Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A History Lesson

Tonight I went to Tabla Rasa Gallery with Greg and Janet for a few purposes. One was that Audrey and Joseph Anastasi asked them to contribute some works to a new small show, to introduce me to them, and finally to view the documentary "RFK In The Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope".

First, this is shot beautifully, the music is lovely, and a nicely told piece of history. It is a piece of history I had no idea of; growing up JFK was revered, King was honored above most, but RFK? I knew he was assassinated. After viewing this I want to know more. But even more than that I want to know why I have never heard of Chief Albert Lutuli who was the first African to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960. Okay, I realize I have never spent a lot of time studying South Africa but why is Mandela held up, outside of SA as the only mover and shaker there? According to Tami Gold, Lutuli is held as a hero not just of South Africa but the whole continent.

I am not going to be lucid on this topic because my mind is racing a bit from the images, the voices, and the emotions the film raised in me.

From Day of Affirmation Speech, delivered at Cape Town University, June 6, 1966:
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

In many ways this is how I see the world which is why I think of even small acts, words as important. Recently I was thinking about this while doing an assignment for my Certificate Program in Victim Advocacy; it included a selection of examples where racism and other prejudice were being displayed. My answers never included silence even when it could have cause major problems. In reality I have sometimes been silent when safety is an issue, or am just at a loss. I don't want that to be continue to be the case. I will continue to say something every time, because I believe in the power of a ripple.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shots of home

I talk about my nest all the time and mostly no one has seen it.

So without further ado....

The driveway, it's about a 1/10 of a mile long and I cannot see the mailbox from any location, even when all the foliage falls.

View from my desk or the couch, which is opposite the desk.

A basket of yarn that mocks me
as I procrastinate knitting (though there has been some improvement in that area).

The second cord of wood before stacking, some of which was done by me, the last of it by kind fairies (aka The Boys, I bless each and every one of the - I have good friends).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sister Act

In many ways I have many sisters who are not biological. There are women in my life who are soulmate type sisters of varying degrees, history, etc. However in truth I have a biological sister, well half-sister (which is such an odd phrase, I mean she is a whole person and all that) in that we share the same father. She has a twin, my half-brother and they are close what with being twins, having a matching set of parents, being raised together all. Along with having different mothers, they are eleven years younger than I am, we lived in the same house when they were 0-1 years of age, and again when they were 5-6, so not much lived history.

As the eldest sibling I did take care them, learned to balance a baby on each hip rather early, and generally doted over them, thought they were the cutest things on earth. But I didn't really know them. In some ways I still don't, but in much the same vein I still love them, am devoted to them in my heart, and I would do anything I could to help them. However I doubt they would ever come to me in an emergency, I mean they have each other.

In my mid to late teens they were still very young and just saw me, I think, as an oddity. I didn't dress like their friends, right after graduating high school I left home, and I moved - a lot. To further add to their "who is she and how are we related??", I came out as a lesbian. Initially I think they tried to ignore this as much as possible. In fairness they were about 12 when I told them, and anyone's sexuality is an odd thing to cope with at that point. Mostly their response was silence, except to ask me to not do PDAs with my girlfriend when we were out together. A few years later it seemed that it was conveniently cool to have a lesbian sister, then it just was blase. Fine by me.

Over the years it is my sister and I who have more of a connection though when they were young I had been sure it was my brother and I who would get closer and stay that way. I have never had an argument with either sibling, a side benefit of largely having little to do with each other, I suppose. But neither do I have more than a handful of great memories of us together, which is a huge sadness some days for me.

Tonight I had dinner at my sister's new place (I never saw the last one though she lived there 11 years) that she shares with her beau, who I finally met. It was nice to finally see her in her space. It was a lovely evening of catching up, hearing about my brother's romantic woes (which sadden me), learning what is up with her mother, commiserating on our father's peccadilloes. It's nice to see her as she actually is, an adult woman dealing with a mature relationship, figuring out next steps. I have no illusions of us suddenly being in regular contact but it is a nice thing to be peers the last few years, and tonight was a good reminder of how family and friends can be one in the same, very different, or how friends become family, but somehow actual family tugs at our hearts in different ways no matter the time spent together.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Recovery Mode

Today has been a total pajama day. Still fighting off a cold. While it's not the cabin, Greg and Janet's is just about as close to be home as it can be for such days.

