Category Archives: Life

Austin Loves Me

Wow…that’s all I can say.

Austin has welcomed me. I am finding my way around, internally as well as externally. The slideshow below is a collection of photos from the land/farm where I’m living til the end of July (house/dog/cat sitting while my friend, Emily, explores India). It has been good to me, except the scorpions in the house were a bit much. But I (with regret) asked the landlord to spray the outside of the house, which he did, and so far it’s working.

I have found a place to live permanently, once Emily returns. It is in the SW part of Austin, in a cool neighborhood kind of tucked away and surrounded on 3 sides by the greenbelt! I can walk right onto hiking trails. This is my dream come true. I will be close to the Amala Foundation office/center, Barton Springs pool, and to everything cool in South Austin.

Totally groovy details:

  • It’s a 1/1 duplex, totally brand new, being renovated right now from the garage of a house.
  • Next door in the 3/1 main house will be my friend, Seva, and her two daughters aged 10 and 12. Built-in community, family style.
  • Our landlord, Paul, is uber cool and is including my input into the renovation. He is also giving me: washer/dryer (hookups INSIDE the unit), bed, big table to use as desk, three chairs, 2 huge bookshelves…and other things but I can’t even remember what because I’m still in shock.
  • The rent is exactly what I paid in Santa Cruz, although utilities might be more. Place is probably 3x as big, though.
  • Unit has a high-tech, efficient, brand new AC/heating unit that also purifies the air and is quiet.

I am perhaps most importantly finding my center here. In a whole new way. I feel set free, agreed with, supported to create and live entirely for the soul. To continue to deepen into what that means.

In the mornings, I sit and write. I am processing photographs and beginning to post them online. Exploring options for a website, and for making some of my photos available for sale. Why not, right?

More than anything, I am beginning to feel at home in this world. In alignment. Not needing something from outside; connecting to all I need on the inside. Blessed to be alive.

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.

 

 

Let the Beauty We Love Be What We Do

Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty

and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study

and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

 Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

And so…I begin.

Sit in silence as the sun rises.

Listen to that stuck-ness somewhere inside and don’t hate it. Let it be.

Wash my hair.

Write a poem.

Laugh with a friend.

Cry at a movie.

Cry listening to NPR.

Wish for magic.

Believe in unicorns.

Read Rumi.

Laugh.

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.

 

ok, yes, i know photos are more interesting

I don’t have any photos here. But I need to post something. Just to kick myself in the behind. And get moving forward. Having stalled out, this is the moment to start my engine. It does not matter what I have not done in the last 24, 48, or 36 hours.

All that is over.

This is the only moment. This one.

So, with the energy of the here and now, I declare emancipation from the past.

Okay, that was helpful. Have a great moment, yourself.