There was a strong pull to drive through DC and stop at the Lincoln memorial. Partly because of the Black Lives Matter Movement and partly because I share a birthday with Abraham Lincoln. I wanted to take a moment to be in the presence of someone who changed the course of American history. Someone who started us on a new path. The road has not been smooth and there’s a lot of work left to do, but I needed to take a moment and sit at the foot of this statue and just contemplate the enormity of the decision that was made, all the pressure, and all the bloodshed that came after… and how it still continues today.
I do believe wholeheartedly that we are all here to transcend the differences of race and recognize that we are all human. That we can stand side by side in a brotherhood of man. That we can forgive and work together to form a new world. No matter what race or nationality that you come from, I’m with you. I see you. Let’s work together moving forward.
Richmond Virginia has a special quiet beauty. It feels similar to an old European city, well worn with footfalls of generations, history, struggle, and finally relief….peppered with stray bullets and graffiti. For me Virginia was about resting. Taking a moment to breathe and settle the energy. Chatting with an old friend while walking through a chapter of a lifetime we had together. Connecting the dots to complete an unfinished puzzle. Finding a final resolution and then taking a nap.
It was really sweet to chill in the yard and watch all the animals roam the yard. These two friends of mine found a way to carve a slice of heaven out of this earth and start making it their own. I sat calmly observing their gentle interactions while they fenced in and planted the garden. They worked quietly and steadily as though they had all the time in the world to enjoy the process. Taking gentle care of each step.
We hiked through Belle Isle, had an authentic German dinner, listened to music, and contemplated the meaning of life around the campfire. These are the divine moments we live for, the ones where we can enjoy the simple beauty of being together for a conversation over a good meal.
These are the first three solo days of the trip. It was time to rest and integrate. The environments in Maryland and West Virginia had a magical and receptive air about them. The blooms on the trees and flowers poking their heads up were inviting new life, new possibilities, and new opportunities.
I spent more time outside in nature, watching the water flow, listening to the birds, and watching the people pass by. I felt that I was in a very different space from the people around me. They were all happy to visit a quaint little tourist town in America, Harper’s Ferry, WV.
Instead of looking up the history of this place, I just drank in the abundant peace. I let the waves of calm wash over me. I sensed this wasn’t always a place of calm and peace, but through the passing of time and the many footsteps of travelers through the land, it had become something to nestle oneself into.
The beauty of the land is breathtaking. The train passes on a regular schedule. All the restaurants serve sandwiches and ice cream. The historical buildings around town are set up as museum displays, frozen in time. The history feels grounding.
My time in Harper’s Ferry was more internal than external. I spent my time contemplating a more perfect union between the feminine and masculine energies. How they can come to appreciate the qualities of the other. How the masculine energy can be one of action and also of steady patience. How it can create a space for the feminine to express itself. How the feminine energies are nurturing, beautiful, and magical. How together they can grow each other when they’re both vulnerable.
Enter into the magical melting world of a shamanatrix. This leg of the trip was much anticipated. The time spent in Dayton was one of multiple dimensions, collapsing timelines, template transcendence, and confessionals. I would love to be able to describe the experience, but I find that the standard English language lacks the capacity to fully encapsulate its unraveling. We will first need to invent a 4 dimensional frame for language before I can even take a crack at this…. so instead of trying, I will share a story and some music.
Sometimes in life, I meet someone with whom I share a past life. A few times, we have both been aware of this shared life. When this awareness exists, we are able to uncover the life and put the story together. We each hold a few pieces and when we come together, they all fit into place. When the puzzle is complete, the emotions release and together we transcend the template of stuck energy from that life time.
In this story, we were both soldiers…friends in battle and training. The energy between us was of playful competition. We had a deep respect for each other as men of honor during that time period. Many years of training side by side and many evenings spent conversing and relaxing. Time passed as we grew together, but further down the road something changed.
One of our sons was entrusted to the care of the other. They went out of the city on a training mission. They went a little too far outside of the camp and were ambushed by the enemy. The son was captured and the friend returned empty handed. Tensions rose and resentments grew. The playful competition had an edge to it that sometimes went a little too far.