Tonight we are finishing our film noir marathon by watching The Maltese Falcon. It's so good, and comforting for a day like today.

I am grateful for friends, family, and safe harbors.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Just a lovely day

Really that just sums up the day. Mostly very slow and easy here at Greg and Janet's. Today has been their "leftovers and film noir" party. Around 1:30 Janet and I started rearranging furniture, I took over the kitchen making the various leftovers look even more tasty.

People have been drifting in and out with lovely conversations, yummy food. So far we have watched "Pick Up on South Street" which is an interesting tale involving the Cold War as a back drop - Thelma Ritter is amazing as usual and "Double Indemnity," which I hadn't seen in years. Written by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, it's easy to see who wrote the dialogue and who wrote the Fred's inner voice monologues.

We on an a talking jag now and still up for watching is "The Third Man" and "The Maltese Falcon". We shall see if we watch another tonight. I would certainly watch the Falcon again.

Lovely party, lovely day. Hope y'all are having a wonderful after the Festival of Stuffing Yourself Beyond Belief.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fully Loved

In June 2008 my cousin Judy lost her husband of 41 years. Somehow I hadn't realized that the illness he was diagnosed with years ago was fatal but it was. Since his passing I had seen her only once, at the family sedar, in April 2009, where we did not have a lot of time to talk. In fact we have rarely had significant conversation time, though I have always been very fond of her.

Yesterday I drove to her house, upon arriving, we flittered from topic to topic in a vain attempt to update quickly. After a bit we settled down with some fabulous pizza and nice bottle of wine. This morning into afternoon, before other guests arrived, we continue our rambling conversation while tending to straightening, prepping food, and repotting plants when we saw we still extra time.

Judy knew her husband for 54 years, they graduated from the same high school. They did not marry immediately, in fact Judy met someone else whom she married and had her first son with. Clearly that marriage did not last all that long. She quickly reunited, I think that's the best way to describe it, with David and was with him all these decades.

My view of their relationship was very limited through my adolescence. Also given that I only saw them about twice a year at family gatherings I had no idea of the complexity, the happiness, the struggles, that made up their marriage. After David died she wrote a beautiful letter where I learned so many things about his life which made realize how much I lost not knowing him. He was always so quiet at families occasions, Judy so vivacious, busy, with a full laugh.

After this visit I am awed by the beauty of their marriage, though I imagine it may have been colored by grief so that it more rose than beige. Even so to be loved like that, for so long, must be an amazing experience. Longevity in relationships is not exactly something I excel at, my cynical nature, my restless soul, and my walls hold such things at bay. At least that's what I think it may be. Maybe I am just damaged, or maybe I haven't met that person that breach my fortress, or perhaps I have not figured to let someone in enough to love me that well.

"In many ways our last years together were among our happiest." How lovely is that. Knowing that this illness was fatal, going to appointments together, never knowing which bad turn might spell the end, and yet her view is that they were happy together. I suppose it's possible knowing that your time is limited, each day has a different scent, a promise of exuberance because it might be the last time you did that particular thing. To be able to say you know in your heart that for your mate, you were it, the smartest, the most clever, the sexiest - for four decades? How remarkable.

She asked me if I had heard of The 100 Things Challenge which I had not. In the past several years I have pared down extensively, especially with my last big move in March 2009. Judy's house (in fact each of the three she has owned and that I have visited) is filled with beautiful things. There are so many things to look at, to run your finger across, fabric that begs to be touched. I suspect that if I had her belongings I would have found it significantly more challenging to reduce the way I have because I have always lusted after her living spaces. In thinking about what she would give up, I imagine many of the things she would keep would be related to David, things they bought together or that he built for her. I think just those two parameters would easily take up half that goal of 100, if not more.

