Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The world is too complex for linear analytic thinking now. To be smart in the global village means thinking with your stomach, thinking rhythmically, thinking organically, thinking in terms of yourself as an interwoven piece of nature.
- Jean Houston (quote extracted from The Cultural Creatives)

Gold will be slave or master. 'Tis more fit that it be led by us than we be led by it.

Last night, as I was anticipating settling in to bed next to my cuddly little munchkin, a family brawl ensued. The subject: money. A recurring discussion between mom and nana from and old school perspective to a new age mind set. Mom presented points that as the world market collapses, real estate and gold are our best options for preserving wealth, that hoarding money just for the sake of having it is an interesting way to live, and that ventures that are based out of a desire to make money can't stand up to projects based out of passion and innovative thinking. Not to mention, focusing on the lack of anything, money in particular, is no way to spend your days. Though I can understand where nana's belief system is based given her age and upbringing, I feel strongly that it is time for a shift. 

While dad was here we had many a conversation about him choosing a new career path, one that involves him actually enjoying what he does. He and I would get hyped about all of the possibilities until the issue of how came into the picture. I was reminded of a Law of Attraction passage that I read months ago stating that if you simply focus on the good feeling prospect unwaveringly it will inevitably become a reality, it is when you focus on the logistics of a situation that you get stuck in thinking it will be too difficult/costly/time consuming and the fire that was originally present at the base of thought dwindles into ash.

About a week ago, I was deep in the midst of working on the store, when mom came in and said "let's go." I whined back, not really wanting to leave in the middle of my task. She of course went into a spiel about how she thought it would be quite beneficial for me to see the property she was taking me to and as always, she was right. Las Barancas is a collection of homes and casitas owned by various people who mostly use them as vacation dwellings. Two of the only full-time residents, Dar and Cynthia, planted a lavender farm there which Dar stated began as a quest to have a beautiful front yard and evolved to a 7,500 plant endeavor. They harvest 4 different types of lavender which stand in vast curvy lines throughout their property, and let me tell you, to view these savory purple plants blowing in the dry wind, the resplendent mountains guarding them from every angle, is a beauty unlike anything I've ever seen. Dar, perhaps one of the only people I've met who can nearly match my mom's level of industriousness and vision, told us of all the undertakings she has on her horizon, and we had a lovely afternoon exchanging ideas of the future of our minute ghost town. I left there feeling refreshed and inspired from having indulged in an afternoon with like-minded people. I gained even more faith that if one is fervent about their vocation, abundance will guide them through. That creating with the use of intuition and inventive wiles will bring sustainable forms of income as opposed to the limited means of the money-hungry thinker.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It's my party, I can cry if I want to.
- Lesley Gore

Birthdays have always been a funny thing for me. It was as if I was expecting everything and nothing ever went according to the extravagant plan in my head. I was incessantly wishing for somebody to love and imagining that on this one of 365 days, I would be happy, that the stars would align and everything I wished for would come true. It never quite worked out that way. 

On my sweet sixteen I ate lunch in the hallway of my new high school by myself because my only friend (who wasn't really a friend, just someone to insure company at lunchtime) had an Amnesty International meeting. My mom sent me an enormous bouquet of flowers which, although a nice gesture, only enhanced my awkwardness as I sheepishly walked the still unfamiliar halls. 

On my eighteenth birthday my friends threw me a party in which my 3 best friends were some of the only people I knew. As one of my acquaintances quieted the room for a birthday toast I started to blush only to find that it was directed at someone named Paul. Tired from work and toting a freshly broken heart, I simply didn't have the energy to announce that it was also my day. I went outside to get some air, where my friends who knew me all too well followed and saw the tears well in my eyes. As far as I was concerned there was only one person I wanted to receive a Happy Birthday from and we all knew that wasn't going to happen. I was too embarrassed to tell my friends this was the reason for my sadness but they all knew it anyway. 

The evening preceding my 21st birthday, Keikai locked himself in the bathroom with all of his possessions threatening to leave. I laid in bed and cried, watching The Office to distract myself from the pain. I was probably a few days pregnant. When I awoke, I had an uncomfortable guitar lesson, fought with mom all day and made my own cheesecake which I couldn't eat until the next day. "It's my birthday." I said to Tyler. He said "I know" and walked away. Nana forgot the significance of the day altogether. I cried myself to sleep.

