Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My last post ever

Here at least, I have a new blog!

Where? Ahimsa Creation hosted at Wordpress
https://ahimsacreation.wordpress.com/

Why? Several reasons.
-First, I had been meaning to learn the in's and out's of Wordpress for a while. It'll help me with some collaborative projects I've been talking over with some friends, and if I ever decide to expand my blog into a more functional website, Wordpress is better than Blogger.
-Second, Wordpress likes my iPad (birthday present last month, squee!) better than Blogger. In fact, I'm currently writing this to be posted via email because Blogger hates me iPad that much (it may be that they are compatible, but Wordpress just made it that much easier).
-Third, my blog was in need of a good kick in the butt. Getting kicked out of the house this summer really messed with my writing schedule. I thought being homeless would make for great blog fodder, and it might have if I had really wanted to stick with it, but the truth of it is I spent more time doing the whole survival thing than writing. Now I'm back in a house, at least for winter, so I'm starting fresh.

New name, new vision, and pictures for once!

So why am I writing this, here? On the off chance anyone still follows this and wants to go back to reading about my knitting (and other art). If not, well then, farewell Blogger World! I had fun while it lasted, and I of course will keep reading everyone I'm following (even trying to be a better comment leaver!).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Mindful Scarf

A happy change on this blog from recent times:  an entire post about knitting!  I know my recent posts haven't been completely devoid of knitting, but this is a post so chock full of knitting, it feels like the good ole "before I was homeless" days (news on this at the end of the post).

I don't think I ever outgrew my 'scarf stage' as a knitter, I still love making scarves and while I know I could do larger garments, I don't yet have the motivation (or really the budget and or stash) to make larger things.  I especially love The Wisp scarf pattern, even though I haven't actually finished it, so when I got another craving to knit a scarf, I returned to my beloved Wisp.

My history with Wisp is like an on-again-off-again relationship with a guy who has great looks, great personality, and a sense of humor, but you're just not sure if he really clicks with you.  The first time I met Wisp, I knew nothing about mohair and I found myself trying to use Patons Divine, which has the fuzzy halo of a lighter mohair, but is nevertheless a fairly thick yarn and I soon frogged the scarf.  Then i got my hands on a lovely aqua mohair that was as light as baby's breath, but I was not experienced enough to coax it the way I wanted.  I tried again later using Lion Brand Amazing, but I didn't have nearly enough yarn and the scarf eventually was sewn into my Whisper Crystal Case.  Now I am trying once again, using yarn from my stash, but like most patterns I sink my teeth into, I've found myself making plenty of changes.

I've decided to call this scarf A Mindful Scarf, and as I knit it, I try to bring myself into the moment as much as possible, and to practice being mindful with every stitch.  The original Wisp patterns is made up of 17 lace panels, but my mindful scarf will have 36 inspired by the 108 beads of a prayer mala (3*36=108).  Wisp is basically made up of lace panels alternating with garter stitch sections, but instead of just plain gayer stitch, I'm including stockinette, reverse stockinette, and moss stitch.  The pattern goes something like this:
-lace section
-stockinette
-lace section
-garter stitch with eyelets
-lace
-moss stitch
-lace
-eyelet row
-lace
-reverse stockinette
-lace
-eyelet row
-lace and so on

Having so many different stitches in a specific order (notice that repeating eyelet row I threw in there), it was a matter of time before I screwed up my pattern and accidentally left out one of the eyelet rows.  By the time I had noticed, I would have had to tink back 15 rows of work.  This is the sort of mistake every knitter faces where she has to decide the big question: Is this worth the trouble of fixing, or is this a new 'design element'?

But this was my Mindful Scarf, I had to choose carefully.  The aim of the scarf was to be mindful and in the present every step of the way, and what a better exercise for the patience and the mind than to carefully undo 15 rows of work, and then carefully redo 15 rows of work (yes I know, when phrased like that it does sound a bit masochistic, but let's also remember I think living in a tent is quite fun too).  But I also happen to be an avid follower of the tradition of leaving an intentional mistake in one's work, a tradition I first heard of when learning about the Native Americans of the Southwest, namely the Navajo and the Anasazi tribes who believed that an intentional mistake was a way to let demons out that might be entangled in their weaving, but also as a tribute to life's imperfections.  Authentic Persian rugs also all have a deliberate mistake as a sign that no one is perfect except god.  And as I considered the various pros and cons of leaving the mistake and fixing it, I decided to leave it as a tribute to this ancient tradition.

