you and me

Desire, Innocence, Love and Elijah Wood.

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you’re fast asleep
In dreams you will lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true


~Walt Disney’s Cinderella



January 7th, 1994.

Dear Diary,


I have a very special dream. A dream that will never leave me. My dream is about a very special horse named Jessi. She a perfect horse that is for sale. She is a horse I’ve always wanted but don’t think will ever get. Maybe though, just maybe…it will come true”.





Scrawled the hopeful, inner-voice of my 13-year old self.

I was 6-months away from being 14-years old. This—word for word—is my very first journal entry on record. Simply stated from the untainted heart of a shy introverted adolescent. Here, written in carefully scribed, pink cursive was this desire for a dream to come true.

At this point, my parents were not yet divorced. I had never been kissed. And all my dreams were still intact. My heart was very much alive. My world was so unbroken and full of hope. For whatever reason, however, I was born with extreme social anxiety, so I holed up and fantasized about horses, Disney movies and…Elijah Wood (the kid actor from Huck Finn and Forever Young—also known as Frodo Baggins). Crushing on unattainable boys was far easier than dealing the real ones. Reality was just too scary.

I loved Elijah’s baby blue eyes. They were so captivating, it seemed they could look straight into your soul and lodge somewhere deep. And, oh that innocent, beautiful, angelic face.

I wanted to meet Elijah so desperately it hurt. I sent fan mail, drew him pictures and had posters of him plastered all over my room. It was my dream to hang out with him someway, somehow. But some dreams are untouchable. And I was just me: A nobody loner. He was famous and would only get more so.


At 13-years old, I lived within the idea that dreams always came true as long as you wished for them and believed enough. Like Cinderella always sang: “A dream is a wish your heart makes.”

But destiny had it in for me.

As far as LOVE was concerned…

…none of my dreams would come true.

To sidestep for a moment here: When I say none of my dreams would come true, I don’t mean to say nothing good has ever happened, because beautiful, remarkable, magical things have happened. But the big, big dreams have died horrible, violent deaths.

Everything happened so differently, on every level for me. Tragically. In hardship. In trial. In failure. In errors. In mistakes and heartaches. Now, at 34-years old, though still young(ish), I have hit that point where I have seen enough of life to realize that: Living…truly living is not for the faint of heart.

Most of my dreams have been lost along the way. Or happened for a fleeting instant, then crashed and burned. Nothing has lasted. So much has failed. When everything is made to be broken – how can we believe in anything? (A GooGoo Dolls song comes to mind).

Let’s face it; I’d been humbled to a very bleak and jaded outlook.

So, I decided to change up the words of Cinderella’s song:

“Now your heart is bleeding, you will stop believing…

 the dreams that you wish for, will die.”

I didn’t know if I had any more energy left to dream with. Was my imagination even still alive? It seemed to flicker in and out like a bad florescent light in a dark, cavernous garage. The only rainbow was one that appeared in the oil stain on the floor when the light feebly winked on.

My heart has been so obliterated, healed, then broken and cracked and healed — and cracked again that I feel blood just weeps out from time to time like sap does from a tree.

Three long-term relationships including one marriage, an affair and a couple random lovers, supposed soul mates and intrigues in the midst of all of that only to come out alone at 34-years old and it’s enough to numb a person to any hope of romantic love. All I remember is tons and tons of gorgeous sweet-nothing, wax poetic, words – and absolutely no action to back those words up.

If you love me –SHOW ME. And that takes time.

And let me tell you: Sex. Complicates. Everything. Period!

In this day and age we jump right into sex practically on the first date.


We aren’t designed to connect that deeply so fast. (I don’t care what anybody says — opening yourself to somebody on that level is psychologically and spiritually DEEP — we’ve just shut down to that in today’s society, which is why it gets complicated).

Desire, more often then not, gets misconstrued as love. And so far in my life I have never had an equal partnership in love. Perhaps because I entered into all my relationships not fully understanding love, myself? I had a lot to learn! And the hard way, at that. The potentials have come in, but the timing was never right or the ones that felt right ended up careening off course somewhere along the way.

All felt so lost…but destiny had it in for me.

Since my pre-teen, “Obsessed-over-Elijah-Wood” days, I had had this voracious dream to find the other half of my heart.

Last year I published a book called: The Quest of Heart. As an outward tool to help myself understand love, I worked on this book and came to the conclusion that in order to love at all, we must realize we are already whole. That way we don’t need anything from a relationship other than to just simply commune with another soul that is whole — and together, create wonder. Companionship.

The “desire” and all that comes with it, is icing on the cake, however, we more often than not get stuck at desire and never move though it. Desire, as beautiful as it is, is not grounded. (And I could write pages on this topic alone but I don’t want to digress).

