Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sun, Nov. 30, 2008: Human Ocean

Sometimes I get these bizarre flashes of thought about human beings as a species. This one came to me like a sweeping aerial panorama in a movie, showing me hundreds and hundreds of busy people moving along a city street. Hundreds of spirits communicating with the world and each other through bodies, their perspectives shaped by the movement of the world as it flows around them. We are an endless sea of constant change, always moving and surging and ebbing.

Always searching.

Sometimes it's easy to feel alone in this, but I'm not - none of us are. How can we be alone when we are seeking the same things? Companionship, love, friends, people to laugh with and let us know we are cared for. Someone to validate our experiences and emotions. Someone whose arms around us make everything else in the world drift away. Someone to help us to be strong when we feel weak, to make us laugh when we are angry, to help us feel whole when we feel hollow.

How can we ever feel alone when these common desires are a singular thread that weaves itself in and out of every human existence? Yet we do.

It's so sad when a kiss is a distant memory; when you forget what it feels like to have someone hold your hand or to be on the receiving end of the look and smile that make you feel like the only person in the world. I think of all of the times I had these things and took them for granted, and it breaks my heart. I think one of the biggest things I've realized lately is how much I wish I had appreciated them more, because love is not something that likes to be taken lightly. My last kiss was the wind blowing my hair against my lips, and my last hug was me curled up with myself under my comforter, nestling my back into the empty bed next to me.

I'm at a point in my life now where I don't want to be with just anybody. In fact, it would feel like a betrayal of my self to be with someone if I didn't think he was the one I've been searching for. But sometimes being single... just... sucks....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fri, Nov. 28, 2008: Water Seeking

I woke up this morning with several ideas of places to visit floating around in my head, and for once let the weather guide me in the direction of my adventures. Lake McConaughy was the only spot I looked up that wasn't snowy today - sweet, I would go water seeking! There is an area north of the lake that is completely covered with tiny bodies of water that I had been investigating on a map a couple of weeks ago, so I figured if I finished at the big lake and there was still some light I could head up to the little lakes.

I haven't been out to the prairie since my drive back from my parents' house this summer, and was happy to be filled once more with awe of the big blue sky.

Driving away from the mountains, I could see them behind me looming over the prairie, with massive snow clouds hovering over the mountains, and the endless bright blue sky lording over them all. Their dimensions fit neatly inside of each other like a set of stacking dolls.

I experienced many forms of water today, and the first was a fog stirred up as the clouds kissed the ground at the top of a hill. I drove in and out of clouds until the prairie deposited me in the paradise of its golden openness. Flocks of birds crossed the sky above me, the shapes of their formations mimicking the slow motion outlines of lake waves.

While speeding across Colorado and into Nebraska, I found myself thinking about the types of people who I met when I was on the dating website: the guys who don't like to read, the photographers who told me I should let them take pictures for my blog, and the guys who just wanted to tag along for the adventure (and fortunately, a couple of cool people. :) ). The guys who don't like to read obviously didn't have anything to say about my adventures, since they didn't read about them. To the photographers, who all offered to take pictures for my blog, I tried to nicely explain that my blog isn't about having perfect pictures to document my adventures, but more about me sharing the way I experience the world. (On that note, why didn't any writers offer to write my blog for me while I took pictures? I kind of wish they did... I would have started hooking them up with the photographers... XD). To the guys who just wanted to tag along for the adventure, I said nothing. I know what it feels like to want to find somebody who makes you feel alive when you don't know how to make your own self feel alive: I used to feel that way a long time ago. I'm not interested in someone hanging on to my tail feathers and dragging me down while I'm flying; I'd rather just find a partner bird to sail through the clouds and brush down along the treetops with. I'd love to find someone who is already filled with life, not someone who wants to use me for the life I am filled with. As I thought back about some of the guys I have dated, I realized that was exactly the case. And it's exhausting to have someone hanging on to my tail feathers....

