Daughter of Light

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Every word I wrote of you I regretted. Every darkest pit of myself came rushing through opened doors. There were no doors. I was in that pit of ___. How am I supposed to see you as light, how am I supposed to keep my eyes open to the dark, to shut myself away from the wrong and yet still seek to shine through it. How is it so easy to feel so tainted to be overwhelmed by not even flesh but hatred and angst and disgust and sadness. We are so wretched. A dark film cast itself upon my eyes as I looked onto this world in disgust. As I was still as loud and clear but let each syllable I utter be poison and bitter. I wanted to go away. I wanted all of this to not be. Bill Johnson’s words ringing in my mind “We don’t lose the ability to sin, we only use the ability to enjoy it”, how You are put in an environment to make all the bad things come to surface but you get confused about these things coming out and think they are you and your identity gets lost in them. All these things are coming out. Westmont has a knack for revealing the worst in people. I told friends I hate what Santa Barbara does to me. I hate who it makes me. Why is it so difficult to shine light?

I feel cold and frigid. I don’t feel blood and sparkles flowing through me. My heart is weighed down. This morning I was vertiginously re-experiencing the lava and ice and blood spatter on the walls and trampling with spikes and wood pegs. I wanted to be physically feeling what I was feeling emotionally. I let my words shout out to people. Recognizing that the more confident me’s negativity definitely impacts even more than the hidden spite whisperer. I saw the looks on peoples faces as I spoke, easily disguising my rants under the Anarchist character I play in this class, but still taking it to a level not comfortable or acceptable for especially Westmont students. This me is the me that would want to fight people on the street like a stupid rooster puffing its chest out, ranting of blood and cuts just so as to not to whimper in pain of having no balls. The me that doesn’t give a shit about how people look, especially if they are off put or shocked. The me that doesn’t want anyone. Because everyone is darkness and me most of all. “That’s just him, its’ a reflection”. I let myself be a mirror and not a light and I let myself connect with this. I am not a glass mirror I’m a chameleon. I will reflect you and embody it. This is who you see yourself is. It hurts so much more to think that. It hurts so much to understand what you mean by saying your soul is lsot and its too late. Because I am a couple hours into poorly copied shoes and I cant stand it.

I want to be a bearer of truth.

I want to shine light and be light and for it to embody me.

I had lunch with the new Dean of students. I didn’t not want to I just didn’t know how to talk about how I love Westmont and how I see something good to come when I feel this deeply low in darkness. I recognized while in prayer with my roommate that this is exactly why I need to speak with her. Perhaps if she is empathetic enough she’ll feel my pain. She’ll see what not only I but so many struggle with here. To be light but to let every part of yourself come into the temple of your soul. She did see I’m not sure she saw my vision as it was probably pegged too deep of her vision of a presently tortured girl but I said what I had to say. About Darkness. About the Need for Light. Community. Truth. Safe Space.

Now I see myself emerging from the waters. I don’t know if this is what I was to do. I will let it sit and wait on you. Do not abandon me now as I cry to you. Surround me with truth and words of wisdom. With clarity and words of love. With strength and words that pierce through the darkness and bring us to the Light.

I am a Daughter of Light you aint got nothing on me

Pray for grace and sweet lovingkindness on my behalf. For peace and love to come through my actions and especially my words.

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Golden Boy

Golden hour seems to be passing. Seems to not be a time fo day here in these structured lawns and walls. The air is too pure for there to be darkness to bounce off and be transformed.

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Golden Boy.

I’ve been thinking about you. I’ve told myself know is the time to write. but nothing seems to be flowing from my lips. The door is shutting.

I feel as I usually do when I come face to face with those I love that seem so far away. My mind goes blank. I am buried under earth and wind and water weighted down by the power of the moment. That I find absolutely no space in.

The power of my emotions I think it is that are too smart to not feel the atmosphere but that do not fit into the stupid little carved, gemmed, shined welded door I opened. Nothing is going into that door and I am instantly iced and hardened and thrown into a deep volcano of lava and then pounded on by meteors before simply being thrown into a trambling confused tumbling rumbling daze above the louds out of the clouds seeing all of this world and understanding with great pain that my little hope and beautiful foundation was nothing. mist. sand. glass. shattered and cutting.

Being with you. Being near you. Thinking of you. I cannot deny that it weighs with all of this on my chest. I can barely breath. I am amazed that I spoke to you. That I said most of all I had to say to you. I am amazed. Because I still felt that way. Sick to my stomach. wanting to roll away into a ball of nothing. And yet liberated to feel you again. This world is so weird.

This is not what I had to say.

My heart breaks. Thinking of you not realizing, not seeing, not weighing the beauty of the touch of your soul. I am honestly enraged when I think that you let this be stolen from you. I want to hug you so tight that that stupid black and hard shell around you just breaks. Did someone steal you away in your sleep and dip you into hardened coals? I always hope that my fire will melt them away. Because though you cant feel what is around you this layer put on you can never take away the light that shines through you. Dust cannot take away from the light. it can only dull it and render it unrecognizable to itself and to those who are too superficial and lazy to see the beauty beneath. Too much of assholes to maybe just give one cleansing swipe. I will never understand what the heck happened to you for you to lose this sight. I never understand how best to help you. I always wonder at what things open doors, get planted, grow?

What amazes me the most is that despite how little you seem to give yourself credit for, how much you say you are lost and beyond repair, you still have these amazing attributes that you must know bring light to others. You bring something else. You are a fish in the water with a stupid lantern on your head. You have sight. Don’t lose sight of the end, don’t lose sight of the flow of eternity in every movement of time and space. You see now chose. And please most of all stop being stupid and actually think as highly of yourself as you put on for others. You are an amazing being of light. I am not blinded by my love for you. You are one of the only people I have ever met that gets it. You don’t have the best ways of saying it or enacting it perhaps but you see and you bring joy to so many. Let it come to you. Don’t let the darkness that you also see so well take any ownership of you. Lies. look forward. Look to the horizon beyond this deep sea. I’ve seen you there, I caught my wave, I keep letting the sea take me and be washed and surrounded by this energizing and flowing life. I know not whether you’ll stay laying on the wet shore or if you’ll get up and stand looking blankly at the horizon. But I know you love this water and you know it. So jump in and let it guide you. I’m stopping. Golden Boy you’ll always be adventure I’ll always be lust. Or at least the I and the You we were in those days. Don’t let the hours pass without shining through the clouds and sky.