I think what I'm most enjoying about this scarf is the yarn and the colors.  I noticed I had a lot of NaturallyCaron.com (stupidest yarn name ever) floating around my stash; there was a partial ball of Country in Peacock, an untouched skein of Country in Claret, and a smallish ball of Spa in Green Sheen (terrible color representation in that picture by the way, it's much softer).  It's interesting using the Spa, which is a bamboo/acrylic mix, in conjunction with the Country, which is a merino/acrylic mix.  The bamboo yarn is noticeably more open and drapey than the merino, but I like how it looks and feels, especially since the green section is relatively small anyway.  So far I have knit 10 repeats of the blue and five of the green (using up both of those colors) and now I'm working on the red.  I don't know how far I'll take the red along or if I'll just use it up (I'm trying to do a little stash busting here), but I also have some purple and darker green to I could draw upon as well.  We'll see how it goes.  Right now the focus is not what is going to come next, but the row that I am knitting now.  Especially since I've been distracted lately and keep forgetting what row I'm on.

I've also got my next project planned as well.  Unfortunately my yarn fund (which was just a roll of ones in my wallet) has gone missing.  I'd like to think that I was the dumb dumb that lost it, but unfortunately there have been some minor thefts lately and well . . . I'm just keeping a closer eye on my stuff.  But what this means is that I still can't buy any new yarn or needles, so I've turned my attention to projects I can work on for free, like using stash yarn for my Mindful Scarf.  Technically I still have Apollo's sock poi knocking around the bottom of my knitting bag (anyone remember those?), but that is the sort of project that will require a real deep breath and a real push of motivation to finish.  Fortunately Apollo knows that these are going to take a while, that the pattern is tricky and troublesome and that I'm not crazy about it, and that I've even designed a much simpler and more enjoyable pattern variation, but I am determined to finish this pattern at some point (soon . . . I hope) because even though it's not enjoyable, it's going to look so bad-ass!  I have actually promised that when I can afford the yarn, he will get a pair of the "new and improved" sock poi while he's waiting for the "tedious yet bad-ass" sock poi, lest we forget these were supposed to be a birthday present three and half months ago.

But I digress, the new project I have planned for after that is a variation of knitting with fabric strips or t-shirt "yarn".  One of our early tent-mates left in the tent a bag of those cotton loops they sell in crafts stores to weave potholders out of, and this morning I starting looping them together into one long chain and then rolled them up into a very lumpy "yarn" ball.  I'll knit it up on some of my bigger needles into something like a bath mat.  But why would I need a bath mat in a tent?  Remember I said I had some news relating to that . . .

It looks like my darling other half and I just might be moving in with a friend who has a spare bedroom and a mother who will take slave labor, whoops, I mean work around the house and yard in lieu of rent for a while.  I'm kidding about the slave labor bit, I'm writing this at 2AM, don't ask why, it just sort of happened.  But yeah, the details haven't all been settled yet, but you just might be reading more from me on a more frequent basis again . . . I don't want to make any promises just yet, but the future is looking interesting.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vacation

Bruce and I have been having a vacation from our lives lately. Two of our dear friends, Kay and Gregory, have been letting us stay with them this week. Part of their family is on vacation for a week, so Bruce and I were invited to take advantage of sleeping under a real roof for a while. Ironically, I've come to find that I sleep better in out in our tent; in the tent sometimes we are woken up by the sound of traffic and local construction (we're unfortunately positioned in a spot where sounds from the road can echo down into our trees), but here in a house there are all sort of electronics and appliances creating ambient noise, and two contemptuous beasts called German Shepherds that Enjoy far too well Barking at an Ungodly Hour of the Morning. I'm starting to prefer the sounds of bulldozers to dogs barking. It's a testament of what a person can adapt to.

