Archive for July, 2010

The August Break

So just as I’ve been getting more active in posting on my blog, I’m taking a break?  Kinda.  Kinda not.

The lovely Susannah Conway is doing an August break, where she will be posting daily photos (just iphone snapshots) rather than worrying about writing and posting, as she’s busy with some big projects.  But there are no rules, so a regular post in the mix will be ok as well!

Once I was given the permission to have no rules (in case I need to blog my thoughts to retain some sanity) and I saw her link to A Thing A Day challenge, I decided the two together would be good for me to post regularly but not feel like I had to invest much time in the blog, as I do have a big project of my own coming up this fall!

So my OWN guidelines (not rules!) for the month of August.

Every weekday, take a photo of one item (iphone pics).  Subsequently donate, toss, or offer that item online to friends.  (Watch this blog and twitter, probably the only places I will post them.)

I’ll give myself weekends off from posting, but also use them to keep up with the shipping/tossing of the items from the previous week.

Oh and in August at the midsummer gathering of our friends, I plan on bringing my “freebie” basket as well this time!! Though I don’t know that I can match Taco’s auctioning skills…

The Middle

In a slight follow up to the previous post, I read “Exit the Middle” just now (and the sequel post).  And it sounds so familiar.  I like the beginnings.  I like the challenge.  I don’t mind not knowing what I’m doing, because it’s the beginning, no one does in the beginning.
The middle is where I get bored.  And often quit.

Unfinished art projects, past obsessions gathering dust, the artifacts are all around. I enjoy coming back to them at times, or entertaining the thought that I will.

I don’t regret not becoming advanced, because once I conquer the beginning, I know that I COULD become advanced, with time and patience.  Or – I could go learn something else shiny and new and enjoy the beginning again.

It’s the middle you want to watch out for. When you need other people to create challenges for you.

Is it good that I don’t fluster in the middle, asking for external solutions to being there?  Is it bad that I am obsessed with the new beginnings?

I like to think it means I adapt to change better (HA. I crave and resist it at the same time!)

Or have I already adopted her advice on getting out of the middle?

You just decide. You say it:

Here I am. I’m ready and willing to consciously engage with everything in my life. With the ecology of my life.

I’m open to finding challenges in the places where challenge is needed, and challenging myself to find ease when ease is needed.

That’s it. You’re out of the middle.

I’ve felt that strong desire for solutions to come from other people to get me out of ruts, to challenge me.  It’s been the ennui, the longing in my past for answers to come to my doorstep.  They didn’t come, and I ended up going out there and finding them for myself.  And that’s so much more fulfilling!

Musings for a Monday.  I suppose it’s sometimes a good thing that I’m like this, and sometimes not so good.  But whichever way, I think it beats the hell out of being stuck somewhere I don’t want to be and not doing anything about it.  (Which is right where I am with some aspects of life in particular…. ah. After the wedding though, after the wedding.)

(and now I have “Stuck in the middle with you” as an earworm in my brain…. )

Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

– Walt Whitman

I feel a million possibilities within me.

I feel the urge to chase them all, do them all, but the ole limits of space and time get in the way.

One day, I know I’ll have time to putter in my garden.  Spend hours taking photos.  Energy and money to travel to places near and far.  Cook sumptuous meals for friends and family.  Escape the cubicle.  Create art.  Do things I never imagined doing.  Run my own business.  Collect eggs from my chickens.  Create a new legacy.  Design costumes.  Decorate interiors.  Paint.  Write.

When it appears that I don’t care about what I do, it’s just that I want to do it ALL – so go ahead, pick something you’d like to do.  Even if I never thought of trying it, I may enjoy it. I’ll let you know if I don’t.

I thought that I needed to find my one true passion.  Something that would be my career and define my life.  I’ve slowly come to realize that my gift is having passion for so many things, so many options… As long as I don’t stop short out of fear of making the wrong choice.

I keep forgetting that the major cause of all my stress is trying to live according to how other people think or say I should live.  When I think of how it fits into my personal rules of life, things are so much clearer.

