November 21, 2014

Muscles that are strong enough

The rain of course, which is a million different creatures depending on who you are relative to the space you inhabit.  This morning it is skeleton fingers on the sky light six feet above my head in the little loft where I sleep--reminding without it we are dust but with too much this canyon could wash away.  As life, a terror or a blessing as well as the washing fluid dance of every nuance in between…

So the rain wakes me at 3:30 on a morning when I need to rise at 5 to leave for school.  And it is peculiar, how the body remembers.  I lay here and for no seeming reason recall December in 2004.  I'd been asleep in my old bed at Ocean Pines.  My boyfriend at the time was in the twin bed beside me, we'd pushed them together to sleep close.  We were living in Oregon on the coast to make money after traveling for five months and had made a harried, stressful trip home for the holidays.

I remember waking up from the most saturated sleep and sighing and thinking, ohh, it was all a dream.

Then waking came, and reminded me that no, I had a return ticket waiting and the rainy season in the mossy Suislaw and the tides of the Alsea rushing in and out to the Pacific were where I would return.  I didn't have a job and neither did he.  We were in that in-between space that feels like life at any minute will bottom out, that panicky place of potential free-fall.

It was just on the other side of following through with everything we'd set out to do--travel North America and live on her land, sleep in the forests, honor nature as our host and our home.  We were faced next with Now What~and it didn't feel good.

Of course, as life does, it moved on and we did with it.  I got a job, so did he, it was hard to cut heart strings when the time came and we travelled on.  But that body memory.

The oh it's not a dream…I got to do this now and don't really know if I can, march all the way through.

How muscles that are strong enough to do the marching actually come from the journey, the steps you take one by one, to get you to move.

Movement itself is the conditioning, what makes you strong.

That's what the rain brought today.  Makes me wonder what's yet and about to come...

November 15, 2014

The noon church bells

The church bells on Forest in Laguna are my favorite part of Saturday stroll. I am sitting downtown, on a bench in the sun. Thinking about how only a 35 mm could capture the light in the fall
or the spring, or winter.  The special summer light of this town. The noon church bells made me stop, sit.  The kind of sit that is more a prayer.  I slept late so there was only half an hour left when I got to market. The man who sold me sundried peaches for my oatmeal hooked me up with cherries and pluton and apricots too. He charged me $3 which was half the price of what it shoulda been. I left there just now with the biggest grin.

It is noon now, in four and a half hours it will be dark.  I haven't even had my second cup of coffee yet--stopped to write on my way to refill.

There's so much right now that can slide on by...unseen. It's extra important to me, then, to just pause a while. In the sun.

November 13, 2014

Love letters, from Laguna.

The coffee shop I like to go to is on PCH. When I first moved here from HB coffee shop was the very first thing I looked up.  You can sit in the alley and see and speak with the sea.  A corner away is the beach where at the top of the street an oak tree stands so great-big and enchanted I am certain you can get to Avalon through there.  Seriously, there's even a random statue of Pan on that corner which always makes me think about the artists then hippies that mapped this town.  Supposedly, Ken Kesey lived on my street decades ago when it was a commune.  There is an unfinished, always under construction straw-bale sprawling mansion which is the first house on the right and most times when the man is up there under the tarp with the yellow light on slapping on some earthen adobe I think of that.  The free love vibes that built all the funky houses, tucked away back in the canyon where I live.  The folks in and around town comfy-clothed with the little lippy smiles that embody that, still.

Sometimes people in their frenzy get under my skin which is what happened yesterday.  I was in the alley fusing creative writing with thesis research and had really dropped in to the flow.  This hetero couple shows up, he was loud, she louder and that's one of the first things I learned to hate about Southern California.  The obnoxious warm-up suit men with too white teeth, yoga pants women with fake tits fake face or at the least fake blonde hair.  These people always talk too loud and are purposefully drawing attention to themselves.  Often they have a little annoying fuckn dog.

Our coffee shop almost never gets these types, who in my experience don't take the time to meander and sip and stare at the sea.  Anyhow I got up from the alley as soon as they sat down and went inside to the high top in the window.  It had just cleared out and the man was there, beginning the afternoon ritual of roasting the beans.  It's the only coffee shop I've ever been a regular at that roasts their own.  The whir noise and knee-deep smell has become part of the atmosphere for me of love.

It was a little after four so the sun was muted by the horizon clouds.  Hazy orange light came through the front window in a slant from the blind pulled half down.  I was writing and thought I saw a guy I knew.  It started me thinking about how many men I've dated since I've been here.  A lot.  Real, adult dating.  I don't drink so not talking hook-up or first night sex followed by oh shit what next.  But like, I meet men on the beach or out and about or for a while on the dating site and then the customary phone calls and get to know you dates.

