Saturday, January 31, 2009

excerpt from the familial realm

tonight i wrote an email response to one of my aunts who had contacted me a few weeks ago. she was expressing concern about my life and it's direction. i assume because she thought it was going the wrong direction, they don't usually write things like this otherwise. i appreciate her concern, and i encourage any other family members who are holding their tongues to speak up, let's have it out, i'm ready for ya. do you think i'm in dire straits? or more of a twisted sister? haha. anyway, i'm posting my response for you all to enjoy, laugh at, disdain, or whatever.

aloha _____,
i'm finally ready to put this email together, i've been thinking about it all week. you've tapped into an ocean of memories, beliefs, and experiences that have shaped me into who i am today. i will answer your questions as honestly and completely as i can, and i appreciate this chance to get to know you.

you wrote,
"One thing I have wanted to ask you for a while is - What are you running from? I cannot say that I know the environment in which you grew up in. I know your family and their beliefs, their convictions but only you know the impact your childhood had on you. We each have a perception of things we have been through. My view of my childhood is going to be somewhat different than my brother or my sister. What is yours?"

first, i am not running from anything. i am right here, living my life like any other person, i don't really know what you mean by this. do you mean to ask why i don't live near my family? i love them all very much and enjoy the time we spend together, but it's better for me not to live in central PA, i find it depressing and boring. i prefer a life of adventure, traveling has always been a passion of mine, and i want to live in and experience as many places on the globe as possible. that's why i'm not physically there with them. there are also spiritual differences, though i see them more as societal differences because i have no problem with jesus, i rather like him, but the culture of christianity in this country is irritating to me. most of my christian family has subscribed to a collection of so-called spiritual beliefs that i find absurd. there seems to be much less to do with the actual experience of god's presence and much more to do with constructing beliefs about what other people should be doing. 'spreading the gospel' is more about condemning peoples rituals, actions and choices than about the teachings of jesus, and i find that very off-putting.
second, my experience of childhood was altogether enjoyable. my parents taught me the important lessons of honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, and independence, and i think they are proud of me now. sure, we had some rough patches, but that's normal. they always did their best and stood their ground based on what they believed, and i respect them immensely for that. i gather from your email that you had a very different experience of childhood and i'm sorry for that, i'm glad you found your way into my family, they are nothing if not safe and reliable. and i admit, if my beliefs lined up more closely with yours, i'm sure we'd be closer, but something about my family's set of beliefs makes it impossible for them to accept someone who doesn't believe the same things. they are constantly trying to convince me that they are right and therefore everyone who doesn't believe that way is wrong and frankly i'm tired of it. i've been through enough ridicule and shaming and it's not healthy for me to subject myself to it anymore. i know you'll find that hard to believe, but you don't have to believe it. that's the difference with me, i'm willing to accept that we can't meet eye to eye. the experience of being human is varied, and that's what makes it wonderful. we were not all born to be christians, or muslims, or jews. we are all here on different paths and that's what makes the intricate web of life on earth so fascinating.

you wrote,
"I had actually feared rejection from them in the beginning since I was such a horrible person. They loved me and accepted me. They didn't like our lifestyle but they loved us."

this is not the experience i've had with my parents. when i have been honest with them about my life i have been met with rejection, sorrow and being cut-off from them in many ways. i've decided not to share the details of my life anymore because of this. i want to spend the time we have on earth together in harmony, enjoying the things we have in common, not quarreling about our differences. i knew i wasn't a 'horrible person', i was just not cut from the same cloth. i think your experience was due to the fact that you fell into the range of acceptability by the time they met you--you were straight, loved their son (brother) who had been living on the edge, and were moving in the direction of marriage. i'm happy that you feel comfortable in my family, and now that you're a christian, there's no reason for you not to.

you wrote
"I am telling you all of this to say that everything is your life has happened for a purpose. Nothing has happend by chance or mistake. God has allowed you to experience all that you have experienced for a reason."

i know. i'm not a stranger to god's plan for my life. god speaks to me everyday, it's not some mystical experience, it's all right here right now. just because i don't worship the way you do or call god by the same names, doesn't make me any further from her. i don't believe god has a gender, and calling god 'she' is helpful to break that illusion. i don't like to talk about my experience of god with my parents because they would probably tell me i was doing it wrong. exactly what i don't need someone telling me when i'm sharing the deepest experiences of my life.

you wrote
"God has a purpose and a plan for my life that required me to experience the good and the bad. The same is true for you."

again, i know. it's not news that bad exists in equal proportion to good. it's a law of physics applied to the metaphysical realm.

you wrote
"God has made my passion women and teens. To be able to reach out the the hurting and to understand what they are going through. I have truly been there. I can relate.
I don't know what your view of God is or Christianity but I kinda get that you are turned off by it. I am sure there are good reasons for it. I just know that your pursuit of happiness is leaving you empty."

