Thursday, July 14, 2011

moon shadows

tonight is the full moon.

i am lying on cabernet colored sheets that are draped over the driftwood bed that is in the bar (where i have been sleeping the last month or so)... tracy chapman is playing through the speakers (as she has the last 3 night or so)... and the nautilis shell lights are the only light beside the bright light of the full moon coming in through the wall-less walls and bouncing off the line of white water i can see over my left shoulder.

last night i walked around the island under the milky moonlight at low tide. my feet kissed this soft white sand for the millionth time.
i slowly cruised past familiar pieces of driftwood and new deliveries from the sea washed up on the beach.

i feel like i know every meter of the shore that circles this 12 hectare island.

i had the dude brood with me. (my new name for the 3 sydney girls that are staying here right now)... i felt myself smiling and nodding as they swirled around with arms out and head up to the almost full moon, sighing and awing at the beauty of it all.
the moon shadows danced around us at the speed of the spirit.
i don't even know what that means, but thats what it felt like.

i love this place.

we got back to the driftwood castle and drank vodka and danced and put on wigs and pretended to be the spice girls (minus ainsley - who we obviously included in our plan eventhough she was asleep. she was totally baby spice in spirit and i plan to photoshop her into the pictures).

when i woke up this morning i felt a little hungover and very heavy.
i felt thick, clogged, and stuck.

i don't really necessarily think it had everything to do with drinking... but obviously that had contributed to this feeling.

no... this was a feeling that has been slowly creeping over me for about a month.
it's something else.

i've realized that i need to love myself more. i have been seeing that i need to be better to myself and to this temple i live inside.

i went down to the water as soon as i woke up and felt this feeling of yuck... i brought papaya peels and rubbed them all over my skin as i sat in the wet sand and let the broken waves dance around me. i scrubbed my temple with papaya and sand and then i swam in the ocean.
an epic mandi laut (ocean shower).

after i came back up and had a sit and a stare out at the horizon, and read a few emails i realized that i have been feeling a lot of fear lately. various physical things that i will be seeing a doctor about as soon as i get back into the real world... and also just this overwhelming sense of being lost without a teacher.

it's funny because tonight i definitely sat around this bonfire we made on the beach under the full moon tonight. my toes digging into the sand, my fingers fiddling with the pieces of wood i was stripping and throwing into the fire as ainsley sang to us and played guitar. her songs have become some of my favorite songs i know. she's amazing and her words are always so meaningful to me. next to her was johnny, who really is one of my gurus. this kind, loving, patient artist that i aspire to be even just a little like. on the other side of the driftwood kingdom king & queen was yona, my teacher... she teaches me indonesian, mentawai, traditional sibulgungan remedy healings, and is just a badass. then i saw these aussie chicks who i love and who i am getting to love more every day. they are so honest and real and hilarious. i feel like we all have a lot in common.

wait a minute.

i am surrounded by teachers.
the thing that is missing is my faith in myself as a student.

i'm not sure where this came from.

i am so confident when i am teaching, and yet as a student i second guess myself... in everything. i just want to be lead. i don't want to teach myself.
... i guess this is a pretty normal thing.
pretty human.

i don't mind helping and guiding others, but then i want to be helped and guided too.

so i am open for opinions... for guidance... for things that you might think i could use. :)

my friend tawney sent me this epic email after i had written her a long gushy emotional email... telling her how i was feeling like i was living i a dream, and unable to identify what i was creating. her email was chock a block full of wisdom and these awesome quotes.

one that stood out was:
“Reality is that part of the imagination we all agree on"

made me think of my year at the OM hOMe... and how we created so much.
venice is good at that.

i remembered what it was like to spend time looking inward.
having my teachers and guides send me on this journey inside myself... and then i would share it with my friends...
"he who looks outside dreams, he who looks inside awakens."
we were all waking up and then i bailed and came to dreamland.
which - there is nothing wrong with living in a fantasy. in fact, its pretty radical... but i think my body is beginning to atrophy lying around sleeping as my mind dreams this whole thing into reality... or something like that.

here on the island, i have been spending so much time looking out. taking it all in... that i haven't really seen what's going on with the intake. what's going on with me. and i havent been loving myself nearly enough.

so i am going to give myself a mandi laut more often.
i am going to connect my third eye with the floor and let that be my yoga practice if thats all i can muster the energy to do.
and i am going to clean my blood.

yona told me today that she thought i had "darah kotor" - dirty blood.
she said she is getting me this vegetable called kangkung that i guess it means 'opium spinach" from the village and i will eat that with black tea and ginger and honey and drink coconuts and clean my blood... and then she said she is going to squeeze the water out of some kind of tree bark and use that as a healing on my skin while i do this blood cleansing.

she thinks it will make me better.

it makes me think a lot about what that means.
what does blood represent?

i always think of the family unit when i think of what blood means.
i think of your keluraga "family" as your blood.

in mexico they say SANGRE DE MI SANGRE. "blood of my blood"

the word keluarga is intersting because "keluar" means exit or come out of....
so you literally come out of your family.