At one point during my drive, I idly thought to myself that it would be nice to interact with some local people on this trip. I wondered if it would be fun to trade stories and information about the places we know. As I wondered why I haven't spoken to people on my trips, the little voice inside my head spoke up and said, "that's because you haven't needed their help yet". This thought will become significant later....

Lake McConaughy pleasantly surprised me with its size - it was actually lake sized! The rocky bluffs that surrounded much of the lake reminded me of the ocean along the coast of Maine, and I was filled with happy memories of the times I have spent there while I picked my way along the lake's edge.

There was a lower side of the lake as well, which was smaller and seemed much more peaceful.

The day was still early, so I decided to head up to Crescent Lake, the first of the many tiny lakes north of the big lake.

The area was really interesting and strange: all those tiny lakes were dotted among the dry prairie. I would love to know how they got there and what keeps them from drying up in the strong sun.

Shortly after I took the picture of the windmill above, I made my big mistake of the day... or at least, it seems like a mistake but I'm not sure it was. I saw this neat lookout tower and wanted to turn around to climb it... and picked the absolute worst spot on the entire 60 mile stretch of road to turn around. To make a long story short, I got myself stuck in really deep sand. As in, I was stuck off the road AGAIN, after swearing not to let it happen after the incident on Oh My God Road last winter. Well, I told myself as I kneeled on the ground, digging the silky soft sand away from my tires, at least it wasn't snow this time.... On Monday, two students in one of my counseling groups were enthusiastically reminiscing about a trip they took to Florida a few summers ago, and how soft the beach sand was. I couldn't help thinking of their words, and wondering how the sand in the middle of Nebraska got so flippin soft!

I was frustrated and scared when I realized that my car was completely stuck and I would need someone to help me. (Also, I have no idea what the designers of my car were thinking when they designed the tiniest pocket of all time for my jack to fit in... thanks... I couldn't get it out at all. o.0).

Ok so... help. I packed up everything I thought I might need for the next couple of hours (that's about as long as I had before the sun set), and stood outside my car for a minute wondering which way to go. I heard a dog barking from the north, and figured that where there's a dog there must be a person.

As I walked I was feeling pretty nervous about finding someone to help me, but took a deep breath and looked around. I was surrounded by beautiful grassy hills and the road stretched out before me like a narrow driveway. To my right was a female deer, and as I watched her she began to gracefully pogo herself across the hills, all of her feet leaving the ground at the same time as she leaped. Boing... boing... boing... and, nervous as I was, I started laughing at her little head bobbing in and out of view.

That's when I suddenly began wondering if people reach a place in their growth where idle thoughts are no longer idle, and all thoughts are speaking with intent to the universe. I realized that my musings about wanting to talk to a local, about wanting to go for a walk in the prairie, about wanting to enjoy a beautiful slow sunset, might be about to come true.

And they did. The barking of the dog set me off in the direction of the ranger's station, which was luckily only about 2 miles from my car. I made it most of the way there, walking in beautiful peace beside the riot of sunset colors dancing in the clouds, before a huge truck (YAY!) pulled up and asked me if I was the owner of the car that was stuck. I said yes, he invited me in and introduced himself as the ranger. This water I encountered as the flow of life.

His parents were in the car and we chatted as we headed back to rescue Philippe. It turns out they're all from Kansas, though the ranger most recently lived in Alaska. He told me that the tiny lake area covered 40,000 acres, and the 24,000 acres to the east of the road we were on was free land for anyone to walk on wherever they pleased. He told me that there is a type of endangered plant that grows only on the bare sandy hilltops of the area, and that the hilltops used to go bare naturally when the bison would travel through and graze the area clean. Now they are trying to use cattle to simulate the process. We talked about the grasslands of Kansas, and what it's like to live in Alaska in a place that's only accessible by plane.

Pulling my car out of the sand took all of 2 minutes, during which I searched my head to see how I could possibly give these people enough thanks for not only helping me out, but allowing me to keep my dignity. :) The best I could think of was to shake their hands and look them in the eyes while saying "thank you" and meaning it from the bottom of my heart.