you just explained how your life was so different than mine and now you say you've 'been there'? been where? to my life? no, i don't think you have, but that's not a concern. you are trying to reach out to me and i respect that, but don't try to turn me into a victim who has been hurt by life. i'm in good shape, and i'm deeply enjoying the pursuit of happiness. no, everyday is not an absolute miracle of joy, but who's life is? yours? that would seem to contradict the 'experience the good and the bad' aspect of life. or do you propose that once one finds god, there is no more bad? i found this part of your email to be a bit contrived, why do you think i am 'empty'? because i don't believe the way you do? that's an old psychological trick (one that's surely been played on you too) to make someone believe they need something that they don't. tell them they are not complete without -fill in the blank-. this is precisely why i am distant from my christian family. they can't believe, in fact it goes against the very nature of their version of christianity to believe that someone can be whole without 'christ'. i don't lack christ, i don't lack anything, i am a whole human being, loved and cared for by the same natural forces that love and care for you, i just don't believe the same myths you do.

i don't mean to be harsh, but this is a tired subject for me. i am not offended by what you wrote, and despite what you may have heard, i am not adverse to having an intelligent conversation about religion, i believe we've just had one. i respect where you are coming from and i hope you can at least accept my position.

i hope to have a fun visit with you when you come to hawaii, and i'll try to post pictures soon, my camera doesn't work right now. it's incredibly beautiful here in the tropical rainforest, as usual i guess!

all the best,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

my bf started a blog!

hey, i'm so excited because my bestest friend in the whole wide world started a blog! he is a talented writer, actor, dancer, singer, and knitter. and i love him so. sooooooo!

moving guide

here's a guide for those who wonder how to move to a tropical island.

financially, i suggest having about 5 thousand dollars to make it a smooth transition. this will allow you to pay for your flight and shipping costs, getting your companion animals here, having a place to stay while you find a job, etc. if you have less, it's totally possible, but you will have to be willing to do things such as sleep in a tent and/or WWOOF on some farms, which are really good things if you actually want to meet people and see what's happening on the island. don't worry about where to go once you get here, that's the easy part, getting here is the biggest obstacle. leaving all your things, your friends, your ability to drive to your mom's house, your job, those are the hard things. trust me, the obstacles once you get here are nothing compared to the mammoth beasts that stand in the way of leaving. and yes, you will miss them, but it will be ok, there are lots of people here (there) who miss things, but we're still happy to be here.

once you land, start connecting with people. try couchsurfing, hanging out at the beach, going to bars, frequenting the laundromat or the coffeeshop. you will inevitably meet people who have access to the things you need like a a job, a place to stay, etc. follow up on all your leads. lots of them will be dead ends, you are mapping out your place in this land, don't expect to avoid all wrong turns, failure is just as important as success in this venture.

island life is different than mainland life--there is no where to run, everyone knows each other, and you will have the chance to meet just about everyone. i used to have anxiety about 'missing my chance' with people who could be my friends, lovers etc, but here it is really unnecessary, unless they leave the island. that's the beauty and the bain of a closed circuit society.

most importantly, if what you need is unavailable, try waiting for a while. patience is the ultimate key because it's all here, it's just not all available all the time. besides, how bad can it be to wait it out on a beautiful black sand beach reading that book you never had time for and sipping coconut juice.

Monday, January 26, 2009


today i met my new friend andrea at her free house (no one pays for housing anymore you know) and she took me up to the ranch to do some work to earn a horseback ride. we roll up to the place which appears to be an enormous tent structure surrounded by a dozen thin horses tied to small trees eating out of buckets. introductions are made, cheeks kissed, and the owner of the place, kelie, asks
"do you ride?"
"yes" i reply.
"neck rein? push with the outside leg?"
"yeah." I say.
"ok, i'll put you on that appy an test you out"

i saddle up a redheaded mare with freckles named marty who seems docile enough as i climb on her, walk her over to where kelie is standing. she points toward the tent and says "turn her that way". i lift the reins, lay them over her neck and she turns, light as a feather. before she gets three steps in, kelie waves and nods, then turns back to her scattered flock of people horses and dogs. test over, passing grade.

everyone's on, ready to go when a mysterious man shows up in cowboy gear looking for kelie. she shrewdly askes him if he does drugs. confused, he shakes his head and they walk off for a private chat. she comes back, mounts her gelding and chirps "traveling", the signal for us to move out.

the first order of business is to move the herd of 'wild' horses from one pasture to another, greener one. this is accomplished with much confusion, galloping, and one horse running through a barbed wire fence. ok, i thought, this is reckless horsemanship, and my senses perked up, ready for danger. after the skinniest horse i'd ever seen was roped and given a de-wormer, we moved the herd into their new pasture and the trail ride began.

