Tag Archive: community





24×36″ acrylic on canvas

Sometimes it takes a tribe to birth a child.

And so She was born, a jade egg, still in her amniotic sack after 60 hours of labor

The death of Girl and the Birth of Mother, The Creator


Sometimes, when you live in a house that isn’t quite complete knowing you have guests coming is the perfect motivation to get you moving on some of those tasks that have been sitting patiently on a sticky on your fridge since you moved in in May… And realizing that winter may not be too too far away is also a good motivator! But first, the bliss of Summer…

Living in Mayu this summer has been a true joy of seeing, experiencing, and breathing the fruits of my labor and living my dream. And after almost two years of hard work on Mayu I felt ready to kick back and enjoy this summer a bit. And I have.

IMG_6152My loft is quite possibly my favorite place at this point in my life. With this beautiful octagon window that opens and the two side windows that also open there is almost always a delicious breeze up here, even on the hottest of summer nights. Not only can I see, hear, and feel the outdoors when I lie up here, but I also feel like a child in her dream tree house, peaking out over the world!


A lazy Sunday morning, my sweetheart still asleep

And when this sweet soul is sleeping peacefully next to you, like an angel, it is hard not to feel blessed.

My first real guests were two of my closest girlfriends who came over for dinner, both of whom have also been on parallel journeys of creating their homes. Being able to finally have them over in my home, after years of gathering in every imaginable place but our own (shared kitchens, houses where we were house sitting or pet sitting, our short and longer term rentals…) felt so good.


Until having my own place hosting friends always felt a bit stressful. Would my housemates be using the kitchen at the same time? Would so and so be offended by the small of meat? Can we truly just have sister time and talk about the sorrows, longings, and joys of our hearts in full honesty and in confidence?

But now in my own place something in my soul feels so much more able to give from a place of ease and peace. Even in the humbleness of not yet having running water or enough dishes, I did not hesitate to ask my friends to bring their own bowls, and both happily obliged and offered to take home dirty dishes to do at their place. The next time they came I had more dishes and the summer sun had warmed the evenings enough to allow us to eat outside on my newly constructed deck. And after dinner we retired up into my cozy loft where we lounged and chatted until the whee hours of the morning. Finally! A place that is my home where if what started as a dinner turns into a sleepover I don’t have to worry about offended any house mates. Indeed, sometimes it is these small things that make a difference.


My deck! Complete with a heart shaped picnic table built by John 

And most recently a spontaneous pull of lunar energies seemed to have landed us all around a fire in my yard, gazing up at the milky way and watching the big dipper move across the sky. It is truly a land of Big Sky here in this open field surrounded by trees.

Summer has also brought an abundance of Food, causing my fridge to overflow with tomatoes!


Tomatoes from my garden. Blueberries from my berry CSA at Kestrel Perch. Eggs and cheese also from local farms bought at the local food co-op. And coconut milk and orange juice not local but also bought from the food co-op. 

But thankfully about a month and a half ago now I got myself set up with this adorable RV oven, which felt like such a huge upgrade from my single burner camp stovetop that I used for the first two months in Mayu!


I’ve been making good use of this oven, making zucchini bread, sweet potatoes, and roasted eggplant in the oven, and anything you please on my 3 burner stove top!


A glass of orange juice, kale and tomatoes from my garden with local mushrooms and onion, chicken, baked in my oven with some black currant sauce, and some paleo bread! Yummm! 

And as summer is winding down I finally got my wood stove hooked up in preparation for the chillier nights and mornings.


And suddenly tonight as I started to clean up after dinner and found that it was already dark out and I wanted more light, I installed these LED task lights which I must say, make me feel like I am living in quite the luxurious little house!


And today, as I anticipated my two cousins coming to visit for a few days, and then my house warming party not too far off on October 15th I finally built my little nook to provide a little more seating area and storage!


The top is cherry, which I will oil at some point, and the front is maple flooring. Both the maple and the cherry I was generously given by people who felt they would not use them. This bench that is right across from the front door get the morning sun and will provide a perfect spot to sit and put on or take off your shoes, and drop your things when you come in. And it open up to provide quite a large space for storage! 

And I also hung some wall hooks as, although my wonderful closet works well for me, I thought guests should have a place to hang their coats especially as the weather starts to get cooler!


You will also notice the curtain for my bathroom door, which is an improvement over no curtain! Thank you Parker for making this curtain for me!

