Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year Resolution '09



Light a candle, let it warm
know the way and trust the road
Bright Northern Star and rainbow
Never water, never cold

Flame and light
I lead my show
Heart's desire
Show where to go
Know and will
Next cornerstones
Northern lights
I'm never alone


Hold a candle, let it shine
A smoke sign out, I'll then send
Never may an empty sky
Fill with messing birds of prey

Flame and light
I lead my show
Heart's desire
Show where to go
Know and will
Next cornerstones
Northern lights
I'm never alone

Monday, December 29, 2008

Equity '08


On the average, I think I had a very relaxing year. Actually, I think it was the first time I have actually, absolutely relaxed ever since I can remember. Saturn's Return caught me quite by surprise by the time I was already married, legalized and secured in a more secure land. I'm currently having a really hard time legalizing my Brazilian schooling in Spain, but I'm still trying to be confident everything will turn out alright in the end. And hoping "the end" comes way before I'm 65 years old, because in a shameful country like Brazil 35 years isn't too long to wait.

I'm still not sure what I am going to do professionally with my life, but I do know what is important to me, and while I take the following few years or so to decide, I know what flora and fauna I need to nurture around me, and I know what feels good. And it's all in my hands to take or leave.

My New Year Resolution for 2008 was merely sticking to meditation and trusting the Flow. I think I did a quite good job in learning how to observe and evaluate my mind and the way it is mirrored by my environment, responding intelligently to various stimuli from many sides, and now I think I'm ready for the next natural step: taking responsibility for my vibes, my thoughts and what I am attracting and manifesting. From Water to Fire. Having placed the first Cornerstone, To Keep Silent, I work now on To Will.

My resolution for 2009 comprehends continuing with my German language studies, going back to school in Spain, starting a gay men's Tango group and travelling abroad a lot. This vacation in Rio, far away from anything musical, artistic or creative, has shown me again how important Singing is to my Fetch and my spiritual welfare, so I will probably give Classical Singing another try, but this time with a different strategy: I'll first take solfege lessons, learn to sing impeccably in tune and a tempo, and only then invest in the expression, creativity and artistic autonomy part. In Rome, do like the Romans. In other words, go with the Flow AND with your Intention.

My traditional NYR poem is still in the making. Happy New Year to all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Back home, and back again

I'm back in Rio from a whole week in São Paulo, with no pictures, less weight and a whole lotta love.

I had decided to take this opportunity to have my first couch-surfing Couchsurfing experience, since my dear friend Simone who had offered to host me many months ago had a new huge dog at home (and I have dog-phobia). What happened then felt like a total miracle. Not only did I get warm blankets, shelter and warm showers, but I also made a great new friend in my host. I really don't believe anything can go wrong in Sampa, at all.

After I had fixed all the bank, studies and souvenirs issues, I started calling all the gangs I used to hang out with back in the days. They were all there, all happier than ever, full of light, hope and plans for the new year, and full of joy for seeing me too, after so long. Nothing to do with what I have back home in Spain.

I tried to squeeze most of them on Thursday, because on Friday many were travelling to spend Xmas with their families out of town. I had planned to spend about an hour and a half with each, so I could meet everybody, but turns out almost everybody I had arranged something with had planned a whole party: Caio&Roberta bought wine, pizza and beer, and put a mattress on their office floor, expecting to spend the whole night with me. Later on, I had booked an hour with Simone, who as a surprise had called everybody from our old day job. One of the many pieces of great news is that Thiago is moving to Madrid next year, and we'll live really close to each other. How cool is it that now I'm gonna be neighbours with my ex-co-worker?? In the Litha ritual, which many of us attended for the first time in many months, everybody told me to come back "to us".

Within a week, I obviously didn't have enough time to see everything I wanted to see in the hugest city in the Southern Hemisphere, but the basics were all covered: I had the best hot-dog on Earth (at least three times), I went to the good ol' poetry slam in Casa das Rosas, joined Claudiney Prieto's public Solstice ritual downtown, checked my favourite bookshops and had a mini-shopping spree in our Japanese district and the Chinese Market. Many people, especially the ones from the storytelling scene, I couldn't meet this time around, but this certainly means I'm indebted to visit again sometime soon. And I always pay my debts!

It is a damn shame that I didn't have my camera working to take many, many pictures, but the most essential won't fade with time, ever: friends are forever, even though they do need to be cultivated and taken care of; and we're always more loved than we're able to understand.

I love São Paulo.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Packing Up


Tomorrow I'm flying to Brazil first thing in the morning. My feelings right now are all intense and giddy, but in general pretty good. Actually, going "home" for Xmas never felt so good.

Image: FIESP's building last year. Every Xmas, Avenida Paulista is covered in Xmas lights. I love it, and I missed it. I'm really glad I'll be there to see it this year.

Monday, December 01, 2008

First Snow Experience


Today my good friend and tandem Tatjana gave me a ride to the Madrilean mountains to see actual snow for the first time, touch it, smell it, experience what it is like with all my physical senses. Snow is beautiful, snow is magical and snow is a blast, but the surreality of a whole landscape covered with a white that could be shampoo foam, salt or sand is an experience which, much like the all-sweeping tropical rainstorm followed by an aethereal rainbow, should be in everybody's memory, all over the world.

I grew up visiting the Sea very often, and I am quite disturbed by the fact that many people die everyday without having ever seen the Sea live. Resting your eyes on an infinitely faraway, blue horizon that blurs and blends with the Sky is a function of life, and I honestly feel injustice and hurt feelings when older people tell me they've never seen the Sea. Likewise, it is an injustice that my grandparents died without having ever seen the Snow.

Common to all sassy-dressed snowboarders, euphoric kids in their sleds, cool Europeans (and immigrants) having a mug of hot chocolate with picatostes in a warm, wooden room and by a window showing a white, white vista is definetely a reverence for this yearly miracle of Nature. Snow is Her way of saying "it's all under my protection now. My white Mantle will keep the land nourished, silent and ready, while the mead brews. Beneath my white Mantle lives a promise". And She ain't telling anything until Spring breaks, which is of course just as well.

Missing this important, reassuring time of the year is a shame.





Image: my first snowball. I didn't have the gloves to make a real snowman, but one day.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What Brings Us Together


Time to renew connections:

1. Who are you?
2. Are we friends?
3. When and how did we meet?
4. Do you or have you ever had a crush on me?
5. Give me a nickname and explain why you picked it.
6. Describe me in one word.
7. What was your first impression?
8. Do you still think that way about me now?
9. What reminds you of me?
10. If you could give me anything what would it be?
11. How well do you know me?
12. When's the last time you saw me?
13. Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn't?
14. Are you going to post this on your blog and see what I say about you?
15. Add a memory.

Reply to these as a comment.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The latest hot topic in Blog-o-sphere

Disclaimer: I by no means intend to convert anybody to my lifestyle or point of view. I've never wanted to, and pray that I never will. I hope you read this in a spirit of Respect, too.

I've not always been a vegetarian. I grew up in a society where the basic meal is refined rice and a huge beef steak. Most of the lowest half of South America lives on meat, especially cows and oxen, and when you grow up in a place like Southeastern Brazil you hardly ever question your eating habits. That's what your mom, dad, grandparents, friends, teachers and priests eat everyday, twice a day, and they're fine, so that's what you're going to do.

My metabolism is very accelerated compared to the majority of people, I guess. So I ate lots of meat, because in the mindset I have inherited (and the only one I had to work with back then), if you're still hungry, you're eating too little. It wasn't until my senior year at school that a phonoaudiologyst noticed I had too little flexibility for somebody my age, and that my back and the back of my legs were "compromised". Then, at university I started on Yoga. I still think Yoga is probably the best and definetely the only physical activity I can engage with enthusiasm, and my next New Year's Resolution is to start doing it three times a week again. In a brand new social environment, full of ideas, experiences and adventures, I discovered for the first time ever that many, many people in this planet (even in Rio!) lived pretty well without eating corpses.

