Monday, August 10th
I am making my way further north along the Washington coast. Saturday visit to Anacortes (16,000 population 2010) took in farmer’s market, art fair, harbor, seaside and about town bike ride, and mid-day seafood, wine, followed of course by ice cream! Anacortes is known for the Washington State Ferries dock serving Lopez, Shaw, Orcas, and San Juan Islands, as well as Victoria and British Columbia on Vancouver Island.
I have several pictures to share with you that need no description. Check out the two “Free Range Chicks” below I met! It was the name of their team for a local organized run. Don’t we ALL want this T-shirt? I’ll take orders….
I also came across the community sculptor “How Much Longer”, Peregrine O’Gormley, with the following quote on the plaque.
“Mother Earth bends over backwards to accommodate the very increasing weight of humanity. In her grasp she holds the scorched earth. Man’s left hand faces out from the surface. Will we continue to burn up what remains, or can we begin to reverse the cycle? How much longer can She sustain us?”
This brings me to the 150th Anniversary Issue “The Nation” Magazine, April 2015, Section “Radical Futures: Harbingers of change, peeks over the horizon, maps of Utopia – and other struggles for keeping hope alive”. Rebecca Solnit’s “Unpredictable Weather: Forecasting the future is perilous, but we have to believe in change – or at least be willing to gamble”.
I read this early on the gypsy tour, and it has not left me. I share with you some of the parts that most move me.
“Most forecasts of the future presume that something in the present will continue to grow and increase its power of influence. It’s as simple as doing a math problem on compounding interest or multiplication tables….Among few certainties about the future are the following: climate change is here, it will get worse, and it is irreversible. What’s uncertain is whether, through extraordinary effort, we will meet the crisis a we should, with speedy exit from the Age of Fossil Fuel, or whether that age will drag on and foreclose the possibility of our choosing the lest rather than the most terrible future. We are now essentially hostages to a small group of people who benefit most from the fossil-fuel industries, as well as the politicians in their pay – although remarkable victories have been won against them in recent years – from Ecuador to Nigeria to New York State…”
“The next few years will be crucial in steering us toward the least devastating of the futures that await us. It’s hard to see how we will get there, but it’s important to try anyway – and part of that work involves knowing that we don’t know what will happen, what kind of a world we will inhabit in 2020, let alone 2115…You have to be willing to gamble on a world not dominated by fossil fuels and the power that fossil-fuel fortunes give to a handful of people and corporations. You have to be willing to imagine a world in which we recognize that what we’re called upon to do is not necessarily to sacrifice; instead, it’s often to abandon what impoverishes and trivializes our lives; the frenzy to produce and consume in a landscape of insecurity about our individual and collective futures. It also means appreciating the value of many other things – confidence in the future, a greatly reduced fer of contamination or poisoning, economic justice, local engagement, decentralization, democracy – in which weve been poor during the Age of Fossil Fuel. Those are the things we stand to gain if we conquer the fossil-fule industry and reinvent energy in our time…”
“You don’t act because you know what’s going to happen; you act because you don’t. Not knowing is an important part of knowledge. If knowledge is a continent to be mapped, the unknown is the oceans surrounding it…We don’t have a map for any of this, which is what all the confident prophecies of predictable, linear future pretend to offer us. Instead, we have, along with the capacity for effort, a compass called hope: a past that we can see that we can remember, that can guide us along the unpredictable route, along with our commitment to beings now living and yet to be born, that commitment called love.”
For me, this connects to the following poem I wrote in June that I will be reading tonight at the Bellingham library open mic.
The Likes of Me
The likes of me comes charging these days. Side-saddle, one hand parasol, the other reigns. Skirt spread, wings tucked.
My cantor is sweet and light. Hoofs lift, tilt, sweep the air. Click-click. Lift, tilt, sweep. Click-click. Prance, dance.
Of yes, I can gallop, run with the wind. But with new Spring pin-feathers emerging, why not fly?
