beyond that look, in the air and energy that surrounded him and surrounded me; I knew he was thinking about hurting me or killing me. He was analyzing the situation and his subject if you will.  There is no exaggeration to this I promise you, it simply was.Subway (1).jpg

The man walks through the empty train car and over to me, his footsteps echoing.  We studied each other as he walked to towards me, our eyes never left each other the whole time.  He then sits on the inside window seat right next to me, and we both turned in a very deliberate manner, looking directly into each other’s eyes.  What he was doing was reading me and he was exceptionally good at it, I knew this for a fact. This man was reading me for fear; he was hunting for it like an animal in the wild studies which of the herd he will target.

I had both my hands in my pockets; in my right a knife, in my left mace and I had my body which studied martial arts every night of the week. I knew where my strengths and weaknesses lay and held myself ready. I had also been studying energy and you better believe I had called upon the most powerful sign of protection placing it right there in front of me glowing. The man looked and I looked, and I could feel him reading my mind.

I said in a voice that only he and my gods could here, “I am not of afraid of you, I have been fighting my whole damn life and I will fight you. I will fight you with everything I have and you don’t know what I have and we don’t know who will win, but I guarantee you it will be bloody.” I said it over and over and over again like a mantra as he continued to study my face. I even allowed the slightest, tiniest hint of a sneer to form itself at the corner of my mouth.Liliane Hunt Peter Czernich Neck Corset

It may seem impossible to believe this was my reaction, but I understood darkness. I was raised in a house where the very walls were soaked and dripping with it and I learned to survive. I learned very early on to study, learn and fight, and not with a half-assed sort of approach, but as if my life depended on it, because it did. I had learned more often than not that meeting this kind of evil with full on rage could and would save my life.

We continued to stare, our eyes locked; this man and I with a lion that is in me growling ready to spring. I am not a runner I have never been able to run in my life, I have always had to fight and right there and then I stared at a man who was thinking of killing me. At some point he got up and he walked off the train, possibly in search of someone else. I wasn’t shaken; I was incredibly calm as I watched him disappear away from the platform. That night I went home, I slept, I did not worry, nor did I think about it. I just got on with trying to stay alive for another night and then another and anothera0ebb46b26fb44704463919df8c38dbe

This is a small piece of my private life. You may wonder why after all these years I have chosen to out myself, I have chosen to lift the curtain just a peak on who I really am. I am full of stories and that is only one. But this story, this one has been circling round and round in my head the last few days.

It keeps playing itself on repeat and I have to question “Why? What is its purpose after all these years?”

The truth is, outside of all the public hoo-ha, I am actually a very private person. For the most part, I keep my stories to myself and I am an introvert in the rather ironic position of having a career which requires me to be an extrovert. Many over the years have failed to notice me beyond the fancy hats and frocks. They have failed to see or grasp what lay underneath. That’s OK, I know what’s there, and I also recognize the ones that have it; that have that steel underneath their skin. They don’t wear it on the outside because they have nothing to prove, only to themselves. They are the old warriors the fighters who have hung up their swords because they got tired of fighting and they wanted peace. But the truth is many of the most peaceful of, the most Zen, were warriors once.Liliane Hunt C Morey Back Shot

Right now, I feel as though I am on that train, only this time I am not alone; my friends, family and my community are on that train.  The conductor driving that train is friends with the man and the man is not alone, he has friends. So call me a coward and I will look in your eyes and say, “test me”.

Don’t tell me to fight as if you were talking to a child who wasn’t born understanding there was no other option and don’t tell me to get over it, because it is my life and is the life of everyone in this country I care about. It took my 10 long years to become a citizen, to wave my small U.S. flag and feel like I finally belonged and that I finally had rights.

Here is my story, for my sisters and brothers out there who feel like they are waking up in hell right now and it has barely begun. I hear you, I see you, and I recognize you. You, yes you, who has been fighting your whole damn life to stay alive. I guess that’s it, that’s the message. I am not going to tell you to fight, or run, or judge you, hell no. I am going to tell you to do what you need to do to stay alive and I am going to respect the hell out of you for doing it.

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Dearest readers,

 
I cannot begin to express how excited I am to share these images with you from my latest photoshoot. The plans began to germinate when I received a message from one of my favorite photographers, John Goyer. He wanted to let me know that he and a friend of his, Ed Mestre, would be traveling to Portland. If you have been following my work and adventures for any length of time you will be quite familiar with John’s work. Ed however, I had never worked with. He was someone I had been stalking for probably a couple of years and I am quite an admirer of his beautiful images.edmestre2
Sounds great so far right?

