5.14.2021

HERstory: Spiritual Gangster Part 397...

 


I'm in a "SHE-RAH" kinda mood these daze. No apologies, but pondering. Lots of pondering going on over here in Camp Holly... 

Solo_ojo (unknowingly) taught me a lot about the art of penning while pondering others actions, which feel unjustified. Yea, back in the daze of Gaziantep.

Fast-forward to today: I.Have.Learned.Much in these arts.

So in America today, I see this meme or soundbite (wherever it first came from, I know not): "fuck around and find out." It's been all over Twitter for some time now. I like it, politics aside. 

Let's see what my latest foray into this realm will bring me... I have no expectations.

You know what feels good? Just the art of the email itself and figuring, "what the fuck. Why not? What have I got to lose?" When you express yourself from the heart, there is nothing to lose. One has said their peace & laid it out for others to attack, accept, debate, etc. Whatever the result, I'm already winning, I figure.  As well, I've always thought about what people inevitably say to help express their sympathies with you, etc., "When one door closes, another one opens."  I will take that to heart. 

In other news... next up on deck: channeling energies into useful distractions.

I got this one, too. I have this love/hate relationship with my sewing machine.  I love that Miss Barbara, Sardar, and myself went out shopping for one a few years back here in the bazaar.  I hate that it doesn't have a foot pedal. It sat ignored for a full year- minus the 1st casual dalliance with it soon after its purchase (uhm, putting stickers on it, threading it, checking the tension, etc.).

I've been quite the creative crochet-core enthusiast this past year and now I'm in 'cross-over' mode: splicing together two favorite loves of mine- sewing and crocheting. Yes, knitting is taking a back-seat right now because... crochet, of course!

So I'm making this funky-ass pencil skirt. Once again, the fabric comes from traipsing through the Sulaimani Bazaar with Miss Barbara and Sardar a few years back. Because I'm growing tired of all this conservative dress that has been self-imposed on myself, I'm going all out. Thinking forward to live in Europe, I've got a thigh high split so high that it's going to create it's own windy weather system... 

Anyhow... I'm digging on the two textures. 

I'm also really into the HERstory of my pieces: I've been creating some pieces in the last 6 months and feeling super creative these days- which offsets the bs exploding all around me, as well as throughout the world... To date, my favorite pieces are my wrap-skirt I recently completed (a la Diane Von Furstenberg), a minimalist, sleep racer-back slip dress, and now this stretch pencil skirt. 

The process of art and science keeps me entertained for sure.  Add in some happy hour entertainment and BOOM. I'm a one-woman show. As I've recently stated, I think us Gen-Xers have sailed fairly smoothly through 'lockdown in the age of coronavirus'. 

With each piece I've created, the story that I have woven and inset into the fabric, etc., is monumental.  Each piece has its own life, its own story and each is titillating- however you wish to interpret that is fine by me... To top it off that all this has occurred in Kurdistan is the icing on the cake so to speak. HERstory is real y'all...

HERstory rocks

5.07.2021

Spiritual-ness

 So... readjusting the kaleidoscope is EXACTLY the medicine for today. Damn straight. The usual Friday shenanigans ensued, as always: up early and into the gym. Today I received the additional gift of being able to talk story with one of my fav. gym partners. A by-product of her getting up early and myself getting up late!  Win-win. 

Likewise, I found some time to talk story with my friend in Bahrain, who has recently bought an apartment in Portugal!  Yes, I'm focusing on creating a community of friends in my future headquarters, and now those friends are purchasing properties before me!  All in good time though, I figure. 

I'm also so stoked on realizing that I will indeed have some time in the near future to get to Portugal and start my house-hunting. Knowing that I will soon have a sweet village house with local neighbors... this makes my heart soar. 

Speaking of soaring hearts, I just returned from a run, which I almost didn't go on- because... well, just because.  Anyway, I re-adjusted my kaleidoscope and BOOM! I was out the door. Just three days ago I was working out with my pal David & I showed him the secret gardenia bushes on our trail- which were not yet flowering (but the mulberry trees did indeed have black berries on them that tasted delish). To my surprise, this afternoon, there was one solitary gardenia holding court all alone in its glory.  Five laps and 3 sniffs each lap... I'm winning.

Cultivate what you want. Cultivate relationships with who you want to hang out with. This is big. Some people are energy-suckers and their toxicity threatens to permeate. They can spew all the bs that they want, but none can permeate my spiritual membrane- that I nourish, replenish, and let flourish. Something that my father, likely unknowingly, taught me early on. 

Perhaps he taught me to remove myself in order to find myself. After all, I can always return...Perhaps that is exactly what Brother David thought as well, as he trotted off early in life to 'find himself' on his own spiritual journey.  I certainly think so. Leave the nest to find your zest. I'd like to think that they both are shining their light down on me and are somehow a part of my path.

Sure, I have my bad days. When the time comes to finally pull myself outta my funk and realize that I have cultivated family relationships & circles of friendships that are 'family', I realize how fortunate I am and consciously work to shut down my negativity. Works like a charm. 

I'm beginning to feel it's time to start the process of winding down shop over here, and the unknown is feeling kinda fresh. Let's see where the USDOS Teaching Specialist gig will bring me. Should I stay, or should I go? That is my decision at the moment, and it feels pretty good in this time of big unknowns. 

I think I'll just relish in this thought for the rest of this lazy afternoon... It's probably also a good afternoon to re-instate my Netflix account!



4.23.2021

dis-connect from discordance

 Re-adjusting the kaleidoscope this weekend as I know how to. Disharmony has no invitation to settle into my essence. Check it out. Check out. Check back in. Renewal. 

Saturday morning on the lanai feeling hypnopompic. This. This state of mind is where I flourish- even in this discordant environment where work life threatens to dominate my being. Fuck it. FUCK IT. Get the fuck over it. Fight or flight. I give a beauty of a fight when push comes to shove. I shoved myself this weekend. 

So... the cocoa butter has liquefied. It's that time of year. The morning breeze is steady and further checks me out. The healing continues. Elemental. It's all syncing, penetrating, making me malleable once again. 

One of my yoga teachers in Istanbul had this funny way of checking it out in class. It went something like this: "Inhale deep. Exhale long and slow: f   u   c   k   i   t". At some point the entire class is chanting FUCK IT. Good days, those were. 

So a good dose of 'FUCK IT meditation' is up and running this weekend.  It's all about the dose and I give good dose- especially when I'm at critical mass. 

One Hundred Years of Solitute. An interesting book to discover During the Time of Covid-19... Here's the thing; Covid-19 necessitating solitude was never the challenge for me. Perhaps it's true that the Generation-X peeps weather the isolation easier than others, I'm not sure. My cocoon has been pretty tightly wrapped long time now. I'm doing well, for the most part. I have surrounded myself, as always, with my passions. 

The beauty of that feeling of turning pages of a book... That sound. Connections made. Minds altered. Spirit travels. Yes please. Take me away. 

Working out + jazz music. What a powerful combination I've delved into. Charles Mingus. Art Blakey. Freddie Hubbard. Miles. Stan Getz. Sergio Mendez. All the ledgends old and current. 

Crocheting 'granny squares'! Yes hardcore cottage-core happening in my abode. I'm crocheting together my path. My story. So much goes into each square: energy, memories, tears, fantasies, goals, life-force. 

