Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I {heart} Rob Brezny

I just read my horoscope for this week and while I would have preferred to do without the rending of a dream, hope, etc that I have experienced, his words give me added hope.

Since Thursday late in the afternoon I have been at NCDC and it has exceeded my expectations and wishes that a change of scenery would do me good. It is a good community to dive into, lots of wonderful people, renewing connections, forming new ones. My heart has been touched, my body has felt powerful, my laughter has been plentiful.

Rob's words for this week:
What have you lost in recent months, Libra?
This week begins a phase when you will have the potential to not exactly
recover it, but rather to re-create it on a higher level. Maybe a dream that
seemed to unravel was simply undergoing a reconfiguration, and now
you're primed to give it a new and better form of expression. Maybe a
relationship that went astray was merely dying so it could get
resurrected, with more honesty and flexibility this time around.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Utah Day 3

(I think this is my 600th post! Wow.)

Wednesday 21st of April

Today's plan was to hea
d to Arches National Park. Lovely drive in, someone noted upon our first sight of the rock formations that yesterday was all about looking down into canyons and today would be all about looking up. So true. As we drove in, we stopped frequently to marvel, take photos and just absorb the beauty. Our stopping points included Courthouse Towers.

Balanced Rock - which had a nice walking path. Later we learned that the balanced rock was 55ft tall with the overall formation being 128 feet.

The major walk of the day was done at the Window Section where we hit the South Window, Turret, and the North Window, returning on the longer "primitive path". Along the path we found a lovely place to sit on some rocks and partake of lunch.

Later we went to the Fiery Furnace which Meredith was completely intrigued by. This site is hikeable with a ranger and that's done by appointment. When w
e arrived a group was heading out, and various members of group debated sneaking along.

Heading north we stopped at Devil's Garden Trailhead, where we split from Matt and Meredith - so they could hike faster and further. Greg, Janet and I took our time, stopping at Landsca
pe Arch, where we found a nook to draw and write but rain started - heavy but short, cutting short our more esoteric activities. Rain in the desert is different, a treat in a way. Given the weather we decided to head back. The water made the rocks glisten - for about five minutes before it dried.

We drove back down, stopping at Park Avenue Viewpoint and Trailhead, again separating briefly. Greg, Janet and I drove to the other end, saw the lower bit
of a rainbow that sat next to us for quite some time.

Some of the group were experiencing strong cravings for beer which decided our next destination - Moab Brewery, where we had a great meal. Upon heading back to our campsite we drove to Dead Horse Viewpoint to watch the sun go down. It was great to experience that location in the strong light of day and again to see how light plays with rocks.

Upon arriving back at our tent site we found there had been lots of activity - the winds had blow sand furiously into our tents, Matt's tent had flipped over, my fly had been put on wrong so it had blown off and in addition to sand, rain come in, leaving me with a damp sleeping bag. After putting my fly on correctly I took my bag into the rest room using the hand dryer to make my bag sleepable.

So here I am lying in my sandy damp tent, listening to the rain, not exactly cold, not completely toasty either. In some ways I am already overwhelmed and saturated by all the visuals. My body is sore, I am bone tired - the sun (yes I am a bit burned, though not badly), the physical exertion, the conversations, the nonstop beauty and the awe nature inspires are all a lot to absorb, assimilate. I can hear Greg snoring already. It's so much and the trip has just begun. I am wondering whatever possessed me to do this trip but I am enjoying it, just wondering how to balance everything.

With the noise of the rain I am tempted to call BC. What the hell I will try. We spoke very briefly but it was good to hear her voice. It hasn't been that long since we spoke but when I heard her on the voicemail after dinner it felt like it had been forever. I think because the days have been so full and so long.

It is almost 10pm MST, time to maybe put on another layer and get some sleep.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

More thought of what is home

Just moments ago I finally, finally finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman. What a truly amazing book on so many levels: deep, challenging, dark, a bit of very dark humor, fascinating take on old religions. I highly recommend this book but be warned it is not a happy read and it is long.

On one of the last pages:
He sat down on a grassy bank and looked at the city that surrounded him, and thought, one day he would have to go home. And one day he would have to make a home to go back to. He wondered whether home was a thing that happened to a place after a while, or if it was something that you found in the end, if you simply walked and waited and willed it long enough.
This resonates so much for me as I have given a lot of thought about what "home" means, how one feels at home; whether home is something you carry with you; how people can feel like home. Certainly the last 15 or so months has been a continuation of that search in a very lived way, of that hope of figuring out what I want home to feel like, look like but I am much in the same spot I was in when I wrote the post above. It's true that overall my old neighborhood of Historic South Park was fabulous, the overall vibe of that part of the country, my sense of disconnect there was something I was happy to leave - though there are people from that region that miss almost daily regardless of the connections and reconnections I have forged since leaving in March 2009. It is the people that I bonded to that make that place home but I feel safe in saying I will not live in Southern Ohio ever again.

