Thursday, July 03, 2014

Mermaid Moment and Meta

Seeing as how it's July Third, I've been thinking about Independence, and Freedom.  
I would like to dedicate this post to Freedom.  True, Deep-Down Freedom.  
For Everyone.  

Whoa! The keyboard is so dusty I can barely see the letters!  Ha!  Enough of that.  It's been over a year.  Here I am.

Wanted to share an experience.  We spent a week on Ocracoke Island, getting cleansed by the sun and scoured by the salty waves.  After about a week, my cares had finally drifted away.   Our little familia packed a picnic and found a secluded beach spot for sunset.  By secluded, I mean:  we didn't see a n y o n e for as far as we could see on either side, and rarely a car drove by beyond the dune path we hiked to get to our picnic spot.  (This, by the way, did not seem hard to do on Ocracoke ~ even on close to the busiest week of the year! Highly recommend.)  After the dinner of roasted root veggies, sautéed snap peas and meatballs, sweet Sealion and the girl ran off to play and I was left to my own thoughts and lingering meal (to this day I'm the slowest eater I know).   When I got out of my own cares enough to look at them again, they were buck naked and dancing around in the surf!  If you know my family well at all, you know this is not surprising.  Really the only surprise is how much privacy we felt in our little slice of beach heaven.  I was contented for a long while to spectate on their naked shenanigans ~ hunkering down on their bellies and letting the waves scoot them forward with a wooosh!  (She adorably had her floatie life vest-wing combo on.  Period.)  They continued playing for quite a while.  As I finished my last morsels, I thought, "I guess I could pack us up; the sun is setting."  And then I realized:  when's the next time you'll have the opportunity for naked ocean frolicking??  I didn't know the answer to that.  And if you know me well, you also will know that any activity is better done naked.  It's not just for kicks that I crave nudity, and I surely don't have to be drunk to bare it all; my urge is primal, and it goes way deeper than exhibitionism or drunken thrill-seeking.  I quickly stripped my sundress (because along with that primal urge for nakedness, I wear undergarments as infrequently as I can get away with.  In Oregon this was so easy; the social climate of the Southeast makes it much more of a challenge for me).   I dashed to join my family in the waning sun.  They were thrilled that I joined.  We danced in the surf holding hands and sang Ring Around the Rosie, timing our "all fall DOWN!" for when a foamy wave came and bathed our lowered tushies in the warm water.  Soon we ran back to our picnic spot to towel off.  The tide was rising and would soon be teasing our stuff out to sea, and the sun's last rosy light was fading from the western horizon.  It was time to pack up.  The breezy air was also unusually chilly.  We thought for sure we would be covered in goose-bumps once we emerged from the water.  But we weren't.  Within a moment, I tossed my towel and was back in the surf.  Wanted to seize the opportunity for all it was worth.  I called to Sealion to take my photo.  Not so I could post it on Facebook or Instagram, but so I would have the photo to remember my experience.
look at that bright white full moon!  hahaha!  

Here's what I wrote in my journal the morning after:
I was self-aware enough to realize I wanted him to take a photo, while at the same time telling myself:  live the experience; don't simply pose for the picture.  Be Here Now in this water.  Do what you always dream of doing.  But really live.  Don't do what you've seen other people do, or what you think people ought to do.  Feel into it.  Be Here Now.  
For a moment my attention and identity got lost in the waves that were darkening with the disappearing sunset.  the ocean was beckoning me, mesmerizing me like a dark siren.  I imagined all the animals emerging with the darkness, and simultaneously desired to give myself to them.   To give myself to Her.  All that in an instant.  I felt the warm Mama water on my yoni hair and yoni.  Inner thighs and lower tummy.  All the "naughty" parts were getting loved on and bathed and splashed just like they always want to be.  Just like they truly should be.  Seaweed swirling rushing by and gently wrapping around and caressing my legs and arms as I crouched.  
Soak it in.  Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.  I didn't want to let it go, yet felt ok getting out, letting the moment be a moment and have a closure, drying off, clothing, joining my family, departing.  
I am not merely posing my life for the camera.  I'm not living to tell about it.  I'm living for Life. 

