Tag Archive: personal


A Wind Bath

 

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned one of these. They’re probably my favorite thing. All you have to do is go and stand outside in a good windstorm and you feel nice and clean afterwards. The stronger the wind the better, and any time of day is acceptable. When its really windy like it is today, when you can feel the house shaking and the wind is whistling through the gaps in your house, that’s the perfect time for a bath.

I like to go and stand at the top of the stairs in my back yard and look out over the city. There are some trees in my neighbors yard, and the wind rushes through them before it makes its way to me. It ruffles my hair just the same as the pine needles it had tickled not a moment ago. I love it.

The wind seems to go right through my skin and straight into my heart. It washes away all of the turmoil that’s been boiling up in there, and makes me feel clean. All of the pain, the grief, the confusion, the hopelessness, the guilt, the worry, the fear, the shame. All gone on a single gust of wind.

There’s absolutely nothing like it.

I haven’t decided if I like wind baths better during the day or during the night. During the day you get to watch the birds floating in midair on the currents, the grass as its ruffled, and the clouds racing past that old snail of a Sun. At night you may get lucky and see the stars, or be kissed by the moon. Have you ever been kissed by the moon? I can understand why people used to talk about moon-madness. It’s such an invigorating kind of light. It’s almost a bath by its self, but not quite as thorough a scrub I think.

I love the wind. Air is my element. Even when its cold; forget that, especially when its cold. It reaches through your clothing and nips at your skin. At your soul. Those layers of grime you had picked up throughout of the course of your life are chipped right off and carried away on the breeze. And suddenly you’re glowing like those stars, or the moon. Your troubles are gone and you’re floating right off into the sky, propelled by the winds of change and hope. Winds strong enough to move the clouds and the stars and the sun and sky. And with this knowledge, the knowledge that these great celestial objects are affected by the wind just as much as you, there is nothing you can’t do.

The wind has cleansed you, and you are alive once more.

The summer has been going really well so far. I love interning at the garden. Sid and I have become good friends, and I love getting to talk to all sorts of new people on a daily basis. My social anxiety doesn’t seem to effect me very much when I’m working, which is a blessing. Saturdays I’m in the garden from 8-2, and I talk to well over a hundred people during that time. Falaah, the garden coordinator (and the only person paid to be there), lets me bring my beekeeping stuff on saturdays and have my own table to talk to people. I explain the inner workings of the hive to anyone who’s interested, and try to encourage people to plant more flowers for pollinators. I showed off for some kids once and pet a bumblebee, since their mom told me that their dad has been teaching the kids that all insects are bad, and sprays them with pesticide while they’re on his plants regularly. They liked the bumblebee demonstration a lot, and apparently have asked to come and see me specifically more than once.

Right now we’re doing a summer camp for kids ages 3-5 on Wednesday mornings. I’m in charge of the “Nature Play” area, and have the kids play in a teepee we made using bamboo sticks and tarp. They get to play with pine cones and dig in the dirt to find millepedes, ants and worms. Yesterday we also had a group of 25 kids ages 5-10 after the summer camp. It was fun but exhausting. Sid and I stayed for the normal 5-8 volunteer session as well, so he and I worked 11 hours yesterday. It was draining but fun. During the normal work party time he and I collected branches from the woods behind the barn and all but finished the hugelkultur we’re trying to make. Its basically wood that’s half buried under the ground, and then greens and compost are mounded on top of that to make a raised bed about 5 feet tall. See here for a full explanation of a hugelkultur: http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

I’m currently exhausted from yesterday’s long hours, so I’m spending today on my back patio enjoying the bees. We have a patch of succulents that has been covered in bumblebees for the last week. There’s more of them this year than there’s ever been I think, which I’m excited about. I’ve taken some borage from Pickering Barn, which is a big pollinator attractor. Hopefully next year we’ll have lots of it, because with this many bees around I feel responsible feeding them. My mom and I have already argued about the clover in the front lawn at least a dozen times this year, haha.

The Vivarium

I woke up this morning feeling very light. I lay in bed for a bit, uncertain of what to do and just sort of enjoying the fact that I didn’t feel completely horrible. I eventually decided to see how things had changed in my mind, if at all, and found the door to my cell unlocked. the hallway was dark, so I stood there for a minute, nervous to proceed. How many of my demons would be hiding just out of sight? Would they ambush me? I conjured a white orb and had it float near the ceiling. The shadows receded somewhat and I felt comfortable moving on. I left the door to my cell open. I’m tired of closed doors. I walked for a minute before finding a door that looked similar to my cell door, on the right side of the hall. It was dark inside, and I debated going in. In the end I decided I should, and pulled the door open. One step in and I began to fall, and the door shut behind me, trapping the orb outside. I fell probably a hundred feet before I hit a very large leaf, which slowed my fall considerably and sort of nudged me over so I landed on a slope. I rolled down into a clearing, next to two small mounds of grass and a pound with grey stones around the edge. I couldn’t see much else, except the edges of the plants just at the field of the clearing. The orb of light was bobbing by the window of the door at the top of the room, trying to find a way in.