When I published this book it was my dream to get it into the hands of some celebrities. I have this whole ‘thing’ of wanting to receive wisdom for the sake of giving it. So I mostly just wanted — to pay forward to the people I looked up to through my life. Ellen, Oprah, and Deepak Chopra, were among those on this small celebrity list — as well as some prime people, who actually walked down my path with me for a time. Elijah Wood was on this celebrity list, but I never found a proper address to send him a copy – they were all fan clubs and that’s no good, therefore he would never receive it.

Life meanders on. The path pushes me onward. More dreams die. Hardship continued to ensue.

At 31-years old, just prior to finishing my book, I unexpectedly got pregnant. I’d been in the relationship for several years at that point, but it had just entered treacherous grounds literally a month before I found out I’d be having a baby 8-months later — so basically at the precise moment I unknowingly got pregnant (talk about timing!) our relationship became severely unstable (as a wild and obscure coincidence). My dream of the perfect pregnancy — the perfect love and happiness between “him” and me as we expected our ‘first’ baby together, crashed and crumbled all around me.

We broke up just shy of our daughter’s second birthday.

What I was now left with was myself – and this beautiful, little girl.

And what I saw for the first time ever, was…


And somewhere in the midst of embarking on motherhood, I realized something as difficult as it was mind-blowing as it was magical:

I no longer mattered. “I” as in: My wants. My desires. My dreams.

I was now required to be fully dedicated to the life of another. No longer am I ‘first.’ And this became even more visceral and real for me when I stepped out alone as a single mom. Yes, I have the support of my amazing family and friends who have been rocks for me. But at the end of the day, I am raising my own daughter — alone — without a partner.

Self-sacrifice was something I never fully understood until I embarked on motherhood — then add single-motherhood to that and it was quite hard for me to learn this and step into this new role I was now being required to play — without kicking and screaming a bit.

I am a self-focused, highly driven artist with big dreams and a big desire to find my soul mate and enlightenment. I wasn’t even sure I’d ever be a mother merely because I was first and it was my life.

And yet, here I was stilled by this amazing little life form that I was completely one hundred percent responsible for. As amazing and beautiful and magical as it all was, it was hard for me. Very, very hard and terrifying as all hell. And as I watched happy families out and about everywhere, I mourned the loss of another dream. My daughter isn’t even three and is already from a broken home.

In the midst of a pathetic pile of tears, hopelessness, fear for my daughter’s future and fear for my own future, I found myself daydreaming about a simpler time. Back to that 13-year old girl in me who had nothing to fret in life but getting home from school to fantasize about Elijah Wood and riding horses. How pure and innocent her dreams were. I cringed at all she would have to go through over the next two decades only to arrive as alone as she ever was.

But, then that past memory of me morphed into a future dream of my daughter. How do I want my daughter to go into this world — as she has now began to develop her sense of individuality? This innocent, gorgeous little spirited spirit.

Definitely not with her mother in a pile of hopelessness! And it was in this moment my entire being…died.

And in the nature of death for the sake of rebirth, it all went dark.

Then somewhere from rooted grounding, I said: “Let there be light!!!”

And there was.

Light throughout my entire being, as my own desires and broken dreams (in a blink) blew away on the summer breeze. And my focus became clear. My daughter is next up for going down this difficult life path in her own “quest of heart.” It was devastating to watch all my dreams die, but one thing I knew for certain:

To watch hers die will be insurmountable.

And I have to be grounded in myself — for her. My desire is to walk with her as fiercely as possible so that she may find and pursue her dreams — and if they die, I will be strong to hold her like my mother has always done for me. My reason? Love.

I’d always had knowledge of love at this level…but in this moment the seed sprouted and began to blossom as wisdom. Wisdom comes from walking our paths. And to love is to give beyond ourselves, and that entails a healthy amount of self-sacrifice. To give in a way your love is so big, you no longer matter and it pours out on everything around you only to fill you back up again in the overflow. But in order to do this I must be rooted like a tree and pull up that life-giving energy… for her.

As the wisdom poured forth and the realizations dawned, it all collapsed into a single point – and exploded back out in a big bang!

And the big bang went like this:

This very same weekend, of all things, I was serendipitously invited to work a conference for Deepak Chopra. The Sages + Scientist Symposium is where some of the worlds most renowned Metaphycisists and Scientists gather together to share their dreams for the future. There’s that word again: Dreams.

I was merely “the help” but it was still phenomenal to be at this event, listening and watching as I sat with my new clarity. Clear. Alone. And for my personal self — dreamless. Yet, I was inspired by this fresh, blank slate. Fuck all my old, dead dreams — I was tired of that story. The past is gone. So am I.

(And this is not stated from a jaded place at all but a state of blissful surrender).

