long time no post. Honestly, I would post more but it’s usually such a chore to try and get online up here at camp. Work has been fairly steady and with the lack of drama, life is going along quite nicely. I even found some time to read \m/
Usually when I don’t like something I’ll leave the reason why to sort itself out later. With exceptions of course; after 31 years I still dislike peas, celery and swiss cheese. Anyways, Buddhists annoy me so I decided to figure out by reading an introductory book on Buddhism. It’s actually lead me to a bit of a change of heart. There are two things in particular I like about Buddhism; the idea of the Eightfold Path and finding balance in the middle way.
I’ve also been changing my diet due to environmental stress here at camp. A few weeks ago I went back to vegetarianism due to health and ethical reasons. But I’ve also purchased a book written by a Canadian tri-athlete called Thrive. Basically it’s a book dedicated to whole foods with a nod towards the raw food movement. How does that tie into Buddhism? Well, with the common sense of the Middle Way and since I hate extremism in any form I think I can find a way to eat healthy here at camp without the pretense. A combination of Ayurveda, raw food (which is good for me since I don’t have access to a stove or oven) and some cooked food. I’m not a raw foodie by any stretch of the imagination nor will I ever be. Balance.
On the subject of paganism, I’ve been thinking of creating a “flavour” of paganism that is organic and focused on interconnectedness, the God and Goddess in their more basic and potent forms (think the Tao or Yin/Yang) and is spiced with Eastern practices such as Ayurveda, Yoga and some basic Buddhist teachings. What it’s not is a mix of different things but finding common threads found across the globe. Fundamental and balanced and more geared towards witches or wiccans that enjoy a more spiritual and meditative path rather than a lot of pomp and ceremony. It’s an idea.
first, I apologize for not answering comments— it took my 10 minutes just to log into blogger. Our wireless connection at work is slower than the old 2600 modems *sigh*. Good news is I got approved for the trip to India through Horizon Co. and WWF Canada. I’m also thinking of taking that trip to Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia at Yule just because I have 3 weeks off. India in November, then off again in December— so two trips in 2 months = good times ;)
With all this possible travel I will have to learn to be disciplined when spending my money— especially my book buying habit. I’m working a double shift this tour so I’ll be able to bank 3 weeks worth of pay. I figure if I’m mindful of my spending and I come up with a budget I should be golden. I also figure I got enough books to give me 2 years worth of reading (I just got to remind myself of that when temptation strikes!).
Right now I’m quite content to spend my time watching hockey, keeping up on my healing and spiritual studies and traveling whenever I can. Lately I’ve been fairly low-key and relaxed, “the joy of a little monk in a wind-torn robe”. Well, besides the craziness of the last week that had me stressed for a while. Currently I’ve been reading two books: Light on Yoga and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, both by B.K.S Iyengar. Even though I don’t agree with some of what Eastern spiritual philosophy has to offer I do find that it gives me a lot to think about. It also has a way of making me feel lighter and less attached.
the art of letting-go. I finally feel at peace again— I had been letting the problems and quirks of other people influence my day. Usually it doesn’t affect me but I’ve been distracted lately so I was easily sucked in. Yesterday though I finally snapped. I felt so frustrated and uncomfortable by 8pm that I drowned myself in my music and a good book on Wabi-Sabi until I felt relaxed again.
I got this feeling like I live in a whole other world from everyone around me— and that’s a good thing. I’ve been living in my head the last couple days because my mind has been busy coming up with new ideas and sorting out old ones. I find I don’t have much of interest to blog about because I’m not interested in what turns most people on.
I’ve been blogging now for almost 3 years but yet my blog(s) have never really evolved into anything defining. I don’t seem to write anything relevant and my blog doesn’t get much traffic and rarely gets linked to another blog. I realized that I’m more than okay with that :) My purpose for having a blog is to journal about my interests and to watch how my life evolves.
The first goal when I get my place is to do a complete physical and spiritual cleansing. I will first create and clean space by using homemade and environmentally friendly cleaning products. This will include washing all rooms, walls, floors, shelves and closets as well as the appliances including the refrigerator and oven.
