The ocean really is a conveyor and not an isolator. Thank you Mr. Heyerdahl for that insight. In relaying his mates' voyage across the eastern Pacific in a raft constructed of balsa logs from the jungle of Ecuador halfway through the 4300 nautical mile voyage he stated, "when we were halfway across, we were about 2000 sea miles from land both ahead and astern. We felt we were living in a strange world- 'east of the sun and west of the moon'".
It is this spirit of adventure, not entirely for sport but for research in to man's past... this is da kine! I have been swept away with this book wanting to fly through the pages but instead wisely choosing to listen intently to every word & let it's meaning convey itself, it's truths, in an unfolding mystery that is both satisfying & nourishing for my soul. This is my reality show of choice. His descriptions of accounts thrill me. They lull myself out of the comforts (not that I have many...) of my existence. They provoke me to delve deeper into myself and see what I am really made of. The instigate a new chapter's inception.
There are no limits to communication- only if one chooses not to communicate. I have continued to learn upon this notion. What about the time traveling through the Sahara during 9/11 & the compassion shown to me by Tuareg Berbers from Morocco & Algeria? What about the time in Italy researching my family lineage equipt w/only a copy of our family tree & finding myself knocking of the door of "a Formolo" in Sporminore & only being able to speak Spanish to him? And then THAT time, and THAT time, and there was THAT time...etc.
So why is it so difficult to communicate among English first language speakers sometimes? Do we take conveying meaning for granted? Do we just consider communicating our lexical choices to be defined by the most popular usage of a term? Do we not know enough about our own language family to consider variations of meaning? Do we read things and only see what we want to see? Am I just an odd linguist who expects others to understand nuances of morphology, lexicon & phonology in relation to pragmatic usage? Hah, this last is likely!
If one looks at the greater scale of things in society though, so much of our perceptions are messed up. All channels of communication are strained concerning politics, economics and culture- on a global level. Miscommunication is present at every level of society. I have no answers, only thoughts. I think people need to travel more- outside their comfort zones. I believe when outside one's comfort zone, this is when you open up to the unknown. We can look back to our ancestors to see this. We are wanders, Homo sapiens: we are bi-pedal, we have large brain capacities, we have physical shells (our skin) that protect our internal organs, we manipulated tools to procure food, clothing & shelter. We radiated out of Africa to all reaches of the planet because we are social creatures. We are curious by nature & desire to not only understand our environs but influence them as well.
I continue to work on myself to keep my lines of communication open. Why- because it is necessary. Because I enjoy surrounding myself with these intrepid adventurers and because it is a meaningful existence for me. We are higher beings. We have been given the ability to communicate & convey meaning in so many different ways. We should hone our skills every chance possible.
Time to seize the day-
After a 2 1/2 hour class I cruised back to Bamboo Mountain- where I live to attend a community `awa ceremony. `Awa or Kava Kava was brought to Hawaii with the ancient Polynesian voyagers. "It is valued as an intoxicating drink and as a medicine. `Awa is also a sedative, used as a sacred plant for prayer, as well as appreciated for pleasure, especially in the south Pacific islands. It assists in opening communication channels with others and with the elements."
We sat up on the hill where the forest opens up to the sky & brilliant sunlight flooded our ceremony through the majestic palm trees swaying in rhythm with the trade winds. A light rain squall rolled in at the end of the ceremony & it was just pure gratitude. As each participant takes the `awa cup in the hand & gives an offering to our ancestors, or future generations & to present existence they drink from the cup and with cup in hand have a platform to speak. I have participated in these ceremonies before- both in Hawaii and in Fiji & well... the sense of ritual and communicating with & receiving direct ancient spiritual knowledge from direct descendants of ancient Polynesian voyagers... unexplainable. We shared an amazing Thanksgiving meal & wine & conversation. I am so grateful for what I have. I might not have much in the way of material possessions, but I know love. I know I am loved.
This transitions into my thoughts about professionalism. I have never really considered how I should 'present' myself to my professional community because, well this is me. I am strange, I am goofy, I am nerdy, I am wild, I am dedicated to enjoying life to the fullest, I am professional when I need to be- which is a lot of my waking hours... So in doing some initial research of how I want to advance my career I have been doing some investigative research on potential jobs, bosses and locales. I've contacted many colleagues from my past from jobs we have worked on and this has been fantastic in itself to re-connect on this level. Now I am wondering how professional I'm supposed to be about it all though? I mean everybody I know well enough to trust giving me feedback knows me, knows who I am, what I am capable of, and what kind of situation I am looking for that will compliment my background.
What I haven't really considered though is that these potential situations might be researching me as well! Will they be googling me? Will they find this blog? Will they read it? Should they read it? Should I care? Certain camps are of the thought that I should protect myself & I initially thought so but then I really delve into the chemistry of the situation: All this evidence of myself is me. It is me how I really am so why wouldn't I want a prospective employer to check it out & see if I am right for them? I don't know, I'm pretty proud of what I have accomplished in this life so far- all the while living life with my special flair simultaneously working very hard to build a career I am proud of.
