Monday, December 27, 2010

Oil Spill

The November/December Issue of Orion Magazine contains a beautiful piece by nature writer Terry Tempest Williams. She travels to the site of the oil spill months after its onset, well into the "clean-up" stage, with 2 friends (a photographer and videographer). I picked up this magazine at my friend Craig's house a couple months ago. The world she creates with her words is all-consuming, and and sat utterly transfixed on the stairs. This is a gentle and lurid encounter with the people and place that are feeling the brunt of our insatiable thirst for oil. Horror, anger, fear, and a sense of connection to the people and place washed over me as I traveled with her, eavesdropping on her conversations with the locals, seeing the landscape through her eyes and sharing her musings. But when I came to this line, from the helicopter pilot who flies Terry over the explosion site itself and the expanse of oily ocean that surrounds it, the tears finally welled up. Not sadness so much, or anger, but shame. Shame that we are so willing to destroy this planet in the face of those who have peacefully shared it for so many eons. Here is the excerpt. I invite you to read the full article as well.

Tom[the pilot] tells us of flying with photographers John Wathen and J Henry Fair filming the oil burning. “It was apocalyptic,” he says. “But the image that continues to haunt me was the group of dolphins facing the fires, perfectly lined up on the edge of the flames, together, watching.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

announcing a new blog!

my friend roberto and i have just launched a new collaborative blog, rokarevolution! read, comment, subscribe, spread the word.

Monday, October 18, 2010

getting the love

recently in a co-counseling session, my fearless counselor pointed out that i am surrounded by love, despite my insistence that i am utterly unlovable. there was a moment where it as so clear to me--that though i fight it every step of the way, there are so many wonderful people around me, loving me up. in the past few days, i've had moments of just letting that soak in, despite all my internal resistance and protestations. its powerful and magical, and feels so good. we all deserve that, we all have it. its just a matter of getting the yucky stuff out of the way, those old messages that we learned in a moment of childhood survival. here's to getting there quickly and gracefully.

Friday, October 15, 2010


with the cold setting in, i feel my emotional brain shutting down. all systems point to--GET COZY!! unfortunately, the coziness level is currently quite low. both in my room and in my brain. its been a week of kicking myself, for one relationship trouble after another. i'm sick of it! and cold! i can feel my self shrinking into it, getting smaller and tighter.

i made myself go to ecstatic dance today after sitting in 2 hours of traffic to go 20 miles. returning from the cville foodscapes annual retreat; big news is wendy is dropping out! this bizarre and unexpected tidbit left us all reeling a bit. thankfully, it seems we can make money doing this so that relieves certain pressures. while adding to others. (damned commitment!). i still need to make 2 unreasonable requests today, and feel stuck. i still need to meditate. i REALLY want to curl up in a ball and watch 6 feet under.

Ro said today, he felt bummed cuz he wanted to give me love but didn't want to play this cat and mouse game. the game of him giving me love, me taking it for granted etc. wise one that one.

meanwhile, i enter the week of the crazy: tomorrow, women build habitat day, sunday more cville foodscapes retreating, tues. back to Alexandria...willow here wed.....etc. the madness would be ok if i felt more on top of my expansion. but this damned cold makes it so hard to not just shrink into a tight and tiny ball.

Monday, October 11, 2010

flow is on

well, after 4 and a half days of intense emotional upheaval and growing anxiety, my flow is on! thank goodness. interestingly, it wasn't til this morning that (at the suggestion of a friend) i focussed my intention on bringing it on. and seemingly it worked. that or the good half hour of co-counseling SHAKING. maybe both.

but man, i'm still sinking deep into some kinda pathetic mirey pit of self-yuckiness!! wavering really, cuz sometimes its just the world that is yuck. its hiding under the bed time. nonstop crying time. self pity party. blech.

at times its ok, just where i'm at, low down and in the depths. its just when i forget that its ok, that there's always times like this and just enjoy it while its here.......that things start to get ugly
awesome images courtesy of my sister's awesome picto-blog.

Friday, October 8, 2010

best response ever

a friend invited me to join her and her date for dinner tonight--gchatting w/the date, i expressed concern about imposing on them, and also that my current mood was quite gnarly and convincing me that everyone secretly hates me.

his response: "all the more reason to come. so come let us hate you properly".