A face from the past was on my radar yesterday, we talked for a few minutes about how much we have in common because of our beach lifestyle.  He made me think about this.  Specifically:  I have dated a lot of good, just not right for me men.  Since right around when I moved to Laguna two years ago it started with a lifeguard in Newport and pretty much since has not stopped except for last year when I took three months off.  When a funny outspoken Brazilian guy who drank too much got me playing the  bullshit hang-out games I was so good at in Ocean City before I came west.

I am actually single right now, not dating anyone.  Enjoying the golden silence, considering the momentum of my life.   My life, built by me, measured out in breaths I take in and out and choices I've made.  Clear seeing, looking out on a life made by my own two hands! I have only four months left of school, including this month.  I am not ready to talk about that yet, but it is there like a new part of my breath and I am tending it everyday.  As a rule, since a gnarly gnarly break-up in 2008, I keep my love life tight and quiet on the internet.  We broke up the same month I got on Facebook, so it's sorta been how I reinvented.  Figured out who I was, separate from a man. That's six years behind me now though--and in the orange haze light, that sun that spilled over my hands like it was meant to feed the ink from finger tap to screen, this all amounted in my head yesterday.  Thinking on the men that have showed up as I've walked this whole, wild way made me pause and see this whole, wild way:

My god, I have been in Laguna over two years now.  That is longer than I have ever lived anywhere, ever!  Since I first left my mom's when I was 18.  I have stayed in one place.   I stayed!   Even at Philosopher's Terrace, where I had my name on the lease from 98 to spring in 02, I still left to go live twice with mom.  Alcohol and drugs.  They'll do that shit to you.

I almost left, last summer.  I almost fell back, like a wise woman can slide a minute

into dumb girl hang out games, to my old style of cut and run.

Last week I was picking out furniture for my sun deck, this little wooden alter built up out of the side of a Laguna Canyon wall.  Underneath, my compost bin.  Attached to post, my hammock swings.  I just bought fins, snorkel gear, got my wetsuit out to live in my trunk for easy access.  It would seem rather than making cut and run plans, my intent is to snuggle even further down and in.

What contentment, to nod at the coffee roaster, glance up from the orange-gold on my hands. It doesn't feel melodramatic anymore, like something I need to figure out.  It just is, easy as how the same sun that rises will eventually go down.   Love letters, from Laguna.  From and to my heart, my soul.  They are my own :)


 On their Facebook page! Me in the alley.  
I put their sticker over the Starbucks logo on the plastic cup I reuse.  
Which cracks people up.  It goes everywhere I go.


November 11, 2014

Truth is whole and living and malleable in our hands!


Lately what's in and out of my mind?  Discrepancies. Like in character.

I was living on the road in early 2012.  Hanging out learning magic AND practical ways of how to heal the earth. At a Tibetan Meditation Institute that hosts a bunch of starry-eyed heart-fueled pagans for a permaculture school for 2 and a half weeks every year.  This is up in the Cazadero hills, Sonoma.  I was both, still am, both a peace-full compassion junky meditator and starry-eyed earth-worshipper who believes in the magic fuel of an open heart and can get down in and with the transformative power that happens when we deal with the real deal: our own life-funk and shit. 

A man who was at that training said something like, his contradictions were the best part of him.  And that's it:  Permaculture, 101.  That life thrives the most at the edge, where two ecosystems combine.  Where new life can be let in.  And that's us.  Humans.  Our light part out in the open and our inner dark, our hidden shit.  The center where they combine.

One's not more real or important than the other, which some beliefs would have you worhsip.  The shadow is more real bc it's not persona.  The persona, which can be light-touched, "spiritually" touched, is more real because it's conscious.

Ok so yea, I tend to feel more whole and rich around a starry-eyed shadow-walker than a light-filled shadow-thrower myself! ;)

But to me neither side is true.  Or maybe each is.  Each is a part of the truth?

To me, rigid definitions of our self or each other can become the end of personal vitality.

As I write this, Dead Prez's rap "the cause of your ignorance, flaws in your discipline."   And I get that, the need for discipline, particularly as it arises out of self-introspection and contemplation.  But also--what if personal discipline includes shaking off dogma, includes shaking off any adage that professes because I am this thing I also must be this…?  Meaning, isn't self-discipline about self-honesty?  Isn't that the depths of it?  Honestly looking at what's real about us, shallow or deep or in-between as it possibly is?  

And also, I don't mean just looking at our selves.  I mean making room to embody it, to give how we're feeling in our heart embodiment by being it.  Experiencing it, experimenting with what's emerging.

This is a major issue with words, by the way.  How they are symbols for something we already associate.  Which means we will read them written by others and embody our preconceived notion of them instead of allowing the thought-function to drop us in more deep.

(Pardon that interjection…)

You know Gandhi right?  Most people do, at least because of that meme  you must be the change you wish to see.  If you study him, like really try to get down with the man behind his words…Read his autobio, read the critical readings that arose from that.  Gandhi's whole point was live what you believe, live it, embody it.  AND if, as you do so, it no longer feels exemplary of your soul, change what you speak to match what does.  Change how you be to meet what's true for you.  Be the change you wish to see.