The social media phenomenon has been an interesting one for me ~ starting with this blog, TEN YEARS ago.  Cameras and phones have come so far.  It's so easy to snap a shot.  To share with friends, and even with not-friends.  My intimate moment shared with no one but me (and my sweet family on-looking) can instantaneously be a public moment.  Really, though, I experienced this existential conundrum even before I had a cellphone, at least fifteen years before I joined Facebook.  When I was an English major, with a Creative Writing focus.  I noticed I had a little narrator in my head who was describing what I was doing as I did it ~ so I could write about it later.  !!!  When I noticed this, I vowed to live my life for the living of it, and not simply so I would produce writing worth reading.  This is a touchy and nuanced idea.  But I think what I was trying to get at is just that:  Be Here Now.  BE here now.  Live here now.  Feel here now.  Not viewing it through a narrator's description, or peeking through the viewfinder of a phone, dammit.  If I were never to have the capability to take another photo (Goddess forbid!), or write another narrative word (even more!), may I live each moment with my whole being.  As if it were my last.  Not living to tell about it.  Living for Life.

I'm not judging people for being on Facebook.  I have found a whole lot of value there.  And still do.  I cherish the sharing and connection I find there.  I like looking at photos of friends' kids.  And surely I'm not saying we shouldn't write about our lives.  Good writing brings me willingly to my knees time and again.  Good writing (and art in general) can also live into experiences when we can't ~ when, for sanity's sake or simple survival, we must check out in the present moment (as my highly revered poet teacher James Baker Hall emphasized time and again).  But I don't want these ways of sharing to take the place of my experiencing the actual moments of life.  "Pics or it didn't happen" just isn't the case.  Sometimes the pics happen, but our minds and hearts are far from IN the moment.]

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Gratitude Every Day: day ten

Any moment in which you have the space to stop and realize, "I am Here Now," is one worth celebrating.

I'm grateful for full moon celebrations.  More than that, I'm grateful for full moonrise celebrations that include grand mountainscape views, lively companions, and delicious and mindfully-prepared food and drink.   Even more than that, I'm grateful for friends who find it valuable and worthwhile to make the effort to celebrate such events.    

Gratitude Every Day: day... 25

Hello!  I'm here and I'm grateful!

Yesterday I woke up to this news.  It got under my skin and wouldn't leave me alone.  Then I let myself just weep about it.  You better believe I didn't drive a car yesterday (I have been driving about once a week since we moved to Lexington; I'll find the bike route for that one).
Sorry to mess up your day if you hadn't heard.

So today, on Mother's Day, as people get gushy about their mamas, I'm getting gushy about my mama: my Mama Earth.  I do so love the experience of being an earthling.  Even at this time and place in history.  I get down about it.  But I do believe I'm here at this time for a reason.  So after I cry a little (or a lot), I get back up and get back to gardening and spreading the love and light.      

communing with fellow earth-inhabitants:  namely, newly-blossomed violets. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gratitude Every Day: day nine

As I've said, being gone from this area of the world for eight years, the weather here feels like a new adventure for me.  The rainstorms here are delightful!  So much different than the West Coast rainy season ~  these rainstorms are round and fecund, dramatic and energizing!  The electricity in the air, thrilling.  Every thing in Nature seems to come even more alive ~ vibrant and technicolor, perky.  These rainstorms are a welcome break from my fervent outdoor activity ~ a beckoning inside for slower and mellower tea-sipping hours.  Could a rainstorm be sexy?  I think so.

Today, I'm grateful for Springtime Kentucky rainstorms.    

Gratitude Every Day: day eight

Farm livin' is the life for me.  Today I'm grateful for...


Gratitude Every Day: day seven

Oh!  It is so hard to be grateful when dappled sunshine  is falling on your back, a light Spring breeze caresses your cheek, birdsong is about the only thing in your ear, and your temporary office is a yard that backs up to the Pisgah National Forest in Asheville, North Carolina!  ;-)

Today, I am grateful for hiking with friends.

*Bonus!* cute baby photo!!

Quickly accepted into the species, Cutus Adorabilis, Baby Jude is an instant heart-stealer.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Gratitude Every Day: days three through six!

Well, I've gotten behind on my gratitude listing because:  I've been having so much fun!  It's easy to find things to be grateful when you're having fun, eh?  In those instances, the challenge is in finding *which* grateful thing to focus on, as opposed to finding the gratitude.  Ahhh. feels gooood!

So I'll just choose a few obvious ones.  (can you feel my gushing?!)

I'm grateful for:
Girlfriends who, by the sheer infection of their enthusiasm, can pull you up outta bed from moping.
-who support you and encourage you to be your highest, best self.
-who invite you to take a break from taking yourself and life so damn seriously! 
-who are not afraid to have a whole WHOLE lot of fun. 
-who are open to giggling for hours.
- who howl at the moon, regularly.
- who aren't afraid to be very very irreverent.
-who appreciate the sacred in every thing and every moment.
Did I mention girlfriends who like to dance?  What about chocolate? ...Surely that must be in there. 