Oh yeah, have you seen my closet? Perhaps not… Here it is! It lives below my stairs 🙂


Ok, that is all for now! It is past my bedtime and my loft is calling me. Thank you for reading and for being part of this amazing journey!


Good Night and blessings, from Mayu

November was a month of transitions. Closing one chapter, opening another. New beginnings and bitter sweet endings.

It was the weekend before Halloween, Saturday, October 24th, and Ecstatic dance was hosting the Masquerade Ball. I was going to gather with some girlfriends and we were going to paint each other’s faces before attending together. But things came up for both of them and I found myself preparing to go to the masquerade ball alone. This was not a new experience for me. Sure, going to a social event alone sometimes feels a little bit more intimidating. It can feel harder to get excited and I always get a little anxious before I walk in the door. Will I have fun? Will there be people I know? Maybe I should just stay home. I think many people share these fears. And although sometimes these fears get the best of me and do keep me in for the night, often I have gone out alone. And learning how to do so has been important for me. It has been important for me to learn my own strength, to feel my own independence to know that I am ok and well on my own as well as with others.

And so that night I headed off to the Masquerade ball on my own. I didn’t paint my face but I got dressed up and put on some feather earrings that my mom gave me, to give me some extra wings of confidence, and enjoyed myself. Walking in the door, music brought movement to my body. Eyes closed, I let any lingering self consciousness fall away, beginning with small pulsing movements, then curling an arm out, greeting the air that hummed around me, drawing an imaginary circle with the tips of my outstretched fingers, a sacred protective circle; This was me, my space. And only those I allowed could enter. And so I danced. The orbit of my energy weaving, pulsing, in and out of the energies of others. Both an insignificant planet in a galaxy of stars; alone I am nothing, together we are everything… awe-inspiring. And the most significant star in the solar system of Me; I am the sun radiating warmth and love out, touching those that orbit around me in ways I perhaps will never comprehend. And I danced. Grateful to be alive. To be healthy. To be me.

A curious soul entered my orbit, drawn in by a smile that I was not aware I wore. Like Earth and Moon we danced around each other. Separate but connected, feeling the pull of the other holding us captive. Once I considered spinning away, a comet briefly there but not to stay. Its own inertia keeping it traveling, on its own, beautiful and blessed path. Gracing our skies but for a brief moment with its beauty. But something said “Stay. Keep your heart open. It is safe.” And so I stayed, circling like a distant second moon.

He reached out a hand, and cautiously I took it. With flourishes and twirls I still kept that little bit of sacred empty space between us. A figure eight of energy maintaining my sacred circle and his, connected, and separate, free to go at any time.

When the music slowed I smiled and bowed my head just slightly, hands on heart, signaling love, and a need to end this night of dance on my own. I had arrived alone but felt I may not be leaving alone. But at least I could close this dance feeling just my own energy. What was this I was feeling?

“What is your name?” I asked in the silence that followed. “Parker.” He said. “And you?” “Miwa.” And so something new began.

That night we shared tea, and then I went home. The next night we shared dinner and then he went home. But not before a quick kiss by the car left me standing somewhat speechless, stunned, smiling under the moonlight, as he drove off. I knew it was coming, didn’t I? But still it took me by surprise. Had I dared to hope? Do I dare to hope that I felt the whisper of a ruby?

At first we took our time, communicating a little through the week but not seeing each except on weekends. I continued to work on Tiny. He was busy being a first year graduate student in chemistry at Cornell. He came to Dances of Universal Peace and saw me lead a dance and play violin. I joined him and his fellow grad students on a Friday night and kicked butt playing darts in a college town bar. He came out to Tiny on a Sunday and lent a helping hand on the last wall of exterior siding; the back herring bone.


Did I mention that it came out beautifully?


Exterior of my house completely done!!

We talked late into the nights, eagerly getting to know each other, discovering and revealing the truths of ourselves… It was beautiful. And it is beautiful to drink in the sweet nectar of a young, blossoming love.

A new chapter opened, suddenly, unexpectedly, deliciously…

And another chapter closed; I discovered that my landlords cat had fleas and that they had made their way into my room. This discovery eventually lead to the second big transition of the month; a bittersweet decision that it was time for me to move from the place I had called home for over a year. And so I began to pack my things, putting some in storage until my eventual move into Tiny, and put the word out that I was looking for a place to live. And community rose up around me, with offers of rooms to rent, house sitting gigs, and couches to crash on. Despite it nearing the solstice, my inner energy has felt like spring; full of new beginnings, energy to travel and enjoy, to mingle and mix. And so living a bit of the nomads life has actually felt like a fun adventure as I continue to work on Tiny and look forward to moving in, hopefully in early spring!

