Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blue Moon

Tomorrow is the Full Moon in Pisces. It's also known as the Blue Moon. It's called a Blue Moon if it is the second Full Moon in one month. The energy of this particular blue moon is extra potent! I don't remember the last time when there was a blue moon. I just looked up when the next blue moon will be! It's July 31, 2015! During my evening walks, I've been watching the moon grow ever more full each visible time that I see it as it waxes.

Yesterday, after my visit to my East Bay trans barber for a haircut, I explored a metaphysical bookstore on Telegraph in the Temescal area. Yesterday was my first time there. I wasn't looking around for anything in particular. When I go to a new bookstore or metaphysical shop I like to look around and let my intuition guide me to books, rocks, and around the store. I browsed the books but what caught my attention was the 2013 We'Moon Calendar book.

I remember first being introduced to the We'Moon book by my friend Samantha Avnet. I was 20 years old and I met her on the Sierra Institute backpacking trip in the Southwest during the Summer. That Summer was the beginning of my awakening on my conscious spiritual path. The summer before, when I was 19 and a camp counselor at Camp Celo in North Carolina, I meditated for the first time near a river during a backpacking trip. I found a book in the Celo library about meditation for children. One morning, I led the children in a short meditation. At that time when I was 19, I didn't know much about meditation, yet I was interested in learning about it. Samantha had the We'Moon calendar and she was a Pagan Witch who also went to UC Santa Cruz during undergrad. She was the first Pagan Witch that I met and she became a spiritual teacher and advisor to me during that Summer. I listened to her speak about the moon and its phases. I soaked up whatever she spoke about that was spiritual and I resonated with. A lot came up for me during that backpacking trip, including gender inquiry. Samantha was the first friend that I expressed to, that I didn't know if I was a boy or a girl. Synchronously, Samantha now lives in Portland, Oregon. I hadn't seen her in years.

During my most recent trip to Portland, I went to the Edgefield in Troutdale, near Portland to hear one of my favorite bands, SIGUR ROS perform during their world tour. It took two buses to get to Troutdale. It was a hot day in Portland. I picked handfuls of ripe Northwest Blackberries from the bushes as I walked from the bus stop to the Edgefield Venue. There was a delicious breeze and the trees and flowers were so beautiful. It was a magical summer evening and I was excited to go to this outdoor concert as I enjoyed the scrumptious blackberries of the season.

The show was completely sold out. Yet, I booked my flight to Portland to coincide with the date of the concert. The day of the show, I got online and bought a ticket that was released the day of the concert. I was elated! This was my 6th Sigur Ros concert including hearing JONSI perform solo during his tour three years ago in Berkeley. The ethereal, spiritual, soothing, ambient, and resonant music stirs my soul. I love it. I heard other concert goers say at the end of the show that every time they hear SIGUR ROS perform, it's a spiritual experience. I could not concur more. Out of the hundreds or thousands of people at the show, I felt a hand on my shoulder after I filled up my water bottle. It was Ivana one of the teachers from the Waldorf Training program that I went to in Portland. I had not seen Ivana in years and we walked and talked until we met up with her husband Chris on the lawn in front of the stage. The opening band was playing and we had a chance to talk and catch up. Ivana was one of the first people who I connected with in the Waldorf Community when I moved up to Portland. It was great to see her and connect.

I went to get a slice of pizza and a PDX McMenamin's beer before SIGUR ROS performed. When I was walking back down to the grassy area where most of the concert goers were I saw Samantha Avnet. I thought this is wild, synchronous, and magical! What is the likelihood for me to see the only two people who I probably know who are at this concert?! I met Samantha's friends and had a chance to exuberantly and excitedly speak with her. I don't know how long it was-it was a timeless conversation amidst the excitement of soon seeing and hearing SIGUR ROS. The place was abuzz. Samantha at first didn't recognize me. The last time that we saw each other was over two years ago when I was pre-Testosterone Ewan. My voice is deeper and I am visibly male. Her face registered and I think she said, whoa when she realized it was me. Most of my Portland friends I have not seen since most of my visible changes have occurred.