Today... I think I'm ready to pull out my sewing machine- that I have a love/hate relationship with. Unfortunately, when I purchased it here in Sulaimani, the only models available were without a foot treadle...Who the fuck uses a sewing machine like this?  There is a button to press on the machine itself to 'reverse' & when you need to stop. It's a lot to deal with when one likes to be guided by creativity and instinct and suddenly you stress to figure out how to stop the machine. 

Stopping the machine... Yes, that's what I'm doing this weekend. A HARD STOP and a FREEING RE-START. Yes, FUCK IT. That's where I'm at and so thankful that I  continue to reach this space. 

My Secret Gardenia Garden Season 3 is nearly here. On my walks and runs right now spring is EVERYWHERE. Those pesky gardenias are still undercover though. It takes perseverance to appreciate their blossoms!  The weather is increasingly hot. I feel they are ready to POP any day now. The roses are in full-bloom so my olfactory sense is overflowing with sweet nectar, allowing me to get into that dream-time space. The cake... soon come. The March of the Gardenias nears. I wait with anticipation. 

The freaky gas canister delivery truck is blaring in the background. It's like some kind of fucked up horror movie starring scary clowns. A jackhammer hums nearby. As I occupy my lanai the, pigeons fret about- wondering why they are barred from landing on my lanai. FUCK IT. Fuck them. Fuckers. I'm at war, and I give good war. 

 I am whole again. 

Peace 

2.05.2021

 2021 taking shape

 

A Mesopotamian teaching moment in the UP of Michigan


With trepidation, I rang in the New Year here in Mesopotamia.  As it turns out, so far, 2021 is full of positive vibrations. I have a lot to be thankful for. I have an awesome family that accepts and supports my strange existence and loves me as I love them. I have work that is challenging and allows me to grow stronger in my perceptions of what I am willing/not willing to do. A safe space has been created where we can discuss freely our opinions, suggestions, grievances, etc. 

Recently, I felt I needed a boost with my career so re-applied to be a Georgetown Teaching Fellow, or now a 'Specialist'.  I was accepted and am awaiting an assignment/project/country. We shall see what happens. Now that classes are back face-to-face I'm feeling re-invigorated. Change is in the air- even if it is simple from 'within'. 

I think it was simply the process of re-evaluating my space that I needed to delve into.  My situation is golden: I am healthy, happy, loved, working, and, increasingly important, moving towards my goal of buying a property in Portugal. 

As I review my existence, I see how hyper-focused I was on US politics during the previous administration.  As 2021 is falling into place, I transfer this dis-service onto my back-burner. Let it recede into my background to reach the back recesses of my external hard drive- to never bring up again. 

Some luxuries were offered up in 2020- like being able to return to the US- mid Covid 19 pandemic- and teach remotely while visiting family. Three luxurious months.  Probably the highlight was driving across the country with my brother, sister-in-law, and Madison the dog. For a week we traveled, and so did my students. They traveled the US with me with our ZOOM sessions.  They were so excited to see the next rest stop, the next trailer park, a US basement, meeting all my family, etc. I have a small group of ex-students that still ask about my nephews or their dogs, etc. 

It was an amazing experience to share with them. They got to hang out on my mother's front porch and watch the UPS truck drive up and drop off Amazon boxes for me, they met our neighbors, they traveled to the Pine Mountain Ski Jump with me and walked the steps with me. It's strange to think that online teaching brought us closer together. Or, it's not so strange actually.  

So fast forward to February 2021 and I feel pretty solid with my trajectory. Change is in the air, always, and my focus is to take on change with as much grace and positivity that I cultivate from with-in as with-out. I obviously have my setbacks, but that's alright.

It's a long weekend since midterms at the university are tomorrow so I gave myself this time to hunt for properties in Portugal.  Covid and continued lock-downs have continued to stunt my plans, yet solidify them at the same time. Yesterday I went down that beautiful rabbit hole and checked out properties all day. Twas a glorious rainy day indeed!  

So, that's where I'm at in this chapter. It feels good- even in this unfinished, unpolished state.  Life is a rare gem that arises from eARTh in its raw form and what follows is a series of polishings with a focus on attaining eternal shine.

11.24.2020

Books are Sexy AF


 Current read: The Fifth Mountain

Discovered while road-fishing through an ex-colleague's apartment back in July, I delve back into Paulo Coelho 30 years later...

An author that never really took hold for me back in the day of 'discovering spirituality', I guess I felt I had long past that 'point' of my spiritual discovery journey so decreed the book as necessary for 'neophytes' to need to read.

Anyhooooooo... here I am in my rawness still journeying. I've been luxuriating in books since early summer and as my intimate time book-reading nears its end (yes, the new semester is set to start soon and we all know that means you have to divorce yourself from pleasure reading), in the 11th hour I rummaged through my humble bookshelf skimming the titles. 

[Can I just interrupt here and say what a pleasurable feeling it is to SKIM THROUGH A KICKASS BOOKSHELF!!!]

...I was scanning for a 'skinny' book. And there it stood out like a gaping wound. 

This is a budding relationship. I'm only on page 38 so we are just feeling each other out as to what we are about. How serious are we? Is this going to be a solid commitment or a 1-night stand? Page 38, though, isn't like page 7 so there is a certain amount of intimacy that has already been indulged in and slipped out from underneath our stern facades...

I can already tell that 'this isn't the right one, but the one for right now', and that's okay. There is solid satisfaction in that knowledge, meaning I can delve further without any collateral damage that would otherwise be leftover after the break-up. 

So yea these are my ponderings.

Further enjoyment about the book isn't necessarily the contents, but the circumstances of acquiring it. This is perhaps the real story. The story that lasts in my memory of time and place.

As an 'expat' (hate that word but what other sums it all up in 1 word?), I flow through life remembering places more so than years. feelings more so than words, etc. And objects in their settings. This book forever will be for me: Sulaymaniyah, Pak City, and covid. As another colleague packed up an ex-colleague's life left inside their apartment, we shared this strange experience. It is an odd feeling to be rummaging through someone else's life, in such a way. Happening upon someone else's bookshelf- what an unexpected pleasure! 

I think about books like this:  I'm the hostess with the most-ess for a weary traveler that needs to be put up for some time.  Shacking up, we share a temporary journey together- which mirrors (at least my) real life. We laugh together, get sad, bored, angry, and finally terminate our existence together. But do we forget? Should we? I would like to think my essence is 'etched' into the lifespan of this physical tree of knowledge. Long after I return to the soil a part of me lives on in my books. Yes. This. 

The content of the book was unexpected. As it unfolded I came to understand the backstory of many words: Jezebel, Sidon, cedar, Ahab, Baal, Elijah (okay I had to really research this one as only had the faintest of ideas), Phonecians, etc. 

There is a certain smugness or satisfaction to find oneself so familiar already with the backstory of a book when going into unknown title territory. This is perhaps a reason I'm turning this 1-night stand into a simple fling as I'm just interested enough to delve deeper because of familiarity.  I like these familiar words. I like what they do to my mind, how they make me feel. 

Well that wraps up my ponderings this morning. Damn I've already finished my 2-cup of coffee daily limit. 

main idea: BOOKS ARE HELLA SEXY

Peace

11.08.2020

Coronavirus Communique November 8, 2020. The USA series: S1 E1 MaSheila


 The Art of the Deal

The deal went down as such; a bottle of Absolute vodka, picked up from Hilt, Ca. (All Stars Liquor Store) in exchange for my drug of choice - books. This is not to say that books are my only drug of choice. It just all depends on what I'm hungry for at any moment in time. I have many compartmentalized facets that I like to let shine with equal enthusiasm.

