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Posts Tagged ‘letting go’

As I sat in the woods, rejoicing at the beginnings of the changing colours of autumn, the leaves at the top, yellows and a few reds, and looked down upon the ground at those which have already dropped and turned brown, it deeply came to me how the love of this season is also about having faith.  With the rejoicing comes faith, faith that come another season, the leaves will return, grow and green.

For a moment I wondered what if one did not know, and saw the leaves gathering upon the ground, the branches becoming bare, the changing colour, what would they think and feel. Would they see it as the end as they watch leaf after leaf turn and fall? Would they listen to the trees and hear, “no, it is okay, it is what we do”? Would they rush in frantic activity, attempting to save the trees, paste the leaves back on, return them to green, lobby the government? Would the pray that they stopped falling away, send energy to the trees? Or would they pause and listen, stand humbly, waiting, heeding the call of the trees.  “It is fall, the leaves must fall, it is part of a cycle, one that is necessary for life and rebirth”

This season is also about allowing and being with what is. I first wrote some of the above a few weeks ago, when the forest and trees felt so different,

“And as the hills are still mainly green, and many have come to see the fall colours, including myself, it means being with what is; not rushing things, nor bemoaning that it is not that which we expected it to be. To be and appreciate what is.”

Tis now the end of the season. I look at the trees, standing increasingly bare and think of what I wrote but a few weeks ago. How quickly it changes, how we waited, the engaged, and now it has passed. And in between, I cherished the colours, knowing how fleeting they were, being in the moment, wanting to hold onto it yet knowing, that like the leaves, it would soon fall away. And now it has – the trees stand bare and naked, only a few leaves hang on, and once again to allow and be with what is.

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This time also calls up  cycles and seasons, those of the short and those of the long, those beyond our earthly knowings, those beyond our own. It is a time of understanding; understanding beyond that which we can see. Or admitting, there is much we do not understand.

When we work to heal the earth, do we honour the cycles?  what are the consequences when we do not? What is working with and what is an attempt to control and bend it to our ends, our versions of what should be. And when do we do this, attempt to abort cycles, seeing a moment, not knowing that it is part of a larger whole. Assuming we know, not seeking to understand. The timelines that extend beyond our own. Not seeing what may be necessary for life to continue. Do we listen? Do we hear a snippet and believe that it is the all? Are we able to hear – the earth, the universe, each other, ourselves. The trees teach us so much.

This time of year there is a passing away. Those whose life cycle is shorter, those who live for a year, or a part thereof, those other plants that are part of the forests, the farms, the streets. Those whose life is done – yet it continues on. The seeds that are dispersed, that return to the earth, for the next generation to come, the generation that does not know its parents, or even have elders around, those to emulate, those to teach, whose guidance is encoded in the seeds. The many seeds that are sent out, not all who are born, the many who do not go on. And so is with ourselves.

It can be painful, knowing that some may not make it through.  Can we discern the difference between those we knock down, and those that return to the earth. Between those that are sick and hurting, and those with energetic cycles. And so with human beings. Do we insist that all continuously have glistening tender leaves; yes some are evergreen, but others are deciduous, and all are valued, part of the whole, contributing to the life cycles.

Many years I have been in the forests of evergreen – the redwoods, the great cedars, Douglas firs, pines, even palms and eucalyptus trees – those whose leaves do not drop and I yearned for the change, for trees with leaves. Yet in these zones, come winter, or the brown season, I seek the green, value the evergreens, trees that at this time of year I have overlooked.

I ponder, how the trees and forest that surround influence our perceptions. The places where seasons are not so defined, to see the eternal, that which seems unchanged. That life is meant to be evergreen. That when the needles turn brown and drop to the ground, that it indicates that the trees are sick. That it is not natural, not part of the cycle of life, or at least one we can see.

For the time I am here. The trees stand naked and exposed, and so do i. Energy returns to the roots, a life beneath the surface, and so for me. Knowing the connections there, valuing and being with what is. Feeling that which goes on above, and that which continues beneath. A slowing of energy, communing, sensing, a part of the all, the cycles within cycles and spirals. And having faith in the miracle of life.

 

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I sit outside under the magic eucalyptus trees and slowly i come to life. They are trees that call me forth from afar, that come to mind when i think of this place. They do not disappoint although the air is chill and i do not linger out there as long as i imagined i would. They call forth life as small birds sing and flicker above, and if i look carefully, one of the green parakeets comes into view. I am in my oasis, my castle above the city, my sacred place – or so i thought it was.

I come back to the hostel once again, using up the last of my 14 days per year that you are allowed – ones that i had hoarded and resisted using because they were so precious to me. Ones that i had held tight against my chest the past few weeks, though i deeply longed to return – for if not here, then where would my oasis be, and would not having the option of coming here mean that this was the end of my forray in the city? – so i held out – perhaps too long, became sick inside, until that is … i came back to this place.

But now that i write this, all that is past, and i sit inside another here and now, yearning for the calm and serenity that had overcome me. Though my current room is nicer and for the moment and probably the night i have it to myself rather than shared with many others and the mattress and bed are much nicer, it is not as peaceful as it was there, and already i can feel the jitters and inner rush return – not the flow which came back there after the depletion in the place i had been in before – the out of kilter unfocused rush of the city and tenderloin.

I am in a nice place, probably nicer inside, but it does not have the same calming but awakening vibe. i step out the doors for a smoke, and rather than being greeted by grass and trees, perhaps a walker or a dog, i am on the city streets, people smoking crack on down the block, bum a butt, ask for money, others walk through. i do not sit on a picnic table under the trees and the night sky, or in the wind that comes up, but walk around the block instead. Out back of the building is not a path up the hill with a view of the golden gate bridge and the bay and darkness at night and cyclists struggling up by day, all pausing to get a view, and a smile that they have reached the top of the hill, a photo snapped perhaps (how many of others have i taken there over the years?) but the Glide church and community center = with lines for meals a few times a day; around the block for special food bags every now and then, and the most desperate, sleeping on the street at night, and kitty corner from there, another heavy drug corner. Of course next door towards the posher area, is the large Hilton hotel, with the well dressed smoking outside, but with a more nervous or held back edge, not a park where people smile. And here i stay again, on the border between the down and out land and the hyped up tourist shopping zone; and after a few days, my room is no longer my own, but shared with a group of three, who i can tell would prefer if i (not the personal me, but i as in a person who is not part of the group)not be here. but for the moment i have the room to myself, though not the serenity of that other place. I accept that magic place is gone for the year, my 14 nights used up until next January and that there is a reason why i am here.

I had been afraid to use them up for this has been a very special place for me, one that represents peace and tranquility, but also openness and life, a bounce to my step and more – and i remember… though it is time to move on from there in my mind, hold the love, but let it go, and bring that love into another here and now.

like the city, that hostel is partially a place of my imagination rather than one that is very real, and for a while, when i come, i lose sight of that place i have built up in my mind, and focus instead on what is here, the imperfections and the flaws, and how it does not live up to that image in my head – and i wonder why was i so desperate to return.

