There’s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place Like Home

Man oh man, yesterday at gate B20 at McCarran airport, I was clanking my ruby slippers together so hard the sparkles fell off.

No worries, nothing a little love from a glue gun can’t fix.

I love to travel, I always have. Ok, I’m not some big international world traveler, I’ll admit. I’m mainly a domestic flight gal, but still, I manage to travel maybe three to four times a year, usually for fun to see friends and family.

The adventure is always worth the price of admission. Even going to somewhere I know well, it gives me a chance to break out of my routine, get out of my head, and be different.

The best road trips are when I feel like I’m a different person by the time I come back home…meaning, I’ve grown or learned more about myself along the way.

My recent travel was one of those sorts of trips. I won’t share all the ins and outs and what-have-yous about the epiphany I had in front of a quarter slot machine at the Four Queens casino, but suffice to say, there was one…and it was good.

Sometimes getting out of my non-thinking monotonous routine and into “hey, where am I staying and where are my bags and where am I going to have something to eat?” is entirely exhausting.

And my god air travel wears me slick. Could people *be* any ruder when flying?

By the time we made our way to our happy little casa last night, I was beat. I mean, so tired, I was damn near catatonic.

But as Annie says in Bull Durham, “Total exhaustion can be spiritually fabulous.”

So as tired as I was, as happy as I was to sink into my bed and let the sandman have his way with me, at 4:30 this morning, my eyes were open and the brain was rolling.

Ideas. Lots of them. Flowing like, well, coins from a slot machine after hitting double-double-double on the payline.

At first I fought it. Rolled over and begged for sleep to come back.

Then I thought…why? How often am I blessed with a fire hose blast from The Muse? Why pinch off the ideas? Hell no, let ’em flow.

So since 4:30 this morning, I’ve been cranking away at the iMac. I mean CRANKING the whole time. And damn if I didn’t get a LOT accomplished (not the least of which was cropping and uploading my new profile photo…take a gander to the left and you’ll find it.)

So now, some four hours later, my eyes are burning, I’m a little shaky, and I may need a nap today. But mostly, I’m happy.

While travel is fun, and for this old musty brain, might just be essential, at the end of the day, there really is no place like home.

Every once in a while…

You know, my move to California, lo these many years ago, was really a life changing event for me.

Both a mind blower and a mind stretcher, to be sure.

I never really realized how small my world was until I expanded the reach.

In the first several years I lived here, I explored a lot, and I learned to perfect the face that was outwardly calm, while inside my mind was shouting “HOLY EVER LOVING CRAP, DID YOU **SEE** THAT!?!?!?”

I didn’t want people think I was a rube, so I learned to keep my shock and awe to myself, as much as possible. Though many times, my natural exuberance took over and it all burbled out.

I mean, in my time here in the big ol’ Bay Area, I’ve seen some pretty wild things.

Ok, by way of example in the first six months living here, I saw my first true campy transvestite. At well over 6’5″, she was dressed as Diana Ross. And spectacularly beautiful. And very sweet too, she was lovely to me.

I just didn’t really get to see stuff like that where I grew up.

Over the years, a fantastically beautiful transvestite has become but one of an ever growing list things that has blown my mind.

So, this weekend, I had another occasion to have my mind stretched a bit, again.

On Sunday, I went to an event at a local spiritual bookshop. It was a presentation to be given by a Tibetan Monk.

(Yes, yes, I know transvestite to Tibetan Monk is a wild, weird shift in just the course of the first 280 words of this post. Stick with me.)

Ok, yes, so ok. You went to see a Tibetan Monk, blah, blah, blah, how very new age of you. So what, right?

Well, here’s the thing. It was a very small event. And by a series of fortunate circumstances, I was given a seat in the front row.

For three hours I sat there less than five feet away from a genuine Tibetan Monk wearing red robes and speaking the Tibetan language.

I heard him speak of his personal experience of being imprisoned by the Chinese and brutally tortured for teaching Buddhism.

You can hear and read stories of torture. You can have a generalized knowledge that these things happen in the world.

But then when a real human being sits there before you and generously tells their story and shares their pain…well, ok, *pop* goes my brain pan.

I am not a practitioner of Buddhism, nor am I here to advocate any sort of political or religious agenda.

I’m actually more just talking from the mind of a little girl who grew up in New Mexico.

I was very touched and very moved by the talk given by this man. I also envied his inner peace and vowed to try to find but a molecule of that within myself.

I’ve faced some bumpy roads over the past year of my life. Been holding some anger for some people who have been less than kind to me.

When Phagyab Rinpoche said that compassion is the antidote to anger, I listened.

I don’t have answers, but I do believe that your life is changed by all the people you meet on the road we call life.

That red robed Tibetan monk got me thinking. And thinking is good. Thinking can lead to healing.

I could use some healing.

How is *your* Monday shaping up?

Mine? Well let’s see.

The Dodgers advanced to the NLCS (round two of the playoffs). Brutal.

