10.23.2008

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!)

10.20.2008

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...

10.15.2008

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)










10.14.2008

ten miles bike ride
am excited to see Frank on Halloween
hope to see Tommy before leaving Cali
disappointed about all the other nor-cal folks
wondering about fall color every place but here
thinking about cold winds pushing through mountains
dreaming of Daniel and I wandering over lakes and through woods
restless body, wandering mind, need focus
am drifting again, uncomfy, not good
meditated this morning and was calm, then
maybe I need more of that
maybe all sorts of things
early sleep again tonight, good
need more stretching in morning also
am trying to push beyond (what?)
and get (where?)
(for what?)
(why?)
...stream of consciousness
didn't make any photos today, so no show
thus the stream of consciousness
can't help but to wonder who's reading this, and if I should be editing myself...

10.13.2008

Wildcat farm

photo by wonderful Frank Pfisterer, who visited me in the MA woods this summer. We built the wiki-up (the shelter in the photo) in about three days.
hello yet goodbye, goodbye yet hello
drifting on imbalanced breezes
the mountains are on fire

10.12.2008

desert dessert


Piggy

Piggy! (aka. Tommy) I looked for him all weekend, then finally found him... an hour before leaving. An hour of non-stop chatter and laughter and awww weee :)

It's so nice to talk again with people who've known me for more than half my Life... and still love and accept me just for who I am.

Yeah, we're family. I didn't get a chance to photograph all the many other old buddies at the Center... Long, Ted, Neil, Lien Chau, Lauren, Giau, Thao, Tien, Trieu, Phu, Lily, Glasses... (lovelovelove)

10.11.2008

Upper Mystic Canyon trail

My family went hiking this morning in my Mountains, also known as the San Gabriel Mountains.


My mom retires next year, after 20 years of working in the same laboratory. She literally biked around Taiwan when she was my age. She's a rockstar.

My sister and I are very different, yet similar. We occupied the same womb, but at different times and under different circumstances. The result? Two very individual individuals.


My dad successfully evaded the camera, but we had a snot-blowing contest. He won. I have much to work towards and look up to.

10.10.2008

Wren trail- good night


Bibeau and Burgan

We just realized today that we've known each other over 8 years now! How time does fly... Bibeau and Burgan were my high school art teachers. They're revolutionizing the GHS art department, and turning it into an academy, among other things. "I love being here," said Bibeau, "been doing it 21 years, and still loving it." "It's sometimes very challenging," said Burgan, "but ultimately so rewarding..." his eyes follows his students out the door, as they troop off for the weekend. "...it's all about the kids. They're kids! They're great."
...each day with it's own excitements and challenges. I love it!

Craig

"Happiness... I don't know what it is, but I definitely notice when it's not there."
- Craig