*

So much to divulge as I had not written a post during my 3-month US of A odyssey; however, I'm going to draw it all out slowly tantalizing you all with my penned soliloquies. They won't be following a chronological ordering either because I'm just complex like that, or so my brain waves are. You know, Da Kine...

MaSheila just makes me smile.  I love hanging out with her and the family. We share a bond through our love of books. A bookseller she is! When heading to her shack with JenTalks for morning coffee, which didn't occur nearly as much as it should have but alas, MaSheila is a working woman and all these daze so...  Incidentally, right before my departure back to Iraq we visited her at the antique mall that she haunts on weekdays. Also, the kitty kat that is shacked up there was spotted. Me thinks MaSheila will soon bring her to the apartment, on occasion, for some good feline company. Kitty must love living inside a HUGE antique warehouse though.

I digress... Last year I enlisted her aid in searching for an English copy of 'Les Fleurs Du Mal' (The Flowers of Evil) by Charles Baudelaire, affectionately immortalized as the 'cursed' poet. I got turned on to his writing back in Hawaii and always knew that I would at some later time delve further into his 'abnormal' way of expressing/penning himself. By 'abnormal' I don't mean to express that his deviation from what is 'normal' is worrisome to me.  Rather it is challenging, inspiring, and quite the opposite of 'undesirable'- in fact being very desirable to delve into. Yes, every exquisitely (apparently) sordid detail I mopped up with rabid fascination.

*

I recently read a book, I think in Budapest earlier this year, or perhaps it was in Paris in 2019. Who can remember!  It centered around the Paris art scene in/around the 1840s. Jeanne Duval, a Latin Quarter artist, met Baudelaire and their relationship continued on from there arousing much speculation into modern times as well. As any urban legend worth its weight by today's standard, their story is steeped with interesting history.  Apparently they were painted together in Gustave Courbet's The Artist's Studio yet she was 'erased' from the mysterious 'manifesto' composition years later at Baudelaire's insistence after they (Baudelaire and Duval) had an argument? 

Apparently their lust for each other was of the 'forbidden' type. Whatever the fuck that meant at the time, as I see it she was black (born in Haiti to a mother in Europe, who was the result of her grandmother being a slave from Guinea who forcibly traveled to Europe to work in a brothel) and he was an opium-loving white Parisian  dandy... Other tag words to familiarize yourself with for this setting is as follows: bohemian, syphilis, urban romanticism, stormy relationship, and Black Venus. Paris as his backdrop, his manifesto, I think, was that one "must create beauty from even the most depraved or "non-poetic" situations." Urban beauty and decay are deliciously juxtaposed in this heaving contextualized sexual scenario and I can dig it. 

Ever popular for her 'exoticism' (how 'orientalist' in nature, yes? After all, she is referred to as being 'mulatto'), Duval was also painted by Edouard Manet simply titled, 'Baudelaire's Mistress' (Reclining Lady With A Fan). I had the honor of viewing this Realism masterpiece while visiting the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts last winter. 

*

I've digressed yet again. 

So, MaSheila found me 2 copies of the book and insisted that I take both, one of which was, I'm sure, quite a spendy edition complete with beautiful illustrations to accompany each poems- including some of the 'fobridden' ones that had previously been censored in the 2nd edition. Also, this edition is in French. 

Anyway, this is how MaSheila operates. She would take no money for the additional edition that she purchased from one of her rare books booksellers she enlists in searching down books.  She is like a book sleuth! I adore this lust for books she has.

*

What is fascinating about La Fleurs Du Mal, IMHO, is the section of poems titled, "Black Venus". Obviously you guys knows what follows next; Duval was his muse here. 

*

I fear I've regressed too much now. Let's return back to the original story line, which is this year's selection of my 2 picks from MaSheila's personal library.. 

We were having coffee in MaSheila's living room, or perhaps it was happy hour cocktails that day... I am in my requisite Queen Anne-style upright upholstered chair staring deeply into her floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, giving center stage to her rather unique and vast collection of books. I swear, so many hours I have spent thinking of those bookshelves and wondering about the possibilities.... All the feel-goods come out; owning a bookstore in Portugal where I can cherry-pick my selections of English language literature for expats and locals alike, renting a lighthouse to live in while writing a book, traveling the world for unique literature, etc...

Anyway, as an early on devoted fan of Anais Nin I had heard of Erica Jong- as the authors share the same writing genre, yet never read her. Scanning, scanning, BOOM. Fear of Flying by Erica Jong. There it was sitting there looking all coquettish. Hardcore seduction at this point, I grasped the book all the while feeling quite provocative in my efforts. Compulsion perhaps? Revulsion? No, definitely not revulsion. Attraction. Definitely attraction. 

[STOP. Let me just put this out here right now, Fear of Flying is no 20 Shades of Gray or whatever the number is... "Oh Holly you have got to read the book. The protagonist is an anthropologist", and other such phrases were relayed to me by various friends. I tried to read the book and couldn't get past page 15 probably.   More recently I tried to watch the movie. Never got into it. Finally during a recent flight perhaps I was forced to watch the entire movie out of sheer boredom. Meh...]

Contemporaneously I offered money for the book as MaSheila demanded that I just take it off her hands. A kinda one-less-book-that-hasn't-sold-in-a-long-time-so-I-don't-have-to-deal-with-it-anymore scenario was proposed to me. I graciously accepted. 

About 2 weeks ago I found myself again in MaSheila's living room- this time it was definitely for sunset happy hour cocktails, I think... Again in my seated position I start scanning while conversing. Another book stands out among the sea; Thelma A Norwegian Princess. Thus, the same scenario ensues and I bring my new book back to the homestead. 

I have no idea what it's about, but the book binding looked super old and interesting. All I know is that it is also about some sort of 'forbidden' love.  I guess this was on my mind after finishing my last quiver of books, The Ice Maiden (Juanita the Inca mummy discovery), Left for Dead (Mt. Everest climbing), and High Exposure (Mt. Everest climbing).

Here now is where Hilt, an old favorite liquor store from my days of yore- high school in Ashland, Oregon- and the ritual of driving the 25 or so miles across the border to find someone at the then Hilt Liquors to purchase alcohol for us enterprising high schoolers), comes into focus. 

vodka for books, my drug of choice. True store

 

links:

https://thehammocknovel.wordpress.com/tag/jeanne-duval/

https://www.wikiart.org/en/edouard-manet/portrait-of-jeanne-duval-1862

https://www.gustave-courbet.com/the-artists-studio.jsp

https://poets.org/poet/charles-baudelaire

 http://www.ericajong.com/flying.htm

https://essentials.neh.gov/projects/the-ice-maiden

 

6.19.2020

Coronavirus Communique: Saturday May 20.2020

Bom dia,

Eu preciso de practicar meu Português mais tão estou escrevendo em Português só hoje. 

Eu acordei cedo para exercicio fora, antes que fique muito quente. Já está 31º C as dez horas... Minha caminhada foi pacífica. Depois eu fui direito para o ginácio. Agora me sinto relaxado tomar meu cafe no meu lanai na sombra.

Estou ouvindo reggae música a partir dos meus amigos sala de estar na Hawaii. Isto é, claro, de um computador.  Cada semana eles fazem videos para que todos possam desfrutar.  É muita masa! Eu sinto que estou de volta ho Havaí. Eu posso ouvio os sapos ('coqui' frogs- a very bad invasive species to Hawaii) no fundo.  Eles vivem na selva (jungle?) é, bem, isso me faz saudades para os trópicos.

