Monday, January 31, 2011

Greetings from the land of decompression

My weekend in just a few words: Relajo caliente, m'kay.
Like Rachel told me, "Everything in moderation, including moderation."

Friday, January 28, 2011

It was a truckload of sunshine

Is it too early to call it a week?

It's been a busy week. Last time I had a crazy week like this one was the week before shipping my paintings to Indiana for the HHM exhibit... and the week in October before leaving for California. But this week, oh, it's been crazy.

Work- busy. After work- busy. No time to stand still and just breathe. And I need that. I'm about to just drop to the ground and look up at the sky. WAIT! That reminds me-- I did that yesterday. When I was leaving Darby and Stephen's place I looked up the night sky and stood for a while. There seemed to be more stars filling the sky than usual. It helped that it wasn't so cold, so I could enjoy the moment.

It has also been a wonderful week. Every moment is a blessing, like a golden sunshine, each moment is unique. I've gotten so many hugs, compliments, handshakes, and met so many new friends this week. Good-byes and hellos. Life is a whole bunch of hellos and good-byes.

It's not time to call it a week yet. I have some more office work to finish and then some more hanging out and errands to run this afternoon. This weekend will be mine, though. All mine. Sit, breathe... and some yoga for this sister.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wave by wave

It's been a cold Friday, ice all around. We're one full month into Winter and I'm enjoying the lovely days as they get longer, filled with lovely sunshine.

After lunch with my madre at Little India, we went to la tienda next door and grabbed some things. I bought lentils and I plan to cook another great curry for lunches next week. I'm finding less and less flavor in meat and exploring the great flavaaas in veggies. A couple of days ago there was an interesting conversation with a couple of friends, about their most favorite food. SMC loves peanut butter; Dar loves nutella, peanut butter and almond butter; I didn't hear what Ironside's fave food is, but I'm pretty sure is something super spicy like chile tapatio. Me? I couldn't name one thing that drives me crazy like that (actually, my response was "sunsets" but that's when someone clarified we were talking about food). I've thought about it a lot after that night, and I still don't have one thing that I love most, food-wise. I love it all and I appreciate and welcome new flavors.

I've been sore today, from my yoga session last night. Since the sore body can only mean that I am doing things right (and that I shouldn't let many days go by before the next session) I took my 53 minutes today for another yoga session. Beautiful. Bien rico se siente al mantener una postura y sentir como lso musculos van agradeciendo y poniendose calientitos. And now I'm still sore, pero que rico se siente! There are some postures I haven't mastered yet, like the Silver Surfer. But like I told SMC, it's little by little, wave by wave. I'm going to be a tsunami before long, with discipline and smiles.

I'm getting in shape, because I want to learn how to surf. Standing on a wave, I cannot imagine anything better. Well, I can: Standing on a wave at sunset. SHOUT!

Life is beautiful. I'm so in love with it right now.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Random thoughts on a snow day

I woke up to snow on the ground and more falling from the sky. Really cold. Wet. Frozen. After looking out the window it was clear that I wouldn't be driving anywhere. That, up here, it's called a snow day.

The day went easy and the sun came out in the afternoon. I was SO thankful, so so thankful that I even went out to get the mail wearing flip flops and no jacket (celebrating the sun-- quickly, cause it was cold). As I got to the mailbox, the UPS truck pulled over and I started laughing. I said "I came at the right time," and the UPS guy was laughing too; he said "now, I just need to get the rest of my deliveries to do the same!" But now I don't know if he was so happy because of my perfect timing or because he was amused to see me walking on the snow with flip flops and rolled up pants!

There was also a moment in the day when my mom told me, out of the blue "yo no sé que idea vas a tener, pero vas a tener una gran idea y vas a tener dinero." That got me down. Something so inspiring shouldn't get me down, right?! But I feel so fucking trapped.. I didn't even respond, just painfully dismissed the comment.

I'm trying to clear spaces out. So much trash accumulated. So much. I wanted to play music all day long, but my mom seems to be allergic to my music.. always turning it down or shutting it off completely.

It was a great day. Highlights were the happy UPS moment, LOTS of inspiration and reading online, talking to Regi and remembering a couple of fun moments in El Salvador (Sandris "Por el amor de Jesus! No hemos venido a pelear, hemos venido a jugar y divertironos" a media cancha!) Oh lordy... Blessed be.

I also did my Michael Franti yoga and it was awesome. As I was wrapping up the session, I noticed the moon rising next to me through the window. Beautiful. And I felt beautiful, just as bright as the sister in the sky.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

10 years ago

It's not my intention to write a post every day, but that's the way it's worked this week.

Today I got a reminder. It's January 13th.
In 2001 this date fell on a Saturday. I was at church with a group of people for a training or something. Right around 11:33am we felt the ground move a little. After a few seconds, that felt like hours, it started shaking-- hard. I hadn't experienced that before, at least not that I remembered. Trying to get out of the building and experiencing those few moments is something I will never forget. Trying to walk out and the ground moving me around, moving me back a couple of steps, the benches being lifted from the ground as if they were jumping. And the wall just out the side entrance, moving like it was linens in the wind.
After the ground calmed down everything was still moving inside, just like feeling the waves around your body after a long day of swimming in the sea.
We got out of the building and there was a cloud of dirt behind the volcano. We didn't know it, but many families had just been buried on the other side of the city. Some of them were still alive, underground. Over 1000 lives lost. There are numbers, several numbers.. the number of aftershocks that followed the big quake, the number of casualties, how many landslides, the magnitude of the quake on this scale and on that scale, the number of troops that came from other countries to help, the amount of dollars received in aid, the amount of dollars in aid that didn't reach the victims, the amount of days we were out of school while the building got repaired, the number of trips we made to go help out or deliver food to those left without a home or without a family. So many numbers, but 13... that number came back to us. Exactly a month later there was a second earthquake. I remember exactly where I was that second time, waiting for my dad to pick me and my sister up. We were heading to the American Embassy, to pick up our passports with a brand new tourist visa. If I had to, I could take you to that exact building, to that exact table next to that big glass window where we waited.

