Lost in Thought

I seem to be experiencing a strange mix of emotions. If everyone goes through the same existential crap that I go through it truly is humbling how much joy and stability exists in the world. I am typing this from the mountains of eastern New Mexico, where the air is possibly thin enough that I’m just enough oxygen-deprived to be experiencing my emotions through a slightly more negative lens. I’m reflecting on my life to date, my education, jobs and relationships, and trying to make sense of it all. I feel like I’ve truly been through so much as a person: A rocky childhood spotted with hunger, cold, poverty, violence, transience, and religious absolutes. Leaning heavily on my academic and athletic achievements as a means to a better life. The pursuit of an education for the purposes of material prosperity and intellectual stimulation.  The striving and exhausting of my body to achieve physical feats beyond my capacity. The relationships:  the ambitious, materialistic, mama’s boy jocks; the aloof, unavailable, intellectually fascinating targets of seduction, the passionate one-night stands with perfect god-like archetypes, intense loyalties destroyed by mistrust or financial inequalities. The failure to plan for long-term happiness in career. The physical readiness to be married with kids at age 18, the agonizing delay of that gratification for over a decade.

A manifesto on the meaning of life:

A disillusionment that every conception is holy. To ask, what frees my heart? What makes me feel free? What is my bliss? To engage in a partnership and yet have the option at any minute to pull the plug and run away, knowing that you are perfectly capable, if not miserable, on your own.  What do I dream of? How do I bring others into that dream?


I needed to do some research at this point, and found this great list worthy of my meditation for today:


“For our purposes, I will define spiritual health as a condition evidenced by the presence of several of these characteristics:


1. sense of inner peace

2. finding comfort and/or strength in one’s spiritual beliefs and values

3. a belief in divine or perpetual goodness

4. a belief in one’s own worth and/or goodness

5. ability to receive and offer love and care

6. strong connection to people

7. sense of place or purpose in the world

8. ability to forgive self and others

9. hopefulness in the future

10. sense of some control over one’s own life


And conversely, a lack of spiritual health may be evidenced by the presence of several of these



1. persistent fear

2. excessive guilt

3. addictions

4. inner turmoil

5. sense of hopelessness

6. frequent conflict with others

7. victimization of self and/or others

8. judgmental, punishing, and/or harsh behavior toward self and/or others

9. needing constant approval from outside one’s self

10. excessive anger

11. sense of worthlessness

12. rigidity

13. And perhaps most significantly, the tendency to justify any of the above negative behaviors with religious teaching or value”


To spiritual health…

Still Waking Up

The longest two days of my life. A million questions. No good answers. Facing hopes, disappointments, dreams, disillusionments. A conscious, non-impulsive choice. The kind I hate to make. Content to abandon all my other foolish choices for a chance at intimacy. Feeling connected. For the hope that my love was not in waste.

If I keep meeting half-opened hearts, what does that say about mine? I thought I had laid it out bare, beating nakedly and irrhythmically for all to see. How could I love any greater? How can I be any wealthier? What more can I give?

My wheels won’t stop spinning. Something is missing. Can’t tell if love and peace or action will save me this time. Still too many irons in my raging little fire. Some have been sitting there too long.

Cleaning out my spaces. Clearing out the clutter. Could life be so simple and free? The what-if game is noisy, I just want some peace. Some rest, some wisdom, some focused fucking effort. A sense of knowing when to say when.

Plan A crumpled and tossed.

I don’t trust myself yet to take care of me and I feel like I bought all their lies.

Having Trouble Adapting

Is it like the time I bought a ticket to Hawaii?

And he said “I wanted to be the one to take you to Hawaii”

“I promise to take you there, just put the ticket on hold.”

Or is it like the time I woke up in San Francisco?

31 years old

Children scattered all over

Dead and alive and frozen

Pining for my years in Africa

When I was a mother most of my life

Valued for my love and beauty

And the teacher


Planned parenthood symbolizes everything I hate about modern life

Its complexity

Its hard decisions

Its sterile hospitals

Its science and arrogance

Its planning and waiting

And waiting

And chemicals

Its detachment from living things, their imperfections, their organic timing

Its conflicting messages


Lucky to have been born free

In a country and a time where anything is possible

Where HOPE is possible

But hard to live inside a fabulous

Life-giving machine

When everyone keeps making rules for what to do with it

Then throwing monkey wrenches into it

Stalling it

Harvesting it

Manipulating it

I don’t appreciate the tinkering

I don’t know where this is going

Not One

The one who thinks I rock
Supports me and my ideas
Asks me what I need
Wants to play a part
Just can’t get enough
Walks along my side
Twirls me ’round his world
Stokes my Neptune fire

Day of the Dead

I attended the Dia do Los Muertos in the heart of the Mission this year (Nov 2nd) for the first time. To be honest, I was a bit taken aback by how many people were there seemingly just for a party. I suppose I expected a more somber, traditional event, something I would feel slightly uncomfortable intruding upon. To the contrary, it felt more like Bay to Breakers if it were held at night and everyone painted their face to look like a skull.

I got some of the depth I was searching for in the park where the altars were erected.

This was the first one to provoke some heavy emotion – I assumed it was meant to be an altar to the lives lost and mutations altered due to the Hiroshima nuclear disaster. I extrapolated it to be a memorial to everyone and everything lost in humankind’s fairly recent exploration of chemical power. To me this means what we’ve lost environmentally (destroying ozone, water sources, hormonally altering animals, effects of nuclear radiation) and personally (deaths due to drugs, side-effects and deaths due to prescription medications).

The first disturbing altar I actually saw was a memorial to Steve Jobs:

I can’t explain why it was disturbing except that the altar itself really stood out amongst the backdrop of a traditional Mexican holiday as something very, well, white, and simple and technology-forward. The two contrasted so much it was hard to reconcile them both existing at the same place and time.

Another moving altar was the clusterf*** that was this altar:

There was some kind of trancy low-frequency humming sound playing in the background and the sheer span of cultures and items in the altar brought forth a lot of emotions around tradition, culture, family, etc. It left me feeling as one person on Yelp said: “Much like dream catchers hanging from the car rear view mirror…no relevance….only stealing another culture because the culture of the U.S. is entertainment & thats why people go to this event..they have no real culture of their own.”

I actually felt this loss very deeply at this event. It reminded me of how little “culture” or “tradition” I have, and how rich and deeply meaningful the traditions of other cultures are. It must feel weird for a Mexican native to have a hollow, traditionless, white, European-American help them celebrate a holiday we have no blood-connection nor memories toward.

It shows there is something to be said for staying put long enough to create something beautiful and meaningful.

But speaking of traditions, another very elegant altar honored the original Burning Man Black Rock City architect:

I guess this goes to show that Americans are capable of producing traditions, odd and interesting as they are!

One of the creepiest sights I saw was a mother in a long skirt and skull-painted face pushing her child on the swingset in the park in the dead of night. Really haunting!

Altogether a worthwhile experience, one of my favorite parts being a raisin tamale I bought for a dollar :-) Ay, ay, ay-ay, canta y no llores…


I’m scared by the thought
I’m not ready for something
I’ve always been ready for
Neurotic, striving
Making connections
Can I help more?
Cast more yarn through my webs
Meet more neurotic
Energy-filled souls
Practically burning through their human skin
These bodies are so limiting