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Friday, December 6, 2013

Cardboard and Cinderella on the streets

I'm sitting in a room with an Argentinian, Armenian/Jordanian, Syrian... And the house belongs to a Saudi Arabian.:) ya man
We're just a lot of people livin lovely life side by side. 
Yesterday I passed through Venice and it was sensory overload... So many potheads, I was offered weed three times. Once it was in exchange for my guitar. 
I'm talkin to these three kids with cardboard signs about money for beer and a quarter toss... And up comes this black guy with his dog and a knife in his hand! He was threatening this guy I was talking to because he had two loose dogs. And the whole time some guy is blasting out by us on the bagpipes. So after the knife was pulled I kept going and started playin my guitar on the corner and these other homeless come up and start tellin me I have a pretty smile, and offer me beer and weed in exchange for my music. Then I pass the people offering food and I look homeless with my pack so they give me some and it tasted like lukewarm baby food. But a lovely boy of 26 comes up and he wants to eat with me and I say ok and he's so loud and we we're yelling shit and he gives me his sweater to wear so I really look homeless now, hood up. And he's laughing, sayin to me,
"Are you stoned? Cuz I'm stoned ya man"  But I knew he was a homeless stoner and I could easily morph into that too... So we just had a hilarious time together. And there was this girl nearby getting filmed in a blue short dress blonde and updo and she was Cinderella modern day and skankier. Some guy passed looking intelligent and I yelled to him that she looked like Cinderella and he agreed in an Italian accent and soon after I realized he was the director. 
The kid I was with was sayin he'd take care of me and all this and we really barely talked about anything cuz we were in the moment. I got paranoid and Mohammed texted me and I decided to leave and poor stoner boy was sad and wanted my number but I said "what about a hug, isn't that better?" And he picked me up and spun me around <3 and I realized I love boys so much. 
Biking with music in my ears was such an incandescently beautiful thing and so I reveled in it and allowed myself to be in that moment and sang aloud and people grinned or frowned as their love allowed.
Are you smiling?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blind seer

Blind Seer: "You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first... first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm. You shall see thangs, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... a cow... on the roof of a cotton house, ha. And, oh, so many startlements. I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation."
That's how I've been feeling the last few days out on the coast. Just truly amazed at the variety of life. We apple the world. Today I met a fellow traveler, living out of his van, surfing... This is how it's meant to be. This is real life. The facade is our houses and cars and all that. I feel afraid at some point every day, so far out of my comfort zone. But opportunities arise when I need them. The flow is rather perfect really. A few days ago I ran into a couple who needed someone to help paint. So I had a four day job in Oceanside. Suddenly that opportunity was over and I moved on into the next thing. Don't cling to rocks falling with you, said Alan watts. Free fallin. 
I went out paddling in an sup board a few days ago. I thought I was going to sink into the murky waters. A pack and a guitar as the only trace that I ever existed on this swirl. But I the people who knew better helped me navigate safely into land. I kissed the sand. This is what it's like, every day. I surf out farther and farther above the depths. I sing to my fear. I get stronger.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ocean Beach

