A Bohemian Traveler

Archive for the ‘Personal Update’ Category

2014 Travel~Living Update

In Personal Update, Travel on June 2, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Yo.
Well, I have been getting some periodic requests to post an update as now some friends and followers know I am traveling abroad again. To me though, it’s just living. I have this dance with life, and the floor I dance on isn’t limited to the corner~
Travel update 1
There has been a whirlwind of movement this past month, and it’s not normally how I have moved in the past. These years, I enjoy finding a special beautiful place and setting up shop there for a month, where I can enjoy community, do my work and eat new exotic foods. Well, for the Month of May, my travel has been~ USA-Netherlands-Belgium-Qatar-India and now Nepal. Tomorrow it’s Jordan and Israel.
Map of 2014 tirp

I’m used to it, and can manage and adapt myself at the drop of a mango. Yet, it does take some energy. Currently, I am writing from the town of Nagarkot, Nepal. From this mountain village, one can see 360 degrees of Himalayas. I am in the “Ganesh Cottage,” my little house for a few days. It has nice views from the cottage, and has some prayer flags sprinkled through it along with fabrics. My hotel is called “Hotel at the End of The Universe.” With a name as such, I had to stay there ~ It’s owned by a Nepali / Dutch couple and it’s a tranquil place.
hotel-at-the-end-of-the

Some friends have asked me, “Why India?” And, the simple answer is, I felt the pull of my spirit to go there again. I had gone there ten years ago in 2004 serving with as a volunteer for 3 months. That time was life changing for me, and I was curious to see how this vibrant and massive country called India has changed and continue my experience with it.

One the Worlds largest Banyan tree, India 2004

One the Worlds largest Banyan tree, India 2004

As an American citizen, I was able to obtain a 5 year multiple entry visa, and so I can move in and out of this vast and rich land as much as I want for the next few years, so this trip was not about “seeing it all.” I sort of used to move that way when I was 18-20, but now I just like picking a few spots and “soaking” it. So I flew to Mumbai, stayed a few days there. Flew to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and stayed there a couple days too. Then it a train up to Siliguri, there I caught a land rover to Darjeeling, the mountainous town famous the world over for its tea.
201405_Darjeeling (61)

It was a diverse town, with a mix of Tibetans, Gorkhas, Nepalis and Indians. The entire town is built on a steep incline of a mountain, and my guesthouse sat right on the top. I worked on my writings there, and took a 5 day trek through the Singalila National Park/Ridge. I hired a Sherpa named Tsering and together we hiked about 10-11 miles a day, stopping in very little Himalayan villages for tea and meals. The highlight for me was the opportunity to see with my own eyes the highest mountain in the world: Mount Everest.

IMG_0910
Another highlight so far for me has been to reconnect in person with a friend I made ten years ago in Calcutta. His name is Brother Francois, and he is a Franciscan priest serving the poor in the city. Most of his work revolves around addressing the needs of orphans living in the train station and also visiting those in the hospital who need support of any kind.
Francois 2

When I volunteered with him ten years ago, it became the most intense day of my life as I saw the reality of a broken hospital system. I saw people who could have survived with available care, die and witnessed also the reality of young boys living on their own in a harsh environment.

Since then, Brother Francois has been doing this work EVERYDAY. To me, he is one of the most courageous and kindest humans I have met on this planet. When I surprised him, he was overjoyed to see me. And I came to a realization that I had not been aware of. As I talked with Francois, he made it clear to me that one of the main reasons he continued with his work in Calcutta in 2004, was because of my willingness to go volunteer with him when he asked me in the Mother House (Where the sisters of Mother Teresas order, Missionaries of Charity, live). At that time, he was still exploring the idea, since he was from France. The funny thing is, is on that particular day in 2004, I felt a strong pull in my spirit to go the Mother House. I was serving in an orphanage far away, and even though all the international volunteers met there each morning for breakfast before volunteering, I would not go because I needed to ride the bus for 45 minutes to get to the orphanage I was serving at. Nonetheless, I felt a pull early that morning to go. And that morning I met Brother Francois.

