On Signs from HP

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Every year my family has a white elephant party. We exchange the lowest scale junk from the depths of our dark closets including old Barbies, kid’s toys, ugly sweaters, and comical party favors. Though these items are predictable, they are different in some way each year. In other words, I wouldn’t receive the same ugly sweater that someone else received last year. No—there is only one item that is allowed to recycle itself upon the same circle each year, and that is Sally’s Angel.

When the Angel was born unto this Earth, finished with a careless brush stroke atop a navy blue canvas, she was not blessed. Instead, the ear was dotted on her face just in time for her to be welcomed with a condescending chuckle and the cruel proclamation: “This is the ugliest angel I’ve ever seen.” And how can an insult like this be more any more condemning, coming from the mouth of no other than that of that her Creator? The Creator didn’t even have the wit to sign her own initials; instead, she forged a crooked “HP” near the Angel’s head.

If I hadn’t been there during the time of her creation, I would have been among those pondering the origin of this great mystery. Each year, the chosen one tears off the last of the wrapping paper to come face to face with the strange angel. The first reaction is always hysterical laughter, followed by a solemn gaze of pure confusion—and finally, the question. “What’s HP?” And it was always my grandmother—never the true creator—who would have to explain the story to the entire group. She confessed it was a mock painting, not the original. My grandmother’s friend, Sally the artist and the hoarder, had given her a painting of an “ugly” angel for Christmas one year. When my grandmother asked Sally what her inspiration was for this “lovely painting”, Sally poked her thumb up in the air a few times and whispered, “H.P.” with a divine force. What’s H.P.? Harry Potter? Grandma had asked. Sally only responded, “You know… higher power.”

I could have never foreseen myself becoming anything like Sally the artist, the hoarder, and angel-whisperer years later… but not long after the first year of her rotation, I began receiving signs. California license plates were everywhere. Everyone I met was from California. Some of them still are. Now, however, it’s changed to North Carolina. So what is it about North Carolina?  And what about the recurring numbers I see at least twenty-two times per day? This subject may deserve a separate post. The point is, it’s come to the point in which I cannot ignore these signs being thrown at me with such force everywhere I go.

I could only take an educated gander at the giver of these signs, and I’m not sure how to explain It any better than HP. You know. Higher Power. And now here I find myself in a tiny apartment hoarding blank canvases, waiting for signs from HP to tell me what needs to be painted. I’m hoarding blank notebooks, waiting for signs from HP to inspire my words. Then there are those instruments basking in the dark corners of my rooms, some of which go untouched, waiting for HP to dominate my fingertips and strum.

I’ve had some success so far. Ever since I’ve acknowledged that HP is in fact living in my hands and my heart, I have experienced floods of inspiration. It’s not so difficult to finish things anymore. Knowing that HP is the source of signs I receive, I’m more willing to trust the recurring signs… places, symbols, numbers, names, etc. It’s seeing how the order of my life can play out, placing the opportunities in front of my eyes and allowing me to put together various puzzle pieces that might just come together and form a beautiful picture.

When the Sun Stood Still

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When the Sun Stood Still

When the sun stood still and so did we, it harmed our world and our galaxy…

The stars don’t shine, they seem to sing, ‘Return to your festivities’. 

I’ll admit it was a dark month. I’m sure all living beings across the entire Earth felt it, too. The days had never seemed shorter. My feet were constantly aching, my sinuses were chronically clogged, people were unresponsive. It was like the Universe was ignoring me– something I’m not quite used to. I had to call upon Universal sources in all the ways I could possibly think of to get Someone’s attention… I felt like a neglected child, but perhaps I was only throwing a dramatic tantrum after being put in time-out for a mild amount of time. Looking at the bigger picture, meaning the poverty and crises of the whole planet, I suppose my conditions could have been worse.

Still, I wasn’t being creative enough to cure my cold, empty heart. I was asking Higher Powers for assistance but I forgot about the Law of Attraction. Here I was, laying on the floor in a heap of adrenal fatigue, cursing the world for ignoring me, when there were a billion stars in the sky ignored by a good portion of those still awake in their homes watching TV!was the one ignoring the Universe! How could I expect anything in return when I put no energy into admiration of the natural law?