The guilt and grief of that lifetime were never transcended… until now. With an unexpected gesture of an offered olive branch from one to the other, the puzzle pieces started to fall into place.
We laughed, we cried, we arm wrestled… and then we transcended emotions across time and space. The whole dynamic between us changed and we were born anew.
After this experience, I’m taking a few days to rest and rejuvenate before moving on to the next stop on this wild trip.
Detroit… properly pronounced “deh twa”, is a French designed city that rests on the Detroit river. The French design has all of the roads radiating out from the center of the city, in contrast to the grid of English designed cities. The first thing I noticed about Detroit was the building height. The sky felt wide open and expansive above. You had a sense that one could take flight or that unknown possibilities existed. I could see the stars above my friend’s house when I arrived in the middle of the night.
The second thing I noticed about Detroit was the intensity of the abandoned urban sprawl. I was taken on a personalized tour of the city and saw miles upon miles of abandoned factories and houses. The reason I was given for this: The “white flight” that happened in the 1960’s during the civil rights movement. The city was still recovery from that and it happened 60 years ago. It was also hit with the collapse of the auto industry in the 2000’s.
Local businesses struggled to establish themselves amidst all the governmental red tape. Imagine the worst DMV experience ever and then let that DMV office run a city but with worse service. The motto of the self-employed here is “Detroit Hustles Harder”.
Sean and I decided to spend a day indoors relaxing in onesies and catching up. He is an old friend from my hometown and we hadn’t seen each other in 20 years. I have to admit there is something so comforting and grounding about spending time with someone from the same time period and same hometown. The groundwork of understanding is already in place, so the language that we use to communicate was already very similar. We had a lot of catching up to do.
Our lives followed different paths, but we came to the same conclusions on many topics… particularly regarding human nature, what it means to wake up, the state of the world today, the environment, personal responsibility, sovereignty, and ideas about the raising and education of children. Namely that raising children is not about teaching them who to be, but facilitating their process of becoming themselves and teaching them how to navigate this world by being a steady presence in their life.
The day was filled with laughter, good food, and video games. In the evening we even played some Mario cart online with his daughter.
The second day we had a couple of missions: 1. Find some way to set up an interactive art station to destroy a giant Covid-19 collage I made. 2. Check out a bundle of properties he was thinking of purchasing. 3. Do a driving tour of Detroit.
The driving tour was the backbone of our adventures. We quickly found ourselves at “Tangent Gallery”, a very eclectic artist and event space. Sean introduced me to the owner Joe and we had a nice chat. Sean elbowed me to ask about destroying the art piece there during an event the next day, so I began…
“Joe, I have this piece of art that I made. It’s about 6 feet by 2 feet and it’s a collage of covid-19 art made of images from The Economist during March and April of last year when I was in lock down.”
He waited patiently.
“I was moving out and had this piece and I didn’t want to just throw it out… so, I was wondering if we could turn it into an interactive art piece and destroy it here tomorrow night during your event?”
He perked up, “Oh destroy something? Yes, of course, that’s right up our alley.”
And so it was settled…we made arrangements for the following evening to have some kind of “foreplay” destruction that would climax in burning the piece.
After tangent we went to check out some properties Sean was interested in buying. The first one was abandoned and the front door was open. We grabbed headlamps and went in to inspect. It felt like stepping into a scene from Fallout 3. I was anxious and excited about the activity. He inspected the house and determined that it had “good bones” and was a project but, workable.
After that we had dinner. We pulled up to what looked like another abandoned building on the outside. The open sign wasn’t even on but when we walked inside it was a super posh restaurant with fancy glass wear and well-dressed servers. I felt slightly self-conscious in hiking boots, joggers, a side pouch, and my police jacket.
The food was incredible. For a moment we were transported to a place where an Italian and Mexican mash up make sense. When we left, the familiarity of the stark sky, hot dry sun, and dusty streets enveloped us like a child’s blanket.
Kayaking down the river outside of Ann Arbor. Being in nature is such an underrated blessing. My mind went completely blank. My cup emptied and the majestic space of nature filled me up.
When we passed under some electrical cables, Sean pointed out the sound and the feeling of being pushed by the magnetic current. It was actually suffocating. I felt something pushing on my chest and the feeling remained until I was a good 10 feet down river from the lines.