Journal entry November 7, 2013
How could I describe this day to you in all of its detail? I woke on a rooftop by the beach. Jason, (my couchsurfing host) and I had some coffee and eggs and I set off for the water.
"Live what you love" said a voice behind me. He was reading my shirt to me. He was doing yoga, and I ran back and started copying his movements. Like Kerouac did with Moriarty. Later I would follow him through the streets, hollering songs, petting dogs "the only ones for me are the mad ones..."
Three Brazilian surfers were dancing by us, to the old guy playin tunes. (Neil young, bob Dylan... Croooning) they started crawling around like animals on the prowl and soon my Moriarty joined them, as did I and we laughed and grabbed a bottle and ran in odd formations catching it. I was a pro athlete. I was a gazelle. It felt like first grade. Then this guy from the Bahamas started teaching us how to block,  and do cartwheels. Tai chi blocking, hands in circles together. Three of us cartwheeling in a circle, to the other persons' spot. And Daniel (my Moriarty) got us lunch -bananas and brownies, and we went singing down the street "California!" The beautiful people of California were peering at us from behind sunglasses, amazed. We didn't care! We were talking about ego in the hologram and the field. We met Q soon after and he hugged me right away, and everyone hugged at every greeting, like it's meant to be. Q showed us putting sand slowly through both hands again and again, then suddenly drop it and see what your eyes see. He says that's like your karma manifesting. Wild stuff. I loved these ppl! But I need to head on up... If I have any kind of mission, with all this wander yondering. They told me stay, why waste my time in the cold... I don't care. There are more beautiful souls to meet.
We sang bob Dylan , big guy named mike in overalls playin ... Beautiful guy named Ozzie on harmonica. Sad sad to leave them in a way. Maybe I'll see where they are tomorrow and follow them around... Bad idea, I know. I'll keep to my course.
One of the bums had his dog loose and it ticked off the lifeguard who came over to assert his dominance. 
Mike gave him hell and he left. You could tell he thought he was better than all of us out there enjoying the ocean, cuz he was on the job ya know? It was sad to see him like that, so domineering and afraid. I realized I still judge these people who I was hanging out with, still giving myself a curfew and shit. When will I let it all happen??
Still, an incredibly lovely day <3
We collect moments with each other , like little marbles of joy. Daniel picked up a rock and handed it to me. "It's a gratitude rock" he said.
What incredible teachers I have on this journey! 
The entire journey is worth it for just this one day of true living. I danced with strangers turned quickly to friends. ( we hugged in parting, natural, alive!!) 
Another rooftop night. 
This is what I meant. Beautiful...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Healed and walking

Just now I stood to walk and my legs... Well, it was that old bone weary road weary glad feel in every aching muscle. 
I'm shocking myself here... I'm on the road again how did this happen where did I begin? It's deep in me, this wanderlust.
San Diego. I came with Patricia, from Reevis Mountain, AZ, to hear Jesus (in the reincarnated, highly debated form of AJ Miller - he could call himself Garfield the cat reincarnated, and I'd still enjoy his teachings). So there we were, Patricia and I, at the doggie beach, wading. Suddenly she fell back into the water, and I stood in awe until my free spirit caught up to me and I jumped in behind clothes and all. It was that kind of day. We played like little girls til sunset. Who has been as alive as we? Or as free? Or as sad and shadowed?
That night I realized, yes. I need to walk this coast and love it and be in this water, for weeks, for months! As I realized this a young man came up behind me, with a huge green pack on his back. He said he'd carried it from LA to San Diego, and told me all about his adventures over dinner.
So it's been a few days and here I go, exploring again in the outer to see what is transformed in the inner. 
Today I met an Italian woman street painter, and she told me about her twin. 
I went into a Piano shop and sang my songs for an old man named Peter who's wife is about to die. He told me about his summer long journey when he was my age. He told me he'll be lost without his wife.
I ran into a man named Raymond who had run out of gas, and we went to the gas station to get his car going again. 
That's the kind of days I have, on the road. And tonight a couchsurfing host is letting me sleep on the rooftop, just near the water. Who is as blessed as I am? Or as weary? Or as glad?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Superstition Mountains