I go into the larger dorm, it has be rearranged and has new beds. finally the thin patched foam mattresses, ones i had probably slept on my first visit there 25 year ago, have been replaced. For now it is comfortable, but as the new ones slide around on the metal base, and i can feel a coil against my knee as i sit and meditate, i know they will not endure. As is the case with the kingdom i have claimed. And there is one less bunk than there was before, but somehow the feng shui seems worse than before – the beds which had always been crammed, but were placed in such a way to allow the energy to flow through. At first i am disappointed, “it had changed, it was not as i had been” i say to myself, “this is not the place i came back to, it is so ill thought out” i criticize, what happened i bemoan. Still, in my two nights there i sleep well and deep, love my bottom bunk – that personal space – and the cold that i had lifts away. And i do not want to leave.

I remember other nights there being uncomfortable, the cards for the door not working one time, and all knocking to get in and out, my bed being the one by the door, and the snoring symphony i have endured many a time, or the music from the crowded common room seeping in, or the communal bathroom down the hall feeling so institutional, and the huge kitchen downstairs, a place where i actually cook, being out of forks the last time i was here, but all that slowly goes away, as i feel the lighter energy of the place, both inside and out. and in remembering the place, both now and before, it is not that which comes to mind, but the peace and joy and conversations i have had there.

I walk outside, am greeted by the lawn, around the back, to the view of the bay and the bridge, the sounds are of birds, chirps out fromt and the cries of gulls out back, and a few people strolling by. The hum of traffic is not to be found, and i notice when a car pulls up. I walk down to the wharf one day, and then out to the marina and the golden gate bridge another, exploring the realms beyond, and am so eager to return – to my oasis in the park.

And that is what it is for me – an oasis an oasis in the middle of the city, or rather on the edge, a safe haven from which one might leave to explore but come back to the green and more. And i want to stay there – in the peace and the calm – i retreat to my bed and awaken refreshed, brain fog cleared. for here energy is calm but flowing, alive, but smooth, nurturing without smothering, set apart yet joined and connected, in the city but not of the city. And i am so content to be where i am, and do not really want to move beyond though the waterfront calls, as does the bay, the palace of fine arts, the hills and more. Still, i am so happy where i am. I feel like a princess in my castle, at one and at peace. For a while…

But coming back, i also come back to where i was – one year, two years, three years ago – my places on my journey, and how i have moved along, but perhaps failed to move at all. And i remember the stress i had felt previous times, when it was near the time to move on, the looking and searching of where i might go, and the tension that arose when i got into that zone, a zone that i come back to for a short while. And in this zone, i find the flaws, the dirty sink water in the sink, the broken plugs, the lack of light, the loud group and more and disengage from that light i so wish to hold – as if knowing that i must physcially leave, i leave first emotionally and spiritually. But then, as it is time to go, my heart bursts wide open with love again.

For it is a center, and represents that center inside, life flows in and through, life of joy, energy transformed, stays and moves on again, a fort transformed and represents the ideal me. As i sit outside the last night there before the rain begins to unfurl, i realize that this is a park apart, and though i long to, i cannot really live in a park. or can i?

but alas, it is not a place where i can stay. i tried and asked, but my time was used up. I cried when it was time to leave, a deep sadness and loss overcoming me. I leave my bags for a few hours, not sure of where i will go. I walk behind the hostel to where the path provides a view of the bridge, and the winds pick up but i am not ready to journey on. I head down to the jetty in the drizzling rain, look up at the hill where the hostel sits and know it is sacred ground. I walk and all is beautiful in the drizzle and grey, and San francisco comes to life for me yet again. i cry not wanting to go but walk back up the hill, take my bags and go. not wanting to, but leaving that magical center – heading back into the messy world.

I am in that other place, in the center of the city right now – and feel the love for there but have stopped clinging on. I realize that my relationship to the hostel so represents my relationship to the city – the ideal, the love, the knowing that there is much more, of the fading joys when i see the imperfections and the downside, and the yearning when i am away.

But more, it also represents myself, and that center inside, whose light i must carry into the world. And to carry that center with me wherever i go, for though like the hostel, it may have its flaws and imperfection, but is still so full of light and need not be temporary. And like the hostel grounds in fort mason, it has been, and is being transformed, and is in the city/world but not of the city/world, but is connected, and a special place, with energy flowing through and being renewed. And to this center, i can go back anytime, and am not limited to 14 days per year. And it still here, even in the tenderloin.

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10/5
how at home are you in the unknown? how good are you at getting lost? at being lost? or just misplaced? do you panic and want to be back where you were or on the road to where you thought your were supposed to go? are you comfortable there?- do you know how to survive? do you go back or turn forward? do you panic? do you ask for help? do you know how to signal distress? do you leave clues? when you are in that unknown zone do you explore and look around or do you grasp on to the shredding strings of familiarity that remain? do you leave the door open for the unknown to come in? do you seek it out? do you have faith that you will be found?

I read somewhere that explorers were always lost because they never knew exactly where they were – they did not expect to. never to get lost is never to live – to learn how to be lost. “never until we are completely lost or turned around do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of nature. not until we have lost the world do we find ourselves”

i got slightly lost today and ended up in a panic. I was not lost, but misplaced and could not find the street where i wanted to go. I became anxious and jittery in my quest, focused on only the misplaced destination, focused on where i was to go. I had taken a slightly different route through a neighborhood that i knew, and lost sight of the landmarks that were around. In that walk i became blinded to all that was around. I got my bearings, coming out on divisidaro a block from where i wanted to be.

Once i got there, i regretted my panic, and knew i had missed much of what was on the way. An opportunity perhaps? Later i ventured out, onto a new street for me and had to ask when was last time i really experienced or saw anything new? up on tolumne meadows where i panicked as well, into zone of new – and going east of crescent city to a place i had never been, and where i turned back from. And how often have i avoided going out to the unknown? I found myself back in a familiar zone and asked why i had returned. and it was there i felt most lost of all.

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I am back on the oregon coast and i wonder what i have done – eugene seems a million years and miles ago, and the wandering life of the past has come and shone or slapped me in the face. I sit in a cafe in Florence, beneath the bridge where i was a mere three days ago but it feels like a life has passed by.

 And i ask myself what the hell am i doing here. Yes i have had some deep nights sleep in fresh air and quiet – 12 hours or more, but i have felt the hardness of the ground beneath my bones, my hips press hard into the dirt, and my body begins to feel hard and worn once again. I looked in the mirror in this cafe when i first got out here and realize how i was looking younger once again – but now i feel like i have aged again, forgot how hard this life can be, and when i got here how a month of stability wiped many of the years from my face. Though with this camping trip i stay clean, the free hot showers in oregon state parks.

