Saturday, February 2, 2008

Which way is up?

Such a busy, crazy, wild, roller coaster week. Just got home from "Little Shop of Horrors," the story come to life as a musical. It was a nice cap to this week full of many ups and downs and lefts and rights. This has been a good experience in LIFE and what happens when we're asked to just flow with it. One day I can barely tell where I end and the universe begins, and the next my back is out and I'm having to ice and limp around and be gimpy. The day of resistance was followed with a day of such flowering, such beautiful synchronicity. The huge blow up fight with Sean turned into a mega-opportunity for healing for us on many levels. I've had more than my average amount of socialness combined with much, much alone time. I've had days where I didn't want to talk to a soul and days where all I wanted to do was reach out and touch the world and the world touched me back. What a week, eh?

So just a short note full of love and light and laughter. I am still here, preparing myself and looking forward to what next week will bring. Namaste.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A first attempt

While I was waiting for some feedback this morning, I got out the watercolor pencils and pad of paper that my mother had given me for Christmas. These first attempts are far from artistic, but I had fun making them. I especially like that I get to both draw and paint. I really enjoyed the process -- it's incredibly precise and incredibly imprecise at the same time. I'll have to keep playing with them and discover which techniques work better, but in the meantime, it's just plain fun.

So these photos didn't turn out so well -- they're a little blurry -- but here they are. The first one started out as a lady dancing, and turned into, well, the bottom 2/3 of a lady. :)

The second one is of the bunch of tulips I picked up at the farmer's market last weekend.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And today I was a bum

Remember when I asked if you would send a search party into the world of resistance if you didn't hear from me? Yeah, well, today was that day. Not that you could tell since I only post once a day anyway, but yeah, today was knee-deep-in-resistance mode. Unless, of course, my path includes the occasional day wasted in front of the XBOX playing Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan, which I'm guessing it probably doesn't.

This is really typical for me -- I have a great couple of days with some good aha! moments and then resistance reaches up from its murky depths and claims me. The good news in all of this is that I got myself into such an antsy state that I want to work now. I cleaned the house and I'm even doing some freelance, a strictly morning (or maybe early afternoon) activity. What I'm trying desperately not to do is to berate myself for this, just to recognize it as resistance and move along. That's probably harder for me than anything else, but again, I'm seeing it and letting it go. Mostly I'm just grateful this resistance phase was short lived.

If you don't see me tomorrow, fear not -- I'll be moving so fast resistance won't have time to get a hold of me. I'm following a few calls -- getting my hair cut (which is apparently a second chakra balancing activity), reconnecting with a friend from high school that I haven't seen in over 15 years, meeting up with another friend for a scrumptious dinner at Cafe Gratitude (to give you an idea of how emotional I am these days, I cried when I read the menu), and finally rounding it out with another friend at a metaphysical bookstore where I'll be doing some affirmative prayer work for her. Phew! All this after freelancing in the morning. Now I just have to remember to breathe! Namaste.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


When I first graduated college, I worked for a music store for about 6 months -- Hear Music, long before Starbucks bought them and rewrote their history, but that's a tale for another day. There were many awesome things about Hear Music -- the fact that you could listen to anything in the store prior to buying it; the cool, independent, music-loving employees the store attracted; and the wide array of folk, rock, world, classical, alternative, you name it (so long as it isn't pop) music available for your listening pleasure. Sure-As-Not, and explicitly the Jungle Segue, by the Afro Celt Sound System, was one of the early loves that I got introduced to while I worked there, and an example of why working in a music store and actually trying to earn a living do not always go hand-in-hand seeing as how I bought the album pretty much as soon as I heard it.

The Afro Celt Sound System is really a lot like it sounds. Their first album, my personal favorite, was "the first fruit of a collaboration between a group of the finest African musicians, their counterparts from the Celtic communities of western Europe and several of Britain's most respected dance music producers," according to their website. It's a glorious noise, almost infectious, that gets inside of you and makes you want to move. It makes you wonder why the whole world isn't begging for an African-Celtic fusion in music, because it was obviously meant to be.

If you have a chance to pick up some Afro Celt Sound System, please do. You won't regret it. I promise.

Artist: Afro Celt Sound System
Song: Sure-As-Not
Part A: Sure-As-Not, Part B: Sure-As-Knot (Jungle Segue)
Album: Sound Magic
Fan Site:

Paulo Coehlo Quote

But she would have paid a still higher price if she had repressed her true exuberant self. She would have been bitter and frustrated, always concerned about "what other people might think," always saying "I'll just sort these things out, then I'll devote myself to my dream," always complaining that "the conditions are never quite right."

~Paulo Coehlo, The Witch of Portobello

The Witch of Portobello

I finished reading the latest book by Paulo Coelho this morning -- The Witch of Portobello. His world-famous The Alchemist is one of my favorite books, holding up to countless readings. Only time will tell if I will feel the same way about The Witch of Portobello in, say, 10 years, but I'll tell you that today it feels like there's a pretty good chance.

To say that I read this book is misleading. It might be more accurate to say that this book moved through me, perhaps even read me instead. I was expecting something different -- when my friend Don recommended it he said he couldn't put it down, and my mother said she'd never read anything like it -- but for me what was different was how it made me feel, how it called to my soul. I've felt discomfited for days, uncomfortable, antsy. It reminded me quite a bit of reading a spiritual version of Daniel Quinn, especially The Story of B (which, by the way, I have something like four extra copies of if you're ever interested in reading it). I never could just read one of Daniel Quinn's books, I always had to combine them with action. In the case of The Witch of Portobello, I've been compelled to perform personal actions. While I do feel compelled to teach, I also feel compelled to dance, to sing, to paint on large canvasses. Meditation serves an important purpose for me, a connection, but I need to do something akin to its opposite, something big and passionate and powerful. I need to unfurl, to express, to UNLEASH whatever is pent up inside of me.