That's not to say it isn't very nice to have access to a shower and conventional toilet whenever I like, a fridge to keep our perishable food, friends to eat and drink and relax with every night, and access to electricity to do things like write and post this. So far, the couple of days Bruce and I have spent here have been a very nice little vacation. Two days in a row, we did nothing but putter around the house and watch TV. Bruce and I never watch TV. Well, I used to in my parents house on nights I couldn't sleep, or when I was sick, but after I moved in with Bruce, I stopped watching TV almost entirely. But in a move very unlike either of us, we spent one day watching a Eureka marathon (one of the shows Bruce actually did used to watch on occasion, but I had never seen it - and am now as rabid a fan as any, I'd rank it on par with Dr. Who and Torchwood) and the next day we watched documentaries about marijuana, the Masons, Pablo Escobar, and the history of cocaine. Yesterday was the first time we left the house in three days.

We're going to be here in the house for a few more days yet, and we're probably not going to spend that time lazing around in front of the television, but both Bruce and I feel rather refreshed from our vacation time. We'd been talking about how we're always running around like crazy people and it was getting tiring. Shutting off the phone and shutting ourselves away from the world at large was definitely a needed "reset". We've been talking about ways to keep on doing everything we want to do with ourselves, but in a less frenetic sort of way.

And knitting has been happening! I finished my Blue Breeze Shawl - the one I posted the simple pattern for last time - and it is so warm and cozy. Nearly two whole skeins of Lion Brand Homespun went into it and it's perfect for what I wanted - a big wearable blanket. Because I knit it on big needles, it won't stop the breeze from getting in, but it's a nice layer to add when I'm chilly in the evening. And I knit my friend a little iPod cozy, ironically the first I've made in my 5 years of knitting, despite their popularity among knitters of my general age. Probably wouldn't have made one anyway had I not felt a small sense of obligation.

See, the iPod itself came from this sketchy dude who owed Bruce and me $20. He'd given us his wife's iPod (which she apparently didn't want anymore, maybe she got a fancier one) as collateral. Then he decides to flake out on the $20 and told us to keep the iPod. Well, we've already got one iPod we rarely use, we didn't want another. Our dear friend Jacques had been wanting an iPod so he could listen to music at his job without killing his phone's battery every day, and he thought $20 was a fair price. The problem was the iPod was a very unmanly shade of magenta, so as a condition of the sale, I promised to knit a manly looking pouch for it.

It was an interesting project because I knit the majority of the pouch using double knitting. It resulted in a very fitted little pouch that snuggles the iPod perfectly. Finishing it was tricky because in order to knit a flap to close the pouch, I had to bind off every other stitch on my needles, sliding the others onto a holder as I went along. Then I took those stitches and knitted a little flap with a button hole that folds over and closes the pouch. I just need to weave in ends and attach a good button, and then it'll be ready for Jacques.

My next project I have planned for the immediate future is going to be another shawl. I don't know what pattern yet, I've got some ideas bouncing around though. I'm still planning to work on learning socks, but I'm still saving my pennies to be able to afford the smaller needles that my collection currently lacks. I might splurge on some cotton and begin making sock poi again, although I've been waiting for Michaels to put up good sales on their yarn. They do it every now and again, and if I'm patient, eventually Sugar and Cream will go on sale for a dollar each. Hence my plans for another shawl; I've been kicking around ideas that will use yarn and needles I already have giving me a project to work on now while I save my change and wait for sales on things I don't have.

The other thing I have been up too, besides vacationing from tent life and knitting my ever shrinking stash, is writing and lots of it. Oddly, I don't write as consistently as I used to (I'm still working on my resolution to write everyday, even if it's only one line in my journal) but I have twice now found myself indulging in epic writing sessions of 10-14 hours which has resulted in not as much product as you might expect, but stuff that I really love and feel awesome about. For about 2 years now I've been pulling seemingly random stuff together hoping to eventually create a finished manuscript, and these marathon sessions have resulted in a lot of my more disparate and abstract ideas being finally captured in written language. I finally was able to coherently write about a mushroom trip I took ages ago that changed my life - and explain in clear language how it changed my life. I kind of wish I could begin sharing this work here on my blog, but it still needs so much work; I'm waiting until I have a more complete and cohesive work before I share it at large.