One of the tasks that she has struggled with was what to do with David's ashes. He had wanted them scattered in Muir Woods but in conversations prior to his death she said she didn't think she could do that. He told he really didn't care all that much really, that he wanted her to do what was best for her. She thought about burying them outside his workshop on their property but realized that she do so only in a format that allowed her to dig them back up if she ever moved. Her good friend said not to do it in that case. She finally came up with something that made the most sense to her. In the last five or so years Judy has been making art, decorative boxes, furniture, collage prints and so forth. She made a box, decorated with paints, gel films of photos in its interior, and topped with symbols of David's passions. It lives in her bedroom now. She has told her younger son that when she dies she wants to be cremated as well, to have her ashes mixed with David's so they will always be together. Beyond that she doesn't care what happens to the ashes, just that she rests with him. Recalling that conversation now I am tearing up at the depth of devotion, the solidarity that is conveyed by her sentiment. I am awed by their love, my only sadness is that I never know what was in front of me all those years.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

meeting as peers

I am at my cousin's house in Hebron, CT. This may be our first time alone ever and we are now more like peers than ever despite over the 2+ decade age difference. Talking, confiding, in very different yet similar places in some ways. I am honored and touched to have the rapport with a woman I have admired for most of my life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 10 Wednesday April 28

Meredith, Katie, and Matt left the canyon (Brimstone) before Greg and Janet, so I hiked back with them. Well sort of, Meredith and Katie breezed ahead, while Matt went slowly with me, figuring out the path of least resistance as he put it. The guessimate is that I hiked about 4 miles and the descent (and hence the ascent) was about 500-600 feet (most of it in only one short section). I made the ascent in about an hour. My decision to head back to the Narrows rather than continue the hike with the crew was a good one for me - heavy sand for the rest of the walk out to the canyon. Hiking in deep sand is SO hard!

I can't remember a time when I heard my pulse in my ears as frequently as I have this week. The winds started kicking up on our walk back and have not relented one bit (the windstorm lasted close to 36 hours). As Matt and I neared our site, the other two were rescuing my tent from it's Queen of the Hill place as it swept from it's perch. Matt and I repositioned it to a lower place, little hope of a protected place in the mesa. Thanks to my blackberry we were able to get an idea of the weather. Sustained winds 20-30 mph with gust up to 60 mph. The hike, winds and I expect cumulative drain got to everyone last night; trying to cook in these winds was challenging and laughable by turns. However after a lovely sunset most of us stayed awake to watch the spectacular moonrise from the cloud banks.

Given the winds, a cranky groin and expecting the seven mile hike tomorrow I stayed behind, as has Matt (though I think for different reasons). I have taken advantage of the time reading and napping. Breakfast was not on my agenda this morning as I had a bit of bad coffee and a whole grain tortilla. Since then I have had a power bar, perhaps this explains some of the sleeping. Eating more might be good, so I did, but I am so tired of the lunch choices. I meandered between my tent (which was being flattened by the winds), under the juniper tree, or retreating to the car to escape the howling sounds. Really the constant noise was like torture after about 6 straight hours awake, listening, surrounded by the sound.

Odd dreams - my two exes (Her Geekyness and an earlier one) blending, leaving them/her, grateful it was their suggestion so I didn't have to do that piece (as I usually do in real life). Concocting how I didn't need to actually live with them during the time of giving notice on the apartment. Figuring how to explain going to Cleveland (where BC lives) but not caring a whole lot about the reaction.

One good thing about the wind, it's keeping the tent from totally baking. I have mostly figured and what will stay behind in the vehicle, clothes wise anyway for the backpacking portion.

I continue to be torn between being really proud of myself regarding this trip and feeling like I'm seen as the fat kid who slows everyone down, who breaths heavy with any light exertion annoying everyone who is in earshot. Yesterday during the descent Greg called for someone to give Janet a hand. There was no one really accessible except me, so I did. I was inordinately proud and stunned to be the person to spot her. Sometimes I feel like I will just cry and cry when I return to "civilization" release all of this, except it's not really like me to do that.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Home and chilly!

I am home, for the moment. On Friday the 12th I left to head to Boston, Monday onto Ohio, a quick stop in New Paltz on Friday to re-storage my belongings, then back to Boston the same day. Today I drove from there to Croton to work for Sunny, and upon entering my cabin discovered it was a balmy 52F degrees.

It will be a quick stop over here in my haven, as it seems I remain your faithful nomad. My next stops include Hebron CT for Thanksgiving with some family, Brooklyn NY for a "leftovers and film noir" extravaganza where I will settle for a few days working on Art & Adventures business with Greg and Janet. While in New York I will likely be going to a party where Allyson Grey will be live painting, meeting Maddy Rosenberg, and having a lovely time I hope! Then I am off to Miami with Janet to attend Art Basel Miami. Crazy, huh?

