10.25.2009

Winds and Wings: Utter Surrender

"You're traveling all alone? But, you're a woman! Isn't it dangerous?"

Ha! Hey, I'm sitting right here in front of you, with all my limbs intact. What do you think?

I've lived out of a big backpack for the past three years. Who needs a shackle-me-down car, house, and credit cards when I've got a thumb, the wilderness, and a fiery indomitable exploratory learning-growing-sharing alive perfectly fantastic spirit?
    
I have danced with hundreds of humans, our voices and bodies balanced and bouncing with and against each other. I have explored edible forest gardens with acres and acres of trees coexisting with non-weeds, all food. I have seeded, weeded, and harvested my way through a handful of organic farms across the country. I have lived in communities both big and small, coexisting with people and landscapes, sharing work, play, life, love, and much laughter. I have spent countless days hiking, camping, and wandering far on my own in the wilderness of both the body and spirit. I have spread my wings, surrendered to the winds of Fate, and flown.

Basics of survival: shelter, fire, water, food. And I've got it all: I sleep out under the twinkly sky most nights, build a tarp or natural shelter when it's rainy or snowy, and find friends to couchsurf with when I'm (rarely) in town. I make fires for food, water purification, heat, and comfort. There's firewood everywhere. I harvest water from streams, rivers, and gas station bathrooms. I find food in the wild and in dumpsters (our society is so wasteful; American dumpsters are full of reusable edible non-trash.) I get from place to place by thumb or bike--- and there you have it! Doesn't take much to stay alive. Who needs money when I've got the perfect mixture of basic urban and wilderness survival skills?

Hitchhiking is not that difficult. You just need patience, a smile, and clean clothes. Oh, and a healthy thumb. And yes, I'm still alive. No, I haven't been raped, killed, or robbed. I'm happy and healthy, and I've met hundreds of amazing kindhearted folks in my thumbing journeys across the States. Mostly veterans and older men who used to hitch too, "back in the day." But, folks from all walks of life. So much raw human experience. Every human so… human. Our own life fears and joys are so huge to our own personal experience, but so tiny in the big picture. Almost insignificant. Except that all of us puny humans are indispensable. We all come together like 7.2 billion trees to create this magnificent magical Life forest, where every little decision adds up, and every nano-moment is precious and important.

I'm humbled by it all. I sit atop a mountain overlooking the sleepy small town of Glendora, CA. I grew up here: a little girl who never ventured too far from her hometown, then one day landed in her mountains, found the beauty of the Real World in the woods, and decided to set out and explore it all, everywhere. Life on the road grew me into a woman.
 
Sun sets; purple evening spreads her cloak across the land. Lights twinkle below. I watch the cars streaming to and fro in endless lines, houses laid out in a block-style pattern that stretch to the horizon. My mountains are so calm yet unstructured in comparison. Freeform sagebrush tumbles of her own accord all over the slopes, birds spontaneously wheel in the Sky, and circles and curves shimmer everywhere. Not a line in sight. This is what the land used to be like; this is what Life, real Life, is. Look what we've done to our world.

Traveling feels similar to the freeform nonpatterns of the birds and the sagebrush. Though seemingly random, the birds' flight and tumbling sagebrush have a basic pattern: the birds fly around the same areas, and the sagebrush hangs out on the sunny slopes. Solidity lies within the spontaneity. Likewise, a pattern emerges in my wanderings: I return to the same New England area year after year, each time delighted yet surprised to find myself there again, each time deepening my relationships with the land and her people.

I'm finding myself--- have found myself. Embedded in every conversation and experience is a nugget of wisdom, an illuminating clue to solving the mystery of my identity. The journey ends as I've found my place, my mate, and my Self.

…And yet the journey never ends. It's just morphing into a new look, a new and different type of journey. I'm excited and scared.

Life's like a trail. I can walk any way I want, with a constant general forward direction. Sometimes our trails intersect and we walk together for a short distance. Other times, I'll bump into someone on one trail, then decide to forge another trail… endless possibilities. My pilgrimage has been one of countless magical encounters, each changing my Life a little or a lot, every change adding up to a whole lot of growing up. Many unexpected gifts… leading me all the way to this very special present moment: sitting under an old tree on a hill I grew up on. After traveling full circle, I return here to find not much different--- but such a huge difference within myself. Nonetheless, I could've traveled as far by staying in this little town as roaming over 28,000 miles.

One can travel as far on foot as through the mountains of the mind. Traveling need not be physical; I'm slowing down. I'm rediscovering the beauty of just sitting still, watching shadows strut across the landscape. Returning to a place over and over, feeling myself sink into the Earth, grow roots, and blossom. I'm tired of being in an area for just a couple days to a couple months. I'm tired of the constant heartbreak of falling in love with people and places and then leaving again and again. I glean the lovely surface sheen of everything, but rarely get beyond superficial beauty. Enough! I found what I was searching for.

