Beginning anew, but from the beginning ~ the Why ~

A change of mind warrants a change of lifestyle, though often it takes a certain amount of tortured festering of one’s happiness to do something about it. It’s not as though I was living the vision of the life I wanted, but I clung to it like a weathered blanket, making excuses for why I continued to perpetuate the misery of habituation while spreading my dis ease to others. I had needs that my routine city life couldn’t touch, that no one could touch, and I spent a lot of time alone reminding myself that I was the Creator – that like a gifted artist painting a picture, all I had to do was put the brush on paper, to take that first brave coloured stroke of decision, setting aside the mind and jibber jabber thought patterns that restrict the flow of unfolding.

All life experience is setting the stage for the ultimate destination of Purpose, and when those experiences seize to inspire movement in a forward direction, the choice is to either survive on a lower vibration or change the station – and to thrive is thy nature. I made the decision to move on, but where to go from there was a stroke I had yet to take. I knew I didn’t want another ‘job’ again, and I didn’t have it in me to compromise my self anymore, to try and build a new lifestyle in an environment I wanted nothing to do with. I knew I just had to go.

For years I’ve taken refuge in the thought that I could walk out my front door one day and be provided for, that the security I find in my home, work, and relationships, is superficial compared to the comforting embrace of a fearless heart that knows everything is already here, has already been done. The thinking of some-thing, and the doing of something though, almost entirely unrelated to each other; the thinking full of imaginative scenarios full of grandeur and success, and the doing, not without actual mundane sacrifices, stresses, and hardships. The outcome could very well be the same if one doesn’t get down on the doing part of it all, but the reality is that no thing comes without a bit of suffering. Arm yourself with remembrance and just go.

Just go, ahhh, just go! What are you waiting for! GO!

I packed my bicycle with bags that carried the bare essentials, not a lot of money but a bit of faith – I can always come back right, put the last period (more like a dotdotdot…) on my current life story, and in a state of disbelief dropped off at the ferry terminal to catch a ride to the other side, my stomach twisted in knots and my heart wild with adventure. Heeeeeeere we go! Like a knobby kneed doe, I became acquainted with the power of my direction.

I chose to bicycle away from my front door because of the very simplicity of it – a self-managed mode of transporting oneself through the inner territories of the mind while being fully immersed in the territory of earthly existence. One pedal at a time, one hill at a time, one pounding heart beat at a time. There is no shuttle-effect, like the ingenuity of flight or vehicle, where you go from one destination to the next without much more exertion than the unconscious stress the body holds while it is being propelled through space and time. On two wheels one is gradually farther from home and further along a road that becomes more home in each moment, like a warm easing in to the ever-changing landscape, giving time for such an adventure to take shape so one can begin to see the picture forming from what was once just a brush stroke.

My heart just has to say—

Bicycling is attuned with the vibration of love. Feel your skin collecting rays from the sun, feel the change in wind and the mystery of what’s around the bend, say hello to the butterflies and the bees that come to visit for a moment, and whistle with the birds as you craft your own song to sing. Take a break when you want to, camp out where you need to, and relax into the steady rhythm of living. There is no rest stop to wait for or pullout required, the bushes and the trees, the valleys and the hill tops, are all offering to support you in your journey. Take their offerings and leave your gift of pure acknowledgement – ‘I see you tree!’, a symbiotic love of seeing and being seen (maybe even for the first time?). Sleep on the ground and under the stars and find yourself waking up with the sun. Find the moon in the sky and tune in to the shifting light of darkness as she guides you through discovering your own moon cycle. Tune in, it’s life —

I am approaching 6 months since the time I left my front door, and what started out as a bike ride has, as I thought it would, unravelled the strings around my purpose so that I can see it more clearly. I have spent months off of the bicycle in that time, living and working towards my vision, the picture is by no means finished but now I know what I’m painting. With a clearer understanding of where it’s all leading to, I’m breathing life back into this journal so I can begin to share it with you again. I started this journal so that I could begin to heal the wounds of a self afflicting censorship that has disabled my creativity, but fuck it, now I actually believe I have a gift to share. Foibles and floundering for you to see a small piece of a sincere me, with a pinch of insight and words meant to inspire so that you too live the life you desire.

Hello again!

 

christmas heart strummin

it doesn’t feel like christmas today

maybe because i didn’t wake up to the smells of brewing coffee or the sound of laughter around the kitchen table, no cheery music, no stocking to investigate
– i woke up wondering if any grocery stores would be open – i forgot to pick up some food

it’s supposed to get to 30 degrees, not a cloud in the sky to block the sun from burning my eyes
palm trees look silly today
the highway, menacing
but i have a gift
a present
i knew this day would come
so i tied it in a bow of twine
tucked it away
because i wanted to open it in front of you
to unravel it slowly relishing the flavours
of sweet remembrance

i pull the bow of twine
and
your face comes to mind
and i see the twinkle in your eyes
i see you
we shared a moment in time
that i can only remember now
but the feeling is still so
present
you’re here- right here, in my little ol’ pitter patter machine!
though it is bitter-sweet
because you’re not there
to receive my smile
in the present
but maybe you feel it anyways

i keep pulling
and i hear your laugh
it tickles my ear drum
and my eyes prickle
i want to tell another joke
so i can hear it again
but the laughter fades
replaced with the hum of the
present
i giggle anyways
you would have too, i know

the taut twine loosens
as i play a chord
on my heart string
a lone note
that i savour
it sounds like you and i
when we’re together
no one else would hear it quite the same way
as you and i
it’s different every time anyways
hum, let’s dance