The days between the earthquakes on those unforgettable 13's felt like an eternity. They were filled with aftershocks and transformation. We became completely different individuals after those quakes. Life would never be the same and the paths we were following were buried too.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Some year-long projects

Today is the 12th. I like that number.

I was talking to Pauli about projects to get us going in 2011 and I wrote down my list.

  • Cuaderno Pepino (Pauli and I will keep a notebook each and we'll fill it out this year. Maybe with words, maybe with sketches, maybe with photos, maybe with all of that)

  • Autorretrato 8 (each month on the 8th I'll take a selfportrait)

  • Film year #26 (starting on the day of my birthday, I'll carry a film camera with me at all times and I'll record my 26th year [2+6=8, yo!]. I won't develop the photos until my birthday in 2012. I'll try to take a photo per day, but I'll be very flexible about the whole thing.. it's all good) Summer. I'll document my summer in film and will develop in the winter, just to remind myself that there is hope once the cold is gone.

  • 52 in 2011 (Anna and I will take a photo per week until the end of the year. This was inspired by our 365 project [which, I'm still curating... I have to post the last couple of months of photos still] I think Becky is also in this)

  • Postcard 8 (I'll send 8 postcards each month, 2 per week. These will go to several friends and family.. I like this a lot because I know those postcards will make the receipient smile when they get the unexpected love in the mail)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Good for the soul

It's Monday and it snowed last night. My office was extra cold today and I tried to keep warm with cafe con leche and lovely music while I worked, but it didn't work. During a post office run at lunch I saw the snow is melting on the streets. The sun was working, even when I couldn't see his face... that made me smile.

This weekend was so lovely. I got to hangout with a few of my dearest friends (Becky came from Tulsa and we met up with lil Carlee; then I got plenty of Dar-B time + a side of Ironside on Sunday too). I didn't even look at my to-do list or my email, and that was soooo refreshing. And even then, I was productive. The Dar-B body paint project is underway and we brainstormed a lot about themes and what we want from it. And we also talked about a Dar-B-Ironside show inspired by the RRRproject. I found out Darby's eyes are brown, but sometimes get green... like when she got a little hair dye in them and had to use a lot of water to make sure she didn't leave any of that hair dye in. I thought it was awesome. The next day she saw my eyes and said "you're eyes are chocolate!" It made me happy.

I also caught up with Anna by phone on Sunday night and we talked Wakarusa photography. We are so excited about Waka... the lineup for this year is great. I will get to see Ben Harper & Relentless 7 live and I get stoked at the mere thought of it-- every time. I wish I could get all my friends and loved ones (Lidi, Pauli, el Chino, Rachel) to come to Waka with me. It would be so awesome! I talked to Pauli tonight, and as always, those conversations are medicine for the heart. She's busy like I am, with a ridiculous to-do list, but taking it easy. (Somos Zen-Minded). She mentioned that one of her uncles told her to go back to El Salvador para que fuera a cuidar el rancho en la playa El Zonte. I jumped at that and told her that fit my plan B! The one we had already talked about-- she said I would have to get in line for the job because her tio Daniel also wants the position of "Vigilant del Rancho."

And while this weekend was awesome, I've realized that I'm not paying enough attention to my family. I don't know how to fix this. If it was in my power I wouldn't even live here, but I do live here and I live close to them. And while that is a blessing most of the time, the proximity makes me feel guilty when I don't see them often. I just have to be aware of things and not let my freedom dreams distant me from my family. They are precious and I don't want to regret being absent from their lives. But as Rachel told me last week, "Everything in moderation. Including moderation."

This week is going to be cold. (And) looks like this Winter is going to be bad. I am so ready for my summer love. My <3 playlist is full of songs of sunshine and love. At least they are lifting me up and getting me through the cold, cold days.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Brand new year

Friends and family. New beginnings. Fresh smiles and so many new stories to create.

Tonight I was with my friend SMC when he bought his ticket to Argentina. We were both so excited. We met in college, but didn't become friends until we crossed paths again at the end of 09/beginning of 2010. So 2010 is the year our friendship really took shape. He's brought (and keeps bringing) many blessings to my life. Many of those blessings come in the form of new dear friends. Every time I'm with him I feel like I should have a $1 notebook or a moleskin (ahem), because there are always lines that come up in our conversations that I want to keep forever. Yesterday he told me something and I said "What? Wait.. Rewind. Delete." (and it worked, because I really don't remember what he said before). Today we made reference of that and his forgetfulness and he said "I think I just never record." Oh friends.

And something strange happened. On Saturday my mom bought 2 watches and she thought I'd like one of them, but I didn't. So we talked about the watch I already have (a $10 white watch I got at Target last year) and I thought about where in the house it could be, because it's been a minute since I've seen it. Then this morning something very strange happened. I had a long night with very little sleep, but when I was finally able to rest I started hearing a very annoying beeping. I had to follow the sound. I was still dreaming about some wonderland, because I really didn't know what I was looking for, but I kept following the sound. Which took me to a bag, inside of another bag, where I found my white watch still on Central Daylight Savings Time. I struggled to stop the alarm (that's how long it had been since I used it and how much in my dream I still was). How did that alarm get activated? And that's just one of the many questions that came to me and went (along with me) back to sleep.

New beginnings. Shaping up my new year resolutions before I drift into sleep and dive into the ocean of wonderful dreams and infinite sunsets.