For better or worse, as I said to my therapist, I am imminently flexible about many things, where I live being one of them. There are some wonderful positive things about being imbued with this quality; however the challenges are many both to myself and to the people who love me. I know this. It is possible that what I need is to become a bit less flexible, which for me means continuing to learn how to put myself higher up in the food chain of priorities, state my desires, intent, and dreams more clearly. This may mean shaking some people loose in terms of their standing in my considerations, not something I am comfortable with or practiced in. Even if that doesn't happen the prospect of finding a way to express and live my inner core is scary; uncharted territory that needs to be acknowledged, tended to for things to grow, for me to grow.

In the meantime, this sweet, funky cabin is my physical home, one I make more so every day. Especially the last two days as my kitchen things are here (still in boxes and some will not stay here - did I mention I have a LOT of kitchen things?). My spices are on a tiny shelf, disordered (usually they exist in alphabetical order) but just knowing they are here, adding their perfume even on the most minute level, makes it more like home for me. Today I cleaned off the camping stove/grill so that I can begin to actually cook somewhere besides the microwave, washed one set of windows. All steps to letting myself settle in here. Really, this place is sweet - y'all should come visit me.

A bit ago I sat outside with my coffee and toast, finishing the above novel, while a lovely summer storm ebbed and flowed. I reveled in the smells of summer rain, drinking from my lovely coffee bowl (Thanks Sarah! I <3 you so much!), listening to the wind and rain, I felt a moment of peace that was so sweet it was almost like an altered state. I felt released from the anxiety and grief that has marred my days of late, I felt a burgeoning of hope for myself that is still ethereal that it feels much removed from reality, but I will try to remember that I make that reality. I have a choice in how I see myself, my options; I have a choice in how I respond to feelings, thoughts, people, and the events sets in my path. We all have that ability, sometimes it's easy to forget that.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Utah Day 2

From journal pages:

Sleep was not good: cold, hard, unsettled and my knee whimpered on and off which raised some alarm as I worried how it would fair in the upcoming days. After a fair bit of puttering, reorganizing w
e headed out to Dead Horse State Park proper, walking around, taking in the vistas. We hit the Visitor Center where I found cards by a local artist that called out to me.

From there we headed to Grand View Outlook in Canyonlands. Every moment of this walking and riving, this small hike has been beautiful. The vistas are so large, vast offering a sense of scale that those on the east coast or midwest cannot take in unless coming here. Photos, specials on PBS cannot hope to inspire the awe that one experiences when being here. It's like your chest releases and expands at once; the reality of your day to day life, the smallness it encompasses is thrown into stark relief. It recalls, a bit, of the trip I did
as a child driving from New York City to Montana one summer. We were not a camping family so I did not grow up doing these sorts of things but that journey impressed an image of the country as vast - culturally, where it seems as if we had entered a different country at times. it was then that I first was caught spellbound by the colors in the canyons as we drove through the Badlands of South Dakota; knowing nothing then (or much now) about geography I didn't know what I was looking at, not really, except the beauty particularly when the lowered rays of the setting sun cast incredible illuminations in my sight line.

It is the striations of colors and the canyons within canyons that still strike me, the way the clouds obscure or set off shapes and lines, even shifting the
perspective of depth. The other visual feature that moves me as it always does are the tree corpses and the half dead arching, brittle, stripping barks. Bone white in places, dark as a starless night on others; the high contrast between the stripped wood and dry terracotta dirt, the green of the more succulent plants draw my eye every time. I long to capture these but photos rarely convey what I see in my mind's eye. It is one of those times I most earnestly wish I could draw, to translate my vision to hang on wall once home. These fibrous bones are my happy place, baring impact on the landscape, standing through generations, listening as the ravens play over head, lizards crawling around the exposed roots, hiding in the nooks of their limbs. Always beautiful at each stage of their existence, the same elementally, yet visibly varied at each state.

Scale is hard to judge out here. On the way back down from Grandview Outlook, we could see the parking area looking like a tiny dot but yet it felt like no time to get close, yet we walked more than a mile. Later we went to Upheaval Dome, a site of some controversy. It was a short walk,
only about 1/4 of a mile but climbed 200 feet in that short span - comparing this to my walk in New Paltz which climbed that height in more like a mile. Down in what is left from either an exploded salt dome or meteorite is the amazing palette of color, verdigris only there is no copper. It is shaped differently from what we have seen so far - sharp,, long horizontal peaked edges. Juniper trees crop out of the earth and stone surfaces all about us, their green foliage and deep brown trunks contrasting nicely with the dune to deep terracotta earth. Smaller scrubs form a pattern which is probably based on the path from rain rivulets in the wetter months. The sky immediately above is a deep clear cornflower blue, fading slowly as your eyes travel to the horizon, some areas almost blending with the deeper gray blue of the mountains about fifty miles in the distance.

So ends my second day in Utah.