picture the deepest blue ocean you've ever seen as your horizon, then paint rolling grass covered hills spotted with cattle leading up to a snow capped mountain, don't forget some puffy white clouds to temper the sun, and a gentle steady breeze to make you comfortable in a sweatshirt. place your feet in the stirrups atop a dashing dappled mare and urge her forward into an easy lope across the lush pasture as you breath in the clean air, smiling because there's nothing else you want to do. this is my winter in hawaii.

after crossing rocky rivers, floating through the downiest evergreens, and riding out the buck before the run, we returned to the ranch for burgers, beers, and story. the people are rugged, the burgers are as local as they get, and the horses are getting by alright. they do this every sunday, and i'm invited. it ain't paradise, but it's pretty good, and i went home sore and satisfied.

it's uncanny how many wishes have been granted to me this week: a comfortable place for me and freyja to live indefinitely, a piano in my house so i can start playing again, horses i can ride on a regular basis, friends who hurt my gut with laughter--i got it all, and i got it all for free.

i've been given the key to the island, and in record time--less than 2 months. this is what makes traveling worthwhile. taking the challenge to find my place, trust the process, and record the memories.

Friday, January 23, 2009

the space of creation

fate has dealt another card on the table and changed what was a doubtful outlook on the flop to a secret smile on the turn, i'm betting with some confidence no matter what the river holds, though i'm still careful to maintain my poker face, it ain't over yet.

my interim living arrangements have solidified and become long-term. yesterday my mansion having friends offered to share their space with me long-term. i had been hoping they would, though i knew if i had to ask, i wouldn't. i would have rather moved into my little cabin than stay somewhere if i wasn't 100 percent sure it was going to be really cool. i am a little gun-shy to say the least.

i had to think it over, i'd already put a deposit down on the cabin, but staying here would pay for the loss of that in a week (it was only 125 dollars). would i regret staying here and not having my own private hermitage? or would i feel stupid writing a rent check every month when i could be paying off the debt that accrued from moving? my vandwelling ideals surged in my veins and the answer after a good nights sleep and some quiet meditation was a resounding yes, i'm staying! with no rent and no utility bills except gas for the mower, and butane for the stove (the house stove is broken, so we're 'roughing it'), plus guest quarters for any of my friends who come to visit *nudge, nudge*, and the opportunity to live with yet another awesome couple who are about to get married, it all added up to an offer i couldn't refuse.

it's become like my unspoken job to be the housemate who helps the couple prepare for their wedding, this will be the third time in 5 years, and i'm pretty dang good at it. this two are perfect for each other, yet another example of true love found. i'm guessing the reason i keep living with people like that is because i'm not supposed to give up on finding it myself. ok, fine.

my job is ok, i like artfully arranging the produce so it looks like a painting. i felt i'd reached a modicum of success when some japanese tourists took a picture of it. i got another raise, but i'm still making only slightly more than 1/4 what i made in denver.

now that i've stepped up my living situation, it's time to upgrade the income. i mailed off the registration for my business--i am now incorporated. i don't know what i'm going to do with it, the market is a less attractive possibility now that my market friends are no longer friends, but maybe it'd be just the thing to help heal the rift, i don't really know. i have a feeling i'd be better off elsewhere, and trusting my intuition is my new law. there is plenty of space here at home to have a massage studio, so i'm considering buying a used table and doing a little networking in that department.

i'm feeling out the possibilities, and things change by the hour, i'm in the space of creation, my eyes still adjusting to the light.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

thoughts on authority

this week has shifted many layers of belief that i've built up over the years, and it's time to reevaluate. i used to think of myself as someone that got along with everyone, and always treated people with respect; now while this is true in some instances, it's not true in others, so it cannot be actually true.

for example, when i was a little girl, age 9 or so, i was on board the bus leaving my very christian school, wearing my puffy pink corduroy coat, when i saw my music teacher walking by and flipped him the bird. there was no real reason that i can remember, only a generalized need to have more free time, a less restrictive education, and of course it was winter so everything sucked a little. i didn't really want to tell the guy to fuck off, and though i laughed when i did it, mostly out of nervousness, the look on his face disturbed me. i knew i had crossed the line, but only after the fact. my subconscious had violently surfaced and overrode my better judgment.

later, at the same school, when i was about 11, i went into the school library with a few friends and we hauled out the unabridged dictionary, looking through it for swear words and laughing. i decided it would be a great idea to underline some of them and put my teachers names beside them. again, i didn't really think those teachers resembled those words, but i was acting out because i felt like a caged animal. i was trying to discover the world in a place that forbid exploration.

