not enough

You lucky, lucky girl.
You have an apartment just your size.
A bathtub full of tea.
A heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid.
~  Frida Kahlo

Sometime the slosh of my messy compassion falls over the rim of my cup and cauldron

as tears, it burns my skin like a 40mph wind blowing in the parking lot, in 20 degree temperatures

hands wet, ice forms, did my excess become his only meal that day?

tears because I can’t give more

homeless4

then later

12 miles, nothing to me, but 12  miles a recent jailbird didn’t have to walk.

He has a 7 month old he saw for the first time at a court appearance. She’s sitting up now.   Strong legged he says.

I sure wish you well.  There is a lot of  crazies out there for sure, not just there – where you’re from – but everywhere.

I said, “When we don’t have our basic needs met anymore, like food, water, house, respect and love….that’s when it all goes downhill”.

I double around from Leupp road

Wonder at the simplicity of providing just a tiny molecule of the basics.


Travel Interruptus

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“To be free is to be capable of thinking one’s own thoughts –- not the thoughts merely of the body, or of society, but thoughts generated by one’s deepest, most original, most essential and spiritual self, one’s individuality.”
- Rudolf Steiner

I was worldly enough when I was eighteen that I knew I could handle buying a truck, getting a dog, and hitting the road. I wanted to see sunrises from the east coast of America and sunsets from the west coast. I wanted to see the land between the sunrise and the sunset. I wanted to experience our Earth firsthand. I had read, “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac and it infected me.

I was one of the few, out of my small-town class of 100 graduates, a high percentage of which were pregnant, who showed promise of doing well at an institution of higher learning. I knew what awaited me at college and I knew it could wait. I just wanted to live on my own terms for a while.

I didn’t think my desire was all that unusual, but, to a person, everyone told me that I was nuts to be a single female and travel around like that. Even if someone was initially excited about living vicariously through me, or had done something similar themselves when they were young, they ended our exchange with doubts, and the ever present belief that women aren’t safe out in the big wide world by themselves.

Go to school and learn how to support yourself”, they said. But, I figured I’d learned how to support myself in all the important ways already – how to navigate the system, how to not go totally bat-shit crazy or end up in prison – isn’t that the bottom line? Whether we’re rich or poor, the institutions of psych wards and prisons are often the last stop for those of us that can’t deal with life. I sure as hell didn’t want to join any institution quite yet, not even one that promised higher learning.

Then I got a couple of local scholarships, and this tipped the scales. I was the only person, out of my entire graduating class, that applied…and the money wouldn’t wait for me to wander around for a while. So I succumbed to the false sense of security a college degree promises. But I would never actually know that false security, because three semesters into college I quit and moved to San Francisco to follow my harmonica-playing boyfriend.

While the geographic change was exciting and liberating on many levels, it was not the nomadic life I had envisioned for myself. Instead of inciting the travel bug in me, my time in San Francisco, in many ways, showed me how to stay put. I was lucky to be part of a circle of friends during this time of my life, who became family to me. These people taught me how to give myself enough room to roam, but always helped me find home again. I experimented with various types of “freedom” in San Francisco, (If you’re going to do it, there’s no better place than San Francisco!) and only occasionally experienced the speeding-away-into-the-unknown of a long road trip. I sped away into my inner world through yoga, Buddhism, and psychedelics, and my outer world on my own two feet, public transportation, and the passenger seat of the lovers who followed the harmonica-player. Little bits at a time, I learned that freedom was a state of mind that I could cultivate, no mater where I was, or what I was doing.

Despite not having a college degree, I learned how to find, and keep a job. I knew how to pay bills, and stretch the rest to make it to the end of the month. But I also learned other ways of supporting myself. I supported my creative needs with many art, writing, and movement activities and classes. I supported my mental health by starting to disengage from unhealthy family dynamics. And, I discovered the welcome openness of my chosen community.

I sowed most of my wild oats in the City by the Bay, not along the freeways and backroads of the world, where I thought they would fall. This may have been a blessing in disguise. Who knows where I would have ended up had I followed the call to wander far and wide. I may never have found my current partner or had the opportunity to raise children. The seven-by-seven square miles of San Francisco contained many ways for me to experience freedom while still having somewhere safe to land, if I needed it.

When I had my first child, I knew that my almost completely subsumed desire to wander would have to go dormant, at least for a while. It as a chaotic and challenging time in my life. I was with a man that I had only known for three months before I became pregnant and, while we did eventually marry, our lives where not to be bound together for long. I had gotten a position at a local university as an assistant to a man that was a virtual rock star in the ethnobotanical world and I was struggling under the pressure. After a change of jobs, and some soul searching, I am blessed now to be married to the father of my second son, who has the same love of travel that I do, but also has a strong sense of family and home.

Surely, I have known moments of freedom, but it seems to show up unexpectedly and blessedly like a summer thunderstorm – hardly ever when and where I want it to. As I sit here to write in a momentarily empty house, I feel free to write about it. And yet, the freedom to reflect is not the same as experiencing something for the first time.

