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! 

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Previous greetings:

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

 

 

♥ ~ my brain dump / processing of grief and gratitude … moving onward

there’s a part of me that wants to say that I am beyond shocked by the election results. unfortunately, i’m not because there was deep part of me that had a feeling that this was going to be the turn out. how i wished i was wrong. i wrote the following reflection and sent it to many friends and am posting it here too. so if you happen upon it, just know that writing this was my healing process. today, i feel inspired. determined. ready to roll up my sleeves and fight the good fight — for love. for equality. for goodness. i cannot live my life as i had. i am changed and want to be the change in the world. let’s do this.

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Dear you,

If you are receiving this email it is because I know you are a bright light that emits love and goodness into this world. We may not close friends, in fact, I may just read your newsletter or sorted some organics bins with you. But I’ve been impacted by your light and … I am grateful for you.

While I am heartbroken (literally, I’ve been crying about every 10 minutes). I know that it’s important to feel into this grief.

I keep thinking of this quote …

“Keep your gaze on the wounded place. This is where the light enters.” ~Rumi

Light ..

It’s hard to imagine, but we must remember love during this time. I know it’s hard. It’s so fucking hard. Oh god, here come the tears. But we can do this. Somehow, someway.

I wanted to share a reflection from a few weeks ago. The 81 day degree in October had me very rattled and sad for the Earth (how can people still believe climate change is “not real”?!), but I remembered the sacred pause. I had just read a beautiful passage from the book, Fear, by Thich Nhat Hanh. It talked about how death doesn’t have to be absolute “end”. I can’t remember the exact wording, but had been exploring the idea of life/death in a painting. The painting was inspired by a time when I was in Iceland standing in front of an all-encompassing waterfall. The water fell in such a way that it looked like it was dancing with the air, all the way to the rocks. The way it moved, it seemed the water flowed and then cycled back to the sky only to be repeated again.

So my head was spinning with the thoughts of the swirling air and water and death and life. And then I then thought … okay … if death isn’t the end, then maybe I can look at these cycles of the Earth in a different way. Yes, I can be saddened by destruction (and let’s admit this new establishment does not seem to include the Earth’s care in the list), but I can also take comfort in knowing that it will come back around. The planet will persevere in a way I can’t even imagine! Also, this is funny.

So what does any of this have to do with anything? Well, it’s my long way of saying that perhaps *this too* is a cycle.

Perhaps in all of this loss and pain, something good will come back around.

Don’t lose your light. Don’t let this election take that from you.

This morning the crowded subways seemed extra spacious. More people stepped to the side to allow fellow commuters on. Perhaps it was fatigue, but kindness was there. I also spent the morning giving “you are loved” notes to strangers and cried through tears telling them to “not give up”.

See, goodness still exists my friends. It’s within us. It’s within YOU.

The animals and beings of the world will connect.

But we must stay positive.

“Where attention goes, energy flows.”

I encourage you to not feed into the hatred. Find the ones you love, tell them you love them more. Be kind. Smile. Notice. Be moved by this. Be broken. Be love. Just be. Write, paint, dance, sing, scream, act. Allow yourself to grieve in whatever language you need. ♥

With that I am sending you all the love my human heart can hold and then some. I started with the gratitude and will end with that as well.

I am grateful for you. Please remember your self care at this time. Drink water. Nourish your body. Rest.

We will get through this. One molecule at a time.

Kim 

P.S. Let’s just hope and pray that this ends up okay
P.P.S. There is no need to write back, unless you feel compelled too. Just writing these thoughts were healing for me. Thank you for all the good work you do.

learning to fly

In a few months, we will be leaving NYC. We will be moving upstate to Troy, NY. The decision to do this has been a two year meditation and I can’t say it was my own to begin with. But alas, I admit that it is not sustainable (financially, yes it is) for five creatures (3 humans, 2 cats) to live in a railroad apartment for the rest of our lives. How I’d love for things to never change and I’m terrified about moving to a smaller city and leaving my friends and everything that NYC has made me. For I love the city’s grit and grime and my love and hate relationship with it. There are days when I look around and think, I could never leave this place for I am able to feel large and small at the exact same time. I’ve managed to create a wonderful community of friends and yet, I could also wander the streets and know nobody and vice versa. Such a change from the square mile town I grew up in. Then there are moments when people are terribly rude on the subway and yell at you for trying to be kind (for simply trying to remedy the situation of an overcrowded train during rush hour). And in this moment, it takes everything in your power to hold your hand back from throwing your coffee directly onto their Kindle and you briefly think, I can’t wait to get the fuck out of NYC. But in the next moment, you will watch a stranger help carry a stroller up the stairs and instantly your faith in goodness and love is restored, because hope springs eternal. 