Back in my car, I was relieved that I wouldn't have to spend the night sleeping in my front seat, though I was looking forward to having a campfire in the middle of the road and watching the stars. >.> (I have a bundle of firewood in the back of my car in case I ever randomly want to have a campfire. I told someone that once. They thought I was kidding...).

My drive continued through the land of tiny lakes, taking me past herds of deer and cattle, and flocks of pheasants who liked to take off in front of my car just as I was passing them. The sky grew dark just as I met the main road, and I drove across Nebraska singing at the top of my lungs with relief.

But still... I WAS disappointed about not seeing the stars. Towards the western end of the state, I found an exit that dumped me onto a tiny country road. I bundled myself up and left my car and... my heart melted into the sky. I started crying and laughing at the same time as I looked up at the most beautiful sky I have ever seen above me. The land around me was absolutely pitch black, and the sky was pulsing with more stars than I've ever seen in one place. The Milky Way cut a bold path across the middle of the stars, and somehow my "thank you" seemed to mean a bit more as I shouted it right into the heart of the galaxy. There were so many stars that finding the familiar constellations became a challenging game, and the sky and I played it together until I was too cold to stay any longer.

As I crossed the border into Wyoming, the ground became wet and the sky grew overcast. This water I encountered in the form of rain, which seemed to begin just as I crossed the border. I've noticed that phenomenon several times out here. The state boundaries seem so arbitrary, just straight lines drawn in the middle of nowhere... but if weather changes so close to them... does weather happen in straight lines?

Somewhere during my trip across the southeast corner of Wyoming, my heart stopped singing. I'm not sure exactly when I noticed this, but it was a shock when I did. My heart has been dancing along, singing its happy little song to itself... then all of a sudden, it was singing nothing. Not even a sad song... just silence. After the beautiful day that I had, with its happy ending, I couldn't understand why my heart would become silent. I still don't really understand it. I just know that it makes me feel very sad, and a profound sense of loss.

The final form of water that greeted me as I approached Denver was a terrible snowstorm, which was basically a white out north of the city. As I drove closer to Golden and the beautiful foothills, it turned from white out to magic. A song that I like came on the radio and I started singing a little (I'd been singing all day but stopped in Wyoming and hadn't started again since) and my heart managed a small smile. All around me, the world was covered in beautiful white, reflecting the yellow lights of the town. Everything looked fresh and fluffy, and it felt sooo good to be almost home.

When I came in, I looked out the window and had to smile. Two of my neighbors had taken the wheels off their skateboards and were "snowboarding" down the 6 inch incline behind the building. The snow is still falling and everything looks beautiful, like a white glowing cocoon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tues, Nov. 25, 2008: A Few Things...

In honor of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a few things I am thankful for, because being thankful is good. :)

~ the opportunity to grow every day
~ the stream of coincidences that has flowed its way back into my consciousness
~ sunsets and sunrises, twilight and dawn, and every hour in between
~ finally getting a real paycheck
~ my kitten, for greeting me every time I enter the door, for laying on my feet while I wash the dishes, for napping on my towel while waiting for me to get out of the shower, for looking into my eyes through heavy lids as I scratch her neck and making me feel like I'm the best thing going on in the world
~ taking the "long way" home, even if that long way takes me 3 hours out of my way so I can watch the sun set somewhere new in the mountains (not that I just got home from doing that or anything... >.>)
~ shadows and light
~ my neighbors for always cooking such delicious smelling food
~ the doctors who saved my life in the first few minutes of my existence and gave me the gift of a chance to live
~ my friends, for sticking with me through good and bad, and for never failing to bring smiles and laughter into my life
~ hope, and the fact that becoming jaded has never been considered as an option
~ having a fun body to explore the world with
~ finding a fantastic dance teacher
~ my parents, for building up my spirit, for letting me speak my mind, for showing me that life is beautiful, for their endless support...
~ the smell of rain, snow, and sunshine
~ adventures
~ having my own place
~ my sister, for telling me that she would date me if she was a guy and not my sister, for respecting me enough to ask for advice, for forgiving me for all those times she sledded right off whatever sledding trail I rigged up and into a tree...
~ and one of the biggest things I'm thankful for lately, thank you for letting me be me!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday (you know, the one that's just about being thankful for the blessings in your life, not the one that's about smallpox infested blankets...).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sun, Nov. 23, 2008: Lily Mountain

