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Monday, November 18, 2013

La misma onda. My favorite phrase in Spanish, "The same wavelength."
I have had a magical two weeks since my last post.

Two weekends ago, I attended Dare to Be Square, an annual Square Dancing workshop/festival on the West Coast. This was the first time LA has hosted, and I have offered to host DtbS 2015 in Ecuador! I really want to continue square dancing down there, so I better keep in practice and putting out the vibration to find other interested folks.

I've also been attending weekly Irish music gatherings, including every Monday night at the Celtic Arts Center, North Hollywood; and a slow/beginners session in Playa del Rey (although it's a struggle for me to get out there with a cello & no car). Both are free, if anyone cares to join me. I'm also hoping to start playing Irish music with my next-door neighbor & some friends, here in Hollywood, when I return from Ecuador in January. Let me know if you want to join the craic!

Yesterday, I rented a car to drive all the way to Santa Clarita for a monthly Irish music session, which turned out to be much smaller than I expected. However, all was not lost when a Peruvian man stood up to share his rendition of El Cóndor Pasa on pan flute, as heard at the beginning of the Simon & Garfunkel cover of it. When he finished, he mentioned he is interested in fusing Irish & South American music. I stood up and excitedly announced that I too was interested in doing the same, in Ecuador. James Torres tells me he has many Ecuadorean friends in LA, so now we are planning a potluck at my house, to introduce me to them! Turns out I went to an Irish meet-up to connect with Ecuadoreans. The Grand Conjunction is stronger than ever with me, now that I have submitted my will to her.

I'd rather be a forest than a street.
Yes I would.
If I could,
I surely woud.

I'd rather feel the earth beneath my feet,
Yes I would.
If I only could,
I surely would.


And so, Ecuador calls...

On the work front, I have voiced over a dozen spots so far this month for United Health (the largest "health" carrier on the planet - creepy), so keep an ear out for me on your TVs, radios & intrawebs. And if you hear a mean girl on the radio, talking about free coffee at McDonald's, that'd be me too. Time to ramp up my charitable giving! (See previous post about working for evil corporations)

On the real estate front, I got two bits of good news. Firstly, I learned that I can cash in my Roth IRA, with no penalty, at any time. This increases my housing budget by $40k!
Secondly, the property I mentioned earlier, which really caught my eye, is still available! Seems the owners only go online a few times a month (can you imagine? what a dream), so I just heard back from them. It is much farther away from my friend and agent, Noelia, than I hoped for (8 hours, not 2 or 3), so I would be more isolated (click to see the satellite of the Amazon), and would have to rent it out to someone to look after it until I move down there full-time in 2014 or 15.

People often ask me what I plan to "do down there." I have many different answers to this question, two of which are, "Retire," and, "Same things I do here in LA - ride my bike, meditate, do yoga, play cello, read books, hang out in my hammock, prepare & eat meals, entertain Chimney Sweep, etc." Another answer I have is that I am feeling called to work in hospice.

As some of you know, I recently dated my first/last alcoholic (and a Marine to boot - ugh) - and it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I grew up around the disease, so I never considered it something I needed to write someone off for. Some of my favorite people are alcoholics! However, they are in recovery - this man was decidedly not, getting black-out drunk on a regular basis. I have also since realized he has some serious sociopathic tendencies, which turns out is not so very rare in America (4%) - especially in the Marines.

Anyway, this alcoholic sociopath claims to be dying young (although, now I'm not so certain anything he ever told me was true). His impending death and complete lack of unwillingness to discuss it reminded me that, many years ago, I once thought I might like to work in hospice. I felt this calling for the first time after meeting Mary Mohs and Ron Valle, of The Awakening Center for Exploring Living & Dying, though my Vedic yoga tradition. Over a decade later, I am hearing the calling again. I want to help people die! Any takers?

Up next, I am flying to Sedona, to visit the director of a documentary I narrated this year, Change: The Life Particle Effect, and spend Thanksgiving week there. Will report more when I return!

Monday, November 4, 2013

I have been waiting until I had some new news to report to update, but then I saw this video on upworthy: The Upsetting Difference Between Men & Women, According to the World's Biggest Search Engine. Like a lot of things lately, it made me cry.

