Project ME 2008

Project ME= My Evolution. I began photographing myself every morning on December 7, 2005. I'm still evolving, my camera still documenting...


it is time
time for me to ask
questions of all sorts
i am seeking
something at once dark, light,
and beautiful
in my life
it may lead me into the desert
into the mountains
out of the country
into this earth
and back into the sky
floating around
may i see you there


embarking on a new voyage yet again
riding into the sun on a vast ocean
but still clinging to the wave
that is already gliding past
moving onto new waves, new adventures
propelled forward by old waves, old adventures
welcome ocean spray, sweet sun
but forever riding into the sun
rising or setting?


if why
who am i
needing nothing
and yet so much
sun rising
over purple hills
mountains rising
over random plains
the Earth sits
waiting patiently
dancing with each turn of the seasons
each song of the dawn and dusk
i circle and wheel in the sky
i jig and celebrate in the Earth
i stand like a tree
strong in the winds
and walk down roads and roads
confident in my unknowing
that it will all be okay


the edges beckon and call
waves pushing and pulling
oceanic internal surges and flurries
what do i want?
horizon-hugging plains
scattered mountains singing allure allure come come
oceanic everywhere potentiality
where do i go from here?
boogieing with black ice
waltzing with questions
improvising into the touch feel darkness
will you come with me?
black lines glitter electric
boxes shine, side by side by side
suffocate suffocating squares
my breath rises to embrace the infinite
writhing and intertwining with alone but never lonely (really?)


dont know what's in store
feels like my life is an ocean
such huge waves right now
i'm getting tossed about
resurfacing both stronger yet weaker
drowning again


I dreamed of you last night
did you see me too?
I thought that another was you
and woke, disappointed
maybe one day I'll fly away
won't be afraid to be lonely
knowing I never truly am
oh, to truly know!
maybe someday I'll stop wondering
and just rest, solid in my content
satisfied in just being
with me, of all
maybe someday I'll grow so much
that I feel my roots and limbs
my connection with the great all
maybe for sure someday one day I'll be
I am


where (blowing winds approaching 50 mph,
my mind runs even faster, ever faster
convoluted crazy chaotic spirals and spirals)
where (dust storms dancing across the desert
sprinting from tree to tree, hill to hill)
the bristlecone pine stands
strong like an evershining sun
radiating heat to planets and planets
i am one but many
and we are all zero


i want to
jump off that rock
land on a ledge
dance into space
jam with the birds
flap into the sky
and run all around
and loving
the world as my canvas
such a cloudy day
bright eyes
warm hearts


flying away
like so many dandelion seeds
blown on the wind
to unknown lands
wild adventures
but today today
(so difficult! but)
here i am
and i'm trying not to wonder
about the wind
or where i'm going
but just enjoy the ride
as i float, fall, fly
off into such a blue sky


(from this afternoon)

Sitting with waterfall. I realize my Life is rolling along too quickly; I'm not savoring all these passing moments, am not in control--- and Life just flows on by. I haven't stopped and really felt my senses at all or enough, recently. I haven't even been stopping and stretching, allowing myself the "luxury" of meditation and phone conversations--- or anything at all. Mine is currently a super jagged overworked/overexcited/over energized (frantic! jumpy!) wild energy--- too much and yet I feel pretty constantly stoked right now--- it's quite different from the calm and peace I felt a lot of while at Mom and Dad's place, at Wildcat, etc. I'm now at the edge of the working world, getting ready to jump--- all these fresh possibilities and doors are open to me... whereas things are even more open in the wild wild woods, but I completely dictate my own Life, instead of riding on others' schedules and whatnot... and thus I am more at peace here... but everything's so new and exciting...


(will you?)
take me with you
as you soar over the cliffs
dive under the lake
(will you?)
hug me tightly
as you breathe
below the trees
rooting deeply
i feel our roots
heave-ho rootrooting
where have your branches gone?
but i feel you in the wind
and thus we lean together
opposite ends of the
(will you?)
and my mind flutters
torn ragged off into the wind
soaring over the cliffs
diving under the lakes
as i
as you
sit here breathing deeply
below the trees


too busy! long list of stuff i need, want to do. and the shelter still must be finished. it sits, barely camouflaged now, the trees i dragged over as roofing and walling leaving large long trails of smashed thistles. the thistles cling to me as i walk home. my left knee hurts from continually kneeling down onto it, the right knee raised. fresh purple bruise on the right knee. mind all a flutter. need to calm down, slow down again. need time to myself. need... to finish this shelter so i can get on with other projects. want to start morning journaling again. must start morning stretching again! my body needs it. voice is back. body is basically healed from nyc sickness. appetite is very back, but odd. am slowly getting used to the coldness. went up to mountains yesterday for interview. snow! i will work at a ski resort, eldora, this winter. excited, scared... all sorts of stuff. part-time or full-time? will i still be able to be calm? have time to read, dance, meditate, play? time! oi. we laid in our shelter (just moved in last night) well after sunrise this morning. first time "sleeping in" since i've been back in boulder. was nice... but still feel rushed. every movement feels rushed. even when stretching, i'm wondering if i "should" be helping with breakfast instead. as typing this, i'm watching the sun, feeling like i "should" be piling leaves onto our shelter, building more camouflage, doing this doing that... ahhh! need to slow down and... ahhh... just breathe again deep deep i
nto my lungs and belly, deep deep into my body, my me, my self. (soul?) just picked up a book on "soulcraft," which adrian is currently reading, too. soul? what's that? all sorts of wonderings, music, and busy ridiculous nonsense in my head these days... i miss just having music in my head but somehow, somehow all this thought is nice too, and talking with myself is calming too, in its own way. and wondering, deciphering, and learning is so fun too... (breathe breathe breathe)


