Thursday, November 28, 2013

Half Moon Bay Walk #8 Lainey

As I probably have mentioned a few times now on my blog, I have been REALLY tired the past few months. It makes sense with all the traveling I am doing. Over the past three years, I have been making a slow transition from binge eating and drinking to eating right and in moderation. For the most part that has meant feeling a LOT better! But it seems that underneath all that bad behavior was some imbalances in my body. Things I now have to deal with cause I can't hide behind french fries as the reason I am feeling off. So I am taking lots of vitamins and getting lots of sleep. I tell you this cause I woke up, again, pretty tired for my walk with Lainey. It also feels that with each walk I am hesitant and a bit scared to go….even now after some 55 walks!

Luckily, all those feelings go once the great walk arrives. Let me tell you something, not so secret, Lainey is a great person. I am pretty sure that Lainey had not a clue that we would be holding hands on this walk. :) But she just said "Ok." And we started down the road. we negotiated what hand and she told me where she would like to start. Lainey is someone that has the most self possession of anyone I know. What does that mean you may ask? She holds herself with real true belief in herself. It isn't snobby. It isn't fake. She just really is calm and who she is. I don't know how old she is. But she has earned the right to believe in herself and she carries it magnificently. She isn't closed off at all. She doesn't throw herself at you in need. She is balanced and I find that miraculous. Truly. I guess it won't be a surprise that Lainey is balanced in her interests as she is in her person. She is an amazing blend of scientific knowledge and artistic knowledge. She can tell you about chemical elements and she will wonder over painting techniques. After a life of having to choose which side I am on….arts or sciences, her blend is refreshing. I spoke to her of my desire to learn about physical therapy and to her there was no hesitation to encourage me within that.

Lainey and I walked to the dunes of Kelly Beach. One of my favorite spots in Half Moon Bay. I walk there all the time. And I love it. Truly. The way the green of the plants and the bleached white of the sand make each other look so good. We then walked on the beach. A first for Walk with Me walks, I have avoided making people walk on sand because of the difficulty. But Lainey is fit and welcomed the sand. Actually she guided us there. We spent time watching pelicans. We spent time climbing up the rise of sand between wet and dry sand. About 3/4 of the way back to Poplar Beach Lainey said she would like to sit down. We immediately saw porpoises!!!!!!!!!!! Which no matter how long I have lived outside of Minnesota. I never grow tired of seeing those beauties. So we sat down and had an amazing chat for I think about an hour. About love. Art love. Man love. Society love. Lainey discussed with me on the walk the lenses we can look at our society. Beauty. Truth. and Goodness. What can we do as a culture if we can look through all the lenses at once. it reminds me of working in social practice art. We artists are not just interested in BEAUTY. We are interested in all the lenses working together to create a better reality. A more evolved culture. Wow. Lainey is a smart woman. And she knows chemical elements and what they look like in reality. That is pretty cool.

Our hands were pretty sweaty as we walked. Lainey would hand my hand then loosen her grip and then minutes later tighten her grip. It was very easy to walk with Lainey. Our gaits did not always match but we walked at about the same speed. After we sat on the beach fr so long. I felt like the hand holding part of our journey was over. Our connection was there on the beach. We still chatted away on our way back to the house.

As you can tell Lainey and I are very similar characters. We are committed to art. We see how it doesn't fit in so well with the culture we are living in but Lainey believes, and I try to believe, that if we learn how the system works and talk to others, things we want to see done, can be done. Lainey has worked in politics at the grass roots level and she fights hard and with knowledge for the environment and arts that she loves. The most surprising thing that occurred was the ending of our time together. In which Lainey created a song for our hours together! This is why this blew me away….who is open enough, present enough, joyful enough, to break into song? She told me, "Well, there isn't much I control in my life. There are other people and situations that do form my reality. But I can make a song about it. I have the freedom to play with my surroundings." Or something to that effect. WOW! just WOW! That is a great outlook. We/I/You are never going to be able to control everything, or the big things that surround you. But you sure has hell can take what you can control and make something beautiful out of it!

Here are some of the lyrics that Lainey created…which feel like a little life lesson she was telling me:
"It's a matter of fact.
It's a matter of keeping faith.
There is no looking back.
That's a matter of time.
But all you have to do is do it;
All that you can be is
all that you can do and be true to it.
All that you can be is true blue
It's a matter of fact"
She riffed on and it was amazing.