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Image by John Goyer

 
For those of you who know me on a personal level, you will know I am a creature of habit. When I find good people, I hold onto them. So in many ways our very first Portland shoot was beginning at the beginning with a brand new team of hair and makeup folks. After a bit of hunting and searching we found a team and a fantastic venue (or so we thought). We booked everything weeks in advance and breathed a sigh of relief. A week later hair bailed and the night before the shoot so did make-up (I kid you not). The unraveling of all our carefully laid plans began like an avalanche; our team flaked in its entirety.

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Image by John Goyer

 
Tyke handles logistics; he is in fact, head of logistics for The House of Hunt. One of the key qualities in being head of logistics for HoH is the ability to perform miracles both big and small, including but not limited to the night before a morning photoshoot. Tyke didn’t just remedy the situation, he excelled. He replaced the hair and makeup team with an even better one (who we will use moving forward) and he didn’t even tell me everyone flaked until after he fixed it and had secured a new team. That little miracle, along with securing a beautiful church built in 1882 to shoot in, earned him his five year top performer award two months early. He was gifted a Full Hunter pocket watch.

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Image by John Goyer

 

Anyway, I digress back to the shoot. My inspiration from the shoot had come from Alfred Lord Tennyson. I have always had a soft spot for Tennyson. I studied his work in college, could recite the Lady of Shallott by heart, and I grew up in the same place Tennyson did. I even looked rather a lot like Waterhouse’s painting, which I had above my fireplace gifted by the Grand Empress for my 19th birthday.

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Recently I have been journeying back to my artistic roots so to speak and rediscovering the beauty of Tennyson. I am however no longer the 19 year old girl that identified with the Lady of Shallott. She has died, long since buried and another older stronger version has been reborn again and again. Now, at just over twice her age, I cannot recount how many versions of my old self and lives there were. This shoot is symbolic of the Death card. The heroine does not mourn an unrequited love, but rather her old self which must die in order to be reborn, stronger, more resolute more fearless. It is the Death card, but also a beginning.

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Image by Ed Mestre

 
This shoot could not have been possible without the amazing team of wonderful individuals who I had the pleasure to work with. Thank you, Kelli Gasaway and Chelsea Taggart from Kelz Beauty for pulling together last minute on hair and make-up. Mascherina thank you so much, for the exquisite Victorian inspired mourning cape. To my dearest friends and photographers John and Ed, with love and my eternal thanks until next time.

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Image by Ed Mestre

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Liliane Hunt Pride Party 2015 5

June 1st saw the arrival of my mother from England, for the entire month.  She arrived with her suitcases full of my gold leafed, leather bound, complete works of Byron, two large boxes of chocolates, dog toys and an antique lamp from the inside of a steam train. Hand on my deliciously cold, black, heart. Outside of a large white cricket hat and some clothes, that is exactly what she packed.

 

Liliane Hunt Pride Party 2015

June 13th, I hosted my first get together in Portland and continued my 8 year tradition of hosting a Pride Party. The space for my festive soiree overlooked the garden courtyard and waterfall of my new residence. The room itself was large, light and airy with an eclectic style. One might also be less generous and say there was such a random assortment of styles going on in the room that if there was a designer hired to create the ensemble one could easily assume the choices were made under duress with a large amount of caffeine, narcotics and whiskey in their veins (just a theory). Or perhaps an overworked assistant on his/her thirty minute lunch break and a one-stop-shop at Ross. I am willing to consider either option; a narcotic over load or an overworked under paid assistant. Either way the room needed to be swept ruthlessly of all its pseudo artsy stuffs before the event could unfold.

 

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Moving right along, I opted for the simplicity of candle light and a plethora of Moroccan lanterns, to create a simple elegance.

The food followed suit, with an elegant picnic type affair and an assortment of aqua fresca barrels, brimming with naughty summer cocktails. Our guests arrived throughout the afternoon and along into the evening.Liliane Hunt Pride Party 2015 4

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Bringing not just their beautiful sun soaked selves and their wonderful energy but also (in one particular case) a bag filled with organic home grown veggies and salad mix, which included cuddling lover carrots locked in an embrace. Lover carrots from a Bunny Momma, the bunny sent his apologies he was unable to attend due to a prior engagement.Liliane Hunt Pride Party 2015 5

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. A huge shout out to all the beautiful souls who attended the party and filled the SW waterfront with chic sexy leather, you certainly made my day.

