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Posts Tagged ‘life force’

Redwoods – june 10,11?

land of the trees

I am in the redwoods – i made it here – to the land of the ancient giants. The sun is going down and i will soon sleep beneath these trees. As i walked over to the hiker biker camp, here in Jedidiah Smith State Park, where i was a year ago, my right arm began to move – circling on its own. I walked back along the empty road, me and the trees and the ferns below, and it began to move again on its own – a circle – as if dowsing some energies here. I ask, what energies lay in this place, the zone of the trees by the smith river.

I have entered into the land ruled by trees – first the forests inland – as i crossed yesterday from Klamath Falls to Medford, through a land of lakes and trees in mountain zone, and today as i headed out here – but now am among these ancient giants who dwell in this narrow zone. And the hotsprings of this morning, and the town of this afternoon seem so far away in both time and space. On the bus riding through the beautiful land of hills and trees i felt lonely once again – lonely for an area also lived in by human beings – a land where all live harmoniously, I am back in California, but somehow it seems to me more like oregon.

A giant downed tree trunk sprouting life, not only moss, but plants and leaves and other trees growing on it as it decomposes. As it is all around, life growing from decay, life growing from life, a cycle to be completed and renewed.

the cycle of life - from death and decay sprouts new growth and life renewed

Thin soil covers the earth, hiding the rocks beneath, the spirits that have not yet emerged. The high canopy of the redwoods blocks out much of the sky. This zone is contained, life on the surface, between the above and the below – neither too visible, and not the focus, the focus is on the life that sprouts, that is, the colour of green, the colour of plant life form. It forms a bowl or a cocoon, not from the sides like valley walls, but from the bottom and the top, and you cannot see far, the vista is short, for forest surrounds.

I feel small and insignificant beneath these trees towering above, and their girth is wide. I am surrounded by the living, and i am just a small part, i am so small. There is so much here. it presses in. like a city in some ways, but so different, but the pulse is strong, all emit energy and the dance is dense. I feel small in a different way than when i travelled across the deserts a few days ago, on the train, with little life and green to be seen – the earth and the sky so vast, so large, and i, the train, so small, so little breathing life, so little dancing around, the above and below in full force. I longed for the dance of life on the surface, and now it is here, i longed for trees, and now i am in their land.

Redwoods Towering above

I sit beneath the redwoods. although they are not the only trees here, it is their land. The narrow strip in which they still grow, where they remain, looking over the land and us, providing a zone where the other plants may thrive. Where they may thrive beneath the guardians of this land, beneath those that have witnessed so much, who communicate between earth and sky. They are the survivors in this small place, in the groves that have been preserved, only small patches of what once was. For so many have been decimated, in the early days, chopped down with eyes for profit and their use. It feels lonely and heavy. The sun, now giving way to clouds or fog, does not shine through and the eye does not see very far.

I am back to the zone of the familiar- returned to the shore once again. I lost sight of it for a while as i went inland and above, but now i am back, and i am not sure how i feel. The route is known and the intensity is gone. I have come back down, closer to sea level once again, I leave the park, to go to the store, one that i know is there. I have been on this road before, going the other way.

I feel the life around pressing in – as i need not process it all. I know where the bathrooms are, where so much it, and realize that i feel similar to how i felt before, a feeling i had forgotten about when i was out of this locale. Two kids hitch on the road in front, how small and insignificant we appear but in such a different way than in the desert with broad spanses and vistas, and a seemingly lack of life – the bare earth, the sky and us. Here is it the life forms that are much greater – trees and ferns and salal and more – both the earth and sky hard to see, for life abounds, and we are just such a small part of it. Life on the surface that is so visible, all manifesting into form, all manifesting so large and grand.

Ferns are some of the oldest life forms around, and the redwoods are ancient trees, which once lived in so many other locales, their range now limited to this narrow strip of land. Here ancient forms are still alive, ancient life continuing on into the present, living in the here and now – not merely emerging from rocks and stone. All becomes manifested into the 3D. I feel the density of it all though i am 10 miles inland, out of the deep fog belt of the coast, where air condenses into a thick haze. Here the element of water, of emotions, is so present, though now the sun shines on through.

The life i called forth – life in the trees, where the life of people is in harmony, different elements dancing together. Here the plant life grows in harmony – it is us who can seem out of place. It is not merely the redwood trees, but the diversity of life forms – the ferns, the sorrel, the moss, the rhododendrons, berries, alder, salal, trillium and more that grow together, intermingle, give each other life. we focus on the largest, the tallest, but they are all part of this zone, they all are part of the intricate dance – a dance that includes the animals and birds, and yes, today, us.