unravelling
unravelled

and
naturally

that bow of twine
has changed
where once was two
is now one
it sounds lonely
hum
and maybe it won’t bow again
but one is endless
we don’t need the bow to remember
that we’re still together
the form changed but it remains
that it was always just one piece of twine anyways

it fooled me too

YOU – family, friends, loved ones… thank you for being with me, what a gift

no peep for a while, but…

6 weeks ago i found myself up a hill on a nor.cal specialty farm and here i am still; rugged rural living reveals foot and foibles through holes in socks and soul supporting spherical revolutions of seemingly unrelated stories that intertwine for a time and find resolution or as a line on a fresh sheet of paper to rehash with hash lata. teeny tiny tent traded in for a towering tipi, showering maybe once weekly, standards of living lighten up as I brighten up with fresh eyes of abundance and a polished vision of prosperity. totally out of the loop but feeling groovy. southbound again uber soon, holy fook a duke time to get mooooving!

tipi

hugs so good we don’t know whose heart is whose when we let go

I awake to the sound of roosters in the distance, the air is cold cold cold but I am warm and snug inside my sleeping bag, in my teeny tiny orange home nestled in the tame woods of the homestead and permaculture-inspired Laytonville ecovillage. There is no hurry to do any thing, though the thoughts of sipping hot tea around the warmth of a fire is enough to make me unzip and step out into the world. I make the trek down the path through the woods to the outdoor kitchen and communal area, a sleeping bag wrapped around my gently aching body from yesterday’s work, and yet again I find myself marinating in anticipation for this new day.

My tent has been pitched in the same spot for 3 weeks, a welcoming contrast to the daily get-up-and-go vibes of the month prior, and my soul feels acclimatized – the settled feeling one has when all of their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs are met. The travelling life offers perpetual stimulation and humbling lessons and challenges for soul maturation, and a life of stability offers one the chance to integrate the lessons of that past – the full realization of the depth of change that occurs when one lives outside the comfort zone. Volleying the two energies about in an authentic game of snakes and ladders keeps life fresh and inspired, aligned in the flow of ying and yang, fast and slow, hard and easy, the extraordinary and mundane — a joyful expression of the circular nature of all things.

I like to hug. A lot a lot. The timeless space of free affection felt as ones breath begins to align with another, the instant release of stress and dis ease as warmth spreads from one heart beat to the other. Good hugs acknowledge the connection, and excellent hugs unquestionably remind that there is no separation, that my heart is your heart is their heart. Release the shoulders, relaaaax, deep breath, siiiiighhhh and giggle as the exchange of sexual creative energy vibrates peacefully through out, filling any needs for nurturance and fulfilment. I can never underestimate the power of a hug, the one act deeply missed as I travelled alone on my way south. The verbal connections found and made, the smiles exchanged, and the stories shared were no match for the hugs I began to give and receive just as I needed the physical expression of love the most. I was writing a letter to a dear friend (tiny T!), which sorry I never sent again, at night in my tent, letting a tear slip out as I reminisced of famlied-friends (a term coined by me just now?) and our free exchange of physical comfort, pen-to-paper shouting to the universe that I was in need of someo’this NOW. I fell asleep feeling better for expressing my needs, as futile as it might have seemed at the time, and looking back with hindsight at my disposal, the universe was quick to heed my call.

This entry begins to pull together two lessons that intertwine with one another seamlessly, lessons that I have been given over and over again by self and others, to which I am fully grasping now as I ground myself in the physical and metaphysical planes of existence. One, the requirement to admit and call out for help – you do not have to do this alone!, and two, the beauty of community and the freedom to love without boundaries. They intertwine naturally, as the need for help is reduced with each connection that blossoms, the supportive energies that build internally as the external world manifests around you with bodies and faces that express their support and care with bright eyes and given smiles.

How many people I have met on the way who have insisted that I ask for what I need! How many of them that have done just that, and received all that they needed in abundance. I, shy and timid to ask in an absurd fear of rejection, knew this to be true but could not bring myself to open up and admit a thing. So I experienced almost all of my hardships alone, feeling alone, in being, alone. The letter I wrote was one emotionally charged and in tune with the rhythm of living, and as such was answered just as I had intended it would be. The following day, after my letter of manifestation, a round-pole natural building work shop was hosted by the ecovillage, and in such an abundance of radiant souls came to learn more about living with the land. Oh how lucky was I to get the chance to know and be known! In the knowing, in the full expression of spirit, hugs of plenty were inevitable – I laughing at the universe’s sly humour, for inviting so much abundance into my life, for filling me fully up with kindred souls and new opportunities, opportunities that supported the new growth of being.

As I said, with community comes support, they are one, and with each new connection I have made over the past few weeks, the more I feel contented and at peace, despite my lack of wares and money. I am in the same position I was in weeks ago camping out in the Redwoods, save the fact that I have voiced my needs to people that care, and that support me in ways that I could not have done so by my self. I in turn give to them freely of myself what I am able. The exchange of energies match each other, and I no longer worry or wonder about where my next meal might come from, or lack feelings of acceptance and love.

In the short time since my last entry, I have found sisters and brothers, two homes, daily fresh food grown on the land, supportive dialogue and endless physical affection. I have travelled to Mount Shasta for a Rainbow Gathering in a flurry of sexual and creative healing, explored with sensitive bare feet, began to express my knowledge and thereby teachings of astrology and tarot to others, worked with trees and wood to build beautiful natural structures, picked more plums off the tree than we know what to do with, and have learned so much about myself by knowing others. I feel supported, loved, and a developing jupiter-expanding world view – that yes, everything is already here! Believe that you have everything, and you do!