Of course, this coming from a man who lived women as second class citizens and who also believed sex and sex energy was wrong to embody…

DISCREPENCIES.  Truth is whole and living and malleable in our hands!  That means changeable!

AND we can't see whole parts of our selves sometimes!  The shit is in the dark!  That means we can't see it!  Haha the best we can do is have compassion for this, understand we are half blind groping around for light and touch.  Each of us.

I have this buddy Justin who I love.  He said in December that he was worried about me.  That my mountain was blocking out my sun.  He was talking about grad school.

That's just it.  When you can't see--you can't see THAT YOU CAN'T SEE!

Have mercy on us, each.  May it begin, within.

Last week, I walk out to the driveway to get in the car and go to my favorite place, Mermaid Beach.  I wanted to, had to, go dive under the ocean green.  Crazed Kelly zeal.  A hummingbird catches my eye and mesmerizes me in the deeper way.  I drop in, meaning, I recognize that it stirred my heart to see that little bird, so I honor the stir.  It reminds me in that moment of a time in 2004 when I was living in the national forests and wilderness in this country. I lived the reality that it is possible to be able to interact with nature and to experience nature outside as reflective of your inner nature--follow me here, this is BIG mindbendy stuff--to Know them as one thing.   To embody nature as interactive with you, as reacting to you as you too react to it.  That this can happen if and when you deprogram your ideas that that's not real.  I think all this in an instant because those years of 04 and 05 is when that was my primary lesson, and it partially started with an experience while living in the woods with both hummingbirds and butterflies.

Hummingbird is a symbol for spontaneous joy.  I think of this driving to Mermaid Beach, let my thoughts of this symbol spiral me down more and more to the heart where living truth is.  Feel jamming and alive in the moment.  Yea, dude.  My JOY'S BEEN GONE.  This feeling of life inside me.  It's been so…FLEETING. I haven't been awake to it, because you know…Dark.

Next thing I know I am laying out my towel on Mermaid Beach and here flies up this sweet little hummingbird doing horrible unstoppable spirals at my towel unable to stop bc his or her little wing is hurt.  I mean she's freaking with the panic look in her eye.  She or he lands then at my towel and I scoop her or him up in my scarf and do reiki on the little creature, singing and loving it and very gently caressing the little sweetie, bc really, what else is there--that's all we can really do.
Then when the warmth passes and I can tell it's time to put him back on the sand, I do.  She sits about a minute or two and then flies off no problems.

So I get to heal a symbol of Joy.

So now here I sit, thinking about rigidity, and dead forms of things, and how our vitality can disappear easy as that.  And old systems of self-care, and giving too much because we think it's what were supposed to do, and how this is as rigid as it gets: "supposed to".  And how we don't see, cuz we can't see that we don't, til we do.  

If you're following ANY of this, good for you.  ha

Discrepancies.  Sid Hartha, Herman Hesse.  He wrote about it.  Everything is true including the opposite of the truth.  

So yea, seeing the shit!  Dark paradise, when finally on comes the light. What will I choose (the holiest discipline there is: choice.  And it's opposite too, deciding not to choose…a half-lined choice, itself) today to make alive?  Who do I get to be?

(and will it look like a long ass diatribe instead of my thesis, Ch, 3???)

November 10, 2014

A brand new chance


It's been a long day.  I just remembered that I left to see my first client at 7:30 this morning.  That feels like it was last week.

There are heavy, heavy things going on with people I love.

It makes me feel sad which I can handle but today sad is edging near lonely, which is the shadow side of appreciating a handmade life all your own.  That part doesn't feel good.

I had a meltdown about my thesis and feeling like there is no way what I am writing is good enough.  It is profound to me, the depths of self-doubt I have around raising my voice and valuing the Women's Mysteries as something real and valid and profound.

Erika of course came through with her wisdom and words.

This is the part where I pause and remind myself--feeling curled up around the edges is old self-care which means I have started to slide with managing my basic needs.  This can happen ten times a day.  And does.  To all of us.  Can we stay close and present when we see it?  That's the thing….

Saturday I spent at a beach clean-up then at Aliso Creek for snorkeling and sunset bonfire fun. There is nothing that relaxes me like the elements.  A long salt soak.  The way fire unwinds the muscles, makes the soul softly sing.  How surf pounds on the sand in the dark steadies the beat of your heart.

Sunday I acted a fool with Alison at Sharkeez from breakfast time til literally after the sun went down.  Somehow all that golden time of fun seems far off in the background now.
Brian writes and says he wishes we had smart phones when we were kids to have caught the goofy stuff we did.  Like our old renditions of Stand By Me.  That knocks me back to 6th grade, he woulda been in 3rd, when that was our major jam.  Somehow it is November again, the end of the year closes in.   It is time to shut this computer: STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN!  and let the day bring its quiet end.

Cuz then comes tomorrow, its new experience of present tense.  A brand new chance at joy and choosing love, once again~