This is all great, and the weeks after that are busy and filled with awesome people but I really am hoping for at least two weeks straight at home sometime in January.

Back to tending the fire, as the chill continues!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More dreaming

(apparently I wrote this November 21 but never published it!?!?? color me confused.)

One of the dreams I had either last night, or the night before, it's all a bit fuzzy, involved driving at night with others in the car. As I drove the road became dark, to the point where I wondered if my lights were on, friends at first assured me that they were. Further on though it was clear that I was merely feeling my way on the road, moving along on blind faith, trusting my knowledge to prevent crashing. This theme, lights going out while driving, has occurred before but not for quite some time. Upon giving this some thought, I wondered yet again what it means. This time I am thinking that it involves feeling my way along a path that is familiar but not ingrained my muscle memory - as it were.

Last night I had another dream with a baby, again a recurring theme lately. Again it was a boy child too. He was happy, I was happy. We went to see my friend Abby, someone I've known longer than anyone but actual family. Then I went to a party like setting, a great deal like a Dance New England Camp Coordinating Group meeting (which I have been attending monthly in my new role of mentor). It was a light, happy sort of day. In the dream I had "received" the baby (he was adopted) on Thursday. In the dream I remembering thinking how his presence would impact my time at camp in the summer but felt confident about managing it.

After I woke I marveled at the fact of having another dream where I acquire a baby. Then I thought about the day mentioned in the dream - this past Thursday was the day I collected my things from Ohio and drove back towards New York. Babies and birthing dreams - new beginnings, creativity, changing or growing towards something perhaps? Am I still expanding, still moving on some unknown track towards something? The difference in this dream is adoption, being happy about the baby, introducing him (me? some aspect of me?) to people important to me. I still don't know but overall I felt good about this dream and I worked to feel better about the first dream which illustrates the idea of stepping off the edge, having faith that a net will appear or I will sprout wings.

More dreaming

One of the dreams I had either last night, or the night before, it's all a bit fuzzy, involved driving at night with others in the car. As I drove the road became dark, to the point where I wondered if my lights were on, friends at first assured me that they were. Further on though it was clear that I was merely feeling my way on the road, moving along on blind faith, trusting my knowledge to prevent crashing. This theme, lights going out while driving, has occurred before but not for quite some time. Upon giving this some thought, I wondered yet again what it means. This time I am thinking that it involves feeling my way along a path that is familiar but not ingrained my muscle memory - as it were.

Last night I had another dream with a baby, again a recurring theme lately. Again it was a boy child too. He was happy, I was happy. We went to see my friend Abby, someone I've known longer than anyone but actual family. Then I went to a party like setting, a great deal like a Dance New England Camp Coordinating Group meeting (which I have been attending monthly in my new role of mentor). It was a light, happy sort of day. In the dream I had "received" the baby (he was adopted) on Thursday. In the dream I remembering thinking how his presence would impact my time at camp in the summer but felt confident about managing it.

After I woke I marveled at the fact of having another dream where I acquire a baby. Then I thought about the day mentioned in the dream - this past Thursday was the day I collected my things from Ohio and drove back towards New York. Babies and birthing dreams - new beginnings, creativity, changing or growing towards something perhaps? Am I still expanding, still moving on some unknown track towards something? The difference in this dream is adoption, being happy about the baby, introducing him (me? some aspect of me?) to people important to me. I still don't know but overall I felt good about this dream and I worked to feel better about the first dream which illustrates the idea of stepping off the edge, having faith that a net will appear or I will sprout wings.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

True closure involves many ties

While in the Dayton area I was lucky enough to see a number of the dear friends I made out there, which was very satisfying while bittersweet. To those of you that I did not get to see, you remain in my heart and I look forward to keeping in touch via other means. To those I did manage to see, all I can say is wow, it was so so good to see your faces.

On Thursday I headed out to a storage place to pick up my trailer, delighted to find it directly across the street from Coffee Movers, where my belongings had been stored for over a year. Except. It turns out there were to be had at that place. U-H*ul had apparently called me to say that the pick up location had changed but they didn't really make that clear in the brief call I had. Sigh. So off I drove to an actual U-H*ul site to pick one up. As I drove down the road I passed Westbrook, which caused my heart to skip a beat, because that is the road that Her Geekyness lived when we met, the house that I helped pack up so that she could move to California to be with me. As I continued on it occurred to me that I was going to the place where Jeriann and I had gone to buy more boxes during that adventure which took place just a hair over 6 years ago. Freaky. At that point I decided the gods have a strange sense of irony.