these deeds brought consequences, and the feeling in my gut when i was confronted about them was the same feeling i had this week. i knew i did wrong in retrospect, but at the time i was just doing what came naturally. so my pattern when i'm feeling stuck is to act out rudely toward those i perceive to be in authority. now that i think about it, i can cite many more examples from my past of this very phenomenon. this can now become part of my beliefs about myself, and can therefore be circumvented by careful attention. i have a problem with authority, and i mostly don't need to subject myself to it, if i do decide it's in my best interest to go there, i will be vigilant for clues that i'm reaching the breaking point. just being conscious of its sneaky presence may be the key to overcoming this unbecoming trait.

i want to send out an apology into the ether to all the people i've insulted in this way. and i ask the source of my personality to transform this trait into something constructive.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

self help junkie

i am a self help junkie, i love to read books that offer new ways of organizing and dealing with life, and i love to try out new practices that help me feel different about my situation. maybe i would do better to try to actually change my situation, but i don't feel like ever have much success in that department--aside from moving and changing jobs, that i can do. and depending on the day, my mood, and my current self help agenda, i can feel fantastic about the things i've experienced, or feel awkward, sad, and lost. i've come to realize it's more important to feel good about life right now than to always be striving for the things that will 'make me happy'.

my most recent acquisition is called 'finding your own north star' by martha beck, and it's a guide to using your internal sensations and bodily clues to determine what choices you should make in your daily life that will lead you to your destiny. if you find yourself not able to breathe, or clenching your teeth, or feeling sick, then you are headed in the wrong direction. if you feel excited, euphoric, calm or confident, then you are in the sweet zone. it's a users guide to intuition, and it's really easy for me to feel that, but more difficult to actually put it into practice.

it seems i've gotten used to squashing my intuitive knowledge when it interferes with what i planned to do, or if i think it will be 'easier' another way. this sucks because it never really works out, and i just get further and further from the truth of the universe until i'm way off track and have to push the reset button (generally a painful experience). then i'm discouraged at all the time i wasted when i could have been on the enlightened path. this last debacle is a prime example of that cycle. here's what i knew about this place before i came, but declined to trust:

1. it's a magical place where anything can happen. the veil between worlds is thin. whatever you need is abundant, so is whatever you fear.
2. there are the coolest people here. take for example my friend joe who i met here--one of my favorite people ever.

i screwed things up in a number of ways, some of which i can't articulate yet, but the most obvious to me now--i needed friends, and i wanted to be friends with my former hosts, but i always felt like i was walking on eggshells. this was my sign that i was on the wrong track. i should have kept my distance and not gotten involved in their lives, instead i smothered that feeling and hung out with them alot, then ended up acting like an asshole to get out of it. the whole time i didn't even realize what i was doing and that's what i want to avoid in the future. the earlier i catch it, the better. trusting that first signal is paramount. the problem is, i like to be nice, i like to think i can handle anything, i have a hardy constitution that won't be harmed by abuse. but, those beliefs run counter to intuitive living. of course i can oppose my inner voice, i have the willpower to force myself to do anything, but why bother? i just end up making big mistakes. all because i thought i had to hang on to my current situation rather than find a new one at an 'inconvenient' time. well, see how convenient it turned out to be?

so at this time, as i start fresh, i vow to follow my intuition, listen carefully to the guidance i receive, and not compromise even when i want to for the sake of being polite. in the past year i've been rejected many times, so the method i've been using does not save me from rejection, therefore what do i have to lose by choosing another way? my worst fear is rejection, people not wanting me around, and i've had to face it. i won't die from it, i won't even be crushed. trying to avoid it is like trying not to think about it, the more i try, the less success i have.

for those of my readers who believe in god, what i am talking about is god. i don't think 'i' am god, i think that god is everything, and the voice of god can be heard only when i tune in to my internal signals. this is the source of much argument and discussion in religious circles, and i'm sure someone out there is just itching to tell me how i can't believe 'myself' i have to believe 'god', but i'm here to tell ya, you can't have one without the other. i never did and never will believe that god made us so stupid and evil that we can't trust our own bodies, so save your long winded grammatically incorrect comments for another day.