back in Boulder. leaves are falling quickly. building ourselves a new home as quickly as possible. should finish tomorrow. feel like a squirrel, burrowing into the leaves. or a bird, building a nest. body chilly, air chilly. lots of biking! freedom on bike. little communication with other people, besides Daniel. i loved spending the past month with old friends, but it's nice to be semi-alone again for most of the day. finding fresh books in free boxes. am reading about Buddhism. want to read more about the life of the Buddha. am happy with Daniel again, learning a lot about the body. excited for contact improv again, to rejoin a dance community again! am reminded, with Daniel, of just how utterly incredible our bodies are. i am so grateful to be here, to be alive. am eager to see what contact improv will be like now, with my new outlooks on mind and body. maybe not so new, but definitely newly revisited. wee! job interview in a few days. feeling slight trepidation, much excitement. it's been awhile. am walking in a new direction, again. fellow wanderers, or people admiring of this lifestyle but fearful of its consequences, ask me whywhywhy. i was talking about my career, and a friend asked, "but why is it so important to have a career?" and then "but do you really want a career?" and that made me stop and think. and now i think yes, because... i can work on my primitive skills at the same time. i want to be the best in both worlds, both primitive and civilized. i want to be the ultimate fence-straddler, before i decide what direction i want to walk. there's comfort and beauty on both sides, in every direction. ugliness and fear everywhere, too. depends on how i look at it. i want to learn it all, try everything. know i can't... but right now feel good about my straddling strategies. life feels good right now, right now.


on the road again
clouds descending to a hungry horizon
i march onwards, heart forward


I'm realizing that I'm done with being online, with kerstalking people's blogs and living vicariously through others. I want to hear people's stories from their own mouths, watch them embody their words, live their adventures with them on a day to day basis. It's time for me to set my roots deeper, into such fertile soil full of life, potential, love and goodness--- and grow strong and beautiful again. 

(but as usual, so much easier said than done!)


Sequoia and King's Canyon family roadtrip

June Cali visit for my sister's graduation

I flew from Northampton, MA back to Los Angeles, CA for a week-long visit in June. My sister was graduating from Stanford University. Some relatives I hadn't seen since I was waist-high were visiting from Taiwan. It was my first time on a plane since 2006, and my first time returning to Cali (my home-state, current base-camp) since Autumn 2007. I tried to cram too much activities into too little time, visiting as many people as I could and just... whoa. I think I saw about thirty old friends in the span of a week. (whewww)I wandered through UCLA again with Tank and Craig; we buildered up some buildings. Just like old times. Saw Chris and Anna from middle school. Chris is now a pro-filmmaker in the works; Anna's rocking the medical world. Our worlds are so different, now. Had some quality time with "my" Mountains, then met up with Mark, an old buddy from the UCLA co-op I lived in. We drummed and danced in my Mountains and in front of my elementary school. Hiked with Piggy, Giau, Thao, and Tien, old friends from the Center. We elevated ourselves in the Mountains above my hometown, and reminisced about old times, updated each other on new times. Once again, old friends, but new (and different) worlds. And then, my sister! Always such a love-hate gamble-frolic-fight. After her graduation ceremony, my family visited the Pacific Ocean, where I slept right above Mama Pacifica's roar and directly beneath lovely Sky with her beautiful stars... I will always be at home beneath such a Sky...

Boulder, CO

I notice that I only made photos in the Mountains; none in town. Is it that I cannot find beauty in the City? Boulder is a lovely City, as cities go. There's great forward-looking outdoorsy diverse folks everywhere, interesting non-stop things to do, silence too, a strong Buddhist community, a spectacular location... and Daniel's there for a year. And yet...

Daniel (MA to FL to TN to CO)

...and then I meet Daniel.
A week after returning to Northampton, MA from visiting Cali, I head to a Pedal People potluck dinner. After a long day of biking through the rain, I walk in tired and bedraggled. I'm surprised to see a lot of people. "Speak of the devil," says one voice. "Are you dill?" asks another. I look around, confused, making eye contact with dill-boy, "Dill? Huh?" I retreat into a back room to change into dry clothes. As the evening continues, the person who asks if I'm dill introduces himself as Daniel. We chat at length, and connect quickly. I feel oddly like we're old friends as we sit on the floor stretching together. I tell him about my scars, he massages my funky wrist, we exchange stories. At the end of the night, while biking home, I see a voicemail message from him. The next day, an email. We meet up again in a day... and are pretty inseparable from then on. I leave Keith's apprenticeship to meet Daniel's family and friends in Florida. We move onto Bernard the Bus, a veggie-oil powered 40-ft long beast, in hopes of riding to Boulder, CO where Daniel will study massage. We leave the bus in Tennessee though, as it has some mechanical difficulties, and hitchhike the rest of the way to Boulder, CO. From an email I sent out,