Thursday, October 7, 2010


ok, cooking rice pudding and procrastinating on attacking today's task-list.........

so, what would unplugging look like in each instance??

hostel--damn, this one's hard. we've got so much debt that its hard to take money out of the equation. so, it'd be jumping to the grand vision: a multi-dimensional multi-use dynamic space, for visitors and townies to come together, a place to share cultural events; movies, discussions, potlucks, dance parties. homegrown entertainment/education, supported by work trade and pure love.

cville foodscapes--argh, this one's tough too. transforming to a grant and fundraiser run program that provides gardening support and education for low-wealth folks? creating a network of home-growers who come together to share food, recipes, labor? creating links between area farmers and local home-gardeners towards local food-independence?

urban commune--ok, this one's easier. off the grid, beautiful out door composter, homey space with room for many, radical homeyness and culture jamming.

women's group--this one's already heading there. supporting each other emotionally, physically, spiritually. providing the nourishment that we need to do our hard work in the world.

prison project--creating continuity and a community of support post-transition/re-entry...

landmark selp--er. focus my coaching project next round on this. create more support and continuity among our growing community here in town.

co-counseling--learn to be a teacher, spread the good word.

klezmer ensembles--offer this gift in places that need it--prison, jail, schools.

aright, looks like i've got my work cut out for me. maybe this is all heading towards an intention for the new year, 2011, the last before the transition. seems like i ought to be incorporating something about technology use here--its substitute for real human emotional connection. eek! case in point! i'll ponder that one further.

off the task-land....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

what the

i guess i feel more compelled to blog when sky is away....tonight, i'm musing on what the f is it in me that insists on refusing love!??! here i am, surrounded by people expressing love and care in so may ways, and all i can do is fight, fight, fight. so much easier and safer to go it alone, that's that evil voice deep inside that's building fences and walls as fast as i can tear them down.

scary that that lives deep inside me, sabotaging my efforts and tearing apart connections. killing people off. tonight, for the first time i had the experience of someone other than sky saying "i feel shut down" after i spoke. i do that. how. why. jesus!

trying to take tim jackins' advice: you never ever have permission for any reason to feel bad about yourself.

dang that's hard.

so often, its so much easier to be hard and hateful then soft and vulnerable. being scared and angry comes so easily, so naturally. slides off the tongue. dagumit.

the residue sucks too--emotional sewage, lingering in my system. regret, guilt, sorrow for the poison i'm injecting into the world.

and, wow, dang, thank you universe for the collective consciousness and positive vibrations of group process. another miracle tonight, from 6 scattered and separate people holding some vague notion of prison work, to the Self-Empowerment Forum [disclaimer: no clue of course where this will ultimately go]; a series of sessions on topics from sexual health to poetry to car maintenance for women at Fluvanna Correctional Center. For the women on their way OUT of Fluvanna. On their way back into this weird f'd up place we inhabit.

R. dreams of unplugging these folks, unplugging from the system that oppresses us all. that sounds good, sign me up too. and while your at it, i'd like to unplug this crazy monkey mind of self-hate that is talking my ear off.

unplugging--that's a concept i'd like to hold close and integrate into my every day lives. yes, plural, because even though there's endless overlap in each group that i put myself in (hostel, cville foodscapes, urban commune, women's group, prison project, landmark selp, co-counseling, klezmer ensembles), each is a different slice of me, a disparate slice of me. craving cohesion, why not use this thread, unplugging, to tie them altogether?

i'll take it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

early autumn update

scanning previous posts, i felt inspired tonight to share with y'all what is up in the world of kas. maybe its because sky just left for 2 weeks on the west coast, maybe its because my internal tectonic shifts feel particularly poignant (don't they always though), maybe just because its a lonely rainy night.

aright peeps, here's the highlights.

after a long bout of internal wrestling and resistance, Cloud TO helped me break out and re-fall in love with my long beloved fiddle friend again. with her gentle (and totally unexpected!) guidance and support, i let me heart re-open to this part of myself, and am on the brink of embarking on new adventures in music; namely jumping into the world of jazz. more importantly, we've rekindled our long standing romance and i feel a renewed tenderness towards my fiddly friend. if you're in cville, come on out to live arts 5pm this sunday afternoon for a show of tangoes, wine and cheese.

falling in love is the theme here, and i am re-falling in love with sky. we've got tons o' shit to work out, and are beginning to do so as well as getting in touch with why the heck we're doin' this crazy thing together. feeling particularly blessed to have a partner who shares so many of my values and lifestyle choices....and is such a steady rock of love, support and nurturance in my life. new sparks and sparking too, but i feel shy about sharing that here....

