on the tangle

a pile of processing… 

almost every morning i enter the tangle. i walk straight into the jungle of the tall plant that reminds me of a cornfield, crunching it down with my boots. the phramites bends easily as i make a small circular path for the electronet fencing, but i often have to rip at overgrown bittersweet and grape tangled around one other. this area i am creating is where the sheep will graze. the hard part is carrying the electronet fencing with me as i place it along the small path — it is always a small tangle.

for weeks, i tried new methods of wrapping the thin wire mesh and poles to make it easier on myself, but no matter my effort it would still tangle or get caught on the ground or a piece of litter left unveiled by the sheep’s grazing. i used to be frustrated by this, but i decided to use this as a time to practice radical acceptance.

radical acceptance for each time i managed to step my foot through the fencing making it impossible to move forward only realizing that I was the tangle, radical acceptance for the time i literally tripped myself and fell face first into the grass, radical acceptance for the few times i zapped myself on the fence, radical acceptance for all the times i set up the fence and realized it was just alittletooshort to reach the other end and then had to go back and move each pole a little bit to make it fit, radical acceptance for all the ways i realized the only thing that would allow everything to untangle was patience and
s l o w i n g  down.

moving the fence has become my morning meditation. i think of our interconnectedness, to each other and the earth and the problems and the hope. the beauty and terror all swirling around paradoxically together.

i imagine that with every little tangle i manage to overcome by patience, that this radiates outwards. that a little bit of spaciousness can be added to the web of everything. 

plant wisdom

vignettes of farm mornings. in no particular order..

i walk westward, outside of the gate. the chicory greets me with it’s cornflower blue hue. it is morning.
the wheelbarrow pushes against the ground, my chest heaves. gratitude for these legs that carry me forward.

a path of white lace on thin green stems … queen anne’s lace
cones of fuschia flowers reaching upwards … purple loosestrife
yellow candy buttons with a sweet scent … tansy
a gradient from light pink to green, colors of the heart chakra … virginia pepperweed

when you look, everything seems green
but when you look closer you see that each leaf has it’s own personality, it’s own curl of a leaf, alternating patterns, tiny hairs that breathe
diversity is beautiful.

the chicory reminds me of impermanence
it changes as the sun moves, even within one hour
the blooms welcome me, but as the sun rises the blooms close
within the week the stems have turned from green to maroon
small signs of autumn tease against the thick summer air
everything changes

A little reflection and some holiday wishes

//

It has been quite the year. I haven’t used this space for writing that much because I’ve spent more time handwriting in my journal (which was part of a manifesto that still guides me) and have been keeping more things to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I still wear my heart on my sleeve (clearly – haha) and haven’t lost my “art” of creating “awkward moments”. In fact, the move to Troy was hard and all of my old “stuff” returned – lots of looping around and around again in self-doubt. Before moving, I had so. much. fear. of somehow returning to a version of myself that wouldn’t be liked or that I would be too something. But I see now that even that version of me, the one that reaches and tries too hard and worries too much and seems overly eager, deserves love because we *all* have moments like this. It’s being a human and it can be difficult to navigate the ocean of feelings, but I believe it’s in this space (fear and feelings) that we are truly connected!

The fear I had leading up to it (the move) ended up being worse than the experience because Troy has been nothing short of wonderful. We’ve been welcomed into an amazing community of people (and animals!), I’ve poured my heart into my art and music, developed my own affinity for microbes, and Brendan’s building is oh-so-close!

Despite the short-sighted vision (of some) for the future of our planet and all beings and all the actions against it, I am still full of gratitude, hope, and possibility for the New Year. Here’s to finding moments of connection and sharing kindness to everyone, especially those that we don’t fully understand. Let our hearts be bridges because our lights shine brighter together.

While there are many things OUT of my control, I am grateful for the ability to make silly greetings like this one and hope that they can bring some cheer.

So Happy Holidays dear ones. Hope you enjoy our little greeting and that it puts a smile on your face.

p.s. dearest garden of friends (old, new and reconnected): thank you for all of your support this year. My heart truly felt held by each of you in the hardest of moments. Thank you. Remember, I’ve always got your back too. 🙂

Previous greetings:

this might make George Michael roll in his grave
have a holly jolly christmas
a sparkle partner christmas
nature’s glitter
yay christmas!
christmas with lavi

Seeing, in Three Pieces by Kate Knapp

Seeing, in Three Pieces
Kate Knapp

Somehow we must see
through the shimmering cloth
of daily life, its painted,
evasive facings of what to eat,
to wear? Which work
matters? Is a bird more
or less than a man?
Is a bird more or less
than a woman?

*

There have been people
who helped the world. Named
or not named. They weren’t interested
in what might matter,
doubled over as they were
with compassion. Laden
branches, bright rivers.

*

When a bulb burns out
we just change it—
it’s not the bulb we love;
it’s the light.

on change

I was driving back from a wedding in Connecticut yesterday. I took a wrong turn and ended up taking a long way home through windy roads of Connecticut and Massachusetts and finally landed in New York again. It was a beautiful drive. I noticed the reds and yellows of the leaves and it hit me that fall is nearly here. Of course, time has been hurtling forward all along, but it took the bright leaves to notice the change.

There have been so many changes in the past year.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the motions of these changes. Traveling, packing, moving, leaving my friends, making new friends, walking new streets, working with bouts of loneliness, playing more instruments, climbing new mountains, learning new sounds and patterns… painting, so many things.

I’ve been spending more time journaling, long-hand. In a way, I think this reflection time is when I take the time to “sit” with all of this change.

A few weeks ago, I was visiting some friends in NYC. The G train doors closed and I heard someone say, “Kim!” really loudly. I looked across from me and I instantly recognized the face. It was the bright face of one of the students that I mentored a few years ago. He recognized me and told me that he remembered our activities, that he was applying for colleges, that his sister was 12 now and that she was 4 when I met her. We were loud, everyone was looking but there was a genuine feeling of joy for all of the passengers. They didn’t seem to mind that our conversation carried on across from each other. He told me that the edible color wheel was his favorite project and I laughed and said it was a terrible idea. “Too much frosting and sugar…”, but he said it was fun and was glad to run into me; he remembered my “big smile”.

After wards, I cried (I’m tearing up now re-remembering this) and laughed and my heart was full. To be honest, I nearly forgotten that time in my life – the weekends of rushing to take cabs to the community center in Astoria (I was always late) and the walks and meeting friends after; I’d always reflect on my projects and tell stories about how the kids like this or hated that.

Here I am, so many years and a different city later. I still do music and art with kids, but it’s not quite the same and I’m not sure it every would be, but it was a good reminder to keep doing it. Running into him also reminded me that I like reflecting in this space too.

So much has happened since my last writing of the Christmas video and maybe I’ll share it, but maybe I won’t.

It is all okay, everything is okay.

Change happens fast and slow at the same time and like most things, it’s full of multiple, opposing feelings.

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Let’s be real. 2016 had some real shit moments. Don’t get me wrong, it had many beautiful and amazing moments too – and these are what I hold on to. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t impacted by events of late (I realize that for some, it may have been a positive year, but you all know my leanings).

What helps: art, friends, laughter, wine, music, cat cuddles, and love. So much love.

With that, I’m sending *you* all lots of love – let it spark your own inner light and let that shine outward and ultimately, reflect back to you. I truly believe that the more we can all do this, the better and brighter this world will be. If nothing else, it would at least be a little kinder. 

Happy holidays! 

//

Previous greetings:

have a holly jolly christmas
a sparkle partner christmas
nature’s glitter
yay christmas!
christmas with lavi