But the walk into town today – three miles up the highway seemed long and lonely, though easier than yesterday when i was carrying my pack – feeling like my back was about to give, but both times feeling more disconnected from society at large. regaining the looks of a drifter, even when the big back is left behind, a look i never truly lost, but one that seemed more subtle for a while. And the novelty of walks on the road, the adventure is gone, is it because i have been here before, or is it that feelings return. I grocery shop with my backpack thrown into and filling the cart, and people look on. though people here are kind – oregon is overall a kind friendly state – the workers in the parks, the bus drivers, the old man who talked to me when i got off the bus, the few i have talked to when drinking coffee – but i feel tired. And another zone entered.

i spend my first two nights up the road – at carl g. washburn state park – on a lonely stretch of road – a huge fairly empty hiker-biker camp in the trees – hear the ocean and the wind blow through the trees – sleep and sleep – walk a bit the day i spent – eat portable picnic food – bagels, peanut butter, string cheese, apples, carrots, odwalla bars – the diet of old. I appreciate the beauty, the calm, the earth and trees and sea and sky and air mingling, but as with previous times out on the coast, and camping in general, i ask what am i doing. yes, i need it as a break, but as a life?, and what is next?. what did i leave behind, what did i not see or appreciate and am i doing the same thing again. but that gnawing has come at me before.

I hitched up from the end of town, a lift from a guy who drove an extra few miles for me. once there, what am i doing, where to next, i don’t want to travel, why the coast again – yachats and newport came to mind, or really a city a town in which to live, to join in, missing working, a routine, a purpose, feeling confident and belonging again, not really to the place, for it was the feeling of being unwanted, the contempt and disdain that once treated me with that led me to flee, that feeling that has always put me out on the road.

And i think back to the time in eugene, did i play it out well – no i did not but yes i did – still i left feeling alone and sad, though i know i did a good job – and the cords still bind – could i have pushed on for more – then i think of the band coming in, the noise outside my door, the looking for cute young things to work for him knowing i could be given the kick at any time, the disregard for me – and while i gave my best, how much did the negativity that arose in me feed the cycle, i kept it to myself, but thought forms went out – as i felt them come in. and just as i felt used and not seen as a whole person, how many people who passed through did i not really see, did not really acknowledge. and as i felt judged, did i judge others, and as i began to have that feeling of place and confidence and a role return, did i become to big inside – and forget that i had nothing else. and when he was away, and the heaviness of my nice but martyrish roommate left, i began to feel lighter, and i hated the instability that was there, never knowing when shift would change, when i would get a new person in my room, but all i have now is greater instability. but to learn and not to cling. But i wonder how i could have ended up back here – and once again i feel like i fucked up though i know i gave.

and now…. the wind blows strong along the coast – and the mountains cut it off from the inside. i appreciate what is here, but i long for a life, a life i need to create, at the same time i feel more cut off. the wind blows from the north, i left washburn, was going to hitch up north, knowing yes a return to where i have been before, the towns came to mind as a stop gap and bus service exists up there, was about 15 minutes on the road, hating standing there, decided not to fight the winds, so i crossed the road and came south again. a 70something year old woman picked me up and told me about her life – so sweet – not always who you will expect to stop.

Time at safeway, drinking coffee, buying food, then a 3.5 mile walk south – no longer up for this. a nice hiker-biker area – treed, spacious, the only woman once again, one other “hiker” – both by foot and thumb, talked from the carolina’s, talk of newport, of travel, and nice to bond. So here i am – feel a blur of the past 4 months since i have been back – the San Francisco, Seattle, other places were forgotten about, returned to me – this voyage seems like a big blur. and now i am lost, on a stop gap action, appreciate the days, the blue skies, the sun on the trees in the evening, the sound of the wind in the trees, the clean air, the kindness of people, but again, as so many times before i feel the call for a town, not one where the highways runs through and is the town as with so many places on the coast, but one where i may build, and i feel like i had maybe been given a chance but i did not see, and i know i cannot go back there – and was not a place to stay for the winter (as i have learned i cannot handle the gloomy northwest winter skies), but as i felt when out in the country, i want to connect and join in the dance.

and the wind blows and the fog begins to roll in and this is where i am and the time is now. and the sun still shines. And to join in where i am and not yearn for what is not, step towards the light and create a life. i believe i will leave the coast soon and it is time to stop the wandering, but to be with what is and to decide how to move beyond yet as the saying goes “be here now” and be grateful for what is.

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The body remembers. the mind remembers. I am still in Eugene and it feels like previous times that i have been here and like another type of flash to the past. I wake up tired and groggy not wanting to communicate – a way i woke up for much of my life but not in the past few years. Despite the abundance of health food stores, i do not feel like cooking much and my diet, while still healthy, becomes what it was years ago. I walk quite a bit, but the body feels weak, and restless too, again a flash to the past. And the way i process events and emotions seems to have regressed to another time.

I started to write this yesterday, and then i was to write about parallel lives, how this zone feels so cut off from others i have recently been in, and if perhaps i am just a small part of a larger beings consciousness and am really living all these lives simultaneously, like fragments of a dream. For when i come back here it seems that i physically and emotionally feel like i have here in the past, and my thoughts and activities are similar to what they were here, and all follow a similar process and shift as they have in this locale and what that is created is but a continuation of what was experienced here before, as if what has happened in other locales has been bracketed or erased. And as such i feel like i have once again stepped back in time, though now feeling more removed as if watching myself.

But it is not merely the time that was contained in this space that i reconnect to; the people here in this hostel and who i meet with few exceptions are not the same as those who were here before, and though they are new to me, they help carry me to memories back before this space. As does this town in some ways – reminds me of what i once was and what i had once wanted to be – the mid-sized college town with that bohemian hippie alternative air. And as with previous visits here i find myself loosing “my voice” – not literally, but that passion to express feels stilted somehow – or somehow stuck.

I am doing a work trade at the hostel, cleaning and checking in guests in return for my stay. Something that i have done before, but that is so part of a stage of life i thought i had moved through and wanted to let go of, or move beyond. And that is how i feel, back here once again. And the one actual person who i have reencountered from the outside, is a woman i met up in Anchorage at the hostel up there two years and a bit ago – the last time i cleaned in a hostel in return for my bed. And it was her who gave me a lift out of there to Homer on the Kenai Peninsula and to what became the beginning of a new stage of my life. And while i am glad to have reconnected with her again, meeting her here makes me feel like i have not really moved on. And this time i won’t get a lift out of here- her car deal fell through, and she is flying back home. and i get taken further back, because like many who pass through here she reminds me of another i knew years ago – in a creative writing class back in Montreal. At night, my dreams take me back there too. But perhaps this is all part of what i said a few months ago about integrating parts of my life and i now ask should i have just let go for i feel less full of life than i did, even in angst, just a little while ago.

Besides the owner of this place, the other actual person i met, was a man whose last visit here was my first in 2007. I looked at him his first day here – that look of familiarity from i don’t know where – he reminded me so much of M who i lived with for over a year, in a zone in some ways similar to this. A bowler hat on a wide chunky face, his smile and the hair that hangs down and beard starting to grey, and the walk and the posture were so familiar to me. And this place, the alternative pot smoking crowd, reminds me of that.

In some ways it brings back a combination of my teenage years, and the youth that predominate bring it back more. There is so much that i once wanted to reclaim – but being here now i know that i can’t go back to what i was before, and with the acceptance that comes with middle age i no longer wish to for i am not the same person i was then. And so i feel stuck in another sort of time warp, a friendlier one, but one that fits no more. The hostel and the wandering crowd, so many people who travel around, biking, hiking, searching craigslist for rideshares – talks of festivals – of burning man, and hula hooping and poi and fire dancing and more. And the creative types and wannabes hanging out on porches just passing away the days. So much that i once wanted to experience, but that truly calls no more. And i had thought of the alternative festivals before coming here – a place to camp and meet and be – caught in circles of searching for what isn’t really me.