Aaaaand…Destiny had another plan – as she always does.

Of all the people in the world, guess who I encounter at this conference?

Elijah Wood.

Standing right in front of me was none other than that boy actor I crushed so hard on. Now a man in the flesh, staring right into me with his real life, naked baby-blue’s. My jaw was on the floor as I silently mouthed the words, “holy fuck!” though not to his face.

“Hi.” He said, simply.

“Hi.” I responded simply. And I couldn’t peel my eyes away as they locked to his eyes and— WOW!!! His eyes are even more mesmerizing in person! That crystal-clear blue did indeed lodge somewhere deep.

And I suddenly realized I had returned to innocence.

It was in the locking of our eyes — this 20-year old forgotten dream of mine had suddenly burst forth into reality and shot down into my being igniting my heart-fire again.

And what I found, was that a long forgotten dream was still very much intact. Rushing back to my senses from the dusty, cobwebbed, corners of the dead parts of my heart was that silly little dream: ‘I wanted to meet Elijah Wood so badly it hurt.’ And here he was with his arm on my shoulder – staring into me. And my heart skipped a beat as those deadened places lurched back into life like rusted clockwork that has now been put to use again — and it hurt.

From ages of sitting in darkness… it hurt. Imagine something that has rusted shut. It must be broken open.

But in that beautiful way.

And I felt somewhat tongue-tied like that 13-year old girl always was. But then I found my voice:

“I have a book for you.” I told him. “It’s called: The Quest of Heart. I want to give it to you in gratitude for what you have given me.”

For me, as a 34-year old woman, it was the resuscitation of a dead, forgotten dream. For the lost me, that innocent one, it had been something big to believe in. “Shoot for the stars…” right?

 “A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep.”

So, I gave him my book and he was sweetly enthusiastic and grateful as he perused its colorful pages. And I spent the entire evening hanging out in Elijah Wood’s space, like he was an old friend at a casual house party. The people at the house party were sages and scientists and we were all – listening to music (his music—as he was the DJ that night) and doing things the innocent do. Like hula hooping, dancing, watching magic tricks, being silly, chatting about nothing in particular, but everything all at once.

And all of life’s hardships — all of the pain, heartache and loss of innocence…was nowhere to be found. Like meeting him was the final polish to my blank slate as my life had made a complete circle. I was now full of innocence once again. I was full of desire. I was full of love. And most importantly – I was whole.

In taking on seemingly insurmountable challenges only to meet said challenges and overcome whatever obstacle they inferred, wholeness, I found, is found when we apply ourselves to something beyond ourselves.

“In dreams you will lose your heartaches, whatever you wish for – you keep.”

Whole, is: Gorgeous simple beauty and an infinite lightness of being.

“Have faith in your dreams and someday — your rainbow will come smiling through.”

I hugged him at the end of the night. And marveled at how sad and hopeless I had been just a mere two days prior — because my dreams were all dead. But they weren’t really. And how one look from Elijah Wood, reminded me of this — like a defibrillator to my stalled heart. Had you told the 13-year old me I would’ve had to wait 21-years to finally meet him, I would’ve died an angst-ridden figurative death at the prospect of having to wait so long.

But patience is a virtue. The way it all unfolds is PERFECT.

Everything is different now.

“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing the dream that you wish will come true.”

Maybe dreams never really die? Maybe the universe just knows better than we do and knows that sometimes it takes time for the really good things to unfold: like Love. Which came to complete fruition through my daughter (and not through a lover as I originally expected).

Desire is fleeting. So is innocence. But LOVE. That’s something deep and wild, yet tame and patient all at once. You would give your life, if it meant the one you loved would live. (In all senses of that word).

Now imagine applying this to romantic love — not to be confused with desire.

The next day — after I’d let it soak in a bit that I’d spent a surreal and so-real evening with my childhood star crush — I grabbed my daughter’s hand and we took a walk in the wild Eucalyptus grove in search of the path that called us, fully, wholly… ALIVE.

My dreams are behind. Hers are forward. In the center where she and I meet there is a white, clear slate.

 Anything is possible as we dream onward.




Kristi Stout

Kristi Stout

Kristi L. Stout is an artist, mother, and lover. She considers herself a Renaissance woman, in service of Love in its many forms. It is her belief that inside each of us is our own sacred, Wild nature -- a hidden instinct that is not forgotten as much as it is dormant, like leafless trees in winter. It is the part of us that is connected to all things. A knowing without knowing. The part deep inside that understands darkness is necessary for the moon to simmer silver, and recognizes that even if you’re lost in the middle of nowhere you can always find a sacred somewhere -- like an internal compass pointing true north to your heart center. Her passion project, work in progress, is She Is Wild. You can find more of Kristi’s work here or connect with her on Facebook.