I had a lizard on my back this afternoon, just sitting there looking at me, boldfaced. I took him outside for some fresh air. He and I are out here in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona, living on a farm with a bunch of turkeys and chickens and ducks and a few other people. We all get along and run around looking busy and making noise. A few days ago six women came up for a herb class and we had huge potluck style meals and learned how to make tinctures and salves with the herbs in our very own backyards to make ourselves feel better.
This is really one of the most wonderful places in the universe I've found, Reevis Mountain School of Self Reliance. The second time here and still learning. When Patricia met me at the airport we had to hug about five times, laughing the whole time, to really express how happy we were to see each other.
I've been cooking breakfast and supper for us, which includes harvesting greens and veggies straight from the garden. It feels so right to live and eat this way. The huge separation between me and the source of my food is obliterated. From house to garden, rather than from house to Florida or even overseas... you never know what to expect when growing your own food this way. The other day I grabbed a golden delicious off its tree and it stung me! I threw it down and watched a yellow jacket fly out of a cavity in it. I'm rather grateful not to have bitten into the yellow jacket. I came running down to the house and we threw a cotton swab on it with a soaking of plantain tincture, and the redness and swelling went down within fifteen minutes. I've been stung before and it doesn't happen like that... Yay for nature knowing exactly what medicine we need and growing plants with those properties!
Did you hear me say I ran? Yeah... somehow the limping I'd experienced, even in the airport prior to arriving here disappeared within the first few days. What was it, mountain air? I've been really exploring my newfound capabilities, running here and there, sitting indian style... Incredibly grateful for my healing <3
My back has been out of whack still from the accident, but Peter went to school for a bit of chiropractoring, so he's been adjusting me. I guess what my back needs now is a good long walk.
And as you know, no place seems to be able to hold me for very long these days. I'm headed out in the beginning of November to walk up the coast from San Diego to San Fransisco... that is if there are no more bones broken or nonsense like that.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

No Place but Everywhere

I feel very far away from the girl who ecstatically washed her face seven times at Providence Dam at the outset of a cross country journey on foot. I'd go back a thousand times and live over the last summer, even the one night of homeless hell in Cincinnati, walking through the crushed beer bottles in search of some place to lay my head. Even the day my leg was broken, my dream postponed. If life isn't about experience, about really having it all happen and feeling it deeply, its nothing to me. So a broken leg and rethinking everything again and having everything be differently than I planned - that's to be expected, really. If I've learned one thing on my stroll from Ohio to Missouri, its that everything I've learned can be unlearned. My grip on reality is shaky, at best. But I'm happy with it as it is. Everything changes and stays itself all at once - the same atoms undergoing transformation forever and ever. But we're getting into deep shit here, and I don't exactly know what I'm talking about in all the philosophical runs. I'm just an troubadour trying to redefine herself.
     I had seen this journey as sort of an orderly line from Ohio to California. But how does that line up with the true wildness of the world? All I know is I have this deep craving to know all that is and I can't be everywhere at once and that truly distresses me. But I did learn from the transience of the walking time that if I want to actually know the people as I say, its best to dig into one place awhile. So that's what I've done in Indiana, not by choice but I'm glad its been so. I've gone fishing in abandoned coal fields, sat around a campfire with the good ol boys, made homemade wines, kissed a boy with a tramp stamp that says "balla", seen one of the 42 8th wonders of the world, and what else I've done you'll have to ask me... But its damn good story, this summer, and better for the grit in it.
    And now, here I sit in a room alone, at my parents' for a visit to babysit my three nieces. My leg is healing quickly now, I even danced a hopalong little dance to ring around the rosy with the girls. When we were out in the sun earlier today, Juliana, the six year old, told me that we were "in the great big room that goes on forever, the biggest living room of them all." So I claim the world as my great big living room, and roam like Jesus, clothed like the lilies and with no place but everywhere to lay my head. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Broken yet

This speaks for my lack of blogging. As soon as I'm not broken the adventure restarts - but it's not healing. Still, Indiana is a wonderful slice of the world and I'm digging being here. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Setback

Last Sunday, I woke to sheer terror and incredible pain in my right side. I'd been driven back from mid Missouri to a reunion in Indiana, and was riding with Pat to mid Kansas to walk again there. I was curled in a sleeping ball in the passenger seat, and that position didn't lend itself to taking the jolt of a three car pileup very gracefully. In absolute shock, cursing the knowledge that there was no way I was going to just walk away from this wreck, let alone across country, I set my leg up on the dashboard by my airbag and wept. I cried like a little girl. And I was still crying the entire ride to the hospital, and intermittently laughing, apologizing to the paramedic, yelling about pain. I think I got out all the frustration in that first half hour, because after that its been easy to accept the setback, and set my mind to what I'm meant to learn from it. 
First I learned again and more clearly how kind people can be. Yvonne Hardy, who I'd worked for here in Indiana, drove all the way to St. Louis to pick me up so I can heal here. On the way home she stopped and got three huge pillows just so I would be comfortable on the ride back. Dewayne, who I stayed with a few days near St. Louis, came with supper and picked up our stuff for safekeeping. 
Second, I learned not to rush the journey. I am going to go to mid Missouri where I was instead of getting a ride to mid Kansas. I'd been feeling that I should start from where I had been was ignoring it... Never ignore that gut feeling. Yvonne thinks this setback kept me from some greater evil. She could be right, I think. 
I'm learning how thankful I should be for my good health. A twisted back and sprained leg had me feeling like an old woman. I couldn't even lie in the right position for the chiropractor to adjust me at first. When I could yesterday I felt like I have a new lease on life.
I think the biggest lesson though, is to be where I am, soak it in, drink it down, dive in head first... Cuz I was trying to rush things, this journey I've dreamt of my whole life  - and I'm thankful to have to sit awhile and remember just how much I want to be walking. Should be on road again next Monday.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Brightness