I don't remember being shocked, but it was definetely too much for my head back then, so I just started reading a lot on the subject of Nutrition--especially Alternative Nutrition. I think from what I garnered back then, I don't think anything over two percent of the world's population actually needs to eat warm-blood meat (birds and mammals). It'd probably take somebody from blood group O, with high intolerance to lactosis and chlorophyll, and several other digestive disfunctions and health issues, then probably some very specific emotional setting. Some of the people who came to the sessions, like my second Yoga instructor, had been vegetarians (if not vegans) for over ten years. Maybe twenty, I can't really remember. And they all looked so fucking better than all the adults of my previous life. So I asked them loads of questions, and got them to teach me many recipes and techniques. I came home, taught them to my mother, who also didn't really like meat anyway, and we began eating so much better in the family. On New Year's Eve 2000 I made the resolution to not eat beef again for the new year. McDonald's burgers were okay, because they didn't taste like that strong South American beef we had, and because rumour in Brazil were that they were made with worms, not mammals. But very fews months later, I think on March '01, I decided to ditch even McDonald's meat, and since then I have really eaten meat of my own volition.

I still drink milk (half a litre everyday, I think), plus eat LOADS of dairy. I could never cut milk from my diet, and never really wanted to. I had given up eggs too when I moved to my own flat, but still ate eggs when I visitted my parents or other relatives.

But then marriage came. I know you're supposed to make sacrifices, and the Gods and my blog readers know I have made many. Even my husband knows, but he just won't admit it. I haven't adopted carnivorism/omnivorism as a way of life, but I did try Jamón Serrano, Spain's national pride, had strong pork broth soup (Cocido Madrileño) twice, beef consommé for the most miserable New Year's Eve of my life so far, and ate iberian Xmas delicacies made with pork fat (polvorones). Yeah, people still eat pork fat in a world like this. That's right, and then Dunkin' Donuts and Americans are the devil who feeds the rest of the world with animal mortal remainings. Go figure. I also eat eggs three times a week now. But I'm fine with that.

Most of my live friends and peers these days are carnivores, and it's been teaching me some interesting things. We vegetarians are famous for considering ourselves above the general scope of humanity, but then I have never ever even read a blog entry of a vegetarian trying to convert people to Vegetarianism. At least, not the way carnivores have tried to "seduce" me waving a piece of burnt flesh or a bird's limb in front of my face. Or to convince me I'm gonna be sick, weak, mentally retarded, emotionally handicapped and spiritually destitute if I don't eat like them. Carnivores are ALL over-rational and extremely discussion-"friendly". And that probably means more than I am able to grasp.

I do believe there is a reason why we became carnivores at some point in Pre-History, and it was really important, and really useful back then. Honestly, I even wonder if my carnivore ancestors have made me a better vegetarian; and chances are, they did. But in a world today, with all the fresh water issues, all the need to protect the Rainforest and the indigenous flora of several places, and all the crazy ways we have been breeding "Life" to suit our economic interests, I don't really see myself contributing too much to a clever [r]evolution of my species or the Gods I worship by feeding atrocious collective behaviours. I said, "behaviours". Please note that I used it in the plural.

Maybe, actually probably, it's merely my part to be played in this. I definetely trust that meat-eaters have a reason to eat meat, and if they shouldn't be eating meat their bodies would react in some way, like mine did before I reached legal adulthood, but food is currently, probably the only aspect of life I'm 100% peaceful about. It certainly has got to do with living in a food-affirmative culture like central Spain, but it also happens as a consequence of aligning all my parts and Selves and bringing them in agreement around a single issue, and relaxing on the certainty of my place in the Universe and how I join it in complete Harmony as I eat. I'm a Pagan. That's too important for me.

Image: steamed vegetables. The first lesson I learnt in veggie cuisine. Then I'd cook a sauce and mix into them.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Synchronised


Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was actually pretty much like any good day of my Golden Days back in Sampa. I'm feeling happy, worthy and very energised.

I had arranged to meet my new friend from Couchsurfing Emma, who's beginning her world trip here in Madrid. I took her to my favourite place in town, Templo de Debod, and showed her the most beautiful Autumn sunset a person can possibly see in Madrid. When we sat by the fountain and started talking about buried treasures in Madrid and her native Ireland, a joyful "Awen!" cut the stream of conversation. I replied "Dani!", and there was him, my other new friend from Couchsurfing, who I had arranged with later on to bring him to my gay men's yoga and meditation group. The way we met was so sweet. We had never seen each other, but we knew who we were. He had an Australian friend surfing his couch for the weekend with him, another Emma. So, after crossed introductions, the four of us headed to the yoga lesson, and had a great time. The Emmas left after the yoga. The Irish one had another Couchsurfing appointment, and the Australian Emma had a hard time with meditation. Dani stayed to the end of the meditation, loved it, and then participated in our Active Listening circle we have afterwards. I love the Active Listening circle, but last night was special for me. I joined the circle in a spirit of protest against the homophobic propositions in the USA, most especially the H8 in California. I shared in the circle my hurt feelings, my frustration, the unfairness I saw in putting a fundamental right at risk, against an oppressive homophobic, ignorant and fanatic majority, how they have taken from us a right we ALL had in CA. Not just gays, but everybody who wanted the right to define their own family. I told them how I felt insecure. How my family, my husband and me, feel insecured in a world governed by fear and hate. Afterwards, in the dressing room, everybody came to tell me they felt like that, too, and that it was important that I said that. Spain, such a fervorous catholic country and one of the five countries in the world that has gay marriage, is not really free from the threat of fundies like Rouco Varella, who never misses an opportunity to go on TV and say how endangered "traditional family" is, and how many enemies this "important institution" has. They gather thousands of people for a protest downtown Madrid against gay marriage. We gays can't gather enough ppl to agree that everybody who wants to marry should marry. I really hope my right to marry is never put to vote here in Spain.

Then, Dani and Emma, who was sitting at the lobby, left for another Couchsurfing event they had planned, and I went with the guys for our usual dinner. At the restaurant we always go to after the meeting, there was for the first time ever no place for everybody, so the group was split. Some left for another vegan-friendly diner, but I was in the group who stayed. When I was serving my dish in the buffet, a Sevillan "Awen!" coloured the air.

"What are you doing in Madrid?", I asked.
"We are all in Madrid tonight! Check the back of the restaurant."

The Spanish Pagan community had arranged to gather all in that diner, that exact night. I had my meal with the yoga boys and later I went to share a nice conversation about ESP experiences, language barriers and Reiki with Javi (Sevilla) and Diego (Salamanca). When the diner was about to close and we were being kicked out, the Madrilean pagans all hugged me, told me they missed me, thought they had scared me, and made me feel really dear. I have a community.

Then, the yoga boys came to give my jacket and my bag back to me and to say goodbye. We pagans were already leaving, so we had our merry-part, and I came home on the last metro that night.

I arrived, turned the lights on, called my husband (who's away having quite an adventure in Morocco now), and went to bed feeling happy.

On our way to the yoga lesson, Dani and I talked a lot in Portuguese. He had lived in Brazil, and now lives in China. A globe-trotter. I told him how I was a storyteller, and he was really interested. This morning, my Morning Pages were not focused on my frustrations with music for once in a long time, but rather, filled with quite an excitement for wiping the dust of my repertoire and trying some old tale upon willing ears.

Would I be out of the fridge yet?

Image: Rainbow Warrior, by Nadia Sultan.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Tripod


I've been surfing masterfully my current wave. Since ditching my vocal coach (or was it she who ditched me?), I've been doing my vocalizzi everyday and studying new repertoire. And improving still. I've already come to a point in my training where I don't really need somebody to tell me when I am harming my instrument, so I just turn time to my favour and keep evolving in my currently favourite art form.

With the German language, I'm still on a brill headway. Really, I can't believe I've managed to absorb so much from such a difficult language (richly conjugated verbs, compound nouns, declensions in four cases, THREE genders!!) without ever having taken an actual lesson or studied with a teacher. I'll keep up the pace, so when I'm back from Brazil next year and on the job-hunt again, I'll have "German (basic)" on my resume to boot.

