Posts Tagged ‘Gypsy’

Dreams Come True at the Oregon Country Fair

Sometimes a highly anticipated experience can surpass keen hopes and dreams. Gratefully the Oregon Country Fair did just that. For nearly ten years I have heard of this free-spirited three-day extravaganza and let my imagination roll around, wondering what could make people sigh so contentedly when they thought of their days on the fairgrounds.

IMG_0640A road trip was in order. Our first stop was to visit my dear friend Ann in Upper Lake. We ate delicious calamari and wings and listened to jazz at the Blue Wing Saloon and perused her new store Upper Lake Mercantile where I traded my pottery for a beautiful recycled rug – perfect for camping… or should I say glamping.

IMG_0600Rambling through the Pacific Coastline we stayed next with Sageman Drums Familia – Kris, Jimmy, Althea and Finn in the Avenue of the Giants – surrounded by ancient redwood forests, ripe blackberries bushes and such amazing good friends and people.

IMG_0605We found Oregon campsites perfectly suited to our needs, bought local jam and rose quartz (definitely for glamping), ate local fish and chips, drank local beer and eased our way into Cascadia – a bioregion in Pacific Northwest, social movement and vision for a country of compatible, open, ecologically focused people. After five days on the road we set up camp at Elfen Wood campgrounds just 1,000 yards from Oregon Country Fair and took a nap in the hammock.

IMG_0678Oregon Country Fair invites you to be the kid running pell mell down a hill with your arms flapping or trying out cartwheels for the first time or dressing up like a cupcake or a tiger or a tree.FullSizeRender (7)

This buoyant open-hearted pulse vibrates through the entire grounds and forms a circle of protection for loving kindness. Its three days without hearing a sharp word spoken surrounded by hundreds of joyous people. Even or maybe especially the babies and kids emanate pure bliss and delight.

IMG_0675IMG_0674There is just so much to see and do with parades, meditation centers, yoga, sacred altars, vaudeville acts, belly dancers, ecology booths, tanning workshops and many stages and alcoves with performers of spoken word, ecstatic Kirtan, hip hop, classic violin, live drumming, rock, funk, on and on it went. The crafted work from pottery to jewelry to glasswork and metal work is so yummy, so dreamy. Joey absolutely spoiled me with treasures. And the food was so tasty and full of flavor.

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My absolute favorite moments: trading The Wicca Cookbook for a t-shirt from my inspiration Jen Delyth, creator of the iconic Celtic Tree of Life, and when a girl of 11 or so screamed with sheer delight for her friend who juggled 14 times – absolutely thrilled for her friend’s success. Where else do you find that kind of support – but at Fair.FullSizeRender (6)

Here you feel your bigness and truest oddball self and know deep acceptance. This full expression of being opens possibilities of how to be in everyday life. It’s so tangible, so real that all the drive home I imagined stepping into the Light of My Greatness all the way home and was greeted by an email inviting me to Faeland Festival in New York. That’s what I call an
answer from the Universe.

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Cinderella

I’ve been on the job hunt for six months, applied to more than 60, maybe 70 jobs. I lost count two months ago at 47 positions when I added the applications in response to my boys’ claim that I was purposely out of work and leeching off their poor, hardworking father. Obviously I vehemently and loudly called BS. And then I took a hard look at how I relate to the word “leech,” my abhorrence to receive help, the pride and shame which prevented me from filing the unemployment paperwork and the unhealthy/yo-yo way in which I attach my sense of self and worth to the work that I do.

As I shedmoon these thoughts, a star has risen with the idea of returning to school, to gain a Masters in Depth Psychology and engage deeply in storytelling via teaching mythology, writing and leading rituals. Here is where my tribe is awaiting me (two psychics, three friends and a partridge in a pear tree told me so).

I try to relax into the idea that I just must get a job toNCWHS pay the bills. I pep talk myself into the idea that I don’t have to be completely synonymous with my 9 to 5 work life while aiming for a larger goal of getting that degree. Maybe the degree will make me even better at what I’m doing. Maybe I will leave this world of public relations and marketing indefinitely. Maybe I will be a sought-after storyteller in all fields, from education to community to nature to business.

storytellerAs for today, I can’t see the path ahead of me and that scares me and makes me really nervous about what new challenges will arise. I’m not sure whether to trust as I fall into debt, preserve energy for an even greater fall or just throw in the towel… but that’ s impossible. I’m a mom who wants more than anything to be here and now with my boys… just not sure how to do that with $76 in the bank to last for the next two weeks. I suppose people have far less and I am resourceful.

Drew CinderSo I have decided to look at the 60 plus jobs as simply not the right fit for me. It’s not that I’ve done anything wrong, am undesirable or unqualified. I am not alone seeking the perfect fit; the perfect fit is also seeking me. I am Cinderella.

glass slippersAnd the glass slipper is scouring the land in search of me and my unique foot. Ansonora feetd what an uncommon, tremendously special foot it is – sweet, cute, strong, tender, powerful, little rough around the edges, grippy, a funky toenail, a tiny bunion, a bright green vine tattoo, an adorable mole on the big toe.. takes an extremely special shoe to bring out the best of my podiatry masterpiece.. to make walking feeling like flying. Sigh.

Honestly, though I struggle with this idea of accepting any old shoe (aka job) as simply as a means to an end. Yet, I can tell you, after half a year of seeking the perfect fit, mediocrity has its merits. And still, even a poor shod eludes me. I am confused and exhausted.

