Friday, June 27, 2008

100 Thing Challenge

Oh, yeah. It's on.

I was poking around the Web this evening and found this guy who is doing this challenge to only own 100 things for one whole year.,9171,1812048,00.html

So, given the unique opportunity I have to slowly, consciously and deliberately move items from one living space to another, I've decided to give this a go. Why not? I seem to always desire a challenge in my life. And I do have a desire to live as simply as possible, and this sounds like a reasonable however arbitrary place to start.

A lot of people seem to ask, "What counts as one thing?" A pair of shoes? Or the category of "Shoes" itself? I don't know what it means to me yet. It was recommended to simply start first by setting out an intention or a vision of what I would like my life to look like. Then as I go through the stuff, keep aligning myself with my vision of the way I want to live, and decide if that thing in my hand can support me in that.

I am hoping to find a way to incorporate the box of paper journals I have kept for years...I would like to type them up and get them published. I wonder if they'd be useful to anyone...well, hmm. Best I start with the vision, and go from there.

"What is the vision you have for the life you want?"

Simplicity. A simple life, that is uncomplicated.

Peaceful success. A space to come home to where I can unwind, work through my struggles and celebrate my acheivements and transformation into a physician, a healer, and a lover of life.

Space to breathe. Time to breathe. Space and time to enjoy space and time.

"What do I need for this space?"

Well I will start with the things I'm obviously attached to, and then try to talk my way out of attachment to them:

1) the car -- it gets me where I want to be, and slightly essential for a student who lives 14 miles from school and 8 miles from clinic. Although I am very hip to riding the bus, I am not quite ready to ditch the car.

2) the bedframe -- I'm a fan of this bedframe because it doubles as 6-drawer storage. No need for a dresser with this baby around.

3) the bed mattress -- Yay for comfy mattress.

4) pillow

5, 6, 7) stuffed animals from childhood -- nostalgia and the visceral sense of safety is a hard one to argue with.

8) Clothing -- oh hell. If each article of clothing counts as one item, then I'm basically fucked. Let's see if I can break it down a bit.
* hats
* t-shirts
* clinic clothes (what if I limit myself to a few outfits? say 5? or maybe a few cool combo things...)
* shoes
* the bathrobe
* flannel jammie bottoms ( I can get rid of all but one of these, I'm sure)
* scarves
* socks
* sweaters/ sweatshirts/ jackets
* topic

9) Books - it's almost unfair to make a medical student count each book as a separate item. One kind of doesn't know what kind of resources they'll need in a few years, a few months or a few hours.

10) the computer

11) the papasan chair

12) the desk

13, 14, 15, 16) bookshelves -- is this any hint of how many books I may have? no fair.

17) the medical bag and all of its contents -- this just has to count as its own one thing. there's kinda no way around needing the 20 or so items in there.

18) For a couch, I'd love to purchase one of these:

19, 20) coffee tables -- one for writing and eating and using the computer on, and the other as an altar in the bedroom.

21) my drum -- can all my shamanic stuff count as one thing? I can condense it...oh dear this is getting challenging, I can see.

Things that fall into the "I-may-need-it-someday-as-a-practitioner" category

9) Books -- see above

22) the massage table

23) the manip table

the other option was to give away one thing a day for an entire year...I wonder if I could do that instead...give up 365 things in one go. maybe I'll give that a shot. Perhaps I'll try doing both during this purging process, and hopefully my efforts will psh me through towards a new way of thinking about the stuff I keep in my life.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why am I moving?

Why am I moving?

I have been asked that a lot recently. I have more positive reasons than negative ones, for sure. The positive reasons are neat: my friend will be next door, there is private garden space, the place is small and cozy, and I have the time to move in slowly, picking the things I really want to take and be very conscious of what I am taking and why. And very consciously releasing that which I am choosing to let go of.

The negative reasons are, well, negative. The foot traffic around the place frankly has me nervous: I feel generally uneasy about walking through my own neighborhood, and I hate that. I get hollered at when I work in the garden. I get ignored or glared at when I go to the dollar store. The car speakers rattle my windows. I have walked through police lines to get home. The cops are always circling the block. Hoodies like to collect on the other side of the street, dropping their wrappers down the sidewalk. I walk through the neighborhood, and feel the possession within the houses: there is some nasty shit that had been called up and is lurking throughout the houses in this neighborhood. It kind of hurts my heart to live here, because I don't feel strong or safe enough to protect myself as I become more and more of my authentic self.