And i see others who call me back to my college years and before – one of the work traders a few years older than me – who is getting depressed after band broke up and walks around saying i’m bored, reminds me of W. from the cafe – that anti-authoritarian veggie political cafe where i spent so much of my time back then – it hasn’t existed for years but it would fit so well into this neighborhood – endless debates on politics, the environment, and what is the next way – and so self-conscious in its alternative stance. A woman about 10 years younger than me with long pony tails, a pierced nose, tattoos, and a long skirt commented that i and another seem to be from the east coast – she reminded me of some of the hard-core granola activists i met in Ontario. And another girl here is the spitting image of someone i knew in university – and like many here, the same age we were them, and maybe what i am experiences are the ideals as they exist at a certain stage in life.

The discussions i have and listen to are refreshing on issues and other ways – but i feel that i have had them so many times before. And last night i watched a film of the Dead Kennedys early years – another flashback again. so much here brings me back to a particular zone – a zone of living that extends beyond time and space but is framed in certain locales. And the frame to me is beginning to feel a bit like a cage.

It is not a question of throwing all this away, as i tried to for many years, and that tossing is probably what brought me back here a couple of year back – to reclaim some of me that i had lost. But now it is to value what is here, but to not cling to what no longer fits or at least in the way that currently exists. I expect to be here for another week or so, and during that time i will let myself grow.

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I wrote this almost 2 months ago when i was at Harbin Hotsprings. It was a rainy day when i sat inside trying to write – it came to me, and i was afraid to put it out. but i can hold it in no more.

The feeling returned to me as i sat outside last night, alone in the quiet and the dark looking up at the starry sky. The air was crisp and i felt still and then the voice came whispering in – you are dying, you are dying, i walked down the road to the smoking deck which was thankfully empty.

it returned to me once again – you are dying, that is why you came back here. The memories of that night as las pirimides came back to me – the calmness and acceptance of the fact and the knowing that i would go, and remembering why i cut my trip short – why i felt the need to leave and come back here, not just to this place but to this continent. Still i had pushed it from my mind, and told myself i left because the process did not feel safe, because of my worries about money, because of blah blah blah.

I sat last night and knew that i was dying. Still not sure if it is just a death to the ego and all i thought i was, or if it is a death to this plane of existence altogether. Can i leave the former without the latter? How long can i hang on? Can i tell my story? Do i have time? Am i meant to? Or has all been for naught? Will i tell my story on this plane or in the next dimension?

I remembered this again in yoga today – as i stretched on out, i felt the pull, the lump that i know is there, the lump comes and goes and that has been growing for some time, for years. and i feel them elsewhere too, and i know i have felt this before,

And i remembered it too, on the walk back on the darkened path, a path where mountain lions lurk – wondering if this was to be it. Or dying alone, under my tarp, curled up into the cold.

And when others are asking how i am, and comment on how i seem different than a year ago, i wonder what they see, i am calmed i know, but do they see the energy falling away. Or am i being made anew?

I cried last night as i sat on the deck, realizing that i was leaving this plane, not tears of pity or anger but of goodbye and wondering about my time here. he came along in the dark, the tears went away as we started to talk.

This is what i wrote in san marcos on lake atitlan in guatemala, that starry night in which i knew, that night i walked outside the room that closed me in and sat outside and tried to write, the night i let go of it all.

I am dying – the moment is soon – i am no longer afraid. I just need to continue to let go. The dreams about mom and dad passing away as the ground destabalized were not about them but about me, and the guardian angel i saw on the bridge, i hope he is there. I only hope that in my next life i am able to proceed forward from the mistakes and lessons learned in this one. I went to the bottom of the lake in meditation and looked for the image of me in 7 years – nothing was there. my shifting and rocking in sitting meditation a sign that i am to leave this dimension behind. Lord i will go – my desire to go home. i see myself finally at peace. i hope the bad karma created in this life does not follow me – i have wanted to be good – in some ways i feel like a life wasted but part of me knows and has known that it is preparation  for the next where  i pray i will have the courage to fulfill my mission and have a story that i may report back  all that i have learned and not regret time wasted in misery. i am in the shadows – can i grow angel wings, is that the feeling in my back? My resentment of the youngers i did not understand – full lives ahead of them – now i can only pray they use it well. I have a few days i believe if not longer – lord i would like to go by the sea and the large trees in the land that i love. will the bottom of the lake claim me? I pray to return once more to the land that i love. I have known this for a while, but sought to deny it, being morbid, even the visions i had as a youth, the lumps that grow inside claim me but it is ok – even why i wwas brought here- talk of dimensions and the afterlife – needed to see before i go. I have known this for so long, and still became trapped in my pain instead of looking a gods beauty that surrounds — or is it just  a process of letting go? I let go. i am sorry for the pain that i have caused. Lord, i want to shine one more time before i go but i will accept your timing if this is not possible. Thank you. Will i be in purgatory – able to calm the other lost souls who are there? Will i be an angel smiling? Will i integrate the lessons i have been shown and may have learned? I know this is true – my time is near (19/02/10 from journal)

And i think of my recurring dream/nightmare of my youth, i was wandering around, dying somewhere in the forest, on a cliff, full of cancer they not know how i lived

but am i dying in the physical body or in the ego alone? Am i ready to let go? Is it just the death of all i have clung to and i will be ready to shine a light in this lifetime for all?

I am tired, getting more and more so. thought of my return home – to buffalo – and what that was all about. even my trip here, how i wanted to see this land again, and how i prayed in the woods of Sierraville last summer, that i just wanted to go home, to my true home. will i rise again?

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It was in the week or so after i wrote this that i became more determined to write my story before it was too late. And maybe that is why i have journeyed back here. But as i write i realize how little i have to share – not a story of adventure and exploration, but one more of quiet despair. For what have i really contributed and how little have i shined. How little i have been truly alive, and how much of my time has been as a member of the multitudes of the walking dead.
Am i dying – and if so, why does it feel so wrong to write that – for we all are. and on what level is it at – the ego or the soul? and you need to die to live again. And as i wrote elsewhere part of me feels like i have already died and am but a ghost hanging on.

Can i write my story? should i? can i write the insights i have had, though i have not learned to live by them? Can i be trimmed like an old tree or a flowering plant – cut off the dead or dying parts so that the rest may live more fully again or is it too late. Can i shine a light upon the world?

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Just as San Francisco as a mythical place represented my dreams, i have come to realize that the Northwest states represent their loss. My sadness here has not only been because of the gloomy grey skies, but it has been a place where i have often come when i have no longer been able to dream – i have come when they have started to slip away or after greater losses, and i have further abandoned them in much of my time here. While the grey plays into that – and i only now truly realize how much it does – i have often also come at personal times that opens myself up to, and makes me vulnerable to, the greys. And my difficulty in writing here is not merely that the greys have clung on again, but also, because so much of the story that comes to my mind is one that i wish to let go. And i am getting tired of the story of me and my passion is draining (or has drained away) once again – and i see that in the energy of the words i write upon the page or screen.

