|Clear Spring Water of the Mississippi from the Central Ave Bridge in Minneapolis|
SPEAKING of which. I have been blessed with an offer to have "Walk with Me" along the LA River. I am doing this by invitation, through the Play the LA River project http://playthelariver.com/. I decided I wanted to make it to the river for the Spring Equinox. A powerful time of year, where we all are shedding our winter blankets and stretching out and re-entering the world. Well, at least us bears in Minnesota. I didn't do much hibernating with producing a telethon and all...but there was fatty foods and lots of sleepy nights. With the equinox I wanted to go to the headwaters of the river. I wanted to go to points along the way and make it to the mouth of the LA River in Long Beach.
Learning from last travel trip, I wanted to take enough walks per day to feel good but not burnt out (about 2-3). And it seems I have hit a sweet spot so far with planning. The hard part is not driving and going all around LA. Magically though, there is a budget for some of that. And I can get reimbursed for Uber. MAGIC.
There have been some big thoughts on my mind. Which of course relate to "Walk with Me." And as those who have read the blog know, this is a personal and a political project. Holding hands is about my romantic life and about my life as a feminist. Which of course...well of course are in many ways one in the same. I have started to go to a liberal church. A Unitarian church. I grew up Lutheran. So this going to a Unitarian, meaning they believe in God but not the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), is a new experience. Unitarians that I have interacted with are VERY inclusive for the LGBTQ community and for well everyone. Even a single 33 year old with a yearning for a community while feeling to be outside the norm. While sitting at church with my friend Kevin last Sunday at the 11am, which is a bit more rowdy compared to my 9am I try to get to, I thought about anger. Cause if anything brought me to the place I am today, a very happy contented spot, it was anger. I was ANGRY for being bullied at work. I was ANGRY that people didn't love and accept me just the way I was. I was ANGRY that my best was not good enough for others.
I was thinking about anger because I have shunned anger as a healthy emotion. Still. Even after this big life's journey of "Walk with Me." I am very comfortable fighting for others rights from the safe distance of calm. The safe distance where I can stay neutral. But if we talk about women's rights, or I think about moments in my life where my art career has been slowed cause I am not a white male...I get furious. That shove it under the rug so this guy will like me, kind of anger. Even with all the noise I make...I realized I still shy away from what is MOST important to me cause it makes me ANGRY and I don't like that feeling. I can't always see the growth of being angry. I see inner work as CALM. I see myself on the zazen cushion CALMLY working through all my problems and steeling myself with calm to face the day. Well, that just isn't life and it is protecting me from fully connecting to life.
The great thing is, unlike the last "Walk with Me" tour, I have a foundation to return to. The night before my ruminating at church. I had finished reading a book in my artist loft in Minnesota, and the thought just popped into my head.
"I love my life."
There it is. All the struggle, hard work, fun nights, friends, family, Skypeing with my nephew, laughs with my co-workers, hopes for my romantic future, and all of the books I devour add up to one hell of a great life. Still filled with anger about how the world works, still much calmer than 5 years ago, still the happy friendly easy to get along with woman who adores art, wellness, fiction, and performance.
So, as I face this week in LA. I know it isn't all going to go just as I planned. And I know I could be more prepared if I wasn't working 10 hour days so I can afford to leave my day job. But I sat in church and I walk home thinking, WOW, I started this project 3 years ago. And it still has merit for me. And I get to speak to more people's humanity by holding their hand and walking with them. And I don't know where it is taking me. But I am glad that I can transgress the every day. Fly to LA. Hold some hands. And tell you all about it.
If interested in the images in real time. I will be tweeting and instagraming at @sustainartpaige
My time in LA is form March 19-25, 2015
I am asking for people to send me their favorite poem, song, etc. about water for this project. Feel free to comment with those inspiring quotes or videos.