And I've also been indulging in using the internet while I have it. As fun as it can be, I'm glad that I don't plug in on a daily basis the way I used to. I just read an article about how two adult children are suing their mother for "bad mothering" because she dared to make them wear seat-belts, didn't empty the bank account for the sake of party dresses, and set curfews. Oh the horror. If that is "bad mothering" and worthy of a suit, then I should be rolling in it now based on the things my mother made me do - including a mandate to practice piano daily. Oh how I suffered. So yeah, while I'm having fun catching up on a few elements of the internet I have missed (like Ravelry and my blog), the rest of the internet reminds me just how much I prefer my meaningful life of actually doing things - like knitting, and going to the library for books, and writing my manuscript, and smoking with my friends, and taking walks just because I feel like it. Maybe if the two plaintiffs in that fucktarded suit did some of the things I like to do, they wouldn't feel so slighted because they didn't get the toys they wanted 15 years ago.

It's been a couple hours since I started working on this post (true to my classic blogging methods), so I'll wrap it up here, but with any luck I'll be back soon with more to say on living, and knitting, in tents.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Knitting in tents

My computer access has been sporadic since moving into a tent, and I had anticipated not being able to post very frequently.  I surprise myself this evening, because not only am I posting again after having written kind of recently, but I have a knitting pattern to share!  It's a simple pattern for a shawl that I'm sure anyone could've invented but it's the first pattern I've formally written up.

This pattern came about through a couple of factors.  A few days ago I had gotten two books from the library on making socks and was very excited and gung-ho to learn to make socks, but when I finally got to Michaels to look at sock yarn, I realized that I didn't have quite enough money to get what I wanted.  I had also been wanting to try my hand at a shawl, never having made one but having seen tons of gorgeous shawls on Ravelry.  However, shawls require more yarn, and therefore more money, than socks, so there was no way I was going to be starting a fancy shawl anytime soon either.  I was desperate for something to knit, anything really, but preferably something meditative and not overly complicated.  After a bit of digging through my yarn and tools, and then a bit of fiddling around and frogging, I was happily knitting my first shawl.  I'm calling it Blue Breeze.

Blue Breeze
For this pattern, it does not matter what yarn, needles, or gauge you are using.  This pattern is very flexible, so by all means, experiment with different things.  I used Lion Brand Homespun on US size 13 needles, and ended up with a very light and somewhat open fabric that was very soft.

Cast on 3 sts
Row 1: (RS) knit
Row 2: (WS) purl
Row 3 and all RS rows: knit 1, yo, knit until last stitch, yo, knit 1
Row 4 and all WS rows: purl

Continue in this way until the shawl is of desired size, changing colors if desired.  Don't bind off too tightly.  The pattern can easily be sized for a neckerchief, shawlette, or full sized shawl - just stop knitting when you get a size you like or run out of yarn.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Yesterday morning I was feeling rather blue, life was feeling so
meaningless.  Life in a house offers so many ways to fill our time, we
have space to spread out our stuff and ourselves; we can pick up a
project for as long as it holds our attention, then leave them for
something else.  There is always something to do, you make some food,
then wash the dishes, then fool around on the computer, then maybe
take a shower, then lounge around doing nothing in particular . . .
Life on the street revolves around meeting survival needs and you
seize what opportunities you can.  When there is a bed available, we
sleep; when there is a clean bathroom available, we clean up to
whatever extent we can; if someone's offering food, we find room in
our stomachs.  The world dictates how we spend our time now to a large
degree, and this morning, the thought of being a little puppet
fighting for survival was fairly depressing.