I feel a lot on this journey. Already an introspective person, long miles walked alone can become a sort of thermometer for my every fever inside - and they come often. I burn easily, and use the balm of poetry, or the beautiful souls I meet. Every experience I have on this "quest" as it was recently put to me, seems to outdo the previous one in how good it feels... And then it's over, and I think nothing can ever be that incredible again and get weepy until the next few minutes, when the latest magic comes along.
Recently I stayed near St. Louis a few days with bikers there, and the euphoria of a ride on the highway, helmet less, blown, a little kite set to fly... Made me loath to set out again on the mosquitoe infested dusty road I had before me. But once I stepped foot again on the Katy trail I knew it was right, and that was shortly confirmed by sharing a beer with a 3 generation son father grampa trio, and exchanging adventures. 
A few days later I met four guys, twins, a Bible Belt boy, and an Irishman, cycling across. Joe invited me to camp with them the first night, and after that I chased them for almost a week. I've been well fed and clothed on this trip, but I was starving for comraderie with people on a similar journey. I fell in love with all of them. The second night found us invited into an Irish bar due to Garry and his Irish accent. A far cry from the night before in our little tents, equally incredible. Living the journey in group format was sweet, touring Jeff city, playing my music, pushing my limits in distance walked... When we said goodbye last night, I turned with a few tears. Not a new thing for me on this journey. But a few blocks down, an old man passed me and smiled "on a grey day like this one, you brighten things up" he told me, and stooped away. Even in our low times we can be a light. He made me cry again, that old man, and brightened my night.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Reason

They've been telling me, the people I meet, the reason I'm walking. They seem to know it more clearly than I do. A soulful ex preacher told me, when I'd told him some of the little miracles, that I was on a faith walk. "Any time you meet anyone now, say praise The Lord and it'll open doors. I'm tellin you sister... You got a wall of protection."
And I do... It is a sort of walk of faith, I ask for my daily bread, a place to sleep, to get cleaned up. I asked for Starbucks coffee out in nowherville and the next morning someone gave me some. "Starbucks just for you" she said. 
Next day a rotten toothed kind hearted hick pulled up and when I told him I was walkin across the country, he laughed and said, "oh so this is just for exercise." 
Having walked 25 miles the day before, I felt it was a valid idea.
But sometimes they don't get it, any which way they look at it it makes no sense. A concerned man pulled up and grabbed my tarp off my stuff in the rain, looking for a baby. He stood with me awhile in the torrent, trying to give me a ride into town. I didn't mind the rain, was in fact singing in it and thought maybe  it did the old guy good to stand out in it for a moment with me, out of his metal box, if not his box of thought. 
"When you find yourself" said a nun from a monastery I stayed in days ago, "go home. It's dangerous out here."
She had it wrong, of all of then who've told me my purpose... Myself has never gone missing. I've never wandered that far out of the quiet voice inside to "lose myself". 
But I am looking for something, I admit. An answer, a door, a voice... All I know is I've heard the call, and don't need a reason.