My sickness had prevented me from doing lots of things. I would only work 4 hours and feel exhausted beyond measure. I couldn’t breathe at night because of my clogged sinuses. I was a low-functioning disaster treading pavement and polished tiles in the few hours of the sun provided its rays. My self-esteem was falling down a bottomless pit. Even my nervous system was a wreck; I experienced severe brain fog, speech problems, vertigo… and my feet were the only ones crackling out of twenty meditators during mindful walking (I was the youngest of all by 30 years). It occurred to me that not only was my spirit ancient… my physical body was experiencing symptoms as though it were as old as my soul!

Feeling handicapped, it was hard to make decisions. It still is. After all, it’s only been like six days, and here I am speaking in grave past tense. (At least we don’t have to hear me try to vocalize it, because the intro would have been even longer and more off-track than this one). So you can probably imagine how hard it was for me to decide to attend a Winter Solstice yoga event at 2pm when I got off work at 2pm. After working longer shifts, I usually go home and become immobile for at least two hours. Doing absolutely nothing, because I don’t have a television and I’m too tired to read.

This was different, though. Something stirred my spirit when I had the idea, or what some might say a calling, to bring my Winter Solstice Song to the potluck afterwards instead of a dish. I didn’t have the time or the energy to prepare a dish, but I did have a year-old song relevant to the event. There would be a singing-bowl performance and guided meditation following the yoga practice. I needed to attend. So I got off work eight minutes early, ran back home to get my guitar and change into yoga clothes, and arrived to the studio only two minutes late. That was a 10 minute round trip. Magic, I thought to myself. I am magic.

With that decision, I began celebrating the Solstice two days early, and I’m never early for anything on a normal basis. The two-hour celebration of movement connecting us to the core of our beings and our love, then being washed over by singing bowl songs, was felt even more intensely after being processed with water. While everybody sat down on their mats afterward with full plates, I sat on a chair and sang my song to the studio  completely packed with lovely souls. The girl selling jewelry told me my voice made her tear up. It nearly surprised me that the singing bowl-ist told me she’d love to sing with me. But with the unresponsiveness I’d been receiving the past month, I assumed we never would but accepted the kind thought.

Two days later, on the actual Winter Solstice, we did. I was invited to a fire ceremony welcoming the return of the light. Some people were late, and we didn’t want to stand outside for any longer than we needed to… so I shared my Winter Solstice Song for everyone who was there to kick things off, just in the warmth of the old house. This was the time to do it. I could have talked myself out of it, by why wouldn’t I play it ON the Winter Solstice? We stood outside for nearly three hours, embracing the cold and the wind and the snow at my feet. We acknowledged the four directions, the winds, the natural forces of the Earth. All the great healers of the city were present. And there, too, was I. Time was in the process of reversing itself from days of darkness to days of more light. So naturally, I shouldn’t have expected things to stay the same. However, I didn’t know my entire life perspective was about to halt and reverse its order.

I stayed up until 3am drinking cacao and singing my soul out with the singing bowl lady/ renowned massage therapist and her husband. We even added cayenne pepper, turmeric, butter, and coconut oil in our cacao to celebrate the return of the light. Moreover, we added these things to activate the fire in our creative endeavors and in our music. It worked. I mean, you can talk about “healing vibrations” to anyone on a daily basis, but how often do you feel strong vibrations radiating throughout your whole body? On your body? Outside of your body? That’s how this was.

So why hadn’t I ever considered making music with healers? That night as I stood outside in a circle around the fire, I also spoke with an acquaintance  who’d just lost her husband and the custody of her three daughters. They had a family band, and now all that’s left is her and her son. When I told her I’d like to hear her band, she said, “I’d rather you play with us.”  So today I sang with them. We began learning “Heart of Gold”, “Dust in the Wind”, and “Blackbird”. They said they use music as their primary form of healing from heartache and grief. And it’s working, energetically. To be asked to sing with them is the highest form of praise I could be given; to them, my music is healing. I left the house feeling warm and enlightened, tingling with magical sensations everywhere.