Tem sido séculos desde que eu ouvia reggae parece...

Hoje eu vou continuar cortar tecedo para fazer um vestido de verão.  O tecedo tem bolinhas brancas em um fundo azul.  Felizmente, eu tenho dois mais semanas gratis de trabalha!  Recentemente, um ano atrás, eu comprei uma máquina de costura é tem sido último para costurar novamente.

Na verdade eu tenho minha amiga, Denise, de agradecer pela insperação. Eu a conhecí há trente anos em Santa Cruz, California.  Ela é o melhor!  Ela costumava tem um atelier chamada 'Wild Thing' e eu trabalhei lá. Foi na praia no Capitola Village. Ela me ensinou sobre a vida & estar feliz em tudo. Também, ela me ensinou a amar a música jazz.  Agora ela está vivendo no Surf Beach, Austrália e tem seu estúdio de design em casa.  Ontem, ela me disse que ela vai me fazer um vestido!  Então, eu escolhi um estilo e tecedo.  Ela só usa tecedo com Aborigional impressāo. 

Aqui está a sua informacao para a 'Etsy store', se chama 'Global Vibe' dela:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/globalvibe?fbclid=IwAR0-EetNXqwhQhUC1nAKraAL6f5lF3WXmW22EZRAeJNuIglYO8FkXiX3kqI

 E uma foto de nós: Ela visitou-me e meu namorado e sua familia no Hawaii para as férias.
Hippy chicks. Denise e eu na manha de Natal no Maui. Eu não me lembro o ano...

Voltar a Português...

É muito difícil para mim entender Português... Eu posso escrever e ler muito melhor do que eu posso escutar.  Eu vou tentar ouvir podcasts Portugueses mais.  Minha nova coisa é ouvir Bossa Nova podcasts porque as palavras são cantadas mais lento. 

Isso é suficiente para hoje! Como é que eu faço?

paz


6.16.2020

Coronavirus Communique: June 17, 2020




I've never been much of a Sting fan, but I have always admired his range of music and his dedication as a wide ranging producer.  If you wanna listen to some kickass Jazz, check out Sting here.  Super fresh funky smooth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrPofqZOj88&list=PLNjRYW-OT9mYyM05GXEMDnRF63wmDOsty

Days gaining momentum, tumbling down like boulders seeking out a stream bed to rest in. My doors of perception swing back and forth like a popular saloon back in the days of the Wild West after coming upon a vein of gold deep inside the eARTh after much work. You don't want to give it all away, but you definitely feel like buying everybody a round of adult libations...

I'm that miner.  I've sharpened my tools, honed my skills. I wanna dig deeper for that inner gemstone radiating out, giving me clues on this trail I plod through. I dig this challenge.  If I fail today, there is always another quest, another day. Completion is so sweet. Necter from the gods/goddesses that dwell, swell, inside me. Addiction is a motherfucker. Nothing like being addicted to honoring thyself...

I follow the trail; this vein looks interesting? Yes. Go forth. Discover what gemstone awaits my awakening. Finding my spirituality here in Mesopotamia is the quest.  Forces of nature seem to always have been chaotic here in the Cradle of Civilization. The Shamash (sun god) and Sin (moon god) are always in conflict within myself. I seek, in the dark of the night, solace- the domain of Sin.  I know. I know I need this Yin to balance out my Yang nature (Shamash).  The dichotomy motivates me. *digging deeper within to locate that evasive turquoise mine. THIS.  This is it!

AHA! The turquoise!  I follow this blue-green vein, blood pumping.  The fluid network running through my being, it needs to remain liquid.  Alchemy.  This region might persist, outwardly, in petroleum, but I need an element that reaches further back in time- that is more useful for me. Of course bitumin has always existed among the ancients here. In solid form, it was used in the construction of buildings and in waterproofing reed boats, etc.

But I digress. The blue rays of MY gemstone, my turquoise shine through my continually fossilizing framework, detoxifying me.  Transmutation. Feeling complete for yet another day here in the time of covid-19...

Back in the external realm, my secret gardenia bushes are in an advanced state of decay. Shamash wins this cycle of nature right now.  Two blossoms remain for me to steal its essence from.  I inhale their essence so greedily. I wanna be drunk on gardenia. Thus, I am.  It lingers all day. When challenged, I retreat back to this olfactory presence. I covet these daily outings. Outside walking Pak City Parkway in the early mornings, I steal away these moments. I cannot help but smile wide. Who can benefit from this energy stirring inside me, rising, bubbling over?  Hopefully anyone that comes into my presence can tune into the VIBE.  There are now a few others out walking so early. There is this unexplored acknowledgment when we pass each other. It is like this clandestine society. We nod to each other in silent respect.

Yesterday morning one of the groundskeepers saw me making a beeline to my secret gardenia bushes.  He was spraying something (who knows what in these times, pesticides, sanitizers?). As I looked up from underneath my protection shield (my trusty Yosemite trucker cap and Maui Jim sunnies), I could tell he was waiting until I completed my task; he knew that I was going right up to those gardenias to take my elixir!  Afterwards, I continued on my journey.  Not wanting to end the connection there, I locked eyes with him, turned back and pointed to the gardenias and gave him a big smile that resonated from deep within.  It just gaped out of me.  We both laughed. That was it.  I felt a part of the community and we experienced this thing together.

So yea, constant upkeep in these times of covid-19. 




6.07.2020

Coronavirus Communique; remember remember...the 8th of June...

For you Pete-Y boy:

 JayQUElin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd7FixvoKBw

 Mary Jane:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrPNwLuk0zQ



JaQUElin lives




I got a late start today getting outside. It was 8 am. I knew it was going to be a scorcher, but I needed to do it- if only to take a small side journey to another time- one year ago to the day.

I left the apartment building, as I've been doing for the past few weeks in the early mornings- through the back entrance.  There has been some element of comfort in this, as I walk by that small shady grassy patch of space just outside by the sidewalk. 

At first I did so with trepidation.  I would stay on the sidewalk, and reflect.  The past few days has been more aggressive, forcing myself to stand on that small patch of grass...

This morning I was on a mission though.  As I stood there, cloaked behind my requisite dark sunglasses and baseball cap, I knew they served a higher purpose than solely shielding the sun.

You were something Pete-Y boy. Larger than life I suppose. I learned a lot from you about life. Although, I have only recently starting taking notice of these unintended lessons that poured out of you in such an under-the-radar kinda way. 

See you around sometime Pete-Y boy

6.05.2020

Coronavirus Communique: drying cucumbers & mango margaritas sunset cocktail hour on the lanai-I-spy

 June 6, 2020 post workout bliss ponderings...

Surf Jazz + bossa is how I'd even attempt to start off describing Canadian electro-jazz group 480East sound system. Today's music genre's are so convoluted and can be quite annoyingly broad, or narrow- depending on how difficult it is to search for a sound.

I find jazz to be most confusing- in trying to really pin down what grooves I dig.  Electronic music perhaps even more so, but my focus these past few years has been seeking out jazz sounds. 

