Monday, October 26, 2009

Today's Horoscope

A nagging problem at work or school deserves all your attention as early as possible today -- even if you'd rather be chatting with your friends. This problem involves some time-sensitive elements -- and left unchecked, it could create substantially bigger problems later on. So don't put off dealing with this until tomorrow. You've been battling procrastination for a while, and it's time to get the job done, once and for all.

This is fantastic because I need a kick in the ass right about now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Morning ritual

Flickr: cameosteph

You know that time in the morning after a cup or two of coffee? Around 10:00?

So you go to the ladies room and revel in the fact that its empty. Yeay! Then as you are just about to relax and get comfortable, you hear the door open and the click, click, click of heels as they walk into the stall two down from you. So you sit.

And wait.

You might give a light cough or rustle of the toilet paper roll just to let your presence known. Because there is a code.

You might lightly tap your foot just to give your body something other to do than the inevitable release it so wants to do. Not yet anyway.

Many things might cross your mind: why don't the stall wall and doors go all the way to the ceiling and floor? Ooh, I like those shoes. Hmm, I didn't have asparagus last night.

Finally you hear the whirl of the toilet paper roll and a plastic creak as the weight shifts off the toilet seat. Now's your chance.

As soon as the flush starts you can continue on your quest.

Divine Guidance

Finally, a way to determine my spiritual path!

Favorite part of my day

He waits coming home to see my furry guy waiting for me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Met

I was looking for inspiration this weekend. I found it at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

I love going to the museum and wandering around. I tend to loiter in the same places: the sculpture gardens, Renaissance paintings and Impressionist paintings.

The Artist

In the sculpture gardens, I enjoyed watching the artists sketch the works as much as the art itself. I brought along my own sketchbook and pencils but was intimidated by the other artists. Their sketches were so real it was hard to believe that it was only paper.

I found corners where I could hide where I could quickly sketch a piece of architecture. Mostly I took pictures of statues so I could sketch them later on my own.

Make your own comparisons.

What I realized that I was most drawn to works of art that had a distinct range of color values from dark to light.

I loved how the shadows fell across the sculptures. The realism of paintings where you could almost touch the wetness of the eyes. How your eyes could fool the mind into seeing beyond the brush strokes towards the bigger picture.

This post is no where as near as complete or my thoughts as composed as I would like them to be, but that's ok. Its only the stirrings of a creative force that is finding a way to emerge.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I've put myself in a self-imposed exile lately. I've closed myself off from people and stayed holed away at home reading a book or walking outside. And even though its lonely, I think I need it.

I feel like I'm in a cocoon. Waiting.

For what, I'm not quite sure. But there is something inside changing. I don't know what to feed it. The daily monotony is slowly starving it to death.

Writing helps, but sometimes it's excruciating to pick up a pen or type on the keyboard. I can hear the watercolor paints whispering to me from the other room, but I'm easily distracted.

My car just waits knowing that eventually the need to escape will be too strong to ignore and soon I will be sitting in the front seat with nothing more than an idea for a destination. The journey seduces me; makes me feel alive.

I can't stop thinking about the open road. Adventure is calling.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hiking in Princeton

A three hour hike along the Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath in Princeton, NJ.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Finding my path

Garden path
Originally uploaded by slack12
Standing still doesn't really appeal to me. I need to be constantly moving in order to feel alive. But since my road trip ended this summer I've been feeling pretty stagnant.

I need to get back on the road somehow. That road has changed from a 4 lane highway to a gravel path.

For the last two months I've been sitting at an office desk in front of my computer. I've been stifled of creativity and just haven't really felt involved in anything. It's been pretty lonely. I realized its because I don't have any adventure in my life right now.

I don't have the luxury to hop in my car and drive cross country again, or run away to a foreign country. Not yet. So instead I have to think local.

Little did I know, but there are a bunch of hiking trails near me. Some a few miles away, some a few hours. But all close enough for me to feel like I'm somewhere new.

I bought a pair of hiking boots this week. I've been trying to break them in, but they're tearing the skin off the back of my ankle. It's too late to return them so I'm hoping that in time it will get better. Because I need this. I need this escape from the everyday monotony into the introspective zone that I can only get from nature.

But as my boots show, it's not easy. It takes time. If I just throw myself into it, I will only have pain and blisters to show for it. But if I take it a little bit at a time, take it slow and appreciate the moment, then the breaking in period will be less painful.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

In search of Faith

Religion is such a controversial topic to discuss because it is such a personal belief that reason often has no place in a discussion. In many cases the impasse occurs because the response "this is what I believe, therefore it is true" would prevent a discussion from moving further.

And really, that's fine. That's what you would call Faith, "firm belief in something for which there is no proof" (Merrium Webster dictionary).

I approach this subject today because it is something that has been on my mind for the last 15 years or so. What is it that I believe?

