alifetothemax

COLDPLAY: A HEAD FULL OF DREAMS TOUR

Last night I fulfilled a longtime dream of seeing COLDPLAY LIVE.

Words can hardly express what their music means to me and to be in the right place at the right time, to see them in Bangkok on their "A Head Full of Dreams Tour" was UNBELIEVABLE!

When we lost Max two years ago, the only sounds that could soothe me were Coldplay's album, Ghost Stories. Max loved Coldplay and was listening to this album during his final days on earth.

Rest in Joy, Max Mendoza [1989-2014]

Rest in Joy, Max Mendoza [1989-2014]

"Call it magic, call it true, call it magic when I'm with you..."

Magic. Ink. Sky Full of Stars. 

The waterfall of tears I've cried listening to Ghost Stories could fill an ocean. The hope, the beauty, the spectrum of colors that flood my heart when I hear their album Mylo Xyloto or A Head Full of Dreams is enough to light up a double rainbow.

And last night WOW, they delivered a TRUE EXPERIENCE! The lights, the energy, the fireworks, the bouncy balls, and the sky full of confetti stars was PURE MAGIC. Lead singer, Chris Martin was so gracious. He honored every single being in the audience, the entire band, crew, security, he even dedicated "Everglow" to the recently deceased and well-loved King of Thailand. It was beautiful.

What I find so powerful about Coldplay's music is the way they utilize it as a platform for creative expression. Their storytelling takes you on a journey and through that journey you are heard, seen, loved, whole. Watching them perform and share their gifts, I was stunned thinking about what it must be like to create something over 21 years with so much magnitude that it impacts millions of people around the globe. Music is one of those magical mediums that transcends languages and boundaries. Coldplay's music elevates our collective consciousness and unites us in the human experience. Calling it EXTRAORDINARY is an understatement. 

As I danced and belted out each song, I looked up at the moon and felt Max dancing and singing with me. When they played "Everglow", I howled into the night and shed tears of joy thinking of him.  

"Oh they say people come, say people go
this particular diamond was extra special
and though you might be gone, and the world may not know
still I see you, celestial
like brothers in blood, sisters who ride
and we swore on that night we’d be friends til we die
but the changing of winds, and the way waters flow
life as short as the falling of snow
and now I’m gonna miss you I know
but when I’m cold, cold
in water rolled, salt
I know that you’re with me and the way you will show
and you’re with me wherever I go
and you give me this feeling this everglow
oh, what I wouldn’t give for just a moment to hold
yeah I live for this feeling this everglow
so if you love someone, you should let them know
oh the light that you left me will everglow"
— "Everglow", Coldplay

Someone recently asked me how I honor and celebrate Max's life. Sharing his story and living my life to the max is the best way I know how. To me, living a life to the max means sharing the inner workings of my shy soul, opening my sensitive but courageous heart, and pursuing a life of adventure.

Max inspires me everyday to be a woman who follows her dreams and who's dreams follow her too.

Thank you for always believing in me, MAXIMO.

And an extra special note of gratitude to Nori, Scott, and their motley crew of ex-pats who manifested an extra Coldplay ticket and invited me to join their party bus! THANK YOU for that most generous gift. I'll treasure it for a lifetime.

xoxo,

Kelsey Lotus Wong

#AHFODTour #coldplaybangkok #alifetothemax

Human Existence is just a breath.

Today I attended the Celebration of Life of a father, son, brother, cousin, friend taken too soon in a tragic car accident. Terry Tom was an extended relative and I didn’t know him well but I was deeply touched by the way his family put his service together.

Celebration of Life is really the most accurate way to express it. We celebrated and honored Terry through songs, poems, and stories. His passion for music, love for food, and devotion to family filled the room. His lively laughter and beaming smile poured into the hearts of each life he touched. You could really feel the warmth of his presence.

Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget the way you made them feel.” That rang true today. All who knew Terry described him as a good man with a humble, loving, and compassionate soul. Someone who would be truly missed.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking moment was seeing Terry's kids Bryan, Jason, and Morgan sing "One Call Away" and hearing his wife, Linda share "An Ode to Terry".

