Darling, you’ve been on my mind…
…especially as I wade through my embarrassing existential crisis and try to make sense of my life.
It’s humbling to notice how challenging it is to admit that sometimes difficulties can be experienced in the midst of a blessing-filled life.
Picture this: a life filled with flexibility, freedom, time, travel, family, creativity, and passion. Sounds great, right?
Well, it is. I look around, and everything in this life now appears exactly how, for so many years prior, I wished it to become. Of course, I never could have imagined these particular (circus-like) circumstances of ren faires and such, but the sense of liberation and satisfaction they offer is present.
Despite the gifts, I find myself trudging through the dark night lately. Being here, sharing with you, is a sign that I’m finally getting a grasp of the fullness of the light again. This post is a celebration of getting one’s groove back. It’s the mojo rising in us all.
Under the Influence of the Hawaiian High
June’s Hawaii experience of shooting a documentary on traditional lei making and filming a Jean Houston tour was truly epic for me energetically. Each moment spoke to me powerfully and sent me off each day buzzing from my heart and attracting pure magic. I found my muse and felt directed.
Here is the dashboard wisdom I’ve come to enjoy: “If you love the life you live you will live a life of love”. I can attest that this statement is true. It just doesn’t mention that we’re emotional beings that can sometimes think too much and repeat dysfunctional patterns thereby causing internal conflict and irrational fears rooted in illusion. Sigh…but, yes, for the most part I am living a life of love. ;)
I find Hawaii literally “enchanting” in even the esoteric sense and suggest it as an excellent location to recharge your spiritual batteries. (It would be preferable to experience a longer, non-touristy visit.) The ancient Hawaiian paradigm and tradition of personifying every element of land and existence has breathed a life into the islands that is palpable. You will notice this if your heart is open and you spend a bit of time in Hawaii.
And here I was on top of the world, entirely in the flow.
High on Hawaii, I spent the next three weeks with my parents and children in mid-summer Texas heat juggling logistics, video editing, massaging clients, and gearing up for 2011′s next phase: 8 weeks at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. First things first, though… I spend a weekend in Austin, Texas with my dear friend, Anne. We sipped Oaxacan coffee at Curra’s, my favorite place for a last rockin’ Tex Mex breakfast before I head off to Yankee-land. Some cultural aspects of the North (like *the near absence of a good breakfast taco) are like a whole other country. *Or the Amish culture…
From Texas to Pennsylvania
I skipped out on two weeks of Tartanic (the rocknroll bagpipe band in which my guy performs) at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin and opted instead to meet the band in Pennsylvania. The travel trailer got hitched, I packed, and loaded the kids in the Suburban beast required to haul our home. Despite an insane tire blow-out in Virginia, we made it to Pennsylvania in four days of country store visits and listening to (my tween) Rain’s Pandora of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Kesha. Yeah, I’m recovering from that repetitiveness…
Facing the Beauty of Creepy Cornfields
I have a condition called cinephilia. I realize it’s totally preventable and impairs my judgement. But like any “philia”, I sort of love it. Here is an example of how excessive film watching can affect one’s perception of innocent (Monsanto) cornfields which define the southern PA region, my current place of residence.
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is near Manheim, PA in the vicinity of Amish Country and surrounded by cornfields. This strikingly green and beautiful landscape both inspires and haunts me (through no fault of its own).
The inspiration radiates through the simple display of growing “food”. Coming from a world of processed food (and trying to reform) this comforts me.
The haunting aspect is a nasty side effect I blame on Hollywood clouding my sensibilities, brainwashing me to see this corn land through the lenses of “Children of the Corn“, “The Village“, and “The Happening“, etc. I feel the same kind of respect for the cornfields that I do for the ocean…yet I’m not sure that is warranted. These darker movies have influenced me to deem the cornfields “creepy” and label them “mysterious”. I’m sorry, cornfields. I really do love you.
Note: I’m happy to report that eating sweet corn is pleasant and not adversely affected by movie watching addictions.
