i ain’t afraid a no ghosts

in fact, i see them everywhere.

not literal ghosts, but flashes of my life that come up and lay themselves out over a moment, reminding me of who i have been.

this weekend was the 6 year anniversary of a breakdown where i almost checked out for good. and i didn’t remember until it had passed. even as i was doing work this weekend around healing and history, i didn’t remember the date. which is a good sign in and of itself.

the thing is, the ghosts have been all over. ghosts of beliefs i held then – that life was a burden, that i could be bored, that i had to settle in some parts of my life, that happiness was an illusion, that i could never change.

“i am nothing. this life is nothing.”

i often say to people that perception is everything, but i know it is more than perception. life is not only how you see it, but what you create out of it, and within it. no matter what the story is, it is a tragic story, a romantic story, an emotional journey, a remarkable journey. realizing all we cannot know, and all that we as humans have done to throw the gift of life back at creation – this awareness can make it seem impossible to find peace, balance, justice, love and joy in the chaos.

i know the ghosts of that feeling, they shadow my heart when i see the news we choose to cover, the way we consume and sacrifice the needs of others to pursue our own desires. not black, because i love black – my ghosts are gray. sometimes they are like a fire curling up the edges of a moment.

and then i see the viciously alive fleshy world that i live in. it’s decadent, all the colors, all the experiences. i love it – i love the sky, the dirt, i love the way wind feels on me, i love to put my body into the water. i love my body, just being still enough to feel that in spite of my best intentions my heart is still beating. i am so much stronger now than i have ever been.

i love realizing that humanity has to redirect itself towards being in community again, that i have to practice being in community with my love, my family, my friends, my neighbors, my coworkers. i love realizing that humans have to take actions that show the world they want – they must practice the world they want until it becomes part of our evolutionary story.

sometimes i think part of me crossed a line that day, and carries the memories i can’t reach. maybe it wasn’t the first time – perhaps i have the kind of angels who take memories away, leaving only the emotional imprint. i can see them out of the corner of my eye, but they know better than to let me catch them.

i’m still here, with my ghosts, and with moments of joy. i am learning and creating every day. i am engaged in the kind of work that reaches beyond my small life. the way i live my life is closer every day to the way i believe a good life should be led.

love, love, love.

this quote came into my knowledge today, while watching twin peaks, which is part of my project to watch all these shows and movies i missed which are a part of my generation’s experience:

“i choose to live my life in the company of gandhi and king. my concerns are global. i reject absolutely revenge, aggression and retaliation. the foundation of such a method is love. i love you…”

you have to love someone

two of these are not really videos but you kind of have to hear amel to feel me right now.

just off the second weekend of somatics and social justice and i am really feeling this stuff. the amount of knowledge my body is holding – around the trauma and pain i have experienced, and around the ways to heal – is amazing. learning the practices, and more importantly, learning to practice things that really make me aware of my body every day, is really liberating. then, to imagine scaling the practices to the level of interpersonal, intimate relations, then to the level of family and community, and then to the level of humanity…it is really inspiring to think that we have all this knowledge around survival and resilience and that we can practice being present, being resilient in body and mind and spirit (instead of reactionary, disconnected and/or violent).

now i am practicing a lot of things (meditation, jo kata, centering, swimming, eating mindfully), most of all being present, open and connected. what are you practicing?

my house is in order. i like that i have gotten to a place where everything has a place in my home, so when it gets into a state of disorder it only takes 5, 10 minutes to make it feel neat and wonderful.

i made an everything-in-the-house soup today. i have been saving and freezing all the extra parts of veggies from food i have made recently (just put the extras in a zip lock bag and store it in the freezer. helps to think ahead of things that might compliment each other and store them together), so i pulled that out and threw it in the soup pot. it was beets, ginger, carrots, a bug hunk of onion, some garlic bits. i let that all stew for several hours, then strained it and disposed of the now-depleted veggie bits. the broth was delicious. i then chopped up all the potatoes i had, and the asparagus, green onion and chives from the fridge and added it to the broth. i had a chicken apple sausage i also cut up and put in there. it came out so good!

this weekend i got to see amel larrieux live, and dance at a party of beautiful people. i got quiet time, stolen moments, and then deep healing time. all these things contribute to an incredible sense of balance and well-being.

i have had remarkable experiences over the past few days of really deep, loving relationships. reminds me of something i realized a long time ago, in the period of my life when i didn’t “do” relationships. it is so important to really come to a place of loving yourself, which doesn’t feel like perfection, but does feel like acceptance. and then, that love can’t happen in a vacuum – you have to love someone, and open up to let yourself be seen. you have to have a deep accountability to yourself, in polyamorous terms you have to be your own primary partner. and then you have to take that into the world and be in relationship with others. intimacy is like sun on dirt, when it’s right.

and in the bigger picture, knowing how to love ourselves and be in healthy relationships with others may be the missing skill set of humanity right now. we battle and dominate, when we need to touch and communicate.

so that’s all for today – who are you loving?