A few months back my grandfather went into Hospice. It was believed that he wouldn’t make it to Christmas. He went off all his meds and became free to live the end of his life in comfort. He’s now thriving and the happiest I’ve seen him in years. It got me thinking does death bring life? Why at the end of life do we start living?
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Here are some random thoughts from my journal...you may or may not want to know what's going on in my head but here ya go!!! Thanks for reading....I think.....
July 12, 2015....Bend, Oregon
"I want to do something different. Right now I don't feel like I'm doing something different besides living outta a van. Which really isn't that different. A dude in a transit is camping at the same site as me.
Today I didn't want to come to Bend for the trunk show. I didn't want to be around people. Talk, say "Hey please take a look at my jewelry. It's PVC pipe, copper, leather, handmade." Vomit! That's why I'm on this trip, to expand and break out of the norm I've been doing or not doing.
But how do I support myself. Well. I have enough to last about two months. Guess for the next few months I'm good.
It makes me rethink things. Make what the fuck I want, have fun and let go!!!
India and I have been playing in this meadow. I let her off the leash and she RUNNNNSSS. It freaked me a bit yesterday but I carry a bag of treats to call her back when she goes too far. She's so happy!! Today we went again. I felt a sense of tension gone. Letting go. She didn't want to run from me, like the past few years. She wanted to come back around, of course for a treat but also for a smile. We're bonding even more and I wish the world was just me and her. I think I may become one of those people who lives alone in a cabin in the woods. No one around. Or maybe after living in LA with four and at times six roommates it's REALLY fucking nice to have some alone time!!!
I just don't have the desire to do what I think I should do.
Like making money or showering!! HA!! I actually washed my hair and took a sponge bath in Jones.
Gotta tell ya, after a week without washing my hair it felt damn nice and the sponge bath too!
Gotta say it is nice sitting here at Rescue Consignment, door open, rain filled sky and me in a red velvet old school chair journaling away!!! It's super slow here, little or no costumers but I embrace the vacancy."
"Just a wandrin' worker, I go from town to town."
Woody Guthrie's I Ain't Got No Home
I apologize for the delay. I’ve been meaning to write and it’s not that I haven’t been thinking about you it’s just….well….I’ve been adjusting. I’m putting my theory of living on the road into a reality. As we all know, the theory of doing something is much different than actually doing something.
I’ve slept in Jones, with the dog and all her 70 lbs of bed hoggingness next to me, since July 1st. That’s been, what day is it? Ahhh yes, wow, 10 whole days!!! The first night was very easy since I was in my brother’s backyard in Joshua Tree. With the doors wide open to let in the desert night breeze while the pastels skies of the night and morning played their duel role of sandman and roster. Wow, that sounds so romantic. And the drinks of the night and the morning quail (who I named Doug) had nothing to do with it, I’m sure!!!
Alas, life on the road is exactly what I though it would be, a life of not knowing what the fuck I’m doing!! Not knowing what I need, not knowing really where I’m going and not knowing what road I’ll take the next day. All I do know is thank god for my atlas. It has become my saving grace. I knew I would have limited access to internet and cell service but not like this. I’ve listened to the same 10 song playlist for the past 1000 miles. Yes, I have a few CDs but it’s too difficult to get to when driving in the middle of nowhere.
My first few days I drove on roads that had no one in sight. I’ve passed more people driving the 4 miles to work in LA than I did in the first 9 hours of my drive. But I guess you get what ya ask for. Ever since I moved to LA I’ve longed for being in the middle of nowhere and a good ol rain storm. Well, thanks to the universe I’ve had both. Hail, winds, gnarly thunder and lightening, all on the first day. It's rained every day I’ve been on the road.
So what is life really like on the road??? After a day of driving I find a place to stay. I prefer the national forest campsites because they are nice and cheap, usually $10 a night but this still adds up. I figure my rent is $300 a month. Once I’ve found a site to stay at, either online when I have a second of service or on my trusty Atlas, I then have to drive to the site. I’m in the middle of learning the National Forests language. They have a unique dialectic that’s, well, damn vague. I spend one evening driving endless dirt roads through 5, yes, 5 herds of cattle. Until I realized I needed to turn at the sign that said welcome to the campsite instead of going straight, which would be the logical thing to do when there isn't a sign to turn??? I'm learning. Another site had the name of the lake instead of the campsite name. Once you entered the lake site then the campsite sign appears, if I won’t have known the name of the lake I was staying at I would still be driving around. Regardless of the where’s waldo part I am falling in love with the National Forests.
he set up. Each night I move up the front seats, put up a curtain in the front windshield. This blocks out light and if you are in a city people can’t see you sleeping inside, handy tip from my hobo friend and expert Bo Keeley, he’s a professional Hobo who gave me some great pointers for living on the road. Next, I make up half my bed. I have a bench in the back of Jones that folds out into a bed in two parts. This makes it easier for India to jump up and I have most of the bed ready to go for the night. I then find sticks for my BioLite Stove, which uses sticks, pine needles and what not as its fuel source. I crack open an Omission beer and start to make dinner, organize my cooler which gets fresh ice every few days. After clean up I make the rest of my bed and crawl in with India. Before passing out I journal my days thoughts and then usually fall asleep curled up to my laptop after my unsuccessful attempts of connecting online.