Francois 5

I knew then I would have a friend for life, and through these past ten years my family and I have sent clothes to the children he serves. And, for the short couple days I had to spend with him in Hot Calcutta a couple weeks ago, I was blessed and also reminded of realities. I was reminded, because I went back to a hospital with him where he serves. There, I had flashbacks of the lack of cleanliness and care available. The elevator had dried blood in all the corners, the casualty ward had used gauze, urine and dust on the floors. The beds were simple and each patient, was just sitting up, basically getting what care they could from their family members, and an occasional checkup from a physician. I actually didn’t see any there, but it was towards the evening. What I did see, was a young man named Sambath. He was extremely thin and only had his Mother to offer what little care she could. Sambath had rectal cancer, and it was terminal. For a man who was 22 years old and was just in med school the year before, it was a difficult site to see. This is something a normal citizen of my home country just doesn’t get to see. Untreated cancer in your face.

Francois 8

I was stronger to accept the reality than my last time ten years ago, but it reminded me of the fragility of life and how life is valued in other places. I gave Sambath a postcard from Hawaii that had a couple Hibiscus flowers on it. I hoped he would find peace until he moves on..

While the hospital visits were still melancholy, the next day Francois invited me to speak to the boys from the station. He gathered them together and for a couple hours I shared with them lessons of geography, and showed them photos of my travels around the world on my laptop. They were fascinated to see images of massive Redwood trees, European architecture and scenes from the movie “Samsara,” a movie that travels around the world. My intention was to expand their horizons a bit, and by all the smiles and affection after, I think I succeeded.

SealDah_BOys_1

There of course, are other highlights, such as traveling in the Netherlands with my Mom, who is Dutch and had not been back for 39 years, and visiting a tea factory in Darjeeling but for now I will sign off. A new adventure awaits, and another dream will be fulfilled: To pilgrimage to Israel.

Israel_flag_Masada_Israel

Thanks for your encouragement and thoughts, prayers through the journey~ Some more photos below… IMG_0788 IMG_0867 IMG_0756 IMG_0952

A Grand Year of Adventures in 2013~Now onto Another Trip Around the Sun

In Personal Update, Travel on January 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Sun Trippin

Well, as I write this morning, I am in a spiritual retreat center on the north shores of Maui in the islands of Hawaii. The weather is so nice and energetic here and its been a few years since I last was in the islands. Sunrises on top of volcanos, spectacular coastal drives and trekking through rainforest to ancient Hawaiian swim holes are a few recently made memories that will bring smiles to my face in years to come.

I hope to those that keep up with my updates and travels all had a wonderful holiday and New Year. I am truly happy to share life with friends, be it in person or through a blog. I haven’t posted for a few months now, so I figure it is time to give some “juice.”

In 2013, I went around the world. I traveled in early February to Europe where I spent two months in the Netherlands, with side trips to France and Germany. It was then off to South East Asia, where I spent close to four months venturing Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. And then it was right over to good ole’ North Dakota just in time for 4th of July Fireworks and one of my best friends weddings. From there, I hopped on a ride share across the northern part of the States to California, where I spent a majority of the rest of the year. It seems I’m destined for another round the world journey in 2014, yet this time flying West.

Of course this wasn’t a vacation, as some can assume. Throughout the entire time being abroad, I was writing. Both in my professional 9-5 job with Visual News, and also with book projects I plan to publish. Personally, I find more inspiration being in a completely different environment than my own home country of the West Coast. While I love to see my friends and family in the states, I’ve personally evolved to a place where I need the chaos of a foreign context to shape and stimulate my heart and mind.

Each day is anew, filled with tones, noises, tastes, weather and relationships. And more.

I’ll give a few highlights from last year I enjoyed throughout the movements~

Carnival in Netherlands

IMG_0146

IMG_0144

IMG_0160

Carnival is widely celebrated in Holland, and the Dutch recognize that the best festivities are held in the South of the country. I happened to be in that particular area at the time it was happening and though it was quite cold outside, my spirit was warm with song, dance and of course, beer!

