Clouds, Questions

I sit at Caleb’s wooden desk, an old recycled school child’s table. Our window overlooks the hills that lead forth into Nature Conservancy lands. It’s a cloudy day. The rain begins falling as I write. I feel melancholic with the clouds. They remind me of New England, and of Taiwan, which I’m currently pining for. I’m drinking “Dong Fang Mei Ren” tea, a brilliant aromatic green tea that my best friend in Taiwan gave me, when he came to visit the USA. The name of the tea means, “Beautiful Oriental Person.” I’m using a little white porcelain tea set that I traded some Taiwanese friends that came to last year’s Rainbow Gathering. I’m listening to old Taiwanese/ Chinese folk music, that makes me cry. I enjoy this tea ceremony and music by myself, remembering all the tea leaves, water, and saliva expended drinking tea, laughing, and chatting with so many different friends, relatives, and elders throughout Taiwan, but especially in Taipei. I remember the old hands and tables, the music that brings smiles to our faces. I remember turning around when my grandma shared her favorite song with me, a song about roses, and started singing along. I didn’t want her to see me crying, not because the music is so beautiful, but because I suddenly got overwhelmed by the magic of it all: being in the country of my ancestry, drinking tea with my grandma, as she sings her favorite song, which is about roses. Roses are one of my favorite medicines, for joy, love, and the heart. I have two burlap sacks covered with rose petals drying outside of our room, right now. I harvested these brilliant multi-colored rose petals from Bernice’s garden, a few road’s away. Today’s roses, tea, music, clouds, and medicine of the moment makes me cry, and cry.

It’s difficult living in a world of no ancient, authentic culture. It’s exciting to try and sculpt one of my own, our own, an amalgam.

I woke up with too many questions, my mind screaming. I sat on our back doorstep, overlooking the hills and sunrise, with a red candle glittering and dancing, aromatic plants sending their smoking incense into the air from a heart-shaped abalone shell, and prayers and questions spilling forth as I invoked my ancestors, and all those who would hear me. I don’t know how to earn money in a way that feels good and right, how to continue learning and evolving with the herbal medicine studies that I’ve been focused on for the past 1.5 years, how to live in one place, how to be “normal.” I question the validity of all of the above, and wonder what I really want, and what’s best for the world. Nomad, pilgrim, wanderer, wind. Woman of no culture yet many, no community yet many, no skill yet many, with all the overwhelming possibility of infinite choices, and uncertainty as to how to walk forward, from here. I cry as I practice my daily sun salutations, yoga’s Surya Namaskar. I cry because I am so familiar with these movements that they flow fluidly into their own movement, their own dance, from a traditional something that originated a long time ago, has somehow been brought into this country, into my life. I journeyed to the country of its origin, relearned it, returned back to this country, and now this tradition has woven itself into my life, and is birthing into its own form.