Friday, November 23, 2007

Fri, Nov. 23, 2007: Adventures Worth Sharing

The other day, I was talking to a friend who asked me if I have had any adventures worth sharing lately. This made me wonder, what makes an adventure worth sharing? Who defines whether or not an experience is worthy? If someone uses their breath to tell a story, does that make it worth telling?

Maybe not. My stories are interesting to me, but perhaps that's just because they are my experiences. Lately they haven't been riddled with the drama and pain like they were when I first moved out here. I like the stories about everyday life better – maybe because they're easier for me to live. My adventures lately consist of roaming around the city and discovering new places and people, starting up yoga classes and searching for artistic outlets, and the endless debate in my head when I find myself in the middle of an evening with no plans. Maybe these adventures aren't as entertaining, but I like them much better.

Adventures come in all shapes and sizes, from entertaining yourself in line at the grocery store to moving across the country. Perhaps it just takes a little more imagination to see the adventures in the little things. Or, perhaps I am the only strange person who thinks that the thoughts in people's heads are interesting. But I don't think that's the case. In the words of Ani DiFranco, "Somebody's gotta be interested in how I feel, just cause I'm here, and I'm real". You said it!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sun, Nov. 18, 2007: Monaco Thanksgiving

This Sunday we held a Thanksgiving dinner for our household, since a bunch of people are going home for the holiday (myself not included. -_- ). So I figured I'd take the opportunity to introduce some of my roommates!

Here are Max and Jack, displaying the fantastic pie that will start the trend of No Baking Soda baking.

And here is everyone, seated around our dining room table. Well not quite everyone, I'm missing since I'm taking the picture (obviously), one roommate who scoffed at the idea of eating Thanksgiving dinner with us, one roommate who was in a Best Cashier contest at work, and a Brazillian man who loved Max! And I think that's everybody... it's hard to keep track around here!

These people are, in order from left to right: Evelyn our landlady, Travis from Reno, Jack from Maryland, Bill who has traveled the world to climb mountains, Max from New Orleans, Troy from Kentucky who has the same car as me which is very confusing, and Tommy who is Evelyn's significant other.

While setting the table, I discovered that you can see the most beautiful sunsets from the bowed windows in this room. There is even a smooth stone ledge that you can sit on. I think now that this new place of beauty has been discovered, I'll have to visit it often for winter sunset viewing in this cozy house.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sat, Nov. 17, 2007: Synchronicity

((Present Day: In the past few weeks, I have been presented with more coincidences than I have in quite some time. One perfect example of this is a text message I received from a friend this morning asking me if I wanted to go hiking in Matthew Winters Park. Of course I said yes... I was planning on going there today anyway. :)

Regarding my question of where my "beginning" lies, I now like the idea that it is in the dreams kept in the center of my heart. Maybe it's not the beginning of the place where I felt I lost my chain of coincidences, but it is the beginning of me. And after all, that's where my existence and experiences come from; it's where the chain begins.))

* * * *

Ever since returning to my hometown after living at Brushwood, my life seems like it was locked into an incredibly strong current of coincidences. It seems that I met the right people at the right time and had experiences in such a way as to raise me along the crest of this massive wave which swept across the country and crashed upon Colorado, washing me into this room in Denver. And now I find myself like jetsam tossed onto an empty beach: what happened to the current? Where's the water? Where is the random person taking a stroll on the beach that day who sees the top of my head peeking out of the sand and takes the time to dig me out, starting the flow again?

It's as if I was crossing a vast canyon along a set of monkey bars suspended above it, and I now find myself dangling from the last bar thinking, "Where the hell did they all go?" They just... disappeared.

In one of my all-time favorite movies, The Princess Bride, Inigo states that he was told by Vincini to "go back to the beginning" if things fell through. This phrase was in my head all day and I paid it little attention, until mid-afternoon when its importance hit me. What is my beginning? Am I supposed to return to wherever this flow was lost to pick it up again? Maybe if I retrace my steps, I'll discover that I missed a turn in the monkey bars, and if I take it perhaps it will help me to move forward again.

For once in my life, moving forward doesn't mean trying to find a guy to be with. Moving forward means making friends, trying new things, making a point to have things I know I love to do in my life. Maybe there is a guy somewhere on the beach to come and pick me up, maybe it's a new best friend, maybe it's nobody and I need to dig myself up and take a walk to discover a volleyball game in progress just beyond the slump in the sand where I was buried.