Lily Mountain kicked my butt; however, it was completely worth it as it's the highest hike I've ever done and the view from the top is among the most beautiful things I've seen in this state.

The view at the top was 360 degrees around, and the temperature felt like negative zero. (as opposed to positive zero...). Here is the view roughly to the northeast, with the lake in the center of Estes Park roughly in the center of the picture. Beyond the mountains there was a small glimpse of straight prairie lines.

This view is the one I could have stayed up there all night for. I was looking towards the west and Rocky Mountain National Park.

I went up with a friend, and we spent as long as we could at the top despite the wind just to enjoy the view as much as possible. The sun was filtering in and out between gauzy layers of clouds, creating bursts of rays as they passed. The beauty of it brought tears to my eyes which were dispatched by the wind as it nipped at my face.

For once I find myself with little to say, which is not a bad feeling. It actually feels pretty good. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Weds, Nov. 19, 2008: A Visit With the Stars

Being possessed of an excess of energy last night after dance class, I headed up Lookout Mountain to spend some time with the stars. With the exception of the thundering hoof beats of a solitary deer who I startled out of the trees in front of me, the night was silent and I had the place all to myself.

I reached a clearing in the trees and sunk back into the earth, opening my heart to the sky. I often speak to pieces of nature when I'm alone with them and have ever since I was a child; it's my favorite way of communicating with spirit. More than any other thing in nature though, the stars have an immediate and powerful connection with my heart. Sitting down with them is similar to the experience I had with a friend opening my heart chakra with reiki: everything both dark and light inside of my heart pours out at the same time, all tangled up in each other.

The flood of feelings usually ends in laughter, and last night was no exception. I was filled up with peace and contentment as I lay in the darkness. The little town where I live isn't perfect, but there are definitely some things about it that I enjoy very much. Its proximity to the mountains is one; driving up to the stars last night only took a little longer than walking out into my own backyard.

Last night, I had a dream that my 2 favorite exes merged into one person, and that I met that person. (yes, there is such a thing as a favorite ex. And if not, then it's just now been invented). It was a good dream. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sun, Nov. 16, 2008: Collegiate Peaks Sunset

This morning I woke up early and went for a hike with one of my friends from high school who lives out here. I came home and watched a movie... and when the movie was over, realized that I still had half the day left but felt like I'd already done a full day's worth of stuff.

The idea randomly popped into my head to travel down to the Collegiate Peaks to watch the sun set. It was one of the most absolutely beautiful experiences that I've had in my life, and I was literally breathless several times as I watched the sun paint the world before my eyes. (The panorama is the best I could do with blending the frames. I'm still learning. :) ).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sat, Nov. 15, 2008: Rejected: The Trilogy (or simply, My Heart)

11-14: Rejected: The Trilogy
Yesterday, life took the shape of a drive through the mountains south of Denver. I followed one of my favorite roads, Rt. 67, past Sedalia and into the foothills. 67 is lined with horse pastures and homes centered on enough land that they don't compete for space to breathe in. I wish I could adequately describe it, or photograph it, but for some reason it continues to elude me. Here are my attempts:

The road turns into a little dirt path and winds you up into the mountains. When it descends again it flows alongside the Platte River, which is actually a good-sized body of water and one of the reasons I enjoy this area so much.

