Category Archives: Freedom

Resurfacing…

It has been over a YEAR since I posted. It seems hard to believe that, but it is true. This year has been beyond description—the things that really matter have been underground, wordless, shapeless. I have tried to describe them to others, but I find that the only way someone understands is if they have had the same sort of experiences in their lives.

Mysterious healing of old wounds and rifts. Moments of deep depression and anxiety. Experiences of the rightness of the entire journey. Accepting that I am loved beyond measure; recognizing that we all are. Surrendering to trust in the Mystery: it prescribes the perfect journey for me. No other path is needed.

As I emerge, it is indeed like that well-worn metaphor of the caterpillar and the butterfly. Without longing for the cycle to cease, I trust the arising and also the descent. Light and dark. The great blessing of being human.  To be caterpillar and butterfly, and then again—caterpillar, butterfly. Every day, til the heart stops beating, the cycle will carry me, sing to me, call me home to my own heart. It’s not a place of perfect joy. It’s a place of emotional range and brilliant experience.

Hello. Welcome back to my blog. And welcome home to your life. How’s things with you?

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i can’t do this anymore

the title is how I feel…so, I’d say, change is in the air

Waking up wondering what the hell I’m doing. There is a solution: to keep busy. But instead, I’m scuba diving down deep into my being. Whatever that is. And searching. For who? For what? For some kind of a clue to a deeper presence and a deeper surrender. To a place of self-honor instead of self-betrayal.

from the Diamond Sutra:

“This is how to contemplate our conditioned existence in this fleeting world: Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream; like a flash of lightening in a summer cloud, or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream. So is all conditioned existence to be seen. Thus spoke the Buddha.”

massive change

In April I spent 10 days on the big island of Hawaii, in retreat with Vanessa Stone and 8 amazing friends. It was a truly heart- and mind-opening experience.

I am not going to write about the experience, not specifically and not here and now. But I will say that I left and returned home to Santa Cruz with some pretty clear realizations:

1. I want to and am ready to move to Austin, TX. To be near Vanessa Stone and her work with the Amala Foundation. To become more a part of that amazing organization and its humanitarian projects. And to simply reach out, broaden my horizons, welcome the world in.

2. I am not any longer interested in spending time worrying or analyzing. I am 100% committed to what is offered, to looking and seeing what is in front of me. To following the living map of my life, on a daily, hourly, breath-by-breath basis.

3. My foundation is my relationship to the core of my being, which I choose to call “God” or spirit, the absolute, pure love, the beloved. And that is where I will look for all guidance. Not outward. Not anymore.

So…I immediately was offered a place to stay in Austin for 6 weeks in June/July, for free, to housesit. My boss told me that he wants me to keep working for them (I already work remotely). I gave notice at my wonderful cottage by the creek. I’m finishing up this semester of school (mostly in the darkroom!), getting rid of all my stuff (again!) and hitting the road on June 11.

To say I am EXCITED would be a massive understatement.

All That’s Left

It’s late. Later than usual, for me. Outside, the full moon transits over my house. And yours. Everyone’s house is covered by the moonlight tonight.

I sit at this desk, in this house, typing on this keyboard. There is a sudden clarity, a clear light, a relief. Miraculous, instantaneous. I am ok.

It sounds like a 70s self-help book. But it’s not. It’s just the lifting of darkness, the rising of the moon, the startling recognition of the simplicity of being. When the sun went down, I was confused. Now, in the middle of the night, that confusion has melted and all that’s left is all that is. Moonrise. Sunset.

Wet and Tired in San Luis Obispo

I woke up in a hotel room in San Luis Obispo at 6 am this morning. I don’t even need an alarm anymore. I jut wake up. And when I looked outside, it was raining. I’ve got a long drive home, and a photoshop assignment to do.

I’ve been pretty sporadic with this blog. Inconsistently posting. And more than that, it feels pretty amorphic. Unformed. Shapeless. Some bloggers seem to blog happy, witty stuff. Some people spin with they say, so they look cool. Some people moan and groan. I don’t want to do any of these things. I just want to write about life, and what it’s like to live it, and post photographs.

