waking up

I woke up in Canada for the third time since landing here days ago.

After London, after the ultimate friend reunite, after celebrating a wedding, after wondering if London was more charming than I ever gave it credit for, after drinking cider, after dropping my iPhone into a toilet I didn't even use, after taking a deep breath and feeling like my vision quest was over, after the confusion of saying goodbye to people I had only just said hello to, after getting on a plane and embarking on a semi circuitous route as part of a ultimately fourteen hour plus travel day, after finally landing somewhere ....familiar.

Enter the deep, dark jet lag. Or is it more life lag all over again? I realized I haven't really stopped with a forever go go go since that final beautiful beach day weeks and weeks ago. Time change, life change, exhaustion.

This morning I am waking up again, but just barely. Another nine plus hour sleep after a day that included a two hour nap. Still feeling wonky eyed; nearing full energy but not even close. This is the third day of gloomy skies, a reality I have never known here in this maritime utopia. There's a certain relief in the weather dictating a lack of pressure to get outside and be productive or, at the very least, leisurely. Laziest me is just waiting for the sunshine to give me the jolt I think I need in order to reacclimate to this time zone, to routines, to inch closer to real life. Wondering all the while if this is another cosmic life lesson forcing me to overcome the would-be givens in order to arrive stronger on the other side.

In the meantime, patience. And another cup of coffee.



peace out

Adios e muita obrigada Portugal.

It's been really really real and surreal.....



we are love.

If I could ever boast a descent into the belly if the beast, this would be the moment.

What was that? Where was that? Where was I? Who was I? What?

The Boom Festival.

Conjure up a notion of things I am least likely to attend and this would rank high on the list. But here I am in Portugal and everyone, including people I really respect, started asking me if I was going. A week long festival that happens every other year in the middle of nowhere near a beautiful lake. Thousands of people, an international gathering. Camp for a week, attend lectures, watch documentaries, go to yoga classes. Music, art. Raw food, permaculture, sustainability, optimism, community, oneness. We are one, we are love. And as we now know so well, the answer for me is always yes in this country. So I went with these dear friends of mine, to this last hurrah in the desert... and wow. What a week it was.

The truth is that it was one of the craziest things I have ever seen or experienced in my life. And I am EXHAUSTED. And prior to the shower I took last night circa 2am when we finally returned to civilization, I am sure I was definitely dirtier that I have ever been too. But it was, as they say, really something.

Watch a discussion panel, sleep in the shade. Dance in the daytime, then swim in the lake. Walk through the gardens, drink a fresh juice. What time is it? Was that today or yesterday? Are we here? Where is there?

The Liminal Village, the Sacred Fire, the Chill Out Gardens, Alchemy Circle, Dance Temple, Healing Area.

There were of course the requisite moments when I felt too old, too tired, too not on drugs in the middle of the day. But then there was this entire other side of it where I looked around and felt like it was one of the most incredible things I have ever witnessed or been a part of. Completely environmentally conscious, actually "clean". Temporary structures made entirely of reclaimed materials. Compost toilets, solar and gravity fed water taps, recyclable everything, respect for the land. The things I learned, the good energy, the social responsibility, the unfailing friendliness of the community as a whole, the lake, the lectures, the inspiration, the togetherness. There were forty thousand people from every corner of the world. Old, young, weird, beautiful. I believe I actually witnessed something happening and lives being changed. The love, the acceptance, the encouragement. My own views on the world and of myself influenced, and so often in the least expected of ways.

And with that said I am so grateful to be back in this reality. Waking up to the quiet sunshine pouring through my sweet friend RĂ©nata's loft as opposed to the endless bass of psytrance music thumping through my own body whose temperature was steadily rising critically higher in my tent. There's no Boom Breakfast smoothie here, no spicy chai, no overpriced (but so worth it) oranges. We might swim in the ocean later but we'll have to drive to get there. But we have landed again, we are here. Looking back I cannot even imagine how that week just passed or if I could ever do such a thing ever again. But my only actual regrets center around my lack of photography to attempt to document the amazingness of it all, maybe a few lectures I missed out of absentmindedness and dwindling sense of time, perhaps my eventual laziness to rally for the bizarre array of morning yoga and otherwise. But all in all, the most fitting send off imaginable.