I traveled there last two years ago when I was one month on T. I had seen both of my Portland friends, Lanz and Victor during the past year or so in California. For other PDX friends, my voice and physical transformation was more dramatic. I enjoyed the timeless connection and conversation with Samantha. There was so much that I wanted to say and so much that could not be expressed in words. I have infinite gratitude and love for her in my heart. I enjoyed our brief conversation and connection and then SIGUR ROS got on stage and that was the Infiniteverse's cue that it was time to say goodbye to Samantha. It was time to go back to my spot near Ivana, Chris, and their friends, eat my slice of PDX pizza and enjoy my McMenamin's beer as I had the wonderful opportunity and pleasure to feel my feet on the cool summer Northwest grass, feel the gentle breeze, and listen to one of my favorite bands that resonates so strongly with my soul and spirit.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Colorful Threads of Connections on My Life's Tapestry

Lately, I feel that I've simply been present with what I am feeling and experiencing rather than writing about it. I usually go to my journal often to record my experiences from my meditations, inner life, emotions, life experiences, dreams, interpersonal connections, etc. I've been feeling more of a pull to draw rather than to write. My past and current journals are filled with drawings; black ink on acid free paper, colorful markers, oil pastels, etc. I felt something was amiss when I didn't write as much as I usually do. It's not for lack of inspiration. So many amazing experiences and connections have happened and are happening in my life! I've been very active lately and I often feel like the Bay Area is a playground where I feel a pull to be external and active. Friends, community-- all of these interpersonal connections to be out, connecting, and in the world. I've been working a lot as well.

I recently learned a lesson in regards to traveling that I forgot or haven't learned yet. It's best for me to take off a day from work before my travels and also a day to recover from my travels. Yet, as I wrote previously I've been working a lot so I worked up until the day that I left for Portland and I worked the day that I returned from Portland. My days are full. I feel that at moments it is hard for me to balance livelihood, my soul's purpose--which is being an artist and creative being, working on my thesis and thus finishing graduate school, sustaining my spiritual life, the practicalities of life-errands, bills, laundry, chores, my relationship with myself, my relationships with friends and loved ones, cooking, yoga, hiking, taking walks.

I feel that for me as an artist and creative being I really need those moments of calm, contemplation, and easeful processing as I walk around my Berkeley neighborhood, hike at Tilden or Joaquin Miller State Park in the East Bay, water my tomato, beet, strawberry, kale plants, succulent, and herb plants in the backyard, enjoy the sunlight, and experience those moments where I can simply reflect and be without having a purpose to accomplish what is on my list of things to do, preparing for work, working, going to an appointment, errands, the practicalities of life!, a friend date, an actual date, etc. etc. The space between the notes, the space between the inhale and exhale.

One of my Portland friends, Orchid who I recently visited lives in an amazing area close to Portland on land near the Tryon Creek Farm. We were friends in our early twenties in the Santa Cruz queer community when we both went to UCSC for undergrad. We had not seen each other in years and it amazed me how much we had in common as we re-connected again. Synchronously, we are both friends and in community with some of the same circles of people in Portland. She also did the Waldorf teacher training as well. We both speak eloquently about our spiritual lives, insights, emotional depth and realities and are each on our individual paths of authenticity and spirit. It was nourishing, healing, and wonderful to see her.

I was amazed at our points of convergence on our life paths first during our years in Santa Cruz and currently the overlapping connections of our parallel points of connection and convergence in our life presently. What I appreciate and noticed that had changed and evolved about Orchid was her voice. Her voice is very soothing and beautiful to listen to. I enjoyed singing with her while we and other friends gazed at the amazing meteorite shower at Rooster Rock. I appreciated the opportunity to see the magical location where she lives, time-less conversations, and to sleep in her wonderful yurt. While I explored the area and looked at the trees, leaves and heard the birds, during the late morning the next day, I listened to the natural world. The message that I received in that beautiful area is that we can live in harmony with nature. It is possible. I've felt this to be true and resonant to me.

What arose for me is that the yurt, the natural world, and this beautiful location would be a wonderful place for an artist residency. I felt that If I lived in an environment that pristine, peaceful, beautiful, and healing for a month it would be very clearing, inspiring, and amazing. I would definitely have a shift of perspective(s) in regards to my life and creativity. A part of me yearns to live that intimately with the natural world. Yet, right now on my life path I am meant to live in the Bay Area in Berkeley. I love living in Berkeley and in the Bay Area overall. Yet, I compare and contrast to the peace and tranquility of the yurt and the beautiful natural world. It would be so much easier for me to not have to deal with public transportation, traffic, a dense population, and the daily stresses of life that one experiences in an urban environment. Yet, there are pros and cons.