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Labyrinth

A halt in the journey, here at The Poor Farm. In the last two days I helped bale over a hundred big rounds of "Cow stuffing" as Bob Hardy calls it. He told me "not bein prejudiced, but you do better at this raking than a lot of guys I've set in the tractor seat! Me and Jim came to two conclusions watching you out there. First, you've fallen in love with that little red tractor. Second, ain't nothin sexier than a woman rakin hay!" 
Bob gives out all day "life is great, if you just let it be" and "gettin old ain't fun, but the alternative ain't worth a shit" and a rehearsal of other little one liners that make me slap my knees and grin. :) He keeps the tractors runnin on red fuel that makes me think of koolaid, and himself runnin on beer and "stogies". Yvonne just laughs "he does all these other things to be organic and healthy and then he runs on beer!" I'm learning a good deal here already, and tomorrow we're going to Tennessee for a "gathering if old hippies". I'm lovin it!

I took this journey in the spirit of Kerouac, of Louis l'amour, of the depression day hobo... It's not just about walking for me, it's about getting my feet in all these places, about learning to do things I never knew about with people all over the country, about letting the journey take over. Here's what pisses me off: I talked to someone recently who was trying to box the walk. "So... I thought you were all stoked about walking the whole way and instead I hear you're taking all these rides and now you're stopping for a whole month?!" 
I didn't say a word back. I don't need to explain actions to people who didn't hear me in the first place. Because the ones who get it will know these things meet the driving goal of this trip - experience!

*The turn inward of a tractor tire...
How strange that a thing like baling hay would be an allegory for the turning inward of the soul!
At the center of the field, a huge tree. Slowly we turn round and mow the grass down til we reach its base. Slowly again we center in, stirring it up. 
Again, we come through and pile it. Last, we turn it to great mounds of field stuff, hay, drying grass. 
So in my soul, in my field of heart stands a great centerpiece, and gently I turn inward in the labyrinth, seeking the middle. Again and again, in new ways, coming to a center.
And at last from all that I harvest great heaps to send out, food for other souls, the gleanings of the inward field.*

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Everything happens for a reason"

Last night I was strolling in the first real rainfall I've been in, covered over with the bright orange poncho a woman named Eileen gave me along the way. 
"Honey, we used this for our kids soccer games and that's long gone. You have it."
Well, I figured since I was being given it that I would need it; so it was. That seems to be the way with things. I pray along the road. So here I was in the rain and I hadn't thought to ask, I was seeking out a shelter myself. I was right near a pavilion here in Tipp City and feeling mighty grateful for it. Just then I heard a voice, and I unraveled myself from the mess of orange I was in and this nice man who seemed about late sixties ( he's 77!) invited this poor urchin home. 
"Everything happens for a reason." He told me first thing, and we talked about that til we got to his wife's thrift shop and she gave me the white long shirt I've been tryin to find cheap for a week. 
At Reevis Mountain, we talked about how the universe conspires together with you when you're doing the right thing, what you were born for, what you love. Well darlin I'm there :) 
So I slept in outta the rain last night and had philosophical talk with a Methodist. This wide land! It's not enough for me that the earth spins and spins and spins, I have to go cartwheeling across the sphere, turning and turning in my own private joy and suffering, out and out like ripples on pond, skipped rock in the quiet sundown.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On the road

Dear god I whispered to myself at some rest point in my 15 + mile day yesterday ... Wouldn't it have been easier to do a sitting meditation? 
But I was given my sign that my path is right. On the road to the beginning of my real trail, the buckeye, a Cherokee woman picked me up. I'd been offered rides all morning, one from a "fellow musician" but it hadn't felt right, though I'm not opposed to getting a ride here and there. When Lynnette stopped, I knew I needed to go with her, and more than that I had to pee and there were no bushes for miles. 
"Oh yes I went walkabout when I was 22. It changed my whole life, taught me who I would be, I learned who God is... I'm excited for you! I went from Iowa to Arizona. This area is the site of bloody battles between the white man and the natives around this time of year so it weeps a little around now. If you find yourself choked up and don't know why... I organize powwows now to keep the culture alive. If anyone asks you to sweat, go. But if they offer koolaid, talk too much, or say its a naked sweat they're abusing it."
She drove me to Providence dam where the towpath begins. (Providence...) and gave me two maps of ohio. 
"Here we are at the water. Leah, whenever you come to water you should go down and wash your face seven times for purification. It's an old Cherokee woman's tradition."
So I did, and set off for Cincinnati on the old Miami wabash and Erie Canal, purified with the Great Spirit guiding me with his people and Providence.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