I started thinking of what alternatives I had.  I started thinking of
Buddhist monks that can go live in a temple, devoting their lives to
god and finding their survival that way.  But I don't live in a
country with very many Buddhist temples, nor do I follow any existing
religion.  And as I sat in the tent this morning, trying not to cry, a
voice in my head starting telling me that I would have to take refuge
in a temple of my own creation; that if I wanted to devote my life to
god, that I should do so directly, I don't need a hierarchy of monks
or a mother superior to direct my life.  It made the day a lot easier
to get through.

There is a form of meditation called Vipassana in which you simply
sit.  No mantra to chant, you just sit and do not move, even if you
are uncomfortable.  I've been thinking of this every time I feel like
I have no purpose.  I simply sit, and embrace just being.  Sometimes I
feel like this body is an avatar being controlled by forces from
somewhere else, so when I can't divine any purpose in my life, when it
seems likes god doesn't have anything I need to be doing, I've been
putting this avatar into "rest mode" by practicing my Vipassana.

I've also been reading a lot. I want to talk more about the books
I've been reading but that'll have to wait. I'm actually trying to
type this on a friend's iPad at a ridiculous hour of the morning after
dealing with a very drunk Bruce at a party. But starting my mornings
by absorbing new information and new realities has been
transformative. My mom used to discourage me from reading during
breakfast before school (except my textbooks) because she thought that
it put my mind into a state to daydream rather than to concentrate. I
can see where she was coming from, but the imagination is so crucial
to our ability to learn - how can we conceive of new ideas without
imagination - that i think anyone of any age should exercise their
imagination as often as possible.

Here is an ironic and kind of sad secret: the first three paragraphs
were written weeks ago, and yet could have described how I was feeling
yesterday. I'm sad to say I'd completely forgotten my earlier dismay
and words of comfort. And yet not that long ago I found myself in the
strange but delightful position of driving in the mountains with
Bruce, completely lost, in the dark, shouting "I LOVE BEING
HOMELESS!". And in the moment I meant it with all my heart. It just
goes to show that in my constant quest, I still have a long way to go.
Having stripped away so many superficial, heavy, and unnecessary
trappings of this mortal life, I am left with more room to let my
creativity, compassion, and capacity for love grow and bloom. But
this newfound space in my life has also left shadows and dusty corners
that need to be dealt with now.

So this leads me to my new focus of the moment. One of the most
fundamental forces in the universe is intent; so much has been written
on this subject that I could hardly begin to cover it, but suffice to
say intent carries an enormous amount of power and by learning to use
this power, we become limitless. When I fall into melancholy and self
pity, I cannot use (nor, I suspect, even gain access) to the power of
intent. I become victim to my very thoughts and emotions and the
demons they let in. To avoid these traps as I continue to strengthen
my mind, heart, and energy, I make quests to focus my mind and my
behavior and thereby strengthen my connection to the power of intent.
Past quests have included my De-stash The Yarn I Have No Clue What To
Do With (which is actually going relatively well considering
everything) and other such fun little quests, but the theme of my
newest quest is a bit more broad: balancing novelty and entropy in my
life.

Entropy seems to be overwhelming my life lately. Entropy is not a bad
thing; while many view entropy as decay, I view it as the metaphoric
compost that nurtures new creation and novelty. Except lately it
seems that entropy is the reigning force in my life. This does not
work for me, I live for creation, growth, expansion. Now more than
ever my life reminds me of that tangled ball of yarn that needs
patient hands to smooth out the knots. In fact, this morning when I
woke up supremely pissed off at the entropy in my life, winding a ball
of yarn was exactly what I did to try to regain some of my sanity.
There had been a small skein of red acrylic yarn lying around the tent
that we used for random tasks like anchoring parts of the tent to
trees so it would blow in on itself in the wind. In the process of
being tossed around the tent, the skein had lost its structure and
dissolved into a mess. So when I woke up mad enough to punch my
pillow, I grabbed the skein and staring winding it into a ball. By
the time I had finished, I felt a little better - not a whole lot, but
enough to make that crucial difference. During the course of the
morning I also thoroughly brushed out my hair that I had let get very
tangled, organized what few belongings we have down there, shook the
accumulated sand out of our bedding and laid it out nicely again, and
swept all the dirt and debris from our side of the tent into our
little dustpan. Having banished entropy from our tent for the
morning, I felt like I was back in control, that I was no longer
victim to my emotions, as I had been so devastatingly the day before.