Yes, all of this happened in 6 days– the busiest week of the year for everyone in the middle of the Christmas season– but somehow the Universe provided time for the healing art of music collaborations. There is a reason. It’s simply because we were celebrating the return of light instead of standing still as the time reversed. The galaxy is your oyster once you admire the natural forces of all that is. Look at the stars with love, and you will be given love in return…

 

 

 

Writer’s Revelation

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When life gets confusing and nothing makes sense anymore, all you have left are words. Words to delve into the subconscious abyss, gradually winding down a hole filled with white light for minutes, hours, days, years— until something is revealed to the writer and finally she can rest. It’s a dizzying, long journey. Once she has reached the bottom of this white light-filled hole, she will realize that the answer is not at the bottom. She will look up and see that she has created something of what had been nothing. Something beautiful and intricate, packed with stories of adventure. And this will be the greatest epiphany of all. Furthermore, she’ll realize that she was never really alone. No– words were there all along, serving as the most comforting company anyone could have fathomed. They were there to answer questions that seemed unresolvable, predicting the future better than any fortune-teller could have. They were all the power and magic in the Universe, right at the tips of her ten fingers.

Birth

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Birth

Everywhere I drove, I saw plates from Goshen County marked by the number 7. The number 7 always used to be my favorite number, my lucky number, before I began seeing number patterns repeatedly everywhere I looked fifteen years later. Seven became insignificant compared to the persistent 222s, 221s, 555s and other random number sequences—until a couple weeks ago when sevens kept flashing before my eyes no matter where I went. But it was the license plates that were leading me to dig deep into my roots, to search for something I didn’t know I had lost.

So here I find myself in a window seat of the newly opened bakery in a town out on the open prairie with a population of 5,000— Torrington, Wyoming. It’s a town with prominent aromas of cow manure and dried couchgrass. Almost nobody born here stays—but I imagine there are some that do. It’s a town of new beginnings, just like every other mildly progressive town in Wyoming. A new restaurant had sprouted at some point within the past fifteen years with my last name as a title. A western boutique with a few boho items stood within a tiny complex at the end of downtown. The furniture store was closing.

Driving eighty miles through such a scene the average person would consider “nothing to look at” was surprisingly a beautiful revelation for me. I drove down the dark road surrounded by an open area of buffalo grass below a subtle blue, cloudless sky. But if you scan see past that, looking with a deeper vision, you might see the Rocky Mountains glowing in a pink aura through the rearview mirror, and feel the wind rustling your hair as though you were among the horses on the sides of the road. You can see herds of free-range cows along the prairie drinking from a deep blue creek that is somehow still flowing in the middle of November.

And you thought you’d finished the straight path, you arise on top of the prairie and gasp in awe. Oh… so this is where I come from, I thought. The road was no longer black; it descended into hues of purple, nicely complimenting the hues of red sagebrush. Small rock formations sat piled in pyramidal stacks across the view, only to be noticed by those curious enough about this happy land. Really, it was a happy, lightweight feeling I was overcome with. No longer was my heart sinking into the same view I saw each day; instead, it was spread right out in front of me. There was the old faux chimney rock we called “Hitchhiker’s Thumb” with various roads open up to explore the top if I ever felt the urge to do so. There was Horse Creek, there was Hawk Springs. Places I’d forgotten existed. I’d forgotten where I came from…

Along the horizon, majestic purple plateaus were glowing magenta. Everywhere I looked along the roadsides, healthy bussels of astragalus were sprouting amongst couchgrass. I was breathtaken—breathing in the whole sky, the plains, the purple plateaus. I was now spiraling down this two-lane road, wondering what incentive everyone else travelling it had. Cars from Nebraska and others from upstate Wyoming were speeding towards me. What was triggering their travels? Was it the number 7? Was it any kind of number?