WALKABOUT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMaXzRZw3Ok

The time has come for me to go. After so many nights and days thinking and writing on it, wording it differently, stumbling over myself to see if or if not... now that the moment is here I have so little to say. Let my actions speak for themselves, and the journey will be the lines.
I walk tomorrow.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Two Week Notice

"I told you when we started with Gerson Therapy, you don't have to be here."
"I know, Dad. But I wanted to be sure Mom would be ok, and you could handle it."
"I told you we could. I told you you could go at anytime. Never with my blessing. But you're free to go."
"Mom is doing much better than I thought and she has you and Hannah and Gideon as a support network. Working fifty hours a week I haven't been much help anyway. I would never have your blessing for this Walkabout, would I?"
"Your generation is one step away from Sodom and Gomorrah. I watched a four year old yesterday tell his Momma what he wanted and why and she bought it for him...This generation is missing its potential. You're worse than the hippies."
How can I explain to him that this is why  I'm going, because not going on this walkabout is to miss my calling, my Personal Legend. I cry a little and say I wish he could understand. His hazel eyes flare up like they do when a storm is brewing under those big eyebrows - his soul seems to be ready to shoot out. He tells me that no, he will never understand.
"Dad, traveling is not new. It's what our ancestors did as a way of life."
"The Israelites went in groups and followed their leader. This queer yesterday..."
So I don't have my Dad's blessing. But walking across America does not make me of "this generation" or "queer" or "missing my potential." Though I may be all of those things in one way or another.
All I know is, Momma is gonna be ok and I've put in my 2 week notice, and I'm at last going to walk this country fo' I die!

Friday, April 26, 2013

In the Doritoes

Yesterday I heard the music of Moddi for the first time. Haunting, enchanting, quietly piercing. He goes barefoot onstage before a huge crowd with an orchestra backing him. That is the true Troubadour... a man true to his strange genius and his Personal Legend. I texted my friend Nicole about it, since she had made the introduction, and she came and picked me up for a quiet walk in the park and cemetery. I hadn't realized the moon is full, which is sad for me to see - too cut off in this box, estranged from the rhythms that make us feel right in our lives.
"Do you believe in god?" She asked suddenly as we passed a few more bonemarkers. Because I do, but I'm looking for a sign."
Isn't that the way of it?
"I do now. After my time on the mountain in Arizona I do. But not the "jealous God wrathful God" of the Jewish Bible. More pervasive than that. Isn't God bigger than some personality? When I was in the desert in California I looked hard for a Him. I fasted a few days and went out into the tumbleweeds praying, seeking. There was a dorito packet I felt I should follow, so I did... and it led me straight into a bush. I picked it up and opened it, and it was empty. That's when I realized, I wasn't getting a sign. And that God is sort of the great emptiness inside all of our packaging and confusion."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ONE MORNING




One morning in between vacuuming the hall and feeding the kids at the daycare, 

Rosemary told me her story. 

I was expecting the usual, I thought we'd discuss 5 kids or 3, husband, divorce... 

“My husband died in 2009, and my son 2 years later – very suddenly.” 

And after that, 

We both looked around, and found a toy to pick up, 

and a child to hold.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bob Dylan

I went to see Bob Dylan in concert a few days ago. He didn't say a word to us, the audience. He husked out his words like he was shucking corn. He swayed a time or two to show he was still awake, crooning. He played out his soul into the harmonica, and left thirty seconds after the show. I was just glad to be there, to see that living legend (as he steadfastly denies to being) up on stage. And it was really nice to feel personally just how little he cares about me and everyone else there, because I needed to realize I'm not some special case. He was there to do his thing, and he knew we'd come. That's all he needed. And I was content, too. And so were all the drunk sixty somethings near me... can't vouch for the sober ones.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thomas Wolfe