I'm grateful to be living in an area with a vibrant queer/trans community and to enjoy what the Bay Area has to offer on many levels. As a filmmaker and artist, I currently feel called to be here and I'm grateful that I am here. I'm currently setting the intention to experience and be an artist in residence for a stint of time in a natural area as beautiful and magical as where Orchid lives when it is the time for me to do so. I feel that I do live in harmony with nature as much as is possible in an urban environment. I enjoyed having the opportunity to re-connect with Orchid and other friends from my past who I have not seen in years. I am grateful for the conversations and connections with old friends and new friends that weave in and out of my life's tapestry. Each person is a vibrant color in the beautiful tapestry of my life.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Grander Picture Emerges

Birth-Death-Rebirth. Birth-Death-Rebirth. Birth-Death-Rebirth. Repeat. Ad Infinitum. The amazing scholar and writer, Joseph Campbell wrote about mythology and how there are themes and myths that are similar in most cultures. The language of mythology is universal. Human beings need stories--which speak to the soul. THE POWER OF MYTH was one of the first books by Joseph Campbell that I read when I was living in Portland. The HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES is also an influential book for me that Campbell wrote. One of Campbell's philosophies is to "follow your bliss." I reflect on stories and their importance to me as a creative person. A while ago when I asked my mom to tell me about my child self she told me that I always loved stories and thus books and movies. In essence, this is true.

In contemplation what drew me to film/media was the storytelling aspect. I feel called to tell stories and be a storyteller. I remember having such a challenging time remembering stories and telling them in front of my Waldorf teacher training cohort in Portland. I had the belief that I was not a storyteller. I transcended a huge obstacle when I began to embrace seeing myself as a storyteller and I gradually improved my skills/ability in this area in front of the nurturing audience of my Waldorf teacher training cohort. This was a gradual process. I had a shift of gears, insight, and clarity which lead me to pursue my MFA in Cinema in San Francisco, thus concluding my time in Portland and closure of the Waldorf Teacher Training. All of the tools, skills, and work that I accomplished in Portland were and are utilized in my approach to film/media and holistically in my life.

What kinds of stories do I want to tell and explore in the film/media work that I make? This is a question that I am living with. It changes as I grow and evolve--as parts of my beliefs and ideas are deconstructed and composted. Seeds are planted and sprouts of new ideas and multi-faceted perspectives grow. The stories that I know for certain and are true to me are the stories which I have experienced and lived. These are the stories that I wish to share. They are universal in their qualities of themes that touch upon the human experience. The stories which I wait to tell are the ones that I have yet to experience, to savor, to live. I feel that I am co-creating the stories in my life--with colorful brush strokes on the universal canvas. I am the screenwriter of my life--on my path of destiny, on my hero's journey as Campbell wrote about in THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES. My ideas and beliefs are malleable and open to change and shifts as I continue to ride the waves onto the shores of the unknown, following my bliss.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I am writing from a porch swing at my friends, Lanz and Christen's house in Portland. I am currently on vacation and have been acclimating to being here. The summer evening is lovely and cool and I'm enjoying being on the porch swing. The last time I traveled to Portland was two years ago. At that time, I had been on testosterone for one month. I've been very tired recently due to an active schedule, so today was an easeful day. I intend to catch up on my rest, visit friends, eat delicious food, have fun, and go to a couple of music shows while I am here in Portland. I aim to have an easeful, relaxing visit. My dear friend Lanz picked me up from the PDX airport earlier today. We had lunch together and went food shopping. I've been relaxing, connecting with Lanz, and her two and half month old baby, Cole Harris. He is adorable and it was wonderful to hold him earlier in the afternoon sunlight on the porch swing and rocking chair. I forgot how friendly people are in Portland. I've seen a lot of smiling faces, neighborhood gardens, flowers, cyclists, and it's really peaceful and relaxing in SE PDX near Mt. Tabor park where Lanz and Christen live. I view Portland as a rather Yin place to live. As Lanz expressed earlier, there is more BEING here in Portland rather than DOING. I would definitely say that the SF Bay Area is a yang place to live. I'm definitely more active in an external, yang way in the Bay Area in comparison to the work that I did when I was living in Portland for two and a half years. The winters and overall grey climate in Portland are conducive to a soul impulse of hibernation, inwardness, and contemplation. I did a lot of amazing meditative and earth based spirituality work while I lived here. Lanz and I drove past my prior place of residence on Hawthorne Blvd. in SE Portland, the Mt. Tabor Apts. I lived there for a little over two years on the second floor and I had an amazing one bedroom apt. for an excellent and affordable price. When I first looked at that apartment there were 40 other applicants present for a viewing of the place. The apartment manager chose to have us roll dice in the basement of the apt. complex to discern who would live there. I happened to get the highest number several times when I rolled the dice and thus with my mazel (luck) I lived in that wonderful apt. I did a lot of inner work in that apartment which created the groundwork and foundation for my spiritual, meditative practice, and life. I feel and know that I am thriving in the SF Bay Area in part due to the foundation that I created for myself while I lived in Portland. I would sit on my orange yoga mat and comfortable maroon cushions and explore as my teacher and mentor in Portland, Allison Bradley would say, my PERSONAL INFINITY. I did stay grounded and connected to life in the outer world as I explored my inner world. When I lived here I was a nanny/child care provider with children in the Waldorf community. I also worked at two different Waldorf schools and was in the Waldorf teacher training. I still miss the wonderful community of folks who I resonated and connected to on an authentic soul and spiritual level. Whenever I travel back to Portland I am grateful and nourished from the soul and heart warming conversations, connections, and presence of resonant and dear friends. I appreciate and am grateful for my film and queer/trans communities in the SF Bay Area, yet I'm still interested in co-creating and integrating a spiritual community within the film and queer/trans communities that I inhabit in the Bay Area.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fruits of the season