So, as I like to do when I have something on my mind, I hopped in my car and headed toward the mountains. While driving, I wondered where I can find my beginning. Does this mean where I was born? Where I met my ex? The first places I visited in Colorado? That would be his house, and since I have no desire to be creepy and stalker-esque I voted against that. What about the first place we traveled out here... Vail? So I headed to Vail.

It was twilight when I arrived, and I was surprised to find only a little bit of snow on the mountains.

The little town looked so warm with its shop lights on and Christmas lights adorning the buildings. I wandered around the streets for a while, surprised by how empty they were. I guess there isn't much of a reason to go to Vail unless you're skiing or hiking, and the snow conditions and time of day seemed to work against both.

On my way out of town, I crossed a covered footbridge which ran over a small stream. Mmm water. The mountains are this solid, hard, unmoving mass that just sort of sits there on the earth. But water, it has life. It moves and twists and bubbles, and sometimes sits patiently in a pool while insects fracture its surface, waiting for the sun or the earth to absorb it once again. When I think of the ocean in comparison to the stillness of these mountains, it seems like a dynamic living organism. I stood there with my chin on my hands, resting on the edge of the bridge, and watched the water as if hypnotized. Behind me passed groups of people speaking many languages, few which were English. It felt so good to breathe the fresh air, bundled up in my coat and scarf, my ears filled with the beautiful living sound of water passing beneath me.

There was no epiphany, I'm still just as buried in the sand or dangling at the end of the monkey bars as I was yesterday. I still don't know where to find the flow, or if I am still in it and am unable to recognize that fact.

My sister told me that I should act like a dog, so wrapped up in happiness of the present moment that nothing else matters. There is something to that... that, and thinking less. Think less, act more, and don't care about anything except what's going on in front of my face. Maybe there hasn't been enough of that since I arrived out here.

So let me re-frame this scene: I am buried in the sand up to my neck, but my head is free and alert and half warmed by the sun, half shaded by a kind palm tree. The ocean is a distant glint on the horizon, but if I listen closely I can almost hear it as it throws its tiny waves toward me. Much closer water sounds eminate from what must be a nearby stream or small waterfall, there is plenty of wood lying around to make a shelter, and I have confidence that there will be recognizible food sources.

It seems I have everything I need, I just have to dig myself out and take advantage of it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Weds, Nov. 14, 2007: Feist-y

((Present Day: This little piece of my blog sums up a happy time for me. Ever since my turning point at One Tree, things just kept getting better and better.

I recently came across a quote by C.S. Lewis that really struck a chord with me: "Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." This blog probably won't change anybody's life, or alter the course of a river, or even flutter a butterfly's wing in China: but it was never meant to. It's just a way for me to tell my story, and concerning myself about whether people find it ordinary or extraordinary isn't my purpose. My purpose is to tell my truth, to share the world the way I have experienced it, to share the beauty of the things I have encountered in this place. In doing that, I have come to realize that my experiences are unique even among other travelers; people may look at the same thing or share the same moment but come away from it with different thoughts. The way that we perceive our world is determined by the qualities that exist within us. Realizing that I am unique, and that I like the way I see the world, has made loving myself something I do now without thinking, without questioning. It's become a constant in my life, and one I have been seeking for all of my days. Maybe it has yet to grow into something even more beautiful, but right now I'm just proud of the fact that it exists as a characteristic within me.

It's snowing outside my living room window right now, and the entire valley is covered with a gray-white fog. I can barely see the hill with the "G" painted on it, but it's beautiful all the same. The wind is dancing with the snowflakes, and the edges of the buildings below me are softened by a dusting of powder. Snow has an incredible capacity for bringing beauty to everything it touches. I think that's because it covers up the harshness of our modern world and turns everything into soft indistinguishable pieces of nature. I have yet to find anything that's immune to its influence. ))

* * * *

Tonight I headed to the Ogden Theater to see Feist with one of my roommates. As I was watching her capers up on stage (that would be Feist, not my roommate), I realized I was surprised by how confident and comfortable she seemed. Based on her music, I'd assumed that she would be somewhat awkward and shy. I thought to myself that I liked her much better when I thought she was awkward, the reason being that I can relate to that.

Then all of a sudden, as I took my eyes off her and felt her beautiful music entwining me in its presence, I realized that I was disappointed by real-life Feist because I am jealous of her. I'm jealous that she has the bravery to wear her heart on her sleeve, painted in her own words, and shares her emotions with the world, unashamed. And she is definitely not shallow; her music goes deep. To be brave enough to communicate what lies deep in her heart, to overcome the fear that making yourself emotionally vulnerable sparks within you, that is what I envy in her.