Yoga in Thailand

Yoga

Thailand Yoga

I began my Yoga journey finally in Thailand. I had waited until I could learn directly from my cousin, who has been a Yoga Ashtangi for over 20 years. Her practice is quite well known around the world and I was privileged to learn from her on a beautiful island.

Friendship in Langkawi

IMG_1001

IMG_1174

IMG_1155

After spending time in Thailand, I went over to the Island of Langkawi in Malaysia to explore, meet up with a friend and check out sailboats. I found a wonderful expat community there whom I had a lot of fun getting to know. Langkawi itself is a great island to check out as it is unique in its own way. Definitely stay at Soluna Guesthouse if you get there and tell Claudia I said hello.

Art in Black Rock

IMG_1751

IMG_1761

BMSWS

It was another year of art installations in that special place in the desert. It was a wonderful year again full of expression, exploration and community.

Hiking in NorCal

IMG_1941

IMG_1949

IMG_1979

I spent some of the Autumn writing in Northern Cal/ Southern Oregon. To be in the quiet stillness of the vast forest is renewing and energizing. In a world where the race gets faster by the millisecond, finding these sanctuaries are more important than ever, and I was lucky to find such raw nature so close by to my SF bay home.

Well, I’m back to Hawaii Life now and am already making great memories for this year. I hope you do too, because really, anything is possible if you project your intention into the universe enough~ Thanks for reading as always~

West Coastin’ 2013

In Personal Update on September 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm

64-impala-westside-lowriders-hamilton

Since arriving back from overseas this year, it’s been westside till I die, laying low in my ’64 Impala, cruisin’ wit my homies, sippin’ on gin and juice, layback.

Well, not exactly. But it has been yet another nice summer in the west. It feels like it has been a hotter summer this year, which has set the stage for many adventurous activities to participate in. I love my family and in this season, they need my support as they plan to open new chapters in their life. After 25 years of being in Woodside, my family is looking to move on. And so keeping our property looking nice and show worthy is necessary.

And after 5 years of living in Seattle (with 3 off and on, due to work) I have decided to move on myself from the emerald city. I really do love the communal and casual vibe that Seattle breathes, yet unfortunately for this California boy, I need the sun more. It’s a tradeoff, yet after spending months in sunny South East Asia with warm waters and noticing the significant difference in energy, it sealed the intention it was time to go.

Whynam_view_800x533 When I moved there, I always knew I wouldn’t stay long and that going back to
California as a US base would happen again. So, I went up to Seattle in early August, participated in the SeaFair activities (lots of hydroplane boats, fighter jet demonstrations, and boat parties everywhere) sailed up to the San Juan Islands for a week, then sold my boat after 2 days. I promptly went back down to California to prepare for Burning Man.

bm2013

This has been my third year going back to Burning Man, and for all those who have not been there, please do not attempt to define what it is, because you can’t. People try to put it in a box and think they know what it’s all about, but really they don’t. It’s not a bunch of naked hippies tripping on acid, it’s not a huge “burning” event where everything is burned, and no, it’s not a pagan festival or even a music festival. It’s also not for everyone in my opinion. Mostly because some people are just not ready to experience such a dynamic shift from their day-to-day lives. Burning Man will challenge a person and enlighten about what is possible to experience communally between humans. As an anthropologist, I find the Burn to be an amazing social experiment, and actually other anthropologists like myself think so too.

To me, this years burn seemed short. After coming back from Seattle, I jumped straight into preparing (In)Visible, an art installation designed by my cousin Kirsten and her 4th time bringing art to Burning Man. Thus began the 12 hour days, shaping the iridescent panels to the steel frame, grinding, drilling and crimping, and getting ready for the desert itself, picking up necessary items such as hydration packs, baby wipes, and apple cider vinegar (counteracts the alkaline dust that will get on your skin most definitely). After the truck was packed, five of us shot off to Reno where we spent one last night experiencing pressurized water and relaxing before trekking to the desert. This year I gifted two tickets to my old friend Quentin and his wife as a wedding present. They were both very excited and as it happened, we both came to the gate at the same time and were able to enter together.