No more rocky waters and crashing waves just smooth seas.

Maybe if I just spill it all out continuously, eventually all the top stuff will be gone, all the foam and I’ll be at the heat of it all. I’ll know what’ really even on the surface, I’ll be able to twill my finger into the thick substance of my ideas, thoughts, see how they all come together. What kind of drink they make.

I’m at in betweens. Where days are beautiful and peaceful and nights are hard and I IMG_3326fear them. I’ve tried being the light I want to be but it doesn’t seem to enter into the equation. I’ve been afraid of affirming light, affirming my truest, deepest thoughts and desires because I do not like judging. I do not want to judge. But the reality is that we put people into boxes. We have to. How else are we supposed to make sense of the world? Sure we have to be able to change the boxes and have the grace to admit we might have misevaluated but still … trying to act as if we could act in such a way that is non offensive is still acting in a certain way and most of the time can be taken to the extreme of simply not being truly yourself. How can you be real with someone, how can you see someone if you do not reveal your true self to them?

And yet I’ve been feeling the pain of me expressing myself. Of me evaluating my life and others. It’s not possible to be a total relativist. When you have lived things. And you have seen that those things are in no way good, when you recognize those things around you how can you say anything but that they are not good? That would not be truth. My mother once spoke of submission, service, love, friendship meant that you have to give you whole, truest, fullest self to the other. You not being true to your core, you turning a blind eye to things you know are bad, you not having boundaries, you only “giving” is not being the fullest version of yourself.

So how do I know deal with these emotions?

I never ever ever wanted to be like “those judgmental people”. I was just told a friend doesn’t engage with me because they’re afraid of me judging them… That really hurt. Because it hurt me to have become to others someone who judges and to not be seen as a safe place to talk about things. That is the first thing I want to be for people. And yet. I also know that me seeing “those judgmental people” in the way that I did was pretty wrong as well. I judged those people. I assumed they didn’t understand me. Mostly I was hurt that they didn’t wish to engage with me. When they did I chucked them away. How dare you see something in me thats engageable.

I can’t not judge things for what they are. I think people assume that judging something as good or bad means you are equating them to that. Someone linked to a good or bad action thinks you are placing yourself (judger) outside of that category.

How to be there for people. How to inspire health, loving, light filled lives when you are so hurt and mad at the darkness that shackles them? How to truly speak love and light into people?

Not talking to me because I might judge you… I guess I need to meet people where they are. I am grateful beyond words for where I am. I am here because of those who saw me in light. But I guess what hurts most is that I feel like I am too attached to people to not want to be the one that saves them and it hurts so much to have to distance myself from them because I do not want to be enabling something I know is not the way. Because there is already a sight here and I don’t think I can be the one to bring something different. Because I end up being different and not who I want to be. I don’t see them reflecting light to me. Just a past I have cut off. Just stabs I have taken a really long time to heal. And then the ever feeling of being the only one that is always always no matter what no matter when on the outside. That be it with any type of people I am not truly at home. I am just at home alone. Because as soon as I feel at home it’s all up in the air again. And nothing is permanent but change itself.

Today was a beautiful day . It’s only nights that bring such danger to my heart and soul.

I went to a volunteer training and reencountered a beautiful soul I met at Westmont my freshman year. I think this connection along with many others I have been making will bear good fruits.

I have been dreaming aloud. I have been sitting in peace.

Yesterday I sat at the beach. Finally sitting in quiet observance. I thought of how my life had been crashing waves and rocky waters and now was calm seas. I needed to take a step back, slow my pace. Be still and be patient. The life I am to have here needs to breath easily. What are the things that make me anxious and why? Why do I run from them? Why do I fear being alone when elsewhere I revel in it?

Today after my training I felt the smooth waters. The breath. Being where I am and appreciating all of the beauty of the trees and warmth of the sun and air. Reading great class materials, happy to be learning, to be able to have time, to think about things and to look forward to things and yet to just enjoy this beautiful life filled moment. Just like gliding in glassy thick pearly waters. Delightful.

So why are the nights harder? Why do I wish them to go away? I enjoy my room but also dread the closed doors and thick walls. I just know I can’t go to things I know are bad for me and take away from the things that are good for me and yet I want to love people. So people where are ya so I can love you and you an love yourselves?

I want to do art, talk, make tea, drink wine, sing songs and play piano, draw on each other and dance barefoot, hug and laugh and make light and life. Let the love flow.  I want to decorate rooms and trees and paint the ceilings and walls and poke stars and roll in sand. I feel like all these people have forgotten they’re really faeries… IMG_3309 IMG_3312 IMG_3313

One would think that…

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I knew nearing the end of my time in Thailand, so blessed and grateful, that I had been transformed and refined. I also knew that there would be elements of transformation that would not reveal themselves to me clearly till I returned. I’ve already returned to 2 different places. I was amazed in France as to how new sights seemed to me. I was so amazed because I consider myself a seasoned traveler, a seasoned cross-cultural border jumper. I often used to get irritated at people not seeing beyond them and I was amazed that a whole new level of sight had been revealed to me. Though different than the majority of french citizens and american citizens I still share(d) prejudices and frameworks. Though having gone to many different countries around the world, going to just one extra one had such an effect on me. I am awed and amazed as to the expanse of knowledge and learning experiences that humans can strive for. It is beautiful to truly grasp how infinite this Universe is. It is beautiful to see how many different reflections it encompasses. I am so grateful to be able to dive deep into these beautiful pools before me, to take this new lens, these shattered pieces and be able to look back and have still more revealed to me. To look forward and to imagine, envision and strive towards. I have beautiful visions of shining colored light laughing in the reflections of its unending dance.

