Monday, May 30, 2011

Fri, May 27, 2011: Golden Lookout

This Friday, I whispered in my dog's silky soft ear that she and I should go for a hike. I'm not sure if she's learned the words "go" or "hike" yet, but she definitely knows what it means when I pull on my sneakers and pack us water and snacks. She sits by the front door, wagging her little tail as if to say, "Don't forget me!".

Upon arriving where I wanted us to walk, I noticed on the sign that it was a wildlife preserve area - which is great for wildlife but doesn't bode so well for a walk with my dog. A quick chat with a staff member confirmed it: no dogs allowed.

I felt bad for promising her something and not being able to follow through. She waited patiently in the car while I took a few pictures on our way back down the mountain. Here is lovely little Golden:
Sometimes I think that people don't believe me when I try to describe the mountains in Colorado. Before I came here, I thought that Denver must be nestled into the mountains, and that Colorado must be covered in snow most of the time. In reality, Denver is perched right on the edge of the prairie, just next to the foothills of the Rockies. One of the things that I love about Golden's location is that it's actually nestled right up against the toes of the foothills, with the two table mesas separating it from the city and the vast prairie beyond. I like the sense of physical definition and boundaries around the town, which is rare to find in the front range area since it's all prairie. It seems to me like a little town tucked away into a little space of land that just makes sense.
This was my first attempt to motivate myself out of the house and into some summer activities, and while we were unable to hike I did successfully get myself out of the house. :) One point for my team!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weds, May 25, 2011: Rain, Rain, Rain!

It has been raining seemingly non-stop these past few weeks, and I have almost forgotten that I'm living in Colorado! It feels like April in Connecticut, with the rain and the cold and everything a brilliant shade of healthy green. I've been trying to find the motivation to go on a road trip, but have been fighting a losing battle against my joy, will power, and limbs, all of which feel like they are made of impossibly heavy rocks.

Just this afternoon, the sun came out and is currently shining down cheerily upon the land and people who have so missed its presence! I think that the sun helps me grow wings. This afternoon finally feels like summer break, and I'm hoping it will motivate me right out the door!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weds, May 18, 2011: "Oh, So That's What You Call..."

I was visiting a metaphysical store today and came to an area where a psychic was giving a reading to a middle-aged woman. I stood awkwardly for a minute, eyeing the counter behind the psychic man as it held the objects that inspired my trip to the store today. While I was trying to work out in my head if it would be too intrusive to approach the counter, the psychic briefly pulled me into their conversation, giving me the chance to ask if I would be in their way. He joked that they were in my way and I felt welcome to join their space.

He made a comment about all of us having our days where we are fierce and growly, and looked to me for confirmation asking, "Right?" I nodded and laughed, responding "Yup, I know I do and my boyfriend would agree with that!" He shot back, "Oh, so that's what you call that young man?"

... ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Gah! What is that even supposed to mean? What sort of insight or inner message compelled him to respond to me in that way? Doesn't he know that now I will have that phrase stuck in my head for days?

I often have delayed reactions to things. I'm not sure why, but often when I'm conversing with someone my head gets all swimmy and my thoughts don't travel in straight lines and it becomes very difficult for me to follow the flow of talk. This does not happen with old friends, only new people, and it happens all the time. My head was busy being swimmy with the conversation and the energy of the space and the people and objects in it...

... but after I left and my head space was clear, all I could think of was: What else would I call him? He IS my boyfriend. Our relationship has been many things since we got together 1 1/2 years ago, and many, many thoughts and feelings have been wrenched through me and have drifted over me and moved into me and been pulled out of me and gnawed on. That's the nature of my life, of being me and experiencing the world through my feelings, and I wouldn't have it any other way because I love the way I feel my life.

I do know one thing, though: we ARE. We are. As long as we continue choosing to be, then we are.

Thank you for causing me to create this affirmation, psychic man.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sat, Apr 30, 2011: Paint Mines Interpretive Park...Again!

If I had my choice, I would head down to White Sands every time I was sad or angry. That place has the most powerful soothing and uplifting energy of any place I have visited in the southwest. Unfortunately, it does take a day's drive to get there and I really just needed to go somewhere to clear my head. Paint Mines is the second best place I have found for that, so I headed down with Kaylee to do some thinking and hopefully some connecting with the earth.

Pike's Peak was only partially snow-covered, and was a bit visible from the highest hill in the park.
The white rocks:
The area of purple and orange rocks:
The orange rocks:
I love taking Kaylee places with me. She is a being of boundless energy and sensitivity who is more in-tune to me than I ever imagined possible. Being with her makes it easy to feel uplifted and also facilitates connection to the earth. She is just over 1 year old now, making her still very much a puppy, and I can't wait to see how she continues to grow in sensitivity, empathy, and connection as she gets older.
I think part of the reason that visiting Paint Mines is a healing experience for me is because there is so much richness of color and texture in the land that perceiving it and taking it all in leaves little room in one's mind to do much else.
Negative thoughts, frustration, and anger melt away, swept up by the wind and dispersed to harmlessness in the vast sapphire blue prairie sky.
Kaylee is pretty good at climbing up steep slopes, and together we discovered an especially colorful area of the purple and orange rocks that I had not visited in my other trips. It was beautiful to exist within the pulsing, vibrant colored rocks, the deep blue sky existing miles above me, and plenty of room to breathe between the air and earth.
I have written a bit about my perceptions of bravery here, but it was wonderfully defined by a friend recently and I really like the way that she stated it. She said that being brave means being afraid and doing something anyways. I think that my life experiences since moving to Colorado have been especially wonderful in helping me to become more brave. I am still working on this and am certainly not the bravest person in the world, but I have become unafraid of life and more trusting of myself, my feelings, and my intuition.
One of my good friends had a really honest conversation with me about my relationship with B. During the conversation, she reminded me that being in love with someone means being able to accept them for everything that they are and love them for all that they are.
In a relationship, I feel that people must be brave together in order to form a functional team out in the world with the ability to support each other in life. To a certain extent, I intentionally work on facing my fears in an attempt to help myself live freely, unafraid of life experiences. (for example, moving to Colorado and not knowing anybody, traveling to new places, vacationing by myself, etc.).
I hope that my practicing of becoming more brave will rub off on both of us, challenge us to follow new and sometimes uncomfortable or unknown paths. I hope that being brave, trusting ourselves and each other, and trusting in life will show us that, in the end, there was nothing to even be afraid of in the first place. I hope that being brave together will show us love better than we ever imagined.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fri, Apr 1, 2011: Southwest Spring Break, Day 7 - Holbrook, AZ to Denver, CO