 I read books not for the story, but for the author's mind - for some scrap to identify with in this too big world of surface skating by one another, rarely breaching the gap between souls. I know Thomas Wolfe better than most of the people now in my world. Because he has given me a glimpse into his soul, now resting in the great earth he spoke of so mystically...
"Was it at such a moment—engine-smoke, a station, a street, the sound of time, a face that came and passed and vanished, could not be forgot—HERE or HERE or HERE, at such a moment of man’s unrecorded memory, that he breathed fury from the air, that fury came?
He never knew; but now mad fury gripped his life, and he was haunted by the dream of time. Ten years must come and go without a moment’s rest from fury, ten years of fury, hunger, all of the wandering in a young man’s life. And for what? For what?
What is the fury which this youth will feel, which will lash him on against the great earth for ever? It is the brain that maddens with its own excess, the heart that breaks from the anguish of its own frustration. It is the hunger that grows from everything it feeds upon, the thirst that gulps down rivers and remains insatiate. It is to see a million men, a million faces and to be a stranger and an alien to them always. It is to prowl the stacks of an enormous library at night, to tear the books out of a thousand shelves, to read in them with the mad hunger of the youth of man.
It is to have the old unquiet mind, the famished heart, the restless soul; it is to lose hope, heart, and all joy utterly, and then to have them wake again, to have the old feeling return with overwhelming force that he is about to find the thing for which his life obscurely and desperately is groping—for which all men on this earth have sought—one face out of the million faces, a wall, a door, a place of certitude and peace and wandering no more. For what is it that we Americans are seeking always on this earth? Why is it we have crossed the stormy seas so many times alone, lain in a thousand alien rooms at night hearing the sounds of time, dark time, and thought until heart, brain, flesh and spirit were sick and weary with the thought of it: “Where shall I go now? What shall I do?”" - Thomas Wolfe

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Tent

Last night I biked in the enchanted fog of night to my sister's to sleep in my little tent in her backyard. I sat panting on the swing neith the grape arbor, eyeing the tent and its shaky support and the neighbors as they creaked in and out of houses, smoking, barking, calling, silent. The stars were hiding, possibly angry with me for not looking for them in such a while. So I bid them goodnight and the creaking door next house over eerily squeaked farewell as I slid into my shelter and sleep bag. I was too afraid of suffocation to zip closed in, so the night's cold swept around me in turrets, and I slept deep and woke and slept again.
With the morning sun threatening its slow creep I woke and biked my sleepy legs home to gather for work.
I told Sandi, my co-worker, and she surprised me with her enthusiasm, "Leah, I love you! I love how you think and what you do, all those unstuck things! You're an old soul."
And I grabbed the vacuum and ran out in the hall to hide how pleased I was. =)

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Lady

I walked across the street to Frosty Boy today and a lady was there, toothless, small, husky voiced. She met me and began a barrage of words.
"Get you a game and a plan and a game plan. Then watch out!" and she demonstrated my solemn game planned march into the future, glad.
"We're gonna feel sorrow and joy and this life, its your choice what you hold on to. I'm bi polar so I have to choose really hard. Honey, I was drawn to you, you know what I mean? You don't have a mask like some girls. Layers of makeup or some tattoo scrawled on your arm, hair five different colors."
She spit on me, a little orange sherbet lightly on my chin from her swollen smoke burned tongue. I wiped it, grinning.
"O did that hit you? I'm so so sorry!" and she hugged me and I held her frail form for a second, gingerly because I was afraid she'd break with any pressure.
"But like I was sayin, I've been through three husbands. I don't need to spread these legs anymore, know what I mean? I like you a lot, you'd be good for my youngest son. He's 27 but he needs to grow up first, see? He donates his sperm all the time. Who knows how many kids he has. My pothead husband, the last one, he told me he wanted a baby with me so we did. All day he'd smoke pot and look at porn and I didn't care because he let me go shake my ass at parties. I never hooked up. He was my hook up at home, he'd hooked me. So we'd be like that all day but he wanted a kid so we did - a miracle it was - his sperm was so slow and lazy. Sleepy sperm, from all that pot. Know what I mean?"
I never seemed to know what she meant when she was asking me, but I settled up against the rail, my cone long gone, and thought of how I looked to people as I nodded with her.
"My niece came up to my nephew the other day and *flouncy* asked him if he wanted to 'hook up' with her. I drew her aside and asked her what she meant and she thought she was talkin about hangin out. Oh no! I told her she better watch cuz she's a pretty little thing, next person she asks may take her seriously. Men are men, ya know what I mean? I told my husband if he wanted to lose his other nut, go ahead and try with me. You'll be nutless, I told him. And he was a big man. You can't girl talk sometimes, you just lay it on the line. That was not gonna happen to me again. See though, there's so many people walkin around on something. Crack, meth, heroin..."
She listed with her bony yellow crooks of fingers. I was looking in her hazel eyes at my own dim reflection in the brightness of her spontaneous open soul pools.
"You stay as long as you can but when the time comes, do what you need to, know what I mean?"
And I did. I knew exactly what she meant.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Guitar

