Hitchabout Nice – Antibes – Aix-en-Provence – Arles | back to Montpellier

I think it was the fastest I’ve ever gotten rides in my entire hitchhiking experience. Residing in Montpellier, France, I had decided to hitch to Nice, the day before. I had anticipated it, knowing that my sister and her British husband go there regularly to escape the York, England chill. It was these two who had visited Montpellier several years earlier on a regular basis. That put this town on the map for me. I liked the sound of it. When I’d googled the town back when I suddenly had the proposition to go to the East coast from Taos, New Mexico, I learned that it’s the fastest growing city in France, of which 25% are students that emerge during the academic year. I sort of made the decision to go there in particular, and base myself . I was actually still deliberating on whether Portugal might be a less expensive and lively place to live while I was purchasing the bus ticket from Paris for Montpellier. At some point I decided I wanted to be closer to other countries in Europe and also where I have a semblance of knowledge of the language.

Mont_Saint-Victoire Paul Cézanne

Mont Saint-Victoire notoriously painted by Paul Cézanne among others

Nice, didn’t appear to have any available couches to surf on. The weather which has been continually warm and sunny, dropped about 10 degrees with predicted rain. I decided to go anyway. My bicycle had just been stolen 4 days earlier in the middle of the day around the corner from the cafe I was working in. After the initial discovery, I decided it was a gift for whoever took it. They not only got bad karma, but also a bike that didn’t work. It was hurting my knees because the gears basically didn’t move and I had to get off frequently, to walk up hills. Montpellier is full of them. Many at gradients of 55ª angles.

When I’d arrived in Montpellier the first day I asked a woman sitting on the tram near me “where is the mont”? She discussed it with her friend and decided that she didn’t know. My guess is that the whole town is so hilly that they decided to call it Montpellier, which means mountain. So, the missing bike precluded transport into town outside of the tram TAM, so it was as good a time as any to check out some other places along the Mediterranean. Nice, France is really close to Italy and Switzerland. By the time I finally left the house after consulting google maps to know what destinations to write on a sign, it was going on 2pm. The drive is a little over 3 and a half hours.

I strolled to the end of these outdoor tables with people seated there where I spotted a large white clean piece of cardboard tossed on the ground beyond the tables. I was already steering myself towards this cafe to ask for cardboard. Nice start, I had markers. The entrance to the highway was basically right there. This area was a short walk from where I’d currently been living, conveniently on the edge of town. I noticed several cheap bus lines departing from there, Sabine. I incidentally had been told two days previously that I needed to move out by the end of the month, a day after the bike theft. I had two weeks to decide my next moves. That was another reason to make this trip, a few pairs of ears to discuss my options. I was now less convinced that I wanted to stay in Montpellier. The housing situations had been a challenge.

I watched traffic stopping and starting at a traffic light, and was standing right before an indentation in the road for busses, perfect for cars to pull over. I had written Nice on one side of the sign and was starting to write Aix-en Provence on the other, flipping it up for cars to read both sides, when the first small truck pulled over after only a few lights. I hadn’t been there more than 10 minutes. He’d been working in Montpellier for the day and was on his way to Aix. He’s an Albanian man from Kosovo, his name packed with consonants, Xhemil Iveseldaj.  He’s been living in Aix-en Provence among other members of his family, for 40 years. He was returning from his work week in Montpellier where he stays in a hotel. His boss pays for that, along with his tolls and I guess all travel expenses. He works in such a specialized field, that he’s been accustomed to these long commutes for years, sometimes sweeping countrywide. He’d previously commuted to Paris from Aix, and before that by plane to another town. I learned a fair amount about his life and his two sons. He is one of 7 siblings, five brothers and two sisters. He said in Albania the families tend to be even larger. He said he doesn’t believe in a ‘God’ but in nature. We agreed about that, ‘Nature’ is our ‘god’. I asked if he believes in climate change. We discussed it for quite a while along with other topics.

He had missed his turnoff and I was wondering if I was going to be dropped off in the middle of the highway at an inconvenient place, but he then went back through toll booths, and tracked back to the highway where we were now still heading towards Aix-en-Provence en route to Nice. He’d seen the Aix on my sign. Works every time to have a sign. Xhemil always seemed a bit impatient when coming to any toll, as if seconds shaved off his time were going to critically screw up his day. I guess he was simply in a big hurry to get back home at the end of his workweek. He brought me to a good place where all traffic was heading in the direction of Nice.

I was happy to find a bathroom next to an odd parking garage area where on one side there were buses, ironically, one on its way to Nice. I had covered half the distance already and didn’t bother to approach the bus to ask the driver, preferring to hitch. Someone saw my signs and was yelling out to me from the top story of this large round parking garage building. I ignored him/them. It took about 6 minutes, maybe less, for a car to stop. I heard the responses from above as I was getting into the vehicle. The driver was Olivier, a local who lived in a little town with a great view of this mountain outcropping Saint Vincent from one side. He was on his way to Cannes for the evening. Olivier is an engineer, specifically works on plane engines. He lived in Paris for a stint, said he learned a lot working for Air Bus. He still works for them, and was relieved to move back to his home ground.

Mont Saint-Victoire, Paul Cézanne

Olivier says this landmark outcropping of rock Mont Sainte-Victoire, changes color frequently and has been a feature of many painters.

He and I had a nice rapport. We talked the entire time and really had a lot of similar points of view about the quality of simple things in life that give it value. He dropped me off at a very convenient location at the entrance to highways from Cannes. I was sorry to see him go.

My next ride was with a professional chauffeur, John Christopher. He had made sort of a precarious stop to pick me up. I guess as a local he knows what he can get away with. He was going to pick up his clients on this late afternoon to take them to a fundraiser gala event, hosted for wealthy families who were donating money to hurricane victims in Saint Martin, a French island in the Caribbean. He has worked for this same family exclusively for 15 years. He said that this event was perhaps at a hidden location. He knew that football stars, actors and actresses were going to be there among the very wealthy patrons. He described what these evenings could be like, and how he had to always be available for and and all things that might occur. He might have to make the commute over the bridge to pick up one item left behind, or drop off kids at different places. I enjoyed this little scope into the lives of the upper crust there, from the chauffeur’s point of view. A very gentle guy, he left me off before taking his route to the home of his employer. We left with smiles lingering.

Nice, France first shots - pastry and me

A bridge separated me between where I stood where everyone seemed to be racing to their next destination. I’m guessing I was at St.-Laurent du Var by this bridge. I wondered how long this ride would take, since now I was extraordinarily ‘out of place’. A hitchhiker with a backpack among demonstratively expensive cars and high income drivers. Surprisingly, a car stopped. It was Raphael a medical student in Nice, where he also was raised. He looked distinctively Spanish or Italian. He did me the courtesy of using his phone to dial my contact number and drop me off after crossing into Nice to a very familiar cement way lined with Palm trees before the beach. The Promenade des Anglais is where a demented man drove a truck moving down pedestrians on Bastille Day on the evening of 14 July 2016. The Nice attack killed 86 people and injured 458. Sound familiar? The whole area has since been reinforced to block vehicular traffic, involving bringing in full-grown palm trees with cranes.

historical Nice, France and cemetary

I wound up spending several days in Nice, endowed with lovely weather. Took various local rides ferried to different parts on cool excursions with family into the hills looking back down over the city. I had particularly wanted to see Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Nice page 1 of second group inlaid stones