 

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Aside from hosting a party for folks I had barely met, in an entirely different state, with my mother in attendance sans the cricket hat, this year we started a brand new tradition. One of the major elements of our lives back in San Francisco was our involvement with Loup Garou animal rescue and Northern California Family Dog Rescue. Finding and adopting just the right animal organization in Portland, that we could really get behind and get involved with, has been an important goal in establishing Portland as our home. After some research and poking about, The Pongo Fund was dropped into my lap so to speak and another new tradition began.

 

Pongo Fund 1

Drum Roll… not only did we host a super awesome Pride/house warming (although not at my home) party, in lieu of bringing food or drinks we asked guests to donate to the “love jar”. Through the generosity of everyone who contributed, we managed to raise $80.00 for The Pongo fund.  The check was mailed, received, and cashed this week.

 

June also brought the joyful news of marriage equality to the United States. I am not naïve to the fact that there is not still major work to be done. However, in the fight for equality it was and is a monumental moment in history that I am thrilled to have witnessed.

 

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It’s hard to believe that it has been almost five months since I moved. Summer is officially here; my living room furniture is not, so the throne, the saddle and the floor still reign supreme.Liliane Hunt Portland Pride Party 14 I am still nesting, decorating and finding the hum of my new home. I am discovering Portland bit by bit, and even getting stuck in traffic and temporarily unable to return home due to the World Naked Bike Ride.  You are not mistaken, a hot Portland night, filled with naked bike riders or scantily clad bike riders in fancy hats, tutus and colorful socks filled the streets.

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Ah, dare I say it? Portland is beginning to feel a lot like home.

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Belated Beltane blessings to one and all who celebrate such things!

Liliane Hunt and Wizard by FlickerBob8888As I have previously admitted, my move to Portland has been rekindling some of the old fires. Last night, I conversed with The House of Hunt Wizard, who is gracious enough to be our Wizard both on and off the stage.  He is an excellent resource for all things seen, and unseen. I happened to mention my Beltane celebration and my childhood memories of May Day festivities that with hindsight were steeped in pagan traditions. Mr. Wizard chuckled.  Yes, we do refer to him as “Mr. Wizard” or “The Wizard”, and declared that I am nesting.

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So there you have it folks, the Evil Queen, (a self-claimed title I acquired on my 40th birthday) is nesting in the North West.  All that we need now is for the announcement that I have baby bats in the loft and I will be done for.

House of Hunt by Jared MechaberSpeaking of nesting, my everyday drinking glasses are still missing. They are hidden somewhere in the depths of the storage unit, possibly mislabeled or just deeply buried. I am making do with a set of whiskey glasses bearing a hand etched design of a coach and horses on them.  They were a gift, and yes I am still amused by them.

The other item that has been holding me back with regards to fully nesting is the lack of seating. For anyone who visited me in San Francisco, they were of course familiar with my Moroccan style set up; silk cushions, a daybed and waterfall surrounded by a lush indoor garden. The situation lent itself perfectly to House of Hunt soirees and intimate gatherings.  My apartment was on the top floor with windows that covered half of it, very private and with a view.

Beltane Blooms by Liliane Hunt

My Portland home has a very different set up. I am in a loft with 20 foot windows, and rather than living full time behind twenty foot blinds, I have created a screen of plants. My orchids exploded into blooms and people really started to stop and stare into my windows.Freckled Orchid Now to be fair, you can always tell when it is just about the plants. The focus is pretty direct and I genuinely love sharing the garden. However, occasionally people stare beyond my wall of the plants, enticed I suppose by what lays beyond the sea of green. It is always rather fascinating when I meet that gaze, when the voyeur is caught and experiences being observed by another voyeur.Freud

I wonder, “What Freud would make of that?”

Jed riding saddleSuffice it to say, the day bed is now residing in the upper level of the loft and I have been in dire need of a seating arrangement that extends beyond; formal dining, two thrones, a saddle or the floor.  Frankly it is a bit much, even for my theatrical sensibilities. It has taken me two months to find something that I actually liked, and I wasn’t joking about the thrones. As of Saturday my living room arrangement courtesy of Indonesia, will be making its way to the U.S. and to Portland and then finally my home.

April Feast by Liliane Hunt

Occasionally an opportunity presents itself and you simply have to embrace it or them, even it means entertaining with floor cushions tossed around your tea table.