I am a musician and a poet, a wordsmith, a minstrel, and my worlds collide in songs to soothe soul and change life.
I am a wanderer on the earth.
I am a keeper of the Songlines, a troubadour singing the world into its being with my poems and songs.

Today I am a hostess at Bob Evans =) Somehow after the other lovely ideas and things I've been and shall be it seems like a quiet desperation to say that, but I love the job, and its a new thing that scares me. Strange as it may be, I'm just now getting over being intimidated by sitting people in booths and tables and telling them to enjoy their meal. But if you asked me to play at the freakin Carnegie Hall with my guitar in front of me, I'd feel safe. My guitar is my shield and salvation between me and that swirling world out there.

The other day I saw a young man walking with long hair loose and waved and a guitar strapped to his back, sort of shambling along. It was raining and grey and I was driving home from work where I'd been safe inside in a car safe inside to home to be safe inside. And I wanted to be him. I wanted to be shuffling down the street with a guitar and strolling off to somewhere and feeling that rain and being in it.
So the next day I grabbed my bike and headed to my sister's in the rain, whooping. And in the cold grey rainy muddy earth, I worked in the garden and felt love for it all warming me. I was that girl with her hair loose, whooping down the road with her bike in the cold.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Symbol

Last night I had an important meeting with my friend Nicole. We both have weary souls and tired bodies, so we met at Starbucks to send some kind of message to ourselves, that life can be beautiful from something as simple as a drink. We told each other how we'll be going to India, we'll be transforming our personal worlds, but for tomorrow, we'll walk downtown in the cold and see what is. I just got a ring that says "be here now" to help me feel like its ok that I'm not yet doing all those things that I hoped and planned.
I want sometimes to throw it all off, most days, really. I was born this way, some gypsy whispered in my ear as a baby. The other day I heard my Mom downstairs telling my Dad, "I just keep hoping someday she'll be like the rest of us." 
I scare them with my promises of seeing the world, of walking this country.
So far I've scattered myself around a few states, a few countries. Michigan, California, Texas, Arizona, the Philippine Islands. That list makes me shudder with satisfaction, some core hunger in me is abated for a moment.
I want to sit by the soul of this country, every moment, like somehow a parallel universe in all the worlds; the tiny plays on small town stages shuttered out on little dots of this quilt, this Great American Afghan. 
Right now I'm home for a bit. I had thrown off college, flickered out of everyone I loved world's for three months and figured out my soul at Reevis Mountain School of Self Reliance. Figured out that I have a certain dream I cannot tell you of until I do it that I cannot shake off. But Momma got cancer and I came home, til she's a little better. And I can't leave again til I'm a little stronger.
My brother, when I was a little girl angry at the whole scene of what is and wanting to fly as always, gave me a necklace of an eagle raising its wings. The American symbol, and the hope for me of freedom to be. I wear it round my neck as a promise to myself, that I will sing my soul across this country like the Aborigines of Australia. I will leave no trace but my songline, etched across the course of time and this ragged earth.