After the space has been cleansed and purified the next step is too bring in furniture. I want my space to be like an exotic womb, environmentally friendly and minimal. Define and construct the space using furniture that is solid, well crafted and fits without blocking ch’i. The furniture is not to be the focus but to be the foundation layer.
The second step is to build texture using muted colours and textiles. White sheets, earth-coloured textiles, a proper mattress for the bed. Comfort and texture is most important.
The third step is to buy basics such as plain white dishes, flatware, glassware and small appliances. This is another foundation layer as it provides a foundation of functionality.
The fourth layer is too build on texture and create softness. This is the nurturing layer. I plan to buy hand-crafted textiles and art pieces that use a variety of textures and brighter colours to enhance the muted foundation colours. This will bring the womb feeling to the space and also the exotic touches that is important to provide character and individuality to a minimalist environment.
Colour plays a hugely important role since I am obsessed with colour. I want the colours to reflect cleanliness, naturalness, the inside of summer flowers and the vitality of green foliage. My space will be a study in the four elements—earth, air, fire and water.
Earth will be, like in nature, the foundation element. The walls and floors and furniture will be very solid and earthy. Dark to light woods mostly but I would also like a very airy glass dining table. I don’t want to overwhelm the space with the furniture so some of it will have to be made of contrasting but complimentary materials like metal and glass. Earth will also represented in the use of heavier textiles such as blankets.
Air will be represented in the wall colours, glassware, glass and ceramic decorations and lighter textiles such as towels and sheets. Earth being heaviest element is foundation, air being the lightest element will contrast by being opposite but therein lies the brilliance. It lightens and balances the Earth element.
Fire will be represented in the decorative textiles such as pillows and also in art objects. Fire will enhance the muted tones of the earthy textiles by using brighter colours to compliment them. Colours in my space won’t be about using a broad range but by using a few colours and shades that build interest and emotion, layer by layer—light and dark, muted and bright. The bright colours enhance the muted colours while the muted colours soften the bright colours.
Water, for me is my favourite and most personal element. Water is fluid and either soft or forceful. Water will be represented in curved lines, glass and crystal, and cool colours. These cool colours will help temper the heat of the fire colours (a lot which will be of Southeast Asian influence). Water elements will help ch’i flow and provide a sense of impermanence and flow through the pure space.
So, the Earth elements creates the foundation, the Air elements brings joy and lightness, the fire element brings energy and creativity and the water element brings wisdom, movement and temperance. The Earth and Water elements being of the Goddess and the Air and Fire elements being of the God.
Fabrics will include cashmere, silk, cotton, muslin, linen. Heavier fabrics such as cotton and cashmere will be for rugs, blankets and fabric while silk and muslin and linen will be for decorative fabrics and sheets so that includes pillows, mosquito netting, curtains and towels. I will also being using heavy cotton for furniture and lighter cotton for towels. I want to invest in a set of organic bamboo sheets for my bed. The rule of wabi-sabi is less colour more texture.
I guess the trick is build layers through subtle change. Varying shades of white for example to add depth and structure then create mood and personality through light, thoughtful touches of colour. In my case a lot of greens to make my space feel alive and shots of eastern colours to add exoticism.
Moving to Medicine is my new beginning. Finding a place of my own to call home and be under complete control is one goal realized. Now I feel unshackled from other people’s rules and idiosyncrasies. My home will be my chance to finally live by my rules, morals and values. To be a holistic, organic and intellectually centric home where body, mind and spirit is truly the focus. It will honour and nurture my spiritual beliefs and my focus on improving the environment. It will be a very sensual home.
At this moment there is truly a fresh slate. There have been no mistakes made and I have the opportunity to put what I’ve learned over the last 31 years to use. I will also be able to nurture myself and I hope to take advantage of my newly adopted city to help support my health, artistic and spiritual goals.
w00h00! I got my apartment in Medicine Hat so I’ll be moving there this weekend :) Oh and my amazon.com order arrived from December. Apparently lost mail does show up :P good times.
Trent and I are no longer friends. This happened around the beginning of February. We argued all the time and finally it just came down to the fact we simply do not get along. So I decided to move out— which I did and now Trent had decided to make life difficult. I still have a few things to pick up so he emailed me today saying that he wants to supervise me getting the rest of my stuff.
