re-imagining

Of course the transitional season would bring changes in my life, but I couldn’t have seen these biggies coming.  Moving, searching, shifting, digging (for work and meaning and purpose and place), and asking with greater urgency than ever, what is it that I want?  It feels so dramatic and life-changing in this moment. Continue reading

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Put It Out There

Just wanted to share some life tidbits since I got back to SoDak after a wonderful weekend in the Catskills of NY, meeting my foodie soulmates at Eco Practicum. (I always knew you were out there, just hadn’t met you yet…and now I just sound like that Michael Bublé song.)

Two things:

  1. I had a job interview.
  2.  I got a job offer.

Ironically, these two facts are not the cause and effect that they appear to be – let me explain.

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A Poem + keeping posted

Recently, I was challenged to write a poem and publish it here by Friday.  I’ve been dabbling in poetry since moving to Kauai, and dabbling is probably what it will remain.  Spurred by recent challenges, I wrote this blurb earlier today in order to come to peace with some those bumps in the road.  Here ya go, followed by some updates on the goings-on in my world.

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Jungle Home

First day at a new farm.

First centipede sting.

Karma for that one I severed in half a few weeks ago?  Probably.  Good thing farmers here know a thing or two about treating them:  green papaya sap, SssstingStop, and plenty of water.  So here I am, writing a blog post in the shade while the guys and gals around me sweat, wash, and pack for market.  It’s more of an annoyance than anything, although with time, the bite on the back of my hand is starting to swell and make my pinky finger feel funny.

Some adult things are harder at the new place – sending mail, for example, running errands, or washing dishes with a hose.  Other things, though, are worth it. I live in a jungle.  Surrounding my campsite are vines of lilikoi, shoots of lemongrass, a row of banana trees, and several thriving aloe plants.  And that’s not even talking about the gardens.  These small treasures, in addition to the sense of connectedness to Earth, food, and community, are worth the trouble (and the orange dirt that I will never be rid of).
Junglehome
After morning circle at 7am, I helped haul a picnic table to the community kitchen, and then spread coconut mulch over the tomatoes with Dylan, Tara from California, and a chatty French-Canadian woman who insisted on taking a picture of every moment (including my swollen hand).  Until the sting incident, I was digging on the physical work, the crawling on hands and knees, and the smell of tomato plants.  Tomorrow Dylan and I are inviting some friends over from the farm for a housewarming potluck.  When good food and good company abound, I want for little else.

I’ll leave you with a Mary Oliver for your day (or evening):

“Why I Wake Early”

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crochety–
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us home ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Aloha,
Rachel

Weirdo Wednesday

Today I’m drinking a strong cup of coffee.

Also breathing deeply.

I just tried to do both of these things simultaneously, and it ended it in a lot of coughing and spluttering.

Today I’m grateful for these moments of quiet before I go to the market to write this post and process my thoughts.  Someone recently told me, “For me, the most important part is the writing of it.  The act of putting it on the page.  I don’t worry (or care) about publishing.  I don’t worry about mistakes.  I write mostly for myself.”  These words lessened the pressure that I had been feeling to create something worthy of presentation to an audience.  I’ve been toying with the idea of a blog for some time now, but it scared me.  There are still some things that I would prefer to hand-write, and some things that I simply don’t want other eyes to see, but for now I think I’ll use this space to write for myself.  If someone reads it and wants to continue the conversation, I’d love that, too.
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With thoughts of big changes ahead, and the nag of rounding up last-minute Christmas gifts that will somehow be everything I’m looking for [i.e. free, perfect for their recipient, and arriving on time in the perfect packaging],  I’m trying to remember to be kind to myself. I really just want to wrap things using the new reversible wrapping paper that I bought last weekend.

Yesterday I went to my first counseling appointment.  A marriage and family therapist named Mariana.  I had hopes that she would, in 55 minutes or so, give me the answers to all of the discord that has been building up in my life for the past three years.  [that makes it sound like there’s a lot of discord.  i mostly mean all in the sense of in its entirety.  who’s to say what constitutes a lot of discord in a person’s life.  maybe enough to seek counseling?]  Of course it doesn’t work that way, but come on….not even a clue?  Instead, it was an hour of bringing to the forefront of my mind all the things that, on a daily basis, my lovely, adaptive brain allows me to forget about.

Mostly, we talked about my family, my relationship, and my recent move to Kauai.  She asked lots of questions.  The easy ones were very specific: “Is this your first homosexual relationship?” [slight cringe here] or  “How is your job going?” [rant about autonomy and bitch work and trust here]  Others were harder: “Tell me about your career goals,” and the kicker, “What are your interests?”  Guh.  I answered as honestly as I could, but sometimes I felt like the answer was just, I don’t know.  She gave me a few threads of hope in her feedback, saying that I seemed confident, and did not show any signs of personality disorders.  Whew.  Afterward, I felt physically and emotionally worn out, and was not looking forward to the potluck I had promised to go to with my roommate. It doesn’t take much lately for me to feel ready for a break – alone time, journal time, silence in a private space…typical introvert cravings.  When I got back to the cottage, though, Richelle had made a salad for us to bring, and was eager to go.

So we went.  All of the vendors from the Hanalei farmer’s market were gathered with food, BudLight, and Christmas merriment.  I avoided the eggnog/cheap vodka combo, and enjoyed some delicious Filipino cooking: sautéed bok choi and mushrooms, smoked pork, orange chicken, and a sweet taro dessert.  In the end I was glad for the good food and goofy company to distract me from the things that I have to believe will work themselves out in due time.  Later I’m going to sell products from our farm at the market in Kapa’a.  Dylan will be there to help and offer hugs, and the flurry of activity/interpersonal interaction will be a good change of pace.  More musings later.

Rachel