Nice, France inlaid stones

When it came time to leave, I finally noticed a text message on my cheap French phone, an invitation from a friend I’d met years earlier, who had actually invited me to stay at her and her boyfriend’s place. I texted her back explaining I’d missed seeing her text. In a little while I made my way to make a start, found some cardboard and what appeared to be the entrance to highways. I stood there a short time up in the hills. I saw a dread-headed girl across the street who when she crossed, approached to tell me she’s hitched a lot, and if I’m going to Aix-en-Provence, I’d have better luck down standing down by the water – once again before the Promenade des Anglais. I thanked her and walked down the hill. When I turned the corner I saw a group of people waiting for a bus a hundred yards away. I thought to myself, they’re probably wondering about what I was doing. Within several minutes, my first ride stopped. A smartly dressed man in a nice car on his way to Aix-en-Provence. I laughed to myself at how easy I made it look for the people standing there waiting for a bus. He made a phone call to his wife indicating he was on his way. I mentioned that I’d come from Montpellier to Nice and still was trying to figure out where to land. He mentioned that for using English, Aix-en-Provence would have better opportunities than Montpellier due to its larger influx of British because of the nearby seaport. He convinced me in fact. He said forget Montpellier, it’s mostly a college town, whereas Aix has an English speaking presence and a sophisticated flair.

mazza

mazza

 

Manu

Manu

The text was from a woman whom I’d met with her boyfriend 5 years earlier in Krakow, Poland. I was now getting out of the car upon receiving the text, only half an hour or so from Nice and 100’s of km before where I thought I was going. That was a great timed text, minutes before the Antibes exit. I had a splendid visit with these friends and their wonderful feline creatures. It was the therapy I needed, the playful cats along with friendly and inspiring conversation and inclusion.

Edwige and Bernards in Antibes

Edwige and Bernards in Antibes

 

Edwige, Antibes

Edwige in Antibes

Edwige and Carol Antibes

Edwige and Carol Antibe

I departed from my friends and the kitties in Antibes who I was already missing. Once again I got fantastic rides, two rides from Antibes. A young baker, boulanger, who told me stories of his life and his wife and 2 kids. At the moment that I noticed a sign for a rest stop I asked him whether there was another like it prior to where he was going. He wound up immediately pulling over, because he in fact was getting off soon, where the town was so small he explained I’d probably have very fewer ride possibilities than here at this highway stop. I parted farewell from this sweet guy and was walking into the rest-stop restaurant and showed my signs to the people as I was walking by them. They were a couple, and happened to be driving to Montpellier. I said that that’s where I live, but am going to Aix-en-Provence. They said they could take me there, it’s on the way. I hung with them a bit at the outdoor tables after I returned. We had a few interesting exchanges before getting in the car. A huge lovely white dog accompanied by a man entered the picture. I said, ‘elle est belle’, and the girl laughed, saying she has exactly the same type of dog, whose name is Belle. It’s unusual for a couple to offer a ride, very rare. They have to be really confident with one another, and these two were. Thomas and Gwendoline were very animated. At one point I mentioned out of the blue that I’d like to go to Istanbul, and they laughed, saying they’re going there next Thursday. They each engaged in conversation the entire time. We really connected. He owns 2 businesses in (IT), one which he originally started doing web design and the other advising companies on how to work more efficiently. She isn’t currently working. We talked the whole time, They were on their way to Montpellier to visit his father, and in fact he drove me into the center of Aix-en-Provence which he loves, and Gwendoline had never been.

Eight weeks earlier I wouldn’t have been able to understand but a quarter of what they were saying, now 8/10th percent. She spoke some English cuz she lived a year in New Zealand doing a WWOOF with baby sheep! She visited Australia too. She joked that she’s probably more conservative politically than he. He described that he believed the French president Macron would have more possibility to take a center stage in the global political arena. As we were driving into Aix from the highway, I commented that I believe trees may be more conscious than we are. To my surprise, Thomas the computer guy, heartily agreed, saying that he despises that people believe that they’re at the top of the pyramid of life, when in fact all life forms have intelligence. Thomas so much admires the town, that I decided after walking around a bit that for my saturday night, I’ll stay in Aix-en-Provence, regardless of where I may or may not sleep.

Aix-en-Provence, France

On this late summer Saturday afternoon in the street of Aix-en-Provence  I came upon a group of woman doing a spontaneous dance exercise; an an all female dance troupe. They were doing an improvisation exercise in their practice. I sort of guessed that this is what they were doing. Later when they were less involved in any presentations, I asked a few. One woman with eye that met mine with a sparkle in her eyes and large smile approached me and handed me a flyer.

She was in fact the director who organized this theatrical dance art group. http://cie-mariehelenedesmaris.com

I had decided to stay there regardless of not having looked for couchsurfers. It was a Saturday evening, it’ll be fun. I asked the right couple on my walk, who described several different options, pointing to areas on a map I had of specific areas to find things going on.

I went to a cafe to catch up on writing and organizing my pictures, and wound up hanging there into the late hours, with co-workers and guests. As the evening progressed, I was invited not only to stay that evening, but for an extended length of time, if I was demonstrating that I was doing the work I needed to do. I could now stay at this apartment there in Aix-en-Provence with these two brothers. However that vanquished at the point that the one breached my trust, and caused me to launch myself out back into the streets of Aix with the approaching dawn. It seemed like it might have been the semblance of a good thing, if not for the immediate security violation. One of the brothers was already in bed, it appeared. I was ushered into a room, fine, ah, but wait, no lock on the door. I waited before getting into bed with my pully and pack on by the door. listening for a few moments, when suddenly the door swung open, with me standing right there. I’m sure it surprised him as much as it did me; bursting into the room allegedly having misplaced his cell phone. Not only did this maneuver make me feel quite uncomfortable with the thought of sleeping there, but it also immediately dissolved that opportunity. So, I was heading out from Aix that morning, and still not sure what would define my future. This town hadn’t particularly welcomed me; no couch surfers, no housing possibilities and no tolerance for an opening in a bachelor den that was the epitome of neglect.

 

Arles, France, Nice, hitchabout

I hitched to Arles from Aix-en-Provence that morning. Maybe I’d go to Nimes (Roman ruins in both towns) on the same day.  The two cities located in the Occitanie region of southern France, were an important outpost of the Roman Empire. Nimes is known for its well-preserved monuments such as the Arena of Nîmes, a double-tiered circa-70 A.D. amphitheater still in use for concerts and bullfights. Its Maison Carrée white limestone Roman temple and Pont du Gard tri-level aqueduct are around 2,000 years old. I wound up staying in Arles instead.

Shortly after arriving at a good departure point in Aix, a woman stopped in her sleek car. I assumed the boy of about 11 sitting in the passenger seat was her son. She was an attractive, well dressed, middle aged woman who appeared professional, everything intact.  She was on her way to Nimes. The song that was playing on the alternative rock station was fairly pop, and each of the songs became progressively more hard-edged. The music didn’t seem to go with her appearance at all. The volume was so high that it impeded the ability to talk. When I asked, she staccato answered that she lives in Aix. That was my first and last question in an attempt to engage them in conversation. Her son and she didn’t say a word to one another the entire time.  She drove very fast and agilely on the highway on her way to Nimes, maneuvering efficiently. I was surprised she picked me up at all.  I pictured that she was dropping her son off at a midway point in an agreement with her ex, as they trade time with the child since divorcing. I decided that she was annoyed to have to drive him there, the hour and a half, now wait, 3 hour journey altogether to drop him off in Nimes and return; an invasion on any other activities she might have wanted to do on that Sunday. I didn’t ask. I let them ‘not talk’ to one another or me. I felt sorry for the kid. The music was quite loud. The silence was fierce.