The birthdays before and in between the aforementioned ones were the same, yet less dramatic variations on the residing theme; my birthdays suck. Somehow from one to the next I always seemed to forget the agony of crushed anticipation and come the 15th I would experience the same disheartenment year after year. This year however, in my new phase of enlightenment, I reminded myself to live in the moment. I implicated a mantra that this was simply another day in the grand scheme of my wonderful life. I woke up this morning, happy to be alive and feeling fortunate for all I have. I wasn't expecting a letter from the Queen or a private concert from John Legend (how great would that be????) rather just to spend this 22nd anniversary of my birth with the people I love. I awoke to a plethora of celebratory emails. I opened my window to have my baby brother scream Happy Birthday and offer me my "morning squeeze," something which he so often avoids. I baked all day and I had dinner with my dear family. I would venture to say that it was my best birthday ever, not because I went on a huge shopping spree or ate at an expensive restaurant, but because at this stage in my life I have faith that the life I live is great and it's only going to get better. I have justification to celebrate, not just on the 15th day of September, but on the other 364 as well.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


A couple of weeks ago I walked toward my room and heard the unmistakable sound of mom's voice, loud and clear, singing to Tallulah. As she rocked my baby to sleep she sang the words I have heard so many times throughout my life, the hymn she lulled me with in my formative years. Though I was never taken to church, I knew the words by heart, but they never resonated so strongly with me than as I stood there with 2 of the most important people in my life absorbing their true meaning for the first time.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see.

I started to well up as bits of my life came before my teary eyes. It was these moments of unexpected tenderness that made me truly appreciate every facet of my existence.  


A year ago, Keikai woke me up wheezing. He declared that he was going to quit smoking at 2 am but come 7, he was beside himself with anger. He refused to leave our bed. Feeling helpless as I often did when I cam up against such unwarranted hostility, I left the house to walk up the familiar mountain alone, frustration searing through me. As I walked, I waited for it to dissipate, but with every stride I became increasingly upset. The sky was blue and the weather was superb and all I could think of was why my beloved treated me with such disrespect, and a few days before my birthday no less. Upon returning to the house, Fernando, mom's assistant, told me in his broken English that Keikai left. Perfect, I thought. Yet another instance of him abandoning me with my angst for untold periods of time. I retreated to my room to attempt to tame the dragon inside of me.

I laid in bed staring at the ceiling. Keikai returned, but my eyes stayed fixed on the dark wooden beams, determined to ignore him. He walked past me and set something on my desk and looked at me. My curiosity got the better of me and I glanced over to the left to see a un-potted rose bush sitting in front of my framed picture of Marilyn Monroe and Keikai grinning smugly. The red rose stared at me as my expression changed from deeply unsettled to delighted surprise. Keikai walked over and kissed my cheek, his shirt stunk of cigarettes


I just finished watching The Duchess, a visually stunning film with a less then uplifting story line.  Yet another tale of an oppressed woman who was forced to make heartbreakingly difficult decisions due to the tenacity of old patriarchal laws. Though I was filled with remorse at the struggles she endured, it made me feel immensely grateful for my own freedom. Freedom not only from the year and a half long relationship that my denial kept alive much longer than should have, but from my former self as well. Freedom to forgive Keikai for telling me he hoped that I lost the baby because I wasn't ready to be a mother because I will never forget the way those words stung my heart and they propel me to make a better life not only for me but for my daughter. My current state of mind has pushed me to favor my revery of the new love of my life rather than my bitterness toward past events. As this 7 year cycle draws to an end I am finally ready to absolve the instances of hurt I experienced and inflicted.

The rose bush remains, healthier and more beautiful than the day it came into my life, though I can't say the same for my relationship. It seems to be a metaphor for our time together, beautiful with inescapable thorns. Spikes that if ignored, could cause more harm than good. Though when Keikai first left, I couldn't help but scowl every time I walked past it, I can now see the rose for what it is, a beautiful flower. It took a while for my resentment to resolve, but I can view it as a reminder of our good times and a warning to stay strong, and I plan to. My daughter is absolutely the light of my life, and as I witnessed the Duchess give up her child in honor of the lives of her other 4, I felt her pain as only a woman who has given birth could. I sing Amazing Grace to Lulah every night as her eyelids waver in strength until they give in entirely, and I truly feel the words. She grips my finger and stares into my eyes until she submits to sleep and I do feel like I have been saved.