both businesses continue to boom, the hostel has a fantastic crew of 5 at the moment, and made it successfully through year 1 of cooperative ownership, yahoo! cville foodscapes prepares for a series of end of season reflection sessions. still need more steady perhaps? jewish pre-school? incontinence windfall? sugar daddy or mama?

nearly 2 years here in cville. a women's group has spun off from the birthday women's camping trip that i organized, the urban commune has re-formed with an awesome group of energized peeps, woodfolk contains a number of these particular peeps at the moment, building connections with certain Twin Oakers and Acorners, and the various groups continue to intersect and coalesce in interesting and satisfying ways. I'm learning that one of the juiciest experiences for me is bringing together folks i love who don't know each other and facilitating cross-pollinating connections. love it!

personal growth
rockin' the killer trio of vipassana meditation, co-counseling and landmark. blasting stuff wide open, discharging childhood traumas, expanding my capacities, learning and re-learning to just be with it all.

so that's mostly what's up at the moment. i'm certainly curious if there's still anyone out there reading this, and pondering future directions and how this medium can be of most benefit to others.

but meanwhile, snuggily time fast approaches and my bed is calling to me..........

Thursday, April 22, 2010

what what

somehow things are continuing to hurtle forward at breakneck speed, with us poor wingless folks clinging on for dear life. note to self: learn how to fly.

foodscapes jobs continue to stream our way, despite the fact that we still lack a proper vehicle. (doh!) people still keep coming to stay at the hostel, despite the fact that we have regular flake outs of every stripe (arranging pick-ups, faulty keys, forgotten shifts). and i swing between leaping straight into the storm, juggling schedules, materials, logistics, pulling favors....and leaping back out to sauna, putter in our garden, blast music and just forget that i ever agreed to be a part of 2 (why, oh why) new businesses.

but then...its so sweet meeting the hostel dwellers who faun over the comfyness and cozyness of Alexander House. and how damned gratifying to start people on the path to food subsistence.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

no time for posting

we're in the thick of it now....i skipped town right after the hostel expansion open house and cville foodscapes launch party, perfect timing! my getaway was to spend 10 days serving in the kitchen at a silent meditation retreat. hard to capture how incredibly rewarding this experience was....i got to be the kitchen manager, and it stretched me in every way imaginable. Its hard work, long days, but with at least 3 hours of meditation each day and total support from the staff and center it was such a growthful experience.

now i'm home, and its spring! the peas are coming up, each morning the garden pulls me out barefoot and half dressed to plant more seeds and admire the new baby seedlings poking up. bees are going nuts with all the fruit trees, and business is booming. bike riding is pure delight again, salad every day and basil starts on my window sill.

sweet, sweeter, sweetest!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cville Foodscapes Launches!

As you may (or may not) have heard, Sky and I are part of a group of folks starting up a new collective business here in Charlottesville. Its called C’ville Foodscapes, and the basic service is installing, building, and/or maintaining vegetable gardens in people’s yards. We’ve been working on this project for almost a year now, and are very excited to be on the cusp of launching this winter/spring.

Our website ( is coming soon. Here’s a snippet: the story of how we began.

When Angel moved in across the street from Patrick in the winter of 2008, the idea of an urban agriculture project was little more than a brief, neighborly conversation out on the front porch. That conversation quickly snowballed; and as they continued chatting about the idea of creating a backyard CSA in the city, they soon found out that some other folks in town had also been scheming. Sam had recently posted a similar idea on the Eat Local list-serve, and Wendy had responded to his post. Soon, Kassia and Sky came onto the scene; fresh from West Coast travels, and they had their own dreams of expansive urban farming.

It wasn’t long before we all found our way back to Angel’s porch on a sunny day in early February. As we shared our visions for the project, a few themes immediately emerged. We were all interested in supporting a sustainable urban food system. We were all concerned with food justice; making healthy, delicious food available to people of all income levels and demographics. We were interested in working collectively, and in creating a viable business model that would provide satisfying work at a reasonable income.