Seeing her up on stage, presenting herself with calm and confidence, made me realize how far I still have to go. It's strange, but she really reminded me of a direction in which I'd like to grow - towards confidently communicating my emotions. This realization is completely in sync with some things that I have learned about myself through astrology lately, namely that being able to confidently (Leo north node) express my emotions (Gemini/Cancer cusp Sun sign) is exactly where I need to go. Although it hurt to feel jealous of her, I'm really glad that I had that feeling so that this could finally hit home for me.

Apparently there have been 1,000 views of my blog - woot! Some sort of anniversary party is in order or something.

I stopped counting for a while, but I have been in Denver for almost exacly 4 months now. I have also been single for 4 months, which is almost a record for me since I started dating at 19. I've spent the past 4 months wishing that time would pass quickly, to move me away from all of the sadness that accompanied my move. Now I am at a point where I'd like it to stop moving for just one minute so that I could wrap my head around this crazy place. I'm scared of life moving so quickly, of looking back and thinking, "where did it go?" It's right here, and I think I'm finally ready to start living in the present again.

As a side note, I have been laughing all day today. I'm not really sure why, but it's a REAL laugh, not whatever has been coming out of my mouth for months now. It's the laugh that you feel in your stomach and bounds up to leap off your tongue. I mentioned to my roommates that my laugh has returned, and one of them said that a couple of my roommates were talking about my laugh once, and concluded that the "essence" was missing from it. I couldn't even feel self-conscious about them talking about me, because they were completely right. There have been a lot of things missing from me, and a lot more that are still inside of me but misaligned or disconnected. I think that things are starting to fall back into place. I'm definitely not out of the woods, but today is the first time that I have seen the light beyond the edge of the trees, and it was beautiful.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sun, Nov. 11, 2007: Another Peaceful Week

I haven't been up to a whole lot of note-worthy nonsense lately. :) Just hanging out with friends, relaxing, and doing a lot of thinking, which is not very unusual for me.

On Friday night, I went out with friends to see a band play in Evergreen, one of my favorite areas out here and somewhere I can see myself living if I stay in Colorado. The drummer of the band (who played fantastic funky percussion and made my heart cry for the sweeping symphony of drums at the bonfires of Brushwood) is my friend's boyfriend's uncle. It was her first time meeting some of his family, which was pretty neat to experience. My brain said to me, "See? There are some guys out there who actually want a girl to be part of his life, not just an accessory."

Today my roommates and I had a giant leaf-raking party. While raking leaves is definitely not one of my favorite chores, I have to admit it's not too bad once you've had a couple of drinks. My life is sort of hilarious right now; sometimes I feel like I'm in college again. There was jumping in leaf piles (obviously), assaulting each other with stuffed-to-the-brim contractor's bags full of leaves, tackling my roommate who tried to trip me and tickling him till he couldn't breathe, and leaning back into the full bags of leaves with drinks in our hands, lazily mulling over the possibility that the roommates climbing trees would need us to call an ambulance. There are times when I wish that I had more space and more privacy here, but days like this make me so happy that I chose to live in this house.

To my friends in CT, I'll be home from the 21st to the 27th of December for Christmas (Yule for me) - hopefully I'll see you then!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sun, Nov. 4, 2007: Tea, Frisbee, and Sunbeams

This weekend was wonderful, because it was the first weekend I've had since I got out here that I wasn't trying to fill; it filled itself naturally. It wasn't dramatic and I didn't experience a million road trip epiphanies like I usually do. My days have been peaceful and warm (both in heart and in temperature), and thoughtful as well since that introspective, analytical part of me never wholly shuts down unless I'm sleeping or meditating.

Here is a picture of one of my favorite neighborhoods in this city, and where I currently hope to live next year, providing I am able to continue living here.

Something deep inside of me is purring like a kitten because of this weekend. Among other things I went out to dinner with my friends from Connecticut, went to a fantastic bar with my roommate, lazed around with a book at a coffee shop the next morning sipping tea under a sun that was deliciously strong, twined myself up pretzel-style on the surprisingly cool grass, sunbeams playing on my shoulders, and watched some Frisbee, and went out to dinner with friends again.

How awesome and normal does that sound?! Perfect to me. I'm finally starting to settle in and it feels soooooo good.