I don’t want to see him so I told him there was no point in him being there. So in typical and cliche ex-roommate fashion he used some of the classics on me such as “I’m telling you that you will not have free access to my house. We can either do this by cooperating and being civil, or I can have the door locks changed and you can collect your stuff from the from the garage, which will be unlocked.” So the house that we all moved in together but under his name is suddenly his house and I’m a trespasser not to be trusted.
I thought we could break this off cleanly and go our separate ways. Apparently not. Last year before I moved I used to write about wanting to live on my own and one reason is because usually when things go to pot it always ends badly.
oh well ;) I got my new apartment and something else (which I can’t mention yet) so life is very good. To quote Emperor Palpatine “things are proceeding as I have foreseen it”.
Tuesday was my birthday and I turned 31 :) I had a nice day and I went to dinner. I ordered a glass of red wine and treated myself to Chicken, Pacetta and Goat’s cheese Cannelloni with Wild Mushroom Sauce. whew. It was good but I found that it was heavy and proves my earlier point that I tend to favour lighter dishes and flavours over heavier and heartier fare.
Today was an interesting day for me. I finally signed up for my Ayurveda Healing course and believe it or not…I booked a trip to India :D heh. If all goes smoothly I’ll be going on the WWF Canada/Horizon & Co. Tiger Conservation tour. I woke up not thinking about it at all but then the opportunity knocked and so I took it. I’ve made a loose plan of places I want to travel in the next couple years:
- 2007 - England, India
- 2008 - Italy, Australia
- 2009 - Vietnam/Cambodia or Thailand, Tanzania
- 2010 - Antarctica, Hawaii
Well that’s just a wish list because the future is always unpredictable :) I’m looking forward to my Ayurveda course! I guess it’s my way to really learn something in depth and a small way to help heal the world.
I can’t believe it’s been over a week since I last posted. I did write a post the other day but didn’t publish it. Here it be:
Greetings from Edmonton, Alberta ☺ Since Wednesday afternoon I’ve traveled from north of Fort McMurray down to Medicine Hat then back up to Calgary, Red Deer and now Friday morning, Edmonton on my way back to Cold Lake. I went apartment hunting in Medicine Hat and applied for a nice suite overlooking the coulee. It doesn’t matter if I get it or not, having a 5 day weekend and traveling around Alberta was fun.
I experienced every crazy weather system this province could be subjected to: wind, snow, pea-soup fog, rain, sunshine, warm temperatures of +10 Celsius to cold temperatures of -32 Celsius. The drive down to Medicine Hat was dark and foggy so not much of a view since I only had about 5-30 feet of visibility 90% of the way. Quiet and spooky but surprisingly relaxing. When I got close to Medicine Hat I got out of my car because once the fog lifted the area I was in was so dark that it felt like I could see every star in existence. It was amazing!
Right now I’m sitting at a Starbucks outside of West Edmonton mall. I’m going to buy myself some nice stuff from Aveda as a birthday gift to myself. I get about an hour before I have to drive to Cold Lake right away in order to make it to my manicure and hair appointment on time. I decided the black was a bit too dark so I’m having it lightened to a milk chocolate colour.
This weekend I was crazy inspired to write about my Pure Space idea. Pure Space is basically a name to describe a state of harmony when someone is living an authentic life that is balanced and in touch with nature. It’s about living and moving with the flow from season to season. It’s about trying to reduce environmental footprints and living minimally and simply well still creating a sense of abundance.
I haven’t got it all figured out yet. It’s an idea that still has to be fleshed out. What I did write about these last few days was how to my future living space in harmony with the elements.
The earth and myself have been getting a lot of extra care and attention. As I focus on my physical health, naturally as a heathen witch, I focus as much on the Earth. Today I joined the environmental group at work. I was surprised how dedicated and intelligent this group was and how committed they were to making our site an example of environmental responsibility despite the fact we are in the oil business.