As life lives on, I have so much to share, when the time is right, but friends know that I am feeling and being all of my experiences, and that someday I’ll hug you again with even more of my self, and all of this love that I am learning will touch your soul too. Yay! the awesome realization that that which benefits me, benefits you, and round and round it goes. I am wishing for you the power to overcome the challenges with humility, and the wisdom to share your strengths, so we can all get through it together.

CA ❤

i never thought I would be here, doing this

I met Wild Man outside of the grocery store, I stuffing as much food as I could into my pannier bags, and he doing his best to restrain Big Boy so that the friendly beast of a Labrador-Rotweiler cross wouldn’t escape from the dusty white 2 door pickup truck they were riding in.

 ‘Where ya from? – Oh yeah? Let me tell you about this one time I was in Canada, and everyone I’ve ever met from Canada, and then – SHUT UP BIG BOY — every cool thing I’ve ever done in my 60 years—‘
‘Cool, cool. Yeah man. Hah really! Swee-‘
‘I have the best swimming hole in the country on my property.’
‘Cool,cool. Swee-‘
‘I also have a huge farm – you know what this land is famous for yea?’
‘That’s why I’m here.’

‘Well it’s your lucky day, I have lotsa work, let me grab a few things and I’ll take you there.’
‘Mmm, well I planned on sticking around town for a bit longer  *shifty eyes*
 how about you tell me where it is, and I’ll come by in a few days? Phone number too, eh?’

And so a new season begins.

My style of logging is not so much to rehash the amazing mind warping past of the weeks that have gone by, the weeks of ‘no internet’ thus no web logging, but to continue representing ‘A day in the life of’, where the long gone days are already stored in the bank of ‘stories I’ll share throughout the years when something of the present reminds me of the past, and I am able to relive it once more while hopefully offering a nugget of insight, inspiration, or comedic value to whomever is present during the time of said rehashing’.

Some key phrases or words of the past few weeks: Forest. Alone and again alone. Revelations, painful. Down to last $20, what do I do? Peanut butter, pasta, and bread.  Broccoli, dinner treat. Hiding out in redwood forest, waiting for something to happen. Angels descend, wisdom and encouragement offered. Feeling small and insignificant yet  Ancient trees nurturing. So many letters written but never sent. Set up tent, set up home. Waiting till dark. What goes bump in the night? I am supported. I am loved. I am grateful. Simplicity of living. Enlightened sun beams. Tragic bug bites. This too, all of this, shall pass. Aum, connecting. ‘Everything is gonna be alright’ – whistling.

I am laying on a motel bed, the biggest splurge of the journey – omg a room to myself!- the fan is on, attempting to fight the 40 degree heat of the day, and my belongings are scattered, my clothes are off, and the fridge is full of sustenance that are too rich for my pocket, but entirely necessary for one to spend an entire day lounging around with contentedly – a scene of pure cancer-moon comfort. I am glad I can share this in the comfort of the rich imagination of our collective wonderment, you can replace me with yourself, and gain the appreciation of having a comfortable place to rest in after almost 6 weeks in a little tent. This short stay a byproduct of the 4 hour day yesterday of trimming some of Northern California’s biggest underground but totally exposed cash crop.

‘I can’t believe this.’

I came to Wild Man’s land via an old bridge with no railings, an incredible distance above from the creek below – a sure death if one weren’t too careful, the wafts of marijuana plants appealingly pungent and robust with flavour, and the biggest dogs I ever did see, ever, running around wagging tails and barking. 1 trailer and 3 RV’s dot the dusty land nestled in between a steep incline of mountainous trees and the  unsightly clutter of equipment and waste all but forgotten in the overwhelming mid day heat.

The tour consisted of a green house, an acre of green green sugary-smelling shrubs, and the disastrous innards of the main house and its patio deck – a mountain of trash, dirty dishes, and mouse turds. I am taken back, but not surprised – I would have been more surprised and relieved, to find a more organized residence of a tall yellow haired man dubbed Wild Man, but alas his property is a reflection of what I had come to suspect in the grocery store parking lot.  Totally innocent, but totally awash in a sea of ignorance.

My first instinct is to start cleaning, and I tell Wild Man of my love for organizing. He is appreciative of said love, and I go to work immediately in cleaning off the deck – the trim area, and the area I intend to spend most of my waking moments at. The deck offers tangible demonstrations of the effort I have put in in order to cultivate a space in which I can freely live and work in happily, but as soon as I enter the interior and begin in the kitchen, the next station I imagine myself spending a lot of time in, I balk in terror (what is that smell?fuck) and even the gloves I am wearing do not offer me the protection of mind I require in order to meet my immediate needs, and I find I am on a downwards spiral of motivation, losing all of the naive energy I had once had for this hopeless project. The trailer needs to be bulldozed, any health and sanitary inspector could see the same.  

There is no clean water to drink other than cheap bottled water, ‘don’t drink the water from the tap, we found a dead bird in the spring’, and I take preference to squatting outside over using the washroom. I start to feel paranoid about washing my vegetables in water and decide I also don’t want to shower, so I go to bed early caked with thc crystals, dog slobber, and dust.

I spend the night in my tent, with dogs intermittently guarding me, barking, and rummaging through the surrounding bushes. Home? I sleep, some times.

I wake up early, fresh with the question marks of what is to come, and after a quick breakfast of granola and bananas, I am put to work in the fields, armed with a sharp pair of scissors, ‘landscaping’ the big bushes of bud that have been neglected and over-run for months and in critical status, teetering on the brink of moldy death. This is the first time I have ever found myself next to a marijuana plant, and I find that I sincerely enjoy spending time cropping and removing the leaves and foliage that prevent it from receiving maximum sunlight, the foliage that keeps that buds on top from growing to gigantic proportions.