I feel like I have failed this place. Like I was brought here to help heal this place, to clear it out, to help heal and beautify the neighborhood. Instead I just kinda dumped my stuff here: some of it is still in the boxes I packed up over a year ago. And then I wonder if that is my own sad delusion of grandeur and martyrdom. This is a sick neighborhood, one that is possessed and one that is at war with itself and with "progress". Me living here doesn't melt away injustice or poverty or prejudice. It doesn't erase sexism, classism, or racism. Especially if all I do is either be at school or be inside the house. Maybe that's why I came here. To readdress all of these feelings and expectations and senses. These are all familiar feelings I had growing up in Miami. And what I have learned is that I don't have to live anywhere when I don't feel comfortable. I know that often I don't feel comfortable and I blame my environment for it. I know one day I would really like to settle down and find a place that I totally am in love with and would stay there forever. I don't know when that is or will be. I guess I was kind of hoping it would be this place, and I wonder if I gave it enough of a chance.

This house is in transition as well, as is it's tenants and owner. Everything is changing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

the beginning of the darkness

it is a new day dawning
outside my window

it is the first night
of the longest day of the year

from here on out
we plunge into darkness

it is the beginning
of the descent into darkness

it is a good morning
and I say so to the clouds
collecting luminously above my head
emanating gentle blue intensity
and purpose

the rose is opening
more and more each day
the gift of a gift
reveals itself deeper
each moment
as each day passes
the light sings grace
and night whispers faith

our hearts are being held beloved

after watching 14 consecutive episodes of "24" in one sitting...

contrived entertainment
that breeds hypervigilance
suddenly everything is important
even Facebook and open windows

is it silly to desire escape?
selfish to indulge?
manipulate my creative force
into whatever you would have
suck on it
my attention serves no purpose to you
it is all my own
and i give it over willingly
to you
the screen
the machine
convince me of your perception
of my naivety
rock me back to sleep
within unconscience
it serves you none
it is simply what you are
teach us to use responsibly
and with intention

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Creative Family Love

So it's time to write today. It's been an easier, gentler reminder since I've changed my homepage to the blogger site.

Today was a day of slowness. There was all the time in the world to be taken. I rushed for maybe half an hour when I thought I was going to miss a bus, and then I wound up being twenty minutes early for it. Lazily I crocheted a baby blanket on the fifty minute bus ride to Kirsten's house. We loafed around there, taking time for conversation and music. She and Will and I stopped for coffee and sweet treats on our way to Tamar and Sarah's baby shower. Our friends were there. My family. And there was sweetness and laughter and comfort and space and support and all kinds of yummy food and delightful children and so so much to be shared.

I do love a list. On a morbid note, I used to make lists of who would come to my funeral. Today, to honor the sincere joy I felt today in having remained alive to experience this day exactly as it was, I'd like to make a list of my "family", those who were present today that impressed upon me all the love and care and sweetness aforementioned.

Tamar Blau, Sarah Berrier, and Little Boy Blau-Berrier
Bill Walter, Margot Lovinger, and the fabulous Elliot Graham Walter
Kirsten and Will Schaeffer
Matt and Katie Carlson
Ryan and Melissa Campbell
Elias Kass
Wendy Hueners
Ryan Robbins
Akiko Kato and the little angel Kazuma
Phil and Rebecca and Xara

My brothers and sisters, I love you. You make my world safe and rich and my days worth living. You are a blessing to my life and a light in my heart. A light I carry close as I traverse the darkness. A light that guides me to a place I call home.

Monday, June 16, 2008


is this some kind of joke?

i identify with the tortured poet
the homeless wanderer
the dejected street punk
rebeling against all things community


there is room inside of me for all of these things
i can be anything
so who am i then?

anyone i want to be?

do i have to choose?

only for the sake of others
they confuse easily
these humans
who seek consistency
when there is none to be had

someone said

create nothing

if you do, it will stick to you
follow you around
bite you in the ass
as others lay waste to your dream
to your creative being
we are all so fragile and destructive
ignorant and asleep

what is this place I am in?
what is my role here?

who can connect in a place as violent as this?

I need help, spirit
i know you know this
i don't know what i am doing
aside from my fierce independence
rearing her ugly head
looking around for acceptance
and support

therein lies fear
if i am truly who i am
then i am by default

which fire shall i throw this one into?

what will it take
for me to fall in love
with myself?

i whisper sweet words of passion and joy
to myself
the words fall on
ears that doubt
and breasts that repulse
you do not know of which you speak
you have been mistaken
silly little ignorant schmuck
youre a clown
a fool
your mask is a pretty one
yet unimpressive