I'm grateful for:
a community of fabulous individuals who totally BRING the party!  Every one of my friends is a multi-talented, beautiful person who adds layers of love, effort, and magic to any occasion worth attending here in Lexington.  Not only are they fun and talented, they are loyal and caring and giving, providing exactly the village experience the Family Pope was wishing for when we took the flying LEAP to move back to Lexington.  I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!

I'm grateful for:
parties worth dressing up for!
days worth drinking espresso for!
hips that remember what boogying down feels like and then don't stop for days.

I'm grateful for:
My Family.  I marvel at the girl my daughter is blossoming into.  Her wisdom, her insight, her savvy, her fashion/costuming sense, her dancing, her mastery of working a crowd.  Her poop jokes. ;-)   My soulmate ~ who immediately impresses upon anyone who meets him his energy and motivation and zeal.  His generosity and passion.  His deep sense of trust in our relationship and in me. {heart heart heart heart!!!}

Ok!  I do believe that's enough exclamation marks for one blog entry.
At least you can say for me, that when I am manic, I ride it like the sparkling art car that it is.    

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gratitude Every Day ~ day two

Today I choose to be grateful for Springtime in Kentucky.  I have been surprised that after spending those eight years on the West Coast, the climate and weather here in my home-state feel new and adventurous to me.  After the dead time of Winter when all green things go underground to sleep, Springtime here really feels like a celebration!  All the blooming bulbs and flowering trees are so festive ~ like they put on their best dresses for the glorious occasion!  I celebrate with them.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gratitude Every Day

I have managed to get totally out of the habit of blogging.  When I lived in Mexico, I am proud to say that I repurposed that time into living in the moment, slowly.  However, since I have returned to the US, I find plenty of small moments throughout the day to check Facebook.  Some of that I think is worthwhile.  And sharing on there feels worthwhile to me.  But that interaction is so ADD- and addictive-feeling to me.  Sharing on a blog ~ as much as blog times have changed ~ feels like more of an investment in myself, and less like a jonezing twitch.  This blog is quite valuable to me after all these years of sharing in this space.  I look back and really appreciate the investment.

So anyway, inspired by one of my favorite bloggers and people, Andrea Scher, I'm going to do some gratitude journaling and accountability here.  I walked through a very low-frequency moment for more than a week recently.  Whatever was the cause, I felt as if I had to pick myself up by my bootstraps and apply some discipline to look at things in a sunny manner.  Attitude is a habit.  Even with all the shitty things that happen here on Earth (by those outta control big-headed hairless monkeys), it will always be a miraculous place to exist.  And I endeavor to see my life for the miracle that it is, every. frickin. day.

not hard to see the miracle here.  baby steps, right? ;-)  photo by Remy.. or was it Darek?? 

I wrote in my journal that disciplined morning a few days ago about how I would fill the page with gratitudes, even when I was seeing the world through half-empty glasses. ;-)  I did an oracle reading for the first time for myself on New Year's (as a part of my Create your Goddess Year workbook), and on the new moon of each month, I read the card that I drew for myself for that month.  This month, on the day that I chose to look on the bright side even though my lip was still dragging in the mud, I read my card from the Sacred Path Cards:  Number One:  Peace Pipe.  What the card said to me was that I am responsible for the vibration I put out ~ even through my thoughts.  That everything in my life ripples out to touch every being with whom I'm connected ~ the whole web.  So I need to come to terms with the fact that I came into this world at this time, and accept my purpose.  I need to come to balance and peace inside myself so that I can fully own the vibe I transmit at all times.  To me this doesn't mean denying my feelings, but simply realizing that I'm in charge of the way I choose to Be in this life, and owning it.
So this is a step in that owning and responsibility.
I guess the soundtrack to this (as is my soundtrack for everything these days ~ Medicine for the People)'s "Manifesto" refrain:  "Don't waste your hate.  Rather, gather and create.  Be of service.  Be a sensible person.  Use your words and don't be nervous.  You can do this; you've got purpose.  Find your medicine and use it."

Today I'm grateful for this medicine that I know is mine ~ the written (typed) word.  May it be useful to Mama Earth and her inhabitants. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

Where IS Here Now? Contemplation on a Year

[here is yet another Kinda-Finished piece that i feel like i must send out into the stratosphere before i put 2012 to rest.  i wrote this over a month ago.]

Ha ~ that is a LARGE title.  I'll see what writing I can accomplish in this window of time, with this melancholy music of someone else's choice in my ear, and an interview for a newspaper going on at the table to my left.  I sit, just having finished espresso, at North Lime Coffee and Donuts in Lexington, Kentucky.

