3 Jun 2009, 3:17pm
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once more into the liminal space

oh, gosh. it’s really summer and rose bushes everywhere in portland are blooming, flaunting their color and fragrance, lettin’ it all hang out.

i finished taking a roll of film the other day with the old pentax that used to be my grandfather’s, but when i went to wind it up the film strip broke, and i, thinking it irretrievable, pulled it all out so i could load another roll. lost is a record of: kendall and ari and kendall’s large format camera at laurelhurst park, sunsets, light through clouds over the willamette, flowers and other living things, a.’s and my shadows, (the first part of) a vigil for dr. george tiller at pioneer courthouse square. oh well. i took another roll and when i tried to wind it up, it broke, too. this time i didn’t open the back of my camera, so maybe kendall will be able to salvage it for me, or some of it. and then i will have to figure out what i am doing wrong or what the camera is doing wrong.

instead of those pictures you’ll never see, here’s some wordy snapshots, bits of posts i never finished, written over the last month or so. time is a funny thing in memory and it’s a funny thing here, too…

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oh me oh my!

pair o’ mallard ducks walking down the sidewalk outside my house just now.

it’s almost not my house anymore. all of my furniture and most of my stuff is stacked in the guest room at my parents’ new house as of this morning. what’s left in my room is a layer of scattered dust and pennies and notes and thumbtacks and knickknacks and mystery junk that i gotta sort through in the next few days. also need to unearth from our cluttered kitchen my pots and pans.

but, yes. once more into the liminal space.

tomorrow it will be two years since my college graduation. i do not have the markers of success that i think i always thought i would have by now. what i do have is so much more awareness of myself, so much more awareness of my community, and so much more awareness of my environment. i am healthier and happier, and if i wasn’t aware enough to know it’s not a game, i would say i’m winning.

it’s a process. there just seems to be MORE and MORE to learn about how to be integral and whole, how to live, where freedom is, etc.

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my parents moved into their new house a few weeks ago. i’m staying here with them until i go to eureka in july. (once more into the liminal space!) i’ve been helping my mom with the raised beds in the front lawn. she’s on vacation with my aunt right now, so they’re my gardens for a few weeks. just before she left, we planted beets, squashes, pumpkins, and watermelons. they’re starting to sprout now and it’s just about the most amazing thing i’ve ever seen.

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excerpts from this essay by ran prieur, applicable to the central question of my present–where is freedom?:

5. Do not try to find a job doing what you love. This is my most radical advice. There are some people in the world who have jobs they love so much that they would do them for free. If you become one of these people, you will probably get there not through planning but through luck, by doing what you love for free until somehow the money starts coming in. But if you make an effort to combine your income and your love, you are likely to end up compromising both, making a poverty income by doing something you don’t quite love, or no longer love. For example, if you decide to become a chef because you love cooking, it will probably make you hate cooking, because cooking will become linked in your mind to all the bullshit around the job.

What I recommend instead is to separate your money from your love. Get the most easy, low-stress source of income that you can find, and then do exactly what you love for free. It might eventually make you money or it might not. “Do what you love and the money will follow” is a lie. The real rule is: “If you’re doing what you love, you won’t care if you never make any money from it — but you still need money.”

been thinking a lot about theatre and the opportunities that are available to me and what i really require to be happy. there is so much for me to learn. in the fall i’m going to start working full-time at my “day job” and let my theatre “career” fall away for awhile. it will be there when or if i go back looking for it, i know.

i am making a list of classes to take and interests to pursue during my evenings and weekends. when doing theatre i didn’t consistently have evenings and weekends free and i could never take long-running classes or commit to anything that required a steady schedule. so a regular weekday job will be a sort of freedom, too.

bike mechanics gardens permaculture plants herbalism yoga acrobatics photography books books books community love communication art…

6. When you begin to get free, you will get depressed. It works like this: When you were three years old, if your parents weren’t too bad, you knew how to play spontaneously. Then you had to go to school, where everything you did was required. The worst thing is that even the fun activities, like singing songs and playing games, were commanded under threat of punishment. So even play got tied up in your mind with a control structure, and severed from the life inside you. If you were “rebellious”, you preserved the life inside you by connecting it to forbidden activities, which are usually forbidden for good reasons, and when your rebellion ended in suffering and failure, you figured the life inside you was not to be trusted. If you were “obedient”, you simply crushed the life inside you almost to death.

Freedom means you’re not punished for saying no. The most fundamental freedom is the freedom to do nothing. But when you get this freedom, after many years of activities that were forced, nothing is all you want to do. You might start projects that seem like the kind of thing you’re supposed to love doing, music or writing or art, and not finish because nobody is forcing you to finish and it’s not really what you want to do. It could take months, if you’re lucky, or more likely years, before you can build up the life inside you to an intensity where it can drive projects that you actually enjoy and finish, and then it will take more time before you build up enough skill that other people recognize your actions as valuable.

i can find my answers, i can explore, i can learn and grow.

i have struggles but they feel like good struggles. i am learning how to identify self-sabotage and how to figure out when it’s useful and when it stems from a fear of happiness. unhappiness is so much easier than happiness. life is tough and beautiful. i am the healthiest i have ever been, and it is good, but i’ve got lots further to walk.

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photo of a. from a month or so ago:

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cascadia:

(from a hike in the gorge a few weeks ago)

I would like to wholly agree with point #6 quoted above. I was always very obedient, but when I no longer thought the rules made sense I didn’t want to do anything, which was miserable. I’m just starting to get my followthrough back, and it’s a slow process.

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