BM_Invisible

burning_man_art_2013_ 2

invisible 1

invisible 22

In our 125′ x 100′ foot of space, we set up our tents, our campers and geodesic domes. There were hexayurts (created from insulation panels you would find at home depot, once attached with a swamp cooler, it is a nice oasis) and there were our shade structures. In total we would have about 30 people in our camp throughout the week. We had people from Singapore, Oregon, Thailand, California, Washington, Canada, France, UK and New Zealand. It was a fun week as it always is.

Personally for me, being a third year burner and having the opportunities to get acquainted and familiar with the community in various parts of the world, the Burn wasn’t as awe-inspiring of an experience for me. Rather, it was just good to see my friends and to share time with them. One particular person was named Takashi, whom I had met at last years burn. Our interaction only lasted an hour if that, yet we became acquainted on facebook and kept in touch over this past year. At the same event we met  at last year, we saw each other again and were both happy to share life again as our friendship had grown through the conversations we had had via facebook and such. Takashi was from Osaka, Japan and later that day I engaged in a meetup of Japanese burners, of which there were over 50. I also later participated in the red tea ceremony with artist Ken Hamakazi the next day, something Takashi gifts his time to support. It is also a highlight of the week for me.

Back from the Burn and as the dust settles, I am back in the west and am still quite mobile for the remainder of this month. I’m still writing, and I have multiple international friends flying in each week, which I have committed to some degree to host. I am thankful, happy and am now going to go for a walk here in Santa Cruz. Much love~

car (The vehicle makes it to the playa)

The Unknown Island of Langkawi, Malaysia

In Personal Update, Travel on June 12, 2013 at 1:10 am

5910_10151399584772583_1477629514_n

I came to Langkawi in search of sailboats.
Until I had come to Southern Thailand, I had never heard of the small 500 square kilometers island in Northwest Malaysia before. Close to the Thai border, Langkawi I discovered has quite a bit to offer. I came expecting to stay 3-7 days and now I’m going onto the 4th week here.

langkawi-cablecar

There are some really nice yachts out here and I’ve been hounding the marinas, talking to Captains, brokers and long term expats about getting a larger sailboat here than what I currently have back in Seattle. Basically I’m looking for a 30-38ft cruiser that is able to make coastal passages through the straits of Melacca, the Southern Burmese archipelago and of course all of Indonesia. There are just too many islands here along with genuinely friendly human beings that make such an adventure hard to resist.

24657-01

This Malaysian island of Langkawi has the potential to be a base for such adventures. There are plenty of business opportunities both on the island and virtually and with an international airport on the island, one can get to practically any major Asian city in less than 5 hours for those occasional city fixes.

There’s sailing, there are beaches, mountains, jungles, bald eagles, high cable cars, waterfalls and lakes, foods of all sorts and literally people from all over the world here. This island doesn’t attract just the western crowd, but there are quite a few tourists from China, India, and the Middle East. Everyday I meet citizens from countries all over. Just yesterday I spent some time with a young Syrian man named Ahmed who fled the country from Bashar and is running a little stand selling middle eastern products in the mall. We’re friends on facebook now. ;)

Soluna Guesthouse, where I have been staying

Soluna Guesthouse, where I have been staying

The longer I spend out the country, the more I realize just how integral it is in my life. My family has a vibrant international history and my upbringing incorporated American, European and Asian traditions. While it’s more natural for me to be overseas than in America, I still appreciate the vastness and beauty of America. What I don’t like about America is that citizens are given only two to three weeks vacation a year. The culture is “live to work,” and it cripples Americans because they work so hard, and even when they take vacation, there are sometimes still the concerns of projects they attempted to leave at home.

This is why in the two months I have been in Asia, I have only met 8 Americans. Four of them quit their jobs to travel, the other 4 were either a post grad or long-term expat. It’s just too much to go to Asia when you only have two weeks holiday and the flights there and back are going to eliminate a couple of days already. So Americans float to Hawaii, Mexico or even Europe. It makes sense, But I tell you, Asia is “where it is at.” This is my 5th time back and I love it more and more every time I come back.

