Sunday, August 28, 2011

Here We Go!

(imagine the title yelled with Jane's Addiction enthusiasm and inflection.)
(and after that, the soundtrack for this post is Ellen McIlwaine's "Wings of a Horse".)

Well, I have started so many attempts at writing this here. So many explanations and Grand Picture analogies, but they fall short. This is yet another piece of my life that I just can't effectively shake a word at to do it any justice. It just feels so epic to me and beyond the scope of logic and reason and what makes sense on the outside.
So I'll just say it:
Yes, we are moving to Mexico in December.

But before that, we're moving to Oregon. We're moving our American homebase to Corvallis, Oregon, where Sealion will have work, and where we will be living in a building just a few steps away from Gemini Cricket and family ~ La Señora Picante Honeybee, and La Señorita Pequeña Firefly. That's right; my ex-husband, and his wife ~ who happens to be the ex-girlfriend of my husband ~ and their kid. We're moving there the first week of September. And when we move down South for the winter, they'll be coming too.

And before all of that, we're all going to Burning Man.

Umm. In just a few minutes. :-)

All along as we've been planning this move to Mexico ~ way before the *exes* were even a part of the story, I have felt the need to appear as level-headed and solid as possible. No matter my beliefs to the contrary, I tend to spend an exorbitant amount of time imagining what other people think about me and what I do (and in the process trying not ever to offend anyone). To my inner judge, this Big Life Change just seems so off-the-charts un-usual, un-practical, and strange that I think I have attempted to overcompensate inside myself by projecting an Abbott persona to the Costello of a scheme we have going. An "I know it's Crazy, but I'm really not," kinda vibe. ;-)
Then my Inner Artist began to resurface. Drawing for the first time in decades, and shaking the dust (and oiling the rust!) out of my dancing hips. And before I knew what was happening, there was the slight hint of sage smoke on the air with a sprinkling of glitter: my Inner Artist wanted to go to Burning Man. The pragmatic tortoise that I had been channeling all this time fought this notion. She chastised, saying, "We can't go to Burning Man! That is just altogether Frivolous! We are trying to be Level-Headed and Practical! And on top of that, we just have way Too Much to Do before we move to Mexico!" My heart hurt and welled forth through my eyes. My Inner Artist would not let the idea go. I sat down with it and pondered. My heart took me back to my first year on the playa.
At the tail-end of a kaleidoscopic mind-and-heart-expanding journey, Sealion and I found ourselves in a corridor of colorful lights that danced in time with music that was blaring from all sides. The song: Seal's "Crazy." "Oh we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy." We jumped up and down dancing in exuberant acknowledgment. As I remembered this, it struck me, still resonating deep truth. Yes, moving to a big piece of dirt in the tropical desert of rural Mexico to grow foods following Nature's example, with nary a flush-toilet, or even walls and floors, building and making as much as we can from scratch and in such a manner that it will actually benefit instead of hinder the land and the surrounding community, is quite on the fringe of what is considered normal and "Sane" in Standard America today. We can analyze up one side and down the other the wisdom, folly, benefits and dysfunction that surround modern America and its influence on the world (and I bet you can guess my opinions on the matter without my having to go into a tirade about it..). But regardless of that and even whether we (deviants) realize it, deviating from the norm takes some energy. It takes an internal explosion or two. It takes a little bit of Crazy. And so it makes all the "sense" in the world that as I'm getting ready to make these leaps in personal space and boundaries, in levels of personal comfort, exertion, and interpersonal harmony and communication, that my Inner Artist ~ the one who connects the creative dots from heart to head to body ~ must re-connect with Source. Return to Center. Make the pilgrimage to Mecca and bow before the Goddess. Re-member with my whole being that I am She (the one I've been looking for).
Click the Reset button on what is Possible. And remember how to fly. My Inner Artist knows that to survive and indeed thrive in this Big New Life I would do well to let go of trying to seem Normal and Practical, and instead get a little Crazy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Photos from Baja

Here's an album of our recent trip to Lumbini Gardens. Not in chronological order, and quite a few duplicates, because we were using several different cameras. But you get the idea: good people, good work, lots of sweat, spectacular landscape, and heavenly floating sessions in the ocean with accompanying incredible sunsets.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Here I am!

I haven't been silent, but instead, forgot to sign off on the mic before another week-plus trip down to Baja ~ our last visit before we move there in December!
It was hot. The heat with its accompanying humidity was even more challenging than I expected. After several days I reached one level of acclimatizing, but I suspect there are many more levels to reach before one feels comfortable ~ like many of the locals I saw in San Jose going about their daily lives ~ wearing tight jeans and tight knit tops (and even sweaters! *gasp!!*) without sweat drenching through the whole ensemble or literally keeling over.
We spent the week ~ like the white-bellied creatures we are ~ under the blessed palapa, with urgently-acquired fans trained on us. Until the sun went behind the hills when we would enjoy with exuberance the short respite. At that point, every day, Sealion very firmly insisted he must stop working so that we could all go seek relief in the ocean until dark. Still with fans on high pointed directly at us, we slept in the tent on top of the sheet with sometimes only minimal comfort until morning when we would rouse as early as possible to be awake for a few moments before the sun beat down relentless again. The upside to this is that we needn't worry about sun shirts or sunscreen, because the sun was too intense for our gringo bodies to be exposed for more than a few minutes, literally.
"Impressed" was the word I came away with. The August elements left a deep and lasting impression on me.
Still, and yet, I look at the photos I took over the course of the week, and the ones of myself, and see that in every instant in every place on the spectrum of comfort-to-discomfort I was Alive.
I woke up with the sounds of the wild tweeting birds in the foreground and los gallos in the background. I breathed in and out with the sometimes-din of the cicadas as they seemed to embody in sound the humid heat. I scurried with the lizards under the junked car in the brush and frolicked with the jackrabbits as they rolled in dust. Sweat poured from pores I didn't know existed. And when the sun began to tuck behind the mountains my eyes were wide as I roamed the property with camera to absorb every contrast of long crisp shadow on desert surface. Then there was the ocean. My whole body drank in the ocean and I was the wave and the tide as it surged to meet the rising full moon. Every night I sat with eyes upturned in worship of the moonlit and starry sky. And when it thundered and lightninged in the middle of the night, my daughter and I dashed outside to dance hand-in-hand in the raindrops.DSCN0032
I was Alive with a life pared down to the elemental. Sun and shade, water and salt and air, dirt and wood and stone. Papaya and tequila.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Crafty: Boy and a Solar Water Heater

This guy right here? I love 'im. Not the highest quality photo of his process, but that look on his face? Pure handcrafting bliss of the highest level. That's the essence-de-Sealion, there. Heart-melty for sure.
Just as I have been obsessed with our upcoming adventure, certainly Sealion has been. His obsession manifested into a Batch Solar Water Heater to take to Lumbini Gardens. Every morning he could, he snuck out there early and worked as quietly as possible until a reasonable neighborly hour to make noise sawing, sanding, drilling, and I don't know all what else. ;-) Now it is finished, and poised in Brian's sunny backyard to see just how hot it can get. Sealion goes to check the thermometer(s!) on it several times a day to monitor temperature fluctuation. He's so adorably nerdy about it.
Manly chiseling shot con assistant.
Sanded and painted.
Upstairs neighbor, supervising.
Box with the beginnings of insulation.
Ahhh! It is complete! With the lighting it is kind of hard to see the tank, chained in place inside the box, with all other surfaces covered in shiny aluminum..