It took forever but I got the trailer and proceeded back from Salem to Clayton to load up my belongings. Wait for it, there was a snafu. Really. My dresser would not fit in it. The opening was not big enough, had it been a bit wider or taller, it would have been just fine. But no. Back on the phone, I found that the only place with the next size up was in Dayton. As soon as I heard the address I had a feeling I was in for more deja vu. And I was. When I left, the last time, in March 2009, I went to one U-H*ul place but had lots of trouble with lights on the trailer and was sent to another place where it could be fixed. Here I was back at the same place, trading out trailers. Now I decided the fates were just cruel, but upon reflection I thought that perhaps it was the proper way to leave this place, even as it frustrated me.

Once done, I headed back up to Clayton and luckily there were movers up there so I didn't have to lift a finger. My spirits lifted in the most amazing way as I pulled out with the rest of my belongings reunited with me. I still have not opened any of the boxes, as everything is back in storage, but just knowing that everything I owe is in one state feels remarkably whole and freeing.

It has been a long journey to get here, both literally and figuratively. I am happy in a way that I don't remember being in forever, maybe ever? My life keeps unfolding in some ways I could have never foreseen. Some of it is not fun, but it is still engaging, I still see the opportunity to grow from everything.

Overall I am just happy to close the Ohio chapter. It's done, I have my things. No longer tied by being split, no longer mourning the tangible and not quite so being far out of reach. it's a good place to be.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Remember last Friday's post? Yeah, well I'm at Dance Friday again but more tired after my travels to Ohio and back.

Hoping to post a wrap up of those adventures tomorrow or the day after.

Thanks for your patience.
The Modern Nomad

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sleepy start

Need to pack up and move on out of the home of the hostess with the mostess to pick up the trailer, the load up the beginnings and hit the road. Hence my quick post now because it's unlikely I will get online later today.

No surprise I woke from dreams about moving - hitching the trailer to a bicycle while expecting someone else to drive my car. After straining my way up a hill toward the cabin hauling an empty trailer I was beside myself with horror at the notion of pumping my way up the hills in Pennsylvania with the thing loaded. It took a few anxious moments to realize that we could just put the bike in the trailer and split the driving. Duh.

Am I stressed a little? Why would you ask that? Yes, yes, I know "just breathe". I am, I promise.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nothing People, Absolutely Nothing

Sorry folks, I got nothing for today. I'm hanging with my hostess and am totally distracted.

Tomorrow is the day I pick up the U-Haul and load up the last of my belongings still residing in Ohio. It feels good, if a bit surreal to close this chapter. The last drive from here with my belongings, unifying my baggage in one state.

Night peeps.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Travel Gods have a bizarre sense of humor

Yesterday I left later than i intended because, well that's how things happen. Having company on the road was a really nice change. Having a travel companion who is also a dj? Priceless - between we selected an interesting set of cds, of which we listened to only a small percentage of during the trip - because we brought that much stuff.

We were merrily going along, stopping as I noted last night at Aunt Lu's Cafe for a spot of truck stop cuisine. Finally I was getting tired and drove until I found a rest stop, I can't remember where. We adjust the seats as much as possible and napped. I slept lightly for about two hours, waking at around 3:35. Feeling remarkable awake and knowing that rest of the drive was less than 180 miles I felt sure I could make it, arriving at our host's home before they left for the day.

During some points of the trip I had noticed an odd smell, not totally dissimilar to the problem I had in February which necessitated replacing the heater core, but not identical and I thought it unlikely to have gone bad. In the early morning silence as my companion was still dozing, I now heard odd, vaguely tinkling or crackling like sounds which did not give me the warm fuzzies. About 35 miles from our final destination, my battery light lit up, quickly followed by the temperature gauge rising precipitously fast. Pulling off to the shoulder, I shut the car off and took a few deep breaths before grabbing the manual to try to determine what to do next. My hope was that this was relatively simple - a hose coming loose and losing the coolant fluid type injury to the car. This of course would not explain the battery indicator going on but I was trying to hope for silly but simple explanations of such things. For some reason I could not pop the hood - the lever did absolutely nothing but looking underneath showed a river of fluid heading down towards the earth on the far side of the shoulder.