My life is now bound to my family and community, and I find freedom by looking at each day with the freshest pair of eyes I can. To see my life, that looks like so many other lives out there, through a wide -open, thoughtful and unencumbered gaze, is probably where I would have eventually ended up, after I was through with The Road, and had come back home. That’s what I like to tell myself, anyway.

No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.” – Rothfuss

 


devour it all

please feed me

the late afternoon

on a plate and

I will devour it all

bens pumpkin early morning zazen gingerbrd IMG_0028 orchid leaf orchid light pop rose vertical


Need

Is progress and development and ‘growth’ (economic growth is implied) really what we need on this planet?

From the little I’ve come to know about life, if we don’t value what we have right now, then we won’t know how to value the thing we want, once we get it.  We all know the course the dominant culture is on is insatiable.

But what do we need?

We need unadulterated food, soil, air, water and love.

trashpickers

We may think we need more golf courses, economic development, low-wage chain stores, and McMansions, a raise, a newer car, etc. (Yeah, I know, in the short-term a raise can be life saving – but I’m talking the Big Picture)

Maybe a community’s desire to be self-sufficient is what we really need. A group of people who live in a geographic region who desire to sustain themselves and their neighbors to the best of their ability by their own hands, not the hands of 14 year olds in Bangladesh, or the credit afforded by the Big Banks to amass more trinkets.

If money is a lien against the Earth’s resources (raw earth resources as well as human/animal labor), why do we in this country and others, continue to live in such a way that the debt we incur will never, and can never, be paid off? Nothing can bring back the hundreds of mountaintops removed for coal in the oldest mountain range in the U.S., for instance.

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In the little high-desert town that I live in, there is a strong push these days to get the “economy” going at a faster pace.  A push to build more and make more money, and in this currently reigning paradigm that is what is needed.  But it’s not a paradigm I subscribe to.  What if the people in this town, instead of wanting more new businesses to open to provide more jobs, found ways to turn the needs of those who live here into a business?  Creating community kitchens so that those who would like to make a business out of making food for others could do it without having to open a restaurant?  One GREAT thing that Flagstaff just did is open a community workshop – THAT’S what I’m talking about!


From One comes the Ten Thousand Things

“63 ways happy people stay happy”

“5 ways to become more mindful”

“83 things to think about other than Breaking Bad”

“3 mantras to help with anxiety” (For only a $1 more you get a free mudra)

“365 days of the “right” food”

“7, 9, or 12 steps to Financial Freedom”

“These 12 Exercises are the only ones you need!”

and on and on and on….

What is one thing that makes all these other “how-to’s” obsolete?

Attention.

Just that.

What am I paying attention to today?


Tiny Deluge: Beauty in the dry heat

I had a camera.  It stopped working.  Then I got another one, with a light sensor that I didn’t know I hated.  Now I am camera-less again, but wanted to share a few pics that I took prior.

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Rise up or Die: Some questions

We stand helpless before the corporate onslaught. There is no way to vote against corporate power. Citizens have no way to bring about the prosecution of Wall Street bankers and financiers for fraud, military and intelligence officials for torture and war crimes, or security and surveillance officers for human rights abuses.

VIA: Chris Hedges: Rise up or Die – Truthdig.com

Having read Chris Hedges book “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt”, where he and Joe Sacco go to some of the most impoverished parts of the US and report back that yes, what is happening in this country is the same destruction and sickness that we attribute to third world countries, I was happy to see that he is still speaking up and out about our current state of affairs.

What will be the issue(s) that cause you to rise up or die?

Will you wait until your home mortgage is upside down and you have nowhere to go? Or, will you wait to confirm that the cancer you have is definitely caused by GMOs or pesticides, or your shampoo?  Will you wait until, like in Greece, the government that is no longer FOR the people nor BY the people, plan to literally take your money from your accounts?

I ask myself these same questions. I have risen up on occasion, but I think that what we all know is coming is a mass rising. That said, I do not feel that the rising has to be an “against” rising.  I would love for it to be a “for” rising.

What would you rise for? Are you and I wiling to stand and rise for a sustained period of time or just on the weekends to carry signs in front of passing traffic?  What will finally cause us to coalesce into the powerful billions that we are?

What connection does rising up have to householding?  It has complete connection.  Our planet is our home.  We all collectively hold this earth, as it holds us, and have the power to destroy our ability to live on it or to increase, peacefully, our ability to live on it.

As with householding and homemaking, we have choices. Thank the Gods we still have choices!  We CAN disengage from the current paradigm in many meaningful ways. These are not easy ways in this world, though.  Who wants to disconnect from all the electrical input, for starters? No one.  So, how to continue to be connected but not through a controlled system? How can we have control of our own food if we get 98% of it from a manufacturer? How can we even think of doing these things when we don’t have enough money to make any ends meet? I do believe the answers to these questions are individual and collective. We do what we can and then find like-minded, supportive others to learn, grow and celebrate with.

The great news is that people in your community or location have been doing this type of disengagement for a long time.  Go find those people and talk to them.  Use what you can from what they know and rise up to the occasion of living your life for yourself and the good of your community, not for the profit of a few.

The Fifth Sacred Thing film in development, narrated by Olympia Dukakis.

The Fifth Sacred Thing film in development, narrated by Olympia Dukakis.


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