Woke up today to the news that the global markets are a mess. Again.

My own company’s stock took another major dive.

Our intracompany HR system laid an egg, and I cannot deliver performance reviews today (It would have been a little good news to my weary and battered team).

And my socially, environmentally and economically conscious mode of transportation failed me today. Early this morning CalTrain danced with a semi truck. Minor injuries only and it happened far away from me. But that meant as I arrived at the station this morning, I got the news, “trains delayed indefinitely”.

*sigh* Not an auspicious start to the week.

Guess “someone has a case of the Mondays!

Memories, dancing demons and lost fragments of thoughts

There’s a lot going on in my head. None of it related to work. But here I sit at my pressed wood cubicle shelf desk-like device absorbing EMF’s from my monitor…and pondering.

If I tip my head up a bit, I can look over the top of my monitor and see the actual outside.

Here it is:

That photo doesn’t tell the tale. There is an oppressive haze hanging over tree tops.

I say haze, it’s really smoke. The heavy winds have brought a taste of the fires up this way.

Taste, as in literally. If you go outside your eyes and nose sting and you get that campfire flavor in the back of your throat.

It was weird, when I arrived at work this morning, I opened my car door and took in the first inhale of this dirty air, you know what it reminded me of?

New Mexico.

Yeah. Odd huh? But for the people who live(d) there, you’ll be able to relate.

You know how when the first cold of fall sets in and people start using their fireplaces and wood burning stoves? The smell of burning cedar and piñon is distinctive. You can taste it. The cold crisp to the air and that smell permeates.

So odd, that the smell of burning forest made me homesick.

I’m reading “Curse of the Chupacabra” by Rudolfo Anaya right now. Last night as I was reading, the main character was back home in Santa Fe and talking about being outside and smelling that distinct wood smoke.

Must have been in my brain then, this morning.

Me and Rudolofo, same page today.

That’s the magic of a really good author. You and he are there together, touching across space and time in that moment you read the words. You find a common ground. Anaya is one of my favorite authors, so that synchronicity is cool.

Inspired by something really tough, a raging fire.

Memorial Weekend lies ahead. Memories. I know this weekend is about remembering military veterans, and I do.

Maybe it’s also about airing out old memories of all sorts. Spring cleaning for the closets of the soul.

Been thinking a lot about old things. Old hurts. Old scars.

The woo-woo minded among us would suggest that this is due to Mercury going retrograde on Monday.

I’d say it’s because I’m the kind of girl who likes to shake up her thoughts like specks in a snow globe just to see where they land.

The Good Man said I might be entering the water hazard known as “middle life crisis”.


Either way, I’m thoughtful.

Ah well, off to a holiday weekend. Three days off sounds like a little slice of heaven to me today.

To all, Happy Memorial Day. Enjoy the weekend, be safe and remember those you love!

The Little Prince. I don’t get it.

So a few weeks ago, The Cute Boy™ and I watched a movie, “My Dinner with Andre” that The Cute Boy™ (who is much smarter than me) had seen before and wanted to watch again. The movie is basically a long conversation between two friends having dinner. The conversation covers a lot of ground including theater, spiritualism and to some extent, existentialism (here’s where I get bogged down and need The Cute Boy™ to help explain).

In the movie, Andre discusses at some length the story “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I’ve stumbled across this book before in my life but have never read it. I recall that my best friend in High School loved it and reread it with some frequency. I have a friend I work with who is from Russia and she says it is her favorite book. In fact, her home is decorated with prints of artwork from the book (done by Saint-Exupéry).

I’ve taken a few “woo-woo” classes in my adult life and find that many of the women I’ve met in those courses quote the book and consider it to be an impact on their lives.

Ok, so after watching the movie and thinking on it, I went to my local library (which, I may have mentioned, rooooocks) and found a copy. I took it home quite expectantly and dove right in, ready to get my “wow” from it and my spiritual impact.

I read it through. I read it thoughtfully as I did. And when it was done, I closed the cover and said to myself, “huh…okay.”

It think my favorite part was when the Little Prince described that on his planet (which is quite small) you can watch the sunset every hour, just move your chair. And I liked that notion. I do enjoy sitting in a chair and watching the sun go down (especially over the ocean).

But I don’t consider that a “wow” moment. Or life altering. I just found it an amusing bit of imagination.

So, what am I missing? I consider myself fairly intelligent (six years and two degrees from higher education. Granted, from NMSU, but still, it’s a fully accredited college!). I’m sort of well read. Ok, I do tend to like throwaway fiction better than the classics, but I’ve read enough to know what I like. I’ve even read some fairly complicated stuff.

I just don’t get it? What does that say about me?

I’m going to read it again and see if I get something on a second read. Am I trying to hard? Or not trying hard enough? : shrug :

Maybe it’s just as The Little Prince says…that adults are just like that, they don’t understand. Hmm……

(meanwhile, in my Google searches I found a guy who got a Baobab tree tattooed on his arm?)