Michael Jackson T-shirt, Always Be Yourself

Michael Jackson T-shirt
Always Be Yourself

I’m sitting in a cafe putting these pages together, sitting near the bathroom entrance. Many people flow by. One guy was waiting in line, a tall Arab guy, I saw in between the edges of his jacket a skeleton, and I said pointing, “is that Michael Jackson”? He said, yes and opened his jacket. I said, trying as I could in French, after multiple plastic surgeries that destroyed his cartilage, he’s now a skeleton. He said, exactly. He and I were both laughing pretty hard at this point as he was now walking into the bathroom, since it wasn’t supposed to be that obvious. I asked him when he came out to get a shot of the shirt, which is even more hilarious, saying below the image ‘Always Be Yourself‘.

In Arles I met a man whose eyes met mine from where he was perched on a balcony of this cloister.  I was like, what, are you WORKing there or what? Later we met on the stairs where he offered me an extra ticket to the last day of the photo exhibit there. He’s local. So, he’d waited until the last day of the exhibit to finally go see it. I had the impression that in this town that flowed regularly for most months of the year with tourists, that it was well stocked with woman accessories.  I wondered whether he took advantage of this, and lead a sort of double life. I was sort of expecting that we’d hang out together more, but he had other plans, probably a dinner gathering, or going home to dinner with his family. He bade his farewell and disappeared into the dusk, cutting through this building. Perhaps I seemed too risky, an American woman who happened into the town and didn’t know where she was going to sleep that night.  It was a nice exhibit. I wound up wandering away from the middle aged man who vanished to walk up a hill to find myself watching bats fluttering about and looking out over the valley, and instead talking to some young North African teenagers.

I had wandered around the periphery of the olympic Roman stadium and along streets in the town looking at the sites. I had gone into a lovely church where I learned some history. It was later, much later that my bed found me.  I was walking around a building and saw this little sort of fenced in courtyard that was merely following the contours of the rounded building. There was a low decorative iron fence around a small curved plot of soil, encasing a few bushes and a tree or two. I spotted large pieces of cardboard neatly wrapped up and tied together stacked vertically on the outside of this area. I learned years ago from a French (North African) truck driver that cardboard can be used to insulate from the cold. (Who I wound up driving with through Italy to Germany where during Ramadan, he’d chain smoke and start drinking his coffee before the sun came up or went down, and had packed a delightful gourmet assortment of foods home-made by his wife who packed them for his holiday fasting). I picked up the cardboard, pulled the pieces out, saw that they weren’t soiled and laid them out to form a platform to lay on. I had no sleeping bag. It wasn’t cold. I felt quite safe there and happy to not have to carry my backpack any more.  A pretty ‘sleepy’ town, I didn’t sense that anyone was going to look for me there. I didn’t sleep, but was comfortable. The night before in Aix-en-Provence I hadn’t slept at all.

I had already decided to stay in Arles that night. It was still pretty warm, September 25th, 2017. Later that evening, my resting place found me.

Arles rockin an auberge cardboard style at the hidden concave of a building

It was the last ride, Phillippe Lu, (great grandparents or grandmother came from China to Cambodia, where his parents were from. It was the intelligent conversation I had with him and his power of persuasion, which now convinced me after all that I should in fact plant myself in Montpellier; offering English courses with all the university separate buildings spreading over the north of town. He said I could make €15 to 20 per lesson. He texted his son to get the coordinates of an umbrella organization for all the universities called CROUS. He helped to give me some wording for a sign to put up. I since had looked up C.R.O.U.S. and gone there several times to get as much information as I could from what I’d written down while riding with him. They had info about housing, the university of lettres (languages) and basically I followed through and later wandered the labyrinthe of different buildings that a part of the university, that spreads across the north part of town that had been 50 years ago, fields. When I’d returned to Montpellier I was now homeless and searching through many different sources, mostly online, for housing. It was on the eve of the beginning of the month that one friend pointed out a site I’d already disregarded, judging that it was too expensive. I told him I’d already looked at that one, and it tends towards more expensive listings. I noticed that my friend had fr.fr in the beginning of the web address and mine us.fr, because I had first viewed it from the United States (I started viewing housing listings from the moment I booked an inexpensive flight). Turns out the subtle difference in the website made a huge difference in what was offered. The local listings offered a category unto themselves, anglophone families looking for English native speakers to live with them for reduced rent in exchange for some prerequisite time and activities. I’ve since found the most remarkably perfect situation, a win-win.

my signs for the return trip

my signs for the return trip

Montpellier Zoo, Jardin des Plantes

Montpellier Zoo Jardin des Plantes and street pics

It started, or rather was continuing a year ago in another desert, in the high desert of New Mexico, bordering Colorado. Luna was Bill Light’s dog, who built his home in the canyon 5,000 feet above Santa Fe, New Mexico en route to the ski area. His wife had died a few years earlier. I stayed for several months in a cabin adjacent to his home which he built for his daughter. I lived there in the autumn of 2016.

I quickly became a fan of going on walks with his dog Luna. She was a fan of walks as well, and would actually come over to the cabin and tap on the door with her foot. Wow! She absolutely loved the excursion off the property and a long a path cutting through a narrow valley to the National Forest land. In the late summer twice with Luna, I was exposed to bears. It was because Luna discovered them, and barked them into submission.

 

Luna, Bill Light's, Santa Fe New Mexico 2015

Luna my friend at Bill Light’s cabin in Santa Fe New Mexico 2015

I lived in the cabin next to Bill Light’s home in my first months above Santa Fe, New Mexico where my nice landings began. Luna and I would cut through trails up to the National Forest land and then either move further into the canyon’s or launch up to the ridge. These became my sketching/water color excursions. Luna launched and climbed the hill with ease and I followed.

Bill who had an earlier bought with cancer which had gone into recess, got it again, and died from pneumonia since I had moved out. It’s a strange thing that he was there and actively doing all sorts of things, and now gone. I don’t know what happened with Luna, certainly she was completely at home in the mountains. I hope a neighbor took her in. Besides seeing lots of deer in the late summer and the few incidences with Luna barking a bear and her cubs up a tree, I would mt. bike into town from there, regularly. I cycled 7 miles up 5,000 feet to get to the property. I never used any bike lights or reflectors, despite the fact that there were no street lamps. My eyes would adjust whether it was a new or full moon. i figured it was a good way to balance out staring into a computer screen. I find a bike wherever I go and also animals that I love. Now there are stray cats where I am, and I’ve just landed, with muscle and sweat and help with several bike mechanics, a bike that I am delighted to ride.

Now there’s no dog present like in Santa Fe and the ones I affectionately grew acquainted with and loved immediately in Taos, New Mexico the following spring. There are a bunch of stray cats however here in Montpellier. It occurred to me to look for a used bike at this place I’d become a member of months earlier. Le Vieux Biclou. After asking a guy in the street when I knew I was in the vicinity of the bike shop if he knew of where it’s located, it turned out he was on his way there. There I spotted the mt. bike I wanted, and the following day during opening hours learned of its one major obstacle; a seat post jammed all the way down that wouldn’t budge. Several technicians, pounding and myself instructed to scrape off the rust of the now ejected post, and a day later going to another bike shop to get a lock appropriate for the rampant bike thievery in this town, I purchased bolts to replace the quick release wheels and seat, and was assisted in mounting the lock to the frame. After riding it the second time i realized that this bike runs flawlessly, enabling me to climb any steep slope with ease. Stoked!