An Ode to Terry written by wife, Linda Tom.

An Ode to Terry written by wife, Linda Tom.

When the pastor spoke, he reminded us that Human Existence is just a breath.

We are given the gift of life and it is our choice how we live it.

He encouraged us to be inspired by Terry's life and to turn our “when’s” into “now’s”. Instead of thinking, “when” I get this I’ll do that or “when” this happens I’ll pursue that, he said, "the time for living is now."

Our days are numbered. 

Tomorrow is not promised and life is more than a mundane flipping of the calendar. 

Our existence is both minuscule and significant, a blip on eternity’s timeline.

"Are you really too busy?" He asked.

Another way to look at it he said, "if you had one month left to live, what would you do with your time? What relationship would you make amends with? What special someone would you tell you love them? Who would you thank?"

Life is a precious gift. Human existence is just a breath. 

Will you live yours to the fullest?

Light x love x peace to the family and friends of Terry Tom.

With gratitude,

Kelsey

Below are a few songs played in Terry's honor.

A Burning Reflection

We make the hive, they bring the honey. We create just enough order so that this spontaneous, naturally occurring process called culture, which is born of the interactions of people, that no one can plan, and that no one can control, will begin to happen. - Larry Harvey

We make the hive, they bring the honey. We create just enough order so that this spontaneous, naturally occurring process called culture, which is born of the interactions of people, that no one can plan, and that no one can control, will begin to happen. - Larry Harvey


All presence depends on consciousness.

Where there is a depth of awareness, there is a reverence for presence. 

— John O’Donohue, Anam Cara

I’m sitting here feeling incomplete and not fully present.

My physical body is here in my new home. One foot is on the hardwood floors. The other foot is under my leg on my grey canvas couch. My brain is telling me I’m in Oakland, California, breathing in fresh Oakland air on 37th street.

But my heart, my spirit, my soul, my entire being doesn’t accept it. I am still on the playa…

Can an experience rock your whole world, then send you right back from where you came, only to leave you wondering, did that really happen?

Can your entire life change in a week and leave you with an out of body, completely stunned feeling?

It appears so.

How can I begin to describe my experience at this year’s Burning Man?

A few people have asked and all I can manage to do is take a deep breath in, feel my heart beating rapidly, eyes widening, and my face breaking into an enormous smile as I say the word “UNBELIEVEABLE.”

Of course that word doesn’t even begin to encapsulate it.

Even if I described every single story in detail, every moment I could possibly remember, it simply wouldn’t be enough. It wouldn’t give you the feeling that I have deep inside my heart. You couldn’t inhale the density of the dust, or taste the mintiest most refreshing DeMentha mojito, or feel that senseless freedom of howling and exploring the circus of the night. And you likely wouldn’t believe many of my stories either…even I can’t help but question if it was all a dream…

Imagine, a desert goddess with the most penetrating ocean blue eyes you’ve ever seen approaching you at sunrise and whispering in your ear a secret, that the word STILL is somehow, magically written in the grooves in the eastern mountain range. The “I” you see there, it’s a waterfall. You can’t believe it. Was it made that way? Was it natural? Was it supernatural? But you don’t ask these questions out loud, you don’t take pictures to “prove” it exists, you just feel it, the gratitude, the magnitude, and the gift.

A triple lotus inception in the majestic Lotus Temple….

Imagine a being, multi-colored, fuzzy on the outside, black leather cat suit on the inside, transfixed by a breath-taking Lotus Temple surrounded by floating lanterns. You watch as this playful being, balances on a steep incline in lotus position. She is known by the tribe as Lotus and she is in the midst of one of the best nights of her life. You soak in her impenetrable state of AWE.

A gypsy queen and her band of pirates wakes you up at dawn for a once-in-a-lifetime Disco Knights dance party…

Imagine, hundreds have gathered to feast on the sun. Underneath disco balls and orbs of light, you are FREE. You dance like you’ve never danced before. You climb a shipping container to get a better view only to meet the Ring Leader of the Glitteratti…you laugh a full body, mind, spirit laugh and then you turn around to see two wild baby twin lions and just when you think you can’t stand to be more amazed, your whole crew joins you to swim in this moment of complete connected and other worldly-ness.