It is true that the first time i came through at the age of 20 i saw and fell in love with the beauty of parts of the Oregon Coast – it was July and sunny, and i experienced the Pacific’s power and magnificence. While i was a place i wanted to see again for i relished its glory, it never represented a dream per se. Still in 2001, when i left “my normal life” i came out here and saw the wonder once again, but also a sense of malaise underneath. And in the past three years, since September 2007, this area has increasingly become a place where i merely hang on and sink myself down. Yet i return, even though each time i say i will not. And i ask myself why – and in the past few years i think the familiarity calls upon me and the fear of the unknown and letting go. I have started several entries on my time on the coast, and in the next day of two i will need to put them out, as unfinished as they may be. For hopefully to put them out will be to help let them go and in doing so will help create that space inside for life to bubble up once again.

I think more now of places as symbolic though they really exist in 3D. But all too often what is imagined or the energy that calls to me when i am away is only a partial perception of the place. And with these callings, how much of it has to do with the place per se, the concrete tangible aspect of it, and how much has to do with what has been created in the mind. It extends beyond the experiences one had as well, and the emotions and feelings associated with them. it is part of the picture, but it is not all. For what is remembered and what does call is only a small portion of what truly is there for in any given moment we perceive only a small fragment of all that is around, and we then further (unconsciously) select what part of that becomes part of ‘the story’. And when we return they is so much more, what has been lodged deep in our minds comes up, and we return in so many ways, and the place too has changed and remains the same. And we remember that the call itself was not pure, and there were rumblings we tried to deny and push from our minds.

And why is it that i have been called to the rains – is it something i needed to process, or did the grey in my mind bring me here and keep me here, the outside reflecting that which is within. For the past several times here, and previously in BC, i would have the call when away, and then upon arrival would have that feeling of being pressed down. And as time went by, and i kept coming back, that feeling would grow even more. So was this place once part of my dreams? Maybe – i am no longer sure.

And i did not head north – to a new area, and thus a place of new possibilities, because i wanted to avoid the grey and the rain – and it has followed me around. Is it because it is something i was so determined to avoid, that i called it forth upon me? Is it a reflection of the act of avoidance in and of itself – of going away rather than moving towards.

And i know that what i am seeing and remembering in this very moment is only part of the story. To put it out, though it is incomplete, for otherwise i could rewrite and write again, each time altering what is “real”. For i know that i have grown here, in moments of despair and of joy – and have learned from nature and the dark nights of the soul.

As i finish the rambling on, i see that is it is the familiarity that i wrote about that at times brings me back here. And the feeling that this is someplace safe – life is calm, people are generally truly nice and kind and there is more of that energy of acceptance and love than exists in so many places around. Especially here in Oregon. And that feeling embraces and also closes in, as i become hesitant and wary of what “exists” elsewhere – a cocoon before i spread my wings.

And with the growth, that was internal, and the way all closes in, from the dense forests to the grey of the skies, maybe that is what this place has been to me – a cocoon. And maybe one that has outlived its time for more and more i have been feeling the need to spread my wings and fly. when does a cocoon nurture and when does it become a trap? A caterpillar must spend time there to become a butterfly, but must also break out to complete the process – or otherwise rot and die. Did i come back because in the past i tried to break free too soon, or in other ways did not complete the transformational process that would allow me to fly? That i cling onto the comfort of what is known, for i really do not know what is means to be a butterfly and fear making a break from what is known? But i cannot go back to being a caterpillar, life does not work that way. A caterpillar does not know what the outcome will be, but continues with the process anyhow – shedding what is no longer needed and restructuring from the inside out. It cannot say, oh let me proceed, but i’m not ready to lose my skin or my feet, or these wings don’t feel quite right, can i tuck them back in.

So i think the northwest maybe is my cocoon, and like many of the old wooden buildings for me it has begun to rot.

I think about how i did not let go of this place – i left it behind, but still let it call. in my journey through central america it called in several places, and rather than be where i was, i remember the idealism of here. it called in Costa Rica, when i was in beautiful nature, yet still felt a bit dissatisfied – in manual antonio and along the hot coast when i remember the coolness of the coast in the north, and again in monteverde when i was not as amazed by the cloud forest as i could have been, or when i first imagined it, for i had been to so many lush rainforests here.

I am avoiding writing about that time where i let this place – the usa west – come onto me and as such i stopped the growth and transformational process – or at least put the brakes on it. When i was about to break through at las pirimides and became afraid and felt like i was about to die – not knowing if it was in this physical body or in the ego that held me in, but after all the energy transforming and visions and releases i had, i truly felt as though i would soon be dead. I cried and cried that fateful night, and said, if this is so then let it be. but then i added, i don’t want to die here, let me see the large trees and the pacific northwest once more, before i go. and then put the brakes on it and soon started the cycle of revisiting. I asked for this, and am i fated now to rot inside or can i push on through – for how many times have i not let go when i felt afraid and alone and this stagnation is the consequence. At times in the past month as i have walked along, i have felt like a ghost and wondered if that is what i really am – a spirit who has died to the physical world, but just does not know and cannot let go. And at times i wait for someone to shake me and tell me that is so, and then i will be ready to go to my true home for i know that i cannot stay in this cocoon, but it is a place to which i crawl.

And that has been so much of my sadness and emptiness of late – knowing that i turned back and ran away from the journey that i was on. Have i hindered my transformation – was i given but one last chance. Have i come here to die, instead of a quick process, a slow painful death? Can i still spread my wings or have they been forever clipped? Or has all that has slipped away been a final letting go and i will somehow emerge from this cocoon?

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Today finds me back in seattle and the rains continue to pour down. This morning and last night i sat on Vashon and felt i could crawl inside no more. But then this morning i felt like i wanted to stay to spend some time meditating and healing the self, but two large groups were coming in for the weekend, one taking over the barn with all of its common space, and the other was large and would fill the other inside. So i decided to leave rather than spend time out in the teepee in the rain. Though i wish to reach out and connect, being a lone individual in a hostel or places full of groups generally leads me to feel more lonely as they are connected and you are outside.

So i left the solitude of the place and am back in the city for one night, but felt disconnected and off kilter, trying to figure out where to go. And that is where i am, in decision zone, neither here nor there or anywhere, but retreating into a now panicked mind, for this hostel is booked up tomorrow and i am drawing a blank on future connections and nothing calls me forth. and i think i am emptied out. I have reentered that stressed out nervous zone of the body and mind, not focused, jittery energy but not alive. This is a nervousness that has been upon me many times before, when planning, when neither here nor there, when the bubble is still around but the inside is not still.