Music is coming from the green house nearby, and the radio is blasting music from the local Christian rock radio station, and after a quick ‘break’ with one of the men also working the field- Mud, I find my self in acknowledgement –  this weed is Christian. And Christian rock music is geared towards people who are feeling hopeless and directionless in life, requiring some form of optimistic reassurance that life will indeed get better, and that the pain they live is not lived alone – we’ve all been through loss, grief, indecision, and loneliness. My previous judgements on Christianity and religion in general, is lost in a shed of quick tears and understanding, that those who seek religion are in grief and are suffering, and they are ignorant in only that they do not know that all is god (even this suffering shit), that we are supported, there is no real distinction between any one thing, only perception of mind >>>

I am now covered and sticky with THC after hugging bushes all morning, and my face is beginning to flush from the sun, so I depart the fields and the uplifting god blessed music, to the deck so that I can start trimming the preseason stalks.

After a no-tutorial, I am resigned to a 5 hour fate of sitting in a chair, interchanging sticky scissors with ones soaking in alcohol, cleaning off very leafy bud, bud I would have never purchased my self, and thinking of ways of how to break it to Wild Man that I could not live at his place as it was. I have already found a clean, safe space to stay at – an ecovillage not far from town, a place I had found on the WWOOF site – 10 hours work weeks in exchange for sustainable living education and a place to call home. After getting paid out for the day – $170 total, I check into my humble tent, relieved that I do always  have one clean spot in which to relax in.

As night began, the dogs begin to bark, and do not relent – still nobly on guard of my tent within ear range, until the whee hours of the morning, and I am decided, I will leave in the morning.

I offer my services to Wild Man, but from a distant ‘few days/week’, take my earnings and hide out in the motel room where I bathe, and veg out from the past weeks of forest dwelling. The days past, totally worth it for this little piece of gratification.

Tomorrow, I meet the community at the Ecovillage, and I hope that I have found a comfortable spot to live at as I continue to find work in the predominate industry of the county, networking, and making connections with people. I have word from a few farms for October, ones that align more with my philosophies of healthy living, and feel content to be in this area and wait for when work is available.

A new season of work begins, so that a new season of travel come mid December is well cushioned.

~I work today so that I can play tomorrow~

Writing again, soon enough

extroverted introspection

California.

I sit in a park of green green grass — amongst the brown that was not touched by the sprinkler – that which is sparsely populated with trees that know wind all too well, and my straw coloured hair whips across my brown and freckled cheeks making it difficult to focus as my picnic is threatening to pick up and move across the park and into the ocean if I don’t use all of my good sense in hunkering down. I have already made one run for my notebook as the pages flipped open and spilled all of its precious content for the universe to see (not as though it hasn’t already seen all there is to see, but I would compare it to an ‘up-skirt’ panty shot you would find in the tabloids, nothing too out of the ordinary but invasive and rude all the same).

Any and all pressing issues – the real and the not- are blown out of proportion now that I am on the homestretch of my first premeditated pit stop, the Redwoods of N.Cal. I suspect once I find a calmer port to call home for the evening, that which this wind has strewn about will find itself on steady grounds and I’ll gain clarity on where to turn to next, my current surroundings being the manifestations of the reality in my mind (a reality that only I am to face!) I giggled when I noticed that in my first post I used the symbolism of mind as the ache in my shoulders, and now, the physical reality of the genuine ache in my shoulder — predestined in a way that only synchronicities can be, if you are keen enough to find them.

This life and all of its players are a metaphor within a metaphor within a metaphor and once the metaphor is seen and understood, one is freed from the confines of what it represents, going beyond its face value and into new territory, usually another metaphor (which adds another dimension to life). Travelling does not in anyway distract you, or I – whatever, from the actuality of what is of mind, but amplifies it, and instead of having it be cast aside in the ‘I’ll get to it later’ mindset as is usually done when one is in routine at home, the symbolism behind every change in direction, every strewn page and excessive thought or purchase, every dribble down the front of one’s preferred outfit, every bruise and scar, every person that one does or does not connect with, can be witnessed and studied and paired with some psychological grappling that begs for healing.

I am unable to suffer from a thought or from a physical dis-ease without looking to find the origin, whether I find it or not depends on whether I am ready for it, as if I am it is clearly there in the light of day looking for a little love to comfort it. I’ve been drinking a lot of wine lately, ironically being that I’d been so *disgusted* with the act of drinking that I’ve avoided its intoxication for years, but now that I have all of the time in the world to examine the excessiveness of drink, the excessiveness of any thing, I am partaking and comprehending, and partaking again, ready to repeat what I gained from the last bottle of vino or whathaveyou, and yet not quite ready to part with it. Coffee has become my friend again, and if I do not have drink or caffeine, my mind is probably ready for food. Anything that I am able to use to excess, I am ready to obliterate my being with. I prefer to come head to head with excess rather than push it aside, afraid and resentful of what it represents —

as

It is futile, when a pot smoker is against drink, and a coffee addict against pot, a drink against anything at all – a health fanatic proclaiming to be above it all– as what they are is against fear; against anything is fear itself. The free mind is impartial to all, and neither for or against the intoxicant or state one finds their self or others in, but empathic and understanding of the methods in which one attempts to hide their essential nature from their self, whether they do or not, they are able to find acceptance. In acceptance comes healing. In finding this, I am not any longer saying no to anything, until it is as authentic as breathing, and there is no moral decision to be made, only one of ‘yes please’ or ‘no thank you’ without the judgement that tends to tag along.