It's Wednesday night. A full moon and also the pagan holiday Lammas. Life has been flowing at a fast pace and today is August 1st. The pagan holiday Lammas aligns with the first harvest of Summer and having gratitude for the sun filled days and summer produce. It's also a reminder to enjoy the sun, fruits of the season, and moments of summer because it is inevitable for the wheel of the year to continue to turn. We are swiftly moving onward to the Fall season. I'm enjoying as much seasonal produce as I can. I especially love stone fruit. Stone fruit are fruits like peaches, nectarines, apricots, pluots, plums, etc. These varieties of fruit are called Stone Fruit because of the stone like seeds. My mother taught me that. I grew up with a variety of stone fruit in Clovis/Fresno. Fresno is also known as the "bread basket" of the nation for the abundance and variety of the region's produce. The Fresno area is the largest agriculturally producing region in the United States. Yet, most of the produce in the Fresno area was conventional when I grew up. Presently, there is more organic produce being grown in the Fresno area. T&D Willey Farms in Madera is one such organic farm. I remember eating vast quantities of peaches, nectarines, plums, strawberries, apricots, and melons. My dad's favorite summer fruit is watermelon. It's impressive how much watermelon he can eat. In our backyard when I was growing up there were two pear-apple trees and one asian pear tree. These are Autumn fruits, yet I remember them well. My parents planted an abundance of trees, flowers, plants, and herbs in the front and back yards. My mom loved and still loves to water all of her plants. It brings her joy. When I was a child she would spray me and/or my sister with the hose, if we were in the yard and in swim-suit attire while she was watering. I enjoyed swimming, playing, and frolicking in the pool with myself, my sister, friends, and other family members. The pool is a necessity in the Central Valley or having friends/family who have a pool that one can swim in. Temperatures during the Summer months are often in the triple digits. My summers now are vastly different--in linear time, space, place, and people. I'm grateful to be living in Berkeley and to be in a more progressive area. This thought arose in my mind while I walked through my Berkeley neighborhood today. How very different my experience of the summertime is currently, than when I was a child growing up in the Clovis/Fresno area. I currently do enjoy the fruits of the season. That hasn't changed. Yet, summer's spent in the pool, watching a lot of movies, and stretching out time are from that specific time and place of childhood. It's important for one to know their roots, where one came from. To reflect and contemplate back and to re-vist those spaces and places in physical time and presence. I feel like a visit to my hometown to connect with my parents in their Clovis home and also to visit Huntington Lake with them will transpire before the Summer is over. I'm feeling the pull to go and visit them there. Gratefully, there is still a pool and my dad makes delicious margaritas.