I recall once a few years back when telling my boss I was leaving for 4 months to go backpacking from Africa to Turkey that I needed to do this and it would make be a better worker and I would come back more charged and a better person, and worker, for it. He looked at me, amazed, and signed my vacation request... I think he was impressed that I had the balls to just tell it from my heart. I wish more people would just 'tell it from the heart'. I seem to have less & less tolerance for people that can't just fess up and speak their truth. Certainly this is the case for men as of late. I hope not so for any potential employers of mine because what you see, & read, is what you get. What can I say, it's so simple an equation really.
That said, I am ready to elevate my mind to the next challenge. If any of you potential employers are blog-stalking me I thank you. You will not be disappointed. Let me just tell you what I envision for myself: I'm ready to become part of a multidisciplinary research cooperative. I'm ready to make a difference through my work. I'm up for the challenge of exhausting days in the field collecting data, analyzing data, grueling hard labor and all the while benefitting myself as well and gathering my own data that will take me further into my research so I can articulate what my future PhD research will encompass. It will take on elements of ESL/EFL, it will take on elements of anthropology/archaeology/ethnography, it will take on critical applied linguistics. And you know what, I'm going to LOVE every excruciatingly painful, sunburnt, sleep-deprived, fantastic, life-altering minute of it... So, I suggest you consider your choice wisely because I'm a keeper. Oh yea, I'm not all that keen on monitoring bulldozers & excavators anymore. I'll do it as it's always a great time to listen to my favorite podcasts (NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell, The Watchercast ((thanks Katie-girl!)), No Agenda w/Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak, Savage Love ((yes I am female & have urges...)), Naked Archaeology, Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Tips, Filmspotting, Acoustic Long Island, 3 Wine Guys (("Let the Whining Begin...")), Accordian Noir, Net @ Night, Brooklyn Jazz Underground, NYC History: The Bowery Boys and so many more) and it is really good exercise and a fantastic butt workout so I do like this element of it, but it is really dusty, noisy and mind-numbing as well.
I've loved it that some of my most respected friends in the industry and giving me feedback so readily. The sky really is the limit from here: Guam, Micronesia, Hilo, Oahu, American Samoa, Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Istanbul, Poland: I'm not going rogue, I've been rogue...
Returning to a dedicated yoga practice as well as running at sunset routine has definitely increased my energy & productivity! I am amazed how open my eyes are to everything right now. Tonight I ran through a eucalyptus forest and my eyes started watering as my nostrils became infused w/that clean, pine scent. I'm blown away by the beauty in all. Was I just not seeing it recently? Of course. I did see beauty though- beauty of academia. When you get into that research mode and everything seems ideal in that strange parallel universe.
In retrospect I probably wouldn't have worked so much as I have done the past few years in school. It seemed the only way, but there was so much I had to give up to fit work in along w/school. No matter though as something good is brewing from it. I am sure of it. Where is it brewing is the question: Istanbul, South Pacific, Alaska, South America...
To review, what are the necessities? I need yoga, I need a clean environment, I need culture, I need open space, I need science, I want a man... and not just any man. This man has to love what I do & where I go. If he can't go where I go, well then he still needs to love me. Who knows- that element always fluxuates. That's right this is my brainstorming session & I'm cooking up the ultimate love potion: fantastic career, travel, lover = quality of life cuisine. Throw in a Chilean Malbec & some Moroccan limes for a delicious dessert & good to go.
This weekend was monumental. The hike up to the top of the ridge was long and difficult and incredible and after this weekend I find myself atop the ridge looking down to the other side... A most amazing wave of sweet exhalation keeps breaking atop my head now. Steam is emitting. I did it- I made it to the top of the ridge on this journey I took alone. Well, pretty much alone. I tossed people to occupy that small space in the back of my mind along w/everything else. It was a solo journey with some sweet hiccups!
So tonight I find myself pleasantly tuckered out. Nico and I climbed another mountain at work today. How can 10 acres be so full of overgrown weeds that don't take kindly to machete? I admit I was holding the clipboard... and map ... and flagging tape ... and compass ... and most importantly the sharpie and poor Nico was left to forage ahead and pave the way- for me, so I could use my sharpie to write on the flagging tape, and mark off on the map... Yes it does sound sexist doesn't it- lol. At any rate, I did get jealous at one point looking at all the sweat pouring out from him. We kept to our own tasks though! It was fantastic to be out surveying the land in all of its thorny weediness. Gosh it made me feel really alive: hiking over uneven terrain coming up into gullys, arroyos, criks (think creek but pronounce crick). So here in Hawaii they call them swales and bulldozer push piles from 40 years ago... The point being that I was holding onto the elements to keep from getting sucked down into them. It was incredibly rich. All that cerebral, mental studying of books every night, all night; up until all hours on the computer logged into classes, blocking everything else out- well today was sweet that's all. The weekend proved fruitful for me & literature review & power point critical needs analysis presentation turned it... phew!