As a side note, I discussed my issues with my adrenals/thyroid and she said that she herself
has suffered with some of those issues. That she had been overweight and then when the issue was found able to deal with it….well if that didn't make me feel a bit better about my own struggles.

An amazing walk. Feel lucky to have walked with such an amazing woman.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Half Moon Bay Walk #7 with Linda

We took pictures holding hands! Even at the same time. My photo to the left Linda's to the right. 

Linda is a woman I met through Laura's Bad Art Night. She comes across as a quiet shy woman but in truth she is just soft spoken with a lot to say. I had a pretty intense conversation with her this weekend at the COCA Studio Art Crawl. We had set up Monday as our walk time the week before and I was excited to get back out and about walking in Half Moon Bay. A few women I had met said they loved my idea but they didn't want to hold hands. And I am now glad that during my time in Half Moon Bay I didn't waver and do a bunch of none holding hands walks.

Linda called me up the night before our walk and asked if her husband, David could come on the walk...she wasn't sure how that would look but David wanted to talk some photos. I was a bit tired after a weekend of trying to sell art and not really selling any. I said "Well, sure. Tomorrow we can figure out what that looks like." I have done three person-ed walks but once again I wasn't so into doesn't let me get to know one person with any sort of intensity.

So I got up early and Linda and David met me at Laura's house around 830am. I was a bit tired but pulling it together to go for a walk. I set up the boundary that it was cool if David walked with us as long as we sort of got to keep the autonomy of the walk to being Linda and I. That I wanted to cultivate a conversation with Linda. David was ok with that, and away we went.

I have been on a few walks on Poplar Beach by now. So it was a cool feeling to get to show Linda the pathway to Smith Field from the bluffs of Poplar Beach. Linda pointed out the hawks and other interesting natural wonders we were seeing. Which are most definitely here in Half Moon Bay and Linda's excitiemtn buoyed me up while I felt sort of blah.

I have to admit it was a little strange to know we were sort of being followed/tailed by David. It felt weird not to bring him into the fold and make it a more equal relationship of walkers. But I just felt the need to give Linda her walk. She was the one that was eager. We walked through some tree groves, we looked at the beach, our conversation stayed light and about nature. Linda and David live by a great nature preserve where you get to see amazing animals at low tide. I would love to go there.

As we walked I got tired and felt the urge to turn back, we walked a bit more and I realized if I am not giving off the supportive energy it is ok to try to receive some of it from the person you are walking with. I remembered to breath and be i this moment. It truly was a gorgeous day in Half Moon Bay.

As we wound back to Laura's I started to think about what bothered me about having David there. It is that I am supremely uncomfortable with being part of a couple or pair. That I have decided it is bad or at least weak to have someone to share things with. Which is a crazily silly thing to think. Linda has a web of people and she excepts it and embraces it. I am sure it isn't always easy but she has someone to share life with.
I forgot to talk a photo of Linda and I. here is my photo of Linda.
and her photo of me.
As in all walks there was an aha moment, a theme. And there it was we are all part of a web of people. No matter how hard we try to get out of it. After the walk, Linda read my response to the walk. She said "Oh I am sorry. I wish you could ahve enjoyed the walk more." I then opened up and told Linda and David about how I was going through a hard time. That I was learning to really let go of the expectations of others and how hard it was for me. That is wasn't Linda, heavens no!, that made me feel bad. It was that I am in sort of a large moment in my life. And miraculously David told  me a similar story of his journey to leave behind expectations. We spoke at length about it. I could hear anger. I could hear defensive language about choices made. And it gave me an outside view on my own torture, my own useless torture. I explained to myself more than to David and Linda how at some point you can't blame anyone else for your actions. You have to start living for yourself. And guess what? At 32, the fact that I am realizing that now. Feels like a head start! Linda reminded me that my family loves me. And she is right. Though they don't understand my journey. They still love me.

Some of us have a long journey to peace and calm. While it seems others have a short one. Mine has been one filled with panic and grand adventures. Anxious to not waste the life I was given and get to it's meaning as fast as I could. Proving people wrong that I was anything but the most brillant. Well now, I don't much care for what other people think. I am on a journey to my own crafted comfort and joy.

I learned from my tired walk with Linda that it isn't all about me. I was able to give Linda a great walk. Not make it about me. And I learned that we outcasts are not a lonely group we are a searching group and it is a worthwhile journey. I am ready for some comfort and joy. Less sadness, blame, and confusion. Thank you Linda. Thank you David.