I could go on…

But to sum it up, it was magnificently significant in the most subtle of ways.

A quote I have been meditating on comes to mind…

"When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it."
~ Boris Pastnernack, Poet

I almost missed this moment. I was nearly indifferent to returning to the playa this year. My first year was beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but I was more of an observer. A tourist, just stopping by.

Last year, Christine Lai and I had decided to go only a couple weeks before and really had no idea what we were stepping into. We saw the sights, we were physically present, but we missed the potent, ever accessible magic that transpires when your soul is fully present.

Now keeping in mind, my reflection is only one and everyone will have an experience that is totally unique.

This year, my intention was to DEEPEN.

In my journal on my flight to Vegas I wrote in more detail.

My intention for this Burn:

To deepen my understanding of what it means to be alive

To release the need to be liked and just BE my awesome self

To do things I never imagined doing

To laugh until I cry

To feel so interconnected my heart nearly explodes

To receive the full gift of being alive

To unlock more love and soul

To return clearer, bolder, stronger, fiercer and more beautiful than ever

Check, check, check.

This year I was more than an observer, I was an active participant.

I listened, I learned, I let go, I let live.

And I can’t believe I almost missed it.

I didn’t try to go, I simply expressed to the universe, if I am gifted a ticket and a camp and everything magically comes together, I’ll go.

Out of absolute, divine generosity from two AMAZING Soul Brothers, Joey Vanas and Jeremy Orion Watson, that exact magic was wielded.

Soul Fam Soul )'( 2015

Soul Fam Soul )'( 2015

And it was those two Master Chef’s and the other crucial ingredients they added [the other incredible humans they curated for the journey: Avatar, Sita, Little Deer, Miss Unicorn, Rookie of the Year, Izzy Indigo, Gregarious, Anita] that created the most incomprehensibly brilliant, awesomely delicious “Soul Fam Soup” that flowed into an even greater Carnival of Mirrors Cauldron. Every ingredient contributed to the overall flavor, something delightful for everyone.

Being back, I see that running water, home cooked meals, and instant communication are definitely part of the good life. But to me, nothing beats radical macgyvering, unbelievable serendipity, and rolling around in the dust, surrounded and fueled by the purest, highest concentration of love. I am wracking my brain ideating on how to bottle it up into a daydream, a vision or physical art piece so that I can feel and taste it whenever I want.

There’s just nothing like it.

The words of Passenger by Royals comes to mind…

Your body is the ship,

Your soul is the PASSENGER

So let me take a trip down,

Let me take a trip down to you

They say it's such a small world,

But often I feel lost & empty

They say it's such a cruel world

But one GOOD HEART is plenty!

60,000+ good hearts, open, beaming and liberated from the confinements of society, the most creative tribes and artists from around the world coming together to build their dream civilization for a week.

Imagine a new you, totally transformed, naked in your truth, crystal clear in your understanding of what it means to be alive.

Whatever extraordinary experience calls your name, knocks on the door of your life, speaks softly or loudly to your sweet soul, whether it be Burning Man or otherwise, I encourage you to listen. I encourage you to take the risk. I encourage you to go, do, be.

See the invisible, the beautiful, the inconceivable. Make an agreement with yourself and align it with the stars.

This is your one unbelievable life, live it so.

To my playa people, here is a credo shared with Vickie Lau and I during our indoctrination into Angie and the Argonauts.

An Argonaut is a person in quest of something dangerous but rewarding; an adventurer.

We the Argonauts, united in a common spirit vow to cherish the unknown, the uncertain, and the untried. Challenge darkness, dogma, and fear. Welcome the strange, the dirty, the odd.

Seek treasure, passion, and thyself.

And now you my friends, you are all Argonauts.

Until the next!

Infinite love x light,

Lotus

More pictures.