Deep Jazzy House
this genre is one of my fav for just lounging around early mornings. Slow, sensual wake-ups, lingering in that hypnopompic dream-state just a little longer before starting the day.  What the hell, drink that exquisite first cuppa coffee in bed. These are the mornings where I ignore my bodies cries for a HIIT work-out, or an early morning run.  Yea, these deep jazzy house mornings are for inner visions.  Thoughts running amuck with wild abandon. Worship thyself. Perhaps a yoga sess. Get grounded on a funkadelic undertone (just enough that you don't even consciously know it's there, really) that just glides through your system, taking you on these journeys into the realm of music + chemistry effects from the experience.  You are within the dialogue but not necessarily recognize that you are indeed one of the centrally themed characters. 

Okay I'm not sure if those last few sentences even made sense, but... whatever.

Here's some deep jazzy house:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYSo692Cl68

How do you seek out sounds of:  The Brand New Heavies + jazz funk + Sol Lounge?  It's a genre-bending trip down the rabbit hole. The rabbit hole is as fun as it is interesting as it is frustrating.  It takes some dedication, and time.  Lots of both these days! Surface for air as needed...

Also, "Sol House" is a thing y'all. Think 007

So MzH and I were soaking in last night's sunset and ensuing full moon rise from my lanai for our  perhaps weekly happy hour festivities. Whenever the mood strikes actually.  Days end every day makes me smile, as well as finally get a chance to step out on my lanai and relax into cooler air. Recently, the thermometer has been increasing steadily starting early in the mornings. I find it most important to get my workout in before 9 am. Because my head is like a big radar attract-or, I work out so many mysterious concepts I've kept in my mind during the days while exercising.  I never bring my phone with me so as soon as I get back, I sit on the lanai and type out my thoughts (these blog posts as one example).

But I digress...

So we're drinking strawberry-mango margaritas (blended even) and shooting the shit and down below we spy on maybe 5 of the Chinese girls from the other building. They have walked up to the courtyard/recreation area, which was strangely devoid of kids last night (suppertime perhaps?). They were all wearing pastel color-bloc sleeveless flowing dresses. Now, at that moment I was thinking, "wow, maybe this is a performance art piece, or the beginning of a #BLM protest march, or a full-moon goddess ritual (yes, my mind naturally wanders to far out reaches). I'm stoked. I'm ready for the show.

A few of them break out 2 sheets and drape them over the concrete.  What followed was the spreading of some type of leaf or something.  We were aflutter with ideas, of course, and captivated by the happenstance of the powerfully interesting scene unfolding. In that moment I wanted to go down and ask them because, curiosity... I imagined it was a cultural thing. We decided they were drying out some leaves (for cooking) in our buildings courtyard because of the direct, relentlessness of the morning sunshine. Yes this morning marks a change in the weather that I 'felt' loud and clear: It was already bloody hot at 8 am... So hot in fact that yesterday I was starting to sit in my made-in-China folding camp chair that I proudly purchased at Carrefour last month, when it suddenly started slowly collapsing... It had melted... The amusing part is now that the plastic chair arms have melted, it has brought the chair closer to the ground so now it has transformed from a 'camp chair' to a low beach chair- WHICH IS WHAT I WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! Haha.   Okay, back to the story!

And then 'POOF' they were gone. 

Fast forward to this morning. I'm trotting off about 6:30 am, sun blazing high in the sky already, and so I divert and check to see what remained (nothing like a good reconnaissance survey of the immediate area thought to host something incredible to dwell on and divert mis-directed attention from the all-too excessive thoughts of shitty news being shoved down our throats on a global scale). Anyhow... The sheets were still there! On closer inspection I can confirm that the 'leaves' are in fact cucumbers!

Still curious. What is this story? Ah yes, right.  Molly-wog, from her Joshua Tree NPS lilypad, called during this unfolding scene. I should update her most definitely to let her know of its outcome. As like any anthropologist/ archaeologist, she got sucked into the story like flies on shit.  SCIENCE!  So cool.

Oh yea, here's my secret gardenia bush(es) update: Fortunately the coveted gardenia cluster is well-shaded so are still producing an abundance of flowers. 


Music to accompany this blog post:

Four80East- "Cinco Cinco Seis"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5Oa_KUxBm0


Four80East: En Route - Live at SiriusXM


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEHplYngjHI&list=RDJ5Oa_KUxBm0&start_radio=1 


Marga Sol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoRxukBjgjI



Incense to accompany this blog post;

 Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa Agarbatti


corny movie to check out after reading this blog post:

Out Cold (2001- yes, 2001...)
Just enjoy it for what it is, is my best advice for the cornball cinema...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_7nVDz0tUE
 

You Tube series to check out: 

 History of Africa with Zeinab Badawi (BBC)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETnIsBnNRr0&list=PLajyiGz4JeyPq2lpEt2skZRhQsAspIQCp&index=1 


Podcast to check out:

 Imma say 'summer beach world' to describe this Aussie-boy's showcase of sounds. Think sway, happy hour, sun worship,

I listened to epi. 134 this morning. Still in groove-sway mode...

https://www.adamdunning.com/the-sun-lounge


Okay, that's all folks

Margaritaville de Sulaimani

cucumbers (I think) drying out in the courtyard

made in PRC... RIP camp chair. ALOHA beach chair...

Molly-wog, back in the YOSE daze... fun times working in the Sierra Nevada


6.03.2020

Coronavirus Communique: June 4, 2020 Outward Bound Through Inner Journeys

Jazz jam session:
You guys if you wanna hear a cool jazz rendition of Peter and the Wolf, check it.  Oh, and the narration...

https://www.podbean.com/eu/pb-xspyt-d9a98f

This podcast episode features the New England Jazz Ensemble performing a jazzed up arrangement of Sergei Prokofiev's, Peter and the Wolf. Arranged by Walt Gwardyak with a hip "jazzbretto" (narration) by Giacomo Gates.

 The Odyssey continues.


 Funking on down Pak Ciry Parkway this morning:
the local wildlife; meow




BEE present
break on through to the other side
give me life

beautiful decay


support local businesses

(some of my) medicine

structure

form

sanctuary

weave

tension

harmony

ego
focus

I am healed. Again.

to-do list:
master:      Google Classroom
continue:   The High Mountains of Portugal
organize:   Tarot project
binge:        Orange is the New Black {yes yes, I'm late to the game}
foster:        Continental Portuguese
cultivate:   Health
liberate:     da kine




6.01.2020

Coronavirus Communique: My Secret Gardenia Bushes vs. There's Something about Weather Report mash-up

wake up
coffee
da kine
work-out
     nature's aromatherapy
          gardenia
          Mock Orange
          un-identified incredibly smelling/flowering/pollinating tree going off now
          eating fruit from these unidentified trees
shower
coffee
incense therapy
wand

Stadthalle Offenbach Concert 1978

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqashW66D7o

Live at Montreux 1976
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHh5xNdmuek


So... today's most essential 'to-do' list... It's 8:52 a.m. and I have finished nearly everything. Nearly...Everything else after these tasks is just icing on the cake. 'Most essential' here translates as 'shit that keeps me from freaking the fuck out over what the fuck is taking place on a global scale (overpopulation, pollution, desertification, covid-19, etc.), as well as the shit in AmeriK3a right now.

The Iraqi/KRG governments put us all into a 6-day lockdown from 6 p.m. last night.  By now I'm pretty good at my prepper routine: food, water. Covid-19 cases have been increasing at a steady pace (not that it's a large number by any means, but the government here does recognize its own capacity limitations in terms of facilities/workers to react properly.