My life in now filled with things always shifting, setting up, taking down, refill, unload, move here, move there, not there, yes here, along with a ton of dirt and a shit load of dog hair. I won't change a thing!!!
hadn’t realized how much I had dove back into city life til I left. I’ve been scared at night, scared while driving, scared while at a campsite, scared of weather and pretty much scared of everything at one point but with every moment I’m out here, on my own, following my passion/drive/dream it becomes easier. It becoming the place I feel I belong.
There is more to come. Don’t worry. I just know that if you are like me and as ADD, you are about to drift off….Oh….shiny………
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Things are full speed ahead with "Case Of The Nomads". This has been an intense and fun experience so far and I haven't even left my house! I've been connecting with so many communities and every day I'm in touch with some other kickass like minded person or community that I didn't even know about.
I'm very excited to add Winnie Kao to my list of stops!!!
"It’s awesome to hang out with cool people. It’s probably one of my favorite things about life."
I first came across Winnie through her project #YourTurnChallenge, that pushed you to blog 7 days in a row. I jumped at the chance to join in (which most of you followed, Thank You!!!) What I learned about myself and my writing was more than I could have thought a daily post could bring. Thank you Winnie for such a great challenge and I am so excited to see you in NYC.
Please check out the other community connecting projects Winnie has her hands on.
Diamonds and Steak
Since I'm in the middle of writing my first jewelry design book and have been freelance writing for almost 2 years I thought it would be cool if I gave others my insight into how I got my start and happenings along the way. With this round table discussion, others are encouraged to bring their own thoughts, ideas and questions. There is no fee for the exchange and will take place at the following stops, for now.
Yesterday I hit a bit of a wall. With lack of sleep, not a day off in sight and filling my plate too full (as usual) I headed to work in a frenzy that could have put any gnarly Nebraskan tornado to shame. As I stormed my way to the freeway I hit the typical LA traffic. Sitting there, watching the cars go by, eagerly awaiting my chance to sneak in my sight went to a guy walking down the street. I ended up just staring at him, for no reason. Then I finally noticed he was having problems walking even with the aide of a walker. I could see his struggle but it didn't take him over. He stopped, took a deep breath, then patiently took one step, then another. After a while he was down the street, making better progress than me. As I sat there taking in his lesson, I decided I needed to let my thoughts of angst go. Take a deep breath then take one step, then another. Pretty damn cool what you can learn when you skew your vision a bit.
I'm in the process of booking workshops, trunk shows, lectures and even a residency at University of North Texas (Thank You Ana, Harlan & James!!!) Everything seems to be coming together.
*Kat Sweet @ Sweetlines Gravity Girls Camp Seattle Washington (guest biker/artist)
* Emily Johnson @ EC Design Minneapolis Minnesota
* Renee Zettle-Sterling SNAG President & Associate Professor at GVSU Allendale Michigan
* Josie Smith @ Decorah Bicycles in Decorah Iowa
* NC Black Mt Airy North Carolina
-Brigitte Martin Crafthaus Chicago Illinois
Many Many More......Full List here
There are only days left in my campaign, so now is the time to contribute. I know that it's the end of tax season, Yeah, so after you've licked your wounds take a look. Any amount is greatly appreciated.
Click to Contribute THANK YOU!!!
Something’s changing. Things feel different. I feel different. It started yesterday with a jar of peanut butter from Justin's. Justin’s is a natural food company out of Boulder that makes the most amazing peanut, almond, hazelnut and other varieties of butters. Justin’s and I have a lot of the same philosophies so I asked for their help with my project. They reached out by sending me 3 jars of butter, 3 boxes of travel size butters and Justin’s stickers. I was floored with their generosity. Especially to someone they didn’t know. Thank you Justin's.
Throughout the rest of the day I had this sense of something. I didn’t know what. I was becoming more and more aware of it as the night went on.
It finally revealed it’s self this morning during my meditation. But I was unsure and a bit scared of the change. If I let go to embrace this next step would I loose sight of my purpose? Of what I’m setting out to find? Of my self?
“We must let go of the life we have planned
so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”
With these few words whispered from a deep soft voice in my earphones I succumbed. I no longer felt scared or doubtful of my choice. This choice, this something was now my path. With this new path I have fresh eyes with a sense of calm. I now know to look at things, this project, my life with these thoughts. It’s no longer how can my community help me but just about community. Help, do, how, doesn’t exist. It just is.
Even though I became aware of this by a jar of peanut butter it was everyone who reached out to help show me this path that started it. From the support of my first piece of jewelry made to following me along the AIDS Lifecycle to my 30 day blog challenge to strangers offering their homes with a warm bed and meal for me and India while on the road. This is community and I’m yours.
During my walk after today’s meditation I called my mom to share my thoughts. She asked me what was the feeling? At first I didn’t know how to answer or what it was until the words passed my lips. Peace.