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Posts Tagged ‘vibe’

Reticence

It to me a while to put my finger on the overall predominant vibe in this city. it is neither friendly, nor unfriendly. If you approach, people are polite, but even in tourist places, i feel you need to work to elicit information, and even then all is not given, and nothing extra is offered up. It is not unhelpful, but it is not helpful either. It is not forthcoming. It is reticent.

You have the feeling that people ignore one another or turn away, and while this can be common to larger cities i feel it is more pronounced here. That there is more a “putting up” with others, and an unwillingness to engage, probably due to the underlying divisions in this town. Most often is seems that people pretend that others are not there. In any case, the overall vibe is not welcoming, it is not unwelcoming, but it does not welcome. It neither smiles nor scowls, but either stares blankly or turns away. The “excuse me” in places can be clipped as if to accidentally touch were a sin. At times i feel the truce is uneasy, with an undercurrent of disapproval and judgement running beneath the surface in many directions and a wariness of others can be felt. But people coexist, and in that sense get along. Yes some are friendly, service is polite and I have yet to meet someone who is rude, and one on one i’m sure many do interact, but my overall feeling is that beings are closed and energy does not flow or connect.

Or perhaps it is just me, and i have put up my own shield of reticence, which as i think about, it one that i unconsciously use – and so perhaps i am here to see what it looks like shown back at me (again). I know that i have retreated here, and often fail to engage, and often am not forthcoming myself. I try to reach out, but find it more difficult to do here, for it is not something i see all around. i find i withdraw from the place around and feed the cycle. And i see that although the energy it closed, it still flows in a sense, for any energetic matrix ‘encourages’ more of the same, and closure can feed closure as much as openess and feed openess.

Am i projecting this vibe, or am i really feeling what it there? A bit of both, i believe. I know that what i write is not false, but i also know that it is not complete. The overall vibe of reticence does exist, but i also see people engage. I see now that i am atuned to pick up on this reticence and let it feed that which exists within. I do not know if i can change my patterns here, but at least i have become more aware. In that sense, i am thankful for being here.

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A vortex? A cesspool that draws you in and pulls you down? No, the swirl is slow and the motion unseen. A puddle of thick mud, like in the remains of a forest after weeks or months of rain – verging on quicksand, as you slowly sink, pulled in bit by bit, your boot caught in the thick goo that does not want to let go. And you look around the path you chose, and see no way forward or back, and the trees do not appear as vibrant as they once did. And that is how it feels here in Eugene – and i know i have been writing this for a few weeks now, but my feet are still stuck in the mud. And it is easy to stay though i know that i will soon need to yank myself out, or perhaps i will be pushed by a great force. Just when the trees close in, a bird cheeps or the sun filters through and it lulls you, lulls you to sleep.

Or maybe it is not a mud puddle, but a magnet, pulling you forth, holding you in place – a place that is familiar – too familiar – not only in the form of this town, but in the energetic matrix that it is. And it pulls at me – the like attracts like – and a part of me of which i wish to let go – for it is holding, holding on, and that is what i have done all too much, and possibly why i came back here. And what i see in so many around this place – the aging hippies and many more.

But there is a gentleness about the place – a place where people are allowed to be – where the down and out and wanderers are allowed to live and be – where they/we are not hunted down and persecuted like in so many other locales – a part of the fabric of life in this part – and in that way shows a more accepting kinder vibe. For eccentric is normal here, and the boundaries break down; some spread their wings now outside the societal cage, while others who could not soar far beyond, sit on the ground with broken wings, but avoid the plight of the factory hens.

Still, the place seems stuck to me – or maybe it is all just a creation of my mind – but i so much feel the 1980s here transported back in time – of how i lived or wanted to, way back then, the whiteaker the small city version of the ideal my rose coloured glasses saw back then – i could flesh this out, but i will repeat my words that have been written before – and perhaps that’s it, for here i feel i repeat a life that was – no not repeat, but look on and watch, for connections and the pull to it really don’t call me forth. but i am still here – observing and looking on – and the feeling of disconnectedness returns.

Memories came up a few days ago of times of my youth – the music, the clothes, the partying that is around and more. For a few days before i felt my energy loosening up and letting go, lighter and so connected to the all, but once that came up, my body stiffened and energy returned to places inside of me. May it flow through it once again.

Last night an “art walk” in the neighbourhood where i stay – so little really on display – feels worn out and just hanging on to me; the crowds were not, and those who came through had that look as if they were seeking something more, something that was not to be found.

Back to the magnet – i ask myself how long do i stay and what is it that is to be processed through. For i had not wanted to come, on several occasions in the past few years, dread has arisen as i thought of a return to this place – but strongly wishing to avoid something puts out as much energy as strongly wishing its manifestation.

I know the time is now – if time really exists at all. The zone that is here transcends space and time – for i have returned to it many times in many places, and Eugene is just one of its manifestations to me on this earthly plane. Or maybe all is created in my mind (last night as i sat out back listening to the band, all who were there looked familiar, as if i had met them somewhere else before in slightly different human bodies, but playing out the same old scene)

If i am to leave this vortex or mud puddle what must be transformed is the energy inside – so that the pull truly disappears. For there is a comfort, like that of a couch in front of a tv when you have a cold. to remain for a while in order to heal, not force yourself out too soon, but to get up and move about so you don’t become a potato in the dark soil.

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I feel a sucking energy here in eugene – one of lethargy and complacency. Maybe is it the laid back vibe that so many others value, but its underbelly shines me in the face. My age perhaps – too old for this – or see the partying that has gone on too long for many, and the eyes of those for whom it might be a passing phase. The smell of pot wafts around and there are so many disorganized lives – or glassy eyes from the few beers that turned into an all afternoon into the night thing.

It is a college and granola town, and now that school is finally out – late here in the middle of June – the town is quiet and eats away at me. The slacker vibe and maybe that is why i am here – for my life in the past few years has been that – i now clean a hostel and check quests in in exchange for a dorm bed. And the slacker vibe has come into me- yet i too cannot lift myself out, the bed with the noise that penetrates the walls and the highway or factory that can be heard slightly below all.

And i find i no longer relate – a lifetime ago for me – one who irritates and i am twice her age – the festivals, the bands, and that no longer hold it for me and have not for a very long time. It is comfortable but does not inspire me.

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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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