also ke - means to go
and luar - means beyond

so maybe what is dirty... what is sick and aching inside of me has something to do with my inability to go beyond.
i am stuck.
here... away from my family.

in my yoga practice... my meditation practice... i am not pushing myself at all.
i am not feeling inspired or motivated.

maybe this blood cleanse will help wake me up from my waking dream and get my motivated somehow.
remind me that i am much closer to my family then i think i am.
all i have to do is close my eyes and i am with them.

i fell asleep after i wrote that.
i slept solidly and woke up around 6am with my arms above my head... i looked to my left and saw a mosquito drinking my dirty blood.

i smiled and said "go ahead and take it."

i felt ready to cleanse today.

i sat down with my indonesian book and decided to GO FURTHER... learn something new in indonesian that i didn't know before.

i thought... maybe i will paddle across to the other island today as i haven't done that.

i opened my computer and found an email that floored me.
shook me to my core.

and now i am numb.

my friend devin's tragic death a year and a half ago shook me so violently that my life began to unravel...
i left the hospital where her body was laying on life support.
her brother mike, my friend, was collapsed in the corner in these jeans that were covered in holes and rips.
i remember those jeans, because that's how everyone felt.
ripped open.
he sat on the cold linolium floor of the ICU with his feet flat and his knees bent and his head buried in between his knees.
i'll never forget that night.
i remember where everyone was. what everyone was doing.
i remember holding shaunnah (devin & mike's mom) and feeling her fragile shell shaking in my arms.
i remember thinking in that moment how fragile we all are.
how fragile life is.
... and how we could be gone tomorrow.

my marriage began to collapse in the hospital that night.

i recognized that night that i had one life to live in this body and it was time to start living for me... doing what i needed and not waiting for anyone else, which ultimately meant walking alone and parting ways with my husband.

that realization made me stronger... brighter.
i was able to hold space for devin's family having surrendered the space my marriage was consuming in my life.
i remember feeling stable, even though i was spinning.
and the whole world went a little hazy.
it stayed hazy for a solid year... like there was a think layer of smog, though i continued to hold space for my friends and for devin's family.

we had a series of memorials and marches, and would find one another down by devin's tree often. devin's brother mike never seemed to recover from the pain. i don't think anyone could, but mike was hit especially hard. every time i saw him his eyes were vacant. A few times we sat on the steps next to the tree and talked and he would share that he was doing better.
better then what i would think?
i heard him crying out for help.
he desperately needed companionship and friends around him, but everyone needed all the strength they could muster just so their own knees wouldn't buckle.

jessica and i spent devin's birthday (march 1st) at her tree... dancing around at 11:11... i left to move to indonesia the next day.
we have tattoos on our wrists that have a swedish fish for devin and 11:11 on either side reminding us of angels and to breathe and laugh.
jessica and i held each other up after devin died.
we would run away to her porch in the marina.
we called it the greenhouse.
we could lock ourselves inside and feed one another and grow inside this glassed in box we so badly needed.
we'd put our feet up on the railing and watch the boats for hours... days... weeks...
we laughed so much.
it was our medicine.
we painted a canvas sign that said R.I.P. Devin and strung it from the railing on the porch.
it had swedish fish on it too... just like our tatoos.

mike got a heart on his arm for devin. I think it was a heart that she had drawn on a book. i remember him proudly showing it to me at her funeral, when he told stories about being devin's brother.

one story that will always stand out to me was the one where they were in the tree in front of their house. and they made parachutes and he made devin jump out first and devin being devin was all over it and jumped out of the tree and landed on the grass, most likely breaking a bone or two. she was a badass.
i wonder if he jumped out after her or learned from her jump and took the easy way down?

mike died yesterday of a drug overdose.
i woke up to this email from jessica. just 6 words.

mike petelski died this morning. OD.

i can't even feel what this feels like because i am numb.
i am numb because i can't even begin to empathize or feel what their mother, shaunnah must feel right now.

her blood must be drained.

her family.


the two children that came OUT from her... that were supposed to go further... live beyond her... they are both dead now.

she has no more children alive.

my heart is so sad i don't know what to say or do.

so sad.

it puts EVERYTHING in perspective as it always does.

i was so stressed out that my blood was dirty.
meanwhile my friend's blood was running cold... because he injected poison into his bloodstream.
and i can imagine the blood was draining out of shaunnah's face.
i imagine she went white...
i imagine she is unable to stand.

and i feel so far away.

over here stressed out because i don't have a yoga teacher.

i'm alive.

i guess i somehow forgot to be grateful for that.


  1. Hi,

    We'd like to reprint, with your permission, at least part of Moon Shadows in the Free Venice Beachhead. Our newspaper has been pursuing justice for Devin since 2009. We're doing some updates in the February issue. Our Collective found your writing very moving.

    Jim Smith, for the Beachhead Collective

    1. Hi Jim.
      Please email me
      I don't think my reply went anywhere.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.