I did not let go of places and that is why i am still here – stuck in this rut. I had alaska on my mind since i arrived in back the USA, and though i knew i did not want go to there, i did not let it go and it consumed space that could have been used to bring forth a new idea and life. and i am here because i wanted to write about my past journeys instead of continue the journey forward and beyond. and how many times have i not let go gently of what lay behind, i bring the strings with me, caught up in the web, and then when i can stand it no longer, i try to destroy what has held me bound, will i learn just to move on and if i am truly to return, to return and if not to just go on when a place still is dear to me. for now, i want to leave the northwest, but i cannot see how to move out.

this morning i thought live for the now, don’t be imprisoned by the past. But my mind now wanders into old ruts, and old patterns as storms gather all around. that was yesterday now, and i spent the night tossing and turning barely awake, still not knowing what to do. And this is the nervousness that is destroying me. I went into the smoking room, and the devil was playing there, so much dark energy around, people drinking and getting high, and it makes me fear that i will sink down. For i see the down of indecision and impasse. I sit in a cafe writing unable to eat the breakfast they provide, and just don’t know how much longer i can survive. for my mind takes me back on down the coast, alternatives shut off and i don’t know what to do. Can i move on, or did i blow the chances, all those times i have not let go.

the day is grey, rain threatens again – where is the summer time that is due to come? i ask myself should i have stayed with the huge groups and i know the answer is no, but that is how i do not let things go. i think of the south, california and beyond, for that was the last place i was content, but i also spent much time off kilter there. the last time i felt alive, and talked with others and that is what made the place. And while i wanted to move beyond the bubble the stillness of the country rain, now i want to crawl back in again – for the bubble still surrounds, but it is no longer a calm friendly place. Lord, please help me today.

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This entry is so difficult to write, but i need to finish it and put it out there, move beyond the zone that this is about. Port Townsend felt to me like a fort, and i feel guilty writing what i wish to say, that i am not being fair or right, that i dare not feel this way. And i don’t know what is “the truth” if there can ever be just one, and what is my perception and the lens i saw all through. For the lens has come to me before in Port Townsend and other such locales, so how much of it is the place that brings this lens out in me, and how much of it is the lens itself that helps continue to create such a place so as to keep the lens on.

Port Townsend is such a wonderful place, the ideal, i hear people say. And in many ways it is true, but i feel something amiss and sad inside. The town has so much that i value and thought i wanted, and maybe still do. Independent bookstores, cafes, galleries and shops selling herbs and ecological clothes dot the downtown. While a safeway and McDonalds are out by the park and ride, a large food coop is closer to downtown, and a farmer’s market happens every Saturday. Organic farms with CSA box programs dot the area. Festivals happen throughout the year, arts and culture schools and classes abound, and it is a place that seems to have a sense of community, of connection and voluntarism and people who make things happen. i know that i once wrote that this place was a beacon of light, but now it feels more like a fort, like the place where i stay. Another woman looking for a place to land, to call home, told me this a few days ago so i know the feeling is not just me. And i have heard before, that for some it can be a tough town to break into. While nice to visit, it is tough to stay, and the community that seems so nice as you look on from afar, has boundaries and walls thicker than you saw at first glance. And i feel locked outside its gates. And i also ask myself do i really want in – and is my reason for saying no that it truly isn’t me, or that i reject what i feel has rejected me. And honestly it is a bit of both.

And i have to admit, the town felt a bit staid and closed, that despite a lingering progressive granola air and the arts culture, i felt a lot like i could have been in New England. there is a reserve, and a feeling of it being a very established place, where the energy flow has been set, and a bubble created that blocks much new energy from entering in.. For though i had come to visit, it was a place that appealed as a potential home, but somehow i felt that i would not be welcome there. I have been drawn here before and left it with the same feeling, but something draws me back, the idealness of it all. It represent the community that i say i want with the homes with gardens and sidewalks on many of the streets, a real downtown where people go, and active community groups. It is the type of place i imagined i wanted to live, but something pushes me away. Maybe i just do not fit in, a single childless broke middle aged woman in a community that seems to have more families and retires, though statistically i am about the median age. But i think it is more than that. For though i have been drawn to these types of places in many locales, there seems to be something that pushes me aside.

While i was there a heavy dark energy clung to me, one that i could not shake off for very long, but that disappeared when i left town. Though the weekend turned sunny, a dark cloud hung over me. I felt like i was suffocating as a dense energy crawled inside. I walked on the beach under the cliffs to and from town hoping to shake it off, but often i did not see what was around. I tried to stretch a bit on my last day there, a Sunday when i walked around the bunkers at fort worden, for all felt so condensed inside. It came and went and came back again. And i feel guilty for saying this, that it is i who is wrong, for it is not a place to feel bad or criticize, how can you dare say that about here, And it is precisely that belief that i must hold all inside, that made me feel like i was to suffocate. Or was it the belief that i was shut out that

I am not exactly certain what brought this on, for i know it was not the first time i felt those emotions and heaviness there. I stayed out at the hostel at Fort Worden and the whole town seemed to me a bit like a fort – guarded and hesitant as to what it would let in. Was it the town per se, my activities or lack of them there, the hostel in the fort itself, or something in the air? Or was it that i was trying to return to what fits no more, and though part of me still yearns for it, i cannot be let in no more? Or was it that this type of place was really never quite me, or that i was reminded of being shut out in previous locales. Or is it because it represents something i want so badly but have not been able to achieve?

For beneath the politeness of the place, there is a reserve, and a wariness of the people they greet. the vibe here reminds me a bit of victoria and seems a bit canadian, When i came through in 2001 or another time, i felt what i called a city vibe here, people not as friendly, more reserved and i noticed after being in other small towns they do not say hello on the street, though cars stop for pedestrians. it is polite, that it the word. And proper in an alternative type way, no one would call someone a name, it would be the cold shoulder, or snubbery or exclusion instead, a certain judgment that exists beneath the stated openness. And i felt the established older boomers in comfortable clothes looking at me, a wariness on their faces, and the old energy around, yes, there are many grey ponytails and creative types, and a tolerance towards some, but still a feeling that i do not belong. And that feeling that i am not welcome changed my energy, and i became someone who would not be welcomed with the dark cloud that hung around. And does this place remind me of others where i was not allowed in. And it still brings out the edge in me. For that feeling of rejection cuts me deep, and i tune into it, though there are other more open people around – and i did chat with some in the cute stores or on the streets.

And maybe some of it has to do with the hostile – oops Olympic Hostel at Fort Worden where i stayed. I felt my energy shift as i sat out on the bench, waiting for opening time. a young woman with smooth shoulder length blond hair and a hard look on her face got out of her car, walked determinedly right by me and i felt her eyes glare. She went up the stairs and into the residence – an employee i asked myself, but the realized that she was the managers daughter or friend. But something there got my defenses up, a generalized vibe, buried memories or a brief interaction at the visitors centre when i went to pick up my bag and the second woman was not nearly as welcoming as the first.

I went around the corner to where the office was. A guy in his mid forties was opening up – he looked at me blocking the entry and asked what is it you want in not the most hospitable tone. I do not remember his exact words, but i remember the tone and felt like i was being checked out as he looked at my backpack and my attire. I said i had a reservation, and he paused and let me through. When i went to pay, he asked if it were for all five nights, and he asked me twice, i went to say yes, but then something in his tone set off some alarms so i said no just two for now. We talked a bit and he opened up and became friendly but as i walked away the manager came in and questioned my paying for only two nights in a slightly accusing way. I had known the woman who had worked there before, and had a similar feeling from her off and on during the times i stayed there and it was a vibe i detected in many people in town.