Beltane Berries by Liliane Hunt

The “them” to which I refer are a family that I love just a little more each time we meet, kindred souls, if I had to put a name to it. You know who you are, let us plan some magic, mischief and mayhem in 2015.

Muggs and Mutts1Speaking of magik, mischief and mayhem, I was delighted to don my leather and attend the Muggs and Mutts fundraiser at Embers, Portland. The evening was benefiting the Oregon AIDS Memorial Fund.  This organization is dedicated to the recognition and preservation of the history of the AIDS crisis.

It was wonderful to finally put a name to a face or a dog tag to a pup. The evening was interspersed with drag performances, a pair of witty MC’s and puppies… lots of puppies.  I have always been a fan of a great drag show, I mean let’s face it I am a lady who likes to dress high femme and so appreciate others who do the same, and do it well. It was a nice mix that evening, older and younger performers, each with a certain something that arrested and intrigued, amused and captivated.

It would be entirely remiss of me to not give further mention to the pups. I was sincerely touched by the welcome from PDX-PAH for myself and Tyke to Portland.  Everyone we met that night was just lovely, friendly, warm and engaging. We look forward to meeting you again PDX-PAH.Liliane Hunt and Tyke by Eric Li

 

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Purple Orchid - Liliane Hunt

 

Greetings and blessings from me to you! Whatever you believe (or don’t) there is an indisputable truth, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, that winter has been left behind and spring is finally here. Purple Orchid 2 - Liliane Hunt

 

Aside from the plethora of pastel (of which I have an intense and violent dislike), March hare madness chicks and chocolate… What has any of this got to do with me or you?  Well, we shall see.

 

Liliane Hunt

 

I have recently found myself reentering the world of social media and news after taking a hiatus to move to Portland. One of the things that struck me upon this reentry is how, in spite of our ability to immediately connect with the world and be in constant contact, it is so easy to become an isolated island. Believing implicitly in the lie that somehow everyone has this life thing neatly sorted out and that somehow out of sheer bad luck, you missed the bus.images The point I am trying to make here is that regardless of which side of the playing field you are standing on, at some point it is shady, at some point it is sunny, and at some point you’re likely to get soaked. Well, less likely if you are living in California, but you get my point.

 

Spring Table - Liliane Hunt

 

After my last blog post I received some really insightful comments and paying attention to “nature’s rhythms” has remained in my mind. The comments are still there if you are curious, right at the bottom of “Go Ahead and Pinch Me’.  Anyway, back to the rhythm of life as it were. Spring is a time of rejuvenation. Seeds of hopes and dreams are being planted and the darkness of winter is disappearing. As I prepared to lay the table for my Spring Equinox, I began by polishing the wood of my table and chairs. It was the first time in months that the wood saw a tin of polish and felt a hot, warm breath and I began by polishing and manifesting from the wood up. My table has a story which at some point I will share with you. It has a symbolism that extends far beyond, “it’s pretty”. Which to quote Shania Twain, “Never did impress me much.”

 

Lemons and Limes - Liliane Hunt

 

As I may have mentioned in the previous post, the loft where I now reside with my LBD (little black rescue dogs)  on the South Waterfront district of Portland Oregon, (It makes me smile every time I say that) has 20 foot floor to ceiling windows. During the day I raise the blinds for the plants and the dogs and I to catch the sunlight.

 

Throughout the course of laying the table, I cannot tell you how many people came by the window to stop and stare. Intention - Liliane Hunt

 

Intention is a powerful thing and for whatever reason people were drawn to it. It is a funny thing how many conversations I have had with complete strangers who were drawn to the windows.

 

Jed sniffing the air - Liliane Hunt

 

The Z - Liliane Hunt

You can follow Zorro on Instagram @_the.Z_

I must also mention what wonderful creatures dogs are. They often perceptively sniff the air and decide a person’s energy does not smell to their liking, and let out a distinct sound to say, “You may leave now!”

 

The effect of their barking is almost immediate and it makes me smile and give thanks to my ever vigilant watch dogs.

 

Wine and Citrus - Liliane Hunt

 

The table was laid with the intentions of my hopes, the pieces spoke, and their desire to be a part of the celebration was heard. The seeds were planted and then an almost immediate reminder, the need to reach out and connect.

 

And so, here it is from me to you, a reminder, a gentle nudge, or giant shove if you need it.It is a great time to plant hopes and dreams starting with good and healthy intentions. Reach out to friends, family, and loved ones to check in.