I’m struggling with inner voices telling me I’m no good. The thing is, while I have a hard time believing them, I can’t quite get away from them, either. There are two main things I beat myself up about: I don’t get shit done and I don’t like the way I acted with someone. I want to be perfect. I want to be endlessly productive. I want to be the best friend who ever was. I want to be a master at sitting in silence. But…it turns out, I am not perfect, I am incredibly inefficient, I blurt out stupid and hurtful things before I realize what I’m saying, I am endlessly distracted and I fidget continuously.

Okay. Truth be told, it’s not that bad. Mostly, I’m doing well, I have good friends, a nice home…but the days keep turning into weeks, months and years, and very-few-to-none of my ideas get manifested. This is incredibly frustrating. I feel like I am wasting my life. And who knows how much time I’ve got left. Two times in the past three days, I came *THS* close to getting run off the road by an almost-out-of-control tractor-trailer. Every morning I wake up and think, Oh my god, I’m still alive. How much longer is this gift gonna last? I think how precious this human existence is, and how I want to make something of it and not waste it, and be fully fully alive, loving, particpatory. I realize I had checked out of life for a LONG time. Finding my way back in is proving to be a challenge.

 

 

video art

today I had my first class of the semester

Video Art

Wow, there’s some freaky shit out there. The instructor showed us some various “art” videos on youtube. I am looking forward to exploring more. I think I’ll invite some friends to be involved in my projects this semester. Maybe the piano player will compose some music for a project. And we can do a cool misty layered nature dance poetry barefoot nymphs in the forest thing. Or, maybe it’ll be just me and the creek, with the rushing water as the only soundtrack. Or…stay tuned!

I went to Fremont today to put together a report I’ve been working on, and leave it in a binder on the project manager’s chair. She wasn’t in the office. Which was good—I don’t want to see her. I find myself so annoyed that I’m doing this work. And simultaneously very grateful that I have it, that it’s good money and that it gives me the opportunity to continue this floating, drifting, following my heart thing I’ve been doing.

I don’t know where this is all leading. Some days, I get freaked out about that. But really what’s the point? It’s not like I really have a choice. Whenever I try to get a “real” job (which I have done many times in my life) I always end up miserable and sooner or later I quit. So, fuck it. I’m just gonna keep creating, keep trusting, and keep doing enough biologist kind of work to pay the bills.

On a deeper level I realize more and more that what I’m really doing—and all I want to do—is live in service to something greater than myself. Something that is me, and is also you and you and you. It is a great feeling when I get connected to my heart and remember so clearly what is important, what this life is about for me. Service.

The first post I wrote in this blog was about Service. It was almost 2 years ago–hard to believe–and I was going off to live at Mount Madonna Center for a 3-month program called Yoga, Service and Community. I had just quit my last full-time career kinda job, and I knew that I wanted my life to be about service. And it was at Mount Madonna that I met Vanessa Stone. Recognized and resonated with her message that our humanity is our spiritual path, that we can look to the living map of our own life to guide our soul’s journey. It was my call home.

I went to Austin that August for the Global Youth Peace Summit put on by the Amala Foundation and Vanessa, and it was afterwards, staying in a friend’s house in Austin, that I realized I wanted to write, to photograph, to create—and that the work I have to do is to communicate “spiritual ideas” through various creative outlets.

And so, here I am…still midwifing this new life into being. Remembering tonight that there is nothing required but gentleness and allowing. I am so grateful. For the full moon, the creek, the little cottage sanctuary I call my home today. And for you, reading this. Please read. Read what I write and let me know what you think. It will help me so much to hear from you. May you be blessed in every way.

 

Falling into the Mystery

If I seek the unbridled joy of being alive (and I do) then much is required. To crawl into the pain, nest there and pull it close around me. To sob until the tears turn to laughter. To sink into the silence at the core of being. To see God in everything, in every last piece of this crazy world.

I trust that process. I know that what is offered is all I could ever want. That the fullness of each moment constantly surrounds me, whispering of love.

As I come out of a period of deep depression, I find myself surrendered. Beaten to a joyous pulp, with nothing left to fight against. My heart has become the instrument of seeing. The mind divides and judges, but the heart pierces that veil. The heart can see clearly: that which animates galaxies and lovers and a child’s laughter also animates so-called evil. There is no separation. There is nothing “other.” Not really.

So I feel the embrace of the beloved, the god of my understanding, the force that manifests and sustains and destroys.

Olema Sunset I
Olema Sunset II
Olema Sunset III