Working with my new Book of Stars, I have realised the tripod that gave me all my resilience and very appraised healthy drive, throughout my life so far. I've named each of the secrets: Daily Practice, Creative Work and Divination. To me, involvement with these three virtues has helped me move forward, find ways out (or ways in) and consolidate achievements that often are taken away from you with time.

My current Daily Practice includes Morning Pages and other emotional cleansing tools, Triple Soul work, Music/Singing, German language and, of course, grounding-centering. The dearest divination tool I have is still the Osho Zen Tarot (especially with the Flying Bird spread), but I also use the Faeries' Oracle, Jamie Sams' "Sacred Path Cards" and Scrying every now and then, because sometimes I don't care about being more Zen. Creativewise, well, it feels oh-so-good not to rely on external scrutiny for once in my life!

Even though the Daily Practice has given me more strength than anything, Creative Work, I suspect, has been so much more rewarding, existentially. When I was still working as a storyteller, I reformed and reshaped my Self several times by empowering my "narrator", experiencing a blissful expansion and sharpening of my senses. As a singer, I'm deepening my trance skills, and Self-reliance is a byproduct of all the wonders that mastering Song can bring to one's life. I do understand that Divination's greatest reward is probably this sense of self-reliance, but the reliance I'm talking about when I refer to my experience with Song is actually reliance on the capital-"S" Self. You know, less ego and struggle that creates the illusion of tone-deafness, more surrender and discovery. Many people go through life without ever coming close to this. I'm privileged.

These are my three tools I use to manipulate Time. Realising where you are, knowing where you want to go and surfing every wave to get you there with wits and flexibility, life is what it's meant to be: a beautiful and meaningful something that fills a stretch of Time. Which is another definition for music, you know.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Listening


I'm currently praying for Resiliency. I've moved the world to find my path and shape, and I've let go of too much to heed the calling of my highest soul, and now I'm dreading losing everything (plus Time, but that's a common theme during this crazy phase I'm going through) and being stuck somewhere between naïve rebellion against moral standards and failure in finding the Holy Grail.

Today, I was finally going to work with my vocal coach again after one month away. Early in October, it was one of her advanced students who needed the lesson more than me, then the next week she was sick, then her mother was sick, on the following opportunity her mother died, then I had to respect my coach's right to grieve. Bye-bye, October. But tonight I had finally managed to book her to fix my musical instrument again. Then, I arrived in her studio and one of her advanced students was there, having a session with her during the time I had booked.

Shock prevented me from switching on to Bitch mode. Apologies, excuses and all the usual lines were pronounced, but I came home feeling devastated. I realise and admit that I overrate my training too much sometimes, yes, but I did give myself the right to feel (perhaps a bit over-)glad, and definetely expectant, that today I was finally going to work on my tessitura above middle G. Error.

My vocal coach is a mess. She's used to having no more than three or four classes a week, and currently she probably has twice that figure, and she apparently relies on students calling her the day before (or two or half an hour before) the lesson to confirm, book, unbook, rebook. Or just to shoot the breeze, because she answers her ever-ringing mobile during the classes.

I had decided I'd be a bit resistant with that policy on purpose. Dog people like her develop weird habits with different people. I knew if I called her two hours before every fucking lesson to confirm, I'd be a slave to that for my whole training. So I managed to go through a year and a half with her without playing that role quite well (despite constant disappointments). But this week, after a month without coaching, she relied on a call. I didn't call her, and when I arrived there I saw another tenor in my place.

Another mea-culpa in order here is that since yesterday my phone has had its battery uncharged. It was off for over 24 hours. I know I'm a mess with the mobile, too, but the same thing has happened before while I had my mobile on and available. She didn't call, I didn't call, and when I arrived there at the exact time I had booked her, I was suddenly invading somebody else's hour.

I don't know what to do with this situation. All I know this can't go on like this much longer, and I'm considering giving a couple of days to mull over this. Perhaps it's just drama I am creating where there isn't none. Perhaps she's abusive and disconsiderate. Especially in the light of the talk we had in September, when for the second time she clearly stated that she doesn't trust my talents and my skills. What's the use of investing in training with a teacher who doesn't have faith in her student?

I had a plan, and frankly it looked brilliant: next month I'm off to Brazil to visit family and friends, and in January I'm back in Madrid. Then, I'd call another teacher, a sufi musician whose lecture I watched last month and came home haunted by groundbreaking and very resonating ideas about voice, music and artistic expression. He teaches solfege, piano, voice, composition, many things, and apparently vibrates in the same frequency as Dr. Overtone. Upon returning to Spain, I'd take a couple of lessons with him, and then decide which way I'd be going. But I'd take lessons with my current coach until it was time to fly to Brazil and take a much needed break from Music and all the anxiety I very disgracefully have been associating with it.

Another alternative is a German vocal coach living in Madrid who is a retired concert soloist. I got her number in my first month in Madrid, never called but never threw the tiny piece of paper out, either.

I still don't know, but contrary to the current old-age paranoia, I have time to cool down, trust my intuition beyond mind-games and hurt-feelings, and listen to where the way leads to by the sound of the flowing waters beneath my feet.

Wait a minute.

This reminds me that no matter how hard the Ice Age castigates the land, deep in the Earth's core there will always be warmth. And Grace.

I'll dream it tonight, and MP it in the morning. Again, all shall be well.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Brand New Book

Too long have I stood in the Crossroads. Too many paths trodden in my mind, and not enough mileage behind my feet. At least, not enough for me on the vista of my 29th birthday. Direct experience is the only redemption, and that can only take place by embracing joy and choosing free from guilt.

It's time for a new beginning. Time to take responsibilities, to ask clearly for what I want, to voice my concerns without expecting the fixed answers of the litany so far.

On Thursday I was in Biocultura, an organic farming fair here in Madrid. I bought there a new cotton-paper notebook to use as my new magical journal. I've been meaning to do that for a long time now.

This is the first page of UnLitany, my new blog and part of my magical journal. Don't expect much, just groove along and discover the music the moment it is being sung.

Beautiful image is one among many from Rippendesign.com

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ice, continued


Yeah, it's been long. Since Oct 07th, I've written many half-entries to this blog that never made it to the Web. Regular readers of The Book of the Crossroads know all too well that such an extended period of silence usually means that nothing's progressing. I'm still stuck on Ice.

Truth is, the Grim Old Man of the Solar System back in the house he was when I was born is hard. I had heard many stories and songs about rethinking our role in the world, questioning our own merits and facing our direst needs with honesty before, yeah, but it's hard when you're actually the leading lady, and the opening night came without a rehearsal.

But I don't want to shut my eyes and wake up when I'm 35, either. Missing such a powerful opportunity as Saturn's Return is so not my style. I wanna ride this wave like I've been doing so far, with incredible nimbleness. I've got it all clear and, thanks to a bunch of research, mapped and outlined.

Water birds and frogs are creatures of two worlds, and that's what I've been for too long now. Awen and Ronaldo, recovering-creative and bread-winner, pagan storyteller and nobody special, leisure time queen and depressed slave-to-the-wage. Time's passed, and I neither got a respectable job like a handful of likely lads, neither died in misterious circumstances before my 28th birthday like Jim, Jimmy, Kurt and Janis. Now that I'm moving my focus from my wants to my necessities, I feel the need to integrate all my parts and function as a whole in a clever if not productive manner.

But I still don't have a clue how.

Image: following Jesse's suggestion, I put the drama on the page. Here one can easily see the current schizoid soap opera of my life.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Wall Down


I've just concluded the complete German course on Livemocha.com. Prima! But the studies will go on.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ice

My professional life has always been a mess, and the older I get, the hardest I have to look to catch the most elusive glimpse of a way out. Or in.

I had the typical education of a firstborn-with-a-little-sister in macho freak South America. I was raised to have a militar career. When puberty came and my voice took a bit longer to crack, my parents very fortunately gave up on the obsession, because back in the daze the military was associated with heterosexuality. Well, come to think of it, it still is. But anyway, they started investing like there was no other possibility in making me a small businessman, because that's what my father was and we all know how the story goes.