Occasionally I am sad that I don’t have the time/money/energy/space to devote to one singular passion.  I rationalize it that there will be times in the future that will be more suited for that task.  There’s part of me that knows “What if?” that day doesn’t come.  But you know what?  It just means I spent my time on something else, something just as important.

The only thing I do know is that he is my constant.  There are a million possibilities within me, and a million paths we could travel in life.  Some are not meant for us, for this lifetime.  But some are.  All I know is I want my hand in his as we discover our adventures together.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.

ETA: In discussing this with an online class, people referenced two books I already own and read a while ago!  Refuse to Choose!: A Revolutionary Program for Doing Everything That You Love by Barbara Sher (she also has a forum for “scanners” – her term for our habits!) and The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One by Margaret Lobenstine.  And I stumbled on this site too.

Since this may help others who can relate to the “scanner” or polymath lifestyle, I had to come back and share it!

What I want to say I can’t even put into words today….  But I’ll try anyway and probably lose a few people along the way.  So let me get some great stuff to share off my chest first!

In a photography forum, I found this great photo of Pyramid Lake in Nevada.  We pass it going to and from Burning Man, and last year we spent the day swimming there to wash off the week of dust on our way home.  I asked the photographer, Scott Thompson (no relation) for permission to post it here…

(Side note! Since I’ve been studying up on photography, I’m going to crack down a lot more on making sure people understand copyright protection and photographers rights. If you want to use ANYONE’S photo but your own, and it’s not publicly listed with a Creative Commons license or a statement that you can use it, ASK FIRST! And always credit/link to them! I’m no expert, but if you have any questions about what you can or can’t do and don’t have time to look it up, you are welcome to email me and I’ll do my best to help you find an answer.)

Copyright Scott Thompson. Click for larger image!

I also need to share this blog post by Amanda Palmer on Lady Gaga, freedom, and authenticity.  A must read!

We celebrated July 4th at the second annual PEX Fest – I worried as we were on our way that my expectations were too high, based on the amazing time we had last year.  I had nothing to worry about as it was blown out of the water again, and it was definitely one of the best weekends of my life.

Despite this time being bittersweet – my Grandma Betty who passed had annual July 4th gatherings – I know that divine intervention or whatnot had a role in how things turned out.  I never had to risk her wrath for missing her picnic for PEX fest (or, more likely, miss PEX Fest), and the first summer that the picnic didn’t happen after she died, I was surrounded by my second family and felt so full of love.

PEX fest is summer camp for burners.  It’s a little like Playa Del Fuego (PDF) but it’s completely different.  It’s not community run, but PEX has wonderful vision and core values that overlap with Burning Man’s principles.  There’s a little commerce, but mostly just for food/ice (except for an unfortunate vendor agreement with the camp property, which had a tie dye t-shirt vendor on site – I went from being annoyed to feeling sorry for them because this was NOT going to be a killer sales weekend for them with mostly burners in attendance!) (And I’m tie dye loyal, I ONLY get mine from my awesome friends in Reno!)

As usual, the schedule was chock full of amazing workshops but despite best efforts, I attended 2 and Random attended 3.  Quality outshone quantity, as they were absolutely amazing experiences.

Random attended Lucky’s contact staff workshop, and we both attended the Porno Jim Show (hysterical, shows the best and worst of porn and talks about how bad porn is bad for expectations/sexual practices in real life) as well as a class from Camp Chemistry.  And without going into any details too embarrassing for the general public of the internet, the class was life changing.  Really!!!!!  I was a bit nervous going in, but knew that it was a safe and respectful space and that we could leave at any time.  We stayed through the whole class, and it was definitely worth it.  If it sounds intriguing to you in any way, please consider checking out their events and classes.  They are good people, and no matter how much you think you know, you’ll learn something new!  And that’s all I have to say (publicly) about that 😀

Between sunny days in the pool and long nights on the dance floor until sunrise….  Living on an angle and having a constant beat 24/7….  PEX Fest is a place of love, beauty, joy, creativity, fire, sensuality, music, dancing, authenticity, acceptance, laughter, family, and more.  There’s no better place to celebrate freedom than here.  I am STILL on cloud 9 and loving it!  See you all next year!