And the third big transition has been that I moved my house Thanksgiving week from John’s land over to Maria’s, where it will stay for the winter! Let me tell you, watching something as big as a house, even a tiny one, that you have put so much time, money, and love into, roll away is quite an exhilarating experience.  But thanks to Maria and Liz of Hammerstone School and a car jack borrowed from the Ecovillage at Ithaca the move went incredibly smoothly. Here are a few pictures!


Getting ready to move! Notice the snow on the ground. It was the first, and only, real snow of the season thus far!


And off she goes!


Out on to the open road…


Luckily it was a short trip though. Literally around the corner of a country block….


And in just a few hours she was all leveled and situated in her new home!

Leaving John’s land came with some sadness but I plan to return there in the spring and know that Maria’s place will serve me well through the winter. John also leaves for the winter, taking off to Florida, and so the site, which is already quite rustic and wild, can become almost inaccessible if we get significant snow. At Maria’s I have easy access to electricity that does not depend on the sun and can set up my tools and things inside her large pole barn. It may not be much warmer than the outdoors but it at least is protected from the wind and provides a roof over my head when it is raining or snowing. And so Tiny has settled into her winter home and I have officially transitioned from exterior to interior work! I look forward to writing about what has been going on in the interior of my house in my upcoming blog posts 🙂


A beautiful good bye sunset one of the last nights I was on John’s land.

My Honey-Gold Tiny House

Today I sat in the sun on this beautiful fall day and looked at my tiny house and took it all in. The south and west walls are completely sided now and and so if you sit at that corner the house looks finished!


With the sun shining, it also takes on this beautiful honey gold color that I have to say I absolutely LOVE!

I am feeling blessed and grateful for all the help I have been receiving recently. Having my family come two weekends ago was so much fun and got me from no siding to more than half of my siding up. After they left I continued to work carefully and diligently on some of the more complex parts, including the siding around my octagon window:

careful notching around these tricky angle!

careful notching around these tricky angles!


I kind of enjoyed the challenge and am pleased with the results!


having scaffolding set up that I borrowed from John was definitely helpful to be able to do this…

Then this past Sunday night my friend Olympia, who took a cabinetry course with me at Heartwood School, came and helped me, staying until this morning. And with her help the west and south walls are now completely done and the north wall is more than half done!

Putting the finishing touches on the west side: gable fascia and trim!

Putting the finishing touches on the west side: gable fascia and trim!

Couldn't have done this tricky detail work without Olympia's help!

Couldn’t have done this tricky detail work without Olympia’s help! We had beautiful sunny days, until the last day…

Then the last day it was Windy (so windy a ladder blew over! Luckily with no one on it) and rainy! But we were determined and maybe crazy so we went out their anyway!

Then the last day it was Windy (so windy a ladder blew over! Luckily with no one on it) and rainy! But we were determined and maybe crazy so we went out there anyway!

Afterall, we were SO close to finishing the south wall!

After all, we were SO close to finishing the south wall!

And now both the south and west walls are done!

And the north wall isn’t too far from being finished either!


I got to say, even though the inside is still bare studs, it is starting to feel like a home, with a personality and everything! On days like today, I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave this home to go back home…


feeling ready to move in?


I can’t wait until I can indeed welcome people into My Home!

In the meantime, I am working on figuring out where I want my light fixtures and outlets to go so that my electrician can do his rough in… And plumbing will have to happen soon too! I am starting to get the itch to move to interior work but trying to stay focused on the outside while the weather is still decent!

That is all for now 🙂

(This post is based mostly on what I learned in a talk given by Jack Rossen, a professor at Ithaca college, at the Ecovillage of Ithaca on Oct. 22nd, 2015. Although I have done my best to present information accurately and with sensitivity to the first nations people of this land I am not an expert and welcome feedback, corrections, and comments and also encourage you to seek out your own truth)

Many of you will know of the Haudenosaunee confederacy as the Iroquois confederacy but Iroquois was not a name these people chose themselves. Haudenosaunee is the name by which these people, who come from the Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, and later the Tuscarora nations, call themselves. These are the first nations people of the area in which I now live; They inhabited much of central, upstate and western New York, extending down into Pennsylvania.