So I rest my thoughts and heart on the idea of being Cinderella, knowing there is a shoe (aka job) seeking me, even as I’m looking for it.. perhaps, this job knows better than I, it is a good fit for “right now.” In fact, it is the perfect fit for my next steps. Our destiny together may be long or a short lived journey, a walk across the bridge from where I am now, safely over the abyss to the next adventure, which in itself is the perfection.

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Mountain Love

Displaying 20150329_115008.jpgWe cracked open a beer when we hit the dirt road. Joey threw the truck into four-wheel drive and we crawled over rocks, climbing the hill, then dropping into a landscape of meadows, evergreen pine trees, leafless aspen, a winding creek and snowy mountains on the other side of a narrow valley. As the screech of the sage brushing against the truck broke the awe-inspired silence, Joey looked over with a smile, “Sierra pin-striping.”

We descended a side road into the canyon and set camp next to the stream and a fire-ring constructed of locally-found granite rocks. We crossed tussocks rising above marsh grassland drenched in snow melt with occasional snow patches to gather wood. After the sun set and the first star rose in the indigo sky, we built a roaring fire and gave words to the movement of the flames – licking, wisping, lapping. The bright crescent moon cast a blueish tint over the mountains covered in striations of snow, making them look marbleized.

Though the coldWaterwheel_Falls_gafl_007L air froze our water overnight, I felt rested and rejuvenated by morning. Sitting in our camp chairs, Joey named each of the distant peaks and I was overcome with a feeling/memory of summer vacations in Yosemite led by my father John who wanted so much for me to understand peace and love this land.

That innocent, uncomplicated feeling of being secure and happy to be small in a really big world filled me so completely, it was as if the morning sunshine ran through my veins. I felt outrageously joyous, whether hiking overland to a grove of pine trees, looking for compressed deer beds, seeking heart-shaped rocks in a talus field, using rolled up sage for perfume, or admiring cascades of opaque and crystalline beads of honey-colored sap. I carried this feeling back to Joey’s, where we made sun tea and I Displaying 20150329_114923.jpgrode a dirt bike for the first time; looking at those inspiring mountains fueled the flame of joy in my heart for days. Joey’s presence, love and acceptance made me feel safe and content.

After a few days in suburbia, I lost my grip on the lightness of being. I should be looking for a job, I told myself. I should be doing the responsible thing. woodstock69Then (because it was Sky’s homework assignment) we watched the Woodstock documentary. All at once understood a fallacy that had stifled me much of my life – the fear of the outcast. Ostracized for being Mexican, Woman, Feminist, Witch, Slut, Bitch, Christian Scientist, Pagan, Hippie. Bearing witness to the simplicity of nearly half a million people sharing three magnificent days of peace and music broke the levies and I was suffused in ecstatic appreciation for my genuine enthusiasm, optimism, open-heart and brazen free-spirit.

I pulled the tarot card “Raise Your Standards” from my fairie deck and deviated from conventional training for safety and success by removing the stuffy, corporate clothes from my closet that do not spark joy to make room for my bohemian clothes  – to shelter and honor a gypsy life that financially and spiritually supports me, my creative muse and playful passion. This is my highest measurement of success.

Someone to Play With

There are some people who mirror back to you the most lovable, most likable aspects of yourself. My friend Cheri is one of those people.

One January we drove to Sedona with my cousin Elise under the rumbling sky and an impending snowstorm chasing us the whole way. It was rather symbolic of the rocky relationships and turbulent life hounding us all. We lay down in the middle of the road with the long stretch of possibility lying out in front of us, just to capture the moment of what could or might be. We danced and sang to “She’s a Brick House” and brought back to the hotel a long-haired Jesus looking young man who refused to tell us his astrological sign because he thought it would box him in.

Years later  we were at a Christmas work party at a very fancy home on the Laguna Beach cliffs. You couldn’t drink red wine in the dining room with the white carpet.  So Cheri and I went to the balcony overlooking the churning ocean.  We decided to go down and get our feet wet, and then we allowed the water to splash up to our ankles. Then, what the hell, we dove in with much of the party looking on. That’s how her husband Scott met the Cheri and Jamie combination.

Scott and Cheri have had many adventures of their own, including Burning Man, motorcycle rides up the coast, skeleton guises at the LA Cemetery for Dia de los Muertos and a backpack trip through East Asia. Cheri told me about admiring the intricate silver in the Laos bizarre and knowing she couldn’t carry all the baubles she admired. Instead she had found joy in the fact that these beautiful things existed in the world and she didn’t need to possess them. I loved that idea and carried it with me through the more difficult financial moments of my life.

Because they’ve inspired me so, I’ve made it a point to stop off at their home on my journeys northbound. It’s like just like as Scott says, hitching myself to their gypsy caravan – a traveling, funky, cozy respite, most welcoming to vagabonds. So last weekend I drove 3 hours to Scott’s 55th birthday party. We got into a wonderful conversation, as I knew we would.

We discussed how when you travel for a length of time, you sometimes have to break away from all who know you to form a new you – or the you that you want to become.  When I’m with Cheri and Scott it’s like we stand in the woods between the worlds (from C.S. Lewis’ Magician’s Nephew).. or the open road where nothing is yet decided and the air tingles with possibilities.. the place where I’m just me without roles or responsibilities, hang ups or expectations, where I can just play…