I’ve since made my signs and printed them and edited my contact cards. I wanted to get this blog out, put up the signs in various excursions, and begin today on a singular path to complete my book between my father and mother’s birthdays. That’s pretty immediate. The difference, no noose around my neck to pay a rent that squelches my time and psyche.

And as is typical, I ask for donations. Thanks! PayPal Donate Button  Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

carol keiter, blogger, Nice

blogger in Nice

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Emotionally Stunning video ‘Canuck & I’ Explores the Bond Between A Crow and His Human

I found this video through one of the Facebook groups which I hold sacred ‘The More Beautiful World’.

Canuck and I, Bond between Crow and Human, Audubon

Canuck and I Bond between Crow and Human Audubon

‘Canuck & I’ Explores the Bond Between A Crow and His Human

Now I know why I chose to make another espresso and stay ‘home’ to watch this, prior to going out with my laptop to visit some places, print new cards, sit in a cafe to work on my book and new music.

It’s because I mentioned on Facebook when posting this that I already had tears in my eyes before knowing anything about it, and well, I had tears flowing down my face the entire 20 minutes.

My mother would easily tear up expressing emotion. I simply love animals so much. There is such a vast universe, well, in this case, planet filled with fish and mammals in the seas and animals and birds from tropical forests to deserts.

Humans can be so much more. Our lives can be enriched so, so much more by opening them moment to moment and valuing all of the creatures that we share this planet with, ALIVE.

Hopefully sharing this video will bring warmth, loving feelings, compassion and a desire to protect the habitats of the magnificent species with whom we share this planet.

Walk more, bicycle more, have less children, aim for education to share empowering stories more and buy and consume less. Living healthier and happier lives by living more simply and feeling gratitude and authentic joy from doing things that empower ourselves and one another, will reduce the dependence on needing more money, pharmaceutical companies, insurance and automobile manufacturers, psychiatrists, and help to alleviate addictions… 🙂

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Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer

Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Carol Keiter, nomadbeatz, donations, writing, photography, illustrations, eBook, music composition

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Crack between the Worlds | Le Viaduc des Arts Paris | Feu D’Artifice le 14 Juillet Tour Eiffel 2017

Feu dArtifice le 14 Juillet Tour Eiffel 2017

Feu dArtifice le 14 Juillet Tour Eiffel 2017 copy

I’ve intentionally come to Le Point Ephémère today at 200 Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris. I wished to come last evening and somehow thought it was considerably farther north from where I started, so each time i asked someone and mentioned Quai de Valmy and people responded that it was behind me, I said, no, no no, you’re wrong.

Well I was wrong 🙂 However, as I walked and proceeded to get deeper into what seemed a predominantly Arab neighborhood, I found this place that echoes one at the edge of the East Village in New York City. This Indian/Pakistani vegetarian place with super cheap and healthy dishes that you can choose and mix on the plate, together with Basmati rice, altogether with a fish deep fried something or other, it was like 5 euro. Delicious. I also found the best dark chocolate I’ve ever tasted. Oh man, glad I still have the wrapper! Guess what, EVERY dark chocolate bar I’ve purchased so far in France has been DeLiCious!

flickr link to pics from New Mexico dogs, Paris

flickr link to pics from New Mexico dogs to Paris

In my first days in Paris, I managed to grab 12 or 13 hours of sleep, in the first 5 days! Not kidding. I slid into one or another place to sleep with shelter, twice, and the other nights walked all night with my baggage once, and without it, now that I found a luggage locker at Gare du Lyon. Wow, was that nice.

Oh wow, I also found another artifice that echoes nYc’s Highline. I had walked not far from the Gare du Lyon, looked up, saw green, thought of New York city’s highline park constructed on a no longer working above ground train line http://www.thehighline.org/visit, climbed the stairs, and was delighted to find the same type of park, also created on an old above ground train line.

le Viaduc des Arts Paris

le Viaduc des Arts Paris

oraculo project international

oraculo project international

Actually, what I loved was all of the accompanying music there at the fire works on the national day – Bastille Day – in Paris 2017.

Paris Tour Eiffel Feu D'Artifice Fire Works 2017 with actual sound

Paris Tour Eiffel Feu D’Artifice Fire Works 2017 with actual sound

Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries/lands to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of July each year. In France, it is formally called la Fête nationale and commonly and legally le 14 juillet.

 

chez_moi_ou_chez_toi, my house or yours

 

And then there’s this version of someone’s capture of the fireworks at la Tour Eiffel with a psychedelic breakbeat overdub.

Here are some more pictures.

This man has a blog about the remarquable trees in Paris.

flickr, Paris evening and night pics

flickr Paris evening and night pics

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chez_moi_ou_chez_toi
my house or yours

Carol Keiter, blogger, Maria Antoinette

Carol Keiter blogger and Maria Antoinette

Carol, 14th Juillet, Paris

Carol 14th Juillet Paris

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Marketing my own eBook > Thinking it appropriate as an auxiliary learning tool for Charter High Schools

I believe this eBook will build enthusiasm and intrigue for multiple subjects, It is a science reference book, cloaked in a science fantasy adventure; replete with real science and resplendent illustrations; with graphs, charts and links for further investigation.

Entitled,“Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion”, it is best suited for high school students and accelerated middle schoolers. I believe it will entice kids to learn about a multitude of different subjects, augment the schools academic curriculum.

Here’ s the trailer: https://spinonmatter.carbonmade.com/projects/4800092

Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion

Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion

I just decided to post this letter of introduction which I’m sending to Charter Schools, to each of my blogs, since perhaps someone who’s involved in education, eBook marketing and publishing, with an affiliation with Charter Schools or knows-how in marketing an educational eBook, to provide me with advice or send someone my way!

It’s not finished, but I thought I’d start with the back-end, or front-end, getting it out there.

…I’m looking for the appropriate person/department (academic materials, material acquisition) to market my eBook, which I believe will be of interest to students as an auxiliary learning tool.

This science fantasy adventure involves a spiritual quest (no religious affiliation), full of art and science. The adventure involves the quest of a young woman and the characters she meets in her journey, into an upside-down world. Not really upside down, but a place affected by electromagnetism that has lower gravity levels as one climbs to this place. The people there, where the main character is journeying to, have a correspondingly intrinsic capacity of transparent thought. They are conscious of each others’ thoughts and consequently incapable of telling lies. Yet most of the story takes place as Adora journeys there – as there could be sequels!

Frankly, as of June 1st (almost two weeks since posting this), after editing and moving around information as well as researching and editing bibliography sources, the information below has been updated, and still is no longer current! Nevertheless, you get the gist of the contents! I’ve been working hard within a strict time limit – a really good thing.

Here are the first two pages of the Table of Contents (subject to change) but giving you a gist of the contents.

1st page Table of Contents

1st page Table of Contents

2nd page Table of Contents

2nd page Table of Contents

The approximately 150 page eBook (Completion end of June, 2017), is designed to be read from beginning to end, or to be read in segments. Almost every page introduces a particular subject; including graphs, charts and links to further investigation of that topic. The online Table of Contents and Bibliography allow the reader to choose from various educational subjects, ranging from biology, climatology, and geography to physics, These scientific topics of inquiry are introduced as they arise in the story; with the inference that these hypothetical events in a fantastical environment, could actually transpire.

