Thursday, February 17, 2011


It occurred to me that times when I slowed down-in the 12 by 12 and at other points in my life-were ironically the times when I got the most work done. Creativity flows smoothly out of nonaction, from the deep wells of idleness...When you moodle, your subconscious works out the aesthetics and structure without the overactive rational mind's interference.
William Powers Twelve by Twelve

As I was born a city kid, brought up in shopping malls, cars and community centers, I wasn't trained to take time for the idle mind. Every second of the day was filled with school or work or some effort to distract myself. Now in a place where I work according to my own schedule and from home, I have ample time for day dreaming and meditating even with a 9 month old daughter. One day each week in particular has allotted me 2 uninterrupted hours for such, and I look forward to it greatly. In the car on the way to San Miguel, after the morning commotion, as the hum of my CR-V sings Tallulah to sleep and Bronte sits sullenly in the backseat listening to the latest pop tunes, I am free to drift. Even in the confines of the car, I think far and wide, many times inspired by the endless landscape of mountains, horses, and blue sky. It is often in this space, Joe Purdy's voice lulling through the stereo, that I have revelations. As I stated in a previous blog, I was deemed at an early age the air head of the family. Daydreaming has always come easily and been precious to me, and though it can be irritating to others, I believe there is a value in it, that the ubiquity of diversions from silence in our present day has hindered. Though not all of us have the ability or inclination to live in the midst of ever inciteful wilderness, I posit that nothing can revitalize the mind like allowing it to roam without boundaries, even if the body remains on the metaphoric hamster wheel. So the next time you are stuck in traffic, or in line at the bank, instead of focusing on your wasted time, remember that there is no such thing. These times of seemingly endless waiting can be filled with the birth of ideas or the manifesting of an ideal life. Take time to observe all around you; the person rolling 2 miles an hour next to you singing their heart out, the kind interactions of strangers, people laughing. Allow yourself to be inspired by the previously mundane. In being consumed by the present moment and letting your creative mind flow, the everyday drudge of a car ride on the freeway could turn into the awakening that changes your life.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tao of Tyler

My 10 year old brother, as irritating as he is charming, says and writes some of the most entertaining and unexpected things. Here is a brief display of some of his most infamous quotes and poetry for your reading pleasure.

Take care to imagine these quotes being said with an adorable lisp and confident curiosity:

1) While out walking with Chloe, Tyler inquired of her "Which Simpsons character do you think I am?"
"Bart," Chloe replied with what she thought was the most obvious answer.
Outraged, Tyler declared "Bart?! I'm not Bart. I'm Lisa. I'm nice and smart and beautiful...Bronte's Bart."

2) One day we were all gathered in the kitchen making scones and, per Bronte's request, listening to Justin Beiber's One Time. When Justin sang out "your fight is my fight" Tyler questioned as he scrubbed a plate "Why would you get a girl involved in a fight?"

3)Keikai and I were out on the patio and heard Tyler's usual barrage of battle noises from the upstairs bedroom. After about 5 minutes of non-stop shooting Keikai yelled up "I think whoever you're shooting is dead, Tyler." Tyler opened his balcony door, looked down and said matter of factly "It's more than one person..."

4)After Mom had given up on tutoring Tyler, she deferred schooling duty to Bronte for the day. Bronte found success in the form of bribery and told Tyler if he completed his school in a timely fashion she would buy him Pringles from across the street. I walked in the room to get something and observed this dialogue:
"Tyler, that's one strike, two more and no chips."
High pitched whistle emitted from Tyler.
"That's another strike."
"What kind of school is this?!"

Though for the most part getting Tyler to complete his school work is like pulling teeth, poetry is the one aspect he enjoys. Here re a few of his fabulous written works.


The stupid fly

has a bugging life,

And likes to see

His buddy die.


Fireworks are like lightning,

A big bomb,

Like a disco ball,

Sounding like a crack !


Fluffy fur,

Black nose,


Pointy tail,


I'm happy and stupid,

I'm a dog.


Listen! Do you hear . . .

The flies,

The workers,

The birds,

The pounding,

The chinking,

The whistling,

The radio,

And the door slamming!


The far away sounds of working,

The far away sounds of dogs barking,

The far away sound of a BANG!


T he pool is taking 7 months,

M y family found a puppy,

A bird fell next door earlier today,

T o play soccer you have to go to the Plaza,

I hate tomatoes,

S occer is my favorite sport,

S ome people are evil,

E very day I smack Baby Phat.


A snowflake,

A paper cut out,

Different . . .

But still the same,

One goes away

And one remains.

I hope these make you as happy as they make me.

Check out the video page to see his most impressive Michael Jackson impersonation.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


The house glowed from the inside like a jack-o'-lantern. Sometimes I'd step outside and look through the windows, a dozen or so candles inside, as cheery as birthday cake - the 12 by 12 point lit with primordial fire amid dark woods - and I'd feel this smile spreading across not just my face but my spirit as well, lifting me with a feeling of emotional weightlessness.
-William Powers Twelve by Twelve

When I came to Mexico almost 2 years ago, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. Being in a relationship that muddled any sense of self worth and not ever allotting time for meditation, I felt that I was caught in limbo, that my desires would never be fulfilled, but worse yet, I didn't even know what they were.