I do notice that many of my travels and experiences are interpreted through such cinephilic filters. It amuses me to make parallels between reality and cinema. Last year in the Ohio countryside, we spent a whole afternoon looking for the Shawshank Redemption’s lone oak tree where “Andy Dufresne” buried the box for Morgan Freeman’s character. We weren’t able to find the tree before dark. I’m crushed now to discover that the Shawshank tree was wounded in a storm last month! I really wanted to photograph the tree…but I digress to illustrate a point.
In a nutshell, traveling on quiet dirt roads with tall green cornstalks on either side is memorable and stimulates the imagination.
And Daisy Haunts the Mansion…
As darker thoughts flirt with me, possibly jealous of my Hawaiian high, the universe now has me living on a haunted estate.
The Pennsylvania Ren Faire is located at the Mount Hope Estate and Winery marked by a charming mansion built in the early 1800′s. One of the mansion’s previous occupants, the late Daisy Grubb and her kin, Uncle Charles, are said to continue their poltergeist-ish shenanigans to this day by stealing cigarettes of unsuspecting visitors to the mansion. Daily I stroll through the estate’s garden and fairground sneaking a peek in the windows to try and get a glimpse of Daisy. Her portrait is visible above the flash in the photo below.
Tours of the Mount Hope mansion are not really available anymore, but I was lucky to get a brief tour of the home with some of the Tartanic gang. No sign of Daisy this day. We should have brought some cigarettes to test the claim…apparently she was particular about not smoking in certain rooms. So if you’d like to see Daisy I suggest you find a way to smoke a cigarette in this historic Lancaster County home.
Transmissions from the Pleiadians and such…
I must admit with hesitation, that a major catalyst for my being thrown into a state of anxiety recently was a series of transmissions or channelings (from other-dimensional sources, I’ll leave it at that) that one of my best friends has been receiving, recording, and sending to me and a few other friends. These messages have triggered a spectrum of reactions from my close circle of friends. As if right in alignment with the timing of 2012 conversations, she reported the urgency of our need to prepare for upcoming chaos and earth changes by stocking up on non-perishable food, water, and supplies. Things would be changing rapidly in the next few months. Something would happen in about four days…
Enter Virginia Earthquake…
On this “fourth” day I’m filled with an anxiety that is so potent it’s pissing me off. It is challenging my preference to stay positive with my inability to do so now. The family is hanging out in our trailer which suddenly begins to shake. ”WAS THAT JUST AN EARTHQUAKE??”
It just so happened that the night before I loaded the “Earthquake Alert” app on my Android phone. I didn’t ever expect to find it so handy so soon (or did I??). Sure enough, the little app worked like a champ listing the 5.8 magnitude quake as 180 miles away and occurring “4 minutes ago”. I felt great relief after the quake–sort of like I sensed it’s arrival from a deep level yet didn’t know why I was feeling so crazy. It was one of those things that make you go “hmmmmm”.
Under those circumstances, it was an even more profound event.
Enter My Namesake, Hurricane Irene…
The infamous hurricane with my name causes a national commotion for the next week, further perpetuating my fear factor triggered by the “transmissions” which are coming now at a fascinating regularity. Being from the Texas Gulf Coast I have a respect for hurricanes and usually take some type of precaution–especially while living in a small box on wheels at a fabricated Medieval village. Saturday night we sleep in a hotel, Sunday the faire was cancelled, and by Sunday afternoon the sun’s shining glow basks the creepy/beautiful cornfields once again.
And Around Here, Cornfields lead to Amish
Thankfully, all is well in my neck of the cornfield thus far. Our apocalyptic shopping trip has supplied us with plenty of non-perishable food that we’re begrudgingly attempting to incorporate into our diet. Fortunately, as the world keeps turning in its usual way, we are still able to check out one of the many Amish farmer’s markets. And farmer’s markets, as you might know, are one of my favorite things on the planet.