My old people were kinda low key and VERY limited. Well, they still are, but 28 years knowing me have forced them to accept other possibilities in a universe like this. I sincerely trust that they had good intentions (in part because I fear going way too bitter this late in my emotional development), but how on Earth couldn't they see I needed drawing, guitar or dance lessons (something my sister had from the moment she could walk without leaning on walls) more than prescribed psychodrugs, or keeping my hair short or totally off-the-wall shoehorning, or multi-abuse? Back then, it just seemed right to think the fault of being misunderstood was mine.

Anyway, time passed, and because my mother had a college degree, she felt indebted with affording me one, too. I wanted Psychology. I wanted to investigate this fascinating world of honest emotions and shared feelings, something that was denied to me because I was born in the wrong place, with the wrong people. And wrong time, too, because I don't think I'll never fit this world before it's about 2050 common era. By then, maybe. So, mom wanted something glamourous, a career that implied a grey suit and a cold-ass stare, so she could look like a celebrity's mom to that miserable neighbourhood I grew up in. To the very best of my judgement back then, the only career that sounded like professional training, creativity honing and glitter was Journalism. Well, at least I'd be able to earn a living writing, right?

Wrong. Like every decision I took guided by my mom's urgings. Frankly, if I had her money and her sense of sovereignity when I was 13, I'd probably have grown up to be a winner today.

Writing is about 5% of what Journalism is these days, and most of Journalism students of my generation never got to work with it because of the scarcity of jobs in the field, the poor academic credentials and the huge mob of competitors in the market. Even those who did, are depressed slaves today. I had to let go of all connections I had with them in order to not be dragged down to alcoholism and suicide. So, I wound up with a useless degree in something that's useless for getting a stable job, a less-than-human identity, charges and demands from family and neighbourhood, and a violent depression. But I managed to fail in the suicide suicide part, fortunately.

I took a summer course in my first Summer after graduation on Art Therapy, and the facilitator, a college Psychology professor said: "the psychologist's nature is to move on to Art". That moment, at least two thousand bells rang in my head, and I realised I'd been on the wrong path from the moment I decided to let my mother influence on my academic career.

But because I avoided alcoholism, I became a self-help junkie. I managed to do fine in this new era, really. The finest I've ever done. Naïvety and irrationality are the best fuel I have used to move my machine to date: I broke free from parental oppression, moved to another state, landed a decent career as a translator and bilingual writer, admited I wanted to be a musician and started pursuing a training against all odds (and all evens, too, for that matter), then moved abroad and even got married. Accomplishments gays of my generation never ever dream of.

But the fairytale has led me to a new hard beginning. I live now in a xenophobic land that thinks my country is Disneyland with semi-naked women and pseudo-African rythmns. Unless I agree to be the next football sensation or this week's mulata, I probably ain't good for much. And I'd been living happily on language before the prince became a frog.

A few problems arose. First, I can rely on two languages to work with as a professional: English and Portuguese. Turns out the locals prefer what they all seem to call "native speaker" by consensus when it comes to choosing a translator, a teacher or a writer, even though that notion is scandalous nonsense, and most of the times it leads them to pick the worst candidate possible. No wonder hardly anybody can speak a foreign language here. And technically, I'm not a "native speaker" (whatever that means, since no-fucking-body is born speaking a language, except maybe Taliesin reborn, in that old Celtic legend I loved telling when I was a storyteller), neither of English, nor of Portuguese, because the news in town is that in Brazil we don't speak Portuguese, but "Brasileño", whatever the fuck these sicktards mean with that. So, now that I had landed a career and had started building a nice resume, I'm back to ground zero with five years more counting against me in a youth-worshipping culture obsessed with perfection and no idea whatsoever of what a foreign language actually is. And no degree to stand above questionings (Spain's national sport), either.

I decided then I'd just temporarily move to "informal economy", as we call it in Brazil. I hanged signs advertising private English and Portuguese lessons in public libraries. In all libraries I posted them, lack-mentality, EFL-teaching jerks ripped off my ads and posted their own. I used to rip theirs off, too. But tonight it made me just too depressed that, after all I have been through, I'm now reduced to this.

Frogs are said to unfreeze when the Winter's over and to come back to life, brand new. I just want to hope there's still an irrational all-winning idiot somewhere deep inside me, just waiting to unfreeze and start leaping and frolicking again when Winter's over.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Faster, please


I'm legally married and I cannot be kicked from Spain by policemen ambushing South-american ppl in the Metro exit anymore. I'm safe. And I've got a date for my Spanish ID# to come, so I can work, travel, study and own stuff. In January, 2009. But truth is that it makes me sick I can't visit my people in Brazil sooner than sometime next year, maybe in Spring.

It's hard. The whole thing's been pretty hard to achieve this, but it's even harder to realise it's not over yet.

Don't get me wrong. I'm loving being here, I'm loving getting my basic needs met without weariness for once in my life, but as of right now I need a PnT in Trianon, a public ritual with a beautiful spiral dance and a power cone in the end, a pressed hot-dog with Cheddar and mashed potatoes and a poetry slam in Casa das Rosas.

Please.

By the way, the photos of the wedding are already online:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Awen1980/Wedding . Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My Wedding Day

We got married yesterday. Whatever was said that day or before, and I know this because I was there, they didn't mean those mean words. Everybody was touched in a way. It was a beautiful occasion, an important day, and the celebration of enough strength, faith and power to overcome the usual difficulties of sharing a house with a person very different from you, moving to a very different country and practicing radical acceptance.

The day began early. A rather charming conversation between my mother and father-in-law had happened a few days before:

Father: One of these days, Jose will marry.
Mother: Yes.
Father: When it happens, don't make me aware of it.

So, my brother-in-law and his wife picked my mother-in-law up early that morning and drove to our place. From here, she helped me iron my gold shirt and Jose's brown one for the big day, and we went to the civil registry to meet the rest of Jose's friends. Jose and I said "I do", Curri and Ángel took photos and then had lunch in my favourite restaurant in Madrid, a vegetarian and pirate-inspired place very appropriately called "Isla del Tesoro". Really nice. Then we went to have a coffee in one bar, a drink in another and slowly one by one we came home while the group went bar-hopping. Nothing that was said would move me from my center and from the glory of that day. It was all earned with merit and a very rare sense of honour.

The photos will come soon, I hope. My own camera is broken, and Jose doesn't have one, so we just relied on friends. Let's hope and trust that this time the photos will come, and then I'll proudly share them.

It's merry to live in a country where gay people have civil rights, even though not many other things about it are as merry. Married life isn't new to me in many ways, since we had been living together for a year and four months. But even though we've been walking the same road as one ever since, from now on the roads we cross will see each of us both in a very different light. Which is what I sought.

And I love my husband.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Colour Matters

One of the main characteristics of immature judgement is black-and-white, good-versus-evil thinking, but it's not really something that should be punished, despised or shunned. It's a sprout of something important. It's the first sign of a willingness to understand, and certainly a connection.

Obviously black-and-white thinking is not restricted to youth or ignorance. At any stage in our lives, when we are caught amidst the flames of drama or led by those who are, we all tend to throw around harsh judgements and to miss important, invisible details that are also crucial for actual comprehension. Some actually do that even when they aren't, but that's not something we can avoid.

After this weekend's "meditation" retreat (which was little more than another typically Spanish, dog-crowded fiasco/nightmare), I decide to let go of limited visions and mean-spiritedness to embrace all colours, even those I cannot see. Since I want a richer life, I choose to embrace, not cut the world in half.

But I'll never again be fooled by Disneyland dreams this side of the Pyrenees, anyway.

Image: Kristin Miller's "Spiral Heart" quilt.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stag Party


Tomorrow morning I'm off to the mountains with my gay men's meditation group for a short retreat until Sunday. I'm really thankful and definetely looking forward to this chance to chill down, disconnect from the drama, reconnect with the Source and revitalise before the wedding.