I had started reading The Alchemist earlier that morning, and a lot of the personal philosophies that I have come to hold close to me were echoed in the author's words. He stated that as children we already know our destines, but as we grow we lose sight of them for various reasons: expectations put on us, fears, failing to believe in ourselves, etc.

I've had several people ask me lately if I have a "bucket list", which is a list of things I'd like to do or see before I die. I don't have one, and I'm not really interested in creating one, because life isn't about living for fear of death. I think that life is about living for the love of life. Instead, I looked back at my dreams as a child, or at least the ones that I remember now.

As a child, I:
- wanted to be a nurse, teacher, or dancer.
- thought that I would get married sometime during the year when I was 28.
- was attracted to New Hampshire, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and New Zealand - anywhere with mountains close to the ocean and lots of trees.
- wanted to live in a tree house (as in, a real house built in a tree).
- wanted to be picked up by a prince riding his horse through the woods.
- wanted to be an expert on wild plants, especially cooking and healing with them, and surviving off the land with my knowledge of plants.

When I look at this list, these things are still very close to my heart. Some of them probably won't happen, like being married this year (unless I suddenly become mentally unstable which I certainly hope won't happen. o.0) or being carried away by some random prince riding a horse by me in the woods. I still love helping and teaching professions, love to dance, find myself drawn to the idea of a place with mountains and ocean, think it would be amazing to live in a tree house, and as for plants... that's the one thing on the list that made me think a bit more. I probably know more about plants than most people since I spend so much effort trying to learn about them whenever I get a chance, but as a kid I wanted to be REALLY into plants. As in, the village witch or healer or whatever. I wanted to be able to run away into the forest and live as long as I wanted by relying on my knowledge of the earth around me. Now I am wondering what I can do to get myself closer to that dream without it costing too much....

I have lately been wondering: if our souls have the ability to show us the way, then why were we given minds and egos to get in our way of listening to our souls speaking? I couldn't stop crying when the author in the book began addressing this question. I don't know if his answers are right, but they are one person's answers and they moved me: our hearts feel doubt and fear only because they don't want us to get hurt, but that when we are following our destinies the pain we encounter is all part of our path to our treasures. He said that as we get older, our hearts stop speaking our destines as loudly if we are the type of people who ignore them, because it makes the person suffer to know that they didn't follow their destiny.

Aaah it's making me cry again thinking about it!

* * * *

11-15: or simply, My Heart

This morning I woke up early and decided to go on a hike by myself. While heading up the mountain on a narrow little snowy path, my ego was storming beside me. I realized that if I was telling someone that I liked him from my soul, and he was saying no from his soul, then the end result was that my soul was rejected! My ego took the shape of a furious little fairy racing along beside me, hurling pebbles off the mountain and kicking tree roots with a horrible scowl on her face. In furious indignation she folded her arms across her chest and simmered under the little black cloud over her head.

In the moment that I became aware of this separation of my soul and ego, I looked up to see a solitary mule deer buck staring up at me through a frame of evergreen branches. His eyes locked with mine and we gazed at each other for a few moments before he leapt off behind the trees and disappeared.

When he left, I continued on and wondered what he was telling me. The only personal significance that I'm aware of a buck having for me has to do with my warcraft character Asterope. In the last story that I wrote for her, she was met in the woods by a white buck who was actually a transformed druid (she didn't know this at the time). While I never put the rest of the story to paper, I knew in my head that he was her one love. So for now, my best thought is that the separation of my soul and ego somehow has to do with my love. Not such a big stretch. :)

After my encounter with the deer, my ego and soul started having some conversations with each other that made me want to giggle out loud - which I did at times when I couldn't hear footsteps from another hiker. Imagine something like this:

Ego: Doesn't that piss you off that you were rejected?
Soul: No, everything happens for a reason.
Ego: Yeah but you were rejected!
Soul: It's ok, I feel respected and honored by his honesty.
Ego: ...Wasn't that awesome though that I just hiked up that mountain?! I didn't even know if I could do it! Plus I took that little trail all the way up to the top. There were so many plants on it, it wasn't even easy to find the trail!
Soul: Yeah, it was really nice to spend some time outside today. It was a beautiful day.
Ego: ...Right, plus I was awesome. Hey, do these wings make me look fat?
Soul: I wonder what that peppermint trident smell is. I still haven't figured it out yet, and I really want to know the plant's name and what it looks like.
Ego: I bet if I keep hiking my butt is going to look hot.
Soul: I wonder if it's a safe mint to use for cooking or teas.
Ego: Yeah I'm awesome at cooking! ...when I ever cook....
Soul: Those far snowy mountains were really beautiful from the top of the mountain. I liked sitting on the rocks in the sun and looking at them. Thanks for going up there with me.
Ego: I knew we would do it. Hey, wanna see how fast I can get back to the car?! Race ya!

I did make it down the mountain pretty quickly... actually the whole hike went fast considering that I haven't been hiking since who even knows when.

My ego and soul are definitely able to agree on one thing, though: they want me to be happy. For my ego, that is driven by the feeling that I will have succeeded in doing at least some things right if I'm happy with myself, and for my soul it's driven by the feeling that if I'm happy, I must be following my heart.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thurs, Nov. 13, 2008: Rejected, Part Deux

I left work early today due to being unable to function, and got my brakes done. Now I can road trip whenever I want this weekend! I could also go for a drive today, which was a wonderful gift. My trip took me in a big, curvy crescent around Golden, through Golden Gate Canyon to a very fun side road that takes you through a beautiful peaceful valley that is dotted with houses. I always thought it would be cool to live out there, in the quiet of the foothills but a relatively short trip away from civilization. Next to 119 through Black Hawk, then up to 103 past Echo Lake which is one of my favorite little bodies of water out here. It started snowing at some point along 103, and I felt like I was hovering over a campfire watching the little sparks of snow part around me.

I was driving in relative darkness, but as I reached the lake and the turnoff up to Mt. Evans, I saw a brilliant patch of clouds. As I crested the hill just beyond the road, I caught my first glimpse of the full moon that refused to be subdued by the thick clouds and strong winds. The moon's light was diffused by the fog and clouds that held sway over the mountains, scattering its light to the edge of my vision. Shadows fell behind pine trees, and adjacent mountain peaks were luminous with moonlit snow. I'm not sure if it was the darkness or the snow that deterred traffic, but it was wonderful to have the road to myself and I drove for a time with my lights off, the moon illuminating my way.

I realized while I was out that I've been so busy lately that all of the things I love to do have suffered. I still have stacks of books to read, sewing projects to finish, a painting that I sketched out on canvas but haven't actually taken a brush to. I think that part of the reason I have felt a little lost and drifty out here is that I haven't picked back up the things that I love. I have been thinking about that for some time now and can't figure out why that is. Tonight, all I want to do is curl up on my couch and read a good book.

My little road trip today was special because I didn't consult a map and hardly had to think about where I was heading at all. It was automatic, which is something I've craved since my arrival here. Automatic and curvy and fast. Half of me is elated inside and the other half still feels heavy. But all of me feels a lot better than I did even a few hours ago.

Thurs, Nov. 13, 2008: Rejected

So last night I finally worked up the courage to tell someone that I have a crush on him. The past few days have been kind of ridiculous actually: I've been gliding around through my life with this little smile on my face all the time, and it's been difficult to take anything too seriously (which is a bad thing when you're trying to counsel someone - I had to make an effort to straighten my face when talking to kids about serious things).

In the kindest way possible, he let me know that I'm not what he's looking for. Ouch. That hurt way more than I thought it would. Part of me is wondering what about me is "wrong", not wrong for me but wrong for him. The other part of me is just really sad. It sort of feels like someone switched off a lightbulb inside of me, and the space that the light filled is now just empty.