Friday, January 16, 2009

what goes around

i'd like you all to go back and read my last post. try to put yourselves in the position of the people i was talking about and realize how they would feel reading it.
i've done that just now, and i don't like how i feel. i have therefore set the new standard for how i want to write this blog--i will write as if the people in it are standing right next to me, whether i know them or not, because that is the reality of the internet. i really didn't think about whether or not they would read it, and carelessly posted a whiny complaint about them. something i would never say to their face because it's none of my business, and not my place to say, but in my own blog, it felt more like a personal journal entry, and that is the deceptive part of the blogosphere--don't ever forget that everyone is reading!
and so, they being who they are, were offended by my last post. so deeply offended and wounded that the only thing they could do was kick me out of their house. i don't mean they asked me to move out. i mean they packed up all (well, not all, more on that later) my belongings and brought them down to my work, dropped them at the front door and in high dramatic fashion told me how they'd 'read my blog' and i was out on the street! my stomach flipped, i was in total shock, trying to remember what i'd said, was it bad? what did i do?! they thought i had 'trashed' them and their kids. they believed i had talked shit about their girls, and were most angry about that, but all i remembered was mentioning their parenting style and how it differed from my upbringing. when i read it today, i realized they must have thought my saying how the girls broke their toys was a dis on the girls. but really i see that as a direct product of spoiling them, not the girls fault. i think they are beautiful kids, bright, curious, with unique styles who have so much potential.
so there i stood, with my suitcases in the middle of my workplace, my jaw dropped, my heart racing, and they told me to 'stay away from them and their house and their family', jerry springer style. by this point, i really wasn't longing to pay a visit, but it all seemed so unfair. was the crime deserving of the punishment? i looked around to try to gain a hold on reality, but i was still wrapped up in the dark anger world, no light-switch to be seen. my sweet co-workers swooped in when they left the store and assured me it would be ok. i was in a daze, didn't know what to do. i punched out, and went to get my car to load up my stuff, and take a break. i called my boss, crying, and told her the story. she offered her house for the night, and i gratefully accepted. she showed me in, gave me linens, some juice, and a tour. a sanctuary in a time of crisis. i called my mom, i called joe, i cried painfully. i just didn't get it.
and then, with creeping significance, i started to get it. this had to happen, i needed to get out of there, it wasn't safe or wise to live there. the owl had given me a warning, and i finally saw what he meant. i had been stifling my opinions, shoving down my inner truth, and putting a nice gloss over the choppy waters of my better judgment in order to keep the perceived financial benefit of not paying rent. this however turned out to be a totally unworthy pursuit. a pursuit like that which is not aligned with my intuition is bound to be sabotaged by my essential self, and the more i cling to it, the worse the scenario becomes. if i had honored and respected my initial hit that i should not be there, this never would have happened. i've become so conditioned to try to be logical that i pushed aside all the clues that would have saved me this embarrassment and pain. to illustrate what i mean by the toxic environment they called home, here is a quote from the comments section of my blog from a few days ago, posted by--you guessed it--eric, the male half of the couple i was living with.

What a brutal ruthless polyanna bitch
this girl sounds like someone who was molested by daddy
truely Scumbag Cunt is not low enough for this piece of dog shit
Attacking innocent children to make herself feel better
what a pathetic semi human being

Kill yourself now and save the world the hassle

after the initial booting me out incident, i contacted them to try to talk things out. i was stunned by their immature, petty response. i thought it wouldn't be too much to ask to have the rest of my things from their house, but the response i got was indignation at the thought that i'd go so low as to try to collect my things, after all i'd done to them. but because 'that's just the kind of people they are', she said she'd bring my food to the store the next day (sounded like a really big hassle), and wouldn't even ask me for the 25 dollars i 'owed' for utilities. i guess all the extra work i put in didn't count toward that, clearly no one even noticed. i may be a bitch, but i'm a fair person, i don't believe in cheating people, or even allowing people to feel cheated. i'd rather just give them what they think i owe them, money isn't that precious. when she came in with some of my food, i gave her the 25 bucks, and the house key back, even though she didn't return my mop, my other jar of peanut butter, my one-cup coffee maker, my laundry detergent, my calenders, or the dress and book they 'gave' me for christmas (a real classy move).
luckily, this is not the end of the story. in fact, it's only the beginning, a rough start to a charmed journey. within an hour of their nauseating public display, i was invited to live in a mansion, for as long as i'd like. free. when a door slams hard in your face, a great big one is likely to open wide right behind you. my new and awesome friends live in a house up on the hill with 360 degree views of hilo and the ocean, a 7 acre property with an enormous lawn, bursting fruit trees, and a trampoline to bounce on and watch the sunset. the house is huge, with 7 bedrooms (one of which is mine with a private entrance, large lanai, cheetah print carpet, four poster king size bed, 4 hundred feather pillows and gold gilded oak furniture), a sewing room stocked with the most elaborate fabric, a grand piano, a massive open kitchen/living/dining room, an ohana downstairs in grotto style with an elegant home theater and sets of french doors opening out on the lawn, all for the enjoyment of us, the people who live here. all utilities are paid, including cable and internet, and all we have to do is mow the lawn--granted it's 12 hours on the riding mower every 2 weeks, but between 3 people, that's nothing. the owner of this house is a wealthy lady who lives on the mainland and is trying to sell the place, but in this market, it's just not that easy to sell a house like this. until then, my friends get to live here and take care of it. and now, so do i. talk about a soft landing from a hard blow. now, instead of just surviving in a cockroach ridden scarcity complex, i get to relax in the lap of luxury until my cabin is ready, or until something better comes along. i'm not ruling out an utterly amazing happening in the next few weeks.
as the days go by, i gain more and more perspective on the situation, and while i know what i did was rude, i don't regret it. i am sad that i am not evolved enough to have prevented this situation by earlier honesty with myself and others. i am sorry i hurt them, that was never my intention. i am still confused as to why this got so blown out of proportion. but i am glad to have a clean break, i don't want to be their friend anymore. i have seen enough.
in the end, i think we all get what we deserve.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