Here are a few pages of the bibliography, also subject to change. I’m using google docs in order to also alphabetize the bibliography by subject.

Bibliography created in google docs to feature alphabetical listing by subject.

Bibliography created in google docs to feature alphabetical listing by subject

Bibliography created in google docs to feature alphabetical listing by subject.

Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion has a plethora of art accompanying the science links, providing the reader with the capability to further investigate a topic. It is a colorful and refreshing learning tool for students and adults. The eBook is a stepping stone of intrigue for subsequent exploration into a multitude of scientific topics.

character name meanings and association with elements

character name meanings and association with elements

I’m an independent contractor who has been writing two blogs since 2009, I’m particularly interested in environmental sustainability, renewable energy, (DIY) do-it-yourself practices to reduce one’s carbon footprint, reinvesting in the community and especially the topics of wildlife and animal habitat preservation. I participated in a 2 week educational forum about the environment in Paris, during the COP21 Climate Talks in Paris, http://www.placetob.org/en/ As a writer, artist, musician and composer, I have no umbrella organization presently supporting me financially. I welcome any suggestions you may have regarding the eBook world of publishing, as I have yet to approach any publishers. I can provide you with additional sections of the book to view its layout and presentation.

carolkeiter@gmail.com
(520) 891 1466
PayPal: carolkeiter@gmail.com

ebook trailer:
https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/final-metamorphosis-of-the-ebook-trailer-for-adora-vitali-a-spin-on-the-matter-of-motion/

http://spinonmatter.carbonmade.com/projects/4800092#1

blogs:
https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/
http://digesthis.wordpress.com/

podcast:
https://deliciousmedicinalfood.wordpress.com

art portfolio:
https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/parcel-of-my-portfolio
https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/carols-artwork-discovered-in-sketchbooks-journals/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/21261638@N03/albums/72157673189438823
https://www.flickr.com/photos/21261638@N03/albums/72157681167409025

music composition:
https://soundcloud.com/you/collection
http://www.reverbnation.com/nomadbeatz

Carol Keiter Contact card

Carol Keiter Contact card

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition!

Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer

Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer

Emergence | Gift of Artist’s Atelier | Specifically to Complete my eBook in 6 weeks

Update on Carol Keiter the blogger. I do love to post blogs in two’s. This evening I have. I just posted on my digesthis site: this https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/emergence-inevitability-of-seeking-the-kind-way-love-appreciation-of-all-life/

Recently I shared photos on my Facebook wall of the place I suddenly find myself living in, a yurt, indigenous to nomadic people of the Steppes of Central Asia, Mongolia. Here are some pics of the yurt residence in Taos, New Mexico and the surrounding fields.

yurt, residence, Taos, New Mexico

yurt residence in Taos, New Mexico

I also recently came across and shared some photos of a neighboring county in Pennsylvania where I was born and raised. Lancaster and Lititz, PA are each arts and crafty towns surrounded by farms.

carol_taking_photo_lancaster_pa copy

carol_taking_photo_lancaster_pa

The idea of living in the yurt was introduced by a friend from my hometown in PA, 9 months ago when I was arriving to New Mexico after the stint in Tucson, Arizona left me with little recourse but to leave because of not having had success finding work. He knew that his neighbor could be keen on having some people live there to help out with his trees. Indeed he is happy to have the help. The idea back then August, 2016 was to come live in this yurt in Taos, but then I never made it from Santa fe. Two week after I arrived there, I wound up flying back to Pennsylvania to be by my mother’s side when she died the day after I arrived. I was then not sure of where to go, but headed back to Santa Fe where I was gainfully employed for the next 8 months between substitute teaching for the Santa Fe public schools K through 12 and working on weekends and holidays as a ski instructor at SkiSantafe. The paid income was a nice change of pace, the skiing, a delight. I love skiing and the alpine environment. I was grateful every day I was there. However, my slammed schedule meant that I had little time to write blogs, and didn’t even attempt but twice to get back to the book.

Slim savings brought me to this new situation which is sort of another WWOOF (world wide org. of organic farms); a work-exchange involved in caring for baby trees. Pretty cool actually, digging in rich soil, smelling wonderful scents of plants, seeing cows and horses and now in the spring, calves and colts and birds surrounding the fields, calling out all sorts of neat calls. My biggest challenge, has been the chase for electricity and internet. I have become like one of the local ‘off the grid’ backpackers, seeking out places to plug in.

The crystallizing icing-on-the-cake thing, after feeling lots of frustration because the town shuts down really early – and there just aren’t places to go to plug in and connect to the world. My friend just extended the invitation – for a limited time only – until I head back to PA for a memorial for my mother – an atelier. Basically I reside in the yurt, and have been gifted a room in a home nearby as my creation space; with a desk, stool, electricity to plug my power surge protector and a WiFi connection. He has offered this atelier as an artist space > to use it to complete my eBook. “Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Moion.

eBook, Carol Keiter, Adora & Vitali A Spin on the Matter of Motion

Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion

Encouraged to direct my full attention and focus on completing by book; it is my choice if I embrace it and full-on surge into making this happen, or squander the invitation. This is something that I hoped for, and now it is here. I will use it. I was seriously having so much difficulty finding a place to work, that I was starting to become very disconcerted, to put it mildly.

Of course, I’m already side-lined, wanting to quickly post another blog or two, well, that’s okay, it’s to inform people what’s going on and to spread the accountability even further. No excuses. Here’s the platform, the space and time. There are absolutely no distractions in this town for me. Not much of a social happening place, perhaps that may change. No distractions, just lovely nature, tourists, and as in Santa Fe, a fair amount of homeless people here in this dusty, lovely, hippy town with loads of people living off-the-grid who come into town occasionally to fill up; I’ve seen quite a number of very heavily tattooed guys and girls. And as in Santa fe, a large number of pick-up trucks, some that are enormous, and vehicles with windows tinted so dark that you can barely see if someone is in the car. yeah, whatever.

So, step one, open the book and begin look over my google doc regarding marketing, to gather names of Charter Schools to approach them to see if any could be interested in carrying this science-fantasy book. Any hints or suggestions about marketing/publishing an eBook, send them my way. 🙂

Carol Keiter the blogger on return hitch from Taos to Santa Fe, New Mexico

Carol Keiter the blogger on return hitch from Taos to Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Just What I Need … for now

I decided to incorporate the comments I recently posted accompanying a message asking people to make their voice heard, opposing the ritual in Norway of whale slaughter and any kind of animal abuse in general.

It is time to stop acting as if all of creation is ours to extract, entertain ourselves with, spoil, pollute, damage, mutilate and take from more than we need; simply because the human population has diverted itself down the path of mutually agreeing that profit and consumption are our purpose on this planet. In the process of severely limiting our experience and full capacity, we are accepting that our description of what is of value, and what we are enslaved to with our time and lives, is actually a diversion from reality and a virtual representation, of what this planet’s true grandiosity is worth in terms of its biodiversity. To live in awe of the world that we are briefly passing through, and to ensure that our children have the same wealth of experience and health to live their own lives, is something that 21st century human beings should have in their conscious awareness. To begin to fully become human, as empathetic beings, ‘who do what they love and love what they’re doing’ with the joy and empowerment to extend love towards all of existence, is what we can all strive for, and mutually help one another in the process. However, overpopulation, greed and misconceptions about what is of value, is what we are presently enslaved to. Those at the top of this hierarchy of tyrannical powers wish nothing more than that we remain content, complacent and unaware of how our consent is feeding the destructive actions of those holding the power. People all over the planet are often acting out of fear, which creates a population even more malleable. Talk to one another more in person, instead of through a screen, and share insights into how we can inform one another and lighten up to love.