Finally, I came upon the Water Tower and the unnecessarily bold billboard exclaiming “WELCOME TO TORRINGTON, WYOMING”. My grin expanded outside my face and into my heart and crown chakras. I was home.

Day 10

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Day 10

(Yesterday)

Today is Day 10 in my new downtown home, working back at my home store, in my hometown… and I can’t stop laughing. I didn’t realize what complete bliss I’d been missing out on those five months immersed in what I thought was my dream city. I didn’t realize how much laughter I would be lacking once I moved there. I could have never foreseen how much heavier I would feel in the skinniest state in the country, how much unhealthier I would become in the healthiest state, how much I would lose my mind in the state with the best state of mind, or how little sun I would absorb in the state with 360 days of sun. Forty miles away from all of that, I’ve rediscovered why I love life here. I am a fan of this place because nobody quite knows how to survive here unless you’ve decided to thrive here.

They’ll tell you there’s nothing to do, not realizing that simply looking at the sky is very much an active activity rare amongst urban populations throughout most of humanity. I’ve seen how buildings, stadiums, and trees block the sky view and the stars far too frequently elsewhere. They’ll tell you there’s no culture, not really taking heed of the vivid, real smiles being thrown generously about to mere strangers. Yes, culture exists here, in the smiles and laughter you’ll see wherever you go. It also exists in the silence of strolling the sunny streets, embracing the cool breeze blowing through your hair. It exists in the harmony of being acquainted with nearly everyone you might see on a daily basis, being able to exchange a friendly smile or even strike a conversation.

I can absorb the sun here because the city has absorbed me throughout the best parts of my life, shedding light upon my essence.

You’ll se the total eclipse of the sun when you’re where you should be all the time -“You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon

Flame of Intention

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Flame of Intention

If there was a way to make you happy, I would.

I would sing by the Fire every evening and hope you’d be there listening.

I’d write out the reasons you deserve happiness

with a stick in the dried ditches of the Plains.

I’d sing Elton John songs persistently in the car

channeling your happiness of the past.

I could dress up in all the most brilliant costumes

making a fool of myself to the rest of the city.

(I already do.)

I’ll drive around town with my windows rolled down,

singing from the depth of my heart

sending fire into the air.

You know, beautiful people do not always have beautiful souls

but I believe yours may be the most beautiful blue soul in the land

And I see that those who deserve happiness shall have it.

 

In reality, We are not hopeless creatures–

there is always a way to create happiness for others in some way

with thoughts, rituals, writing, or public appearance

so that when those sad eyes fall upon You, bright light,

their hearts fill with a hopeful Fire

a desire to feel zest for life again.

And that future happiness may well be inspired by You, dear soul,

so go out and create smiles with your tone of voice,

with the energy you manifest each morning,

with the molecules you consume.

Feel with your whole soul,

feed and fulfill your body with Earth,

feel the Flame of intention

that will always save something.

 

Hello, Home

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One year ago I walked

barefoot through a cave

This year I walked

barefoot through a forest

twice.

I ate corn tortillas cooked on kal (limestone)

made by the strong

worn hands of native Mayan mothers

for forty days in a row–

Now my staples consist

of coffea arabica

and native Colorado flower tops.

Last year I drank Yucatecan limonada

Now I drink the flower essence

of Sedum lanceolata–

But I’ve done too much driving in this time

back and forth

for forty miles

Now I serve time (as well as Earth)

on my feet–

Feeling stronger after bouts

of vitamin, mineral, and essential amino acid

deficiencies

mold poisoning

an unbalanced place of residency

Lost my mind–

I’ve come to settle in a place of peace

where light pours through seven long windows

and I stand on green carpets like grass

Slanting walls like tree bark–

A home almost as old

as my old soul.

Home is home; home is everywhere here.

Here, we can drink tea all the time

together

I  feel how much warmer my hands have grown

I feel love radiate from every cell in my body

as I hold each cup and say each name

again

We’re so happy you’re back

Everything has changed

yet time stood still for four months

and still

I run through the rain.