Every time I close my eyes, I am overwhelmed by the exhilarating feeling of diving under a strong wave, its energy moving through your core, you diving even deeper yet. My mind is an immense ocean, gracious waves basking me in affection and inspiration.  Renewing me. Washing me. Over and over.

Before leaving France. I was scared. I was afraid. Before leaving Thailand I was anxious. Anticipating hurt and pain and new stabs at old wounds. That I would be overwhelmed by drowning pain. In Thailand I banished that fear. I thought upon the good things that await me. The things I dream of and yearn for. Put my thoughts and hopes into light and not the fear of still present darkness. Feed the good wolf. In France as I lay awake at night, adrenaline pumping at my chest I banished anxiety and observed excitement. I turned my emotions from fear to joy.

I left my family at the airport. Crying. Not wanting to leave. The first time in such a long time that my emotions of the pain of separation were allowed to resurface. And yet… This did not stop me from being in unspeakable peace as the plane lifted off the ground. Peace. Sweet, affectionate Peace. What a comfort, what a light to my heart and soul and mind. Twinkling. Little sparks of light in me.

A professor-the first to truly see me- told me my eyes were less anxious. I had no idea they were in the first place. Are the lights in my eyes back? The ones a lover once said he saw.. sometimes.  Someone who prayed for me last year now tells me she didn’t recognize me. I’ve been told my friends probably see change in me as well and they are somewhat testing that… Interesting things.

All I know is that as I arrived at Westmont I was sooo gratefully surprised by how amazingly happy I was! Not fear, not angst, not pain or anger or spite.. Just joy and love and grace and acceptance. The realization of this only brought more of these blessed lights, overflowing in me, leading me to spurts of laughter and tears and dance and gasps.

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I am able to interact with people. I am able to see the person next to me and speak and connect. All the things that before stuck to me in pain and anger and annoyance are lifted, veils that I do not notice with light shining so warmly on my face.

I am so grateful.

So what would one think? That this happiness be daily, flow freely… I don’t even know. That learning so much taught me to no longer be hurt. That I am no longer lonely and no longer feel misunderstood .That I no longer think that my words and presence are unwelcome. That I no longer am tempted. That I no longer yearn for bad things, bad places, bad connections. That I can clearly always see and always do in light. No. No no.

I seriously thought that I had somehow conquered culture shock. That I had found friends that I could engage in trusting, loving, healthy relationships with. That I could interact with anyone. That I would not make bad mistakes or facilitate others to do so.

DSCF5952No the most prevailing feeling is that these things are still there. For the most part they simply no longer control my being like demons of my soul. Pain and hurt and sadness are still arrows thrown at my heart but the light burns them off. Shame and regret bring cold to my soul but the spirit still blows.

Learning to accept who I am. To have grace with myself. TO know that no matter what I do, He acts through my actions. This is amazing. I cry out to be saved of this wretchedness. To be continuously refined and built up and to bring stones of light blessings to those I encounter. That I would truly see all around me and touch them with warm, soothing light. That my words would not be daggers but warm cloths. Even those words I speak to myself.

DSCF5716Most of all , that I would dream. That I would be patient and faithful to these dreams. That I would be strong and founded in beautiful stones. That I would know the true riches of this world and be a blessing to this world.

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Adieu

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It’s interesting to think of how little I’ve blogged in this last stretch. Even Bethany, my wonderful daily blogger I’m pretty sure is down to one a week?

So many things to process. So many cycling emotions and feelings. My words slip into each other and I lose focus as I say them. I get into the habit of not catching and correcting the slip but going back to what my instinct expressed and messing with the funny pronunciation of the word. I’ve been surrounded by too many different accents and messing around with pronunciations for fun a lot. Maybe my stoner surfer cali talk is finally fading away. The talk that when I hear recorded my eyes widen… do I seriously sound that stoned? Now I understand why my mother would ask what was wrong with me when I would get her on the phone the little I did. Something with the slowness of the intonation. There is a weighted breath.. Everything is chiilll. But sometimes its not and my words flush out to a quick beating heat from my heart that makes my whole insides beat fast fast. This has happened a lot. Something pikes me and I HAVE to speak. I feel the fire burning me from inside. The blood is pumping and I literally become shacky. How to harness this? One of my most disliked sentences I’ve heard this semester “Reign it in”. For me it stands for everything that pisses me off about “mainstream” America. Everything that leads to the other extremes. People don’t know how to let it out without freaking out so they end up either boring as heck or crazy uncontrolled. Degenerates. Most likely appreciate that denomination. I know I would’ve not too long ago. There’s something so seemingly fulfilling about yelling out who you are and what you are feeling. You want to shove it into people’s faces that YOU FEEL. They totally don’t. You do. Theres a point to this. I’m not sure what it is. Most of the time I never am. But I know there’s a point. And this is why I guess. I’ve wondered. Whether or not there’s a point to yelling yourself out like that? I’m listening to really emotionally real easing and spurring music right now. It’s helping me strive for an answer, strive to leave a mark, strive to make some sense even if it’s seemingly no sense right away. I picture myself in this floaty environment with so much debri coming towards me or out of me? and it’s just unending and expanding. But somehow I’m growing. My ability to fathom encompassing it is growing. The picture. My arms are also expanding and though the mass of things shit and beautify things I have to take is also expanding; I feel that there is a different level. A level of where we are growing together. We are feeling each other. I am understanding. And perhaps some day I’ll finally be able to put my arms around it and I’ll see what my arms are holding and it will be a time of illumination and it will help everyone understand and express and connect. But in the mean time, and if I can ever attain and facilitate this I have to continue growing, I have to be with this spirit, I have to embrace its flow of life and let it move through me even though I understand nothing of it. I comprehend that it has a purpose.