I decided to call my insurance company, who patched me to a local tow company, who recommended a repair place near we were going to be staying. In my experience, while not extensive, covers a several such calls for service and/or towing, it seems to be the rule that one has a minimum of 1 hours and 15 minute waiting time. This time it was over an hour and a half, though in the end the timing was perfect. It did not take long to reach the car place and as I took Indy off the flat bed to put her in a spot, the power steering went out on me which freaked me out entirely. While doing all this the manager had come in to open things up and I was the first customer of the day. As the tow guy was about to pull out to take us to the house, my hostess with the mostess showed up with the keys.

We settled in quickly for a nap, which was cut short for me by the garage calling me with bad news about the vehicle. Never fear Indy is fine but my budget is screwed (thanks for the advance pay Sunny!). It was way worse and much more extensive than a radiator hose or another simple but she is now running just fine.

I am hoping this is the last of these sorts of adventures because the stress is not a fun kind and the impact on my finances is less than thrilling. Please make offerings, sing prayers, or dance naked around a fire to help insure smoother travels home and for my up coming plans (I will be away from home a good deal, per usual it seems) if you are so inclined. In turn I will make voodoo dolls in your image and laden them with chocolate, multiple orgasms and Jimmy Choo shoes. Thanks.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Live from the road

It's true! I'm the classic Sapp's Bros. in Clearfield, PA on my way to Dayton, eating at Aunt Lu's. Got on the road later than intended so I expect to drive until about midnight, probably will sleep in the car to keep the trip cheap, but who knows. After this much driving I might spoil myself a bit.

I am excited to see a few folks who I really miss out there before turning back around with things I haven't seen for about 1.5 years or more! It will be like a holiday gift extravaganza whenever I open the boxes.

Later peeps!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meeting Exhaustion

at it's face. However the meeting, because yes there really was one, was a good one. It is good to meet with people you care about on a personal level as well as a professional one.

Following the meeting we are looking to have a snuggle party {tm} at Aileen's. I'm looking forward to it.

That's all for now folks.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Flowing in the River of Life

Some days the time moves in contrast to how you feel. It creeps as you race, you mimic a sloth and the clock acts as though it's on a coke binge. But sometime, in the way that dusk moves to evening, time feels liminal - it's breaths merging with yours as you pass through conversations, resting, thinking, running errands as you walk together in step with no perception of going fast or slow but just being. I have had some of these moments, where life seems timeless - just moving along as if guided by a power contained within and without, in concert but without you have any conscious notion of participating in the process.

Wouldn't it be nice to have more moments like that in our life? I treasure the moments, no matter how short, that have this quality. When I'm very present and in my body it's more likely to happen when I am dancing is when this happens the most, though still all too infrequently. For me, the lesson there is to dance more: alone, with others, at home, at boogies, at clubs, wherever, whenever possible. I suppose this state would be referred to be being "in flow", as popularized by Csikszentmihaly. For me I relate it more to my Buddhist studies which predate my exposure to Mr. Csikszentmihaly, where I first encountered what intuitively I sensed in my body, in my heart about being in the moment even though I spent my childhood escaping via daydreams and books. I suppose that given how fully I immersed in those activities it could be argued that I was in that state, even while I was dissociating from realities, creating my own which felt safer, nurturing in that they provided me a world of possibility outside my own.

Given my lifestyle which lacks structure even as I strive to create some in order to meet some outside idea of how I should live, most of my days are about finding the flow, allowing life to flow over and inside of me. Appreciating the moments of deep terror, amusement, and bliss have become, while not second nature, it seems that I have the ability to "stop and smell the roses" better than I ever have before.

Whether one labels being in the flow, living the dogma of Buddhism, or having a sense of humor about the gods playing dice to figure out your destiny, I find that I am engaging more deeply in random minutes, walking the liminal, enjoying that moment of stepping off the cliff wondering whether a wind will carry me, or a net will catch me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Phoning it in

Literally! I'm somewhere without wifi and expect to dancing until after midnight so I am on my 'Berry making the deadline early so I don't blow NaBloPoMo!

Have an awesome Friday night my peeps.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Alone Again, Naturally

Last night as I dived under the covers with a book, as is my nightly habit, I was taken with a deep hit of loneliness. It was a surprise because it is not something I normally feel at that moment. Rather than burying the feeling immediately, I decided to just sit with it, examine it a tiny bit but without a tinge of obsession or a sense of needing to fix it.