You see, I use to keep ME to myself. A self-imposed Cynthia lock-down, Cynthia closet.
Too big, and my husband, his family, past friends, were uncomfortable, scared.
Now, there is nothing to lose. It’s time to break all the rules. The planet, this sweet sweet Mother Earth, implores us, to please, please, stop our linear thinking, our engineering constructs, our culture of fear and shame.
Our self-imposed beliefs of limits, a need to horde, consume without end. Until, as with the Buddhist parable of the Hungry Ghosts, we are completely flushed, turned inside out, exposed, RAW.
Come and sit with me; be still. Look in the mirror and say “I love you” again and again and again, every day. Until you see the likeness of God in and through you. Peaceful, joyful, happy.
Then you will know, All Knowing; not just how to be, but a Being of Self, that is not alone, but part of the Divine Frequency of Thought to Form. The power, ease of Transformation, the Manifest.
The Ultimate Substance of Gratitude as your waking thought, your sleeping prayer, your every step.
You see, it’s always been a Gift. Plain and simple.
Clap your hands, raise your arms, spin, twirl.
Yes! Yes! Yes.
Friday, August 14th
Where to begin? There is nothing to say; everything to say.
I had gotten tired of travel — driving every day one locale to the next — figuring out roads, towns, places — maneuvering Roy and 2 bikes — maneuvering me.
I had chosen to get upset, react, to another chapter in an ongoing CA-energy/utility drama with a long-standing powerful “David and Goliath” nemesis (not utilities) over their fictionalization of a disingenuous CA energy efficiency (EE) success story. I had thrown a long ball down the field via my Nov. 2014 Electricity Policy article “CA Energy Efficiency Manifesto” (see article Chickenomics tab), and “Goliath”, with resources and influence well beyond my wildest dreams was releasing a report (my work unnamed, unreferenced) that would travel far and wide California, national, and even international. One hour with their draft, I dissected the same handful of myths and distortions that they had been bantering for years. Steamroller tactics (again!) when, the way forward on such weighty climate change matters was public dialogue and debate. I was first angry, and then exceedingly weary. I wanted to throw in the towel and quit CA altogether.
Son Ted bolstered my spirits, reminding me that I was doing good and important work, and, to not take it so personally. You know, that’s right, I thought after our call, take my ego out, and remember this is a huge chess board. My work is good, and, I like to think of it as somehow important. Stay on the path, and give it over to god/goddess/universal consciousness. So, I made my way to the mountains, this time Mount Baker National Park, bordering Canada, inland from coastal town Bellingham, merging to the east into the North Cascades National Park. Camping by the Nooksack River, Roy pop top three sided windows zipped open, eyes closed in morning sits and evening sleeps, the river fills my head, flows across my mind, third eye, eyebrows, eyes. I allow, let go, be.
I am now delighted with this new “Goliath” CA opportunity! (Well, mostly.) I see, appreciate, embrace, and give thanks for this gift, this opportunity, this FUN, to step up and be heard. Speak my truth, again and again. I have been too small, have not “Leaned In” enough (Sheryl Sandberg), or risen to the example of Elizabeth Warren and countless other women, to hold nothing back, break all the rules.
“It is not enough to put your heart and soul into something, the really important things require much more than that: intention, spirit, love, balance, risk, patience. Some thin require all of our given grace.” Curly Girl Design notecard, “Send Love: Really Important Things”.
Terry Tempest Williams, in her book “When Women Were Birds”, offers up the following on the fear of speaking.
“I take a deep breath and sidestep my fear and begin speaking from t where beauty and bravery meet — within the chambers of a quivering heart.”
I am reminded (again and again) of Yogi Bhajan’s “Five Sutras for the Aquarian Age”.
- Recognize that the other person is you.
- There is a way through every block.
- When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.
- Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times.
- Vibrate the cosmos, and the cosmos shall clear the path.