The sky is now grey – much more typical of this twilight zone, this zone where the giants thrive. I walk around, no people about, myself and the trees and the plants, green live thrives, lush and magnificence. All forms in denseness become manifest – in morphological fields. It is a twilight zone – i imagine dinosaurs roaming around, giants of the past, and wonder if they still do, invisible to us now. All feels so old and enduring, the past living on, clinging on, taking hold. I remember the petrified forest in Arizona, huge logs turned to stone, all dry and barren, with fossils of dinosaurs and ancient forests about, destroyed in some great cataclysm. I remember that place that felt of life destroyed, and i remember this images that came to me the last time i was here, of waves seeping over the land.

For now all life is showing, the life that remains. It is green, more green than i imagined, the green that i so yearned for, the green of the heart and of life. Still it feels heavy, pressing down, so much energy caught in moisture, and what has become form. Thought forms hang on, emotions come alive, energy condenses in bodies and in my joints, even the redwoods have burls. And i am a small part of this all.
Mosquitoes fly around my face, a nibble here and there. I feel insignificant – then i look at the tree stumps, those that were cut down, and i see how much power (wo)man can have, despite our size – how we have cut so much of this down. A mosquito bites again – i remember their power – able to cut us down – malaria, dengue, west nile and more. how they can cut us down with the poisons that lay inside, that they transmit, that have taken hold in them. size has little to do with power, and as another bites, i realize i am just a part of the chain of life. I sleep beneath the trees once again.

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I am suffocating here in Salt Lake City. It is not only the literal breath that is harder to grasp, but the life force that it contains.
I have been here a week and the initial fatigue and more difficult breathing that hit me when i arrived has dissipated quite a bit, but the lassitude remains, and the richness of the breath is still elusive despite the breathing exercises that i try to remember to do – and here i often forget.

At first i thought it was due moving up to a higher altitude, and i know that has played a role. While Salt Lake is not mountainous per se, not as high as the elevations listed where altitude sickness normally can begin, it sits on the plateau that lay between the rockies to the east, and the sierras to the west, at an elevation of about 4200 feet. The air is thinner here than on the coast, and when i arrived i could feel it – the lack of density and pressure compared to what i knew, and i could feel the energy changing inside.

A fatigue has overcome me since i have arrived. I go out each day, but do not have the energy that i feel i should, and tire more easily. others comment to me on how i could be feeling tired because of the height here – is low compared to much that is around, but still is high up, and you forget about the elevation as you sit in a wide flat valley with mountains around.

I wrote this a few days after i arrived, when i knew my fatigue was not merely the aftermath of a long night spent on a train and sitting in stations after i arrived at 4am, throwing my sleep off synch.

There is more to it but i know the elevation or altitude of this place, and perhaps its dryness plays a part. though altitude sickness “does not occur” until several thousand feet higher, at least according to most websites i have found, i am experiencing the fatique, the pulses in my head (which i do not call headaches for they are interesting but do not hurt) which have abated but came on strong for my first few days, and the feelings of dehydration despite consuming fluids and more, and i have felt off kilter at these altitudes before – and i know i could feel the altitude and felt weak the first days when i went to yosemite valley, whose elevation is a few hundred feet below where i sit in a wide valley right now. and i know i have felt my body change when i have been on this plateau before.

When i left Yosemite, and Midpines, which sits about 1000 feet below, i considered going to new mexico or colorado and wondered about the elevation there. I wondered if it would agree with me, something i forgot about when i bought my ticket here. or did i really? – for i know it nagged at the back of my mind, but i dismissed. At Yosemite, i did not want to climb up, and wondered if i were meant to stay further down, and in the highlands around the valley, i did truly feel off. I think about my trip to Central America and how much i slept in Guatemala, and how sick i felt in Xela (though much of it was the tourista runs) and wonder about how sensitive i am to altitude.
But still i do not feel that it is just the altitude per se that makes me feel this way. I remembered times spent in Banff, the highest town in canada at about the same elevation, and how i loved the feeling of the mountain air, how crisp and fresh it often felt when i arrived there. And i thought of leaving Yosemite the last time, on how when i got to Monterey i drank in the ocean air and felt a shift inside, but had not in Merced or San Jose, inland towns at low elevations where the air just seemed heavier to me.