I was born and raised Catholic. I wouldn't say that I had a devout household, but we (grudgingly) went to church on Sundays, I attended religious instruction on Saturday mornings and received my Holy Sacraments. I was scolded for my bad behavior "you made Papa Dios cry" (that's my Puertorican heritage coming through) but never remember being praised in God's eyes by something I did well.

So Catholicism was something I never really believed in. It was just something offered to me much like the morality stories of Aesop's Fables or Grimm's fairy tales.

As I got older and started to reflect on this more, I realized how much I disagreed with the Church and eventually all organized religion. Specifically the exclusivity of it. The 'my God is better than your God' or if you don't believe what I believe then you will not receive the rewards that await the faithful. To me, God was not angry or vengeful and I couldn't agree with any doctrine that taught that.

To be clear, I want to separate Religion from Faith. I found fault with the oppressive doctrines of Religion, but I never faltered in my Faith that there is something greater than myself that connects me with all humanity and nature.

What I'm sure will be scoffed at by many, I started giving my unformed ideas into a more tangible shape by reading and watching fiction.

The first that comes to mind is the 1999 Kevin Smith film, Dogma.

Yes, the movie is silly and fun, but with one line at the end, it encapsulated all my vague ideas into something real; "It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you believe."

So this got me to thinking, what else is there?

My search had taken me in different directions and again fiction stories were the spark of further exploration. Dan Brown's 2003 book The DaVinci Code is a thriller having to do with the Catholic church and the secret of the Holy Grail.

I had my doubts on the celibacy of Jesus. He was a man so why shouldn't he have had a family?

But the one aspect that drew me was the patriarchal ways of the Church. Why were the women second class? Why were women not allowed to hold positions of influence?

I became very interested in Mary Magdalene and her representation as the "sacred feminine". I read Woman with the Alabaster Jar by Margaret Starbird and Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd and it really began to awaken a deeper sense of spirituality.

Nature is all about balance. Pre-Christian and Eastern religions understood this and celebrated the God and the Goddess.

The Goddess. This appealed to me. It made sense to me. Women bear children. Women create life. So with that logic, The Creator is a woman. Mother Earth, Mother Nature.

That then lead me to explore more of the ancient Goddesses of all cultures and geographies. Isis, Briget, Kuan Yin, Gaea, Tara and Chalchiuhtlicue.

Spanning time and great distances, many goddess stories are similar long before people had ways of mass communication. So how did these similar stories come about? Could it be that Man created these stories, these myths to help explain what couldn't be explained? Have these stories morphed into one another through the ages? Maybe. (See Religion Comes from Ancient Astrology and Sun Worship: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.)

Or maybe it's something else.

Dan Brown again uses his fiction to expose another interesting idea. The Lost Symbol talks about Noetic Science, which brings objective scientific methods together with the deep wisdom of inner knowing to explore the mysteries of consciousness. Cassandra Vieten, Author of Mindful Motherhood, Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences could better explain:

In other words, there are several ways we can know the world around us. Science focuses on external observation and is grounded in objective evaluation, measurement, and experimentation. This is useful in increasing objectivity and reducing bias and inaccuracy as we interpret what we observe.

But another way of knowing is subjective -- or internal -- including gut feelings, intuition, hunches -- the way you know you love your children, for example, or experiences you have that cannot be explained or proven, but feel absolutely real nonetheless. This way of knowing is what we call noetic.

Humans are born knowing. It's just a matter of paying attention and listening. Intuition, instinct. Call it what you will. But that such diverse civilizations from diverse times have come up with similar stories to explain their existence could have stemmed from an embedded knowledge within us.

Common thought can have profound results on the physical world. This is The Secret, the Law of Attraction, or the power or prayer.

So this is where I am now. Contemplating this idea. Albert Einstein said:

A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Now this is something that I can believe in. If we are all born with an engrained knowledge of something greater than us, if that same 'something greater' connects us all, and if a collected thought can alter the world we live in, then why do we define ourselves more by our differences than what we have in common?

I believe that the root of all faiths is to be good to yourself, be good to others and be good to the earth. It's that simple.

My search of Faith is not over. I don't think it ever will be, But I think that right now I'm the closest that I've ever been before.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ravenclau, mighty warrior

I don't think its wrong to say that I've become obsessed. I have that type of personality.

It all started when I found The Guild web episodes. They were cute and funny, but it wasn't' enough for me ti find them entertaining. I had to understand everything that they were talking about. The game World of Warcraft wasn't mentioned specifically, but you knew what they meant.

WoW has a 10 day free trial of the game.

I didn't think I'd get hooked.

I'm now on day 8 of my 10 day trial and I am currently a Level 11 Human Warrior, leatherworking apprentice. My fingers are sore from all the keyboard crunching. I've stayed awake for hours trying to complete quests. I don't know if I'll be able to stop when my free trial is up.

I need help. Or a boyfriend.
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