Since taking residence here in my nest in early May, I have been alone, slept alone in my bed more than I have in decades. This is not an exaggeration at all, it is plain fact. Mostly I enjoy it endlessly. It has felt a bit like a revelation to go food shopping without thinking of anyone's needs, wants, or palete; to only have myself to answer to regarding my spending; paying off debt rather than accruing more has been heavenly - I used a credit card this spring, an act I haven't done in about five years. Somewhat sadly I have discovered I sleep better when alone - what I lose in dream recall is made up, somewhat, by waking more rested. I now recognize the trade off in having someone in bed with me - it is delicious, comforting (among other things, ahem), but the sleeping is more fitful.

Spending hours, days even by myself holed up with no one for physical company has been restorative and instructive. I have learned that I know how to reach out for companionship, seen how I resist it but know I can choose to stand up for myself by seeking out people. I can sit in the lonely and see what it brings up; interestingly the lonely doesn't show up all that often. It has been nice to see how I "keep house" when it's just me. It has been informative to see where my limits are, to discover my internal motivation on things because there is no one to prod me.

Another thing I have realized, and am working to make peace with, is my life is rarely tidy and structured. When I look back over the years (and at this point there are many of them to review) there has always been something of a nomadic thread, myriad projects and interests, friends and family fun and drama that result in a lack of rut. This is something that largely suits me, but I have occasionally fought it; thinking my life ought to look different, more like some other people's lives, more like how the overall society thinks life should look like, that we should all have a sort of resigned ennui existence. What I am also seeing is that I also am able to manage a great deal of integrity in this lifestyle, that I keep connections, keep commitments (as best as I can given my predilection for procrastination), am good at networking, and have a great sense of humor (which is required for a life as odd as mine).

I am not lonely though I have moments when loneliness is my core feeling, usually quite briefly. There is nothing inherently scary about these moments, they are good reminders about innate vulnerabilities that we all have. In addition that are good reminders about our innate resilience, that we are stronger than our fears.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Movement to conclusion

Around the end of August, or maybe the beginning of September while chatting with a friend, it became apparent that I had a strong yearning to retrieve my things resting in storage in Dayton. There were a few things driving this I believe - one the option to have access to my things that I haven't seen in 1.5 years; a desire to have all my belongings in one state; and perhaps finally to close the Ohio chapter of my adventurous life.

A bit ago I began researching storage places close to either my nest here in New Paltz, or near Sunny. The other problem was figuring out when to go since the drive would be long and with all my traveling, meetings, housesitting it was hard to figure out. Initially I thought I would go in October, clearly that was a bust. Plus with the DNE weekend, well, just wasn't happening. Looking at the calendar, thinking about the weather shifting, and Thanksgiving, well this coming week is the time!

Today I booked a storage site here in New Paltz, let the Dayton place know I was coming to collect my belongings, and reserved a U-Haul trailer. Whew! It feels so good. All of me in one state, and I can have a kitchen table downstairs, a coffee table upstairs, and unearth my fridge magnets! Also I can get my kitchen gear off Sunny's porch and put it in storage close by so if I desire my Cuisinart to make latkes I can. Friday I will drive to Boston to go to Dance Friday, Sunday will be my CCG meeting, then Monday I hit the road. My travel buddy needs to be back in Boston by Friday so it will be a quick turn around but so worth it.

This feels so good, exciting even. It's also been a long time in coming. Of course it means another week away from my cabin but I think it will result in a lot of peace for me.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Utah Day 9, April 27

Dance Hall Rock was exceptional, it is such a wonderful spot and we were lucky enough to be the only ones there. The afternoon into evening was easy and simple.

Janet and Greg, and later Katie as well, were painting while
seated on the same shaded alcove.

We all took turns hiking about on and around the rock. We had a simple dinner, made a fire and had more wine. The moon rise was awe inspiring as it was almost full as it came up over some rock formations.

Moonlight cast a shimmering glow over our camp.

In many ways it was my best sleep which while not saying much, I am grateful for nonetheless. I woke pretty easily around 7 a.m. to the everyone breaking down camp, which I began to do as well. I was rather unreasonably please with my
first start to finish take down of my borrowed tent.