going down south

a lone excursion turned into a family affair, the kids and parents joined my day or rather took it over. it's not awful, but i'd really rather be alone. i am critical of their parenting, lack of discipline, and what i see as general boringness, but there are moments of pure heart, nuggets of beauty in their punk rock mess. i don't know what it would have been like to have parents such as these. i'm grateful for how i was raised, even as i thank my lucky stars i'm not still there with them. solid conservatives, my parents could always be counted on. i never worried about how they would react, never wondered what hell would rain down on me if i got caught, i knew.
this discontent boils down to my not wanting to be here doing all the chores anymore. it sucks to live in such chaos, trying to make order out of it, but not really being allowed to make change. they don't want change, and i don't want to live in insanity. which is why this arrangement works so well--i stay here as long as i can stand doing things their way and when i can't stand it anymore, i get my own place. i don't mean to paint them as difficult, really they're just different. i like peace, quiet, order, calm, clean, relaxing, private. they have two young girls who get and later destroy every toy ever made, play rock band till all hours, like punk rock, and never do the dishes. it's not a great fit, and is therefore temporary.
knowing that i have my own little cabin waiting for me on february first is both wonderful and frustrating. i want to be there now, cleaning, sweeping, playing beautiful music, pulling weeds and growing vegetables. i want to wear prairie outfits, baking bread and blending essential oils. i want to start 'songbird herbs and oils', my new cottage industry, putting labels on little brown bottles and dreaming up ways to put magic in them...
but today, i'm still in this life, and my new favorite thing is is is......snorkeling! we went to punalu'u black sand beach where the sea turtles hang out eating seaweed and sunbathing, and i borrowed a snorkel to get an underwater look. amazing, these creatures are incredibly beautiful, their shells covered in sea moss, they look like moving rocks from afar, then up close they eye you and subtly keep their distance while still managing to not be standoffish. i was touched, her arm a perfect paddling device gently brushed my thin skinned fin, and she looked back, nonchalant, then floated on.
hours passed, the tide rose and we continued on to south point, the southernmost tip of the united states. there were fishermen and fisherwomen, local boys with tattoos jumping off the old boat pulley, 50 feet down into the deep turquoise ocean. california girls doing it too, and climbing up the rusty ladder back to the top to go again. i wasn't so brave, and besides i was too wrapped up in the sinking sun, glittering across the blue miles, making my hair lighter, my skin darker, my heart happier.
on the ride back i nodded peacefully, barely noticing the vog and the asinine lyrics of sublime in my ears.

Monday, January 12, 2009


yesterday was magic. it all started when i rounded the corner of the house in the morning heading toward my little toyota. the mist was just clearing as the sun pushed up through the trees, my shoulders bristled slightly in the 62 degree chill, and i was arrested by the piercing look of a full grown owl resting on the fence right beside my car. i fumbled for some words, an introduction or explanation, anything, but my mouth felt like an obstacle to communication, so i just shut up and stood there. minutes ticked by, my lips parted in awe. and eventually the owl turned his head, opened his wings and took off northeast, dew flying from his feathers. a warning? an omen? a message? i wondered, and settled on a message of a new direction. things would be changing this day, i should be alert for other signs.
as i mentioned in my last post, my social self was born again, my sense of belonging solidified. and then today, a gift was given to me. a place to live, well within my means, on several acres of well tended land, with fruit trees, richly soiled garden beds waiting, and an octagonal cedar cabin all to myself appeared out of the ether. the lack of obstacles astounded me. is life supposed to be this easy? i did not hesitate. the place is mine on february first. freyja's gonna be a happy kitty!
i bought a twelve pack of beer to celebrate. cleaned house, drank, ate, planned a day out to south-point tomorrow, the only place i haven't been on the island. from what i'm told there are turtles galore, dolphins, and quite possibly other more deadly sea creatures about. the aloha has found me, i am here, i am sooooo happy!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