Working up a camp where there is a lot of pollution (probably cancer-causing) I learned a few interesting things. I’ve learned that if you cut yourself the wound takes longer to heal. I burned myself badly last Sunday at home and the would still is fresh. It’s slowly repairing itself due to my careful attention. I’ve also learned that the lack of daylight, constant pollution in the air and unhealthy food makes vitamin supplements necessary to maintain an acceptable level of energy. The cleaning ladies are forced to use highly toxic chemicals to clean the bunkhouses so I’ve denied them access to my bunk and do all my own laundry and cleaning with environmentally safe product.
In an extreme environment such as this coupled with the fact it’s a construction site that our bodies get worn right down. There is stress from being away from friends and family, work stress, environmental stress, physical stress so it’s easy to really damage our health. My new found health routine has already paid off in a big way in less than 10 days. I’m surprised that most people don’t/won’t take care of themselves. I can only imagine the years they are adding to their lives by inattention.
I realized tonight that I just knew I wouldn’t be staying in Cold Lake. I never applied for a driver’s license or a credit card or anything else really. I didn’t even end up painting my bedroom walls or buy any furniture. I like the town for what it’s worth but deep down I knew it would be a rest stop on my journey.
I wrote about how I was more receptive to the little hints the universe was throwing at me about my getting my job. Luckily I took those hints and my roommate came home with the good news. I realized I want to move to Medicine Hat for the same reason— I keep getting little hints. I’ve never been there, have no idea what it looks like and have no real reason to go but the universe keeps shoving me towards it.
Tomorrow I’ll be in contact with a real estate agent who also handles rentals. Hopefully he’ll be able to meet me in Medicine Hat next Thursday (we’re on a nine day shift this turn) and I’ll be able to get my own place. Finally, the peace and quiet I’ve always craved and am no longer wary of. Not to mention I finally get to have a place of my very own where my rules rule.
Even though I cooked on Sunday, I spent Friday and Saturday night packing up everything I own in those handy RubberMaid containers. It cost me about $100 but it was worth it! I bought some wine and ordered dinner from the local restaurants and watched dvds on my MacBook while I packed. I was some of the most fun I’ve had in awhile actually (well besides the spa and the visits to Edmonton). It was the most fun I’ve had in Cold Lake at any rate.
Now I’m ready to go and chase freedom again. Now that I’m turning 31 in 2ish weeks I’m more determined to live a creative and authentic life. If you think I was really happy a few months ago, well I’m really, really happy now :) good times.
last night I cooked myself dinner and dessert and even tried a french Chardonnay. I was impressed with the wine and dessert but dinner just wasn’t to my taste. Oh I cooked it perfectly but I found it too heavy for my palate. Like my choices in decorating, spirituality, clothes, shoes and wine, I prefer the food I eat to be pure, simple and basic.
I’ve always had a crush on Australian chef Bill Granger. His food uses a lot of fruits (especially citrus) and vegetables and he mixes just enough flavours to make the meal interesting without making it “muddy”. I also like the Barefoot Contessa because her food is also kept unfussy and minimal (although I don’t make too many of her recipes causes she uses a lot, and I mean a lot, of butter and cream). I also really like Jamie Oliver but don’t really try any of his recipes because they’re much too much.
I like earthy breads, dark chocolate, light to medium red wines, blush wines, citrus fruits, creme brulee, mousse, coconut, rice, chicken and some beef dishes. What I don’t really enjoy is heavy pastas, icing, cakes and cookies or really heavy dark wines. If my palate were a season it would be Spring :)
I was thinking about this because in a roundabout way it reflects a the very Air side of my personality which is very dominate when it comes to aesthetics. Everything from my clothing to the way I decorate is as simple as possible. I least I try. I found I get pissy up at camp when I’m forced to wear 4 layers of clothing just to keep warm. It makes it hard to do anything and I have to constantly get dressed and undressed. I wish someone would make a fabric that was lightweight but could withstand extremely cold temperatures. I doubt it though but it’s a nice thought.