I'm ready to appreciate the little things, surrounding myself with lovely plants, people, and projects. I'm ready for longer relationships that, like good wine, mature deliciously with age. I'm not worrying anymore about keeping my pack down to a minimal weight. I'm planting seeds, watching them sprout, fending off the deer, weeding, then harvesting yummies. I'm ready! I'm ready to stay in a place for a while, and manifest my big goals and dreams into reality through much hard work, grounded solidity, and big belly laughs. I'm ready to make real my visions and create the world I want to live in.

I'm learning to live off the land. I've lived happily without electricity and city water for at least half of these past three years. I generally find myself in the rural boondocks of mountain, country, or desert lands, with honest hardworking folks who have sparkly eyes, rough hands and feet, and big warm hearts and hugs. I'm reducing my dependency on the economic governmental system and finding community and wholeness with like-minded folks: we reclaim our health, relearning old medicine ways. We reclaim our food, planting fruits and veggies, trading with other local farmers, and reestablishing our connection with our wild edible and medicinal plant friends. We reclaim our culture, creating our own songs, weaving our own stories, improvising our own dances. We reclaim total self-sufficiency, building our own homes, collecting our own water, growing and harvesting our own food, and lighting our own fires. Big warm fires surrounded by full communities of children, adults, and elders, where we share stories and songs, celebrate the seasons, and dance sacred open hearted dances that sing our souls, ignite inspiration, and celebrate our very humanity, our very aliveness. Because this is what it means to be truly alive.

This is the future I see; this is the future we weave.

I call him Earthstone. He calls me Windsong. We met at a primitive skills gathering in the backwoods of Connecticut--- he's born, raised, and still in Connecticut. Earthstone's totally grounded and rooted into that place. His umbilical cord is buried there. I magically spontaneously landed in Connecticut for the summer. Fate brought us together, we fell in love, and now three months later, I gave him my promise: yes, I'll stay with you for at least a year.

Me, Windsong? Traveler, wanderer, gypsy, free spirit. Promises? Commitment? Staying in one spot for a whole year?!

To the big winds that have blown me here, I offer you my deepest thanks, and all my heart. My wings are still spread wide open in utter surrender as you blow me, once again, into the Great Beauty of the fiery unknown known.

Yes. It's time. And, I'm ready.

10.23.2009

free hugs!


photos

I've made at least 70,000 photos over the past five years of digital photography immersion. and it's crazy that it's just in a digital format, and if anything were to happen... then there it all goes. whoosh! just like that. same with the online thing. all this temporal beauty. such is Life too, huh? a giant temporal art piece (sigh). too beautiful, slightly scary, so precious

preparing to jump... and fly


camo


momma


i open to it all


10.22.2009

JOY!

- lolling in the sunlight
- cactus fruit juice
- smelling wafty night smells that i can't see
- tippy toe running
- sanding my foot calluses
- naps
- doodles
- dreaming and scheming
- cleaning and de-rat-pooping
- condensing everything into one backpack again

tightly woven beautiful beloved


(and)

you so beautiful i just want to kiss you like wind kisses my body all over then eat you up crumbs and all like apple-delicious-crisp and autumnal leaf redness wow! bang and off we go into the autumn, into the winter, into a crisp blue (everything is nothing and nothing is everything) beyond where whirlwinds whirl sing and rocky rocks solid sink and we (sand to sand dust to dust glow to glow star) are always and continuous we


(from email)

10.21.2009

10.20.2009

JOY!

- old photographs and places, filled with memories
- writing and editing stories for an audience
- harvesting sage
- deep gratitude
- gypsy beats
- beets and the pinkish pee that ensues
- pooping in the woods
- joking around with me parents
- freedom on a bicycle

10.19.2009

JOY!

- cooking dinner as a communal affair
- cloudy dramatics overhanging an "it's gonna rain... right?" type of day
- old places filled with old memories and stories
- heartfelt connections
- peripheral vision
- merino wool
- imagination
- messing with what's considered socially "okay"
- golden stain from California black walnut hull
- playing with old photos

- some not-so-guilty pleasures of being in civilization again:
     - (obviously) electricity and running water!
     - precorded music with surround sound
     - internet access
     - phone access
     - hot showers
     - this one a little guilty feeling: the car
- some pretty-sweet pleasures of being at parents' place again:
     - overflowing refrigerator full of my favorite foodie goodies
     - mom food (mostly traditional Chinese food, with an irreverent dash of vegan healthy splash)
     - my book collection
     - my piano
     - my bike!!!
     - my mountains!!!
     - my box full of old journals
     - my music collection
     - ma's sewing machine

heart

strawberries are heart-fruits left from Aphrodite's little feet as she danced her way through this world

10.18.2009

dancing in the Buttermilks

above Bishop, CA in the mighty Sierra Nevada mountain range of northern California, after my vision quest

JOY!