Now that I'm atop the ridge looking over I get glimpses of what I abandoned behind in storage. Pleasantly exhausted from work, I lay here on the couch getting my one woman party on w/an adult beverage & then some. My tarot cards suddenly jumped out of my closet & into my mind & moments afterwards into my hands. I have this friend who it seems is sad & I thought could use a card drawn for them so I can gather some insights about them. I'm a bit worried about them & don't know if they are alright- emotionally, mentally, physically, financially- whatever.
If there can be no verbal communication, so then shall it exist on another level- a level where I know my powers. Now this friends level, a level many people in their predicament they think they can sink into under the radar- especially if they are far enough away. A friend always knows these things though, well this one does anyway. So after a few deep breaths, turning off lights & a Moroccan blood orange candle burning (I know you're thinking cliche but I say just wicked cool). The reflective mood made me feel human again, not just a knowledge sucker out of academic books, journals & articles to theorize, hypothesize & debate among colleagues.
7 of disks: failure- the Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot deck
Never a card to be anticipated honestly. Interesting as it was raining hard earlier and right before I pulled the card it stopped raining and got very calm. Kinda like 'it' wanted to stop raining so I could concentrate on openness. Now that I contemplate the 7 of disks & my friend the rain just came pouring down- like a cacaphony of news not necessarily well-received by either of us I suppose. What is the bright side of a fall from paradise into the abysses of fate? Ok I just have to quote this as I couldn't possibly reproduce this paragraph- even in the creative state of mind/body I'm in right now:
"Failure is the name of the card and program for its downfall, and so the Seven of Disks talk of hopes deceived and crushed, of unfilled promises, loss of fortune, dealings that first sounded good but later revealed as short-living or cheating, false successes with no lasting benefit, that in the end had cost much more than they had gained. "
There is always a bright side though and that's the beauty of coming out of despair:
"The hope within the card is the hand of Saturn, the father of time, who reminds us to wait for a chance instead of quickly jumping after any vague promise, to silently watch and reflect and get deeper insights into the coherences, until the time will come when a real chance shows up."
I can't say if my friend can feel that I am thinking about them right now & I might never know but I feel a sense of relief. The card reveals much about myself as well- in feeling very fortunate that I have not had to contemplate this harsh aspect of life too closely. I wish for my friend to recover from their journey & become once again a part of the world where people move their mouths around as well as the muscles in their mouth to produce different sounds and pronunciate vowels & consonants in order to construct words into sentences based on thoughts.
Some people just don't get it- friendship
Such mental exhaustion brings me to the final push. This volume... yes this is the one. The NYC volume? My take on that... that was a trial run. Some minor obstacles threatened to lead me astray. I saw through the weakness; the weak link that so often destroys much of humanity by leaving them to recoil in their passive-aggressive sorrows, real or imagined. I'm not one to be taken down w/lost souls, but I am grateful to learn valuable lessons from reflecting at a safe distance.
Continuing on in the tradition of metaphor, I realize sometimes one just has to go to that dark place in order to recover. As long as that is the goal: recovery- then ok, alright have at it, get it out. Don't get too comfortable though because it's a beautiful life. There are so many volume's to fill so don't waste time in one w/a disappearing plot. I'm all about the plot thickening- into a garden of earthly delights. Yes I throw flowers from my delightful garden at your contemptuous self-pity. Take that fragrant blow to your ego- such an all-consuming target with blinking bulls-eyes- neon lights conveying the message, "do not disturb friend." What's this here? Decomposing organic waste lay at the feet of your petrifying armour awaiting for your soiled self to mulch itself back into the earth and re-birth anew. Hopefully yours is of the hearty-annual blooming variety otherwise you're a seed waiting to be sown in vain...
ok couldn't figure out the answer to that last question... I know exactly what I need- a good dose of David Sedaris! Yea, Thursday night I'm going to check him out at the MACC. It is this dry, raunchy humor that I need right now to slap me in the face and render me stupid for a few hours so I can return among the living that embrace a witty sense of humor. I'm ending here as I've bored even myself tonight w/all this spittle...
Moving along to Sunday morning fast forward to Haiku to the soggy lands of Bamboo Mountain. It's a fantastic morning lying in bed & drinking Italian espresso with the pouring rain tempting me to run naked through the property & gather some passion fruit for breakfast- no tacky Chinese lingerie for me- heh heh! I've been missing the rain so much these past few weeks of Hawaiian doldrums so I feel it came yesterday afternoon bringing good news. That the rains came on my father's birthday as well was pleasantly serendipitous. The greatness that was that man lives inside me and constantly gives me courage to make choices about my path that I believe are the right ones.
My most recent choices are to spend christmas w/my mum, to check out grad schools w/progressive PhD programs in critical applied linguistics, and to slow down in life & take the time to let me have my mind blown again...