Maybe I’m just grumbling because I headed back up to camp today which means getting dressed up in all those layers again for another 10 days. Next days off is a long weekend for me so I’m definitely headed for Medicine Hat. I hear it’s a lot warmer and a lot drier than the rest of the province. Now that I can handle.
so this is what a few days from work feels like. Interesting! A haircut, manicure, red wine and even a bottle of champagne. Not bad. I’m thinking about driving into city tomorrow. The roads weren’t good due to snow so I didn’t get to Medicine Hat this weekend to reconnoitre. I will however try again on next days off which will be a long weekend for me. Either that or a spa.
winter continues unabated both here in Cold Lake and at camp. Apparently this is unusual. I thought I’d be sick of winter by now but I’m still enjoying it. Granted it does annoy me at times as I get nervous driving on icy roads. Last week I even had a hankerin’ for spring. Winter is necessary because without death there can be no life. It’s always bittersweet. I try to remember that without snow and ice and deathly cold winds there will be no summer strawberries…or my favourite; peaches to swirl around in whipped cream. Yup, I’m not hard to please ;)
Without winter there are no spring cherry blossoms nor all of the flora and fauna engaging in some serious sex. Without the spring there would be no fruit, grains or new life come summer. Without summer there would be no autumn gilded in gold or turning leaves or apples. Without autumn we wouldn’t have winter to contemplate or be thankful. We wouldn’t have a season to bunker down under blankets, forget ourselves and just wait patiently for spring…as nature intended.
today I went for a haircut and manicure at a local salon. It was an interesting experience. The owner of the salon did my nails and I’m not sure that I want a repeat performance. I used the term “dear god” to express my displeasure about something she commented on and that opened the Christianity floodgates. She asked me if I was Christian and I told her no— I was a pagan. She kept going on about how wonderful and excited she was about being a born again Christian and how happy her church was. Luckily though, she didn’t press the “you should find god” line on me.
However, as a soon to be 31 year old single woman I had to endure the usual questions; was I married, did I have a boyfriend, did I have kids. When I answered no to all three she asked if I was looking and if not, why not. When I was in my twenties, it was cute for me to be young and single, now I’m seen as dysfunctional.
I don’t want to get married, it seems incredibly boring not to mention pointless unless you want to have children. Romance is dead anyways and marriage seems to be the last nail in it’s coffin. Shame.
I found a beautiful quote by one of my heroes, Albert Einstein:
I do not think that it is necessarily the case that science and religion are natural opposites. In fact, I think that there is a very close connection between the two. Further, I think that science without religion is lame and, conversely, that religion without science is blind. Both are important and should work hand-in-hand.I’ve been thinking a lot about my connection with the Earth. The French believe that real beauty is a connection and understanding to and of Nature. The Japanese believe, like the French, that life should lived in harmony with the seasons and our natural life-cycles. Interesting that the people of these two countries are renowned for their beauty, beautiful living and being makers of beautiful things; most notably, art.
I’ve been slowing down and finding my natural equilibrium and syncing it with Nature’s time. It’s incredibly hard to do as my western mind seems to fall back to the stronger-harder-faster conditioning of the last 30 years. Imagine what life would be like here the West if we allowed ourselves to truly live once again with the cycles and rhythms of Nature and unclenched ourselves from the ingrained Protestant work ethic and the all holy Clock?
How well do you think you would fair if you turned off your alarm clock for one night? Do you think you oversleep or would wake up at your usual time? Would it make you anxious that you would be late for work so affect your sleep? Or are you like most Westerners that sacrifice sleep more and more in order to cram a whole lot of nothing really that important activities into your night? Think about it. What would your life be like if you got a full night sleep and woke up naturally without the clanging of that ungodly alarm clock?
I once went to college with a man who said to me, “there are two things a woman should never be without; a plastic surgeon and a treadmill”. I never really spoke to him after that except in a polite fashion. Let’s just say he has some very um, “traditional values”.
Why did I bring this up? Because tonight I found a quote by the famous hairstylist Frederic Fekkai that made made me smile and turn the page. It gives me hope for the male species:
The men who love women love them because they are female. Take my word for it: No man worth having thinks of a woman as an object, a sculpture, a statue, or a doll. He thinks of her as a fruit: ripe, soft, natural, supple, fresh, and most important, alive.”
There is a reason I’m a shameless francophile; the french, like the japanese, just “get it”.