Silence + Chatter

There are days when I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing—how I landed here, why exactly I am here, how long I should stay here, whyyy the heck I’m self-employed, whether I’m living enough/traveling enough/helping enough/trying enough. At times I frustratingly feel like I’m forever seeking, always on a hunt, perpetually off-schedule—while some people seem to so contently glide through the routine without so much emotion, without so many stinking questions.

Some days I lose perspective, and these queries and concerns play tag in my head, and I feel exhausted. The chatter: it is tiring.

Other days, I see so clearly that these questions don’t so much matter. That whatever the heck it is I’m doing, it’s okay; I’m onto something. I’m aligning myself, bit by bit, that much more with those things and those people and that music and those experiences that resonate with my soul. Some days, I am just so beautifully tuned in.

I am getting better at listening. To the chatter and to the silence.

My life is so full, and during certain, packed weeks, there is too much to even record. When I pause and push aside those nagging lacks, those voids that occasionally rise to the surface and ‘ping!’…. I am blinded by the light of all that is already there, of all that is already GOOD.

Here’s just a mere sample of the past couple weeks (great waterside brother time, awesome press events with AFAR Media, birthday celebrations that keep on giving, a VERY impromptu Lake City Dive concert—her voice!!, kitschy tea time, stress-releasing sun runs, St. Patrick’s whimsy, and through it all….some really fantastic company).

p.s. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What’s making you feel *lucky* these days?

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Friday Hodgepodge

This week I’ve been a bit introspective (and at times also quite sad). I could blame the gray (or February in general), but I also like to think that I usually feel this way when I’m in the midst of a shift–on the cusp of some sort of emotional/spiritual growth.

Some really fun things happened this week, too, like many quality catch-ups over tea, beer and bahn mi, and Tuesday I attended a spontaneous dinner party during which we looked up our astrological rising moon signs over delicious plates of elk stir-fry (so very Pacific NW, non:)?). It was great fun. I’ve been seeing a good deal of theater these past weeks (which is great!), and I’ve been easing my way back into physical activeness (canal runs, a beach bike ride and many hours logged on the yoga mat in my favorite yellow studio).

Recently, I’ve been:

*Listening to this (LOVE)

*and watching precious bluegrass talents like these guys:

Nectar Bluegrass

*Contemplating doing this (next Friday–could be a good way to kick off my birthday weekend!)

*Getting back into watching great docs like this one:

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*Indulging (still, oops):

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*Trying hard to believe this:

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Any great finds on your end as of late?

HAPPY happy weekend, friends.

Background noise

Do you ever notice how, when you’re already feeling a bit anxious, the world seems to be suddenly filled with aggravating noises? (For example, early this morning, loud hammer pounding outside my window; yesterday at the library in the midst of a stressful work-related email exchange, a man near me making too-loud, unpleasant guttural noises in conjunction with a woman sobbing and screeching into her phone about having all her possessions taken away and her being in the midst of a nervous breakdown.) I realize that I have control over how much I tune into or tune out of these exterior distractions. Herein lies the challenge…

So this morning, I’m attempting to fill my space with the Pandora Christmas station along with Brandi’s song “The Story,” which I can’t get out of my head after seeing her perform alongside the Seattle Symphony in a holiday-decked Benaroya Hall Sunday evening.

A few scenes from my weekend.

Friday night was a fun one. In the same Ballard bar, packed with some old friends and some new, I saw this:

And then this (gotta love poignant bathroom stall graffiti):

Some blue skies and SUN allowed for some nice runs, bike rides and wanders:

The holidays are coming! My hood has gone festive, and I think she looks lovely:)

Have a wonderful day, friends, filled with pleasant background noises.

*TrAvEl*

*“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”~St. Augustine*

I am just back from two fantastic, inspiring weeks in Cambodia. It was an incredible experience. Currently, I am sifting and processing, readjusting and, frankly, trying to get warm here in chilly, autumnal Seattle.

So, for now….

    This I know to be true.

    When I travel, I:

    -smile more freely

    -worry less often

    -ask more questions

    -care about my appearance far less (mirrors, who needs em??)

    -act (+ feel) more open

    -fixate/ruminate less

    -experience more wonder

    -savor the NOW

    Things shift. Most things matter less; a couple things matter more.
    I feel excitedly, wonderfully, authentically me.

    This has always been one of my absolute favorite quotes:

    *“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”~Mark Twain*

    Why do you travel?

    *“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” ~Mark Jenkins*

Finding the art

‘I see your life as already artful, just waiting and ready for you to make it art.”
~Toni Morrison

Arts Rx

The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”~Baba Ram Dass

I do believe this to be true. (I like to think this is concept I am gradually grasping with time.)

But I also know that, for me, there are certain times when it is best to keep myself on the go. To distract and let the momentum gently urge me on through, until whatever is plaguing me ever so slowly begins to lift…To get lost in crowds of people, to surround myself with vibrant sights and amped-up sounds, to immerse myself in scenes of thriving, overwhelming, pulsating life. To remind myself that, amid it all, I am merely a speck.

So these past days, in addition to the insane amount of walking/running miles I’ve been clocking (seriously, these dogs are barkin‘), I’ve been fortunate enough to dive headfirst into some amazing displays of the arts here in Seattle. I am very grateful for this.

Just today, I saw some amazing aboriginal paintings and sculpture at the Seattle Art Museum (soaking in an art form that’s been around for 50,000 years has a way of humbling and dwarfing one’s own current problems…), then I
watched a powerful (and tough) Argentinean film about the neglect of that country’s indigenous people (“Nosilatiaj.Beauty”), and finally, this evening, I took in some unexpected live gypsy jazz. It was a full day. Whatever works, right?

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Art cure

You know what’s a fabulous remedy for a case of the pity party rainy day bluez? Art! Beautiful, vibrant ikats. (And listening to expert curators who care so deeply about these pieces of fabric.) Stunning images of the tiled mosques and storied faces of mysterious Silk Road stops like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

This exhibit at the Seattle Asian Art Museum simply blew me away (and thank the lordie, got me out of the house, into the dreary downpour and outta my own head!). I’ve always been intrigued by Central Asia, and this phenomenal exhibition only fueled that desire ever further… Yurt vacay anyone:)?!

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