The air is thinner here, and i find it difficult to hold onto thoughts and feel scattered as well as fatigued. I think about the heaviness i felt at places on the coast, and how all manifests more easily in the fuller ocean air. On how energy gathers and at times stagnates within, but also grows, like the fullness of the plant life in that area. And i know the dryness of this place affects the quality of the air.

The air here does not agree with me; it feels thin and heavy at the same time. Though it has changed since i arrived on a rare cloudy day with a bit of rain, it still does not feel healthy to me. The air now feels heavy, dense but still thin. It cloys at me, differently that the dense air typical of the coast, more like the air of the valley in merced, or those sunny days on the coast when the air feels bad, or back in buffalo that one day. A brown haze is visible beneath the blue sky. This is a valley, and the mountain walls serve to hold the air within.

I read about air pressure and density – trying to make up for my scientific ignorance. I discover that while the pressure is lower at these altitudes, water molecules in the air decrease its density, and heat increases it, so maybe that is why the air feels heavier to me again. And the haze, despite what the pollution counts say, the air does not feel clean. I discover that in the winter months an inversion can hang overhead giving this area one of the worst air quality ratings in the country, even making LA look and smell good – but it is the fall. The day is warm and dry without a breeze. The air feels stale and stagnant, trapped in this basin, and i feel something clinging inside. While the air feels lighter in some respects, it cloys with a heaviness in others – and i wonder what it contains. I try to breathe deeper, but part of me does want to let this air in. 

Now, some of it has less to do with the physical qualities of the air, and more with the emotional and mental – the vibes that are around. And here there is a conservative aspect to the culture that feels strangulating to me. Last sunday as i sat in the tabernacle listening to the mormon tabernacle choir performing for their weekly broadcast, it struck me as how constrained the voices felt, as if something was being held back and in. I remembered the donny and marie show which i watched in my youth, the only glimpse of mormons i had, and how saccharine it was, and how much here feels that was saccharine, an empty sweetness, a tinny shallow song. And that is the predominant vibe i feel here – one of constraint, of not living fully, of holding in and back. Yes, the city is nice, very nice, a well planned grid with tree lined streets, clean and safe and nice and conforming. While i am not going to get into my impressions of the culture in this post, for several cultures seem to coexist here, i feel an overall lack of liveliness here, of excitement, and of deep expressions of joy, and i feel held down. The suffocation that i feel is more than physical but mental, emotional and spiritual like i am holding in and back, and needing to hide away. Some of this is not unique to here, for i have felt this heaviness in many suburbs and staid towns, but there is something here.

I overheard someone comment on the prozac quality of many of the perky mormon women around, so i decided to look it up for i felt that too, but not merely among the women at temple square, or even mormons, but that hollow cheerful vibe, or just a plain old hollow closed vibe, struck me in many places. I discovered that Utah has the highest rate of anti-depressant use in the nation, and one of the highest rates of suicide. Debates rage as to the reasons, with the demands for perfection according to a given ideal, the conformity and need to put on a happy face and not speak of problems in the mormon culture is often cited, but there also seems to be more to it.

There is a shallowness, of breath and life. I think of the Great Salt Lake which gave this city its name, and how shallow this salty inland sea is. And i wonder what is given off with its evaporation. Does the salt suck life from us as it does moisture from the snow? Is the air filled with positive ions, not just of built up electrified city life and air pollution, but from nature? Am i in withdrawal from the high concentrations of calming and uplifting negative ions to be found near the oceans and waterfall? Is there something larger in the air or in the earth? This is a desert; is it a place where people are really meant to live? What happened here in the distant past and what energies still linger here?

The area does not feel right to me. I read of high suicide in other nearby mountain states, those with the highest altitudes in the nation. But there is more and i feel it but do not know it, something much larger at play. Is it the Great Basin, and the history here? Chemicals in the ground and those that have been released? Something about the lake, much saltier that even the atlantic ocean, a place where little can survive?

I take a breath. I have written something. I will not hold back. Despite these feelings, or maybe because of them, i see another reason why i came here. The feeling of suffocation is familiar to me. i have felt it time and time again – that feeling that i must hold back and in, that feeling that i dare not dance, that feeling that i dare not speak or write what is true to me, that feeling that i must wear a costume that does not fit. I need to breathe in that breath of life, exhale, inhale, and fill myself with it, and share the life inside so that all my breathe. I fill my lungs, it takes more effort here, i do not feel that all this inbreath contains is healthy, but with a breath we take in all. I exhale, letting the breathe go, releasing, and hopefully transforming what does not belong.  I feel what i am breathing in, and i now can name this feeling and release it. i breathe on.