I'm not sure exactly why I'm telling you all of this. Maybe I just need to feel connected right now. I have a hard time with what the dowser told me, that the right guy will come along in June. My feeling about the situation was December, and with that being almost 2 weeks away I figured it's close enough. I don't want to give up hope for the next 7 months, but I do think I want to give up this online dating website. I didn't expect to find someone I enjoyed so much, or end up feeling this sad. What I don't understand is, if it was wrong to say this to him then why didn't it feel bad? I thought about it for a while before I said anything and looked inside of myself to see where it was coming from. It felt like it was coming from good places that were real. If it was wrong for me, why couldn't I feel that?

One funny note: yesterday two 5th grade boys were standing outside my office, and I don't think they realized I was in there. One asked the other "what's back there?". The second one answered, "that's the teacher who helps you when you need help. Like when you're sad and sh!t". It was such an apt description that I didn't even want to pop my head out to ask him to watch his language; instead I think my face turned red with silent laughter.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sun, Nov. 9, 2008: Vail and Montezuma

This weekend, I had the luxury of going into the mountains and not driving... not once, but twice. I love being able to watch the world go by outside the window and let my mind travel wherever it pleases.

On Friday evening after work, I left with a co-worker to attend a conference in Beaver Creek on Saturday. We stayed at a hotel in Vail, which apparently seems to have a pull for me this time of year (it was just about a year ago that I took my trip up there to find my lost string of coincidences). The town was almost identical to the way I saw it last year at this time: warm mini lights decorating the snowy branches of the pine trees that lined the streets, air delicious and crisp, the narrow streets that wound among the shops deserted. This is the view from my balcony at 6am:

I've never been to Beaver Creek and liked it better than Vail, which feels claustrophobically balanced in a narrow valley between mountains and highway. The valley that held the little town of Beaver Creek was perched higher up in the mountains, and there wasn't a sign of I-70 anywhere. It also didn't hurt my opinion of the place to see a fox crossing sign on our way up to the resort.

* * *

Today, a friend and I went on a trip to see about a little town named Montezuma, which the owner of the place where I worked this past summer told me I should visit. It's supposedly a ghost town, though it looked pretty populated to me. My friend pointed out a real estate sign as we drove through which was kind of funny... selling real estate in a ghost town?

We parked at the end of a snow-covered dirt road and walked around on some cross country skiing paths. The woods were absolutely silent, and aside from the distant rumble of airplanes the only sounds were bird calls and the wisk of snow crystals falling away from our footsteps (and the faint squeaking of my lungs, which made me feel like the dog in Snatch).

While we were walking, I was drawn to a pine tree covered with green new looking growth along its branches. I was curious as to why a pine tree would be sprouting new tips at this time of year, but saw when I got closer that it was actually bright green little tufts of something growing off the tree. Maybe it was something like Spanish Moss, though it wasn't long and overgrown like I often see it in images of the south.

At one point during out walk, we passed near a home and a "welcoming" committee of 2 enormous dogs trotted briskly over to check us out. One was a large Husky, and the other was some gigantic white dog that was literally the size of a small pony. If I wasn't afraid it would rip my throat out I might have tried riding it down the road....

We returned to the beginning of the trails and headed back down towards the town to visit the one decrepit house we noticed along the side of the road.

The inside of the house was filled with items in varying stages of decay: rotting logs, rusted bed springs, the tank of a toilet, a circular top piece from an old stove, and some strange maroon-colored things that kind of looked like wheels for which neither of us could deduce a purpose.

This picture is of the top floor of the house, which looked like it fell right down on the 1st floor like an accordian.

The "ghost town" part of the town was pretty disappointing; aside from the one house we explored there wasn't much to see except for a double outhouse with 2 door frames and no doors. My fantasy of a ghost town is a completely intact but abandoned main street, complete with stores and homes to explore. I guess that's not really how ghost towns are in real life....