Prince Ea’s video message Future Generations ‘Sorry’

Prince Ea has a lot of profound things to say.

When I arrived in Santa Fe in August, I had no key, whatsoever. Okay, I believe I had a mini padlock stashed in my suitcase, with its key. I had no transportation vehicle; no bike or lock for it, no automobile. I left Tucson the day I moved out of the apartment there, hitchhiking with two back packs and a small suitcase on wheels August 1st, 2016.

hitching, Tucson, AZ , Santa Fe, NM

hitching route from Tucson, AZ to Santa Fe, NM 567 miles

As I looked like I was wearing a boy scout or brownie uniform, the driver who gave me a ride the entire way, 567 miles to Santa Fe, New Mexico, thought I was a teenage boy with my baseball cap obscuring my face. This was via Albuquerque, a bonus stop to visit my friend living there. I could no longer stay in Tucson after paying the rent for several months in a row with a credit card (having found no paid income), and now could no longer afford the minimum cc payments. I had gone to Arizona specifically to do a WWOOF, rather than being homeless in Pennsylvania.

Just a month prior to arriving at the WWOOF ranch in Arizona, I meditated on discerning the most appropriate path, and happened through a series of synchronicities to connect with a former colleague, which lead me to discovering a group he was involved with participating in the climate talks in Paris, on their own contemporary platform, the Place to B.

Place to B, Climate, COP21

Place to B It’s Time to Talk Differently about the Climate – art and educational forum took place during COP21 Nov-Dec in Paris Nov-Dec 2015

I knew the Paris Climate Talks COP21 were about to take place and somehow felt an inclination to be there among other activists, journalists…I could never have imagined the fantastic voyage I was about to enter into. And I stumbled into it with synchronicities I couldn’t look away from. Their venue of lectures, events, music and art shared among people from 40 countries was extraordinary, a perfect combination of meetings socially and information shared. I could not have imagined it. I’m sure that the presenters were also captivated with what they had created.

I attempted to book a one-way (in my usual poverty mentality thinking that it would be more cost effective to just figure out my way from there, once I was already on the continent). However, the one-way was blocked, providing me the time allowance to ‘sleep on it’ and divine that the coincidences were too marvelous to ignore. This whole excursion and opportunity appeared only after I connected with a former colleague who happened to be involved with the ‘place to b‘.

It turned out to be a spectacular learning experience; attending two weeks of organized lectures, seminars, demonstrations among activists, artists, writers and entrepreneurs. There were people coming from all over the world to discuss the impact of their community from climate change. This event coincided with the COP21 Climate Talks. It was the most exhilarating mix of people and information to meet and participate in which I never could have imagined. I left knowing that I had created the right path and chosen wisely, and now have a great deal to learn.

Now, weeks later, having returned to the US and moved onto a ‘WorkAway’ on a boat in Brooklyn, New York, as had been planned for a month prior to Christmas, I learned following the Christmas holidays which I shared with family in PA, that the boat wasn’t going to work out. I had to drive back to Brooklyn to move all of my stuff out. I was subsequently informed that i was given two weeks to depart from where I was temporarily staying in Pennsylvania. I now had to explore and come up with some quick alternatives and investigate my options. Most of my investigation is online.

At this point, I was learning to take every one of these turns and obstacles, expulsions and disruptions, with calm. I told myself, “Obviously THIS is not what I’m supposed to be doing right now” and allow myself to be open for what it was that was the better option. Instead of feeling panicked or distressed, I let myself flow along with new directions as they arrived. My research was prolific, my ideas extending in all directions like the tentacled hair of medusa. These actions helped things to evolve.

I knew that I wanted to write and to learn from people actively participating in working harmoniously with the land. The idea of a ‘workaway’ or ‘wwoof’ – the latter which my sister reminded me of, now came alive again. I had been investigating these in France and Italy; Sardinia and southern France were inviting. In the meantime I applied for my dream job, creating it and presenting it to an ecoliteracy group in California. I imagined being a liaison for their work, using my language skills to establish their works in France and Germany. I considered pairing my luggage down to the minimum to enable me to begin traveling, now with no excuses, as now I would investigate ways among other travelers to be nomadic and find ways to engage to exchange for shelter and food.

I investigated ‘workaways’ and WWOOFs in France and Italy. I applied for a job (which I created) with an educational institution I wanted to work with. I considered simply reducing my luggage to what I could hitchhike with, traveling to Central and South America The Zika virus in the news thwarted my plans. Ironically, I thought of going to South America to find and interview the man in Brazil who I had just discovered. In the last decades, he dramatically reforested the land around him with his novel agroforestry projects. I just came upon an article about him in the last days. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/man-re-planting-forests-lost-to-cattle-ranching-in-brazil/

Antonio Vicente, reforested, deforested, cattle ranching, Brazil

Antonio Vicente reforested areas for 40 years, deforested from cattle ranching in Brazil

Few stories are as inspirational as this one about Antonio Vicente, a man who has dedicated the past forty years of his life to reforesting the precious natural ecosystems of Brazil.

February was approaching. The only working farm that needed immediate help (as most growing seasons in the country weren’t ready to begin) was a ranch in Arizona which needed help with their recently born baby goats. I isolated only looking at WWOOFs which offered I required internet and food, together with the provision of shelter. I found one and coordinated driving a car that needed to be transported immediately, almost for the price of a tank of gas. I was kicked out of this ranch prematurely, 2 weeks into the 3 month planned stay. I contacted my cousin who I believed was living somewhere in Arizona, and he responded immediately to my email. I landed there and investigated this town for employment, the arts, refugee volunteering, sports. I found the local ultimate frisbee leagues and art centers…and then had to leave, as I had not earned any money for months. I hitched with my two backpacks and now a third small piece of luggage on wheels. The one tremendously long ride with a great vibe that brought me except for the first rides to get to the highway in Tucson, the entire way to my destination.

hitchhiking

Driver Garth on the hitch from Tucson to Santa Fe, New Mexico via Albuquerque

ride through storm from Tucson to Santa Fe, New Mexico via Albuquerque

I then rolled into more work than I could have imagined. I’ve run into more obstacles and challenges too. Each step of the way, as I do all that I can do to work out and resolve problems, I am empowered and delighted with what I’ve accomplished and how appreciative I am.

Sitting in a Starbucks here in Santa Fe a number of days ago

interior_light_reflection in Starbucks

– which I hadn’t known existed until a week ago when I suddenly let their logo form an image in my mind’s eye knowing that they typically have internet, I walked in. This is because suddenly my internet connection at chez moi was not working. I came off the mountain Ski Santa fe where I’m a first year ski instructor.