Roots Market and Auction
Roots Farmer’s Market has been our Tuesday savior providing us with a wellspring of local apples, kale, cherries, spinach, beets, herbs, and of course corn. A bit of Amish-made butter and farmer’s cheese has become our indulgence. There is the temptation of far too many sweets around here. Seriously, the sugar content is extreme in Amish Country. I’m shown here attacking a loaf of zucchini/pineapple bread that was one day old and $2.50. Aside from that first visit, I’m refraining from blatant sugar foods as I am picking up produce for juicing. I do enjoy looking at the bakery cases of sugar porn, though! Not quite French, but still appealing.
Old Fashioned “Rides”
Happy Birthday to all August babies! If this applies to you, I hope you had a beautiful one. In August John turned 37. To celebrate I took him on an Amish buggy ride through some farms followed by lunch on a steam engine train through the Strasburg Rail Road.
Village of Bird-In-Hand, PA
Bird-In-Hand, PA appears to be the mecca of all things Amish. After our rides, we visited shops and markets, picking up more of those fabulous apples, apple cider, and apple cider donuts that smelled too good to pass up. I find the Amish just as novel and fascinating as I would the Mayans in Guatemala. Cultures that value the earth and hold onto traditions are a precious commodity these days. I love learning from them other ways of existing in harmony with the land.
We found ourselves pricing buggies on this day. I would totally own a horse and buggy if I lived in the country, if I had a stationary home. I would make it an art-buggy and weave beads in my horses’s mane.
Family Glamping at the Faire
Brief family update: the kids are enjoying this life of glamping at renaissance festivals. (putting the “glam” into camping…) The pace is relaxing during the week and festive on the weekends. On weekdays the fairground is our playground for walks and socializing. The surrounding area is filled with hiking trails. Rain begins her homeschooling this week as a 7th grader. Jaya is enamored with Cinderella. Hershey, PA is a few miles away. We did the free chocolate tour which was one big fat commercial. Jaya loved the ride, and Rain loved the 2 free kisses at the end of it.
John has been working hard on his first solo album, assisting with a new Tartanic album, and performing on the weekends…
…which leaves me to spend time with the kids all day. I love that I can. So what gives? How can I heal myself?
I came off three weeks of personally rewarding independent travel, discovery, and work and threw myself into six weeks of responsibilities, change, uncertainties…and those cornfields.
Corn Woman Rising
This got me wondering…what is the significance of corn?
In several Native American and Latin American indigenous tribes, corn is a powerful symbology of life, nourishment, and fertility. Many Goddesses spring forth from numerous mythologies spanning many cultures.
Selu is a Cherokee Goddess and Chicomecoatl is an Aztec Goddess of the Corn, for example. This archetype of the female corn deity is often known as “Corn Woman.”
It is a common Native American practice to use cornmeal as a blessing for protection, forgiveness, and understanding.
How about I re-write this story of creepy corn and turn it into blessing corn?
Perhaps I can write my own “Field of Dreams” rather than a dark mystery?
How about a little protection, forgiveness, and understanding?
So I call upon Corn Woman to be my ally in this time of anxiety, change, and uncertainty.
Like the Hawaiians, I am personifying the land around me, honoring her, and learning from her.
A Goddess approaches uncertainties with wisdom and understanding…rather than fear and anxiety.
I walk through the rows of corn today and re-write the script to transform the anxiety-ridden horror movie into something nurturing and inspirational. I re-claim my power with bare feet in the dirt and cornstalks in my hand.
Field of Dreams
I’ll continue editing my documentary, writing this blog, and embodying the domestic goddess of the trailer. I’ll plant some seeds for my upcoming journey to the Mayan pyramids in October. And there, in the presence of major Corn Woman energy who is so prelevant in the Mayan culture, I will thank her for the clarity I’ve gained from re-writing my story of the cornfields of Pennsylvania.
Radiance, not darkness.
Understanding, not ignorance.
Protection, not harm.
Nourishment, not starvation.
Forgiveness, not resentment.
Friendship, not enemies.
Love, not hate.
A Gift, not a curse.
A Mystery that leads to wonder, not anxiety.
How about re-writing your own story? Take something challenging, stare it straight in the eyes, and re-do the script to transform the outcome into something that is more life-affirming. What do you think?
Thank you for reading this far. It’s nice to connect. I’m thinking good thoughts of you.