Thursday, April 05, 2007

the treehouse, aka home


The rains came on Tuesday. After the first the earth smelled sweet, the children and some of the adults danced in it, it was cool, heavy, wet. A different wet from sweat and from the endless showers we take. I’m sitting sheltering from the 5th rain, 2 days later. It’s a light one, not the heavy duty thunderstorm we had yesterday that first knocked the satellite out and then the electricity. Last night as I walked home the earth was breathing out the rain, a mist, a warm mist rose from the ground diffusing the light from my torch and from the moon. Everything was damp, hot, heavy like walking through a greenhouse. The humidity is making us all lethargic and the rain and grey is bringing out the northern European in us all: hot soups and mashed potatoes for lunch. It’s amazing how deep conditioning goes. I wake up to grey skies and my heart sinks, even after all this time away, I wonder if I’ll ever long for the grey. And yet there’s a certain type of grey sky that heralds in autumn and colder dry nights that I love, one with a certain mild crispness to it, is that understandable? Yesterday I awoke to clouds and it lowered my energy. This morning the sky was bright blue and washed clean, beautiful again. Hoss hates the rain, he’ll refuse to walk in it if he can, poor thing, he has a long season ahead of him. Ah, it’s stopping. Life is starting again, there were mushrooms in the grass and we went to look at the creek this morning, so many seeds have sprouted and are racing skywards, in all stages of throwing off their seed jacket. I wonder what they’ll all become.


People here mistrust organized religions, many are trying to overcome orthodox upbringings, certainly all are working on their own spiritual paths. Monday was Passover, this is Easter week. What does that mean, where are we, where am I in connection to it all? I was raised a secular pagan: fairies and spiritual beings surrounded us but were not ritually celebrated. Growing up on the west coast of Scotland one is familiar with the catholic-protestant issue: orange walks were a common summer occurrence. I hated them with the same passion and fury as I hated the fox hunters who came in the autumn and winter. I despised the organized battles between the boys of my school and those of the catholic school in the town 6 miles away. My village was white, and just as bland in its spirituality, I knew no Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, or any of the hundreds of other variations of faith until I moved away. We were the only pagans as far as I could tell which meant that my spirituality grew out of my own beliefs and ideas, guided by nothing bar a strong dislike of ‘the church’. As a waldorf teacher I was exposed to cosmic Christianity and began to be less afraid and intolerant of it. I’m always drawn to what lies behind and my nature searches for connection, for what is universal. When Guy invited me to a Passover celebration in pachamama I went. There was fire and smoke and wine and celebrants, dried cranberries and chocolate. There were instruments and singing, playing, dancing. There were people trying to find their own way, coming to terms with their spirituality and those of their families and friends. Guy spoke of Passover as a birth of freedom, as a beginning and asked us to think of our own peoples, of the struggle to be free: culturally, socially, individually, spiritually, emotionally, physically. I sat by the fire looking at the faces watching in them the affects of the flames, the music, the smoke, the evening – it meant something different to all: freedom , and with it responsibility. All sorts of memories, emotions, connotations, associations flit around the circle, were thrown into the fire. Freedom, it’s what we all want. A week ago on Friday we were all of us sat round a bigger fire being asked to throw our doubts, our fears and a piece of ourselves, the good as well as the bad, into the shamanic fire. Again the invitation to be free.
On the walk home up the hill we came across a big snake, easily the biggest I’ve seen, perhaps 8 feet and thick. Hoss was alert and quiet, it lay by the path, easily within striking distance. I held on to Hoss and switched on my torch, it raised up but I think my jumping backwards and squealing frightened it and it slithered off, albeit slowly. Snake is transformation, fertility, power. Freedom? On the full moon after fire. Surely something to think about.


This is Monday April 1st. Somehow, in one way or another I’ve been too occupied to blog. I’m hoping for more time in the day. I wish all my expectations could be so subtle, so small and easily managed.

It’s dark, but the moon in all her beautiful fullness has risen behind me and lights up the sky to the point where you wouldn’t believe there are stars. I’m at a party, Nirav has his birthday today and he’s Djing his own event, the music is very chill, ambient trance and no-one is dancing. There’s a fire and mats and rugs and everyone is milling around talking or sitting staring into the space of the fire. Hoss is playing with a dog I don’t know, running back and forth along the periphery of the firelight. I’m sitting typing on a deck off to one side. I’m tired, I’ve been ‘out’ this weekend and haven’t caught up on missed sleep. I look at these faces, so beautiful lit up by orange glow, and I find myself loving them. Each one is unique and yet there are similarities brought on by shared experience, age, culture. Long dark hair tied back, beards on the men, narrow necks, slim shoulders and hips. Beyond the fireglow palm trees, further the ocean winks at his lover the moon. People move around the fire speaking softly to one another, touching hand to shoulder here, arm to arm there. Their movements are fluid in the fire’s staccato light and as the trance picks up its rhythm, they sway, rock a little, voices lift and fall. Who are they, why are they here, how long will they stay. Sufi comes and talks to me, Sufi the gentle incredibly lithe greek girl with her lilting voice and her soft brown eyes. She tells me about the parties that were here before the river opened up, of the space where the sun rose and set while people danced. The greeks are storytellers and weave their myths into their tales with such harmony I’m struck by the humble musical nature of their speech. So understated, floating and yet steady, true. Nirav is beside me, talking shop with Rassana about the house he wants to build. He looks happy, the two gold hoops in his left ear gleam in the fireglow, there’s a twinkle in those arian, double leon eyes.

I was ‘out’ this weekend. Arya, Lisa, my friend Victoria who’s visiting from the states and I left Pachamama on Friday and traveled an hour south by taxi to Samara. Costa Rica is a tourist destination and always surprises me as such. Perhaps growing up with trips to Europe spoiled me, my expectations for tourist towns are always too high. Samara has a beautiful beach: south facing, white sand, shallow warm water dotted with islands too far away to reach by swimming. The town is small and nondescript with several shops and hotels. By the standards here it’s considered fairly upscale with lots of visitors from the u.s.. It served our purposes: we wanted to eat dairy, wheat, meat, drink caffeine, watch tv, drink alcohol, shop, spend money, have a.c.. It’s incredible how we crave whatever we don’t have. And so I did, I ate bacon, twice. I had pizza with cheese, I drank coffee, I had more alcohol than I needed, I watched tv, I had toast, I had pancakes. And we talked, we talked about it all, everything under the sun. And beyond. We swam in the warm ocean water and in the warm still water of the hotel pool. We went to the gringo bar looking for music, something we could dance too, and finding nothing we went to the tico disco and stood in the spilt beer under the fog machines and the strobe lights and we waited for music. People around us were moving, some people were thumping to the one steady, constant beat. But we couldn’t. Dancing is a meditation, something spiritual, the connection of soul and music. This lacked the spiritual, it had no heart connection, I couldn’t understand the language. We left and sat on the beach, allowing the moon to reawaken us to something we knew. This morning I felt sick, too much indulgence in things I craved but didn’t, don’t need. It was good to come home.'