Saturday, October 6, 2007

last night on the farm

its nighttime, way too late to be awake but i'm sucking every last drop of my time here.

the wedding was pretty sweet--everyone amassed at ZK (the dining hall) and garlanded themselves with ivy crowns, then processed through the woods to the Yanceyville Christian church. their ceremony was pretty short and sweet, a few readings and a few songs and it was over. i was impressed by their choice to sing a song after saying the vows (instead of kissing right away)--it built on and grounded the energy in a really beautiful way. and robert's vows to gwen and jonah (thea's kids from a previous relationship) were so sweet and touching (that was when i teared up). thea had a beautiful cream and gold medieval dress with giant sleeves and a gold sash, bright flowers in her hair and bouquet. robert a had cream pirate shirt and brown leather pants.

still, i was surprised that they stuck with the classic "death do us part" language. as always, it stirred up feelings about how i'd want to create/conduct such a ceremony for myself. definitely outside in a beautiful place, with lots of ritual aspects, intentions, and community involvement. i'd want to have music be a big part, too.

the reception/dinner/dancing was sweet and pleasant, all on the lawn of kaweah. we played music for awhile and people really appreciated it. its such a rush to play amplified in a quiet setting, like hurling myself into the laps of all these people; satisfies my inner leo. the food was excellent, particularly the stuffed portabellas and home-made truffles. the evening melted into a bonfire and brief chaotic contra dance, compost cafe singalong, sauna, and general mellow chilling. its really nice to reconfirm that this is a home i can feel safe and comfortable coming back to whenever i want. and i'm ready to return to my amazing life in connecticut, hopefully doing a better job at steering clear of the mental drama....

Thursday, October 4, 2007

a day in old skin

its so interesting being back here at Twin Oaks; its similar to my new life in lots of ways but also fundamentally different. i'm really enjoying being in private space--at Isabella Freedman its sort of generally open to the public at all times. and even in the house, its still not really OURS. here there's such a deep and solid sense of privacy and (collective) ownership. it feels good to slip so easily into myself here, revisiting the person i've been for the past 4 years. and its nice to feel really OFF, i've kind of been steadily on for the past month. i'm enjoying having a room to myself and the quiet and lack of cars.

but i'm also aware of the deal-breaker differences. the whole ethic around work really gets me down. it just feels so bottomless--there's never a break. i love the spiritual underpinning and strong sense of purpose at IF. we're building this beautiful (if temporary) community, continuously steeping in a sense of purpose and gratitude with specific times set aside for just enjoying and appreciating the life we're creating.

looking at my IF life objectively and from a distance, i can feel my relationship to judaism shifting. its becoming less all or nothing and more gently integrated, less rigid and more infused with my general outlook on life (at least for now).

we had a band planning session in the morning; we're pulling together a southern tour for late february. our theoretical itinerary is floyd VA, birmingham AL, tuscaloosa (for a film festival, our anchor gig), New Orleans, then back through birmingham, asheville NC and greensboro NC. seems like a good time, and it'll be good to have (yet another) final hurrah.

an X-BF gets here tomorrow, i'm a bit nervous as its gone badly the past few times. i enjoy his company at first, but then there's his eternal romantic fantasy of us.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

from home to home

this morning i somehow roused myself at 5:30 AM for a sleepy but satisfying morning meditation. we had lev at the sadeh with the tevaniks; it was a beautiful misty morning, the air wet with the promise of rain. when we got down there, folks were holding torahs, drumming and forming a circle. someone started melody, it drifted around the circle, died down, morphed...eventually it turned into mayyim and we danced in a circle, calling out for water and stamping the ground with our feet. this was our version of the hashana raba ritual, a sukkot rain-prayer. someone brought some willow branches into the middle and we spread out over the sadeh, beating the ground for rain. eventually we regathered and folks began singing prayers. (this sounds so cheezy but its actually a pretty accurate description....)

then i rushed home like a mad-woman to finish preparing for my journey south, and hit the road shortly after 9. destination: DC suburb, meeting up with the rest of the band for a simchas torah gig (will the holidays every end??). its our third simchas torah at this conservative synangogue, so it was interesting to notice the ways that i felt different in this space. most notably i felt much more comfortable and solid in my relationship to judaism: at ease and glad to participate when it felt good and made sense, with no weird pressure when i felt like stepping out. and it felt awesome to be reunited with the band again and this piece of my identity. now we're back at twin oaks, and its bizzare to feel this place again after leaving and putting down roots elsewhere. i like being here and knowing that my home is elsewhere.

Monday, October 1, 2007

red yurt ramblers

an exciting morning! we had an ashtanga yoga session for lev, it felt great to really get into the body straight off. and we finally switched chores so i got to come back and have breakfast at the house and hang out for a bit (i was doing the morning watering before). its one of my favorite parts of this life, and living with folks: randomly hanging out over a meal, being goofy and relaxed.

and, i talked to the executive director for Isabella Freedman about the contra-dance; he was totally supportive and said i could have the money i need to pay the caller. what a rush! the full band is guitar, mando, fiddle, autoharp and african drum--tonight was our first rehearsal. i was definitely feeling trepidatiouys today and the last few days, having no idea how much work we'd have ahead of us or how we'd sound. i should have known that bringing together such awesome, deep, wonderful people could only result in awesome, deep, wonderful music; it totally rocked my world! casey is solid and funky on the mando, riffin on chords and rockin the melodies. jonathon is steady and soothing on the drum, just like his personality and energy. josh jams out on the guitar. eilan is still a bit timid on the auto-harp...and also still very closed to me; this makes me sad but hopefully it'll shift with time. the auto harp adds a very sweet sound though. the band's sound is full, rich, and vibrant. i'm still flying a bit from our rehearsal, and at the way its all coming together so beautifully.

i had kind of a break down in our evening limmud, just feeling sad and alone. like i'm always grasping and i just want someone to hold me and love me. it felt good to cry and naf hung out with me a bit, that helped. .. it feels good to be in touch with it. and of course it is balanced with periods of feeling solid and connected.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

down on the way up

sky's finally released from the 10 day meditation pit of silence--just in time. i spent the morning erranding in a cloud of resigned gloom. it felt good to just let myself feel bad. kinda. and it felt good to rip melon vines out of the ground and hoe the cabbage, pouring my frustrations into the work. i skipped out on our afternoon learning session (palestine/israel for 6th graders) and came back to the house for supper. we've got hella leftovers from the weekend, so i heated up a big mush of squash and collards, roasted onions and nuts and sat outside with the remnants of a bottle of wine watching the sunset and talking to sky. it was nice to be able to relate my internal struggles to someone who knows them inside and out. and its nice to just sit in the struggle, not trying to fix it but just watching it. my voice sounds very deep today.