I’m writing this as if it’s the ever pressing issue I am faced with, but really it’s a side project I’m working on – one of authenticity and understanding. Most of the time I am sober of thought and mind, with periods of boredom, contentment, loneliness, rage, and ecstasy, the usual per usual, unenlightened and some times uninspired and ready to veg the f out. My face burns with sun and dehydration, when I look inside my wallet it’s like playing hide-and-go-seek, and my hair is forever tangled with perspiration and wind. I love to live and I live to love and a cliche is only a cliche if you don’t understand as all words and efforts of word are meaningless compared to the depth of feeling – symbology only spirit can comprehend.

As fer this dang on’ dang road, like I said I’ve reached California, way ahead of schedule if there ever was one. The road has been good to me and I have aged in this short time. The people and ‘scenic detours’ caring and fleeting in passing and I’ll probably write about those adventures tomorrow, when I hang out in Trinidad (California) for a while. I intend to search for a farm, or some farms, to work on until it’s time to get to work on what I really came to these parts for, which is another story all together.

 

 

In this short span of time

~

I remind myself that all of this is mine, alone.

I align with truth, as I Am

No Thing is truth

No Thing can align me with truth

As I Am

 

Each day I awake I am confirming

that

I start again

 

The tediousness of living/repeat for best results

 

you are my lighthouse

‘Wh-ho-o-oaa ooold school – ‘

Not a foot down the forested path into the biker/hiker camp spot, and I’m already getting repped by a man with dread locks down to his waist who’s smoking American Spirits from a pipe, and cooking pasta with curry sauce on his little homemade alcohol-fueled stove. He’s referring to my set up – a 10 speed 80’s Bianchi road bike, classic drop down handlebars, with all my gear loaded on the back. I’m sporting my favourite brown boots, red handkerchief, and my #classy# green brocade coat- like someone who doesn’t give a fook (or, more likely someone who didn’t get the memo on proper bike touring gear). Another couple, who I’ve been sharing the road with for the last 2 days (and who so graciously helped me out after my spill) repped me a little more,

‘Yeah she’s from Canada, and she’s quick’ —

‘Damn, what is it with Canadian girls?’

‘Whenever we meet a Canadian on the road and we ask how long they’re out for, they’re always like -mmm, well I’ve been on the road for a month or two-, and they never seem to have a job or home to get back to.’

‘Canadian girls, damn, what are they doing up there.’

My gear is really not efficient, and only practical in that I already owned or was gifted most of everything I’m carrying, but every proper bike tourer knows ‘30% weight on the front, 70% weight on the back’, and that 18 gears minimum for all of the hills that one is destined to climb.

Someone asks; ‘How did you handle those 3 big climbs yesterday?’

I answer slightly confused, ‘Ummm ahah I actually already can’t recall them, so I guess fine’

‘Damn’

‘I’ve been riding a one-speed in Vancouver for a few years, I’m used to charging hills’

I locate my sweet sweet isolated spot surrounded by fallen trees, ferns, and soft moss, set up my tent and get everything ready for sleep so that I can enjoy the festivities that are destined to take place in this little camping area nestled in the woods, – a home for people who like to get around.

I bring my little pot and food to the picnic table that Dreads has already claimed, and proceed to start chopping my tofurkey sausage, red pepper, kale, cucumber, and avocado (produce is sooo affordable here!)for the sweetest little meal I ever did have, and another man proceeds to come by and sit down carrying a bottle of wine, ‘Anyone interested in helping me finish this?’ – Ok. We’re all eyeing each other up, what we brought with us, and talk of gear comes up so I zone out, because like I said, I really don’t give a fook. Wineman and Dreads fight for air time, and I sit back passively listening and observing, getting a look at their personalities, and savouring my most excellent meal. Not carrying a cup with me, I grab my mostly empty jar of honey, fill it with wine, and as it sits there the flavours mingle and my taste buds soar once again with sensual delight. Burning so many calories in a day, the allowance in which to consume is astronomically high, and I am still unable to eat enough to prevent my waistline from whittling away, which is the best thing ever.

Dreads, from Arizona, who had just rode away from the Beloved festival in Oregon. Though he’s been up and down this coastline at least a half dozen times, he’s doing it again, carrying with him a bong made from bamboo, and weed that had been gifted to him and grown in Nepal (clearly, I am impressed, as was intended). He has a lantern with a candle in the middle that lights our table as night approaches, and he’s brewing Chai that he makes from scratch, as he talks about his philosophies and life experience (he likes to talk), and only Wine man tries to engage him in any other conversation, though is more often interrupted. Knowing when to talk and when to lay low provides me with uninterrupted dialogue when the time is right, and we get along well discussing Ecuador (the promised land, and my ultimate destination), food forests, food politics, ‘what are they spraying?, and ‘what the bleep is in the water in some of these towns?’. Talk of the ever enlightening minds of the generations, ‘I was just in the woods with a bunch of kids for a week, they know, man, we’re going to be all right,’ and differentiating between Hippies of the era prior, and the enlightened youth of the day, how they may look the same there are key differences in mentality, using his experiences at the festival as a reference.

‘You’ve got two kids with dreads, they look almost identical in their lifestyles, but one of them is struggling to put their tent back in the bag, and decides it doesn’t fit – ‘it doesn’t fit, maan’, so they throw the bag away, and the other rolls it up neat, like he never had a tent at all.’ The latter, enlightened, the other, a god damn fall back hippy. Or another example, ‘You’ve got two kids with dreads smoking tobacco, one finishes up their unfiltered joint and rips what remains into pieces so small it is absorbed back into the earth without a trace, and the other finishes up and throws their filter into the sacred fire set with ~intention~ by a Chief, that which has been burning for weeks in prayers and blessings’.