But living upstate will be okay too. I know this. A few months ago, we explored the area and found massive mountains and a waterfall. It was a day was full of elements, literally. It was as if Mother Nature was experiencing the same roller coaster and expressing it in rain and snow and sunshine. We found a waterfall with a tiny mountain of ice collecting at the bottom. While I know we may never see that waterfall in the same way (as that moment) again, I am hopeful that exploring the nature in the area will feed me in a different way. It will also be a slower pace of life and after two weeks in Europe (more on that who knows when) I think I will welcome this. I’ll also *hopefully* have my own art studio! Yay!

As I enjoy these last few months of NYC and navigate my feelings. I realize I just have to let go because I cannot control what will happen or how it will turn out and in doing so, I miss out on so much in the present.

So, onward I move. Somewhere between flight and fear and all things beautiful and terrifying.

Here’s a little video of that day of elements near Troy.

P.S. I read the following story a few weeks ago and it really moved me.

Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I’m hurtling across space in between trapeze bars.

Most of the time, I spend my life hanging on for dear life to my trapeze-bar-of-the-moment. It carries me along a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I’m in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I’m merrily (or not so merrily) swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar swinging toward me. It’s empty, and I know, in that place that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness going to get me. In my heart-of-hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present, well known bar to move to the new one.

Each time it happens to me, I hope (no, I pray) that I won’t have to grab the new one. But in my knowing place I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moment in time hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new bar. Each time I am filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that in all my previous hurtles across the void of unknowing, I have always made it. Each time I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on the unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between the bars. But I do it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, no insurance policy, but you do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging onto that old bar is no longer on the list of alternatives. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of “the past is gone, the future is not yet here.” It’s called transition. I have come to believe that it is the only place that real change occurs. I mean real change, not the pseudo-change that only lasts until the next time my old buttons get punched.

I have noticed that, in our culture, this transition zone is looked upon as a “no-thing”, a no-place between places. Sure the old trapeze-bar was real, and that new one coming towards me, I hope that’s real too. But the void in between? That’s just a scary, confusing, disorienting “nowhere” that must be gotten through as fast as unconsciously as possible. What a waste! I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are illusions we dream up to avoid, where the real change, the real growth occurs for us. Whether or not my hunch is true, it remains that the transition zones in our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honored, even savored. Yes, with all the pain and fear and feelings of being out-of-control that can (but not necessarily) accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, most growth-filled, passionate, expansive moments in our lives.

And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to “hang- out” in the transition between trapeze bars. Transforming our need to grab that new bar, any bar, is allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens. It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening, in the true sense of the word. Hurtling through the void, we just may learn how to fly.

From The Essene Book of Days by Danaan Parry

 

Oklahoma 2016

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Fort building, star gazing, life loving and the first time Brendan met the family of one of my best college girlfriend’s, Mary … my how we’ve grown. ❤

Full set. 

And in video form….

Music by my talented sweetheart.

 

A day with the love birds

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On a rare, warm, not-“February-gray” day, we went to the beach with these two love birds.

Nicole is one of my best friends ever. We met at an art project that I was team leading. She was nice and sweet, so naturally I asked her if she wanted to be friends. I remember volunteering together and getting brunch afterwards. Conversation flowed easily and we were like lightning bouncing ideas and moments off one another. We were both in similar situations of “figuring it out”.

Through the years we’ve been there for each other and have grown so, so much.

The memory of talking about real love and if we’d ever find it is still so clear in my mind. We went rollerblading in Central Park and our buns were burning as we climbed that north hill. “When it happens, it will happen like lightning. It will be quick, furious, frightening and wonderful,” I told her, in between short breaths. Flying down the hill was always the best part.

A few weeks later, that very thing had happened. It may have taken her a moment to realize it, because one must be cautious when sharing the heart. But the moment I saw them together, I knew he was the perfect match. Both are tiny, with dynamic souls that stretch above and beyond and across time and space. Their love is the kind that shines like the sun. In the same way, you know rays will warm you, I know these two will always find each other. Because they are just meant to be. ❤

p.s. I cannot wait to see your fairy-tale wedding this fall!