 Next to My Secret Gardenia Bush(es) are rows of some majestic flowering trees full of whitish-yellow blossoms with the most exquisite odoriferous particles emitting now.  My most favorite scents come from night-blooming white flowers.  It's something about the nocturnal energy; the right chemistry of white blossom and darkness, this being hidden to all except the initiated into these mysteries. There is nothing more intoxicating than a night-blooming jasmine colony next to one's bedroom with the right prevailing winds... 

The honey bees sure are picking up on this olfactory radar. They are becoming swollen and drunk on this nectar. Being fully aware of this elixir, I partake in my daily ritual of breezing past this row of trees fully open to the medicine. I am a willing patient. I'm totally into preventative medicine... 

Behind these gentle giants (just kidding, they are not 'giants' but I'm in my own world, my own bubble, right now so fuck it. My rules) are the secret gardenia bushes that they are protecting (I just made that up, I think). I live for THIS right now.  This delicate aroma is so arousing that I dare not pluck even one.  I savor this flower-drug essence every day. I don't know how much longer this experience can last as I can see the blossoms waning, turning that dark yellow with increasingly browning edges,  but I'll be there until the end.

Now I'm curious about the honey these gardenia-guarding trees produce... I will have to consult my local bee keeper about this. Okay, tomorrow I bring a camera on my walk to I.D. this tree. 

* YAY I have a reconnaissance mission for tomorrow! *  I will add that to tomorrow's 'to-do' list...


Weather Report

 An interesting jazz-rock collective it was.  They popped up on my jazz podcast this morning. I recall recently talking to Solo_ojo about Weather Report in the recent past. There's something about 70s jazz..

That's all folks-

 

5.29.2020

gardenia lust: Coronavirus Communique May 30, 2020

Buddhist Thai monks chanting: my go to


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDCS19EOsrA&t=63s

Post early morning exercise sess, freshly bathed, meditation time on my yoga mat, 2nd cup of coffee, lanai, truth.

Truth streaming down my face; a sweet fervent deluge cascading down, cleansing my outcropped facade of 'strength'. Salty water purging through petrifying boulders that threaten to stagnate. Fiercely gentle they are. But I am malleable.  Welcome relief to saturate and satiate my essence. Putrefaction to purification. To be cognizant of the process of transformation... ah yes. Becoming whole again I am.

Yesterday was a tough lesson. I pushed through though- but not without shedding a lot of angst. ANGST- this shit is dis-ease. Peeling back the layers, going deeper internally to my core- where the good shit happens when tended to properly. 

The secret gardenia bushes taught me my lesson this morning. Yes, early morning jamming down PC Parkway listening to my fav jazz podcast, these lovelies woke me the fuck up. So intoxication their essence I dare not to pluck even one.  Staying power. So with every completed lap comes another nugget to tickle my thirst for my quest for The Divine. A few unsuspecting people have walked or drove by when I am amidst this rite for my passage. Mermaid hair, don't care...

But I digress. Yesterday... In reflection, my routine was disrupted yesterday. Not that I like to adhere to 'routine' in daily life, but these times of covid-19 necessitate something. Sort sort of structure to look forward to.  Being so isolated over here to start off and living alone during covid19, well you gotta get creative.  That being said, I miss The Kitts so much- yet my heart swells to think of them in their Oregon chapter of life. So free they are to dwell among the beasts and listen to the rhythms of eARTh.

Take 2... Yesterday...
I woke today with some trepidation; would I snap outta my funk?  Sure as the sun rises/sets I did just that!  So what was it, this temporary dis-ease yesterday? First off, I did absolutely nothing physical.  I perhaps didn't even step out of my apartment. I do recall heading out to my lanai on a mission to procure my cocoa butter that I had sitting out in the sun warming up in anticipation of slathering it on myself. Yea, that's about it.

By 10:30 am I was crawling the walls it seemed. Of course I had moved on to delving into the U.S. news dramedy show. Thirty or so tweets into updates on $45, Minneapolis, posts with haoles directing other haoles on how to act responsibly in our fucked up society, I had had enough.  It drove me back to my knitting and trying to remember how to add on stitches for a sleeve project I am working on. 

On an upswing, I have been studying my Portuguese lessons feverishly lately.  I'm starting to feel fairly confident in my reading and speaking.  Listening, of course, is tricky.

I've been working on a tarot card project as of late. For the past 2 weeks I've been working with the court cards. As it happened, yesterday I was focused on the Hanged Man and Death cards.  Serendipitous, really. I finished off my research with 'Art'.

Yet still, it was a tough fucking day... Some other helpful moments consisted of watching the new Netflix series, "Space Force" with Steve Carrell & just a solid group of characters- most notable for me is the return of John Malkovich to the tele.

In other news, today [tonight here @ 10:22 pm] will be the second attempt at launch of the SpaceX crew launch to the International Space Station. You know what, amidst all this shit streaming at homo sapiens right now (a majority of which we have devised, fostered, and destroyed with), this seems so joyful for some reason.  It's really quite bittersweet; why the fuck do we get to bring our planet to (perhaps) a brink of no return (thinking 'overpopulation' being #1 here),  and explore other realms to continue to fuck up? So yea, I have problems with this, but the science of it fascinates.  Our species, as far as I'm concerned, is fucked. We've hit our 'zenith' and are on a slow descent, back-sliding into  another chapter in HERstory.

things I'm grateful for:
  • all the varieties of frankincense that I have purchased on my trips to Oman.  Pounds of frankincense have filled my suitcases!  Oh, and the sandalwood, and the amber, and and and da kine...
  • music- all of it.  At this moment it's monks chanting.  Earlier this morning was jazz funk. Last night it was Led Zeppelin... See where I'm going with this? 
  • all my medicinals that travel with me to each new environment.  Where would I be without my: Omega 3s, Turmeric, Tang-kuei & Blupieurum Formula, Glucosamine, D3, grapefruit seed extract, plant enzymes, Ashwagandha, Maça, spirulina, lung tonic, ginko, gotu kola, lysine, etc...
Okay it's likely that my neighbors don't know what to think of me. The stairwell was quite active today while I was burning my incense concoction with my door open, monks chanting... No matter. Just letting my freak flag fry fly.

-peace on eARTh






5.25.2020

Cultivate: Coronavirus Communique May 26, 2020

Reflecting on:

'Parkie' life- it's a good life
If you are traveling around America and get the chance, check out Yosemite National Park- preferably during off-season...





Pak City Parkway Strut
How does one power-walk while listening to Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" without strutting? It ain't easy y'all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BM5wPOe0xQ

As my story goes... early mornings are my most coveted moments these daze. I have cultivated a routine that I look forward to, thrive from and desire to keep me blossoming during these times.  So imagine this morning my bubble shattering- enough that it pissed me off.  There was so much fucking trash all about the PCP this morning.  I just lost my shit silently screaming in my mind. Between the cacophony of litter carelessly strewn about on and off the path and discordant sounds coming from deep within my Solar Plexus, I felt like I was swimming in a pile of ignorance.

This reminds me of living on the Big Island (of Hawaii) when I was studying at University of Hawaii, Hilo. I lived in this fucking amazing area along the eastern coast; Richardson Beach.  I lived in this household of funky people, none of which were also going to university.  They were actors/actresses at the community playhouse as well as holding down their day jobs responsibly.  I used to bike and run along this long, fairly remote stretch (especially if heading further east from Richardson, towards Leleiwi Point. After that it turned to a path (circumnavigating a majority of the island actually- the King's Highway (Pi`ilani Trail). 

