Okay, I’ve been back for a whole week. It’s time to pull words from head and tell about Hawaii so I can sleep again. It was predictable in the paradise sense of things but also so much more than I had imagined. My hilarious and industrious travel partner, Jackie and I spent the first two weeks at a commune called Cinderland, before seeing the light and moving up the hill, literally and metaphorically to another ecovillage/commune setting I’m going to leave unnamed. Not to be selfish but I’d like to be able to return to the latter locale and find a bed open and waiting for me.
Day One at Cinderland we thought we struck gold. I’ll pull an excerpt from my journal to give a taste of life there:
“I am so in love with this place. Healing. Eating conscious food. Yoga in the morning. Picking avocados out of the foliage around our house. A medicine wheel on the front wall. A mandala as our doormat. Showering between the banana trees. Sewing up the holes in the mozzy net that covers our California king-sized bed. I haven’t been indoors in days. Playing dice by candlelight and learning old folk songs on the guitar. Looking forward to the Sunday drum circle at the nudie beach. A farmer’s market in Pahoa. An open mic night at the kava bar. Slowing the pace and the days feel more full than ever. Hunting for a blank wall to paint as part of my work trade. Hitchhiking between beautiful places. Multiple jaw-dropping whale sightings. Saying yes to what comes and letting go of everything else. Fear, stories, suffering. Releasing what I know about myself and seeing what’s left. Who I want to be. How open I can be. What happens when you say yes to life instead of forcing it down a certain path? The sound of drumming wafts to me from the nearest living space. The Zen Den. Or maybe Middle Earth. Four beds and a small kitchen. A bookshelf overflowing and endless murals adorning each open surface. Including the floors and the benches. Knee to shoulder-high walls enclose a small outdoor shower also covered in intricate paintings. We renamed our zone The Goddess Nest. A rainbow maze of art that is each wall-less building connects through the jungle by winding red gravel paths, lined in fruit trees and a lacy network of spiderwebs that dangles close overhead.”
The two words that sum this trip up for me are rhythm and flow. The hitchhiking adventures, sunbathing and grounding are punctuated by gatherings involving the pounding heartbeat of drums. The flow is what I keep falling into, pushing myself into, desperately trying to give into. It’s a beautiful experience to venture outside of your comfort zone. It is something that people should do much more often. I could feel that fiery Pele energy. The one that will call to you and pull you to the islands or will rage at you and kick you out until you’re ready to come back. There is an obvious escape aspect to this bippety boppity, off the grid, into the jungle lifestyle and there’s also a realm of deep healing. That looks different for each of us. Some can’t handle the trauma and stress of Babylon. Others need a quiet place to heal before returning. Some are literally hiding out from the law, or their family, or debt. Some are here to build and grow with the earth and each other.
I am breaking through barriers that I’ve built between myself and community. Working on patience and knowing when silence says more than words. Saying yes to this moment and having faith that it will lead me to the exact perfect next moment. Letting go of needing things. The baggage. Even this much stuff is way more than I need. Opening up to see how closed off I’ve been and wanting desperately to push beyond that. There are no accidents. Every step I take is in the exact right direction. I found myself unable to break away from the activated and inspiring people I was continually surrounded by in Hawaii to find the solitude to write. I could absolutely see a life there, but in this moment I am feeling pulled inward. To find space and quiet to officially finish a polished and complete draft of my novel and to get that out in the world is my only goal at present. I thank Pele and the Big Eye for giving me that clarity and I know I will be back just as I am always going back to everywhere. What a fun and rainbow ride.
This is a 7 inch image on an 8 inch hoop. Buy it here on etsy. Had a lot of fun making this one.
A mural I just finished on my friends wall down in the Applegate Valley. It’s acrylic on drywall, 3 feet diameter.
I will be setting up at Last Thursday on North Alberta Street tomorrow afternoon/evening. If anyone is in the Portland area please come out and say hi. Lots of new string art pieces for show and sale.
light and love,
Edit: (more pics of my art on the street)
38 hours till lift off. Black Rock City bound! It’s so close I can taste it. Actually I can literally taste it as the clouds of dust shake out of my unwashed rainbow gear. The preparation is well under way but a D&M (deep and meaningful conversation) recently got me thinking ahead. To when the man lies in ashes and the wagons turn around.
When leaving Burning Man each year most of us, while sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted, are also supercharged with a deep connection. A connection to our community, and what it is to be a part of one, and also connected with a deeper part of ourselves. A part that unfortunately we often struggle to keep around. That for me is a huge reason why I keep going back. I desire that yearly reminder of what it feels like to be unconditionally loved and unconditionally loving towards each person you come across. The temple burn gets far less press than the man. Rightly so, this party in the desert was first created and is first recognized as just that: A party. The temple, however, is an opportunity to evolve. We spend the week placing mementos, writing notes, and dropping baggage in the temple. Sunday night we then burn the thing to the ground. A friend of mine a few years back hated this idea. “It’s so beautiful. How could we possibly build something so wonderful just to set it on fire?” True. It’s fucking crazy when you think about it physically. But as temples generally are built for spiritual purposes we’ll delve further. The temple has to be just exactly as big and grand and intricate as it is because it has to hold all of our shit and suffering and personal hells in it. A place so full of pain and old stories and incredible loved ones that we’ve lost has to be magnificent and important. And then we have to burn that shit to the ground. It is our cleansing. It is our forgiving of the world for its moments of cruelty. It is our release from all things that keep us from being our highest selves. So what do you burn?
As always I hold space for my two closest grandparents, legendary counselors and my supreme examples of pure love. I burn my grief for them and raise to a level where I can still feel them with me, a place where I know they are not gone, and never will be. This year my step-mothers Mom has also passed. So I burn the sadness that has followed and I imagine her with her husband, playing cards, happy and young again, jumping into the lake behind their heavenly cabin in Wisconsin.
I burn heartache. The months in my past spent aching over my first love. I let him go completely. In the ashes I find an opening for new love and a readiness to be a part of an elevated and healthy relationship. One where we are both pushed beyond what we once thought possible in support, inspiration and unconditional love.
I burn unworthiness. I am worthy. I deserve and accept the very best in life.
I burn poverty and any thought related to being in want. As that goes up in flames, I welcome infinite abundance and know that it is my birth right. WE are energy, all things are energy, we create flow by bringing our thoughts to the gratitude of having flow. I burn stagnation. I create evolution.
These are things I am burning down for myself. But more importantly I am burning them down for each of you. By removing my own blockages, letting go of my suffering and baggage, and connecting to my highest self whenever possible I am creating a better world for us all to live in. A world more in tune with love and community.
I am burning it all down for you, and I’m hoping you burn it all down for me too.
Light, love, fire and ashes and dust,
My most recent rainbow project. Here are some details of Bowrain’s new wings…
For those of you who don’t know her, here is Bowrain’s epic tale.
And in the spirit of my favorite time of year here’s another article about BRC from a couple years ago.
11″x17″ Colored pencil and ink on paper.
Made for the Phish shows at the Gorge Amphitheater July 26 and 27th, 2013.
$5 on lot, $20 online.