Get to Asia, eat all sorts of food, meet many interesting people everyday and make friends, enjoy the nature of mountains, jungle, oceans, reefs and underwater worlds. It’s all here, and it’s not going away.

I’m doing alright and feeling right at home. Hope Summer is beginning to treat everyone nicely~

langkawi-

Left Thailand and now in Malaysia~

In Personal Update, Travel on May 16, 2013 at 1:05 am

Thai

Wow. I must say in the past 20 years that I have traveled internationally, I have never come across a place as magical as I just did. I mean, there is Burning Man, and that can be quite a wonder filled environment, yet it’s not its own country (in some ways it is) and it’s temporary. Where I just came from is in another country and has been thriving for some time now.

This place was so special that I’m not even going to disclose where it is. I will just say it was on a Thai island.

It’s really nice when you can discover a beautiful natural environment, yet when one can come to a beautiful place and also have a beautiful community, then it’s perfect.

I came to this bay and met some amazing people, I danced all night, I swam everyday, I ate healthy nutritious food, I laughed, I smiled, I made friends, I loved. I created stars in the water, I explored exotic reefs and jungle, I connected and reconnected with myself.

If you come across this place I describe, it was meant to be for you.

I’m thankful for the memories, the people, the family and will return when the wind draws me near~

Now I’m in the historic Georgetown in Penang, Malaysia and soon I will venture to another island and South ~

Thanks for reading as always~

and…a song that I am feeling is a theme song for the past days~

Thai 2

thai 4

Time to talk about Paris

In Personal Update, Travel on February 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm

IMG_0214

I’m sure many have been able to visit Paris at some point. For me though, the first time I was able to explore this famed city was last week.

On my first trip to Europe in 2000, I did go to the Paris airport. But that experience was only limited to eating a croque monsieur, buying Cuban cigars and finagling a customs officer to stamp my passport. Hardly the experience.

And even though I had been to Europe many times after, and spending the better part of a year throughout the continent, Paris never happened.

Maybe I was dissuaded by the tourism of cities like Paris, Rome and Venice. I much rather preferred smaller towns and cities with less cameras and tour buses.

But this is February, in the heart of Winter and not many people travel during this time (at least not to the Northern hemisphere.) I had a friend who had moved to Paris three years ago and I promised to him that when I was in Europe again, I would visit him. So to honor that promise and to finally check out Paris, I hopped on a ride to the City of love, arts and baguettes.

IMG_0183

From Maastrict, Netherlands to Paris I caught a ride share for 22 euros. A train would have cost close to 100 and a flight the same. I had used ride share in the US and am always happy to make new friends through the activity. While some people have an issue meeting and interacting with strangers, I have found it to be quite fun. I also promote the idea of renewing trust between people, so in a way I promote this through the action. If you do find yourself in Europe and want to find a ride, check out the website here.

I arrived in Paris and upon parking the car, I see an artist painting on his easel and hear a semi-pleasant voice singing opera from a 4th floor building. Ah, Paris. City of the arts! :)

IMG_0171

Upon my first walk, I saw the famous Notre Dame cathedral. From a distance it looked massive and the front was one of the most impressive facades I had seen.

IMG_0172

I got to a Metro and met my friend Jason Brown , whom I had been friends with since university days. It was nice to make his acquaintance again after a long 3 years. There was a lot of catching up to do and catch up we did.

The following day I met up with another friend Astra from the UK, who happened to be in Paris studying French. The funny thing about Astra besides her personality, is that we always seem to see each other every time I come to Europe. The past 5 times I have come to Europe, I have run into her. Sometime for just 15 minutes and sometimes for a few days. I have love for her and she’s a good friend.

IMG_0198

Together, we walked to the Eiffel tower and Wow, what an amazing structure. I mean, yes, it’s the Eiffel tower, but some monuments lack the awe upon seeing them (such as the Pyramids of Egypt or the Great Wall for me) but the Eiffel tower really was a treat. We of course went up after waiting for only 15 minutes in line and saw some nice views.