"Everything's already alright, always alright, always alright.."  A favorite line from a newly-favorite artist [Nahko and Medicine for the People!] rolls through my head as I attempt this essay.  I can use the reminder today, as I'm feeling heavy with the reality of so much change, so much expectation, so much unexpected.  So much change.

This morning I looked out a second story window in Lexington, Kentucky, and viewed a neighboring rooftop crusted with sun-gleaming crystal frost.  A year ago at this time culminated almost two years of planning, scheming, moving ~ jobs, houses and situations, preparing for a Big Move to Baja California Sur, Mexico.  Last year at this time we were in North Carolina celebrating Thanksgiving with family, heavily anticipating that move, which began in the following weeks of December.

So what are we doing having just moved to Lexington a week ago??!  What happened with Baja, anyway??  It has become part of our Story ~ a story that could barely be uttered at first and has now found its wording and rhythm until it has woven itself into the fabric of our life.  our Story.  For those of you in my close circle, you have heard the bits and pieces hashed and rehashed till it's your story, too.  It has been distilled into a pallatable few sentences acceptable at casual cocktail parties, where ~ similar to hearing about an illness, the person hearing it is able to keep a politely straight face as they take in the news and respond appropriately.  What happened, was, that the person who loaned our group of Lumbini owners the money to own the property (who happened to be a spouse of one of the owners; complicated, no?) decided he was tired of waiting for us to repay him.  What happened was that he gave us an ultimatum of either repaying him a very large sum of money in the matter of a few short weeks, or he would put the place on the market ~ in two weeks.  When our family had just moved our whole life down there, onto the land.  What happened was that we essentially got kicked back up here to the US when we felt forced to make the money, or lose the dream that we had been cultivating for several years.  What happened was that, all at the same time, there occurred some deep discord among members ~ business partners and best friends, alike ~ about what happened on the property, while we lived our lives there, and others wanted to make or break our daily decisions from afar.  Details as seemingly minor as where a short-term tent was pitched, practices as fundamentally integral as raising and harvesting our own meat.  What happened was what has happened to countless other intentional communities over the years, almost textbook-classic (as I later read in Diana Leafe Christian's invaluable tomes Creating a Life Together, and Finding Community):  financial difficulties, and internal disagreements.  That's what happened.  What it felt like was.. like a stiff kick-in-the-stomach to a long-nurtured Life Dream.   What it felt like was the rug getting pulled out from under our lovingly cultivated life.  What it felt like was being hurled into a deep, dark vacuum-like stratosphere of unexpected un-knowing.
What it felt like (from what I can only imagine) was a mis-carriage of a Beloved.

Troy was the only one in the group who could even think about making up the sum of money required in such short order.  And he is the only one who can repay the next, equally large, sum of money expected in a year's time (from then) ~  in June.  So we agreed together to "buy the time" to keep Lumbini a possibility at least for another year.  We took a loan from a friend, and moved back up to the US for Troy to work the shifts necessary, for Anjali and I to play our supporting roles and keep our family together.

From a place of feeling like we were the leaders of our life, the choosers of our destiny, it felt like the ground has shifted to one of constantly reacting to this shocking life change.  From feeling like the dealer, we have moved chairs to dealing with the hand dealt.

What else happened?
Our moms, on the East Coast, each became ill and were hospitalized (and are recovering).
My Granny died, and then my Granddaddy (on the other side) died, both on the East Coast.
We agreed that the work situation that we tried out while in Baja ~ of Troy coming back up to the US for stints while Anjali and I stayed down there ~ didn't feel good to us.
We desired a lot more knowledge in Permaculture.
We were lonely and wanted Community.
We decided to move to Earthaven, a relatively long-running, exemplary, permaculturally-based intentional community (coincidentally the home of aforementioned internationally-recognized Diana Leafe Christian!).
We reunited at Burning Man with fabulous folks who already know us and love us, who live in Lexington.
We realized and agreed that we wanted tight community NOW.  That, right now, we were tired of trying to start things from scratch.  We wanted to feel known, accepted, and loved Now.  And that was available to us Now ~ in Lexington, Kentucky.
Troy finished up his contracted time working in Oregon.
We traveled down the West Coast being embraced and supported by the folks over there who also love us.
We moved to Lexington.  

What I want to celebrate today and right now is my reunion with my feral wild woman body and its source, that vast and deep Mama Earth ~ her sands, her dirt, her oceans, her inhabitants.

What I want to celebrate today is my re-acceptance of my own personal vision, and my leadership and responsibility in the Great Turning that is Now.  That with my own two hands, I can make a difference, and that it's worth it.
What I want to celebrate today is acceptance of the fact that I Have a Community.  I'm not searching for them.  I have leapt into a warm and solid embrace.