i'm famous

just by working at the 'natch', i've become a fixture in the community. at least it feels that way today. i went to a co-worker's birthday party and brushed up my swing dancing while falling in love with a woman, whoops i forget, but i can't forget her california legs and that long blond hair. i'm making it a personal goal to get in as good of shape as she is by the time i'm her age. i have a good ten years, but it's a long way to go. she was seriously hot, drawing all kinds of attention without trying, and has now become my role model.
the town was abuzz because the electronic music festival was going on and all day i saw kids in the store with their super cute clothes, dyed hair and smiles. after work i saw many of the same kids on the street, and they all loved to say hi to me, the girl who works at abundant life. i was given a ticket to the show, and all through the night people were coming up to me, recognizing me from work, and introducing themselves as if i had some intrinsic value because i'm the produce queen. i even saw some of the vendors i've been working with. it was cool to be noticed. it feels like my social circle is forming, and i'm much more relaxed about the whole thing. no longer feeling weird and alien. i'm just another spider weaving her web.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

today this stuff happened

today i got up before the sun, quietly put on clothes and made a hemp protein and maca (an amazonian superfood) shake, grabbed my leftovers from 'the garden snack club', a exquisitely delicious and tiny thai place where i ate last night and headed out in the cool morning to work. i have a regular schedule now, tuesday through saturday starting anywhere from 6:45am to 8:30am and getting off eight and a half hours later. i sort of like it. once there, i'm nearly an old hand, everyone greets me and lets me go about my business. i guess they trust i know what to do, and in a relative way, i do. i place the order for the mainland produce, i receive deliveries from local vendors, i stock the produce case and make it pretty, i rearrange the walk-in cooler a million times. i talk to customers about herbs and colon cleansers and (yes, this is true) the fact that there is no supplement that can replace the need for water.
on my lunch break, i intersected with a character i couldn't quite believe was real. a pirate. he was about 80, one regular leg, one peg leg--not wood but modern materials like steel and rubber, a golden hoop earring, a tattoo on his forearm, and a parrot, yes a parrot on his shoulder. he struggled to get out of his SUV but managed to heave himself up on the curb and then turned to me and asked if the tattoo shop was open. i said i didn't know, but i'd find out and knocked on the door. it was ajar, so i opened it and he thanked me as the tattoo guy came on the scene. the fact that he didn't have an eye patch assured me this was no costume. real talk.
when i got off, there was still daylight left so i decided to go for a run, but first i checked my po box and found another letter from my jailbird love. i was surprised because it was only a few days ago that i received one from him. i parked beside the huge banyan tree by the federal building and went to read my letter in the privacy of it's many folds. i want to quote a passage, but in fairness to him, i won't. it is enough to say that he wrote this letter as the year began, looking out on his barbed wire view, his cavernous heart poured out on the page for my pleasure. oh yes, he does stimulate my dramatic side, it's fundamental to romance, and this is by far the most romantic 'thing' i've ever had.
i went for a run, i did all the dishes, and then i cooked a breadfruit--one of the awesome things that grow on trees here. i'm tired, i'm working, i'm dreaming up my next incarnation.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

i hit a clearing

i know a place where the wind is as strong as the stillness, where the sun is fierce as if always threatened that the night sky will outshine him, and the roots don't run deep, they just cling to rocks. time ticks slowly and everything is old. plants grow defensively, holding fast to their rations, daring nocturnal creatures to risk their skin for a sip. where footprints disappear along with laws the further out you go, and a soul is laid bare like the bleached bones of cattle left to sink slowly in the shifting sand.
whatever jungle or city or mountain or forest i race to explore, though beautiful and absorbing, never calls me back like home. the desert, that howling dog, always haunts me.
my father and i had a conversation not long ago wherein we conjured a relationship between ourselves and plants, asking which plant best represented us. i came up with a scrub pine for him, because he stubbornly grows year after year in harsh conditions simply because he wants to and he likes the place he's planted. (my mother calls him the mighty oak, but she's in love with him you know). for me, he said, the tumbleweed, riding winds to new locales just because i can, never knowing where i'm going. at the time, that seemed obviously appropriate, and now even more so in a broader sense because the tumbleweed can go anywhere, yes, but where does it belong? and where does it grow and reproduce?
i was told this hawaii trip was a vision quest, a mountain to climb from where i could see my path with perspective. i'm only a little way up the mountain, but already i can see things invisible just weeks ago. i will continue to climb knowing my home is not at the top of the mountain, but can only be realized in the journey.