IMG_0189

We walked to the Trocodero, to the Arc de Triomphe and finally to the Champs Elysees. It was sort of surreal day to me because, you are somewhat raised seeing these places and then you actually see them all in one day. It was a good day, I took the metro back to Jason’s and rested that night to prepare for the next couple of days of tourism for me.

IMG_0204

The next day Jason and I traversed around the city. We checked out some nice viewpoints, the front of the Opera house, a really nice Starbucks (you’ll see the photo below) and some art districts. One of the crazy highlights was the consuming of “Steak Tartare.” That’s straight up raw ground beef, mixed with a little soy sauce, tabasco and some other flavor. I don’t know why I did it, I guess Jason sort of “egged” me on. It was his first time trying it too. I didn’t get sick, but I definitely felt weird after and proceeded to eat a whole lemon and get drinking some beer real quick. What the @#@@ was I thinking?? Ah, this is what travel is all about :)

Ah, steak tartare...

Ah, steak tartare…

IMG_0211

IMG_0215

Yes, this is a Starbucks

Yes, this is a Starbucks

Ah, Europe

Ah, Europe

IMG_0227

IMG_0228

The day was nice and it ended with me of course going to a Couchsurfing meetup in Paris. The pub where it was held got seriously packed out with “CSer’s” and I met many people from all over the world as I always do. It’s always a great and fast way to make friends and get great local advice on the region you’re traveling to. If you’re in Paris, every Monday night at the Lions’ Pub at 8pm is the meetup. Good times~

My last day was spent visiting some museums. I decided to skip the Louvre for the next trip and went to the Musee D’Orsay and Musee Rodin. Together I saw some pieces of art I had wanted to see for a long time and Rodin is my favorite sculptor, so it was a treat to see some of his works. He truly had a gifted hand. I couldn’t take photos all the time of these works, so I’ll post which art I really enjoyed below.

Renoir

Renoir

Van Gogh

Van Gogh

Monet

Monet

Cabanel

Cabanel

Tiffany Vase

Tiffany Vase

Rodin

Rodin

I had an amazing time in Paris, there is so much to see. It was a wonderful 4 days, and I hope to spend more time there soon. Thanks for reading, and if you need tips on traveling there or anywhere, feel free to connect with me on my facebook.

IMG_0262

Time to Go again

In Personal Update, Travel on February 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm

sbux vegas

So, I write this post from a Starbucks inside a Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. I see flashing lights on 1 cent slot machines, hear several different languages and wonder what sort of reality this would be if I stayed here indefinitely. Seems sort of like what I imagine hell to be.

Anyways, I didn’t come here to participate in the entertainment of this famed city. I came here because, well, it happened to be the best deal to fly out of this country to where I need to go. Yes, I’m off again and it seems for the better part of 2013 I will be abroad, and while I would like to say I am excited, I just feel it’s more normal than I’ve remembered in the past. It’s not vacation, I’ll be working the whole time while out. And I am in a place where I could be gone for quite a while.

I would like to say, “Yes! I am getting out of the country again, it’s a time to see new things, meet new people, try new foods!” But I guess to some degree, since I have traveled significantly abroad and in the states, and especially in the past three years, I sort of have this feeling of normalcy with the movement.

world-map-1600

I was talking about this last night to someone who asked me about being excited to go. I said yes, I was, but it felt like I was just going to another state in the US. I’ve adapted quite well to navigating anywhere on this planet. I don’t know when it exactly happened, but through the experiences, I’ve gained the “Saavy-ness” to get around, and not just travel, but actually live anywhere. If I wanted to find work in any of these countries, I know how to go about it. If I needed to find those secret places where tourists don’t know about, I could do it. If I needed to find a wife in another country, then I could do…Well, ha, maybe that’s not too difficult, or really a good idea. :)

The thing is, while it is normal, it is exciting. I guess it just doesn’t really hit me until the flight attendant says “We are one hour away from _________.” Then it hits me. I am checking out another foreign land, I am going to witness different behaviors, listen to very different perspectives on family, politics and general life everyday. I am going to experience new food and drinks, I am going to see interesting architecture, and I am going to make new friends, whom I can keep in touch with easier than ever and whose friendship could likely blossom into something I would of never anticipated.