While it was disappointing not to see more structures, it felt so good to walk around in the trees. At one point I trotted ahead down a little hill to the Snake River (which is really a stream), and a wonderful piece of my insides suddenly woke up. My body is still craving more use - I need a bike...and snowshoes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sat, Nov. 1, 2008: Update from Zombie Central

I talked about my Saturn return again in the blog that I posted from Oct, 27, 2007... once again it wasn't really Saturn but Pluto that was influencing my life and has been since December 2006. This is a huge transit - Pluto in opposition to my natal Sun. I had an astrologer do my chart last year because I have hit a wall with astrology and needed someone with more experience than me to show me how all of the pieces of my chart fit together. Here is what she said about my Pluto transit:

"Now when we have a Pluto transit to our Sun, we often have power issues, and this is an opposition for you. Now with the oppositions sometimes we might get into power conflicts but not always. This is a time when you are really being infused with a new sense of power. And there is – you’re also being challenged under a Pluto transit to let go of things that no longer serve the person that you are. A Pluto transit to the Sun is a lot like a snake that sheds its old skin, because the new snake that it is is too big for that skin." (by Lynn Monson Hayes who was, by the way, amazing).

As it is now November I am currently experiencing the final phase of transiting Chiron square to my natal Chiron. Chiron transits tend to bring up old wounds and repressed emotions, and that compounded with the Pluto transit has been difficult.

My Saturn return will finally begin this December, and its 3rd phase will begin in August of 2009. It's interesting that the period of Saturn conjunct natal Saturn will be so short-lived. After what I've gone through with Pluto it seems like nothing can compare.

Someone wrote to me the other day regarding some changes he has made in his life lately and the powerful series of coincidences that resulted. He has been riding the wave of synchronicity ever since, and his story reminded me of a crisp dark evening that I spent last November wandering around Vail in search of my own string of coincidences (I haven't posted that blog on this page yet, though it's been on my myspace page for almost a year now). The feeling of having my thoughts and actions directly leading me to coincidences was so amazing and affirming. I truly felt that I was at one with the universe and that I was responding to the voice of something higher speaking to my spirit. I often feel that way on road trips, when I take a random turn and find myself among hundreds of shimmering aspens or faced with the mirror reflection of a mountain in a lake - I think that's part of the reason why I like driving around so much. I'm still not sure that I've picked up the string of coincidences again, though I think it's harder to see them when you're not going through a huge life-changing experience. When life is big and dramatic and unstable, it seems to me that they show themselves more readily. Or perhaps under those circumstances people are just more open to them, more willing to go out on a limb and listen to the gut feeling or the little voice in their heads. It's difficult to have felt so completely plugged in to the universe and then have that feeling yanked from you. The best visual image I have to go along with the feeling is the experience that Neo had when he was physically unplugged from the Matrix. Disoriented, he was left gasping, wet, and completely vulnerable - except that my experience of losing the coincidences doesn't end with the enlightenment he experienced, but with sadness and the fear that I may not be doing what my spirit wants me to do in order to progress to the next level of my personal evolution.

I haven't written in a while because I haven't been doing much traveling. I spent the extra money I had for the month of October on my kitten: adoption fees, vet check-up, bowls, food, scratching posts, etc. I am filled with grateful happiness every time I look at her so don't regret it for a second, but it didn't leave me with much extra gas money to throw around. Another reason is that I've been pretty busy. My belly dance class is amazing and I absolutely love it!

I remember spending the time around last Halloween very sad that I didn't have anyone to spend one of my favorite holidays with. I was sick on the weekend night of the Halloween party I was invited to, so it seemed to me at the time that I didn't have anything to do. I was happy with my own company as always, but sometimes having someone other than yourself around is nice. This year, I was invited to 2 parties and attended both, gimping in my door at about 4am after a night of dancing my booty off in a pair of crazy high boots. I was a zombie once again, inspired by the craze stirred up by the Zombie Crawl. I think my costume was much better for Halloween though, maybe because I had more practice. :) Several people at the party told me that I kept freaking them out so I'd say I did a pretty good job!