Monday, June 14, 2010

it's good to have options.

I’ve been learning lately. That’s good, right? I’ve taken a liking to having the ability to really provide for myself, to be more independent, (thus trying to learn more about sustainability), and have also been digging into the roots of what I believe as far as spirituality is concerned.

I want to preface this streamline of thought. It’s funny to write about these types of ‘adventures’, as opposed to my traveling ones. I find that it’s a lot more comfortable, and much easier to articulate the bizarre and wacky and profound that is experienced in exploring the world. It’s a bit more personal for me to write anything about what I’m about to. So bear with me, and forgive me if you don’t like it, please. And thank you!

Alas, let’s talk about independence and providing for one’s self. I’m not quite sure when I decided it was important, but I’ve certainly come to decide that it is. There’s something empowering and good about a simple life style. I’ve been lucky enough to know some people who live this out in a genuine manner. One being Patty, my dear farm host who taught me the ins and outs of gardening and compost last week. (She also gave me a crash course on how to love bunnies better. I quite liked this!) I guess I’ll take a moment to endorse WWOOF. It’s the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms- It’s almost like couchsurfing, but farmsurfing! You can hook up with hosts to learn different skills, crash at their place, and get fed. It’s a good deal. One of Patty’s previous volunteers has been wwoofing the world for a year now. I should find his blog and connect you to it. I’ll get on that.

Let’s get back on track! It’s also a good idea to produce less trash, isn’t it? I know how humongous the Columbus landfill is, and I’m doing my best not to add to it. This means buying less, being more conscious of how I can reuse things, and recycling what I can. It looks like I’ve addressed the 3 R’s. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Did you also know there is a 4th R? It’s Re-think. If you’re anything like me, you love to re-think. Everything. Sometimes to the point of exhaustion!

I’ve also been learning to knit, to sew, and to cook more. It’s really special to give gifts and use things that have been made with your own hands. They’ve got more character too. It’s also really exciting to eat your own food. Even more so if you’ve grown what you’re eating. Makes me wish I could time travel and spend time with the Native American Indians. Doesn’t it?

That’s my simplicity soap box. I hate to write bunches, because I don’t think anyone has time to sit and read long posts. I don’t totally dig them myself. So I’m going to leave it at that, and write more on my spiritual findings later.

By the way, I’ve found that often times when you use less, you can give more. And giving is good.

“Live simply, so others may simply live.”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

reading is as good as writing.

I've been really wanting to write and post, but just haven't felt all that inspired or able to articulate anything as of late. In turn, I've been reading more, and have re-visited some old things that I love. This is a piece from the book that my grandmother Betty was reading when she passed away.

I suggest you read this slowly, and take in it's imagery. I absolutely adore it.

Close to the Earth
(Alice Taylor)

Come to a quiet place,
A place so quiet
That you can hear
The grass grow.
Lie on the soft grass,
Run your fingers
Through the softness
Of its petals,
And listen:
Listen to the earth.
The warm earth,
The life pulse
Of us all.
Rest your body
Against its warmth;
Feel its greatness,
The pulse and throb,
The foundation
Of the world.
Look up into the sky,
The all-embracing sky,
The canopy of heaven.
How small
We really are:
Specks in the greatness
But still a part of it all.
We grow from the earth
And find
Our own place.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And so I write.

My blog has become a bit dormant upon my return to the States, and I can't say that I'm happy about it. When I have an urge to write, I often have an urge to blog, and vice versa. So I haven't been writing much. At all. Anywhere. Sigh.

This must change! I typically don't write unless I have something to write on, but I've decided that if I want my writing to become more beautiful over time, perhaps I should be disciplined in writing simply to write.

There is always something to reflect on, isn't there? The streams of water down a window pane, the taste of coffee in the afternoon. These are things I know in this moment. Perhaps I can write of it. And I will.

Alas, you can read if you want to. (You can leave your friends behind. 'Cause your friends don't read. And if they don't read, well, they're no friends of mine! Thank you Men at Work for invading my head.)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I thought that I saw a light shine.

There are nearly 7 billion human beings whose feet walk upon the globe. I think on who I know, and what I know of them. What a cornucopia of relationships make up our experience of life. Deep and broken in friendships, brief glances, secret admirers, beloved authors, baristas, familial bonds, Norwegian musicians. We are part of something beautiful.

Walking into a coffee shop, upon ordering a quick caffeine fix, I inquired about the script drawn across his arm. In Latin, "How quickly the glory of the world passes away." With an understanding heart and heavy thoughts, I entered into the sunshine happier for having met him.

We are incredible creatures. Even more so when we allow our souls to be exposed, if just for a moment.

It cannot be said enough, we are part of something oh so beautiful.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The sun it rises slowly as you walk.

“It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”

(Henry David Thoreau)

A friend of mine showed this quotation to me not too long ago, and I think on it nearly every day now. I think of the airport teller whose smile stretches as long as his native country, of the sunglasses far too big for the face of a little girl I caught sight of on the plane, of genuine smiles, kind words, polite gestures, and all of the things that either ease my day, or simply make it more beautiful, via human beings. It's really incredible to think of all the interactions that change my day, each day.

There are so many ways in which I can act, in turn, to be the kind of artist I desire to be. A painter of canvases covered in compliments, encouragements, thought-provoking questions. A sculptor of good deeds. A musician of songs that play generosity and compassion. And a writer of positivity. I think perhaps that's the kind of artist I'd like to be. Don't you?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Puppies go yip, yip, yip.

I've never been much of a daily blogger. In fact, my blogging abilities were once quite poor. But! It seems the winds are changing direction, and a writing/sharing season is upon me. And this (cyber)place has become a bit of an outlet. I've been coming across so many beautiful things, and thinking lots of thoughts, and have desired a place for them. So here I am! More often, that is.

I wanted to share a really fantastic and adorable artist I came across yesterday when I courageously tackled the Denver Art Museum. (Note: There is something incredibly powerful in being a witness to the emotional, creative, expressive, parts of another human being without ever meeting them face to face. My heart really fills when I experience pieces I'm able to connect with, laugh about, learn from.) Man, I love museums.

Alas, the artist! His name is Charley Harper (1922-2007). His pieces are sweet, structured, colorful. I get a kick out of his work!

Video frenzy.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm in the business of embedding videos as of late. So check this one out, for sure, and decide when you'll be heading to Southeast Asia with me.

a journey through asia from ivan vania on Vimeo.