All five sutras equally vital and synergistic, I am most drawn to “Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times.” I recall Greg Braden’s (see early blog Greg on “OM” as universal vibration, frequency) discussion on compassion, where in his extensive global travels to ancient and indigenous peoples, to one group of elders he asks: “Is compassion an internal feeling state or external energy, frequency?” Response: “Yes”.
“Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, give yourself to it.” Buddha
Chain Lakes hike yesterday, bend in the trail, smack-dab first view of Mount Baker since arrival. The massive snow pack, glacier fields, gave immediate connection to recent visits to Mt. Rainer and Mt. Hood. Beyond fertile soil and green and blue, snow pack and glaciers draw me to live further north. My heart has been heavy, sad, the last many years in Reno with the summer dwindling, now disappearance, of Mt. Rose snowpack. I need to gaze on mountains of snow and ice through the increasing landscape of hot and dry.
Arriving mid-afternoon to the park two days ago in time for a short Baker Lake hike from the 360-plateau Heather Meadows parking lot, I prepared dinner taking company with the sunset. Roy side door open, sitting on running board and chopping vegetables, the sound of knife through carrot to wood reverberated in the mountain basin around me. I am “vibrating the cosmos, and the cosmos [is] clearing a path.”
So delighted with the beauty of my stir fry and wanting to share a picture with you all, I set the hot skillet on my doormat for photo shoot. Quite the melted plastic grid design on the cast iron bottom don’t you think? Quiz question to fellow travelers: Which has more brains, me or the skillet?
I fit this day like a glove. Campground all morning to sit, picnic table yoga, write. Early afternoon the rains came. A drive up the mountain gave way to more rain and clouds settling in. Back to camp, I realize, it was not so much rain or so cold. Hour and half later from long delightful walk with sweet wild raspberry breath, there’s a dry spot under a large cedar tree for hand weights and hula hooping to old Jackson Brown tunes. Roy’s floorspace is just enough to accommodate planks and sit-ups. At last, plenty of damp and messy clothes, pony – pigtails. I light the candles.
Pictures below of site #8, Silver Fir campground with mossy rock and campground water pump: three pumps, hold up water jug, lift pump basin fill knob, fill jug; repeat 3 times and jug full.
My rain walk brought out how much I relish the accelerated processes of decomposition generally all around me on the gypsy tour — organic substances breaking down into much simpler forms of matter. One of my cravings for moss ferny forests is simply to be surrounded by decomposing forest and plant life. Certainly to see and observe, but also to smell and breathe deep the spores of giant uprooted trees becoming habitats for lichens, mosses, ferns. Eroding, rotting, certainly more slowly than this body of mine. I am enveloped, engulfed, elevated — carried home-OM to something long before me — and heaven help us, long after.
Yes, I am beyond beautiful. A loveliness from the heart that will see me, carry me, through my days on this linear plane.
I will sit, and be still, and accept that my flesh is falling from bone. That skin is fading and will dissolve. That muscles will relax, tendons and ligaments give way.
Arteries, veins, collapse; blood cease to flow. This body, mostly water, will transpire, evaporate.
Skeletal released. Vertebras collapsed. Jaw falls open, eye sockets bare.
I started the week in the seaside town of Bellingham, camping Monday night 10 miles south in Larabee State Park in a (all together now!) mossy ferny forest, and Tuesday night 20 miles north in Birch Bay State Park (in of course) mossy ferny forest lulled to sleep by gentle breaking waves. I love Washington State Parks — 2 bits gets a warm 3 minute shower, flush toilets, and plenty of sweet families and delightful children. AND, I love Bellingham! I feel like I can get my arms around this town of under 100,000. There appears to be plenty to do and lots to engage my interests. Next week I’ll camp in Larabee and bike / drive into Bellingham for internet, cell, CA work, AND, a getting to know my possible new home. Creating, allowing, synergies, noun: “The interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, synergism. Cooperative action.