Ostara Intention - Liliane Hunt

To The House of Hunt, I love you one and all!

 

Liliane Hunt and The House of Hunt - Image by John Goyer

 

I have readers from all over the world that follow my blog and so I wanted to avail myself of that opportunity to take a moment for the LGBT folks and their allies in Indiana.  On behalf of myself and The House of Hunt, you are in our thoughts and you have our support.

 

Let us hope the bitter seeds of discrimination may be washed away and replaced by something resembling respect and equality.

Limes - Liliane Hunt

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Audit

Well dear friends, it has been awhile indeed since I last wrote and we last spoke. Just after Folsom 2014, I was summoned with a random tax audit. Thankfully, I have always been fastidious about such matters. So as tedious as it was it was fine, and went without a hitch.

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No matter how wicked you are in life; always remember to do your taxes. If you do plan on being especially wicked, it would be a good idea to make a special note of this; remember the only thing the notorious gangster Al Capone was ever convicted of, was tax evasion.

 

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Moving on from taxes, the next items to hit my personal calendar were packing, packing, and more packing. Strangely and ironically, I gave notice on my San Francisco apartment exactly ten years to the day I moved in.  Talk about the end of an interesting era. If walls could talk I suspect my Glen Park apartment could provide an intriguing conversation at the very least.

 

As some of you know, I spent a good eight months looking at property around the Bay Area. I fell in love a few times; passionately over a beautiful blue house with extraordinary details of craftsmanship, then a house with a wonderful garden on a magical street with a garden, and so on.  Looking back on those unrequited love affairs, I can see with hindsight there was a reason they didn’t lead to anything more serious. Beyond the insanity of the SF market, all cash offers and so forth. I can tell you in each of them, there was a compromise. The beautiful blue house which was not quite in the perfect location and the old crumbling house that was so perfect yet needed so much work.  Pandora and The Box by John William WaterhouseA Pandora’s Box of problems both seen and unseen. Each offered something unique, but not quite the whole package. I have always been an idealist, in some ways it is part of my charm. I am obsessive in my search for perfection and those who know me well will attest to this. The House of Hunt family can tell you I make them crazy during rehearsals and yet at the end of the day there is a reason for my madness. Ironically it is often through our stumbles and mistakes that we arrive at precisely where we need to be. Mistakes and failure lead to success, remind yourself of this often it is valuable advice.

 

Interstate 5

Well to cut a long story somewhat short, I gave up on the house search and then within three months my world shifted on its axel and I found myself on a road trip to Portland Oregon with my three dogs in the back of the car.

 

The drive was;1200px-Wolf_Creek_Tavern totally surreal, there were trees everywhere and signs that seemed as if they were taken directly out of a book of fairy tales, Wolf Creek for example.

 

Zorro on his Portland road trip

The dogs became accustomed to the road side coffee huts providing cookies for dogs.   They would stick their faces out in drooly expectation.Coffee Hut Oregon People were friendly and charming, they passed the time of day, and it was nudge to stop, take a breath and be present.

 

Multnomah Falls

When I stopped and took a breath, I saw the most fabulous things. Streets lined with mature trees and old craftsman style homes bursting with turn of the century character and charm. Moss on a rock The closer I looked I saw gardens everywhere.  Even the pavement had gardens to the side, teaming with rocks and plants and everywhere you would expect concrete there was a garden green and lush and covered with a thousand shades of green moss.

 

 

An angel at Lone Fir Cemetery I am not sure if you believe in Magik. I can tell you it used to be very strong in me, growing up as a child in England surrounded by history and a rambling garden full of hidden walkways and steps to secret places.  I am not exactly sure when its voice grew less clear to me, but it has been far too long.  Portland Road TripDiscovering Portland and driving through Oregon I felt the air move through my body, mind, and spirit. The magik reawaken, rekindle and come alive, there was no question, no hesitation, no compromise, I knew where I needed to be.

 

Mount Tabor

 

On February 1st, I arrived in Portland Oregon. My belongings arrived a week later and feverishly I unpacked and began to catch my breath.

Three nights passed, I created a bountiful offering of thanks, all purple, green and silver. My dining table glittered with the light of silver candlesticks and gem stones, a purple tapestry resplendent with green limes and a vase full of purple and yellow flowers honoring the Spring Equinox. Tonight as I am typing in the office, I pause to watch the wind shake the trees through my twenty foot windows, somebody pinch me so I know it’s real.

 

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