This area was so strikingly beautiful it could make you weep. Quiet solitude, local living, nature so wild and unkempt that it was thrilling to be in its presence. But... it was full of trash on deeper inspection.  I mean the little sugar-cane saturated clusters hiding various pullouts so intricate it's like a tunnels leading to treasure chests- of rubbish.  Trash everywhere; furniture, toilet paper, just fucking garbage thrown out of car windows or deposited late in the night by people perhaps not wanting to drive to the dump and dump their shit because they were too fucking lazy.

Beautiful Hilo, Hawaii- but you best remember to walk lightly upon this eARTh... This place is full of mana. No disrespect, eh...

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hilo,+HI+96720,+USA/@19.6865437,-155.2300207,11z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x79524b5a6c97dec9:0xc15ba900330c15c6!8m2!3d19.7241106!4d-155.0868193

That's what it is... laziness. So seeing trash in my current hood just really made me sad this morning.  It's laziness from all corners of the globe. Why would you not want to responsibly throw your trash away?  I fucking hate this... Pick up your fucking trash.

As I look deeper into the situation I think about what's behind it. Right now we are back in a 4-day lockdown over the course of the Eid Al Fitr national holidays. Covid cases have increased a bit recently and mitigation measures were needed on the fly so this is what the government came up with.  It seems a responsible measure, honestly.

So how this perhaps trickles down to this travesty is that the Bengalese and/or local workers that take care of the grounds (beautiful rose gardens!) aren't working? So normally they are picking up everybody's fucking trash... What the fuck? That shit ain't right.

Rant over.

Each lap, though, I can purge that shit feeling and surround myself with cultivating beauty. Looking forward to seeing my favorite rose bushes each day brings great pleasure, as well as bittersweet sorrow to observe them wilting as they complete their life cycle.  Yes, bittersweet.

While listening to jazz (jazz funk being my 'go-to', I spend a lot of time working on memory exercises in my mind while working out. Each lap I pick one of these mulberry things and eat it and rate them. I think about what I want to blog about as I wander in and out of my own moving picture show that sets the stage for pondering deeper. So many topics come up that it is a challenge to remember each. Just remembering how many laps can be a challenge some days... I concentrate on words/grammar I'm learning in my Portuguese language studies and what I got wrong, etc.

Figueira da Foz
Getting more and more psyched about cultivating my near future... As a back-up, I continue exploring other parts of Portugal to perhaps settle, but I'm not having any of it. Figueira da Foz is it.  There is this sweet village just outside of the (small) city, Maiorca.

So yea I work hard to cultivate my present. I indulge myself into my 'fantasy-of-owning-property-that-is-evolving-into-reality moods. It feels good. Real good. The present is dealing some shitty cards on large scale to Mother Earth these days, down to the scale of global pandemic, and can be reduced further down to each individual's response to all this over-stimuli coming at us. Whatever. I'm trying to turn that shit into lemonade.

Reach the Beach.

Cultivate the Beach... Be the Beach

-peace














5.24.2020

What Have You Done Today to Make You Feel Proud: Coronavirus Communique May 25, 2020





inspiration
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEoxGJ79PMs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hHSH9sJUEo

early mornings funking down Pak City Parkway
I'm my own private dancer in these moments. Quiet stillness, or so it seems in my mind, adds to these moments in the time of coronavirus. Iraq is on total lockdown for Eid al Fitr for obvious reasons.  The city eased up 'lockdown' a while ago, yet I still tread with trepidation. Not yet ready for the transformation to society from a period of hibernation really. All in my own time.  


good shit's brewing in my head. 
Days fly. I can't catch up. Dawn slips to twilight to sunrise to morning to afternoon to sunset to dusk to dark. Lately. Full of projects, my mind is nourished with fuel. Creative energy purges through my network drowning any stagnation lurking, not yet 'wanting' a fix.  Gotta 'fix' that shit.

Pull a few court cards from my tarot: the Sun, the Moon, the Hierophant. Look at me. Energies mirrored, conflicting, swirling creating energy. Moody energy. Fine-tuning raw energy into something malleable, USEful. UseFUEL. Anthem.

Time to create. Time to funk. What the fuck is 'time'?

word salad
 Google Classroom
Bewitching hour
French Roast
South Pacific
wanderlust
Portugal
da kine 
rhythm
sweat
beach
garb
space
home
write

road-fishing
Magic happens. Left my building this morning full of musical energy to strut down **da kine**  Pak City Parkway, this nugget fell right into my lap. Instinct. Grab it.  I love how the universe provides. Next on deck is "The Mountains of Portugal" by ??? author escapes me... Yann Martel maybe? Me thinks. But, possibilities have just widened.  After all, I'm a newbie in the genre of Russian literature only having read Master and Margarita previously. That book was such a struggle to 'get' (nuances galore with Russian society) that I thirst for more. Who knows. 



sprouts
So I've been growing sprouts for a few years over here with varied results.  Fall and spring seem to work best. Recently I transitioned them from mason jars to (newly discovered) seed bags. Alas they are still struggling... Perhaps too much dryness? My last batch in the mason jar last week was too moist, turning to mush kinda. I think some of that problem was the aluminum lid (with plastic mesh atop) mixed with an abundance of moisture thus creating a greenhouse effect.  

I had such hope in the seed bags. After 24 hours of soaking in they went.  It's day 3 maybe and they don't seem to be sprouting easily.  I keep them fastened so I can easily rinse them more than a few times a day (to account for the heat now?), but they resist.  I'm thinking they dry out too fast? More research. More data needs to be collected before I can make more hypotheses to determine a viable solution. 

So that's where I'm at with sprouts currently.

Yea, I'm just trying to keep my freak flag flying in the time of coronavirus. Proud. I'm feeling it.



 



5.22.2020

Groove Tribe: coronavirus communique May 23, 2020

Music saves sanity. Truth.

Daze and daze go by. I look at the numbers, unfocused in a haze of waiting- for what? I'm not that interested in keeping up with the general details. I'm nesting safely inside my psyche these daze hand-feeding it all my desires and fantasies to tide me over and seeing what develops.

I sense that it's not just me. Globally we are learning how to become 'unstuck' perhaps.  The phoenix rising from the ashes- that kinda stuff. Slow and steady wins the 'race'... Emergence. Transformation. This I work at with grace and positivity, until I slip backwards into stagnation. The wheel of life. It's spinning, which is dynamic.

That's all, really. Love and light we seek.

5.20.2020

Mistress of Plan B series: Coronavirus Communique May 21, 2020


Mistress of Plan B series




Things I’m digging right now in the time of corona-virus:

Thinking about Ernest Hemingway sitting on his lanai in Paris with his typewriter.


it'll do, for now...

Ginger. Lots of it.

Smoothies every day. Serious mana from the gods/goddesses, this is my kool-aid.

Jazz.

Not checking the news incessantly.

“Mermaid Hair Don’t Care” [thanks Hayley]

Early rising w/da kine and working out outside before the sun gods/goddesses reigns supreme.  With every lap comes a sense of calm vigor.  Blood pumping, it nourishes my cells, my spirit, me. 

Then there are the mulberry trees (yes?) with its mana hanging low, yet not so low anymore to easily reach.  I gotta work to get to those luscious black berries now.  Perhaps another few weeks at most to engage in this endeavor and I’ll move on to another sideshow activity.