Monday, January 5, 2009

i have an idea

ever get weirded out in your own skin? i feel like i'm coming out of a really strange episode where i didn't feel human, more like an unknown and hated alien. like all my past mistakes were obvious to everyone i met and i couldn't find the redeeming value in my life. i should have done better, i could have been someone amazing. now i'm thinking back on the last week and wondering if i'm crazy? what makes me think i'm so unique and awful? aren't we all having an unknown and uncharted experience here in our earthly bodies?
anyhow, i'm in the light now, wiping away the tears and seeing with my trusty eyes. i may or may not have made an ass of myself to friend A. i just got macked by my housemate. i feel dead sexy because i've lost 5 pounds since i got here. it's a grab bag of nonsense these days.
i went to visit frey today in her quarantine closet. she's doing fine, it seems, and i wonder if i'll have a place for her when she gets out. i don't want to stay here in this house for long, it's not a tidy issue. what it boils down to is this--no one makes money on this island from a "job". it takes an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed, and i have an idea! i am going to open a booth at the farmer's market selling essential oils, herbs, and mini spa/massage treatments like facial steams and foot baths. i see a niche to be filled and i'm tired of working for peanuts. i may not make alot at the market, but it only costs 25 bucks a day to set up and i will be my own boss, it can't be worse than working for 9 bucks and hour. this is how i'm going to take island life to the next level. i'm thinking about what kinds of oils, tinctures and tonics i'd like to carry and i'm creating an inventory list. next i'll make a menu of services and in a few weeks i should be ready to get started. my very own very small business. yay.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

out with the old

in with the new. 2009 smiles on me, though i'm hungover and tired.
i found the perfect outfit to wear to the pirate themed party, on the day of the party, at the local farmer's market, from an awesome local designer, for a very reasonable price. you can't plan things like that. i drank a cup of kava, my drug of choice, before heading out to meet my new friends. smart thinking, i felt invincible, jamming to 80's tunes and ready to party. i arrived at the house of friend A, met a guy from latrobe (the town in PA where rolling rock is brewed), had a beer and assessed the attractiveness of friend A. we left for the party in one vehicle which smelled like crayons, drove up a gorgeous winding road cloaked in the secrecy of night to a place called hawi, at the northernmost tip of the island. the house was subtly magnificent, an old plantation house made of wood with many doors inside and out, broad windows, spacious enough to house a canoe containing a skeleton in the livingroom/dancefloor. music comfortably pumping through the large but simple rooms and spilling out three doorways into the soft grass covered grounds. the people greeted me with broad smiles, a handshake and a kiss on the cheek, a charming custom in these parts. i was not a stranger for long. before i located the bottle opener on the wall, i was trying to open my beer with a spoon when a tall drink of water saw my attempt and attempted to save the day. i let him. dimples kill me, i cannot resist them and why would i want to?
since i didn't understand the dynamic with friend A yet, i returned the flirtatious smile to my savior and lingered when he flashed his eyes at me. a brief exchange confirmed he was pleased to make my acquaintance, then i walked away to give him something to chase.
i met all kinds of people, a brit who rides triumphs, two sisters who were couchsurfing, a dog named guiness, a quirky dance partner, and some girls who were dressed for a mardi gras party. i felt like i had seen the house before, and when i found out the name of the host, it all became clear. when i visited the island last year, i had lined up a couchsurfing stay with him, though i never made it to that part of the island. i recognized the house from the pictures and description. how very small this island is.
the midnight hour arrived and friend A offered a kiss, though it landed more on my cheek, he was noncommittal. it did make me think that perhaps he was interested after all.
then the party really got rolling, and my savior was hunting me down. i would talk to him for a while, then walk away, he'd follow. he was kind of innocent which surprised me, and i couldn't deny there was chemistry happening, though something about him made me feel like i was 16. not altogether bad, but not where i want to be at 30. at one point he lured me out on the grounds to a garden shed with two other people who mysteriously disappeared. he kissed me in dramatic fashion, told me about his broken heart and how he just wants to be loved. standard issue young adult novel material, but i was tipsy enough to entertain him and just ate it up. i didn't want to disappear from the party for long, i needed to leave with friend A to get back to my car, so we wandered back. he asked me to stay, he offered to take me home, he might have even pleaded, but i had already made up my mind. i gave him my number, remarked offhandedly that he'd never call, and left with friend A and guy from PA.
once we were back at his house, friend A made a move. he was cute, it was late, and apparently his ambivalence dissolved. we embarked on an intentional kiss. i wasn't too sure about him, and i wasn't too sure about anything. i went to bed unsure how things would look in the morning. and sure enough, i'm still confused.
friend A regained his ambivalence, i went home and pondered the events of the evening, and then my savior called. from his parent's phone because his got shut off. he lives with them at age 25. again, not the worst thing in the world, but perhaps a sign of his immaturity. maybe he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he certainly is pretty.