SO I ask… What is reigning it in? WHY does it still piss me off? Am I not trying to reign my life in? Am  I not trying to put frameworks and structures on everything that goes through my subconscious? Have I not built barriers to beautiful things in this world like fantasies and faeries and magical gardens and deep love and friendship because they do not serve my immediate goals and aspirations, they are not in the equation or they have too many variable that are unstable and can lead to hurt.

Hurt is bad. It’s not efficient. And this is where you see. Where we are all the same. Whether you are boring or degenerate or hiding one or the other. What you are really hiding is the pain. The fear. GOD WHY? Seriously why is it so difficult to face? Is it because if we face it and we don’t know there is a meaning to it all, then we are sure there’s only a deep dark ditch. My mind is going around is circles. I’m not sure I’m conveying the movement of my soul and heart. THe mind is looking for language that computes with this. Perhaps if you were sitting across from me you would know what I mean. And you would begin to tap into this space I’m telling you of. It’s pretty magical. But we understand so little of it. What is not mechanistic structures. What is just the breath of the earth and the people. The movements of emotions we all suppress and put into clean little boxes. And you are definitely kidding yourself if you think you are not in a box. You just made one that is totally the opposite of another or that is built with different types of walls than its ceiling. Humans are structures no matter what. It’s how we function. It’s what I want to study more of. It’s what being in different structures and among different personalities and trying to shape myself and define myself has made me feel on the verge of sanity more now, sober, than ever before.

SHOUTING who you are, who you are not and that you just don’t GAF is the most boring thing you can do. It’s the SAFEST bet to play. It’s not daring. It’s looking for a safe space where no one can actually see you they just see that you are shouting. What if we all shouted really beautiful things? WHat if we didn’t have to shout them?

I have learned this lesson before. That I say I love all humans. And yet It’s so hard for me to love those average “boring” humans. seriously. I’m tired. I’m tired of being misunderstood. I’m tired of these masks. I’m tired of thinking I can take the mask off and end up in a whole new structure of masks that are HILARIOUSLY UNPROFOUND. We had a debrief session this morning. Emotional Processing. Phases of grieving. What do you feel now? Sad and mad. Sorry.

I do not wish to offend anyone maybe internet is safe of confrontation that I do not have to deal with. But it is also my promise to myself. That I cannot do this anymore. Either the stifling of emotions or the pursuit of false emotions. Thailand has taught me what the long haul “boring” relationships can bring. But it has also DIRELY reminded me of how much I want us to feel and maybe that’s selfish? That I want to slap people so that they wake up? Maybe it’s the triply music I’m listening to . I should go listen to something that is calming. right right? NO. I want to feel fully. And I want to believe that it is possible that through all of this, through the roller coaster that is my emotional life I might be able to reach some stop points and that I might be able to share my breath of life with others. The hardest part I’ve learned this semester is SUBMISSION. YA. I know that is a really hard thing for you to imagine me doing.

I’ve actually submitted to many things in life. The issue is usually to what and how. Intensily. Or intensely reject. or try to shape.. Parents, teachers, peers, lovers. I still don’t understand the variations or the turning points of my submission or when I begin to despise the feelings of loss of identity or when i willfully abandon all sense of self. Maybe I just inherently know that what I do or am to your eyes doesn’t really matter. Though it does. Something deeper though. Sometimes I have conversations and wonder what the heck I’m talking about or trying to talk about. The things I’m describing, will they ever make sense ? Will anything ever untangle itself?

Anyways. Submission. To culture. That is where it began here. You have to dress a certain way. You have to act a certain way. To a schedule. You have a set schedule. You don’t have the time to make your own. And why would you? Everything we do is really awesome. So submit to this in joy and enjoy everything! Why would you get pissed about being controlled if you are being led to something you would want to wander to on your own anyways? Why do you feel like there is something taken from you if you can’t control the way you get somewhere? I submitted to my elders. The hardest. I do not like someone being right. Most of the time its not about being right or wrong. It’s about how you treat people… I’m not sure if I totally get that. It doesn’t fit with our culture . We talk about people mattering but why? Perhaps because there is a totally different structure of balances that we are totally oblivious too yet which we inherently understand the presence of. The issue is this is so often misunderstood and we get riled up and mix it… Just think of any political debate.

So in Thailand. I relearned how to submit to authority. How to respect this. How we are all statues. And everything we do shapes us. If you release the reigns you knows what will be happen you might totaly crumble. You probably will if you forget that you even have a statue. And if you keep in the reigns you might miss out on something and actually be unable to keep the statue up cos it ll just overflow…

Pretty much… I’m starting to be somewhat conciliated to structure. Who does not admire the beautiful architecture of European Cathedrals?

And I have come to embrace the structures that others have adopted. And I wish to learn their languages not to reject them. I want to communicate with them through this cultural forms other human realities that they have forgotten. They express them but I want to help tap deeper into them. I mean to say that I have rejected “mainstream” American culture. I have rejected Christian culture and I have come to only appreciate and connect with “rejects” or self ostracized individuals. But this is not all inclusive and when I say I truly desire community  I REALLY mean a diverse community. I don’t want to just forefront communities which are built by all the same types of people that can just go on ignoring a whole group of others. So Thailand has taught me the beauty of Americans. And I find myself desiring to connect more and more with them.

Two weeks ago I spent a day in silence. It got me pretty emotionally messed up. I realized all the bad things I think about people. I realized the way people interact with each other. I was hurt by being ignored though I was in the midsts of people and I came to realize how I usually feel every day. That no one really listens to what I say. No one really cares how I feel. It’s easier to ignore it. Coming to terms with these feelings and expressing them has brought me a step closer. To opening my heart.

