Friday, April 11, 2014

elephant reserve

Before I went to the Elephant Reserve in Bali in August of 2012, I wasn't sure how I would feel about it. Would I get there and it be a wonderful haven for elephants? Would it be awful?

When we went in, you didn't see any elephants immediately. Then, you got to this really pretty goldfish pond. Then you got to the place where you lined up for the elephants. I got scared. But, at this point, I wasn't backing out. Yukari and I got onto our elephant, and Lowell got onto his. These were the two people I spent the most time with in Bali as we all stayed the longest after the retreat was over.

I spent most of the ride clutching the side of the basket and nervously talking to the handler who kept kicking the side of the elephant's neck, by his ear. I wasn't sure how to feel. I was in awe of this magical and amazing creature. I have so much love for elephants. I felt guilty for being on him and for the driver who was kicking him so that we could ride him, around and around a circle. How frustrating for the elephant. I felt bad for the handler. I don't know why I felt bad for him. Maybe because I thought that I would not ever want to be desensitized to where I could kick or to be in a position where I felt that it was my only option..

The whole time I was there, I was trying to figure out if I was being too sensitive, or if my gut was correct. The point is, I know now that I would never go back. The elephants that weren't walking the circuit were chained up in the center of the property or doing a show for us at the end. I tried rationalizing…but at the end of the day, I don't like it and would not go back. I could be wrong, I suppose. But I don't feel like it's a haven at all. I feel like it's a glorified zoo just for elephants. It just feels wrong.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pablo Neruda.

So, I have never read Pablo Neruda's Sonnet XVII. And it is amazing. So I'm sharing. 

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. 

Pablo Neruda

Monday, March 31, 2014

Playlist Requests.

For G~ I found one playlist I have that was marked January and had Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah on it... 

Here it is! Hope it's what you were looking for.

Gone Til November ~ Wyclef Jean
Freedom ~ George Michael
Love No Limit ~ Mary J. Blige
Can I Kick It? ~ Tribe Called Quest
Heard Em Say ~ Kanye West
Carry the Zero ~ Built to Spill
Addicted to Love ~ Florence and the Machine
Breakin My Heart ~ Mint Condition
Praying For Time ~ George Michael
Afraid ~ Nelly Furtado
By Your Side ~ Sade
Down to the River to Pray ~ Alison Krauss
Dreaming with a Broken Heart ~ John Mayer
Golden ~ Jill Scott
Hallelujah ~ Jeff Buckley

Yellow. (poetry)


the sky opened wide
yet the truck sat still

violins played
through the windowsill

every inch held meaning
and i listen still

where are you within me
where are you without

somehow connected
in the silence and cloud

a lifetime passes in moments

some moments


the road grows long
into the distance

and yet all i can do is
                                  follow it with my eyes

Random musings.

I took a drive last night and this afternoon. One of those afternoons that you notice the shingles on top of the house to the right of the highway and they seem to have a meaning, a language of their own. Almost speaking to you like a painting that does it's job. Then you look to the left and the smoke rising up from the factory looks so beautiful even though you know in it's essence, it really isn't. And you sing. And you sigh. And you feel romantic.

I was in a romantic mood and the lighting was just perfect. If I hadn't been so tired, I would have grabbed my camera and gone shooting.

I have a lot coming up this year. Growth stuff.

The journey doesn't end. It just keeps on expanding. The canvas, wider. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lioness Roar.

Some of you may have read my post awhile back about Warrior Moments. What that really came down to, for me, is this…I hate bullying. In any form, really. I hate it when it's blatant and in your face. I also hate it when it's passive, such as not allowing people to be who they are, or to make their own decisions in their time, in their heart-space. I've known how to stand up for others being bullied since I was a young child. My grandmother who has too many years passed away now was the main why so that I learned how to stand up for others. I stood up for her whenever I had to, which was unfortunate for both of us but our roles to play at the time. I'm eternally grateful to have had her in my life and grateful for those lessons that I learned.

Standing up for myself  in big ways but mostly the small ways that add up, has been a lifelong process that yoga has really helped me to dig down and find with an even greater ferocity. I think that we all can relate to that, though. Getting somewhere and then thinking, wait…how did I get here? Oh, because I compromised here and here…and here. Yoga has helped me define who I am and what I stand for with an even greater clarity. Trust me, it's still an ongoing process and I'm getting there but at least I have a roadmap now. Yoga can help anyone do this because of the beautiful way that it brings you into your body, into this moment, into this breath bringing you face to face with yourself. 

What do I believe in? So much. But for the sake of this conversation... I believe in women's rights. I believe in women feeling strong and empowered and able to make their own choices. I believe in women's beauty and right to express that however they see fit. I believe women are more than capable and intelligent and have an important voice that should be heard loud and clear. I'm a human rights proponent period; men, women and children all valued and loved equally as human beings. But I'm very passionate about women right now, in particular, and their journey to find their voices and their particular version of power because many of us have been outside of our true power for a long time.

A woman's power is not generally rough like a man's but strong as steel and certainly can withstand the test of time. We are masters of time, masters of waiting, masters of holding our tongue until the time is ripe like a well hung fruit. No one knows how to sit with time, it seems to me, like a woman. This might be because of the history of things. Waiting for men to come home from war, from a business trip, waiting for our child to get better as we stay up all night beside their bed, sick with worry. Waiting to be noticed, to be forgotten, to be spoken to. And sometimes, we need to let go of the waiting and just go for it. Whatever IT is. And let our power find new edges.

We seem to be afraid of our own strength often and maybe that's because we've been told that it's not ladylike. I see my beautiful friends who are like lionesses should anything happen to someone they love but afraid to stand up for themselves or be seen in the spotlight. I heard a quote the other day that said something like, the difference between fear and excitement is that during one you hold your breath. They are the same thing. We need to turn that fear into an invitation to wade into the darkness and depth of the swamp with excitement and discovery as our flashlight into the night.

We are lionesses. We are goddesses. Our men are the ones we choose and we choose strong men who are capable of loving us whole, our weak and our strong parts. Our ready and our waiting. Our beautiful and our ugly. Our thick and gnarly scabbed and our raw sections of skin glowing with vulnerability. Because all of this encompasses our particular brand of beauty.

Knowing ourselves and shouting it out. Dancing it out. Loving it all out. Amen.