Until recently, I did not consider myself a feminist, because I didn't ever feel that my being a female impinged upon my freedom to be a successful, fully self-expressed person. (Like the folks "unaffected by racism," who are naive enough to believe we live in a post-racial world) I fancied myself more of a humanist. Not in the literal sense (maybe I should say human beingist), but in the sense that we are not "separate, but equal," we are simply, "equal." But, on a global scale, we are not equal. Not on the un-level playing field into which we were born. And, the older I get - the more experience points I amass - the more I come to terms with the fact that males & females are (physiologically) wired & (culturally) programmed so very differently. Those differences can be tiring and heartbreaking, disgusting and infuriating, and occasionally...beautiful.


I don't want to go off on a feminist rant. I imagine most of my readers are already well versed in the rationale, the statistics, the evidence, the personal experiences to grok that of which I speak.
I thought I should take this opportunity to make it clear to people why I am moving to Ecuador - or, more importantly, why I am moving away from the US; away from Hollywood; away from my successful career.

Just as I am finally fully waking up to the necessity of feminism, I am also coming to the brutal truth of the physical reality we humans have created on this planet. It. Is. Bleak. I don't need to post a bunch of links, articles, youtube videos, etc. to substantiate my assertion. The human population (primarily the western/developed world) has overshot the carrying capacity of the planet with it's rampant consumerism, toxic fuel production/consumption, incessant wars, and generally rapey mindset.

Americans make up 5% of the world's population, yet consume 20% of its energy. I feel I have done my part to get closer to that 5% mark (plant-based diet, car-free, not procreating, etc.), but I make a living hawking automobiles, petroleum and "healthcare." I have long since seen the irony in this, but have rationalized/justified it by saying, "If I don't take these gigs, some other actress will just fill my spot. However, when I do take the money, I am spending it on locally-grown organic produce, handmade one-of-a-kind dresses and custom-built bicycles." While I still stand by this, I think I would just as soon remove myself from the sick system.

"So why don't you just move to small-town America and start growing your own food?" Well, I would love to, except the US corporate/kleptocracy is making it increasingly difficult to do so - with legislation against subsistence farming, GMOs, fracking, etc. This country has become a downright creeper, and is only getting more sinister. Again, if you don't know what I am talking about, then you're probably following the wrong blog.

I had my share of "the good life" (42 years to be exact) - readily available fuel, food, water and (most importantly) entertainment at my fingertips. I have lived an extremely blessed, safe, easy, comfortable life. I just don't want to continue doing so on the backs of the bottom half of the world. So it's partially moving towards a simpler, more earth-centered lifestyle, as well as jumping the sinking ship. If there were a gender-balanced, nurturing-focused country on the planet, I would move there in a heartbeat. Ecuador seems to me one of the healthiest places left, so there I go.

Which brings me to this week's update:
I found yet another beauty of a home - that can accommodate 8!
Since they never responded to my inquiry, I am assuming the home has already sold. It does show me, however, what I am able to afford on my limited budget. I envision eventually being able to host 12 beings, so I have to keep it simple!

Also, my friend with whom I was planning to travel the country (not my real estate agent, but an old friend from college days) in search of our new home, has decided she cannot join me. Well, that throws a bit of a wrench in my plans, since I'm departing in a month and had planned it around her availability. sigh

Not to worry, I have spent a lifetime flying solo and am fully capable of doing so the rest of the way. I am extra grateful for Noelia's help at this point, since I just lost my translator as well. Anyone (Spanish-speaking) want to go to Ecuador with me next month? Better still, want to take a workshop where we learn how to build our earth home? Ahhh, adventure time!

And I cannot help but mention the 14,000 Hiroshimas hanging by their fingernails over in Japan. They begin moving the 1,500 spent fuel rods on Friday. Fingers (toes, legs, arms, eyes, ears and nostrils) crossed! Again, the Southern Hemisphere is looking quite a bit friendlier.

Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, by William Wordsworth

...Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,  60
        Hath had elsewhere its setting,
          And cometh from afar:
        Not in entire forgetfulness,
        And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come  65
        From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
        Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,  70
        He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
    Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
      And by the vision splendid
      Is on his way attended;  75
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day...