Tuesday we had an awesome cooking class in Doi Saket with a great restaurant owner who took away all my French anxieties of expectations.  Wednesday I presented my final Art Project and my Religion in tribal and modern societies paper. Friday I turned in that paper and my Community Development project (Brace Yourself Westmont).

Friday I said goodbye to Ajarn Guila. Saturday we had our Thanksgiving celebration. Saturday Ajarn Michael left. Goodbyes.

It felt weird to not have things to do. Classes. Projects. Papers. We went to Thai Church on sunday at Aj Martings’ house. Mostly a Thai feeling. It was serene and peaceful and enjoyable. I realized the Lahu do not belong here. And though I love the villages. The time in the Karen village was so happy and peaceful. The time the week before in the coffee village (yes we harvested coffee) was great. But they know they are being taken advantage of. They know they are not truly welcome. They know they are not Thai. I understood this in seeing the ease of the Thai and how easy it is to let this surround you and I understood why I could not just tap into the village feel. Because I think part of village feel is the awareness of its impermeability.

Monday and Tuesday we went to the Mountains and it was beautiful. We spent sweet time in Elfish fairy country. Among beautiful waterfalls and flowers and trees and jedis and birds. It was like trying to jumpstart my heart into feeling. I got back feeling very sick. Sick and tired. Today I wondered if it is my body telling me the pain in my heart.

Last night was our last with the Lahu. We danced and laughed around a beautiful fire the boys had set up at our request. (with the intention of teaching them to roast marshmallows). So thankful Miranda pushed on this desire to have a geeing away party. It was very special. It was unbelievable really. Still… It seems unfair to me. And I am sad that this tribe that I love I am not able to have held hand in hand. Perhaps the next Go Ed students will have more opportunities thanks to us? We have built a structure? It is weird… This submission. Yet others shape it. And then I yearn to just be a crazy person dancing around to the beat of my own drum. You can’t take the sky from me… But I have learned that if I truly desire to love everyone I have to love them in a way they understand. So… How do I do this and ALSO inspire them with fresh new waters and dances and joy and sprit and light?

If you read all of this good on ya! YOUR SUGGESTIONS, COMMENTS, RANTS are much appreciated. e.g. we can slap each other awake that would be great. yes because terms of endearment still scare the crap out of me.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS AND LOVE.

I am flying out on Saturday evening. Will be in France for Christmas and back in Cali for a semester in January. so hook it up ! IMG_2783 IMG_2779

Dreaming Wide Awake, Ecclectia

IMG_2714The first couple weeks of classes in Thailand my mind was overflowing. I would go to bed and though I was utterly exhausted could not, would not sleep. I would lay on my bed, barely close my eyes and the flood of buzzing thoughts, feelings, colors and scenes would settle here or there, in beautiful dreams of possibilities and ideas. I would tell myself: I don’t have enough time to day dream. This happens quite often to me. I get really good sayings about life, metaphors that roll off your tongue and leave a seed in your mind. Effluves. Things is I can’t usually remember my lovely thoughts the next morning. I can remember how lovely they were just not their form. I can remember their impact just not their incarnation. I can perhaps if I’m lucky remember the idea but not the incarnation of it.

These past weeks, I have been in classes that are giving me the framework, the language, the organizational tool to put my every thoughts in, wide awake.

A challenge I do not yet know how to respond to is how will I communicate the things I have learned in weeks to those I go back to? We have two and a half hour lectures twice a day every day except Thursday and the weekends. These are intensive times of exploring concepts, our minds and the world. We have an “art” class which is more like a philosophical aesthetics anthropology class and we have a community development class which makes me question even wanting to work in an organization. I just want to live with people. Truly. How to express the things I have learned?

I can’t even express how much of a freaking chemical reaction there is in all of this. The classes are built upon our experience. Like if our brains hadn’t been completely thrown up in the air with our experience in Thai culture and practicum then there would not have been the possibility of laying new foundations. Without our first round of classes, the easy intro where we interacted with Thai people in a comfortable setting for us and interacted with Thai culture laying a framework to understand it in our terms. Historical, political, economic information and analysis. All in a classwork, writing papers, doing our thing.

This experience has offered the possibility to provide a dissonance to our built up structures of being and seeing. This dissonance: I picture it as a building projection that you see as you would see Manhattan during a clear day that all the sudden gets static and you see there is something behind, beyond. And you can go through this momentary haze. The haze I always live in. Yet, as Michael said everything is a form. I learned freshman year that rejection of a form is still letting this form guide your actions. Rejection is a form. Today I learn that going between forms is a form. Ecclectia. Nice. Makes sense. Feels good to have terms to define your seemingly rash movements. To know they are actually guided. To begin to recognize this complex wave of seemingly unpredictable jumps and intimacies and hidings. It’s like how when I just need to write out a paper. And I think it’s absolute crap. And then I read it over and realize that there’s actually an argumentative structure to the whole thing and it makes sense and it flows and I’ve conveyed something. That’s what you get for having a French thinking structure and speaking in English. No it’s not translation it’s literally combining different tools that you equally master and using them fully yet there is a part of you that is not functioning. You can’t grasp what is happening in that moment. You can’t see. You are blind. But are we not all blind? Or perhaps this blindness will go away once I finally understand somewhat of this crazy spiral. It’s like I see spikes. Everything is spikes. But from miles away, from lightyears away, all these spikes make a perfectly round circle. It just has more .. matter? mass? width? thickness? This is my shape. Perhaps others’ shapes are simply thin lines that go straight and abruptly end and they intersect. Or maybe they are simple little dots that align.

I feel free. I know I am constantly changing I know it is nowhere near to being finished. I strive to continue to blur the lines between worlds, between masks and mirrors.