The final day of our trip began with grabbing a quick breakfast as we took off toward Petrified Forest National Park. I figured if the town of Holbrook could feel so wonderful and alive, with only a fraction of the petrified wood that is contained within the park, the park must be the most amazing feeling place in the world!
It was so surreal and amazing to see giant pieces of what was very obviously a stone tree laying on the ground all around us.
One of my favorite things about the wood was how much it still looked like wood, despite having been replaced by stone a very long time ago.
The landscape was barren and there were really no trees or even shrubs around.
It was mind-boggling just how much wood exists in the park. When we looked around the landscape, as far as we could see were scattered logs and trees. Apparently, the amount of wood found in the park presently is significantly less than there used to be due to looting.

This park combines two things that I love: trees and rocks. :)
It was amazing to see some of the pieces that look cut clean through, and we could even see the growth rings within the trees.
As we headed north through the park, the land became more varied. B pointed out several areas where he could see petrified logs becoming exposed over time and the cliffs eroded.
We reached an area where a petrified log formed a sort of bridge at the end of a little canyon. Decades ago, a concrete support was created below the log so that it wouldn't collapse. It was neat to see the log, but I found myself more interested in this crow who was cawing and eying us from its perch.
There was petrified wood EVERYWHERE.
I loved this view and the shapes of the water patterns as it skated across the parched desert earth.
This area was called Blue Mesa, and the stripes in the rocks were so beautiful. I knew that our last stop in the park would be the Painted Desert, and wondered if it would look anything like this.
There were Native American ruins in the park, which was a complete surprise since neither of us realized that. We also didn't know that Newspaper Rock is in the park. Newspaper Rock! I absolutely flipped out when we realized what we were seeing. What an amazing sight:
The ruins were very ruined, which was okay since I was really more interested in the petroglyphs!
(It was also nice not to be stung by a bee...!).

This is one of my favorite petroglyphs I have seen. It looks to me like a giant stork carrying away a baby. It's like the reverse of the "storks bring babies" story!
The figure on the left looks to me like a figure in a spacesuit with 2 antennae. Maybe I'm just obsessed with aliens, but it looks so much like an alien to me!
I think this petroglyph is beautiful:
The Painted Desert....
...was just as beautiful as my imagination promised it would be.
The crazy, strange hills eroded from packed sand roamed in tight formation to the horizon.

There was petrified wood, even here, and there will continue to be more wood exposed as the sand and rock is eroded.
I wish I could have spent days here, soaking up the warm colors and pleasant rich textures of the earth.
Instead, we were headed home and I hoped we would make it there before midnight that night.

The sunset bade us goodbye in northern New Mexico in brilliant desert fashion, dressed in her brightest colors and beautiful patterns.
I never anticipated that it would take me so long to finish posting about this trip, but when I think about it we really saw enough to have taken up 2 or 3 week-long trips! I love when B is willing to suspend the need to plan and doubt and just take a step off the ledge with me. We flew through the southeast on a journey only somewhat planned, and landed safely in Denver just before Philippe was about to turn into a pumpkin.

I reveled in the sights, smells, colors and textures, and the freedom of doing whatever we wanted whenever we wanted to do it. I missed the feeling of warm air on my skin... because the next day in Denver, it snowed. GAH!

Thurs, May 5, 2011: You Have No Power Over Me

One of my favorite movie quotes is from the movie Labyrinth, when Sarah says to Jareth (David Bowie's character), "You have no power over me". It's this realization and the declaration of it that release her from the overwhelming experiences that she is trying to escape.

I have been trying to embrace this sentiment even more than usual over the past few days as I have been dealing with the issue of someone who is peripheral to my life but treated me in a way I feel was unjustified and inexcusable. I finally confronted this issue head-on (I had been trying to just let it go for some time but that is REALLY hard for me...!!!) and I think it's been dealt with the best that it will be between two people with very different communication styles. Still, I continue to be angry that someone who barely knows me thought it was okay to treat me badly.

Another of my favorite quotations I have shared here before, but will again as I think it's pertinent to this situation: "Nothing in this world can hurt you, it can only trick you into hurting yourself". I think one of the challenges for me in this lifetime is becoming better at letting go when I'm angry or have been hurt. I'd like to stop hurting myself now please!

On an unrelated note, I'm working on finishing up the pictures for the last day of our AZ trip. I never thought it would take me so long to get them done and posted! I hope to get them up either this afternoon or sometime tomorrow.