That is exciting. I’m in a starbucks in Vegas in a semi-smokey casino. It’s time to get the #@$% out. Stay tuned.

A recent adventure

In Personal Update, Travel on April 27, 2012 at 12:01 am

Time for a blog again, and time for adventures again….Well actually adventures happen everyday in their own unique way. I had an adventure that all began with a sunny morning.. Read the rest of this entry »

contemplation surgery football

In Personal Update on November 27, 2011 at 4:14 am

New song from the DJ~ listening music for readers

So I come down to the Bay Area to participate in my buddies annual birthday weekend party that includes football, paintball, lots of eating and fellowship with the “dudes.”

Overall it was a good time, and I killed it in football, gaining some 5-6 TD’s, two of which were defensive runbacks and lots of running and catches. For a guy like me, who while being athletic, never plays much football, it was a good day.

Tahoe Trip 2011

Needless to say, the guys were still jonesin for some more football and the following week we got together to play and in the heat of competition, referee and all, I happened to roll my ankle on the turf field and lo and behold, CRACK!

I felt pain immediately sure, I shouted F&##! pretty loudly, I felt in my heart it was broken but didn’t want to believe it. Well, a couple of days later after X-rays, icing, elevation and resting, I found myself in a surgery room, and then waking up after being knocked out from some anesthesia, my fibula or more specifically lateral malleolus fixed with some plates and screws.

Type B happened to me

SO now I write to you in “recovery mode.” It’s gonna be some 4 weeks before the cast comes off and then after that it’ll need some further healing. Luckily, I am being well taken care of by family and friends in the Bay Area.

It’s a different lifestyle for me now to be resting as much now. I’ll be occupying most of this time through writing and making some music hopefully. Reading some books, spending time with my 100-year-old Grandma along with getting time to spend with family is all valuable.

Some of my family taking care of me :)

My family has always been pretty close, so needless to say, they are happy that I am around. I have been living the past 3 and a 1/2 years in Seattle and I’ve only spent a few weeks at the house every year so they are happy I’ll be around for a bit. At least till Christmas…

More posts to come….

1111 a time of waking up

In Personal Update, Travel on November 15, 2011 at 1:00 am

Why is it that I see 1111 frequently and at the same time experience significant shifts in my perspective and feeling as I reach the age 30?

What is it about this time in life? Is it just a number or a symbolic time? Mr. Jesus Christ began a journey at 30, I’ve been told “never trust a person over 30″ and well, let’s be honest, 30 just doesn’t sound that young anymore. Of course, there will be people who will always tell you “you are young” or “you are old.”

I’ve never cared much for age, I mean so what, you’ve lived a few more days than someone else, does it really make you that much more wiser, beautiful, worthy or intelligent?

So far I’ve noticed shifts as I age, shifts in thinking, and a greater acquirement of experiences, knowledge, people encounters and new feelings. This all adds to the soup of life and it’s wonderful.

TO tell you the truth, I have felt like I am already past thirty and am happy to say, “my twenties were well lived.” I never want to die suddenly knowing that I didn’t live life to the full. For me, I would say, yes, I have lived life to the full. I have attempted to be a loving person, positive, and learn how to better interact with my fellow human being, be it a person who is from any part of the world. I have felt I have come to a good place in having a very good comfortability interacting with just about any person on this planet. But hey, we just reached 7 billion, there’s all sorts of people. Not to say I like everyone deeply, but I always try to impart some positivity or some love to someone. We need as much love as we give to each other on this planet and yes there is an overwhelming amount of darkness out there. Suffering, hurt, pain, death, abuse, betrayal, lies. I’m not living as if it doesn’t exist, I just have decided that I don’t want to dwell on such things and instead focus on the good that exists and that should be the norm instead. Love, care, compassion, community, happiness, eating together, laughing, touch and dancing. Much better, yes?