I have pretty much cried in every single class. The tears are different each time, though they are linked. Is it not beautiful how many different types of emotion we can feel? The different possible combinations, the acceptance of letting them all flow through you. The act of observing how they are touching you. How they are revealing parts of you. Parts you had forgotten, parts you had abandoned, parts you had hid, parts you had sacrificed or surrendered to the illusion of love, to the promise of security, to the structured education, to the pessimist world, to your own tired soul. Tired of loneliness and misunderstandings. With no way of expressing this.

First classes I was being told to think in a new way, to open my eyes to the world… Can you imagine ? Being told to abandon your way of thinking, of seeing? Difficult? Unheard of? I live not only with two different brains, cultures, lenses. I live with all of the beautiful, paradoxical and unsettling possible combinations of these. Everytime I go one place or another. A part of me dies. A part of my stifles. It cries to be let out. It cries for how blind everyone around me is. That they can’t see. Can you imagine? Being told after all these deaths that the in-between that I live in is how we should strive to see? That the magic, the beauty, the intersects, the dream is where we should live. GO AHEAD TRY! The underlying speech beneath all the complex concepts and sentences. The hidden, abandoned self. The dreamer. It’s like when you are half asleep. At a party, at a dinner. Everyone is talking about boring stuff. Things that seem just absolutely so so so pointless to you. Things you feel even they themselves know are empty. You go off even to sit on a different couch. You get forgotten there. Maybe you actually dozed off and everyone else went downtown for drinks. And then all the sudden you hear them talking about you. Talking about the research you’ve been doing. The project you’ve devoted your life to that literally has become your heart and soul and being. And they are not talking about you, but you open your eyes excited. Or perhaps you hear a song that you love. You hear it from afar. You open your eyes. Straining your ears to hear more. But maybe this happens in a split second and you are bouncing off the canopy and rushing in to hear more. Your heart thumping. So…. this is what would happen. Except is more than that. There is a pain. Let’s add the fact that the dinner party was more than just boring. Let’s say people were actually stabbing you the whole time. Crazy right? You’re invited to this beautiful party, by beautiful smiling, seemingly loving people. And You’re all excited. It’s like going to the disney land freaking castle for tea and cupcakes! Everyhting is sparkly. You are dreamiiiing! And then you are greeted. The smiles seem a little twisted. You’re a little apprehensive but you are too excited and innocent. You go to sit. And the feast begins. You are the feast. Getting stabbed. You would be shocked right? Scared and screaming and bleeding on the floor as they all leave you there. Tears and blood stirring on the linoleum floor. Staining the shimmering tassels of your sparkle dress. And you can just stay there. Like Prometheus. You’re not going to die from it just maybe pass out from the pain and always be on the brink, but it’s easier to act as if you’re dead and then when they come back you can greet them with a smile and go out to the bar with them, initiated into the ways. Or you can put some of the blood on your face, look at your self on the floor and decide in anger to exact revenge and retribution. Jump out the window yelling out curses, landing outside in the dirt, taking the glass shard from the window out of your bleeding arm and banishing it forth as a weapon, looking in the shadows for the cursed and dying who you can take forth against the shimmering gowns.

But oh. You have fallen down in the dust and worn yourself weary and in all of that you have brought the warrior and the follower together and you have gone forward in humility, trying to find in betweens, words, mindsets where you do not hate and were you do not bleed. And then a poet invites you to the castle and speaks to the two and  there are attentionate and their heart is beating and the poet is shining a light on the deepest wound that has been stuffed and beaten around and that you keep at the deepest. There’s the best makeup all around it. Did he know that the hole he was poking would go so deep for you? That it was the heart of it all? That its the core of your circle? The last, the truest, the fullest, the original hears herself being called. It’s like being saved ? If only you knew… This way, this new way is my way. This is me. The dreamer. And now she listens. With the three. All the more hungry. And still bleeding. The tears stinging the wounds but healing them at the same, gardening, flowers popping out almost instantly. And the three joining in hands. And all those that come from them. The dreamer reorienting them all, leading them. She wishes to speak now. She wishes to take the mind for a ride. She wasn’t asleep she was watching the reflection in blood and tears. And her eyes are still fill with it. She follows the wind and she smiles to the dreamer in all. I want to let her. I want to learn how to speak to her, I want to be her completely. Bringing shalom to the whole, the warrior needs the dreamer not the anger. The follower needs to be with the people. In their midst not staring in judgingly. But the follower needs the dreamer to not be fooled like all the others. And they both need the warrior to act it out…

Are you starting to get it? Well… I want to dream. And I am so so blown away. The ride I’m taken on. I seriously can’t wait for the next.

I’ve been asked to think of community development as Gandhi, mother Teresa and MLK would.  THANK YOU. I’ve been told we can think of ourselves as part of a whole because of the direction in which we face not form the qualifying, quantifying and organization of our actions. I’ve LITERALLY BEEN GIVEN A DREAMING MODEL. My last community development class. Asked to share three exceptionally positive moments of my life. We all were.

Here are mine:

1. My sister’s wedding. Watching her shine with joy and love and being a part of it. Of something that I had nothing to do with… So filled with euphoric pure joy.

2. Receiving my acceptance letter to go to Taiwan and Korea last summer. I cried from joy. I remember it so sharply. “Thank you God”. Literaly the answer to a prayer. The assurance, the unexpected answer to a request I had not even dreamt of asking aloud. In such a  sharp contrast with everything that surrounded me.

3. It took me a while to think of a third. To pick something. It came to me. I hadn’t realized it really. How positive. Seeing my brother performing on stage for the first time in 10 years? Seeing him doing what he loves, and my heart swelling with gratitude that I could see him shine.

I was before last in sharing my three and my voice was shaking as I shared them. Guila, my amazing professor than asked us to think of the commonalties, “what is the driving life force?” . Family. An “enormous sense of the presence of God”. I realized it was in the moments which you are still. There is a shift in time. You observe something beautiful and you see its eternity. My second one is quite different. Perhaps it is so important because it speaks of the underlying truths in the others that are not as able to grasp. The redemption that marriage represents. The redemption  of family that me being at my brothers play was. The rejuvenation and refining of humans and life.  We are then asked to dream. “How do these life forces factor into, where are they in the dream of my future?” and finally “How do I get there?”