We headed back up Hole in the Rock Road the way we had come to Dry Fork Gulch; the trail head was packed, filled with folks about to enter the trail. It was close to 10am by this time. We turned around in search of a suitable camping site. Finding one where an older gentleman was working on his vehicle, we weren't thrilled is it was very open. The man, who was from Oregon, suggest we go down the path, heading further towards some more varied terrain. We found the perfect site and I set my tent a top the highest mound, playing Queen of the Hill.

Unloading quickly Greg sussed out how
we might hike from our site to our intended goal for the day. Heading out it soon became clear we were blazing an infrequently, largely unused trail. Lots of scrambling down slick rock and building cairns to mark our return route. My knees let me know they were less than thrilled with this plan but such is life.

We found what we thought was the chalk narrows we were aiming for but later we learned we were mistaken. Leaving there we heading toward Brimstone Canyon, entering it was cool and shaded. The stone he
re has more of a pink cast versus the orange of Zebra. Here at least was the Dry Fork Narrows that we thought we had come upon earlier. We partook of lunch here and after some guidance from fellow hikers we gathered ourselves to see Brimstone.

The heat was not bad, the rock was gorgeous. As we turned up stream (no water, just the language and shadow of where water once flowed) we entered a beautiful sandy stretch with a line of trees in the distance directly at the base of the rock face. We marched through the sand around the bend and I did a body check - my ankle had began to ache again, the right thumb joint that is sometimes troublesome was hurting. Taking into account that it was close to another mile in and we still had to head back to camp I made a judgement call and turned around, back to the Narrows. While I tempted to go further than the Narrows and test my trail skills I knew it would make Greg nervous if I was not where I said I would be for meeting up.

At one point a group came by where I was resting and asked if I was from the party of 5 or 6. Yes, I replied. "They said to say hello". It's a largely sweet, affable world this hiker's universe.

(a shot from back at camp, the end of sundown)

Monday, November 08, 2010

It feels like Sunday

Seriously, it does. My out of town friends have all left and are home. I felt nappish and napped rather than studied. Had challenging dreams. Janet says that one's unconscious is six months behind life. I'm not sure I agree.

(my desk area)

At this point it's hard to remember if this was a theme in my dreams before but certainly since leaving Dayton in March 2009 I have had a lot of moving dreams, not surprising since I wasn't living anywhere until a few months ago. Even since getting here to the cabin I haven't been here without an overnight or three for probably more than two weeks. Okay that might be a slight exaggeration but not by much. During my nap I had a dream about Her Geekyness, who I ended things with in February 2009 (hence my move); we were fighting about money and work. Not unlike real life in some ways as finances were always an issue. For me, dreaming about exes seems to be like a check in with myself that I made the right decision. What is funny about that is I never regret leaving relationship, not really. I feel badly sometimes, like maybe I didn't try hard enough before leaving, but I digress. I had to wake myself up because I just couldn't stand the arguing anymore.

Earlier today it sleeted, making for a good sleepy sort of day and a day when keeping the fire going was important but not always easy. Luckily I have done just enough so the temperature downstairs has not sunk below 63F. It seems way too early for such weather but I suppose not.
(another view of that room)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Almost Blew It

It's been a crazy, odd time zone kind of day what with the time change, the weekend event, plans shifting at the turn of a corner and a face wanting time, accommodating newly emerged needs but somehow I am managing to post before midnight, barely.

The weekend was a successful, from what we can tell financially and it certainly seems from the responses many of the organizers heard, it was emotionally successful in that it fed people's need for a DNE dose as winter begins to emerge and the long stretch of cold is before us and dance camp seems far away. Overall I am please with how things went but per my usual I was concocting a "next time" document and the bones of time line for 2011.

My out of town dear friends leave in the morning which is bittersweet, it was such a treat having them on my turf for a change, and there isn't much likelihood of all of them returning soon. At least they were able to see a bit of why I adore where I am as much as I do and play hostess just a tiny bit by offering soup and wine.

Given the weekend, late hours, and the damn daylight savings time my body clock is feeling very off kilter. Tomorrow begins a buckling down of work - school and A&A as well as some DNE. If I use my time wisely I can also begin to make notes on the NY Weekend. Of course I will need to blog as well.

Thus ends the first week of NaBloPoMo, year 5 I believe.