"To find new light that old ties cannot give.. In all beginnings dwells a magic force.. For guarding us and helping us to live.. Serenely let us move to distant places.. And let no sentiments of home detain us.. The cosmic spirit seeks not to restrain us.. But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces." --Herman Hesse
We need the tonic of wilderness - to wade sometimes in the marshes where the bittern and the meadow hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wild and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground.
At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us, because they are unfathomable.
this entire year has found me in a constant series of accidental explorations. since the last time i really updated, i have been through costa rica, ohio, florida, the virgin islands, las vegas, big sur, san francisco, yosemite, denver, france, belgium, mexico, and the entire length of the united states (from north carolina to california) in a big hippie van filled with six creative beauties...
since the last time i wrote, i have hiked mountains and pyramids and city buildings and islands. i have slept in tents and cars and airports and bookstores and on strangers' floors all across america. I have flown on about 40 flights in 5 countries, and have driven/ridden upwards of 9,000 miles. i have cried over broken relationships, bonded with beautiful friends, and have fallen blissfully in love with the man of my dreams, in the most unlikely of places. i have been content and excited and filled with regret. i've been drunk and strong and helpless and incandescently happy and i don't even know where to begin.
friends have been asking me lately where in the world i am, and, "why haven't you been posting?" and, "when will you start writing again?"
well friends, i love you, and i am so thrilled that you want to hear my stories. but i have been mostly homeless and nomadic for about 5 months now...
after 3 months of living out of the van during our big road trip, my love and i escaped to vegas to decompress with family and retrieve my car. we then started our own road trip from vegas, up the pacific coast highway, to volunteer with a small off-the-grid community in southern oregon. we recently left the farm to attend His aunt's wedding in wine country, and now we are pet-sitting and playing house in san jose while the lovely newly-wed aunt is off on her honeymoon.
it's the strangest thing... to have lived out of a van all summer with 6 people, in a situation where we had very little money, and then none at all---where we had to play music on the streets for gas money, and sometimes dumpster dive for food, and always rely on the love of friends and strangers to put us up.
and now to be drinking a local pinot noir in a well-lit living room in silicone valley. my love is sitting near, writing a song on the guitar. the pets are lounging, happy in the sun. and we are reveling in the calm before the inevitable unrest of next week's homelessness.
where will this wild ride take us next?
at the end of this week, we will start making our way north again, through san francisco and portland, to finally settle in seattle.
because, to be totally honest, i am fucking exhausted. ever since this year began, i have been looking to stay put for a while and start building foundations in a new place. but costa rica was already planned. and creative work took me to the caribbean again. and serendipitous opportunities took me to california multiple times. and when a friend invites you to stay at their studio in montmarte or visit their mansion in ghent, how can you say no, right? and what if a friend insists you join in on the beatnik-style hippie-van-road-trip-across-america you've always been dreaming of? you sure as hell say YES.
so i said yes. and i fell in love. i learned to whistle and play the ukulele. i saw this country in a whole new light. and i wouldn't trade it for all the sleep in the world.
but now i'm ready. and he's ready. and we're headed to a home we've both been dreaming of since before we knew each other, even though it's not quite there yet.
because really, we have nothing... nothin' but the same clothes we've been living in all along, a few plants, a couple bags of food, a heap of books, and our instruments. we have one small car, and soon, it seems we'll be getting the van back.
it's going to be one of the most intense challenges so far, but i've got a handsome best friend and we are determined. in the end, it'll all have been worth it.
because, "life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all."
"The whole world is, to me, very much 'alive' -- all the little growing things, even the rocks. i can't look at a swell bit of grass and earth, for instance, without feeling the essential life -- the things going on -- within them." --Ansel Adams
“The first is to reframe our concept of happiness. The Greek word for the state of happiness is ‘euphoria,’ and the noun ‘euphoros’ means the bearer of goodness. One of the fundamental elements to finding euphoria is to be the ephors–bearer of goodness–for yourself and for others. This means radical generosity, starting with yourself."
"there was a star riding through the clouds one night, and i said to the star 'consume me.'" -virginia woolf
christine and i stood outside with cigarettes in hand, blowing our smoke up at the stars. black waves lashed the shoreline, an ominous sound we could hardly see the source of---comforting and terrifying at the same time. we made jokes about the shape of the warrior in the sky, and shrieked at the sight of shooting stars---the confetti of the universe. we stood still in that perfect december air and felt altogether minuscule. all our worries, consumed in galactic perspective.
“There are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous.” --Deepak Chopra
"traveling forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. you are constantly off balance. nothing is yours except the essential things -- air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky -- all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it."
"Society is a fraud so complete and venal that it demands to be destroyed beyond the power of memory to recall its existence.
Where there is fire, we will carry gasoline.
To interrupt the continuum of everyday experience and all the normal expectations that go with it.
To live as if something actually depended on one's actions.
To rupture the spell of the ideology of the commodified consumer society, so that our repressed desires of a more authentic nature can come forward.
To demonstrate the contrast of what life presently is and what it could be.
There will be an intensity never before known in everyday life to exchange love and hate, life and death, terror and redemption, repulsions and attractions.
An affirmation of freedom so reckless and unqualified that it amounts to a total denial of every kind of restraint and limitation."