Well dreaming and sharing them is a pretty awesome freaking darn start. Jah. Seriously I was so blown away by the last 20 minutes of class. I told Guila when she asked us to think of those three I was like “she’ got us”. Flashed to my last class in Social Problems with Winslow. Except that I actually totally started crying in that. hah. It was a little less expected.

But really how beautiful to share our happiest times? It is sharing out hearts, sharing what touches our heart. What makes us glow and letting it make others glow. It’s not that hard to share happy moments. But its very hard to share difficult moments. Darkness hates being in the light, darkness needs to be dragged out into the light. But light, it only grows and glows and makes everything it touches new.

Beautiful.

We have been to a shining white temple, to a happy happy festival of lights where the sky was alit with the dreams of peoples of the earth, we treked through the jungle and rode on the head of elephants, and have been taught to dance, we have harvested rice that shall be eaten by those who cut it and painted together and talked and laughed and dot dot dot lived and been. 🙂

It’s magical really. This life. I’m magical I guess. A freaking talking, thinking piece of flesh that can make pretty sounds and pretty things and can change this world with my hands. And it all flows together. I loved lights and soft things and singing things and holding hands and smiles and smells. 🙂

Just keep dreaming. Thanks for everything. I’m gonna go hug a pillow now and kick my feet up.

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Phuket to Pain

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I glimpsed the water, ran to the sand, stripped off my clothes and jumped in, rolling around in joy and laughter, ducking waves and summersaulting in the warm water. Phuket was a true place of restoration for me. I sighed in relief. I could not get out of the water to go have dinner after the sun had set. The whole rest of the crew was just observing the ocean from the beach… Like one of my dreams. clothed as they looked on to the liquid gold that i melted into. I felt alive again. I had almost forgotten what it felt like. To be completely surrounded and transported. On our way to the hostel we were staying at, I anxiously held my hands tight as I whispered to myself or perhaps too loudly “where is the ocean, where is the ocean”. I was soo afraid of ending up far from my love, I was ready to jump pout of the van on the next spot of beach I saw and just camp out there for a bit or forever.

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I was so surprised and delighted to find out that though our accommodations were not physically royal they were enough : a spot to sleep AND BETTER, a minute walk from the beach where IMG_2308I ordered coconuts from a chill restaurant pretty much every day. It was really cool, to meet this beach. I used to have a fishing game on my phone in like 8th grade where you could chose different ports to fish at. In the moment of observing the shore, the colors, the haze, the width of the ocean and skyline I realized how beautifully different and diverse beaches are and how lucky I am to know such a different array of them. The beach culture of different places is also lovely to observe. We came during off season, there are resorts further down the cove but the beach was very open and few people came while we were there. Mainly locals playing in the water, digging in the sand for crabs? and ridding their motos down the beach.

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The first night in Phuket was a nice time of fellowship, flowing conversation and interchange of our different practicum experiences as well as Adele and Michael’s time in the states promoting the program at different universities.

Our first day I reveled in the opportunity to roll in the sand, collect way too many shells, make some beach art, dance with Tippowan’s 2 year old Wana, do short spurts of yoga and of course roll in the water. Unfortunately I got pretty burnt. Oopsh. Not used anymore to my skin not being used to being exposed under the skin. Also not used to not having a huge amount of aloe verra on ready disposal.

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The next day I was sooooooo excited to go snorkeling in the clearest water I have ever swam in. Adele had asked that morning “who has never gone snorkeling?” I said I hadn’t because I didn’t know it was like ” a thing” though I totally have grown up snorkeling just not around such beautiful colorful fish and reef! We took a speed boat out an hour from Phuket to visit the Similan islands. IMG_2377 IMG_2381 IMG_2390 IMG_2524  IMG_2451 IMG_2418  We went around 3 of the islands, snorkeling at two different assigned spots with about 20 people and the best crew we couldve hoped for. We stopped for lunch on one island that I found out you can spend the night at and we had snacks and a nice hike up to a rock formation on another. Our guide played around with us, taking our picture, really intent on having a personal connection and taking good care of us, always offering fresh fruit and drink after every excursion. seriously such a good experience! I was extremely skeptical as we arrived at the company in the morning and van after van unloaded numbers of asian and forang tourists but it is crazy to think how awesomely organized the members are and how you actually feel like you are being welcomed to experience this alongside them as different speed boats headed off in opposite directions and routes. These islands used to be primarily inhabited by sea gypsIMG_2436ies, ethnic communities which completely resemble the hill tribes in their struggles as well as organization. I thought it interesting that this was the first of our encounter with the term. Our guide told us tourism is changing a lot for the people. Though I did also think about what unorganized tourism would do to the community. Would there be less because people are less likely to go rent a boat and drive to the reef or would the harm done in ignorance outweigh our impeding on the place in this way? Also IMG_2420though it might be false comfort I did feel a true enjoyment in the crew for sharing this with us… Though it was weird for me. Im used to being the insider or being with the insider, not an assigned tour. It was still an awesome experience. I got more sunburnt and went to buy an IMG_2454overpriced after sun cream which transformed practically overnight my awful deep pink burn.

The next day we ventured to the National Park and hiked a little yet unexpectedly challenging trail to a small sand beach where I yogad and swam in the rain. One of my fellow students remarked as we floated in the water “What are we doing?” we were talking about super hero movies and sports… I had just thought to myself how grateful I was to be sharing such benign conversation without angst or frustration but just small talk, sharing experiences and shallow interests as we floated in this perfect place. This was our life. in this moment. So beautiful. Perhaps it is difficult to live with this peace and awe and wonder, observing it unfold without always verbally expressing the immensity of it. Still I am seriously grateful that I can come into community with these people, that  I can express my desires and they be heard even if they are shallow things like where to get good hiking gear.

