my second home @ wildgoose lane, in olympia washington, RIGHT on the puget sound, was my home of joy and laughter, happiness and melancholy. some of my best friends were made here, and some of my happiest memories. we were blessed to live on the water with acres to run around in, bonfire in, swim in...
[this was the view from my porch ^]
[me with my house in the background ^]
[bedroom view at night^]
haifa, israel, where my parents moved two months after i graduated high school, is the Baha'i Holy Land and also what i consider my second home. the beautiful sea, the Baha'i Holy Sites, the amazing food, the delectable coffee, the hilarious israelis, the love of my family, the memories, the memories. haifa never disappoints, always bringing me clarity, rejuvenation and love [The Shrine of the Bab is the golden domed structure, one of the Holiest sites for Baha'is]:
enter southeast portland where [most of] the wildgeese crew were able to reunite. continued laughter, a bleak unemployment, spending all my money on expensive amazing lattes at stumptown, wearing hoodies was our dress code, it rained for FORTY THREE DAYS STRAIGHT one fall...
enter brattleboro, vermont, some time later (with a brief stint in minneapolis/st. paul, which i never really considered my home) whereupon i went to graduate school, made some of the most amazing friends, filled my brain with all things pertaining to conflict transformation and peacebuilding, filled up on all things maple, ate the most amazing ice creams, swam in the most amazing rivers and did some serious leaf peeping:
enter rapid city, south dakota. our home for two years. neighboring the pine ridge indian reservation and badlands national park, which i frequented at every chance possible, this city became my serious home where i developed some extremely meaningful relationships, was able to serve the Lakota community seriously for the entire time, acquired some new family members, fell in love with clouds on a whole new level, and learned how to transport to my center when walking & praying in the golden fields:
now, dear readers, we are off, on a new adventure, to a new place to make a home. we are moving to southern california in a couple of days. we are landing in LA, but not quite sure where in socal we'll be calling home just yet. but i assure you, it will be amazing, it will be filled with heaps of photos, hilarious stories and new adventures. i am so thankful for my time in sodak, and all of the places that i have been able to call home.
wish us luck, and i'll keep you posted.
may the force be with us. if i have my baybee, i have home no matter where i am though, so its all splendid.
here is the original song of the duet of little wings and feist (previous post - below), i feel this song is perfect for the mood i am in. grateful, peaceful, bittersweet.
i'm begging you.
how terribly unconscious can you make the human race look?? with your war paint and fake headdresses, running around with your leather moccasins on, and your PBR & american spirit smokes in the other.
how do these women take themselves seriously, thinking they're fashion forward???
this is not only a "fashion faux pas" as many say, it is a social, intellectual and mental faux pas as well. yeah, just what we need, more people to perpetuate the stereotype that Native Americans only exist in "cowboy and indian" movies.
some of us actually respect and honor Native American culture. and some of us actually know that Native Americans exist, and are alive and flourishing - they are not some hollywood "injun" that runs around saying "how" or poses on your terrible indie band album as cover art.
and please don't tell me that you are honoring your 1/84th part cherokee heritage.
--> word to the uneducated - please get schooled.
excerpt from a great post about this issue:
Headdresses promote stereotyping of Native cultures.
- The image of a warbonnet and warpaint wearing Indian is one that has been created and perpetuated by Hollywood and only bears minimal resemblance to traditional regalia of Plains tribes. It furthers the stereotype that Native peoples are one monolithic culture, when in fact there are 500+ distinct tribes with their own cultures. It also places Native people in the historic past, as something that cannot exist in modern society. We don't walk around in ceremonial attire everyday, but we still exist and are still Native.
but i ask you to please honor those that have been here wayyyyy before columbus, the Indigenous People of our country, as they are the real "Founding Fathers", they are the ones that deserve our respect.
honor the Indigenous Peoples for their youth and children that are struggling to preserve their culture, that in order to survive, have to be able to successfully walk in two worlds.
To me, October 12th is Native American Day, always was, always will be.
spread the consciousness, acknowledge the facts, support the awareness and help to create a world that works for, & is welcome to ALL.
peace & mad respect.
mitchell is a small town with the best coffee being served at a mcdonalds or a gas station. and forget it, i cannot drink coffee from a gas station if i know its been sitting there 10 hours or has been reheated from the week before. so we decided to go high class. and went to mcdonalds. okay, so the entire trip up until mitchell, every place we stopped to use the restroom, get gas, etc., i had this OVERWHELMING feeling that i was going to see someone that was interviewed from David Lynch's Interview Project. having just weeks before, watch nearly 60 episodes, (they are fascinating, so shoot me), it was fresh in my mind and i don't know how to explain it. I JUST FELT LIKE I WAS GOING TO SEE SOMEONE FROM THE INTERVIEW PROJECT. seeing as how they only interviewed i think 4 people in sodak total, i knew that this was a little far fetched and my odds were basically next to nil. nonetheless, i kept getting this nagging feeling; every gas station, i'd scan the cars, or the people walking about to see if i recognized anyone. it was REALLY FREAKIN' BIZARRE.