Fully understanding the contrasts, with a little honeyed wine in me, I was quick to point out that one will remain ignorant so long as he’s never been made aware of it. Rather than point the finger and blame the ignorant, you empathize with their plight and show them that they’re ignorant so they can decide to change; and if he is indeed on the same path as the other, his ways will change in order to align with his true nature. I asked for him to consider, ‘Two men with dreads are sitting at a table in the woods, one is telling stories of the sorry state of ignorant ‘hippies’, and the other isn’t, ~so there~.’ Arguably I was a little more persuasive in my indignant soapbox spiel, and he did pick up what I was throwing down, ‘Yeah, I suppose there are people out there who would be using me as an example, ‘He’s burning paraffin wax? What a no good f’ing hippy’.

The night burns on, conversation and other delights flow. I take rest.

~

I am a hodge podge of everyone I’ve ever met (getting cooler by the second, thanks to You) and I am grateful for every one who lives so authentically that they don’t have to say a peep in order to light the Way, their authenticity illuminated as its own unique flame. The people in my life blow my mind with their gifts – insight, creativity, intelligence, open-heartedness, and still they suffer from their own ignorance, which is why we have and need each other. I need you to light that proverbial match and show me that I’m a critical, moody, insensitive little shite, in the most painful ways some times, so that I can continue to find that which lies in the bowels of the darkened interior of my mind. My darkness is your darkness is my darkness, no-one is exempt from the collective unconsciousness.

Today is a rest day, and the rains began late last night and continue to fall, so I do laundry and write stories. My shoulder is not as achy as yesterday, and my spirits are up up and away as I am reminded once again why I’m on this road along the coast. This feeling will go away, so I soak it up and savour it, using it as cushioning for the next time I fall. I’m going to spend the rest of the day reading and eat :3

I LOVE YOU!

wear your helmet, mm’kay

In life, some times you find yourself cruising down a hill on a small windy country road dotted with unobstructed views of the Pacific ocean, that which lies so close the scent permeates every cell of your existence, the skies blue and the wind calm, and the only thought that breaks up the silence of your content mind is the ever pressing question as where to stop for lunch.

In other moments, like even seconds after the previous, on that very same same stretch of road you’ll find yourself straddling the non-existent shoulder as cars in both directions meet each other at a very timely interval that coincides with your tiny existence, and you might even find your front wheel veering off the road on a 1/2 foot drop to the gravel ditch (a mind that was thinking of lunch is not the same mind you wish to have when facing a matter of survival, though certainly lunch=survival in the most superficial sense). While physics declares this situation unsuitable for forward movement on one’s bicycle, the natural order of things agrees that you are still quite capable of such travels – prooooooooojecticle! – and thus the head goes first, helmet to pavement, soft flesh rubbed raw on asphalt, bones and muscles jarred with sudden and direct contact.

Time stood still for only a moment as I lay there, but when faced with trauma there is a fight or flight reaction that takes place, and I am instantly back on my feet, and wheeling my bicycle to the ditch. I stood there unsure of everything, my head is pounding, my legs are shaking, and the burning of my skin is slowly beginning to make itself known. There is very clearly an ache in my left shoulder that starts to show itself more and more as the adrenaline coursing through my body dissipates, but am relieved to find that everything else is business as usual. The vehicles who had front row of my mysterious self-induced crash are quick to ask if I’m OK, and I assure them that I am though I really don’t know if it’s true – in the true order of Carol-Anneism, I did not want to cause any more of a scene or inconvenience more than I already have (slap me plz). They leave promptly, and I stand there in the ditch, and just stand, standing standing standing away.

Eventually I take assessment of my bicycle, and find that the handlebars are bent to a 45 degree angle and therefore I’m unable to ride anywhere, and do not have the strength left in me to straighten them out, so I stand some more waiting for someone to come along to give me a hand. A few minutes pass, and another bike tourer comes by who I flag down, and it is just my luck that he is also loaded with all of the needed tools to get my bicycle back on the road, as well as a first aid kit to help clean the wounds. I thank him profusely for his kindness, and wave him along his way as I regroup in order to get back on 2 wheels.

It takes only a few minutes back on the bike to allow reflection, and tears start to flow once I realize that if I had not been wearing my helmet, which I have spent years riding without, I surely would not be here right now, not in the way I am or at all. The scars on my helmet tell me what could have been, and I know that I’ll never get back on a bicycle without one again. You can go through your entire life without getting into an accident, but if you do… The experience I’ve gained reminds that when you brave the elements of the \road~life/ that the more prepared you are for survival, the more likely you will survive should it ever come about.

I suspect I have fractured my clavicle, but it’s too soon to tell amongst the swelling. The pain is chronic, thus I gain empathy for those who live in pain indefinitely with no sense of recovery or relief – I know that this will pass eventually, so I ride it out.

The contrast between this time yesterday, and today, reminds me of the fluctuations of life, that the attachments built up around anything so inconstant as life itself is best left written in a journal should you ever wish to remind yourself of once was, as the present moment will never show itself again.

Today, the biggest obstacle I face is my own mind, because there carries all of the resentment and dis ease that grow from the fast-and-easy car centred culture that this country is founded on. The farther I head south, the more apparent it is that the roadways are really not for anything besides vehicles, unless you are able to find acceptance in the constant drone of vehicles, the smells of exhaust, and the ever pressing reality of fatality in crossing over the white line.