Our early meetings felt almost eerily charmed and magical. Our skill sets and past experiences fit neatly together. In addition to all of our own personal gardens, Angel and Sam had both spent time working on established CSA farms in the area. Sam had also been certified in Permaculture design. Patrick had experience working in urban community gardens and doing community organizing work. Meticulously organized and well-connected in the city, Wendy had previous experience running a small business. While living at the Twin Oaks Community, Kassia and Sky had be able to live and work cooperatively, and gained hands-on farming skills. They had also just spent months traveling in the states and abroad, researching successful models of urban sustainability and urban agriculture projects.

A bit giddy with excitement, our initial visioning was large and expansive. We dreamed of backyard gardens blanketing the town, of an urban CSA run out of people’s yards, neighborhood veggie stands selling produce grown right on the block, and abandoned lots turned into thriving community gardens. We wanted to help transform Charlottesville into a patchwork of thriving edible foodscapes. As we continued meeting regularly, many questions arose and we discussed a myriad of different ways that an urban agriculture project could exist in the city of Charlottesville. With guidance from local organizations and suggestions from friends, we spent many long hours hashing things out in living rooms and on porches over endless cups of tea. Eventually, we honed the project and emerged nearly a year later as C’ville Foodscapes.

Join us for our kick-off party Sunday, March 7th 1-5pm at Random Row books: live music, yummy food, seed swap, veggie fashion show and surprise, Cville Foodscaper/superhero Skit and more!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

everything you need in life is streaming towards you

my friend shell batiked this beautiful quote onto a lovely orange banner for me--it hangs above my desk and is a regular source of reflection. its a great question to contemplate. sometimes i clearly see gifts rushing towards me; yoga classes, a free massage table, the night sky full of stars, delicious smoothies.

right now, its tone is more one of: everything i need to learn and grow is rushing towards me. i've been trying hard to resist the lessons, and thankfully failing at least half the time. more support in the various cville projects also seems to be coming downstream towards me, as well as birth-learning opportunities, a musical partner to inspire me, satisfying work and even a little income.

One of my yoga teachers recently said "the first step to getting what you want is knowing what it is". so here is my special requests portion, things that i'm asking the universe to send my way in bounteous abundance: HUGS, open listening hearts, buddy adventures, self-love, jews, and dancing opportunities.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

birth on the brain

My life is very full right now, projects and passions pulling me in lots of different directions. Still, one thread is emerging of late; and it pulls me forward with a gentle, steady tug.


after months of dawdling along with a distance doula (birth assistant) program, my friend Elsa's imminent birth snapped me into action. She asked me to be her doula; this would be my first (human) birth. a few weeks before her due date, it dawned on me that i actually knew next to nothing about the basic processes of birth, and also had lots to learn about concrete support practices for a laboring woman.

A month later, i've got 2 child birth preparation classes under my belt, have read a ton of books...and just this past week, i had the opportunity to support elsa through her labor and birth out at Twin Oaks.

its a bit uncanny how fully this has taken hold; like the flip of a switch, its taken over my brain. on the intellectual level, i am now endlessly fascinated by odd quirks of birth, birth viewed through historic and anthropological lenses, individual women's birth stories.........and on the flip side, attending elsa at her birth and in the post-partum period felt totally intuitive, instinctual, natural and easy. some part of me clicked in and knew exactly what to do, how to be, where to put my hands and how hard to press. the more deeply i was able to tap into this intuitive stream, the easier it was. and what a gift to be working with 2 amazing, powerful women (midwife and her assistant)--wise, skilled, warmly compassionate and supportive forces of nature.

i also love that every time i post anything about birth on my facebook status, i get 5-10 comments from other women, about their births or birth in general. folks that i haven't communicated with in years, maybe even since high school happily volunteer tidbits from their own birth stories, or words of advice or encouragement.

i came out of the birth still unsure if it is my own personal path to bear a child (or children). its a tricky question that sky and i have not yet resolved. he feels done, having done it once. i'm not sure. nothing is for sure at this point, and a lot will depend on the future we create together.

the most moving part of the birth was seeing the intensity between the parents as they labored together: such deep intimacy and closeness as well as emotional and physical expression! its the same thing that i loved about playing weddings with the vulgar bulgars. i just love participating in and supporting people in these huge, sacred, life-changing transitional moments of life. there's a rawness, a depth of experience and feeling that is just so special to witness and support.

i'm still not sure where this is all heading--hospital doula? opening a birth center? donating services to anyone who comes my way? apprenticing with a midwife? being a mother? being a midwife?

but i do feel solid and sure that this one part of my path.