Qirin image from Ahyicodae.com

Monday, September 22, 2008

Equinox



Autumn blessings to all my friends and readers. May you grow in gratitude for all the love, joy and abundance around us on this beautiful day.

May dignity bless and shine on your releases, and may you find Deep Peace in all you are surrendering to the Ebbing Tides.

We are well on the Good Red Road.

Old Ghost


In less than ten days I'll be a married man, and, truth be told, there is a reason loneliness, isolation and forsakenness have been a recurring theme in my blog lately. This is an issue that's become prominent in my life all of a sudden, and I've been doing my best to avoid it. Silly me.

I have never been able to talk to any of my old people. My father, poor old man, is a plain loser in life. Spent many nights of his adult and elderly years and much of his physical health playing cards with Rotarians and Freemasons, but was never invited into their closed spaces and feast in the top of the social Pyramid. His only advice to me ever was, "nobody needs you, and you need these people who make you feel so miserable". In these exact words, albeit in Portuguese, repeated over and over again, even when it didn't apply. My mother has always had the maturity of Paris Hilton's chihuahua, and anything I let slip to her, she'd spread around the very toxic neighbourhood we used to live in, and in three days, my life was nightmare. Once, I was living on my own for a few months and I made the mistake of letting her know over the phone that I had got a cold. She immediately air-mailed to me a list of blood tests her gynecologist prescribed to me, and I had four bottles of blood drawn from me early in the morning, with nothing in my stomach and a heavy headache. Because I had a cold and was in perfect health, my body naturally raised the defenses. The following week, the news in Rio were that I had Leukemia. No wonder my social life has always been one nightmare after another, and lately, the ultimate challenge for me.

We all know how the story goes, and here is how the story went: I got engaged to a guy who's been trying to change me from day one I stepped into HIS country, HIS house, HIS social circle, HIS life, all to fit HIS tastes. And then he convinces me I'm too arrogant to admit I'm wrong. I've given up everything I could afford to give up already, and I'm fine with it, but I really couldn't get back to eating meat again, and now he's determined to make me feel miserable, really miserable, and of course guilty, too, everytime we go out and there's anything food ever mentioned.

His evolution has been very positive, very impressive and very welcome. I'm thankful that now he doesn't make a scene when I want to caress him during the day anymore. But I can't help feeling stifled sometimes, when I tell him, for instance, that I am hungry, and he with a flicker and a flash and a heavy whiff of ash suddenly thrusts, shrouded in the smoke he keeps making: "You see, if you were more flexible..." And then he talks about Morocco and some other muslim, homophobic shithole I don't have the money, the papers or the wits to visit anytime soon.

I swear I only went to the meeting with his gang tonight because I was too lonely here in the flat, and none of the new friends I've made here was available for a walk or something. And my webfriends weren't online to talk to me.

In moments like these, unresolved ghosts from the past resurface. And I'm exhausted of dealing with them all by myself by now. I know it was a stupid move to quit the gay therapy group since they came back from the Summer, but I need to cull the projects that currently cost money, and that was the next in the list of nice-with-a-price. But I need to address this issue. I need to fix myself and be able to actually have a social life outside the Internet.

Image: "Loneliness 7", by Karol Petres.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flying Birds

The current spiritual bliss I'm experiencing with all the stuff I've been blogging about lately (and then some) apparently doesn't come without a price. I want to grieve a little bit here about the recent minor withering of the Lavender Society for Alternative Sexuality Heroes.

In January, I very naïvely started a beautiful project on one of these game-applications Facebook has. The game was basically a race for hero levels and new hero superpowers, and then using our abilities on each other. In the very beginning of the enormous, fast-growing community around the hero game that was multiplying by the hour, we became one of the pioneer groups, and by far the largest sexuality-related group on the game sub-culture.

Quickly, we got to feature over one thousand very active and very vocal members. Many of them I considered great friends. We became a very important part of each other's lives in the blink of an eye. Together, we managed to take the Lavender Society to Top Eight hero groups (within a universe of tens of thousands of groups) in no time, always faithful to a spirit of camaderie, fun and radical anarchism.

Then in July, after months and months dedicated full-time (about nine hours a day) to making the game environment a more interesting, healthier and richer experience, Facebook deleted my account overnight, and never replied to any of my (very, very polite, given the circumstances) emails, never giving me a reason for that. I was desolated, and decided I deserved some time off, to recover from the blow.

Slowly but still suddenly, a considerable number of our heroes started to jump ship. I understand desertions happen all the time, as they had certainly happened before, and I had no means and no intention to avoid them, but having people leave so incessantly felt a bit like betrayal.

In the heat of the debate, new members became very vocal in a way they initially didn't have the right to. But, true to my anarchist priciples, I gave them that right, so they used it to create an anti-Awen club, specializing in distorting my words and questioning an authority I never really exercised. And now, slowly, most high-level heroes of the Lavender Society are leaving.

If I still had my old Elvenking account, I could restore the Lavender Society to its former glory quick and easy. But because I feel very leery with Facebook these days, and because I know there is malicious propaganda going on under the table, I don't have the heart to get my hands dirty with more shit right now, while I'm harvesting many spiritual blessings. So I've decided to let it all go.

I have no idea how many friends I will have left from the Lavender Society in a few months from now. I know I did make a few good friends there that won't ditch me, or us as a group. But I know that you've got to let go of a bird, let it fly away and check if it will return to you in order to be sure you were meant to be together. Since most of these strayaways aren't probably coming back this time around, they've never been my friend anyway.

So, I move on with my training, my projects and my own life. I really need to compensate for the many months lost investing so irrationally in a Facebook game.

This probably teaches me an important lesson, though, given that it's happening in tandem with Tribe.net's recent major crisis. We are given gifts by pioneers and community leaders. They haven't let us down out of negligency, and it doesn't feel right to turn your back to someone who opened you their door. True bonds and societies, hero or human, are built with tolerance, high times, low times, time on, time off and even time-outs, but definetely not flying by from tree to tree. Time Manipulation and Teleportation at least taught me that.

You are all free to fly, and I am proud that for a many months I managed to create a beautiful community and prove once that gays, lesbians and bisexuals aren't a minority.
And one more thing: the Lavender Society is still standing.


Image: our logo, by Andy Nguyen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Okay, really,


I love music, and I was actually very much meant for it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Clarity


I do turn off the lights to sleep, but I sure thing hate the Dark when I'm in the pink. I know I'm not Miss Dharma yet, but I've been managing to stick to my New Year Resolution of helping my inner waters run clearer, still and, therefore, deep.

First, there's Dr. Overtone's aid. I've always guessed I was missing an important part of life due to my numbed ear and rough musicality, but now that I've been guided a bit further into the heart of the Sound and Silence Mysteries, I realise how many lives I have been missing. There is a common feature among zen masters, jedis, and soul musicians. When you let the Dual Lord (Sound and Silence) master you, you master yourself. And you float in nirvanic bliss more and more often.

The Light that began shining in that part of my head has been grounding, centering and connecting me to the Now-Here. That's the most empowering experience, really, and I don't think there's another way to live life more intensely. The hot-air balloon-head mode had been on for too long lately, and I'm glad Spirit found a very organic and rewarding way to help me realign with Life.

On Thursday, I had a talk with my vocal coach. I know that I shouldn't begin talkings with people lately, that I'm much better off just savouring the moment, the activities, the opportunities and the silent company, so I can hear the Truth more clearly. But I let it slip that I was proud of my headway over the past 11 months working with her.

From there the conversation spiralled down. Maybe it's just my defensiveness making me hallucinate in paranoia, but she did repeat that she doesn't see me singing other than as a hobby and for her, only. Naturally, she doesn't have to see me singing to a large audience, because I can do it myself and it's probably my own job anyway, but I've been letting that interefere with my practice at home.