To keep humour in my spirit, with the vehicles that press forward and the ones that come from behind, I envision the people in the vehicle without the massive confines of steel enclosing them from the realities of this BEAUTIFUL land, and seeing them as small and vulnerable as I am (but still in their sitting form which is the funny part, those silly people).

The vehicle is the illusion.

You know that you know that you know, no?

Instant gratification – pleasures of the moment and the bloated aftermath of, are often based, and caused by, decisions of a suspicious nature. The decisions that are made too easily, more of an urge than a rational weighing of the pros and cons. ‘Should I forgo a days worth of food in exchange for a bottle of wine – Yes. Should I spend my last $10 on a dime bag off the sketchy guy on the street- Yes. Should I put off paying my phone bill for another day and instead lounge around in my underwear and watch movies all day – Yes.

Then there are the decisions that are made in the middle of a random conversation with a stranger, or made in the middle of the night as you lay awake looking at the ceiling. It is not as though you don’t already know The Way in which to proceed, else there would be no doubt in the first place – there is always one path that goes against the current, and it sits uneasily in the back of the mind. Somebody, somewhere, maybe even your other persona, put an idea in your head; gave you a suggestion, offered unsolicited advice, or attempted to convince you that The Way is not the way for you – whatever, it was enough to have question marks shoot out of your skull and drool dribble down your chin in an adolescent vulnerability.

When I say ‘you’, I am definitely meaning ‘I’ but am assuming that everyone at one point has stood on a street corner watching the traffic lights change from red to green to yellow repeat, wrestling with their self about the direction in which to start walking in. The one direction will lead me to Pizza, and the other will lead me to the Farmer’s Market – kind of like that.

What spurred me to write this, is the series of events that followed after finding myself at an Astoria coffee shop, and a well-meaning man telling me that the back road I intended to take to Portland was ‘too hilly, bumpy, winded too much, has no shoulder, and just plain ol’ no good’, and insisted that I take the road more travelled – the busy highway which was faster, straighter, and flatter. His sincerity and insistence immediately made me doubt my decision, and I thanked him and told him I would take his word for it. The two roads went in opposite directions across town, and I started pedalling towards the highway that he suggested. Except that I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it was wrong, and so just before the mouth of the highway that would lead me out of town and into the country, I stopped and stood in a parking lot and stared at the highway that would soon become my home for 100 miles. I talked it over with myself, weighed the pros and cons of taking the road, and came to realize that if I remained so undecided about taking this route, that it was very clear that it was not The Way for me, even if the other road did prove to suck.

It was a huge win for me – a road that yes was super hilly, windy, and bumpy, but the quietest, humblest road I’ve ever taken, leading me through little hamlets and forest thick with life. On the highways I had been riding on, I was perpetually making noise pollution with my mouth as it was no more disturbing than anything else, yet the sacredness of this road naturally kept my mind calm without the incessant need for expression, other than perhaps a few silent tears and breathless words of ‘You’re beautiful!’ (breathless cuz I was scaling mountains) to the rivers and creeks and trees I came across.

After one of the most incredible rides of my life, I found my self in Vernonia, a town I was excited to get to just because of the promise of romance (assuming they misspelled Verona), and though any resemblance of romance was questionable (unless you considered being wooed by a few intoxicated men as romantic), I did end up having one of the best nights on the road thus far.

Cue Paco. I had just pulled into town, hot and sweaty, tired and thirsty for food (what), and I see another bike tourer sitting at the only Mexican joint in town. Mexican food is by far my most craved genre of food (tomato, avocado, and tortillas F YEAH), so I too stopped in and decided to ‘treat’ myself to a veggie burrito (see paragraph 1 of entry). I walked right by Paco, in true form- a little shy, and sat at the very corner of the restaurant and proceeded to down the complimentary salsa and chips – make that 2 baskets of tortillas chips and 3 cauldrons of fresh salsa (bless the waiter who kept it coming and coming and coming), toying with the idea of conversing with Paco over our one clear shared interest – travelling by bicycle. I went back and forth with myself on whether I should or not, until it was clear that I did in fact want to, else I would have left it alone. I approached him just before my burrito came out, and just after his was finished, and we agreed to meet for a beer down at the local pub. Ballsy and charming, I met him there, and naturally we were able to engage in conversation of biking, routes, and the experiences of travelling solo on the greatest road in existence. A few beers (me, wine) in, we ventured over to the other town pub, which promised to be grimier, more local-y , and thus more exciting.

Had I went against my instinct of introducing my self to Paco, I would have most likely spent the night alone crying into my sleeping bag again, on some uneven rocky hill in the forest with wild animals clawing at my tent, but instead spent the whole night laughing and getting to know the locals, breathing a little life into an otherwise usual night down at the ol’ watering hole. The events that ensue are not necessarily worth sharing – you know, the typical ‘night on the town’ of questionable decisions, alas Paco was the instigator (yes you were!), and I hadn’t have met a few fine folks, or been offered a couch and a place to shower otherwise. In Paco, I found a partner in crime for the rest of the ride into Portland 40 miles down the road, and an amazingly kind James to host me on my first night in Portland.