But entropy has its place in the world, and I cannot spend all my time
trying to hold entropy in check lest I become totally neurotic;
keeping the tent clean and our basic survival needs met is enough for
now. The rest of my energy I plan to devote to two other aims. The
first is to keep perpetuating novelty in my life. Knitting and
crochet are most certainly a favorite way to keep fresh novelty in my
life; each project is a completely new experience, even if I were to
knit the same pattern a hundred times over, but the experience of
making each one would be different. But because I've been in such a
rut (twice now to such a degree of severity) so I want to push the
boundaries of my creativity. I intend to keep reading more. I've
always been a swift and enthusiastic reader, but in my old life, I
found myself reading the same favorites over and over. Since we've
been homeless, I've read approximately a book a week, new ones I've
never read before, and I intend to keep it up. I also intend to make
writing a daily habit again, even if it's just a line or two in my
battered notebook.

I also intend to break out my watercolors and paint more. Part of the
reason I rarely paint is that I feel it's such a cumbersome process to
get out all my supplies including a fresh cup of water and rags, and a
clean plate to use as a palate. So I intend to find a way to simplify
the way I store and use my paints so that when inspiration strikes, I
wil feel free to grab on. I've been saving up more crafting money
too; when we still lived in a house, I was setting aside spare change
whenever I could for my 'yarn fund', but when we got kicked out the
house, that loose change, along with all the rest from the floor of my
car, went into the 'oh shit we're homeless fund'. But I've got a
small amount set aside and it's growing slow and steadily; I'm
planning to start stalking the sales at Michaels in search of not only
yarn but beads, more watercolor brushes, and maybe even something
completely new like a simple crossstitch project kit. Or maybe a
super difficult one just to challenge my brain.

But this is just the first of two aforementioned aims. The second is
to more intensively focus my intent on restoring myself to optimal
well-being, in my physical self and my 'soft self' or 'ethereal self';
I want to be healthy in my body and in my chi, and then to take the
knowledge of this well-being and use it to help others to heal
themselves. And I plan to this with a variety of means, manipulations
of both my physical self and my internal energy with foods, plants,
exercises physical and mental . . . I hope to write more on this as I
investigate and incorporate new thins my life.

And so this determined little butterfly keeps on going, one wing beat
at a time . . .

Thursday, July 14, 2011

An unexpected twist

Forward:
As far as I can tell, most of my readers are fellow
knitters/crocheters/crafters, and they read my blog because it is a
knitting blog. If you only are interested in reading a knitting blog,
then I must apologize, because there will probably be far fewer posts
about knitting and crafty topics. My life has taken a bit of a
drastic change, as you will read about below. If you do happen to be
interested in reading about an insane new adventure as it unfolds,
then please, I hope you'll continue to read my story.

So begins a new chapter in my blog, and my life.

If you've never read the diary of a homeless person, you're about to.
Bruce and I were living with his parents, and this past Friday things
got a little crazy. Without splashing his private family drama all
over, let it be said that we could not stay under that roof without
more misery than it was worth. I could, in theory, go running back to
my parents' house but that would mean following their rules, and I
really don't think I can go back to their idea of a 'proper' and
'productive' life. And I'm not sure the open door letting me go back
home is open to Bruce, and I couldn't go home without him; we're a
team, we say we're as good as married, even if we aren't legally
hitched.

We've spent three nights in a friend's room. He works nights so we
can sleep in his room all night, and relinquish it back to him in the
morning. We've spent two nights in a tent as well with two other
residentially challenged friends. I'm very glad that none of us snore
loudly; some of the birds are actually much louder, but at least they
sing sweetly. I gotta say, this is my first 'real' camping
experience; I had camp-outs in my back-yard as a kid, and I once slept
in a very primitive lean-to on Santa Rosa island during a tall-ship
sailing expedition (which was three weeks of extraordinary experiences
in itself), but I have never actually gone camping in the traditional
sense. I guess being homeless in a tent still isn't camping in the
'traditional' sense, but it is a tent and it's not the backyard of my
parents house anymore.