"dear friends

We landed in Boulder about four days ago. It took us only about 3.5 days to hitch across the country. An incredibly quick hitch! So many beautiful experiences: nice cops, sleeping in a shelter, sleeping out in the desert with nothing, hitching with two truckers and two other travelers (took us from TN to NM), feeling like a bum, feeling like an illegal immigrant sometimes, feeling... all sorts of things. This is the fastest hitch I've ever done in my life. I feel so... wow. And now, we're in Boulder, CO..."

NYC with Neda and Jersey shore with Frank

Isn't it amazing how sometimes you can meet someone, connect deeply, not see each other again for a really long time, like say, a year, and then call them up with something like, "Hey, I'm in the area, you free?" and then you pick right up where you left off again?

Frank's one of those very special friends. We met during my second-to-last quarter of college (around Feb 2006) through Scott Sherman and Randy Parraz's Transformative Action class at UCLA. He just so happened to be coming into town after Semester-at-Sea with our Professor, and we just so happened to be going to Joshua Tree for a retreat. Frank just so happened to come along... and now I consider him one of my closest friends, a fellow adventurer, and a huge life-lover. A serious life-lover! One of the best.

Oh yes, and the lovely lady in the top portion of the photos is Neda, yet another fellow adventurer and life-lover. We actually came up with the term "life-lover" together, to describe all of our friends who are doing incredible things, and are just such beautiful people. We lived in the same co-op during college, but didn't see much of each other. Then we randomly ran into each other in New Orleans, volunteering at the same Common Ground relief center.
"Hey... do I know you?"
"No way."
"It's YOU!"

Wildcat Sanctuary near Northampton, MA

I spent May to August 2008 (this spring and summer) with Keith at the Wildcat Sanctuary on the outskirts of Northampton, MA. I helped on his family farm and participated in the All Things Pass Apprenticeship. I went with the intention of getting back into journalism but from a different perspective. I ended up deciding that I'm more interested in Mother Earth directly below and around me, rather than the world at large. But, what a trip. Until July, it was mostly just me living in the woods at the edges of the fields. Many others eventually joined our clan, but I wasn't making many photos by then--- so most of these photos are either of me or the land around me... but not the other people who colored this experience. There's so much more to think and write about, but the Sun calls me back outside...


so I'm looking through all these photos from April until now. How I've literally circumnavigated the country a few times since then: by foot, thumb, wheels, and flight. A part of me feels so old and over-ripe, like an apple reaching past its prime. A part of me feels wise (an older apple that's good for making cider). Another part of me is just so done and tired with looking back, and ready to move forward again. Meanwhile, I'm confused about so much, wished I'd made more photos, am questioning all this temporary photo-making, etc... and I've spent quite a few hours on the computer looking through all these photos. I missed the sunset tonight. I wonder if it was worth my time to make the photos, sit in front of the computer, share them. Do they mean anything to anyone beyond myself? Why do I look back at these photographs to relive the joys and pains of all these old stories, instead of venturing out to make fresh stories? (and yet these aid in storytelling to those who were not there to live it with me... which is most of you) (but then do I really want people sitting in front of the computer for hours and hours looking at my photos, instead of playing outside?) (I vote for playing outside) (this creative flow and sharing is also pretty important to me, though) (so be it. computer time is over for now. it's sleepytime. we'll argue another time) (okay, Jaz) (goodnight, Jaz) (i LOVE you)

hitching from WI to MA

A 1340 mile hitch... the longest distance I'd ever hitch hiked in my Life! I went from the Teaching Drum (Three Lakes, WI) to the Wildcat Sanctuary (Northampton, MA). Spring 2008. I even had an itinerary:

0. Three Lakes, WI- The Drum [130 miles]
1. Marquette, MI- Josh and Katie's strawbale hut [200 miles]
2. Petoskey, MI- Matt's apt (CS) [240 miles]
3. Oxford, MI- Strawbale Studio- Deanne [130 miles]
4. London, Canada- Jeff's farm (CS) [150 miles]
5. Buffalo, NY- Ben's shared house (CS) [90 miles]
6. Almond, NY- Alex's farm with love [90 miles]
7. Ithaca, NY- Elliot's college house (CS)[190 miles]
8. Rhinebeck, NY- Ben Ben- Omega! [120 miles]

9. Williamsburg, MA- Wildcat Garden!!!

thank you and BIG love to all the kind strangers-turned-friends along the way! The world is so beautiful when you open to its beauty...

Teaching Drum Outdoor School

I was at the Teaching Drum from Autumn 2007 to Spring 2008. There, I learned a lot about myself and my relationships with Mother Earth, my Circles, and more. Meegwetch! (and gigawabbamen--- until the Circle comes together again)

(oh, and click on any of the large photo blocks to see them bigger! yaaay)