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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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Last night before i went to bed, i charged my cell phone, my digital camera, and this computer – the things i have acquired in order to live in this society. And i thought about how much electricity and outside energy i require in order to live. Yes, all are battery powered, but still must be plugged in, as they serve to plug me in, in order to work, to be recharged. I thought about the stale or dying energy i have felt around in some of the towns, and in ths country as a symbol if not in the real, and i wonder how much the two are linked. How we as individuals and as a society have become so reliant on outside energy sources, and do these sources take away from ourselves.
I felt a drained energy in many around, not just the poor or those who have been battered down by life or who work and work until they are exhausted and spent, but among those in expensive clothes and styled hair, driving new cars and “living well”. A flaccidness in the body and spirit. As i rode past fast food joints, and walked into a few where cheap dead “food” served in stale air, i thought it could be our “food” – and yes it can be – and how we add so much more to have energy – the coffee fix, an energy drinks, or vitamins and natural supplements, and how so many overeat and are still not nourished, are still hungry for something, the food not providing the energy we need.And that is true, but it is more.

And as i walked down a street, the only pedestrian amongst a slew of cars and SUVs, i thought that it is the lack of using our bodies, of slowing down the energy within. Later, i went along the shore, along the bike and walking trail, and again the next morning, where there are people of all ages and sizes, walking, jogging, running, biking, for pleasure and for exercise. Yet, while i partake, and move my body and mind, there is something more.
(this is an unfinished entry – something i will write about again for i know that the “enhanced” energy we use in our lives – electricty, wifi etc impacts us all on levels that we are not aware of. I have now entered a different energetic zone, and my thoughts are following a different pattern. I have gone from the flaccid energetic zone in Monterey to the more chaotic energy of Santa Cruz. And so it makes me aware, that energy exists on many levels and with so many qualities.

I wondered if i was projecting this energy by my thoughts and feelings, or if it could be the phase of the moon or positions of the planets, but i have felt similar feelings in these locales before. Could it just be energetic memories that are claiming me and the way i perceive? To a certain extent that could be so, but i feel there is something more, a pool i am entering into, of something larger that is contained in place, a dominant vibration of a place – or perhaps one of several dominant vibrations but the one i tune into.)

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Pacific Grove feels old. It is not merely the age of the people but the feel of the place. Few children are to be seen, and grey hair predominates but it is not that. It is an energy to the place, one that feels stale and stagnant, not rushing and moving like the ocean nearby. The main street is cute, independent restos and bakeries and little practical and it reminds me in some ways of a new england town. Yes, with warm sunny air at this time of the year. Trees line the boulevard and small upkept cottages with gardens and tended lawns line the side streets down to the water. But there is a conservative air to the place, one that makes you feel that you should see tweed despite the warmth of the day. It is nice, and nice is the best word to describe it.
Maybe it is the heritage of the place, its beginnings as a methodist camp, a town that remained dry for many years despite it proximity to cannery row and the drinking there in days of old. A liquor store now sits on a corner on main street, but the staid feel remains. Maybe it is the conservative dress, loose jeans on older women and loose tshirts and fleece. And there is a flaccid appearance among many who walk or even jog by on the water – not necessarily fat or old but loose skin, not taught as energy has slipped away. Yes, many women are post-menopausal, and i sensed that energy, but it is not always part of aging, for among them you see vibrant souls though the bodies appear worn with time, and you also sense the old slipping away energy in some that are chronologically young or middle aged.
It seems to be a safe community, one where you can sit or walk your dog in the middle of the night, though you may be questioned on what you are doing, that you are not posing a danger. But it is safe, but a safety that feels constrained, like life is not bursting out, not dancing with joy – no a middling contentment, and one that lets energy slip out.
There is life nearby though, and flowers and trees in town. By the water the dunes are a riot of colour with yellows and oranges and a variety of purples as wildflowers bloom. Seagulls fly, harbour seals swim and watch the people and sit on rocks by the beach where water is calmer, and further out the water speaks with waves washing up on the rocks.
In the afternoon, at the point, lovers point, life dances or more truthfully picnics, with families with kids playing, and barbeques going, and people talking and laughing, many latinos or other immigrants or tourists, the languages vary, but there is joy on a sunny saturday afternoon. Four blocks down and a different world, and different than it appeared in the morning.
The energy in the downtown, a cute downtown made me sad in a ways for it is an energy i have felt elsewhere on the coast, in my time on the oregon coast, and when i was back east closer to the great lakes and in the rust belt. And it makes me feel the slipping of america, the energetic force fading in the search for comfort and security and safety and predictability. I do not sense a zest for life, a can do, we will make it work somehow, in some way mentality that i sensed more in central america and maybe among those who have come and now work the low wage jobs here in California. Is the flaccidness the physical manifestation of complacency. But it is not just that for there is good – clean streets are maintained, walking paths, parks, space and safety and a sense of beauty and aesthetic appeal. It is smooth, not at all rough around the edges, smoothed out and bland and calm. It is proclaimed as an ideal community, and maybe it is, but to me it seems frozen in time.
What is ironic is that it represents the peace and quietude i craved for so long on my journey through bustling places of noise, chaos, smells and movement, of life lived loudly and to the extreme. Is is possible to have both life and serenity?