Because today also happens to be my last full day in Portugal within this crazy vision quest I have been on. And that actually feels ok to me, it actually feels like it's time.

One more day, one more adventure. And as always: here we go.


(For the record, I will never ever go to Burning Man.)



goodbye to all this.

Here it really is. Goodbye.

I've collectively spent over two months at this mysterious, magical homestead in the hills.

In an adobe school, a room of bunk beds, an attic space. Weeding walking wood saloons. Documentaries, swimming, shaman ceremonies, peanuts, a pizza party. I lost myself, I found myself, with still so much searching left to do.

This time, unlike the last, I feel very at peace with my departure. I'm genuinely excited and curious for all that will come next, stronger for all I have learned here, for all the peace I was able to internalize and for the openness and optimism I currently feel. Of course it's in many ways just too difficult to imagine that I won't be here any longer, that David and I won't have our endless prattle, that I won't eat when the bell rings, that Ishtar and I won't be spending hours of our day walking through the forest. The mandala, the terrace, the yoga studio, the temple. It all feels so deeply ingrained in my day to day and my soul now, it will take some time to fully let it settle and become part of the past.

I've been thinking a lot about when arrived here back in May in the pitch black, waking up to a tiny window overlooking the amphitheater, not having a clue what I'd gotten myself into, too burnt out to give it a deeper thought, only capable of just saying yes to all and doing my best. And here I was. Soon learning routines, learning about myself. Who I was then, who I am now. Who I can or will be wherever I land next.

It's actually still way too fresh and too present to go too deep into the gratitude I feel for all that this place brought me. And that of course generally goes for Portugal too. I still have another week plus to enjoy this fine country, starting tomorrow a little further north again for what will be a week of I don't even know what centering around a festival that could, as I have been told, possibly change my life. No matter what I have reason to believe I will be fully off grid again so we will just have to see what I saw when I get back.

Until then, wish me luck as another chapter closes and another one begins.

For now: grateful, happy, at peace, and excited. What more could I possibly ask for?

second to last, revisited

Today I am laying around like I am finally on vacation. I'm not sure I am actually entitled to such a luxury just yet but I am currently taking it without the faintest hint of guilt. It's not as though I did all that much yesterday either but, what can I say, things are winding down here.

Last night I arrived back to the top of the hill from my nightly before-dinner swim in the biopool and Adrien informed me that there would be a change of plans for the evening. This shaped up to be a surprise PIZZA PARTY (!) for my second to last night, using the old bread oven, plus a huge campfire, and the truly beautiful Dutch family playing music for everyone. David and Ju bought assorted toppings, assorted pizza sizes. At one point David hands me a glass of vino verde and a huge bowl of delicious Portuguese olives just for me, and trust me when I say that no greater gift has ever been given. Over the course of the evening we talked and talked and sang and sat around and made our way through the entirety of a box of white wine and at least half of the red. There were songs in every language, the brothers played guitar and drums, I stayed up later than I have since the Santo Antonio Festival, and I had the presence of mind to look around in the moment thinking how I couldn't have dreamt a better closure to this time I have spent here.

Today: massive reorganization. Just when I have the art of whatever I packed for this journey down to a horribly boring science of bare essentials, I must reconfigure all in preparation for the week long festival Ju and I are headed to in the morning. Basically the last thing I want to be doing today. But it will get done, like it always does. And there are still a few hours left for my usual routines and likely one last trip into town for our traditional circuit of old man bars, peanuts, and mini beers. For now the warm fuzziness of last night it still lingering into the late afternoon and between now and then: a nap.