Ski Santa Fe

Ski Santa Fe

Most of the instructors were pulled into this busy day of teaching 145 high school band students from Austin, Texas, most of whom had never skied. It was a warm spring like day, on the lower part of the mountain. And now I’ve come to step into the other part of my life, the part that loves to explore, do art, take photographs, learn languages and communicate. Wow, what fortune that suddenly i have no internet connection at home. I just met in this cafe two French speaking woman on vacation who live in Sweden, with whom I discussed differences in ‘car culture’ in the United States. They mentioned that in Sweden, many, many more people bicycle and use public transportation. They commented that in some, or many towns in the United States, they are shocked to not see any people walking around. They mentioned that in a number of cities in Sweden cars are interdit ‘not allowed’ in the center of town. Funny thing, right after these women left with their coffees after chatting, a mother and her two kids whom I recognized from the day before in this cafe, joined this same large table. Turns out that they live in Texas, and this woman is also French. They also pointed out that they don’t see people walking around, promenading in many town in the United States. Same thing my Bolivian boyfriend from years ago mentioned when I brought him to the town where I was raised in Pennsylvania. He exclaimed, “Where are all the people?” I retorted, they’re either driving in their cars, at the mall or home watching television…So both of these Europeans noticed that at least in Santa Fe, because it’s a tourist town, and perhaps the Spanish element of the town, there is a square and there are people walking around.

Simply Enough Just What I Need, for now

Okay, so back to what I wanted to write about. The fact that months ago I had no key, and now I have almost 10. Weird. A case of theft lead me to moving to a place very quickly that has locks all over the place, a safety deposit box key…I’ve managed to acquire a loaned bicycle to get to my substitute teaching jobs and town, and hitch to work at the ski area. I have just the pans and pots lent to me that I need to prepare meals, along with my one glass, one nicely rounded bowl, rounded coffee cup to drink my espresso, and a round soup spoon. I like round surfaces in their design. I purchased one lamp and futon, and have just the furniture that I need, just enough, a desk and chair. In fact, the other day was the first time I made a bed, after sleeping in a sleeping bag on my futon for months. I realized I had two sheets, a pillow case and a comforter and another zipped something or other which I’m using as the encasement of the comforter. It all works. I’ve found items I’ve purchased at a used thrift store appropriately called, “Look What the Cat Dragged In. They donate proceeds to the local animal shelter. There I got my coffee cup, small plate, steak knife, 1 spatula…and recently bought a can opener. We’re talking minimalist. I love it. I don’t need more. I accumulated clothing that have become my ski wear that are wind and cold resistant, and happened to have some gloves and other clothes that I then brought along back here, now graduating from two backpacks to an additional large and small suitcase. Bass guitar is always of value to have wherever I go, and I have my fav piano book so that I can stop in at places with piano to play.

I created the cup in the picture (a utensil container) an art class i participated in, joining my students in their class. Great, all the materials provided: clay & glaze and it was fired in their kiln a few weeks later.

cup made in art class in a school with students in Santa Fe
clay formed, glazed and fired

The cup is a utensil container, because it leaks! I use it to hold my one fork, knife and spoon, 1 wooden spoon…

I made a painting in an art class too, along the theme of my book.

February art class Waterfunnel painting

Carol Keiter the blogger, writer, artist, musician, composer, photographer

Carol Keiter the blogger, writer, artist, musician, composer, photographer

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The Great Awakening | EcoSpirituality | Now Is The Time | The Giver

What is it that causes me to keep putting off taking my own work seriously? I have endowed ‘work’ for others all my life as something to value and adhere to? I learned the message from my parent’s, properly socialized into endowing ‘work’ from the outside, a duty, as something more of value than listening to the calls of my own destiny. It is true that I am presently suddenly endowed with heaps of ‘work’, that is helping to pay my credit card bills and rent. I am also working the hardest I ever have physically, to bicycle to get to these jobs; often commuting no less than 15 miles a day by bicycle.

I have however been given circumstances that have tremendously helped me in retrospect. One apartment that I moved into provided me with adequate warm clothing that I have been able to use towards my ski instructor job, for which I had had no adequate clothing with me since coming West a year ago. I have been able to acquire just what I needed to survive and make my little sphere of activity complete – allowing me to have the tools to prepare meals, something that i greatly value for health and aesthetics. I also have a favorite piano book with me which I use to go to a public place with a piano to practice. I have my bass guitar here as well to regularly practice a repertoire of songs that are part of that. I have been leant a bicycle to allow me to get to where I need to go. I am however feeling that I have been selling myself short.

I have had intellectual and spiritual nudges arrive just in the times that I have needed them. A week ago I suddenly became ill with a flu, which allowed me to now have a pause in work and the time to reflect and act in my own path. I have been so busy with working jobs for other organizations, that I’ve allowed my own path of completing my book, writing my blogs and composing music, to just drift to the side.

Prince Ea, Everybody Dies but not Everybody Lives

The path to a new beginning starts within you, with love. people-dont-choose-their-dreams-dreams-choose-them-prince-ea-everydody-dies-but-not-everybody-lives

I’ve been re-awakened again and again by the artist I recently discovered, Prince Ea, regarding not letting your own dreams drift away, and recognizing that to live fully, one must put effort and time behind one’s own dreams. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-mcdeez/what-prince-ea-wants-you-to-know_b_5945938.html

I read about this national immigrant walk-out day, after I experienced showing up to a local middle school and having all classes cancelled, and the entire school day disrupted, due to the fact that perhaps a third of the student body hadn’t shown up to school, as they were immigrant children. Santa fe is a sanctuary for immigrants.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-day-without-immigrants-20170216-htmlstory.html

During this day of no classes, I was privy to watching a film held for 8th graders, which suddenly put into very real and understood terms, the ‘analogy’ of this. It was directed by Phillip Noyce, and the book written by the same title by Hannah Arendt.

The Giver,-film-by Phillip Noyce, book by Lois Lowry

The Giver,-film-by Phillip Noyce
Book by Lois Lowry

Funny how despite reading a typically critical (easer to critique and find fault than to understand the messages) review, I suddenly had a eureka moment upon seeing this film. Brilliantly done to stage a fantasy, the filmmaker Phillip Noyce reveals in a series of images and story, what the intellectual Noam Chomsky has been saying for decades about the human race in ‘Manufacturing Consent’; proposing that the mass communication media of the U.S. “are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion”, by means of the propaganda model of communication.

I watched the film and realized that the analogy, is actually what is happening. We are mutually ‘enculturated’ through https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enculturation what we learn through the media we consume (tv, commercial news, film & video and especially commercials) to learn what to value and believe in.

Sure, there are noble professions in which people strive to educate themselves and learn in order to bring a service or product that is helping humanity, but there is also a tremendous imbalance taking place, in which many people are working to live, and actually believe that they have freedom. As long as we are enslaved into believing that working to acquire a vehicle and to live up to the expectations of our peers in terms of material consumption, we are living a lie.

All those who are ‘studying business’ with the idea of making profit in mind, are even more demonstrating this. As long as we believe that our freedom is in material accumulation, the amount of time we can focus our attention on our electronic devices and not think twice about noticing a creature or sunset, then these corporate powers have accomplished their goal.

People are not free. As I was leaving the film riding home on my bicycle, I realize how this local community are completely isolated from one another in their automobiles; which they hold as their truest value, their acquisition and their demonstration of power. I realized that the corpocrisy is what is in control. And when I though about the huge, huge prominence of pharmaceuticals (both legally and ‘medically sanctioned’ and illegal) I realized that this dumbing down and diffusing of emotions and passion into black and white and grey, through (accepted diagnostic treatment) is indeed a tool of control by the powers which control us. We don’t even see it, because we accept that these are normal adaptations. Commercial advertising dictate what is important, physical beauty and prestige through material possession. I have stepped into the public school system and see that these are institutions designed in the treatment of the students as if they are in a penal system in which the utmost demonstration is not curiosity but obedience to authority.