I lay there for a moment, dazed, and eventually got up. I walked over to the mound on the left and stood on top of it, in a silly attempt to see more of the room. Suddenly it began to grow, as did the mound next to it. It shot straight up; a square pinnacle still covered in grass, and I struggled to hold on. It grew upwards some 70 feet, and then I slid/fell down, with my arms still wrapped around it. I fell in a spiral, and as I was falling I somehow became aware that the bottom of the mound, the side facing the pool of water, had a very large mouth. I got to the bottom safely and found the bases of the mounds were much larger and shaped like pyramids. I asked a question I can’t remember, and the mouths opened to tell me they were the guardians of the temple. They asked where I had been for so long, in deep voices I had never heard, and said that the temple had suffered without me. I explained that I had managed to trap myself in my cell, and couldn’t find the way out until now. I then realized that I had used hope as the key, and asked the guardians to open the door at the top of the room so that my ball of hope could come in. They opened the door and the ball of light came whizzing down to me, where it playfully flew around me several times before floating up to hover between the pinnacles of the mounds.

Despite the new central lighting, the room was still as dark as it had been. I became aware that it was a vivarium though, and looked around a little more. The plants at the edge of the clearing were all jungle plants, and very densely grown together. The wall opposite the door slanted upward from the floor, and was very dark. I thought of going to explore, to see if I could find a switch to open the windows, but I was suddenly reminded of the water in the pool. Water is known for its healing abilities, and so I thought jumping in would help. I was worried about what might surface from the depths, as it was a very deep pool, but nothing did. My goldfish were there though. They were much larger, but still circled each other like they had always done. The ball of light floating in the center of the pinnacles grew smaller as nothing changed in the room. I climbed out of the pool and asked the guardian on the left what I had to do to open the windows of the temple, so that light could come in. He said that I would have to go out into the world and find the light, and in doing so the blinds of the temple would open, and light would spread to those I met along the way.

I looked at the dark wall of windows, and debated whether I should go back to my cell. I had long believed it to be the center of my mind, and I had left the door open which only slightly worried me. I decided against it though, and sat down between the guardians, facing the pool. I have been locked away in that cell for too long. So I stayed where I was, in this large new room filled with plants and only just enough light to see by. I wanted to write this all out before I forgot the details of everything. I know it sounds crazy, and perhaps it is, but I feel better in this new room. I’m going to get out of bed now. And who knows what the day will bring.

Ghibli Films Marathon

I watched Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. And it gave me hope in a time I desperately needed it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so low in my life as I have these past few weeks. The last few days (week, perhaps even) I’ve been close to a nervous break. I walked around with tears in the corners of my eyes and spent most of today feeling as though I was bracing myself just to stay upright. I was at my internship at Pickering Barn. Nothing gives me hope like that place. But somehow, I knew when I woke up today, even that would not be enough for me. Saturdays have become my favorite day since I started working there some months ago. I love how the busyness of the garden makes me feel, and more than anything keeps me distracted from myself. Things managed to pick up toward the end of the day, and I was thankful to come home to an empty house. I watched My Neighbor Totoro, and cried about 4 times during the movie. Then my mom came home and I ate some dinner. I haven’t eaten much in the last few days. For at least three days even the thought of food was enough to bring me right to the edge of throwing up. I struggled to keep down meals, and my portions were greatly reduced. I skipped lunch on thursday. For some reason I was able to go back for a second helping of rice stir fry tonight after watching My Neighbor Totoro.

I’ve described how I envision the inner workings of my mind once before I think, so I hope you understand what I mean when I say I haven’t been able to leave my room (prison cell is more like it) in who knows how long. I used to be able to wander along the labyrinth of  thought processes and peak in the rooms containing certain memories or opinions. I hadn’t been able to see more than the maddeningly blank brink wall through the window in my door for weeks though. I’ve had a headache for well over a month at this point. Something changed tonight though I think. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind gave me hope, in all the ways I needed it. My self confidence has been at a negative value for some time now. I have almost no faith left in humanity, and feel as though our entire planet is doomed because of the actions of our species. And perhaps most gratingly I have been struggling with accepting me for being me, which is something I thought I had done years ago. This movie tonight reminded me that there is still hope, even at the worst of the worst, and somehow gave me a golden droplet of self confidence and worth. Don’t ask me why, because I honestly couldn’t tell you. And analyzing it will only make me tear it all apart so that this movie becomes another bad thing in my life.

And more than anything, I had closed myself off to water.