So I’ve been having this reoccurrence of the number 1111 come up in my life and I’ve been told it is a number that symbolizes “waking up” in a nutshell.

I first came to know of it as I was in my cousin’s art structure at a festival called Burning Man. The art structure was called “Constellation of One.”

The Constellation of one

<
Inside I walked in, because you see, there is a secret door. I knew about it having been a supporter of the project prayerfully and financially, but not everyone knew there was…

I hunkered in with a friend and two new friends, and came to meet one "Mr. White."

Now I don't know if Mr. White was an angelic being, a shaman, or just another person walking this planet. But something was special about him. He was extremely kind and welcomed myself and buddies to the inside of the mirrored constellation of one, and together we communed. As we chatted in our circle lit somewhat by electric candles, we talked about the uniqueness of the shape of this structure. It had seemed that the Constellation of One was a sort of mystical shape, found in various cultures. It is known as the "Merkabah."

In Hebrew tradition, the Merkabah is considered a “Chariot of God” and is found in the Hebrew scriptures and in Ezekiel’s vision of the throne of God. I had been familiar with this vision in the past and it was interesting to find so much written about the Merkabah. Some define the Merkabah as a spiritual vehicle to achieve access to the higher realms. Had this been some of the inspiration behind my cousin constructing her art?

My cousin Kirsten and I (right after I walked out from the Constellation of One)

So as we were talking about the significance of the Merkabah, Mr. White also mentioned the significance to the number 1111 and 1112. I told him, “wait did you just say that 1111 was a significant number?” He said “yes, why?” And I said “Well, last night I spent the night in Reno at a hotel and my room number was 1111!” Everyone in the Constellation then went “Whooooaaaaa”

Intriguing. Wonder. Excitement.

Mr. White told me it was very significant and I embraced that it occurred but didn’t dwell on it all too long. I had felt a call to come to this gathering known as Burning Man, and so it was yet another confirmation that indeed Shawn Saleme was supposed to be here at this very moment, in his cousins art project that he had been wanting to see for two years, with friends who had been kind enough to bring some of his supplies and gear down from Seattle and in an environment that already was expanding and enlightening his already existing paradigm of life regarding the social interaction of human beings.

Yes, I was supposed to be here. I felt good, positive, very happy and so very happy to be in this art project of my cousins. You know she did projects like this as a teenager when I was a kid? She would take pieces of mirror and put them on a pyramid like structure with wet tissue! Did you also know she has spent the better part of her life in India, Thailand and Bali teaching Yoga and I never see her?! I was hoping to see her at this 50,000 plus person gathering, but there’s no cell phone coverage, no wifi, no nothing. So if I saw her, great, but if I didn’t, oh well. Maybe in Thailand. :)

“The three wise men” (my friends who were dressed as such) and I walked out, thanking Mr. White for his conversation and wisdom and as we walked out of the Constellation of One, my friend asked “I want to meet your cousin man” and as I was ducking out of the doorway I said, “Well I don’t know if I will see her..” and as I turned my head to the right, who was there??? “She is here” I said As I stared with an awe and wonder and joy and yes! I walked straight to her and her partner Mitchell and said in a loud dutch voice with accent and all “IK HOU VAN JOU!” Which means I LOVE YOU!

We hugged, we laughed, we were happy to see each other and be united. You know I only have three first cousins, and our family history is fairly international and eclectic so it was absolutely wonderful to see her when I can and tell her how much I had been enjoying the Constellation of One. I asked her if she had known about the Merkabah and if it provided her the inspiration for her art. She said she found out about it later, but that she didn’t know about it and that she had come up with the design in her dreams.

Intriguing. Wonder. Excitement!

It was time to go! I got on my bike and biked off into the desert….The waking up had begun.

Mitchell and I

to be continued yes?

Pray for me in this time if you consider yourself a prayerful person…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 469 other followers