Closer to the end of the trip, Sean was scrounging around trying to find a deer carcass from the last season and I attempted to pause my kayak by grabbing a branch only to dump myself and everything I had into the 40 degree water. What a rush!! I laughed so hard as I pulled the kayak out of the river. I peeled off my soaking clothes and finished the trip in the bottom layer. Felt so good to have the sun on my skin after the unceremonious baptism.
That evening we returned to Tangent to socialize and destroy art. Being as it was the first real random socializing of the year since lock down, the air was joyful and apprehensive. I think we all forgot how to communicate a little bit.
The first stop on the trip is my home town of Lake Geneva. Originally called “Kishwauketoe” by the natives, which means “clear water” or “lake of the sparkling water” it was renamed Lake Geneva in 1834 by John Brink. It reminded him of Seneca Lake near his hometown of Geneva, New York. It was then the lake was named Geneva Lake in honor of his hometown. Lake Geneva is known for being the birthplace of Dungeons and Dragons. It is also home to the Wrigley mansion… which was donated to the local fire department when Mr. Wrigley passed away.
I spent the first part of my life in a mobile home park just out of town. It felt like growing up in a little village. Everyone knew everyone and we were always hanging out. Next to the park was a big open field and a pine forest. Down the way there was a gravel pit that housed a collection of rusty trailer tractors.
Much of the early years were spent catching bugs and frogs. The rule was that we could capture as many as we liked, bring them home to show mom, and then release them back into the wild to be caught again the next day. The frogs all had names that indicated how hard they were to catch. They had names like: Slippy, Alpha, Ghost, etc.
We would fly kites in the open field and get dressed up to dance in the rain.
My brother and I used to build forts in the forest and pretend we were training for the Karate Kid. The trees were the “enemies”. Hay – Yah! Suh!
Every fourth of July dad would take his pressure washer and wet down the nearest part of the field for fireworks. The whole “village” would gather all their various snap, bang, pops and set them off together. We had a couple of close calls, but mostly we had fun.
Then we moved to a house in the city, only a few blocks from the lake. That’s when we started finding more things to do. We snuck into the basement of the local catholic church and tried to scare each other with tales of witch craft or buried bodies. Our ideas were inspired by the show “Tales from the Crypt”.
The economic system of the city is based primarily on tourism. It’s awkward growing up in a tourist town. Instead of seeing the same people, they’re always new and from out of town. They don’t say hello to the locals because they’re on vacation. This experience suggests the existence of multiple planes of existence. That you may be able to see people in the same reality, but in their minds exist different worlds.
The tourists come to enjoy the beauty of the lake, the outdoorsy stuff, the kitschy shops, the bars, resorts, etc. and then leave. It’s a wonderful place to either visit or stay at pretending you’re on permanent vacation.
I spent an entire summer at the beach underwater diving for buried treasure. Through a happy accident, I discovered that I could see perfectly clear underwater with goggles. There’s something about the physics of it that allows someone with even the worst vision to see crystal clear.
We found new wooded areas to build forts and discovered every footpath the area has to offer.
Nostalgia will conjure all manner of memories large and small that tell the story of one’s beginning. The thing I remember most about growing up here was how free I always felt. Free to be outside in nature and travel around where I pleased. Free to stay up late writing poetry at Hanny’s with friends while drinking 80 cent coffee. Free to learn about rave dancing with the “Riv Rats” or take a nap on public grass. Free to visit the library for an entire day. Free to ride my bike on all the back country roads and dream about being an Olympic mountain biker.
There were hard times too, but if you squeeze those moments out and flatten them into the lines between the sweet ones, they don’t seem so loud and they don’t get to own the story.
Today is mother’s birthday. (Yes, on April fool’s day). So, just for today, I’ll be adventuring with her…and just as the wave begins to crest, before it crashes into the shore… I’m on the road again.
Message from the Light Beings: If we have all followed the energy of the previous months this year, we will all have something to share and this is the time to get out there and get curious about what everyone else has been up to. Take their classes, be open-minded, make connections, and be a sponge. Approach other’s work as you would want your own to be received, with fully open, curious, and loving arms. This month is about sweet exchanges, connecting with others and their ideas, and planting seeds.