The Haudenosaunee are a people who traditionally kept their history through oral tradition, with faithkeepers who are appointed by clan mothers, and stories that are passed down from one generation to the next. For most western, modern world scholars, oral tradition is not to be trusted, a belief that a Haudenosaunee person would find incredibly disrespectful. Imagine you knowing the stories of your family- where they immigrated from, how they ate, what they celebrated, where your ancestors are buried- and then being told by an outsider, a “scholar,” that no, you have it all wrong and since you cannot prove it with written paper documents or artifacts we do not have to return the bones of your ancestors that we dug up and now have in our museum basements. This has been the story of some of these people, including the Cayuga, whose homeland is in the Ithaca area.

One archeologist names Jack Rossen has been doing his best to work with the Cayuga and other Haudenosaunee people to keep their history from being revised by outsiders and give it back to them. And this is the story of one such way in which he is helping them gain acceptance from the wider world for a truth they already knew.

Oral traditions says that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, perhaps one of the earliest known forms of democracy, was born 1000 years ago, around 1000 AD. But most western scholars say the confederacy was founded either only a generation before contact, in 1451, after contact as late as the mid 15,00’s.

To the Haudenosaunee the creation of the confederacy is known through the legend of the Peacemaker, a messenger of the creator who was sent in a time when there had been much conflict for centuries. It is said that the peacemaker traveled in a white stone canoe, seeking out the leaders of the five warring nations, the Cayuga, Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk. In his searching he came across a woman who had no alliances and fed and sheltered all who passed through, including men from all tribes as they traveled to war upon each other. This woman’s name was Jikonsahseh and she was the first person to accept the Peacemaker’s Great Law of Peace and some say she is what inspired the tradition of the Clan Mother, a tradition that still lives on today.

The last of the tribes to be convinced of the Peacemaker’s Great Law of Peace was the Seneca. As the Peacemaker asked them to consider the Law of Peace he told the Seneca to look for a “Sky sign” and legend has it that as the tribe leaders gathered at high sun (noon) when the corn was high (late summer) that the sky grew dark and the stars came out and this convinced them to lay down their weapons under the great white pine.

The white pine has long been a symbol of peace for the Haudenosaunee people and Jack Rossen found and carbon dated a piece of pottery with the great white pine at a Cayuga archaeological site to 1100 AD. This little artifact gave validity to the claim of the first nations people that their Haudenosaunee confederacy was indeed formed much earlier then western scholars have believed, closer to the 1000 year old date that their oral history says.

With needles in clusters of 5, like the five tribal nations that made up the original confederacy, and that stay green and never fall, just as the Great Law of Peace must be able to weather all seasons, the peacemaker made the Great White Pine a forever sacred tree to the Haudenosaunee people.

As Jack Rossen looked to other evidence that would further corroborate his finding and support the oral history of the Haudenosaunee he went and looked back at the records of full solar eclipse, the most likely explanation for the sky sign that the Seneca saw. Solar eclipses are not an everyday event, and to find one that would have been visible from Seneca territory, occurred in late summer when the corn would have been high, around noon, when the leaders always gathered and would have caused the sky to darken enough for the stars to come out seemed like an even more unlikely event to find. But indeed Jack Rossen found one. In the year of of 909, on august 18th, the sun reach full annular eclipse at 17:13 UT which would have been 1:15pm New York time. And so it seems that indeed, the Haudenosaunee oral history is correct that their confederacy was formed over 1000 years ago.

The confederacy is unique for many reasons. One such way is that the Peacemaker established a matriarchal system, called the clan system, to help to bridge these nations that had been warring for centuries. One’s clan is determined by your mother, so if you mother is of the bear clan, you also are of the bear clan. But one is not allowed to marry within the same clan and so through marriage there became members of each clan throughout the Haudenosaunee Confederation. And anyone in your clan is family, no matter whether they are Cayuga, Seneca, Mohawk, Onandaga, Oneida or any other nation. This allowed one to find family no matter where you were, traveling throughout the confederacy. There are nine clans within which they are divided into three elements; air (Heron, Hawk, and Snipe), water (Turtle, Ell, and Beaver), and land (Bear, Wold, and Deer). And within some clans, such as the bear and turtle clans, there are three different species. Even today, if you meet a first nations person they will often introduce themselves by their tribe and clan name (ei: I am ____ of the Onandaga nation and of the Heron clan.) Clan mothers hold great power in the nations, as they are the ones who appoint chief, faithkeepers and other important positions within the tribe. And they can also take these positions away if they feel an individual is no longer suited for it.