I know I'm very tender with this subject, but I've invested so much in this and I haven't really got another solution for my life other than making it happen. And I know if I make a "B plan", the "B plan" will work, but my dream will not be fulfilled. That's what B plans are for, anyway. So, I turned to the Faeries' Oracle to see what They had to say: basically, it's a path that requires patience, a lot of energy and commitment, and that if I release my need to use other people's "help" and well-meaning opinions, I will be transformed to go on.

Pretty obvious when I hear it from Their mouths/cards.

Actually, I've been consulting with Them quite a lot lately. I've began reading Brian's cards regularly to check what the next step in overcoming my stuttering is. Yes, now that I'm on a nice upswing with German, too anxious to overfocus on Music and feeling like it's time to ride the White Swan to new grounds, I've been inspired to take action and overcome my stuttering for good. Doctors said many times over they couldn't help me, so I'd better check with the Otherworld, as it hasn't let me down in all these years.

It all began with two Singers of the Realms holding keys. One holding the key to myself, the Singer of Courage, and the other holding the key to the issue, stuttering, the Singer of Intuition. Aiding the Singer of Intuition is the playful Mikle à Muckle. I like spotting the main Faeries in each reading and journeying to the Otherworld to meet them live and get direct guidance. The Singer of Intuition, from inside the cave full of bats where It lives, taught me some in an extremely quiet voice and very few words. Where Intuition speaks from, It has to speak low and little, so as to not disturb the bats in their sleep. The Singer of Courage trains warriors, mages and champions regularly, and gave me some training, too.

So, today I've checked in again to find out what the next step would be. The rainbow faery Iris and her amphibian, archer, and gnome helpers promised me the song of three other Singers in my Quest after I fool another storm. First, the Frog Queen advises a sense of adventure and a spirit of exploration to take me out from the toads' pool to the sunlight the Guardian at the Gate is inviting me to see on the Otherside and, to quote Lady Macbeth the author of the textbook, "discover if we are still frogs or if we have become something much more." The next Singer is the Singer of Transfiguration, which will be revealed by Death. Makes sense that the amphibian has to die for "something much more" to take its place. Especially if it's a something-much-more with a fluid talking. After that, my Faery Guide bridges the Singer of Healing and me. When all is done, the Rainbow will shine in the sky, and yeah, I will overcome stuttering.

Really, if I'm deceiving myself with all the ends meeting so magically and for the first time ever experiencing complete Harmony (musically, metaphorically and otherwise), I don't want to switch back to stuck-in-the-mud mode. I prefer the Rainbow's clarity.

I belong to the Light.

Image by
Megumis-Chan.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Hedgecraft


Being a solitary in the Craft, even and especially if temporary, is an opportunity to filter, summarize, potentialize and run all the lore you've garnered through the test of time. Currently, I'm living the consequences of my decisions over the past years that led me from being a very active public witch to a kitchen magician, journaling regularly and exploring rabbit's holes mostly by himself--though I'll admit having confidants and lurking in a few Internet discussion groups just to keep me grounded in the social experience. Maybe it shouldn't be surprising that my blog, once avidly read and commented on by a considerable number of people, is now written for very few, very faithful visitors.

The withdrawal from a very positively and affirmatively responding community was so hard a strike that it blinded me for many months, and now I begin to see clearly my possibilities and open doors. And, instead of lassoing fluttering lore from the other side of this world and dragging it down to where it just might not belong to, I'm consolidating my personal lore and bringing together my magical tools and tricks. And in the process, bringing together this world and Faery, too.

I'm slowly but steadily incorporating all the intense creative explorations and artistic trainings of these Golden (past three) Years to the very pre-basic stuff: grounding, centering, connecting with the Bird Spirit. Stuff almost all witches I have met live or over the Web never really understood. Earthed, I let the seeds grow free and with dignity. Anchored in my Center, I let the whirlwind draw near what is rightfully part of my Truth, and sweep away what is meant to go. Connected, I listen more to Divine Guidance than bickerings and ill feelings, and journal what needs to be recorded with more intelligence.

Every now and then, though, the bad gremlin still sticks its head out of its lonesome warren and torments me with all the lies they fed me together with drugs when I was a kid. This is my current challenge: let go of my attachment to this shit. I am not isolating myself from the world, I am not drowning in Fantasy. I am not ruining my life. I am building a new, much more dignified one. I am diving in the Mystery of the Self. In my own way.

Image: "Solitude", unknown artist but found on Unicornlady.net.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Breath

Art-as-Spirituality geeks like myself know that it's all in the frame. From your birth to the last whisper, the frame around your time here on Earth is Breath. Breathing is grounding, centering, fixing up and then some. In dis-ease, food, rest, water and love exchange definetely help, but without connecting with Breath, you cannot reconnect with the Body Temple and get everything back in Order.

In my current singing and dancing sessions with the Faeries, I'm discovering the powerful magic that awareness of Breath ignites. Faeriesongs firstly bloom with the whispering of exhalation and the cantus firmus of Faeriedance is the movement of the Breath, connecting pelvis and heart. From the diaphragm and all its associated sways, swells, swallows and squeezes, all other movements and sounds arise, changing the environment at once.

We've all heard that five minutes a day paying attention to our breath will heal us and change our life over time. Letting breath sing and move you will change you and your environment instantly.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Faery Guide


I went ahead and, riding the energies of last month's Blue Moon and Lunar Eclypse, bought Brian Froud's Faeries' Oracle. Faeries had been calling to me a lot since the Solstice in many different ways and languages. Even though I can possibly be accused of some sins in this life, I certainly have never turned a deaf ear to Otherworld callings. I just can't.

Today, I've painted with oil pastels card 0, the Faery Guide. That card comes blank, because it's yours to portray whoever takes you "beyond the fields we know", thus making the deck your own. No need to go through an elaborate ritual or "blood the Runes". With creativity, art and courage to stain the impersonal whiteness of the virgin card with your personal lore, you make the whole set your spiritual ally forevermore. I gotta say, I love this idea!

My Faery Guide has been clear for me for some years now, so when I opened the package and found the blank card numbered zero, I knew it had to be It. But just for double checking, I slept my Faeriesleep, and journeyed to the Otherworld to meet It live again. The White Swan took me on Its back, dove with me under the Waters, flew me up to the Stars and toured me through Its many, multiversal tales of inner truth, long wayfares and crossed roads. I came back more than reassured. For my first experience ever with oil pastels, and without any previous training or information whatsoever, I think I did a pretty cool job and uncovered more personal power.

The book, written by Jesa Macbeth, is a joy in itself. Very beginner-friendly, but totally focused on the work with these cards, it brought me the answers to many questions I'd never been able to even formulate in my head. She teaches, among other fun, joyful tricks, a very special way of singing and dancing to awaken and stir the energies and magical currents of Faery wherever you are. Today, in the middle of my Faeriedance, the whole thing became so ecstatic I had to interrupt. But I'll be back tomorrow, and things are bound to become outrageously interesting as I let go of fear and control.

Double checking is fine, though, if only as an excuse for listening to stories and a vivid trip over the three worlds.




Image: The Singer of the Chalice. The most generous and powerfully revealing card/Being in the whole deck. And the first one I picked, too.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Summer Report


From my balcony tonight I see many windows lit up just before Midnight. They weren't here last night. Or any night since August 1st. Vacationers are back to Madrid, and that probably means the "course year", as they call it here the year beginning in Autumn instead of Winter, will begin soon. Because Summer's kinda over in the Society I live in, and because it's been long since I last posted to my blog, I suppose it's time I wrote some.

I have enjoyed this Summer in many ways. Found a friend in a dog, burnt in the Sun King's fire a bunch of attachments to low-self-worth games I played and even-lower-self-worth communities I used to participate in, and blew the ashes to the farthest travelling wind. The cleared way brought me new blessings, especially a new hot Divination tool (Brian Froud and Jesa MacBeth's "Faeries' Oracle"), musical headway, and the German language. Each of these three alone, Music, a foreign language and the Faeries, are in their own right marvellous door-openers, but probably the best achievement this year was cooling down (despite the oppressive 95ºF heat), opening my eyes and letting go of the guilt to enjoy the first time in my life I am unemployed and not scared of being kicked from the flat, humiliated before family, abused by anybody or pressured to look successful to the neighbourhood. I have wondered many times throughout this Summer if I am given the blessing of a second youth to rethink my goals in life.