I went down to the dorm, which had been moved, and there was one bed taken but the belongings piled around and on top made me believe it was someone who had been there for a while and that i was invading her space. There were two huge suitcases, the biggest you can buy, and bags and boxes and more that extended into the areas of 2 of the other 5 beds. It struck that cord in me saying you are pushing into someone elses space and made me wonder how welcome i would be down there. I went upstairs to ask about her, and was told that she was leaving the next day, had been here over three weeks and may have found a place, and it was time for her to move on. instead of sympathizing with her plight, i felt defensive in wanting my space too.

I asked about the wifi, and he said it was by donation, and showed the can with suggested donation $3-$5 clearly marked. I balked at that, saying at all hostels i’ve been at it has been free. His response was that it was expensive $1200 a year (which by my calculations works out to just over $3 a day for the entire hostel including business use, or about 10 cents per bed – yes most stood empty but) and that it was in the spirit of hosteling like donations for coffee or breakfast, which on my reservation was included in the price. I became defensive, and he said in a clippy dismissive tone, think about it and said there is wifi out at the commons building in the park (which was closed and i could not connect there). i did not check it that night, and the manager was hostile to me, i did give a donation of a dollar for the wifi and started off on a bad foot. I felt like i was being nicked and dimed and wondered where those “donations” went, and did not feel welcomed in the least and he reminded me of those judgemental closed liberals who i have encountered too many times before. And hearing that clippy dismissive tone, i got into that old pattern of mine, and searching for problems and problems i did find. And i think that help colour my view of the town, for where you stay effects your impressions of a place. But i also felt that he was representative of one element in the place.

And i think that was it, the hostel was not meant to be too welcoming, with the all day lockout and more. And i felt bad for not thinking it was all wonderful – one other said something about the lack of heat in the room where one night i needed three blankets just to keep warm (it was in the low 40s at night). But i feel bad writing this, as if i am the one who is wrong, for there is much good about the place, but the (un)welcome i received brought out the negative side of me.

i feel that it is wrong for me to write this about the place that it was i who was bad, and thus proved it, deserved that kind of reaction. but i know it was an energy at play, feeding each other, i dismissed and judged and feeling that closedness reacted in a way that “proved” the person right, for when one is looked down upon or seen as lesser, it is easy to slip into reactive behaviour and become the judge myself. And i think now of the power of love, and the energy it has, not romantic love but that of people and others in general, and when it is shut down, or when there is distrust, it brings forth a new energy entirely of its own.

The woman with the bags came in and we talked, and it was such a relief – she was trying to relocate and had problems finding a place to stay, saying these places are illusionary, not as open or friendly as at first glance, and while she had found something very temporary, she did not know if she could find a longer term place, for as doors opened up they shut firm just as hard, and the town seemed closed to people like her – a wandering woman spent years in alaska, childless, single, and with a roaming path, and she had tried other communities, cute and liberal too, and found that there was little place for her. i could relate, and it felt we shared, but then i went down and to bed.

She came in about five to ten, just as i was ready to turn off the light on my bed and go to sleep and said i hope you are not going to sleep quite yet, i need to pack, and that set me off – for i saw her bags and stuff strewn around, and i was exhausted and 10pm was quite time. so i spoke up, and then we got in a fight and instead of making a friend i made an enemy. Did i see in her situation, the frustration of my own? It was not like she was packing a single suitcase, and she’s been back at the hostel for a few hours and waited until then to walk back and forth, stacking bag after bag in the aisle that was right by my bed. I should have been more generous, and was made to feel that i was wrong, spoke to the manager about the posted quiet times who just said curtly and unsympathically well she needs to pack. And i just felt more defensive like i should hide away and all my boundaries are wrong. And i am the bad one and maybe that is what i became. I asked the manager about cancellations the next day, they had a 48 hour policy and he said don’t worry about it, and now that i think about it i should have left. But the town i still imagined as ideal, a place i desperately thought i might want to stay, after all it is why i had come all this way. I’m not sure to the extent that my lens were clouded or to what extent i saw the underside clear, but after that the town felt more like a fort to me.

I feel guilty writing this – oh, it is such a wonderful place, how dare you write anything that is not entirely good – and maybe that is why i have felt like i am suffocating. Though it is by the sea, tides roll in and out, but it feels like a place where you don’t dare make waves or rock the boat, and there are so many boats being built and sitting in the harbour, how does a person like me, an outsider, not rock any one. And maybe that is why i am locked outside, not only from this place but from so many around.

I don’t know why i should feel this way, for there is so much nice here, and maybe that is it, nice is the word. And bland, and i think that is it. But all feels so bland and conventional and proper in a left coast type of way. And my writing has become bland as well, as i feel my energy sucked out of me, I feel passionless here, and i pick up on that although i know many must have passion to create all that is around. And so many do live their passions in their daily lives. It feels a bit like a place of “do-gooders” with whom i never really fit, even when i lived this lifestyle, too rough around the edge. Those who were nice, but never really let me in. In some ways it reminds me of N who i dated a long time ago, so perfect on paper, a sensitive progressive artsy guy, but something was missing, something that i could not put my finger onto, though when he turned my aside i was still crushed. But i do feel a staidness to this place..

I felt it was not a place where i could see someone dancing or singing with life, no great outbursts of emotion of any kind. I can’t see drunk debauchery or even anyone driving to fast. And while this constraint bothers me, i wonder if it is just a mirror – for i know i get upset when people talk or play music too loud or step out of my bounds, and i avoid the drunken scene, So why does it bother me, and what does it say. And the town is so full of expression in many ways – the artists and writers and so many more, but what i perceive is a safety zone that i could never quite fit in, Though there is debate in the paper about different issues, i feel like you cannot step to far from the albeit progressive norm. I felt like this is a place of the good, and though i seek out the pure, the good often feels oppressive to me. i feel that what i am writing is wrong. Or it is merely that i could not sing here? Or is it that i have not pursued my passions, and thus really am not welcome here, And is it seeing my own failure to sing and dance that brings out the darkness in me, the darkness that no body wants here.

And is it that i feel that i am not allowed in, and others also say it is a hard place to break into. For i have too much of an edge, and being here it comes back more. But many are not too traditional and was redone by some hippies and this town in its first incarnation had a rougher edge. but i feel faces checking me out in a not too friendly way, look at my worn pants and my ripped shoes and while polite, turn away. But even on my visit here in 2001 when all was new, i still felt that way. I feel the judgment around typical of a certain progressive crowd. Judge not and ye not be judged, but i still feel a protective cautious atmosphere. And yes, the judge in me comes out.