THEN, AS WE PULL UP TO PARK @ MCDONALDS, GRACE WICK GETS OUT OF THE PASSENGER DOOR THAT PARKED FOUR CARS AWAY FROM US AT THE SAME EXACT TIME. IT WAS HER. and i knew it immediately (and how strange is THAT??). i GRABBED my husband and tried to control my excitement. "ITS HER!! IT'S HER, BAK!! ITS THE WOMAN FROM THE INTERVIEW PROJECT!! I TOLD YOU I WAS GOING TO SEE SOMEONE! I KNEW IT!" i continued to strangle his arm while trying to contain myself from running up to this near 90 year old woman and startling her like crazy. she looked the same as she did on the Interview Project, just a bit older and more frail.
this is what the Interview Project summarized of their visit with her:
"We met Grace Wick at the Post Office in Mitchell, South Dakota. Since she had some more errands to run, she suggested that we meet at her house later on to conduct the interview. Once we reconvened, Grace told us about her childhood on a farm in Lyman County, South Dakota and how she met her husband. Since his death a year and a half ago, Grace has lived alone in Mitchell. She plans to sell their home and counts church and her family as the most important things in her life today."
and i strongly urge you to watch the entire interview (its about 3 minutes). click here for her entire interview
i stood in line, just studying her face -- there was NO way that this wasn't the woman i had seen a week ago online. there is no way. i was convinced. then Bak was like, "layli, a lot of old ladies look alike, i wouldn't be so sure". yeah whatever, i thought. i approached her and introduced myself and said, "excuse me, miss, i am sure this will sound very strange to you, but i just saw you on the internet, it was a short interview about your life and i am blown away to see you in real life, right now!". grace kindly replied, "i'm sorry, you must have me mistaken for someone else". "are you sure??" i asked, convinced it was her. she said yes, it wasn't true. so i apologized and excused myself while what i assumed was her daughter and her ordered ice cream sundaes. when grace was getting her treat, i approached the daughter: "i am so sorry to bother you, but i am sure i saw your mother on the internet. she was talking about how she had a painting business with her husband and she was trying to sell her house"
daughter: oh my gosh, you are right!! that was a couple of years ago though!
me: wowww, i had no idea it was that long ago!
daughter: mom! don't you remember a film crew coming to your house and interviewing you about your life?
grace: not sure. what did i talk about?
me: you spoke of your husband and the farm and how his family thought they were better than everyone else.
grace: oh my goodness! i had forgotten all about that!
me: i KNEW it!
daughter - in shock
baktash - in awe
as i approached grace and her daughter to say goodbye after we sat a bit and drank our coffee, i felt myself so moved and almost even emotional. like we had a strong connection. it was really quite beautiful. we chatted a bit more and i told her how my family was moving back to israel, and that is why we are on the road trip from Rapid to Minneapolis. i think she could sense that i was having a hard time with it, she said she was so sorry to hear that, and she was so sorry that we won't be as close anymore, and that distance can make families even closer. it really soothed me actually. i then told her how amazing and blown away i was that i had met her that night, knowing that i was going to meet someone that i had seen on the Interview Project. i told her i had had this overwhelming feeling the entire road trip up until mitchell, sodak, that i was going to meet someone from that project. and then i met grace. interestingly, she was the one that stuck with me the most. out of the 50 some interviews i'd watched. i told her how amazing it was, even somewhat "magical/other worldly". and she replied by saying so matter of fact, "when something like this happens, it's so hard to not believe in something bigger than ourselves. we were meant to meet, i am sure of that". grace said all of that so matter-of-fact. it was so cool, because i felt it so definitely too. at this point, i didn't even want to leave her, as i felt like we were such dear friends. really, like kindred spirits. i could have stayed and listen to ronald mcdonald singing a terrible song, looping over and over for hours. for her, i would have.
grace had shared with me that she had sold her house and now was in a smaller apartment in town, she said she goes back to the farm to be close to her children. she asked me more about what she shared in the interview, as she couldn't remember. i told her that she had said that the "two most important things in her life were her faith and her family". she said, that hasn't changed with a very warm smile.
i left that evening feeling so full and blessed with life. the mysteries we experience, the magic and beauty in "chance" encounters and deep heartfelt, sincere connections with near strangers.
don't waste my mother loving time. i got a train to catch. or a coffee to make. or a kale chip to eat. or a photograph to shoot. or a nap to take. or a dear friend to talk about really big ideas with - until our brains become one then explode. give me the ideas; go big or go home.
she is saying, "ready yet?" to her mom. then she says "more put in there...yeah.. pink"...then she says, "see, dinosaur?"
so yeah, basically TOO MUCH CUTENESS FOR ME TO HANDLE.
~ Writings from the Baha'i Faith by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
but what has been really popping up for me lately is inspiration, creativity and connection. and how important it is that we seek out these things in order to live a fulfilling life on this here planet - these are the things that energize us, motivate us. i love to see what others are doing, how they are stretching themselves to seek a deeper connection with others, through service projects, creating amazing pieces of art, or by merely asking a stranger something that cuts right to their heart, inviting for a meaningful dialogue. i am fascinated by projects and endeavors where the only purpose of the project is to connect at the heart of others...it makes life so much better, doesn't it? i don't recall if i shared this on my blog here before or not. but this is a sweet story of an experience i had with this special gentlemen:
baktash and i were running down the beach, chasing waves and i saw this gentleman standing so peacefully and watching the waves and taking it all in. my heart kind of sank, because i wondered if he was lonely and wishes he had someone to share the moment with. so i ran up to him and asked if i could take his portrait as a way of talking to him. he was so so so wonderful and we talked for 20 minutes while baktash beachcombed. we began to discuss the importance of nature and how wonderfully at peace your heart feels when you can stand and listen to the waves; he spoke about how he missed his wife who had passed away a year ago, but how coming to the sea always makes him feel better. i told him how much he made my day, and how much joy he brought me, just in our 20 minute conversation, i made him laugh and he made me smile...i need to do things like that more often. it made my heart feel good.
"50 people one question" is a pretty cool project - this is so touching and sweet. maybe you have seen it before, but i hadn't, though i have heard of such projects. i found this clip on my girl shaadee's tumblr.
i just found this photographer. i especially adore his series at rockaway beach with the confetti blowing in the wind:
this is an amazing project that took place in a favela in rio. to check out the entire project, go here.
what are you doing to feed yourself creatively?