Sunday, December 15, 2013

Vardo: metaphor and mythic practice

"What I love about your vardo metaphor is it gives people like you and me that emotional outlet to feel connected to a nomadic life, to the Earth, to feel our feet planted on the ground while our soul travels the planet. It allows us to rise up and transcend the prison – or cage as you say – of MCS and create something more powerful for ourselves. Beautiful. This is why reading your blog made me cry! It speaks to that part of me, on a very deep, deep level. This is the power you have – anyone has – by following their truth and putting it out there. You don’t know how many others you will affect, and in what ways.." - Julie Genser
When Julie Genser, creator of the on-line community Planet Thrive interviewed Pete and me in 2009, life in a vardo was a new experience. Years in the making, the fact remains, we were new to what living in a vardo for two would be. I am an artist and writer and count those names as benefits, gifts, that I eat up and give up just as I am learning the trees and I give one another gifts. The Tall and The Small Ones (the forest) fill the island upon which we live with oxygen, lots of it. In turn, we inhale the gift, the oxygen, and give back carbon dioxide. They need it as we need oxygen. Now, the science of that exchange is not something I came up with myself. Research, that is the Tarot that feeds my knowledge. What does happen as we live a day a night, a season, a year in the forest from Vardo For Two is the experience of feeling how interconnected we are with all of it. My culture of Hawaii allows me to believe that in my every where within, and when the logic of the capitalist culture spins me for a loop I hold on to my metaphoric, mythic and real-life digging stick to ground me what I know beyond logic. We are five years in the practice and metaphor of living from a Gypsy-style home. We have grown older and the inconvenience of washing laundry by hand and being sensitive to the many smells of a product-heavy society wear on us, but so do the same product wear on the birds, the bugs, the ground, the water. What happens when the wear happens?
 "In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?"  - Gabrielle Roth
Earlier this year my response to the wear-and-tear was to make more magic, and myth of the life Pete and I live.

"Join Mokihana Calizar for the inauguration of the Safety Pin Cafe on October 6 at the South Whidbey Tilth Farmers' Market. This two-hour event begins at 11 a.m. with a haunting and healing Hawaiian chant, followed by sharing stories, art and music--fold an origami cup as a symbol of how we can support one another--enjoy cinnamon toast, a symbol of safety and love. Mokihana has written about journey through illness from chemicals ubiquitous in the modern world using myth, metaphor and ancestral memory to create a tale and medicine story. She has found safety on Whidbey Island and has turned a corner toward regaining her health. She acknowledges the South Whidbey Tilth campus as a safe space--fragrance and chemical free." - from South Whidbey Tilth Newsletter--August/September 2013"

The Medicine Wheel from The Safety Pin Cafe
The ups and downs of life in this human body is learned daily. Some practices are consistent, but not constant. Not even the moon upon which I count on consistently, is not constant; she changes from night to night. Some days I have a worldfull of energy, other days I am without spoons to serve a moth. One of the practices that has kept me grounded and able to travel in and out of spaces that I can't step into in 'the flesh' is the artist's practice suggested and taught by Julia Cameron. I've been reading and writing from her book ARTIST'S WAY  Every Day. Today's reading for December 15th is this:

"As an artist so much of my life is determined by the size of my imagination. If I am making something big, and making it daily. I can perhaps live somewhere small. I can sit at a desk that faces a wall and tap words into space and my world is still large enough. I am more than my circumstances, more than the cage of my environment. There is a dignity inherent in making art, a filament of largesse and generosity, a connection to something better and brighter than myself. "You do not own me," I am able to say to the walls that enclose me. And yet, I must learn to love my walls."
Few people really know how we live here in the tiny spaces of vardo, quonset, and hale (wash house) but some do. I weave the myth, live the metaphor or switch it up and live the myth and weave the metaphor loving the walls and pushing from them sometimes to make something from them.

Preparing for Winter Solstice and the promise of more light

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