While I was offered a place to stay to rest my weary head in Portland, I once again had this indecision in staying there, knowing that it was just too easy, and it once again didn’t sit right. So I bid farewell to Paco and his dear friend James, and continued my solo journey- this time in the big bad unknown city of Portland. Confusion ensues – what the fuck am I doing here? I head to the hostel downtown, a gift my sister Nicole gave me in times of need – 3 hostel nights paid for by her, when ever I need them. The hostel felt good in the moment, a warm bed, free WIFI, and a secure place to leave my stuff as I perused town. I immediately paid for a second night, feeling so warm and safe, giving in to my comfort zone. Still, I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing there. I didn’t intend to have it easy in Portland, I knew that if I were to get out of it what I wanted, that I probably wouldn’t find it holed up in a hostel – I wanted the true grit. I spent that night laying in bed, listening to the droning of the snores in the dorm room I was staying, and volleyed the thought of whether I really wanted that second night here. After a few hours of sleeplessness, the decision was made, and in the morning I asked for a refund, packed my stuff up, and decided to leave it to chance- exactly what one does on the road.

I rolled my wheels north, 11 miles outside of the downtown area, into an absurd street festival in St Johns called NoFest, where I instantly felt at home in the helter skelter makeshift set up of live music and ramshackle eccentric folks, feeling more like Commercial Drive than anywhere else I had visited in Portland. Here, the theme of the neighbourhood seemed to be about socializing and networking, with small streets that begged to be jay-walked (this is a must), dive bars heavy with patrons, and dogs and children roaming about without leashes. I found some music that pleased by ears, rolled my bike towards the tunes, and set up my lunch of salsa, kale, avo, peppers and cucumber (all of it not-certified organic for $4.00!!), where ‘Chinook’ instantly introduced himself and decided he was to be my escort around the neighbourhood for the day. I was introduced to everybody that he knew milling around, had my steed looked at in the local bike shop, and was promised some free food and a place to sleep later on that evening.

It was all coming up Milhouse, and THEN! I meet Galen. Granted, it was a predestined meeting, as I had wrote to him on Couchsurfing the night prior looking for a place to sleep, though I had no idea that I would be meeting him at the festival, or at all. When the cute guy in beige, with long wavy sun bleached blond hair approached me, I knew my eyes lit up slightly, because I had been quite interested in meeting — composer, musician, bike tourer, and lives on an old river boat on you guessed it, the river, among other endearing qualities and talents. He promised great conversation and inspired living, and indeed laughs and unique moments presented themselves as we spent the rest of the day, and inevitably the evening, on his boat. I was offered the couch to sleep on, and was softly rocked to sleep on the waters by NOW the best sleep yet. Had I kept that room at the hostel, well, you know- Regret.

The moral of this post is that, YOU ALREADY KNOW what to do, so do it.

Today I take care of some of the mundane tasks that staying in the city beckons, and later tonight am heading to, to my surprise, a Michael Hurley show (he’s still playing music?!). I’ve been at this for a while, and really need to pee and check up on my bicycle, to be graphic of my state of affairs, so please leave me alone while I tend to business. ;p

On the magical road again in a few days.

Loving you lots, really, YOU

 

OREGON!

I hesitate

as I pull out words from the finite supply of expression

words that reflect my current situation

words shot-gun married with one another

words that can not have meaning with out each other

hesitation

this mind’s eye needs a varnish

doubt leaving these fingers tarnished

on a keyboard that has no soul

lest I channel mine so bold

my soul reminds when it comes from the heart

there’s no time for rehearsal let. it. Out.

 

Alright alright! Already.

 Astoria Oregon, the miles no longer matter because this life is beyond the passage of roadway, winding its way through forest and hills, like a fun house corridor. After hours on the road, new dimensions open up and I’ll find myself in hysterics, as though the world is a cardboard cut out without clear definitions until the rattling of a logging truck shakes me back into this plane of existence. Ohhh yeah, must stay alive, want to see more!

 My experience remains that everyone is afraid of each other. Word of mouth paranoia spreads like a pandemic, and I sometimes feel myself getting sick just by contact. What’s a pretty girl like you doing going off on her own? Where’s your husband? Aren’t you afraid?- I’m afraid for you! May god protect you, from others and your own insanity. I almost kill myself with paranoia every time I set up my tent in a random locale; sleeping with one-eye open assuming every crackle of a branch or a leaf brushing against my tent is the sign that a knife-wielding burly man is out there looking to get me. I’m more afraid of the sounds of people’s voices than I am of a black bear (which I did see, and ended up belting the first song that came to mind ‘Time of your life’ – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes). Yet despite the paranoia, I’ve yet to come across anyone that has any other intention than wishing me well with their palms opened offering their love, support, and concern. Until I have a reason to worry, I at every moment have to remind my self that the worry takes me away from living.

 Thus far, I have been apart of a quilting meet up for seniors – oooooooooooooOOoOOO TERRIFYINGly fun with giggles and cookies, walked into a grocery store playing old-time country music where immediately the produce clerk greets me ‘Hello ma’am anything I can help you with? – avocado’s are over there ($0.89) – we sure do play some hokey music in here hey? – Oh yeah? I like it too, never gets old. -you be safe now y’hear’, shared space with a group of super cute boys heading to San Fran on their bicycles (oh if only I weren’t heading to Portland ;p), and have eaten more salsa, avocado, bread, quinoa, and split peas than I have in all of my existence. It’s a hoot being a stranger, because people are more likely to let their guard down and approach you for conversation and shooting-the-shit is a good time when you have no where to be.

 I need to cut this post shorter than I had wanted, because my stomach beckons and the road calls.

 For any bike-tourers out there; the Astoria-Megler’s 4 and a half mile bridge is not scary! So long as you plan it well – 6am start, and the bridge was a breeze. There is an amazing little spot on the cliff at the state rest area just before the tunnel, spend the night overlooking the pacific amongst trees and ferns, just be sneaky lest a burly knife wielding man sees you.

Talk to you for real for real, in Portland.