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We hiked back in an equally surprising time. It was sooo cool to be in a RAIN FOREST with rain. The leaves were shiny green, the trees and bamboos stalks brought refreshing aromas. We ate dinner at the restaurant at the end of the trail, with one of the best views ever. Perhaps surpassing my beloved Boat House in SB (though the boat house vibes cannot be equalled nor the site of bouncing dolphins. so ya.)IMG_2508 IMG_2513 IMG_2519

We rode back to the dormitory in the bed of a truck. The night life and lights bringing me new energy and excitement. I let my hair flow in the wind and took deep breaths as the scenery shifted. Freedom?

We spent one last day at our awesome beach. Lyndsay and I found some broken but willing boogie boards we had ALOT of fun with running into the waves.

I did some yoga. My favorite is going to the wake of the waves sun saluting and letting the water kiss my hands, flowing into my vinyasa with the water gliding over the whole front of my body in chatarunga and upward dog, when i take my deep breath and just smile.

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I did not want to leave. I could not get out of the water. I would start walking out and then run back to it. I finally tore myself away and went to shower and pack. It was raining. The ocean was crying. That reassured me. There was a response to our departure. There was room for it. This might seem melodramatic but its really just the truth of my state of mind and heart.

As we drove towards the airport I let my mind wander. SO IRONICALLY that day I thought about pain and memories. I thought about a quote I had read. Something about how sometimes to move on you must leave the pain behind. I thought of my garden. Of how I have left holes in it and how I have buried things I could not look at, and how now, through sweat and tears they have transformed. Like compost. Like compost the fumes arise and send aromas around us. The memories of pain and people and atmospheres and moments. This is what is left of them. They have fed your garden, they have made you who you are but you cannot return and you will never face them the same again. The fact that you can observe these elements, without them bringing on pain, with a distance and with the knowledge you are no longer connected to them, the fact that they have been composted and you know see the fruits and flowers that have grown from their compost is perhaps if not more painful just as breaking. I say Irony because these thoughts would seem irrelevant the next day. Upon returning to Chiang Mai I was contacted by a friend with a heavy heart and a difficult situation. The pain of my empathy and inability to make any action but speak words of comfort and encouragement that seemed so useless resurrected with a rushing wind all of my deepest fears, insecurities and broken dreams, hopes and loves. Memories that I had forgotten, words I had hidden came back with flashing clarity and searing pain. Things I have been pondering and trying to find answers to about how to direct my life now seemed extremely dire and at risk. Everything everything was painfully shitty. To top this off, my wrists and ankles have been very swollen so before this even fell onto me I had told myself to let my body heal, free of straining movements. Not having a yoga mat for 3 months and the difficulties of having correct alignment on slippery floors is really starting to show and to hurt. So where do you go and what do you do when you feel like absolute shit and you literally have no way out? In fact should you even have a way out? I have been saying I need to feel pain. What I have been doing is feeling ok pain like the pain of previous years, the pain of broken relationships, the immediate pain of broken heart that I could not face. I’ve “felt” this pain but I’ve also trained myself into feeling its arousal and finding ways to deal with it. “healthy” ways vs ways that can get you completely lost into the darkness you fell in and saw no light out of. I went to a coffee shop with Bethany, asking do you just sit in the shit? and after a while what? does it seep away? When there is no escape at all.

The irony is that I was in pain about there being a separation and then the first feeling of actual pain that arouse, I felt a connection in that pain. In conversations with my mother I’ve come to understand the relationships of my past and understand how they had such an impact on me and my heart. How we find comfort in each other in our pain and we were salvations to each other… How I will never again be so low again and so lost so I will never again feel the deep connection of what it is to be in continuous pain, fear and angst with people that you find joy and happiness with despite. Those moments were so sweet and strong because of the intricate pain they were built on.

And now I have opened my eyes to feeling and not fleeing. And yes, it does shift away once you let yourself to sit in it. Still. My heart has been continuously tightened. Still, I have been turning my mourning into dancing 🙂 And I have been strengthened and comforted in this and in my vulnerability and knowledge that this is not the end and perhaps this very weeping and pain and sweat and sore has something more to it. That it shall bring forth new fragrances.

I am having new visions and dreams and will be putting them before you. I want you all to be a part of it, its based on the interaction and mutual inspiration of our hearts and minds 🙂

“When we walk through the valley of weeping, it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains!

A single day in your Temple  is better than a thousand elsewhere! I would rather be a doorman in the Temple of my God than live in palaces of wickedness. For Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector.

He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will he withhold for those who walk along his paths.

O Lord of the armies of HEAVEN, blessed are those who trust in you.”

I have been in His Temple Today. I have been within myself and I trust in the good things coming.

Today was our first day of classes. I read and follow a lot of inspirational yoga teachers and motivational speakers. The other day I was reading a post of a great writer Jennifer Pastiloff who I hope I can have the privilege of going on a retreat with, about “opening your heart”. How this is not simply something to think but something to intentionally think about and do. She stared at herself in the mirror, saying this “open your heart, open your heart”. I thought it was good practice of intentionality and engaged in it. Be careful what you ask for 🙂

Today I ended up in tears after my first class and spent most of the second in aroused emotional anguish. This is ME. The Me that feels and sees the world as so much more, so much deeper and that has felt misunderstood and shout down and could not handle the harsh reality of no one engaging on this level and of facing the crashing waves of my extreme emotions. And yet when you hear that door creek open again, when you hear whispers of dreams and inspirations how can you not go home to your abandoned cave of a locked up heart?

So I will continue to shed layers and I am so beyond grateful for these experiences and for these teachers, for this life of pain and sorrow and the beauty of what you can compost from this shit. Just keep dancing and you will shed.

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