Poets of war
gather now
amidst the blood and smoke
pine for me
fawn over me
convince me to stay
for your party
serve sushi and chocolate
off my naked body
seduce me into believing
i am special
and especially for you

what would that mean
to you?
how do i serve you?
with my innocence
with my labial connections
perhaps i should start walking
and see you follow me
down the dark alleyway
everything is illuminated
in time
and time is its own
darkest secret

what hearts speak of
fairy tales
and connections beyond the trees
the same hearts that speak of love
and solidarity
and all things beautiful
what rubbish they spew
what deceit
what lies
who told them the truth
what is truth
but a commitment to a perception
there is no such thing
as truth

what hatred lies beneath the pinkness of my skin
what vile acidic treachery
who will i be when i truly step foot into
the toxicity of my perception
what is there to gain
by turning and embracing the shadow?

i am beginning to think
that it won't magically disappear
like they say in the fairy tales
yet here she is
present on my doorstep
wanting to come in and play

the place is already a mess
so why not?
I'm not interested in impressing her
more than id rather entertain her until she is tired
and requires rest
perhaps i can choke her in her sleep
violent even for me
i know i cant
i am too curious
in her inner process
wretched bitch that she is
she is here until she is ready
to show herself the door

the rapids are rising
and moving faster, so they say
we are to lose everything
whatever that means

what palpable doubt i experience
what clear perception
like the glass shards like rain upon me
in the crisp memory of a cold
blue day in Tulsa
looking up
feeling my lungs being ripped to shreds
and my intestines boiled alive
as i walked hand in hand
with my grandmother
around the swan lake

nothing seemed sacred ever again
it all changes
it all falls apart
what is dependable
is only independence
and chaos.

my lungs recoil at the memory
i thought we had been through this
why are we here yet again?
can't you get over yourself?
you don't want to be this person
i have never wanted to be this person
and yet here i am
this person
can it be ok now?

how about now?

a poet as a physician
a charlatan
spirit you are writing this through me
what are you saying
to the world?
why did i come first for you
and no one else?
oh is it true?
or just me interrupting your flow?

we can dance all night
you know you will win
i will tire
i will always tire
before you

i am exhausted and refuse sleep.
i am mourning the state of the world.
its blackness drips out of my heart.
i am a toxic product of this planet.

What was i thinking,
coming back here?
Did i really commit to so much agony?
What good is this doing
for you, Spirit?
what good is this doing for the planet?


i am begging you

get me the fuck out of the (your) way

i cant do this alone

i don't even know what I'm doing

its so clear that you are driving

and I am simply in the passenger seat

with no seat belt on

trying not to vomit

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thoughts and Musings of June 15th

I just wanted to write.

I thought I'd continue using my recently neglacted online journal for a change. I type faster than I write, and it's more legible, too. Besides, my intention is to put just about everything I write onto a computer at some point anyway. My hand doesn't cramp or misalign. I can think and write simultaneously. I can read what I wrote. So many good reasons to type up thoughts onto an online journal.

But no. Not today. Today my computer wants me to delete temporary files and cookies instead. I've only go an hour to write. By default, I grab an old notebook and begin scribbling.

What I wanted to write about was moving.

I'm taking part in this ceremony called Wilderness Quest.

At one point, our teacher Sarah explicitly stated for us not to make any significant changes in our lives, such as breaking up with a partner or changing residences.

So, in response to that, I am moving. Moving out of my space into a new one. It's just up the street, really, only abot a mile away. There are more trees and space in between houses. More privacy, I guess, and more sunshine in the form of windows. A small private garden with an established trumpet vine and a bench and some patio chairs. Exposed beams.

The space I am in now is great as well. Mostly. I've never been 100% happy here, and I've wondered if I'll ever be 100% happy anywhere, really. The place I'm in now is so big. Almost too big for me. I can't seem to fill it. There's extra stuff in here, and not all of it belongs to me. Maybe I'd be happier if I had gotten the space cleared out, but oh well. It is full of unfinished projects that I would like to have the time and the space to do. There is also a lot of foot traffic outside my place. People lurking about, clearly up to one thing or another. Men gathering on street corners. I get hollered at when I work in the garden or walk down the street. The cops are constantly patrolling the block. It doesn't feel safe, and I've decided that I don't have to live in unsafety if I don't want to.

The place I am moving to is smaller than the space I am in now, which is encouraging to me. I wish to flush a bnch of stuff out of my life, and here's the perfect opportunity to practice letting go in a big way. To discover where and in what my loyalty lies. And my friend lives in the pther part of the house. She has an intention of creating communal artspace, and weekly arts and crafts days. A-ha. Time and space to create with people. Perfect.

This is what I wrote about it this morning:

giving up stability for a dream
uneasiness rests on either side
it seems not to matter
whether or not action is taken
there are always challenges
and discontent

there are always trials
and tribulations
no matter where you live
no matter what you do
no matter who you know

Damn, Life is annoying at times

And what should be the focus
within the annoyance?
What should I resort to
instead of apathetic dissonance?

Art? Love? Peace? Prayer?