- little babies
- water in the desert
- new bright colors to an otherwise earthtone clothing pallette
- sweet chocolate
- sweet words like honeycombs
- watching sunrise and singing sacred songs to echoey mountains that surround me in a 365 magic circle of loving acceptance
- unexpected phonecalls from old friends

10.17.2009

JOY!

- farmer's markets
- lotus root soup (like little brown wheels)
- white sage in left hand, mace in right hand, knife on hip, jade on neck
- birchbark postcard from justin
- making mail for my male ;)
- buying greens, cloth, and  browns with my ma
- playing with hemp: twist, over, under, tie, twist...
- juniper seeds (aka ghost seeds), and how they shine with much wearage
- how my mountains smell after rain
- the so green, so happy, so healthy devil's  ivy (pothos) that's been climbing up the walls of the room i grew up in since i was in high school. started growing her from a little cutting off my ma's even older pothos
- the little pothos, spider cactus, and unidentified succulent plants that used to travel with me... now thriving and lounging in my ma's sunlit kitchen window sill
- how the morning sun creeps across the grass
- how my black hair gets hot so quickly
- stories
- colored pencils

JOY!

- fresh "man toe" (in chinese), basically steamed buns
- momma's cooking!
- running downhill at night on the tips of my toes with arms outstretched
- finalizing decisions with a big YES
- making commitments that feel right and good
- watching the light fade over the land below
- high places!!! woohooo!!! (my mountains)
- warm winds making rustling leaves
- conquering fears
- reaffirming old discoveries
- watching freeform flight joy birds dance in sky
- seeing lines and boxes, knowing circles and curvaliciousnesses

10.16.2009

JOY!

- cutting and resewing old clothes to make it wearable again
- reaestheticizing the inaesthetic
- making jewelry
- jade
- fresh guavas
- black sesame  paste
- cool shade on a hot day
- bright green right up against bright blue
- soothing oil on burnt and peeling skin

into the unknown

once upon a time
there lived a boy and girl
who loved each other so much
that she left her sky
and he left his earth
and together they jumped

barky road


my mysterious magic mountains- dusk



Re: changes

one wonders
as one wanders
around yet another curve
on life river's rapids
where am i going?
headed towards rocks
to solidify and to ground
or to grind and to crush?

changes

identity as traveler, gypsy, wanderer, nomad, feather on the wind
is changing
and that's scary

10.15.2009

JOY!

- first sunny blue sky day after three gray ones
- seeing my face my face my face in my tea mug bubbles
- brown mud squirting from my pile of soapy dirty clothes
- clean clothes that smell like lavender
- dirt-crusted clothes that still smell like a month of smoky fires
- saw a bear today! she was rooting in trashcan near my bike after my hike
- saw deer. rooting under trees
- watched dusk descend into darkness, then pinkness over los angeles skies
- mysterious mountains that glow in the dusk
- pianos for confused heads
- confused head, knowing heart. tap into it

10.14.2009

JOY!

- cloudy days
- first rainfall since January
- happy plants
- green transitioning into brown; psychedelic euphoria
- biking!
- freedom feelings
- w ind blowing through hair
- different colored fabrics
- laughing at serious faces driving cars
- different peoples
- vege-wine parties about rainfall
- happy fruit trees
- fresh guavas!
- raw cashews

10.12.2009

vision quest

I

know
you,
trees, rocks, stream, sky
I've been here before
setting temporary yet forever roots again
resetting, actually
amidst sacred circle
sage, chaparral, and sweetgrassed intentions
prayers to four directions
a rock and seven logs to lie against and under
and wait
cold nights, frigid snow
circle Moon sashays across Milky Way sky
circle Sun hot pursuit
days too short, too long
secret silent snow pit pat tarped logs
all night primal fire
intentions set, waiting
a cry
JOYCE!
wind sweeps down through painted canyons
to engorge my fire with strength and power
I am whole
circular mysterious, sacred feminine
celebratory ferocious, yet gentle masculine
a yin yang, black white reunion of male female day night
all merged into a passionate circle bubble glory of
me, we
us
completely interconnected wholly holy basket
trees, rocks, stream, sky embracing in joy
intertwined
oh mighty Is,
am

JOY!

- impromptu dances
- sun coming out on a gray sky day
- tea and cookies
- quick connections with random strangers
- deep connecting over years and years
- long phone calls that go past midnight
- peeling the dead skin off sole of foot
- an empty email inbox
- unexpected snail mail
- piles of awesome books
- libraries

10.07.2009

whole

once upon a time
humans wandered the earth
two by two
one day
God got angry
and send down thunderbolts
splitting us all in two
now, we wander the earth
searching, searching,
ever searching
for our second half
and lo!
i have found you
oh second half of mine
we are whole