I've started working with a life coach. We're still in the very beginning, and already much shit related to my round-shape-forced-to-be-square days has surfaced, leaving me a bit frozen, too worried of slipping into a downward self-pity spiral, but just the questions he asks me and his invitations to set goals, define core values and plan strategies are very positively triggering.

I may not have been writing much, I may not even have moving stories to tell just yet--but the Storm keeps brewing, and I've been just fooling around with it.

It's my job, after all.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Dog's Life


My parents-in-laws decided to go to Asturias on vacation, and our dog-loving siblings-in-law are away in Mexico. But dogs don't travel in the Summer. Neither do South-American immigrants. No matter what we ourselves had planned, and no matter what the little guy needs right here and right now, Jose's old people simply ditched the poor thing with us yesterday morning and hit the Road North. For over a week.

Beyond the trauma of the experience (for all parts involved who stayed in Madrid), the whole thing has been enlightening and very instructional for me, who gets to spend 24 hours a day imprisioned in the house with the new ghost. I'm learning a lot about what hurts my animal soul and what it needs.

I'm a dog-phobe, but apparently I'm doing a great job in controlling whatever scent we dog-phobes exhale that makes dogs attack, so so far Toy (the deadweight's name) hasn't attacked me. Jose, however, hasn't been as lucky. His middle and ring fingers are still swollen from yesterday's bite.

We don't have his toys here to play with him, my in-laws forgot them--though I'm sure the vacationers' booze was conviniently packed for the trip, with not a drop left behind. I try to refrain from touching Toy or showing a lot of affection and moodswings. I know dogs work under complex psychological laws, and are way more merciless than all the animals I love and can cope up with. Because I've managed to become perfect strangers with Toy, having me in the house is almost like having another ghost who doesn't care a bit about him, so he's desperately lonely.

He hasn't eaten for over 24 hours, doesn't sleep and everytime somebody opens a door in the building (i.e., all the time), he leaps to the hallway and wiggle what is left of his tail. He used to scratch the door, but I told him off yesterday, and he's obedient now. It breaks my heart to see him so lonely and so desperate for affection from somebody who can actually give it to him without losing a pretty useful and functional part of their body in the beast's teeth.

Dogs are territorial. Never underestimate the depressive effect it has on a dog to deprive him of the home he's known for eight years. He's given up exploring the house within six or eight hours yesterday, and this afternoon, he forgot to sit endlessly with his head up and ears open trying to hear when their owners will climb the stairs to reclaim him. But still, every now and then he goes to the closed entrance door, sits and cries his mournful, high-pitched dog-cry.

Whatever my in-laws had in mind (or in cunt), they are just big-time jerks for buying an animal, training him to have a co-dependency relationship with them, and then dumping the little guy like this.

Toy is a marvellous animal, really. Very polite and impressively clever, he knows that here he cannot bark like a spoiled, very Spanish drama queen, like my in-laws expect him to and trained him to be. So he's silent for the most part of the day. He learnt that when he goes out in the balcony, he can bark like mad and nobody will punish him. So he flees to the outdoors bit of our flat, howl for the Sun or the Moon, whoever is shining in the sky, and then comes back in, silent and invisible again. He knows what he needs, and now he gets it without causing any nuisance. I'm successfully training the dog to be a cat.

Today, he's let me take my German lesson at LiveMocha--it was the stupid ISP Orange who left me down once more. At this pace, I might actually enjoy having a dog in the house. No matter how depressed he is here.

Poor guy.

Image: Toy's race and colour. A shining, light-brown cocker spaniel. But Toy looks way sadder these days.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Blue Moon Report



Lately, my mailbox, blog list and conversations have all mentioned the current August Blue Moon Blues. Change is in the air right now, they say, but when isn't it, really? Also, "karmic issues are on the table" and everything is "messed up". Personally, since Thursday (maybe Wednesday), I've been surfing an incredible wave, reaching high altitudes in all my current projects (especially German, Spanish and Music). Even the food I cook tastes better these days, and today it finally rained in Madrid! Last night, when all neighbourhood was asleep I went outside in my balcony for a brief Drawing Down The Moon ritual. Tonight, I'll do a full ceremony.

I'm loving the momentum, and if there's any menace in the Blue Moon, it's that it'll be over by tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Empfehlung


In case you guys want to use the rest of the Summer for getting unrusty or trying a new language, or even are planning to take on a new language when Summer is over, I've found this great website you might enjoy: Livemocha.com is a community website with neat, free courses in several languages and other cool resources such as flashcard sets, dialogues sorted by difficulty levels and live chat for language practice with natives or other learners of the language you're studying. All for free. You can also tutor/help students in a language you master, and last week they've released a podcast for advanced learners. I've been studying German there for two weeks now, and I'm quite excited about my results already.

Visit Livemocha.com. In case you decide to join, add me as a friend there:

http://www.livemocha.com/profiles/view/816386

Image: Neuschwanstein, emerging from the fog.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Step in Faith


My issues with pitch are still haunting me, to the point of considering giving up the closest thing I have to a life purpose, so I decided I'd do what got me unstuck and took me to new places against all odds many times before: pretend like I have no other choice than insisting. And I've just ordered through Amazon.com W. A. Mathieu's "The Listening Book". Sheer intuition and wise irrationality. I'm proud of that.

I'll probably read his other works in the Future, too.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Threshold


The engagement, a numerologist friend, monsters under my bed, shades of Saturn's Return already, die-hard old habits in check, an impeccable and very sound cycle end in my blogging activity, and an eerie silence are announcing a new dawn.

And I feel like I have nobody to hold me, for better and for worse.




Saturday, August 02, 2008

Wonderstock, new round


Again, the Waning Year opens the pages of my Pressed Faeries Book, and all the fantastic fauna that has been haunting my kitchen pops out to dance on air like fireworks.

I’ve taken on the task of reproducing my blog on a new account I’ve opened on Blogspot.com since I’m unemployed, experiencing tranquility and deep grounding in the new home/Old World, and generally open to the blessings of the Universe again. And, naturally, ready to take it in from the Man In The Mirror (who—truth be told—changed a lot over three years and 200 entries!).

Through reading posts and comments with the right state of consciousness and an eye of a miner, gold surfaces. Gods, I love my junk!

I am reminded of and impressed with how far I have travelled with baby steps. Witnessing my own unfolding in retrospect teaches that great spiritual powers like Resiliency and Commitment are not born neither inborn, but rather gathered along the road with delicate memos you write yourself on the best moments, wound-licking on the worst, and the lessons you are taught through it all. When shared with a community tuned to the same frequency, Time speeds up and the next blessing ripens before the next need sprouts.

I watched both from the outside (in Time) and in 1st person memory rerun how the sprouting, the growing, the blooming and the strengthening of the roots take place. Most comments were right: no matter the weed and the toxin they feed you, over the long haul you’ll grow strong and shine your light. Weather is everchanging, but the stuff of dreams is forever. A vision charged with Passion is all it takes to drive the flowerbud through the green stem. The best lessons in an environment that’s making everything possible to deter life force.

Overseeing the whole process, fortunately recorded, evaluated and commented on the Book of the Crossroads, I have come to understand how every episode, merry or not, is part of a longer journey, and the direction is very important. I see now how my days in São Paulo were a necessary stepping stone toward a greater fulfilment as a human being. I could see, too, how I wanted to hold on to it, resisting in letting go of it. Who can blame me? It was probably the most successful stage of my life and the most organic growth I have ever experienced. The Springtime of a whole lifetime condensed in two years. I wanted it to last forever. And now I know it can...

I see how much of the flora I have grown and the fauna I have bred in these 200 entries are fruits of the ways I have chosen to tread, or just random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty from generous fellow travellers I crossed paths with at some point. For almost three years, this has definitely been the Book of the Crossroads in that sense.