18 months of time here has drastically changed that. In all of my reading and life experience some of my wantings have become abundantly clear, so much so that I had a mini break down last night. I was desperately sharing the details of my inner wants with Mom when she said something that turned my sour mood around: "Be grateful, you know what it is you want. Start manifesting." So here is where the ball starts rolling, with a written account of my dearest desires.

1) I want hens, layers, so I can have free range organic eggs in my backyard. So much so, that I have started reading Chickens in your Backyard to prepare myself for the task ahead.

2) I need a place for the chickens to run free, which brings me to my next point; a farm house with lots of land. This farm house in Southern France:
3) I love to bake. I love it so much I am willing to give up sleep and venture to the kitchen at absurd hours of the morning to make cakes, scones, and pastries in the solitude of pre-dawn. I want a bakery where I can make raw, gluten-free, and traditional goods with fresh and organic ingredients. A place with white walls and high ceilings and fair trade organic designer coffee, live music and a library of my favorite books.

4) I want to grow berries and greens and herbs, a garden to sustain our family. A place where seeds are planted, cared for, and brought into bloom to be used in the kitchen eliminating the need for neatly packaged and imported goods fueling a damaging global force.

5) After reading the pages in 12 by 12 (one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of reading) about his experience with candlelight, I sought out matches and candles and gave it a whirl. In not using overhead lights or lamps, I found how subtle and unobtrusive candlelight is in comparison. Maybe when the sun vanishes the darkness isn't meant to be resisted with illuminating bulbs rather felt in it's entirety, a flickering flame lending just enough light to aid with sundown tasks. This being said, I want to use candles as my sole source of light.

6) Composting toilets. Granted this may be TMI for many of you, but what a tremendous waste of both water and fertilizer conventional toilets are! I would be happy to be the one responsible for disposing of the waste as it would only cause our garden to flourish and diminish the need to waste innumerable amounts of precious water.

7) Mom is resposible for turning me on to the benefits of water catchment, and as it is something she is passionate about, it is a subject we have all become privy to. It would bring me endless amounts of joy to make use of inevitable rain water in place of depleting what's left of the world's water supply.

Over all I wish to live in an enviroment where my home merges with the life around it, where I can take pride in what I am doing and know that I am contributing my efforts to conserve. I yearn to feel my connection to the earth via living simply and placing emphasis on the important things; family, nutritious food, and laughter.

That's all for now, I'll continue to update as each of these points develops further.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Tallulah has recently fallen into the habit of throwing her head back and falling with complete abandon into whichever direction suits her. While it has wrecked my nerves attempting to keep up with her and ensure that she remains safe, it has also brought up some interesting parenting theories.

Following Davis's arrest Mom called a family meeting to discuss the whirling mass of feelings that had been circling our family. She found a concept worthy of consideration in her I Ching practice that day and wanted to share it with us. She posited that rather than dwell on the bad, or even take precautions to protect ourselves from it, we should strive to live on a higher plane. When we place our attention on only the good things and trust the powers of the universe, it provides us with the safety we seek and the necessity in our actions pushing against danger becomes obsolete . While this isn't an entirely new concept present in our troupe's conversations, something about it struck a new chord with me, especially as it relates to the upbringing of my daughter.

Subsequent to this sunlit deliberation, Chloe divulged a disturbing bit of information that, unfortunately, I had come across before. She told me about a young couple she knew that deliberately abused their two year old in an effort to make him tough, to train him for the inevitable difficulties of life. This kind of reasoning not only leaves lasting emotional scars, but provokes exactly the opposite belief system as the aforementioned one. In teaching kids of the strife of the world and stifling their self esteem with what many people deem the facts of life, you set them up for failure. By burdening children, who begin their lives as ever trusting beings with dreams and desires aplenty, you take away their innocence and teach them not to strive for greatness because it will always be out of reach. Warn them of the pedophiles and murderers and thieves and watch them lose their ability to rely on anyone. Teach them the rules of the dog eat dog world, and watch them live into the eye for an eye mentality.

Or, you can listen to them, allow them to choose their wardrobe, language, and friends. Instead of warning them of the perils and pitfalls, let them develop their intuition and use it to decide for themselves. Keep their spirit alive in letting them throw their heads back and be there to catch them when they fall.

Though parenting is a tightrope of keeping your child safe or coddling them, letting them spread their wings and giving too much slack, I believe above all else that their ability to express themselves is the most important part of growing up. I have heard that a child that feels comfortable saying no to his parents is more likely to deny the pressures placed upon him by his peers. Though Tyler and Bronte can be defiant to say the least, they are also the most confident and gifted pair of children I have ever known. They are allowed to speak what is on their minds and are brilliant problem solvers often times outsmarting the adults. They are living proof that as a parent, it isn't our job to teach, preach, or instill our values on childrens' impressionable minds, rather to make our own minds more malleable and learn from them.