The floral bouquet rising from my beloved Yosemite trucker hat continues on.  The abundance of roses in bloom in the region now does not escape me. The audacity to pluck one! The desire to pluck many adornments can’t be abated. After giving me essence to accompany my workout, they continue to delight me decaying on my bathroom sink counter. I honor their metamorphosis into sweet decay. 



Sprouting sprouts. This joy has recently been heightened. As the temperatures have been increasing here, my mason jar sprouts have become compromised. I’d noticed that the glass jars were more a greenhouse recently, collecting more moisture. Of course I knew what the solution was (seed bags I learned), but didn’t have any, or so I thought.  Then I remembered Julie from the Istanbul tribe. She had given us these reusable vegetable bags (seed bags!) that a friend of hers had made.  I constantly use them still on my green grocer visits in the hood. I already possessed the remedy!  I put that shit to work immediately and on day 2 I already see a major difference.  Sprouts happy. Holly happy. 



Tribe. The Human tribe. The Blood tribe. All the tribes. I am tribe.

“Valeria” on Netflix.  Only one season right now so get on it.

“The Eddy” on Netflix.  Jazzy beats. I need speak no more about it.  Sure the story is a sideline. It works.

Tarot cards.  Yes, introspective times necessitate self-reflection- however you go about it.

Something that felt really good recently: Carrying a big stack of books downstairs in the foyer for anyone to read.  What a sense of accomplishment!  First, just to part with books is so difficult so the act in itself is a small victory.  It’s like spreading your seed far and wide to all corners of the eARTh.  What faraway lands will all these books end up at the end of their lifespan? What stories divulge.  They have their own trajectories independent of us spending some time admiring them on our book shelves, finally reading them, seeing them lying around on the coffee table for months afterward, etc. So to release them into the wilds, anything is possible!  You know that feeling when you score a free book and you also get another hidden nugget in a bus ticket, museum stub, a note scratched on a post-it on some random page- yes THAT. It delights.


Plan B; one hit wonders sometimes, which is fine.  Plan B always deserves cultivation and storage somewhere in the hard drive.  I don’t always pay attention to Plan B, but when I do I’m sincere. Then I set it aside until its time. Plan B rarely works ‘on the fly’- not for me anyway.  But the possibilities… That is the beauty of Plan B.

And then there’s the distant Plan C. I put this to use when I headed to Yosemite to work for the season a few summers back.  Hastily arranged, it all fucking worked out fairly effortlessly (with a lot of paperwork!) and it was a fucking amazing experience (the gig, not the paperwork- but there’s something to say about keeping organized and on top of that paperwork trail shit). I put Plan A on hold for Plan C and absolutely it was the right path.  There’s a lot of magic in the universe, but you gotta feel it and catch it when it tempts you. The attractions, the dance, the emotions, the rationale (‘should I stay or should I go”) all are valuable tools when considering magic.

So I’m refining Plan B. Science! Big plans, yet not grandiose. Plan B, something to work actively towards achieving by creating while in Plan A.

5.01.2020

Coronavirus Communique #3: " I was dreamin' when I wrote this. Forgive me if it goes astray" May 1, 2020

 "I was dreamin' when I wrote this. Forgive me if it [I] go astray"
                                                           -Prince

me.today.vibe:EternalSunshineoftheSpotlessMind.for real. And da kine.  Always da kine.

I've been meaning to comment of the floral bouquets wafting through the air in the early mornings here when I'm power-walking or running around the building complex here.  Lockdown restrictions have been lifted somewhat recently (since Ramadan started) yet I've been lingering around my health den, my cocoon of cleanliness so to speak. If I'm being honest, as a host of you know, I'm not the most organized of housekeepers... And it's perfectly fucking fine...

So you know... yes, the flowers... Each day I've gotten into the routine of starting out on my 1st lap just getting into my breath, trying to establish consistency: deep inhalation.hold.controlled, constant exhalation. Over and over.  Let's get all that shit outta our lungs, right? Am I right??? [I call this covid-19 protection. That's right, I drank THAT koolaid and I wanna believe.  An, unrelated, unconfirmed coronavirus claim I recently said that smoking MAY protect you from the virus... Weird. Wouldn't that be a strange conundrum...]

Flowers. Yes. So I sense this aromatic sensory sweetness. Yes, it's sweet. Because it's fleeting. And you have to work for it. That is the challenge here: finding the beauty where you can- either externally or internally.  Da kine. Right?

By the 2nd lap there is a flower in my pony tail (I'm thinking to bring back the term 'pig tails' this season...) or my right ear. Because, Hawai`i & shit.  I do miss the shit outta Hawai`i.  I try to live Hawai`i as much as possible here.  Everywhere.

How can someone greet a flower with a grimace? Someone can't.

[side note here, I just finished reading Tom Robbins' Villa Incognito & there is a knock-knock joke that frequents some chapters:

     knock-knock
           who's there?
      It's me. Himself

...I'm not entirely sure why I brought that to attention. I believe it was the 'someone' & the 'himself' association.  I could be wrong though].

So, books.  I've got a lot of 'em.  I've plowed through many of 'em.  I'm quite impressed with myself. Kinda like braggadocio rights I give to myself. This reflexive instinct, however misguided, puts me into another category as a compulsive book collector.

You see, I can't turn away a free book.  I carry them all around the world with me. Different bookshelves in different countries they sit. Awaiting that one day, what might never arrive, for me to pick it up, look at the flyer or postcard or museum ticket, or receipt of something incurred while traveling... Next in the process is to read the back cover. Last, delve into it.

I picked up a VERY eclectic selection when I lived in Yosemite.  Nothing but sweet fucking memories of pure goodness working that gig.  What a trip it was.  The fucking Sierra Nevada!!! Anyway, Parkies read it all. I mean, Tom Robbins? I poured through his quiver 30 years ago while living in the jungle on Maui doing that thing that one does living in the jungle... Yes, it's true. All of it. 

While I'm pondering books, I recently read some unpublished work by a colleague. Short stories is a 'newish' genre I've delved into. The result? I enjoy them.  There is something to the structure, or how you need to structure your mind, energy, psyche for short-story enjoyment.  I enjoy the challenge, the science of it.  My brain digs the chemicals it produces. So does my body. I mean, I work hard to produce the right chemicals. Tirelessly.

So the stories got me to thinking about connections. While I couldn't find a connection between all the stories, I sensed that there was. I just didn't know what it was yet.  I was rewarded in the end to find that indeed a ribbon was weaved through the stories, traveling to-fro contemporaneously or sequentially.  Yea, my brain digs these treasure hunts; sifting through the sands to get the satisfaction of discovering the jeweled nuggets.

OH OH OH you guys.  You NEED to listen to this podcast: Prince: The Story of 1999.  

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/prince-the-story-of-1999/id1488187430

Sheer fucking genius.  The Prince Foundation does an excellent job of presenting these intimate grains of sand of Prince's vast desert he surrounded himself with: Deserts of art, music, friendship, experiences. Each grain goes through this hourglass of information learned about his sheer fucking genius.

The part about working with his favorite studio sound engineer, Peggy, to working with Lisa (and her interviews are so raw and descriptive) to Desmond describing when their band opened up for the Rolling Stones, which ended up a total disaster. It's said that the Stones' fans were not ready for Prince's 'show', and things got ugly. 

Even if you're not into Prince, the podcast is well produced. 

Peace. A purple protective perspective piece of peace to you all

Some projects as of late...