Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Telling our Family (written 10/3/10)

Last night my mother, father and sister were at our apartment for some lasagna, wine and apple crisp. My mom is allergic to my cat and so we spent the majority of our time out in the yard drinking wine and talking about our upcoming itinerary. It was the first chance we had to tell our family in detail about our plans: the full list of countries and in what order, about busking, wwoofing, couchsurfing, etc. I noticed a slight shift in them, particularly my father. Their faces and bodies were much less stiff as we talked about it (might have been because of the wine) and they seemed much more enthusiastic, curious and wowed by the possibilities. This response felt wonderful because I so want to experience the excitement and craziness of this adventure with my family, not shy away from conversing with them about it. My dad seemed inspired by it even, and he blurted out to my mom he should just quit his job and they should take off in the way we are….

The evening culminated with Brian and I performing some of our busking songs we’ve been working on to give them an idea of how we will make a little money on the way. Me on my little Martin backpacker guitar, and Brian on his djembe, shaker egg and mini tambourine. We started with Cat Stevens “Wild World” and I was shocked by the audience reaction! Hooting and hollering and applause from my parents and Joanna singing loud beautiful harmonies. My father started taking pictures and video and I started to feel like Brian and I might have something here! We haven’t played much music together since we started dating because I have been very sensitive to the tension and dynamics that can develop between two lovers when they start trying to seriously play music together. This busking idea gave us a way to approach playing together with no pressure, no expectations and just the hope for fun and learning. I can’t say how pleasurable it has been to finally play music together with my husband. He is so passionate and enthusiastic when he plays, and it is infectious. He makes me a more dynamic and interesting performer. I am really interested in seeing where this leads us.

We then moved on to Crowded House with “Don’t Dream its Over”. My mom pulled out some percussion instruments and Joanna’s voice swelled with mine in perfect harmonies. I yelled out she had to come with us, she would be our ringer! It was incredible to hear her sing so loud and open like that again. It has been a long time… My mom starts getting allergic at this point (she forgot her face mask) but we all wanted to do one more, so Brian and I pull out our finale, “One” by U2. What a warm, real, beautiful, genuine feeling. I felt so close to my family. And that experience is so easy to create. Just pick up some instruments and start playing. I have always wanted to learn a bunch of cover songs solely for that reason. I want to be able to share and provide songs to those I love that they know and love that we can all sing and play together. It was so inspiring to feel that already developing.

As I try to understand and develop the concept in my mind of how it will be to try to live more as homesteaders and less as consumers when we return from our traveling, tonight was a perfect example. Sharing music and laughter and love in our little apartment after a perfectly good home cooked meal… What else could you want or need? I like that this trip is a year of spending our money on experiences, not things, and in order to go, we need to get rid of almost everything we own. I feel like it is a rebirth. A chance to start again. A chance to define our own reality, our own home, in the most environmentally, socially, and spiritually healthy way possible. The possibility for real conscious living and loving, considering our decisions with others and the planet in mind. With our future children in mind. It excites me.

I am starting to really believe in the power of stating things out loud as fuel to encourage change and evolution. I made two statements this week that I want to ensure remain true.

1) I will never buy a gym membership again

2) I will never work in a cubicle in front of a computer for 8 hours a day again

Instead of working out at a gym that uses a ridiculous amount of unnecessary electricity to help people move their bodies (after sitting in cubicles all day!), I will bike, walk, hike, and practice yoga. But most importantly, I will dance. I will turn music way up and dance like the devil until I fall to the floor in a sweaty mess. I saw “This is It”, that documentary on Michael Jackson and was so completely blown away by his talent, creativity, productivity, and vision. I couldn’t help but get up and dance with him in my bedroom as I watched him on my laptop. And then I had a scary thought, when was the last time I danced for no reason? Not at a wedding, not at a concert, just home with myself because I am moved to? I could not remember! Dancing used to be my greatest passion! How did it just disappear? Never again. Dance will be a regular event in my life. A priority. Thank you Michael!

In starting this blog/journal, I am realizing I have so much that I want to write about, so much that is going on inside of me. Change is abundant everywhere I look in everyone’s lives, changing jobs, ending relationships, changing outlooks… The fall does that I think to us. But maybe it is also something else? A change in consciousness? I feel a bit like the scales are dropping from my eyes. Only now, I am finally starting to see the country that I live in for what it really is. I’m seeing how sick we are here. And how I am contributing to that sickness. I am enabling it. And I didn’t really know how much until recently. I guess society often times has to go backward before it can go forward, but I feel like we really f’d it up there after the depression until now. I’m committed to helping with this consumeristic disease by starting with my own home and family. I’m reading Radical Homemakers right now, and it is an inspiration. I am going to hear Shannon Hayes talk at the library Brian works at tomorrow. I am really looking forward to it…. I am excited to learn to live on less money, sew more, can more, grow more, produce more instead of consume. Produce our own food, but write music, plays, teach, etc. Learn to give more then we take. We have so much growing to do.

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