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My energy has returned and i feel lighter once again – in early – a return from the zocalo (center square) here in Oaxaca where all is alive – music plays on a stage with dancers, people gather, children play with the helium balloons in the multitude of colours and shapes that are for sale, other young children sell chewing gum, candy and individual cigarettes. It is a tourist show to be sure, but it is alive – vendors selling corn – elote with mayo and cheese and lime and spice, and hotdogs and more, and tables line the wide walks in front of the restos on 2 sides of the square. Smiles abound and life seems lite. And tomorrow there will be more – special event of some sort. The cathedral with its sculptured facade and domed ceiling on the other side is fairly empty but i and others wander in and out – is grand but not as ornate as the Santo Domingo church up the pedestrian street – gold and baroque and saints on ceilings and all around – overwhelms, decor wherever you look to remind you of the saints and god though that church was full of tourists and the holiness temporarily seemed secondary – but it was alive and i forgot my camera so could not snap a photo at 6pm when the setting sun shone in and lit the gold. I stopped in another plain church for a moment, and after the grandeur of some i also see the beauty in the simplicity – keep your mind focused. and the streets are alive, and life is good. The time is now.

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Prana, chi, the universal life force is in the air that we breathe and surrounds us, is in us and runs through us. What of enclosed spaces, of places where the air is contained and does not flow? Some of these places can be powerful or even sacred – a special valley, a grove of trees, or the inside of a church or temple where worship of the divine has built up over time. But others contain not the divine but a stale energy force, one that needs to be swept out, and refreshed with new life carried in upon the wind. I think of “sick building syndrome” in the many sealed offices where i have worked, not only from chemicals leaching out from all, but from the breath of despair that is recycled constantly.

In some places energy seems to flow through more rapidly, while in others it is more contained and still. Sometimes it feels like the energy within grows, shines, intensified, and others it just seems to move along so slowly, at times like you are in a time warp or so.

I started this entry month ago outside of Buffalo, in Western New York in a place where time seems to move slowly, low rolling hills, houses along the many country roads set up in grids twisting and turning. I do not know if here it is the geography, but a sense of settledness, little new coming into the area, but that is for another entry.

I have been spending more time indoors, in a quiet house, where little seems to flow through, riding more in cars than in busses.

Containers – the narrow valleys that you can not see out of, place like Seward AK where i spent a summer, on Resurrection bay, encircled by mountains, on way in by land, one by boat and cannot see beyond. Others thick walls, sanctuaries that hold a special energy, versus the Oregon coast when it rushes through, not stopping or pausing. a huge storm

I update this in Antigua Guatemala after having passed through so many containers, in different countries – the first on this journey in Orosi a valleyto more recently lake atitlan and each seem to hold energies and emotions and histories. And as you leave each you have left something unique, and held. i will update my last container, the lake in my next entry, but within each container, there is yet another one, from the self to a room, to a home or hotel to a town or city to the lake – the boundaries are defined and fluid at the same time and when do they melt down?

I think that areas ringed by mountains, that i have often chosen to visit, the highland towns recently, offer a special type of container for you cannot see the horizon or beyond the boundaries and are more contained.  The seeming solidity of the mountains holds in the energy that is created there, and less flows through, all becomes intensified like noise in a courtyard surrounded by concrete walls. Still, we come and go, as does the wind, blowing it on to elsewhere in fragments, for all is interlinked.

Containers vary in the permeability – some are flimsy and much flows through, but none are solid for even the oldest stones are not.

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