As a modern day resident of these lands I am grateful to be learning about the history of the people that were here before me, and not only for historical reasons but also because they are still alive here amongst us, and their struggles are still current. Two years ago I participated in the Two Row Wampum, an event that asked for a 400 year old treaty to be recognized and honored, a clear illustration of how these struggles are still alive today. Also, as we enter a time of the year where the veil between the worlds is thin and we often honor our ancestors, through holidays such as Halloween and Day of the Dead, if feels right to call attention to the ancestors of this this land that I now stand on and have chosen to build my house on. The Haudenosaunee were and are a wise people from which we could stand to learn many lessons from, about peace and living in harmony with the land, as well as many other things. And they are also a people that need our support, understanding, and recognition as they struggle to keep what is left of their culture alive.

This weekend I had the great pleasure of going to the Pennsylvania Mother Earth News Fair. It was a blast! It inspired and energized me, reminding me why I do what I do, and how many other awesome people there are out there doing equally awesome and amazing things. What an amazing an educational event, full of everything from seed saving workshops, to mushroom medicine, to super efficient wood stoves, and yummy organic food.

While down there I got to reconnect with an old friend from the natural building world, Chris, also known as uncle mud, and squish my hands in some mud as we shared a booth. Over the course of the weekend I watched as kids helped him build a little rocket mass heater and a mini cob oven that they then cooked garlic bread in. I witnessed kids and adults light up as they talked about their dreams of building their own hand sculpted house and I remembered the magic that happens as people squish their toes and fingers in mud. A little boy looked up at his parents, all covered in mud, and said “I’m allowed!” and his parents smiled. Indeed, our culture needs more environments where we are allowed to be dirty and messy and happy.

Chris told stories to me and others of how he would teach mud workshops to prisoners and how suddenly these tough criminals would be telling their stories of vulnerability while squishing in the mud. And I watched as a young couple that reminded me of Peter and I when we were just discovering the world of natural building spent almost the whole weekend at our booth, totally entranced by this new world that was opening up to them. “This is the dream I never knew I had!” said the woman.

Although I enjoyed sharing about my tiny house and the work I do at hammerstone, I think what was most inspiring about being at this mother earth news fair was seeing everyone else’s excitement; the excitement of other vendors as they talked about what they were most passionate about, and the excitement of fair goers as they eagerly gobbled up all this new and juicy information.

Indeed, it is weekends and events like this one that make me feel hopeful about the future of our world. So many people doing so many good things!

Looking Out From In

This Saturday was an Absolutely Glorious day. I got to experience in the most visceral and real way thus far what my house will feel like when it is done. I finally got it completely sheathed with plywood and got all the windows cut out. And said Good Bye Tarp!! And woah, what a difference it made. Suddenly I could feel the light streaming in (and boy was it a lot of light! I am so glad I chose big full sized windows despite it being a tiny house) and I could see the sky and the field, buzzing with bees harvesting from the wildflowers…. I could imagine being curled up in the loft on a cold winter day looking out my octagon window and watching the snow fall. And to stand inside something I had creating with my own two hands… To know that it was me, from the dream, to the design, to learning sktechup, to raising the money, to working through the fear and the, “who am I to BE…..,” to pounding the nails, to bringing the people together to raise the walls… There is nothing quite like it that I have experienced. I truly feel my heart and soul expanding and opening as I soak in all in… What a glorious journey it has been!! And it isn’t over yet! Thank you to every single one of you who have help to create this; who have witnessed and affirmed me and my dream, who have pitched in with hands, money, encouragement, excitement… All of it. Today I am basking in all and truly feel like I might just explode with love and gratitude….

And now, since I have neglected to post anything on the tiny house since winter here is a little photographic journey to bring you up to speed!

The first days of spring... John knew what his priorities were, and first was a picnic table!

The first days of spring… John knew what his priorities were, and first was a picnic table!

And I got to work, in style :)

And I got to work, in style 🙂


My first walls starts coming together!

And before I know it I have all four walls framed!

And before I know it I have all four walls framed! (its still early spring- can you tell by the still not fully green grass?)