As the final passages of this chapter are unfolding before my eye, I am humbled by the hardness and beauty that is behind me. Saying goodbye to the demons in my head, breaking free from the chains of should have’s and should do’s. We’re moving into uncertain territory.
These wings sure do look nice though.
I take a deep breath
And one last look at the grooves in these floors
Cut by so many footsteps trapesing back and forth from the kitchen to the front porch.
The basement door that sticks in the summer time,
The hole in the dining room floor where the bugs come in,
The rusty pipes in the bathroom,
The energy of wars fought but never won, playing on repeat, echoing through the voices of players that switch positions over and over again through all time.
The gentle yearning for healing … and more.
The air is dirty and moist even though I just cleaned every floor space on my hands and knees.
For every exchange that took place, every circumstance that was faced,
We are all the better for it…
I know I left this place better than when I found it and now it’s time for the next adventure.
For me to learn how to trust again. A true test of surrendering to the beauty of the unknown.
I already feel caught between this breath and your hands. It feels so amazing.
I’m curious where my higher self will take me, as my ego relaxes, up for the task. I feel the world rushing in toward me as I am rushing toward it… I’m ready to feel everything. The joy, the pain, the rush, the destruction. I am ready to be taken … and brought to my knees.
Milwaukee. A city of many layers. There’s something so magnetic about you. I love searching through all your dark corners and memorizing the foot paths around the river. I love the people of all stratosphere. It’s a great training grounds for becoming. It’s a place where you can step into your own and learn to fly. I love all the green spaces here and all the striving to be better. I am going to miss this city.
In preparing for departure, I was gifted tokens by friends to help me on the journey.
A necklace with the aquarian symbol to announce who I am before I speak,
A deck of cards because, “If you’re ever lost in the woods, just start playing solitaire and before you know it someone will be looking over your shoulder telling you what to do next.”
A coin to flip to decide which way to turn when I’m not sure,
And the book “Warrior of the Light” by Paulo Coelho.
And today, the 31st of March, I set on my way.
This road trip is imbued with many intentions and manifestations. Firstly, to close a chapter that’s been over for a while. Second, to get so rest and rejuvenation from all the work of last year. All year I was holding space for so many different truths and stories while going through my own rebirthing process. I hope to gain a deeper perspective on what’s important in life and what I want to focus on moving forward. I want to see this beautiful country. Look for land to buy/build on… etc. See friends old and new. Plant seeds. Feel alive. Drive and drive and drive.
Message from Light Beings: This is showing up one year after the initial lock down. We have been in a time of scarcity in one form or another for one year now. This card points to abundance and wealth. This may mean a windfall, a change in job, a new opportunity, expanded social circumstances, travel, or anything that really adds value to your life. Given that we have been in a time period of lack it is important that we move beyond this mentality as a collective and trust that this is a new beginning and by sharing this new wealth and abundance with others we will spark the beginning of a wellspring of treasures. This will be an important month to remember to write out your gratitude list and remember that love and abundance flow when they are given freely.
This pose stretches the hip adductors (inner thigh muscles). These muscles are primarily for balance and alignment. They pull the hip in toward the midline of the body. Strengthening and toning these muscles promotes balance and alignment and also prevents injuries.
To get into this pose, place your feet wider than shoulder width apart with your feet at a 45 degree angle out from the body. If you have your feet pointing straight infront of you, this will put too much stress on the knee. You want to have the knees in a comfortable position and be able to keep your entire foot on the floor. Lower into a deep squat position.
Next, bring your hands into a prayer position and place your elbows inside your knees. Keep your torso straight and use your elbows to push your knees outward.
I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to create a musical composition for the RVA Environmental Film Festival. This year’s film festival is being showcased entirely online. Check out their website and the various titles to sign up for your spot today!
The Richmond Virginia Environmental film festival has been an annual event since 2008. It is funded by many environmental organizations and because of this sponsorship it is able to remain free. The festival’s goal is to offer entertaining and educational films that leave attendees with increased awareness of environmental issues that we face locally and globally.
If you are looking for inspiration for your next environmental project, this is a great place to get started. This year Ananda was asked to compose some music for the festival. Sign up to learn more and hear the awesome music.