As the garden of commenters grew (and indeed in many instances the comments were more remarkable than the entries), new colours started to be added to the black-and-white so typical of vile juvenile thinking, creating the Rainbow pattern so typical of actual maturity: inclusive, accepting, open to change. Dreams were left along the way, some just buried in an (actual) time capsule, and many sprouts that I took for granted grew to be my personal Anandabodhi in many occasions. Above all, I gracefully built many relationships on the grateful foundations of honesty, sharing, trust and kindness.

What a long journey. It’s depressingly easy to forget and let go of all I’ve earnt, built and created along the way, and how integrated I have been with my community and my environment. So, I’m really glad I have everything recorded. The next step will be applying tags to entries, and then on to the third and most groundbreaking round of Operation Wonderstock: my Morning Pages!

Whatever appreciation for my writing people manifest, truth is that nothing can pay the gratitude I feel right now for living in Wonderland. Wherever I physically am.

Thank you. All.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Improvisation


Once I blogged about my first vocal coach here in Madrid, and Khrysso promptly commented on the entry:

"Hope you love it!! (And that you don't get your improvisational abilities trained out of you, but I think you're old enough for that not to happen.)"

In my session last night with my current, heaven-sent coach, I had a great insight on how much of what many previous (bad) coaches tagged as "tone-deafness", including the Cuban girl I was blogging about who wound up ditching me because of that, were actually the inability to recognise what is, what isn't and where (not) to use Improvisation.

For some unknown reason, I have that stuff that made Jazz the most respected of non-European musical traditions running deep in my blood. I don't remember listening too much to Jazz when I was young, or even in the past few years. I also didn't become so enthusiasted about Seán-Nós or other Celtic improvised singings until very late in my teens, but now when I start a lied by Mozart, I ornament, and change measure, intervals and whole musical phrases, always faithful and committed to the harmony, lyrics and chords. An actually tone-deaf person would never be able to do that.

I'm apparently good in Improvisation. So good it's been making me sound horrible sometimes.

Question now is: Khrysso how come you knew I had "improvisational skills" before you ever heard me?

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Mage I Am

Your result for What Mage Are You?...


Bard

"Your fates whisper softly; we sing it boldly."




Bards delight in novelty. They are optimistic, enthusiastic, and vivacious, craving expressions of strong emotion. With a dramatic flair, they share their experiences with others, hoping to reveal some universal truth or win others over in support of a cause. Attuned to possibilities, Bards scan their environment, probing the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. This sensitivity sometimes conflicts with their intense drive for personal authenticity. Spontaneous and personable, they attract others to their company.



They are initiators of change, keenly perceptive of possibilities. They energize and stimulate others through their contagious enthusiasm. They prefer the start-up phase of a project or relationship, and are tireless in the pursuit of new-found interests. Bards are able to anticipate the needs of others and to offer them needed help and appreciation. They bring zest, joy, liveliness, and fun to all aspects of their lives. They are at their best in situations that are fluid and changing, and that allow them to express their creativity and use their charisma. They tend to idealize people, and can be disappointed when reality fails to fulfill their expectations. They are easily frustrated if a project requires a great deal of follow-up or attention to detail.



Bards seek continuity through harmonious relationships and collective values. They excel at picking up on the tone of a situation and acting accordingly, adding warmth to a cool setting or turning sour into sweet. They naturally seek to know what people do well, what they enjoy, and where and how they work. They seem to have an infinite number of acquaintances from all walks of life and are always on the lookout for people in need and those who can help out. Bards weave and strengthen the collective fabric of social conventions and interactions. Inclusiveness is important and they are particularly sensitive to those who are excluded.


They are masters of transforming reality to story – and vice versa. Their voice and bodies developed over time to contain magic. When they sing or dance, when they move amongst others people grow calm and many gather to listen. Foes will lose everything, even their hearts. Bards are walking enchantments, masters of illusion and charm. One might never know their losing the battle until they wake up - that is if they do. Most are diviners, capable of telling the stories to come.



Take What Mage Are You? at HelloQuizzy

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tuning Fork



I don't know if everybody has a regular check-in with grounding and vibe-shifting tools and tricks, but I know everybody should. For me, Reiki, Triple Soul work, Morning Pages and incubatory sleep do the trick pretty well, but absolutely nothing in this world works better than a powerful story. And ever since I began taking Wonderstock in my blog, a few golden oldies have become very evident to me.

Today I went to Filmoteca Española with my friends from the therapy group to watch "Brokeback Mountain" for the fourth time in the movie theatre. Old readers of my blog have seen how this same story, whether the original tale written by Annie Proulx for The New Yorker, or Ang Lee's tremendously powerful rendition of the tale for the silver screen, changed gears, grounds and grasps in central directives of my life, but it is just amazing how the same story can disclose new vistas and open up greater levels of understanding everytime it is well told to you.

This time what woke me up wasn't the just-say-yes-and-leap part that broke my heart three years ago when I was on the verge of leaving my whole life behind and stepping into the unknown. This afternoon, I became self-conscious in relating to a significant other, how to set priorities for two, and how to just treasure the simple pleasure of having a good man (or a good toy) to spend quality time with. To create a solid bond with that which you long for. How many times in the past twenty years have you spent quality time with someone or something that is important to you? I'm thrilled to have it shoven in my face in a painful way. Privilege.

Easier said than done, I know, when you have fear all around you, when you are used to it, so used to fear that you attract more fearful people and build a fortress of fear around, so that love cannot cross the icy walls and break you free. A person like Ennis is haunted by a programming that won't let him live. So do we. It's our mission and quest to break that chain.

Like a fiddle or a choir director, people need tuning forks to make sure they keep playing on the desired pitch. Throughout my adult life, "Brokeback Mountain" has been the a constant, reliable one.

Gods save Annie Proulx, Ang Lee and the hot Ledger/Gyllenhaal couple.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Longing


Because I'm from a generation that still had role models among mainstream musicians, and because the tickets to Loreena McKennitt's concert here in Madrid were so fucking expensive, I decided I'd just crash into Conde Duque and seize the opportunity to see one of my favourites live at least for once in my life.

Plans A (hiding in the library's loo), B (overhearing the concert from another part of the facility, behind the stage and open to anybody) and C (a glamour) didn't work, so I just stood in the gate, listening to the songs and looking at part of the audience. At some point, a short, grumpy guy elbowed me to the side and left, followed by his partner. Because she and I probably have something in common, something clicked and her green eyes shone when she handed me her own ticket. "¿Quieres?" I can't remember if I looked at her again after looking at the ticket, although I do remember saying "muchas gracias" twice, and I skipped all the way to the standing up zone, right on time to catch the beginning of the last song on the set list, "Amhrán Duit", which is Gaelic for "Your Song"--but in that instance it was really MINE.

Then the set list was over. When she and her nine-piece orchestra came back for the bis, they did an instrumental theme that's probably inedit, because I've never heard it anywhere in my whole Loreena McKennitt collection. And after that, she performed her "Penelope's Song", a supernatural and very human hymn to all the feelings of longing, love and Faith against all odds the wife of Ulysses nurtured for twenty years, waiting and keeping suitors at bay. Impossible to not feel honoured with that song, given that I had longed to meet McKennitt for many long years myself.

Fact is, unless you're a full-time Buddha, permanently in your Samadhi, or you're a miserable, repressed loser, you probably have longed for something, somebody or some place in your life, so Penelope is everything that Humanity means in its most faithful and honest state. Nurture your longing, no matter how far it seems to be. The longing itself is another name for Life.

So, for the homebound lover and her far-sailing beloved, for the Canadian bard and her Greek Muse, for the starry-eyed fan and his stellar idol, here's the song, dedicated to all the Stars that shine between you and the generous strangers, you and the object of your longing, and you my reader and me, in these mysterious, invisible Crossroads that ride the Black virgin fields of all spaces:





Image: Penelope said no to many suitors, and remained faithful to Ulysses throughout his long absence of twenty years. Weave on your visions, and never let go.