In the meantime John stayed busy building a glorious little solar shed that now has a solar powered freezer and blender (smoothies!!!) and is precious shade during our work days :)

In the meantime John stayed busy building a glorious little solar shed that now has a solar powered freezer and blender (smoothies!!!) and is precious shade during our work days 🙂

And we prepped the site for raising day, building a fire pit, hanging a hammock, and making a place for food, pot luck style...

And we prepped the site for raising day, building a fire pit, hanging a hammock, and making a place for food, pot luck style…

Raising day!! My first wall goes up :) It was the weekend before memorial weekend. May 16th. And my dad drove up all the way from Boston to be a part of it!

Raising day!! My first wall goes up 🙂 It was the weekend before memorial weekend. May 16th. And my dad drove up all the way from Boston to be a part of it!


I was nervous as hell, but apparently for naught, as a great crew showed up and we had a blast!

Some of us ladies, two others in the middle of building their own tiny houses (one also on a trailer like mine, the other a tiny strawbale timber frame!), and another getting ready to make the leap!

Some of us ladies, two others in the middle of building their own tiny houses (one also on a trailer like mine, the other a tiny strawbale timber frame!), and another getting ready to make the leap!

Teamwork gets the job done :)

Teamwork gets the job done 🙂

And the AMAZIN crew after all four walls were up and the structured covered to protect it from rain!

And the AMAZING crew (a few missing who had to leave early…) after all four walls were up and the structure covered to protect it from rain!

Now it was tarp city until we got the roof framed and covered... This would be a bit of a project, but John worked carefully and diligently with me, getting the ridge pole in place so then I could set the rafters in.

Now it was tarp city until we got the roof framed and covered… This would be a bit of a project, but John worked carefully and diligently with me, getting the ridge pole in place so then I could set the rafters in mostly on my own.

Ah, sheathing starting to go on (which means soon no more tarp!) and blue sky through the rafters  :-)

Ah, sheathing starting to go on (which means soon no more tarp!) and blue sky through the rafters 🙂

And there she is!! This past saturday, fully sheathed in, joints all taped (well this photo is actually taken before the wall joints got taped) and windows cut out!!

And there she is!! This past saturday, fully sheathed in, joints all taped (well this photo is actually taken before the wall joints got taped) and windows cut out!!

And me as Happy as can BE!!

And me as Happy as can BE!!

And now it is all wrapped up again in house wrap (we finished around 8:30pm on Sunday). It is what I call another awkward teenager stage, so I decided to have some compassion and spare it the embarrassment of photos 😛 But I’ll let you imagine, and hopefully it won’t be over six months before I write my next tiny house post 🙂 But I have to say, it is kind of cool to see all the progress at once!

Floor Flipping Party!

Last Thursday, October 2nd, I had my first work party. I called it the Floor Flipping Party because I literally needed a bunch of hands on deck to flip my floor! Why did my floor need to be flipped? Well I had it upside down in order to put put some insulation and flashing on the bottom side to critter proof my floor. And now I needed to turn it right side up again! And then I could bolt it to my trailer, another big moment.

The party was quite a success, complete with local cider from Little Tree Orchards, local apples from Amy’s orchard, and local honey from my friend Michael’s hives, which I helped extract last weekend! Some people said they had never dipped apples in honey before, but for me it was a natural combination given that this is one way the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah is often celebrated, which just passed on sept. 24th, and that Yom kippur, the day of atonement, was October 3rd.


Floor upside, but ready to be flipped. Apples and honey out and ready to be eaten, waiting for the people to arrive!

And people did arrive! Thank you John, Amy, Sarah, Kim, David, and Jim for coming out and making it a party!

And people did arrive! Thank you John, Amy, Sarah, Kim, David, and Jim for coming out and making it a party!

There were a few moments of excitement but overall things went really smoothly.

There were a few moments of excitement but overall things went really smoothly.

And then I gave everyone a bolt and we got it all secured into place!

And then I gave everyone a bolt and we got it all secured into place!

Thank you everyone, especially the kids who came out to take part in this special moment!

Thank you everyone, especially the kids who came out to take part in this special moment!

For me, this was more then just a floor flipping Party. It was the first major opportunity for me to share some of this journey with others and express my gratitude for all the help and enthusiasm I have already received. It is these moments that I know I will look back on with fondness and gratitude. From here on, I will be building up and that is also a big moment to celebrate!