After my mediation this morning, I put on a CD and closed my eyes and just moved to the music. I don't typically think of myself as graceful -- in fact, just the opposite -- but I felt grace moving through me, lifting my arms and pointing my toes and twirling me around and around. I felt the rhythm of the earth come up through my feet and into my body. I felt totally vibrant, totally alive, and connected in an incredibly deep way. Sure, I've danced around my living room before, but I've never experienced anything like this. I felt my first natural high while dancing, something like 10 years ago. I always thought that I would need the crowds and music of a dance festival to engender that kind of high on a repeat basis, but now I know how simple it can be, and how necessary it feels.

Next up, a drumming circle. I've been hearing this message grow louder and louder in my head over this past year. The drums are calling me, and I know there's an opening up waiting inside me when I answer. What is calling you? And what is keeping you from answering that call? Whatever it is, listen only to the call. Follow where it leads and you will find what your soul seeks. Namaste.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Dixie the Tiny Dog

I have been looking for this song everywhere, but to no avail. I'm really sorry, too, because I absolutely love it. I will tell you about it anyway, and the next time you come visit me, I'll play it for you. Peter Himmelman has outdone himself with this one. "Dixie the Tiny Dog" is funny, sweet, and memorable. The version I have is from the KFOG Acoustic Sunrise album, which means it isn't readily available for public consumption. I did find another version on a special album that Peter put out, but while it is equally impossible to lay hands on, it is regrettably not as good a version.

So here are the lyrics to the KFOG version. Imagine a proud little dachshund clicking along your kitchen floor as you read them.

Artist: Peter Himmelman
Song: Dixie the Tiny Dog
Album: KFOG Acoustic Sunrise

I'm a tiny dog named Dixie,
I have small feet which pitter patter on the linoleum floor,
You can hear my toenails in the middle of the night.
My tag says I belong to the Johnsons, but they don't own me,
They just feed me, they just bought me one day.
No one owns me, I'm Dixie the tiny dog.

And in the middle of the day I sit in the sun
And I hear young children call me a weiner dog,
Perhaps that's what I am.
The Germanic term is dachshund, and I like that,
I'm thin and I'm proud and no one can make fun of me.
I can slip through the bars of a prison if I were ever incarcerated,
But I don't know what I would do wrong.
My body yield no evil inclinations.
I'm a pure weiner dog.

My name is Dixie and I go dancing 'cross the floor
In the evening of the Johnsons when everyone is sleeping.
Sometimes I look for a morsel of food, but they're so clean
They're almost anal-retentive in their cleanliness habits
And there's nothing for me.
But I don't despair
Because I know tomorrow my Gaines Burgers will be there
And they will unwrap the plastic from them
And then feed me this succulent dish, and I will eat.

And oh, I've watched the German Shepherds with their long necks,
Their graceful necks, dipping into the toilet to drink whenever they want
To have a drink of cool water in that well.
But I must plead, I must beg, I must whine
For Mr. Johnson to put out my bowl,
Or one of the Johnson boys to refill it after I drink it,
Because I'm Dixie the dog and I like water.

And in the middle of the night you can see me dancing
A small Fred Astaire tap dance, with my little toenails
They go click click click against the linoleum
And I run down the hall and I slide
And the back of me goes in front of me . . . slowly.
I'm long and I'm thin. I'm Dixie the tiny dog and I like it.

We're walking, we're walking

Oh sunshine, how I do love thee. It promised to be another gray, rainy day today, especially during the hail this morning. I find hail absolutely fascinating, by the way, one of those oddities of life that always remind me of the infinite nature of the universe. Shortly after the hail stopped, the sun came out. I was almost bummed because I really needed to get some work done this morning, but I promised myself that I could go for a walk after I was finished. I got to practice a sort of waking meditation as my lack of focus was greater than usual. But I continued to gently close browser windows, return my attention to my work, and wrapped everything up within a few hours.

I headed up to one of my favorite places on earth, the Crystal Springs reservoir, along which the Sawyer Camp Trail runs for six miles between highway 280 and the water. It is simply spectacular over there, with a nice paved trail for easy access. Even if I'm having an absolutely lousy day, a walk at the reservoir heals all wounds, renews my sense of connection, restores my energy. I think it's the grounding created by the meeting of the sky, the hills, and the water -- it grounds me, too.

I needed that grounding today -- I had let myself get off track this weekend. I'm not sure what it is about weekends, perhaps old habits that die hard, but my routine gets thrown completely off and sometimes I don't regain my rhythm until Monday. That's what happened this time, so much so that it was after breakfast on Monday before I even started laying the foundation for regaining my rhythm. But I did the work, plugging away at my resistance until it had dissipated. The walk was the icing on the cake, but necessary icing. I think it was what I needed to finish the restoration process so that the remainder of my week could be more on track. I feel like a new person already, but I know there's still inner work to be done, in addition to the outer work.

It's one of the funny things about this path. I did so much good inner work last week that things continued to bubble up and bubble up all weekend. My mind wanted a rest and kicked up all the resistance it could muster. But those bubbles kept coming. And when I sat down to do my morning pages this morning, I practically had a laundry list of all the work that was on tap for this week. It's some pretty good stuff, too, all about what the next steps are for me on my journey to do my soul's work. It includes finding work writing about the things I'm passionate about, starting a spiritual group with meditation and reading and discussion, surrounding myself with interesting, passionate, soul-searching women. And from there, well, the sky's the limit, really. Wish me luck . . . and gentleness. I suspect I'll need them both. Namaste.