Sleeping outdoors completely away from society is . . . amazing. You
start to realize just how much energy pulses around you in the daily
life of society. There is the energy of all the people around and the
cars whizzing by, then we go home to buildings that literally buzz
with appliances and electricity, and that's not getting into all the
emotional and spiritual energy, the good and bad juju of everything.
The other morning I woke up on the ground in the tent, and as I lay
staring up through the mesh roof (we haven't installed the rain tarp
yet) to the branches of the tree above me, I suddenly felt my body
emptying of excess energy in the same way that water drains out of a
bathtub. I've been in deep trances and deep trips of a variety, but
nothing cleanses in quite the way that simply returning to nature
does, and I think especially sleeping in nature. At night Bruce and I
have to hike to where the tent is set up, and once there we are almost
100% cut off from from modern society. We do have our cell phones on
us, but the only other things in the tent are our blankets, a few
clothes, a little food, and a few basic necessities like a flashlight.
We go to sleep to the sounds of nature, we wake up to the sounds of
nature, and we have to hike to get back to modern society. I've never
felt anything refreshing in quite the same way that this experience
has been so far, even though it's only been two nights in the tent.

It's not all fun and games. The first morning I woke up in the tent,
while everyone else was asleep, I looked around at the walls made of
canvas, the roof made of mesh, the mattress made of hard earth, and
then I pulled the blanket over my head and cried. While I do have a
habit of deliberately abandoning traditional habits and rituals of our
modern society - refusing to get a degree, refusing to get a 'normal'
job, refusing to let fear rule my life and instead let only love
dictate my choices; now I find myself somewhat out of my element.
They say that home is where the heart is, and I truly believe that,
but it's one thing to center your heart in a house, or even a bedroom,
or even a bed, and then have that taken away from you. Yes home is
where the heart is, but it's one thing to be rooted somewhere, to have
you own personal 'headquarters', and it's entirely another thing to
pack up that idea and carry it in your heart, every day, unable to put
it down.

I have a friend that is certified in CPR. He was explaining to me the
other day about how when you start administering CPR, you must keep
going, you cannot stop, and you must keep performing to your highest
ability until more help arrives. Because when you giving CPR, someone
is now relying on you for their life, you cannot get up and walk away
when you are bored and tired, you must keep going. I adopted this as
my new philosophy for how to live. Life may throw you all sorts of
curve balls, but you cannot just stop living, you have to keep keeping
going, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other. To give up
would be suicide, but I don't believe in death. I believe that I was
put on earth to serve a mission, and that my 'death' will be when
whatever the heck it is that I am goes on to whatever the heck comes
next. If I were kill this body, I'd as much be saying that I quit my
mission, that I don't want to do it. But I don't fully understand
this mission yet, I am still learning, still creating, still figuring
out how I can make the world a better place. As if another were
relying on me for their life, I must keep living day to day to the
best of my abilities.

Ganesha, my patron deity, challenged me; he said that if I truly wish
to eliminate all fear from my heart, that he wasn't going to let me
off easily. Step by step, I am in a slow motion run towards a
existence that knows no fear, only love, and the obstacles are huge
and terrifying. Ganesha is the elephant headed Hindu god of obstacles
in life; he not only places impediments in life as a challenge, he
also removes them when we pass his tests. He is a gentle patron, but
persistent; my life has been thrown into new upheaval, but Ganesha has
promised that if I submit to his challenges, if I purge myself of all
hate, fear, and anger and open my heart to love, beauty, creation, he
promised that everything will turn out as it should. No, he did not
promise a happy ending, only that everything will turn out as it
should. It's the bargain that was made, and my duty is to keep at my
mission, one day at a time, to the best of my ability.

Today the challenge is adapting to carrying my home in my heart
everyday. Tomorrow it might be something else.