I have come to the last known insight of the Celestine Prophecy:  the 9th insight. The text for this insight is not quite complete and it alludes to a 10th insight. It speaks of a higher purpose for humankind, a spiritual purpose: to continue reaching higher and higher vibrational levels until we are able to cross between this world and the next, until we become light beings. It seems those who wrote this prophecy did just that, leaving the text uncompleted. We reach these higher levels of vibrational energy by learning to give energy to all those around us rather than take. The more energy we give the more we find energy flows into us from the universe.

Will we be able to enter and leave freely from this world and the next? This is what I wonder. If all those who learn of the insights and learn to continually give energy rather than take cross to another world and do not return then who will guide those left? Perhaps this is what the 10th insight is about. It seems there is still much work to be done in this world.

This year has given me a glimpse of another way to live. It’s a way of living where the earth is your mother and your teacher and you are guided by a deep trust in the mystery. It is a way to live in the Now, knowing that life is a dance with death and that death is always followed by new life. This is the cycle of creation. With this wisdom one can regain innocence, a wise innocence, an innocence that comes with having looked death in the eye and found that life always follows. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Woman who Run with the Wolves, says that in Spanish, inocente is understood to mean a person who tries not to harm another but who also is able to heal herself of all wounds. To be innocent is different than to be naive. The naive unknowingly is attracted to the good, the innocent has seen all and is still attracted to the good. La Inocenta is the name often given to a curandera healer, one who heals others and themselves of all injury or harm. Innocence requires wisdom. Children who have that wise innocence perhaps still remember the death that preceded their birth.

And so the Sufi prayer goes, “Shatter my heart so a new room can be created for a Limitless Love.”

How do I bring this wise innocence with me back to the other side? How do I not forget and stay connected to the magic and the mystery? How do I share it with those who wish to know? And how do I tread lightly on this earth, leaving only footsteps, but footsteps that last on the heart, soul, and mind of humanity?

And so this story comes to an end and a new one begins.

I have only been on this island less than two weeks but I am already starting to appreciate the people here. They are a rugged, quirky bunch, for sure, but they are kind hearted and community oriented while maintaining their individuality. I’ve been told that in the summer, when there are many passers through, people don’t pay much attention to you if they don’t know you—they figure you will be gone too soon for it to be worth it for them. It takes too much energy to build relationships with people who only come to take pleasure in this little island for a week, perhaps never to return. But when you are here in the off season, like now, people take a bit more notice. Perhaps you are not just a passer through.

Yesterday I got to go to the last grub and groove of the season. On the first Saturday of the month, from October through April, there is dinner and live entertainment at the community hall. Its just five dollars to get in and anyone can sign up to play music or perform some talent of theirs. There were quite a few people signed up for this last grub and groove, from a marimba ensemble to belly dancing to Bach concertos. The audience was intent on each performer, supporting and encouraging their fellow community members.

Today I went to Anicca’s birthday bike parade. She is Dave, the cobber’s daughter and she turned seven. There was a lively little crew of parents and kids, with a few tandem bikes and makeshift trailers for the little ones. I recognized many of their faces from the grub and groove and quickly was making friends. A little girl of only three, named Selúmia, struck me with her confidence and maturity. I noticed how Sam, her father, treated her with the utmost respect, like she was a fully capable and rationale human being.

The 8th insight talks about how the way we interact will change, beginning with our children. It is about a new way of relating to other people, to children and adults. It’s about naming control dramas and breaking through them and focusing on other people in a way that sends them energy. In this way we will build on each other’s energy rather than sucking energy out of each other. Children, in particular, must never be denied energy. We must give truthful answers to all their questions, in a language they can understand, and they should never be corrected or told no. This is how control dramas are created. Rather, you can help them reason their way to a smarter decision. Or some things they will have to learn for themselves.

As I take interest in the people around me I find they take interest in me. Soon Selúmia has taken my hand and is leading me down a path. Her father says I’ll be back to this island one day. Perhaps I will, but I don’t think it will be to stay. I think it will be to reconnect with the mystery, and to remind me of the work that needs to be done in the rest of the world—on the other side of the ferry.

Creative by Nature

Glimpses of a Creative Universe, by Christopher Chase...


Creating "new" from old has been a preoccupation of mine for a long time, but turned into a full-time adventure in building and living in a tiny "reclaimed" house. Beginning in 2012, I will live in this 120 square foot space for the length of my PhD studies in Literature and the Environment, and perhaps beyond. In this way, I hope to live a little smaller, leave a little lighter, and learn in what ways formal study can be acted in the every day.

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