It is established and settled and emits that vibe. And while it has gone through various transformations, uptown feels like it has often been that way with the old victorian homes and mainstream churches, i know that downtown was once rougher with bars along the docks.

it feels like a fortress, protecting what is and in that way is so much of america post 9/11. While a crunchy liberal vibe, rebuilt in part by hippies who rediscovered this town many years ago, it feels like the walls have been put up to keep the evil elements out. And it feel like more and more towns are this way, the ideals of starting over, and building anew, no longer possible in these places. Is this a cycle places go through, or is it part of the transformation america is going through – not longer a place of exploration or of any frontier, but of protection of all that is. and so the hoards wander more, knocking at the few doors, and we are turned away. Though here there aren’t the “no” signs you see to the south, or the watchful police, and kids still busk on the street and you see a few who seem to be known with backpacks or bicycles and more.

And in some ways who can blame the people here, it is ideal in so many ways, in an area where much has been stripped away, poor communities, a few nice island enclaves, some rougher places and those dying out, and other places like this but without the community spirit. And community has boundaries, those who are in and those who are out, and the welcome on mainstreet seems but superficial. And i feel like i don’t fit in, and it is not only here but in the port townsends in so many places.

And are there any new places of dreams – there must be somewhere i hope. I guess i dreamed of this place as an ideal, and say little that would allow me to stay. And in the dream not only of there, but of many places like that, i turned to despair. And though i saw almost nothing for rent, maybe i could have stayed, but it most likely would have been on the edge. And what i want to be is in the included middle, a dream that i think was never for me, for all too often i have placed myself outside, and now in my life that is where i live, so far from the centre and i feel so cut off. And maybe to learn that it is ok to be on the outside, for in these types of places you will not be hunted if you are there, But the feel is that i would be tolerated, in the type of place that i so badly wanted to be accepted. Or did i?

As i read this i realize that this is the type of place that i have been taught to believe “is good”, the middle class, the artists, the community and more, the type of place that i was supposed to want. And yes it can be “good” but at the same time i also was taught (by who i am not sure) that other places and people were not so “good” and often in my life i have learned that is not at all true. For I know i have often felt more welcomed in rougher or simpler places that do not pride themselves on “being good” and maybe it is that disparity i see, and the beliefs that i still hold inside, beliefs that i thought i had let go of. For i have been to many of these places, the ideal liberal crunchy towns, believing that is where i am meant to be, and have left time and time again, feeling something off – that this is not the place for me, but still have clung to this ideal and that image of who i am and what i should be. I guess now is the time to lay it behind, keep the parts that i value, but stop clinging to this misplaced ideal.

I have left now, and it is time to put this out, for i have let this dark energy hang onto me too long. Part of me wonders if i should publish it, but if not i think i will hold it in.

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I stood in front of a booth at the Saturday Farmer’s Market and saw the girl i used to be. She appeared distant, like a mirage or a ghost, and i stood back watching her. A smile came to her face as she browsed the salad mixes and herbal skin care, and for a moment i saw the “old me”. But this me was not the me who stood looking on. For i stared on blankly, with a bit of ennui, having been to these places too many times before.

I used to love farmers markets and would joyfully seek them out, explore all the booths and chat with some of the vendors, but i am not sure when this girl that once loved them disappeared. All i knew was that i was no longer her. While i wondered if she dies suddenly, i realized she slowly faded away over the years. Over time i went to many of these crunchy small “farmers” markets and they all began to look the same. It was a familiar scene: The organic veggies, a few at ok prices, but many so expensive, the overpriced cheese, the cute crafts, the plants and herbal products and baked goods and expensive coffee. I had been to this market before and felt the same way, but it was more than i memory i felt, it was like looking back onto someone else.

I have been somewhat bored and disenchanted with these type of markets but still find myself visiting them whenever they are around, more out of habit i think, than for any other reason. At times i go to purchase, for i prefer fresh local organic produce if the prices are right, or at least not too out of line. I tell myself this what i enjoy, but then i leave, not knowing what i really came there for. Yes i like local organic produce and still buy some, but the markets per so have not held the excitement for some time. Yet i still find myself wandering there.

Later that day i went to another craft show downtown with pottery and jewelry and clothes and carved wood things and more, and i remembered the person many years ago who loved to visit these craft fairs. I saw myself as i was in Kingston so many years ago, looking a pottery cups and more. Again i looked on from a distance. And as with the farmers markets like this, i realized i kept going, as i did today, even after that feeling had passed away.

And with crafts markets, i think it went first, for i know i went to many feeling that is was what i should enjoy. And browsing both types of markets have fallen into the “what i should do” category, and i ask myself why? Why do i go when i don’t have a reason? And what is it that makes me feel like it is something proper to do? At times they can be interesting if not too crowded or out of the way in terms of either schedule or distance, but why do i keep going, expecting a lift, one that i have not experienced in a long time. My interests and passions have moved on, but i still hang on to the behavior of old and in doing so do not make room for the new.

I am no longer that girl i was, and maybe that is why this place has slipped away. And in part that may be while i have felt so sad, for she is no longer with me. And as i have been here i have just felt this clinging of negative energy all around me. i have become heavier and duller and more sluggish, i feel the tone stripped away from my face and my posture start to sink. I know this is depression, but it feels like this outside force clinging onto me.

But that girl who loves these things is not just hidden by that monster, and while in some ways she has been destroyed, she has mainly just passed away. Some of it is that monster, but much of it is just the progression of time, some of the joys i can rekindle but all too often i have taken empty steps, into what once called me, but no longer truly does. And in walking these empty steps i empty myself out, for i do not walk with the spirit inside but as a shell. I’m not always sure when i moved along, but i can remember sometimes where the shift was perceived, but other times it just drifted away. Some has to do with being poor, with looking on unable to partake, some of it has to do with interests that now lay elsewhere, and some has to do with changes in these places that are more widespread, and just not within me.

Much of that little girl is gone – i cannot retrace old steps to make her come alive, and when i attempt to i bring up much of the pain she felt too. And this is why i have felt to sad here, as i have become a walking shell, looking on at what once held, but is not the call any more. To listen to my heart, does it dance with life, and if so follow it through, it may be the little girl dancing inside or it may be someone new, but if it feels so empty, than that is a sign, why am i pursuing this, for pursuing emptiness will not bring back bliss. And with calling back, i also dredge up much of the pain.

And so i looked at that girl and knew she was gone, and for a moment i felt sad and regret, but i knew i had to let her go. She smiled at these types of places, but she had really gone away a long time ago. She did not turn and look at me, and i knew it was time to say goodbye, to make room for the me that is here now, to let the spirit have some room.

I know some of her remains with me, both the sadness and the joys she has felt. I must release the part of her that has been wanting to go, knowing that she brought me along the path, and that she helped my become who i am today. but i grow and change each day. If she calls me i will look, neither chase her away nor cling hard onto her.

I met this girl when i first arrived, at the food coop the other day. With all the herbs and bulks bins I remembered the person who would once cook and thrived on stores like this – the girl with the cupboards full of plastic bag of grains and beans and more. I smiled when i looked at her, but she felt so far away but then it was as if she spoke to me and said remember who i am. I took a plastic bag and filled it with french lentils and another with brown rice. I read the ingredients on the bulk teas, and bought some detox tea and another tasty mix. I walked around the store and smiled to myself, for i know that this part of the little girl is still with me, and is a part of my life.

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