Just days ago one of these insight gifts tumbled into my awareness, this article by Dahr Jamail, interviewing the ecologist Joanna Macy.

Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe: An Interview With Deep Ecologist Joanna Macy
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout

Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe: An Interview With Deep Ecologist Joanna Macy By Dahr Jamail, Truthout, Interview

Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe: An Interview With Deep Ecologist Joanna Macy
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Interview

In it she speaks of the philosopher and writer Hanna Arendt, who wrote “The Origins of Totalitarianism

“The inhuman economic machine does not love us back. It makes us into robots. It sucks us into the destruction of all that is. And even if we can’t turn it around now, at least we can wake up, so that in the time that is left we can discover who we are, just looking into each other’s eyes. Just looking into the face of the moon at night, or the trees, or the faces of our children and free ourselves. I think we want that.”

Now Is The Time, Leonardo DiCaprio, Speech on Climate Change

“Now Is The Time” Leonardo DiCaprio’s Moving Speech on Climate Change

Man, animation by Steve Cutts

Man, animation by Steve Cutts

Interesting that a few weeks ago I got a ride hitching down the Santa fe Ski mountain with a scientist who picked me up. We began talking about Trump and the environment. This man has been working with the National Park Service. He mentioned that within the first two days of Trump’s presidency, when Trump noticed a reference to ‘Climate Change’ among the National Park Service, that he immediately blocked off the entire National Park Service twitter account. Immediately frozen. Yet, that within just hours of this occurring, a brilliant IT person hastily established an ‘alt national park service twitter account’, to which more than a Million scientists joined within the first day. The ‘alt twitter account’ has been embraced by NOAA, NASA and other scientists and agencies just as swiftly. The man said to me with a twinkle in his eye

“Who would have thought that the resistance would be lead by Park Rangers?”

I happened to hear the same theme coming up in my own mind spontaneously and through the words of friends and communication of writer’s and artists simultaneously all around me, is that love does conquer fear. And I happened with delight within a text by Thick Nhat Hanh and reminder of the same concept that I heard associated with the Aboriginees, Indigenous people of Australia, that to truly love something and to have empathy for it, to become it, is the only way that people will wake up to loving every aspect of creation. As long as we are separated and isolated to our true nature by this imposed economic viewpoint that the pursuit of money and material accoutrements is the only goal, we will be perpetually living the lie, that is conveniently continually jammed down our throat. No peace and love and harmony do not arrive through full-throttle blinded identification with money and its pursuit, but by grasping in each moment the miracle of life that surrounds us.

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/band-of-sisters-universe-story-ecotheology/

Wildlife Conservation Agenda, Defenders of Wildlife

Wildlife Conservation Agenda, Defenders of Wildlife

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Carol Keiter the blogger back in Tucson, Arizona summer '16

Carol Keiter the blogger back in Tucson, Arizona summer ’16

Hitchabout Tucson Arizona to New Mexico

clouds, palms, Sonoran Desert

clouds and palms in the Sonoran Desert

Saguaro cactus , Tucson, Arizona

Saguaro cactus in Tucson, Arizona

I’ve been so absorbed with my new location that I haven’t had the opportunity to post my hitchabout highlights. Tucson sculptor Al Glann who has a studio in the Tucson Metalarts Village responded to my comment about his mastery in capturing the essence of creatures in his work, “the trick is to work quickly and to know when to stop”.

Al Glann, sculptor, Tucson, Metalarts Village

Al Glann sculptor at Tucson Metalarts Village

I enjoyed the arts of Tucson tremendously, yet my ambivalence peaked as new promises eviscerated. Final pushes lead to a pull towards New Mexico, where I’ve lived previously in several communities.

contrasts light and dark, Tucson, Arizona, New Mexico

contrasts in light and dark driving from Tucson, Arizona to New Mexico

 

flickr hitchabout tuscon arizon link to pics

flickr hitchabout tuscon arizon link to pics

Ambivalence and the fact that I hadn’t quite dived in to the town (except in the pool at the apt complex where I lived which was eerily empty most of the time) was pointing me elsewhere – the ‘universe’ directing me with a number of different innuendos and nudges…and I wasn’t sure exactly when or where. Then I remembered that I have friends not so far away in New Mexico, in several communities there.

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My intention, to hitch hike more or less 453 miles to Albuquerque, New Mexico from Tucson, Arizona, first stop.
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I had the most successful hitch hiking experience EVER; efficiently arriving at each destination which I visualized, right within the timing I anticipated.

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I had a great hitchhiking adventure with quick and easy rides. Just two, covering circa 500 miles.
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Waited no longer than 5 minutes walking from my apartment, which I physically moved out of that morning, August 1st – now an extra bag in tow. Within yards of my residence, a woman stopped to bring me to the Interstate 10 entrance/gas station by there at my request. After leaving the gas station to walk to the highway entrance, a guy driving to Illinois picked me up as I was arriving there.

 

 

 

 

 

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I arrived to my first planned destination that evening, to stay with a woman friend in Albuquerque.
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My driver opted to stay at a hotel and offered to drive me the next day to my next destination, Santa Fe. We had great fun discussing all sorts of things and talked non-stop until we were hoarse. He met both of my woman friends, and dropped me off at the door of my friend and former boss back when I lived in Taos, New Mexico. He’s a seasoned traveler himself. I listened to many stores. , It appears I was lined up to meet him and for us to influence one another. It seems that he’s brought me that much closer to wanting to simply trust traveling…even if I have no money.
Then to meet up with a friend and former boss in Santa Fe. Turns out she needed someone to cat sit for her and water her plants while she was making some road trips herself.new_mexico_skies_garth

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I’ve rolled into meeting a number of old and new friends who are moving me further towards collaborating and following my passions here. It’s gorgeous here. Bright blue skies, lots of fluffy clouds and also the rain storms.

And off for more art viewing.

Whitehawk Antique, Indian, Ethnographic Art Show

Whitehawk Antique Indian and Ethnographic Art Show

Sovereignty of Consciousness | Psychoactive Plants as Guides | Graham Hancock TED talk | Rupert Sheldrake TED talk

Graham Hancock’s banned TED Talk on The War on Consciousness deserved all of the applause that it received. He talks of human consciousness as emerging through ancient and sacred visionary psychoactive plants, as teachers in themselves. Yes, the plants as the guides, that have been used throughout history, including among indigenous populations around the world today, as sacred vehicles to discovering our own human dimension of consciousness.

Graham Hancock , The War on Consciousness, Mother Ayahuasca

Graham Hancock – The War on Consciousness Message of Mother Ayahuasca plant

“By demonizing whole areas of consciousness, we deny ourselves the possibility of our own human evolution. We can’t claim to be free, until along with the right to freedom of speech, we demand the right of adult sovereignty over consciousness. We have the right to make sovereign decisions with respect to our own consciousness, including the responsible use of ancient and sacred visionary (psychoactive ) plants.”

Graham Hancock, The War on Consciousness, ancient traditions, psychoactives, Soma of the Vedas

Graham Hancock – The War on Consciousness various ancient traditions use of psychoactives Soma of the Vedas

I see that Graham Hancock has written numerous books, which is revealed in his website. He declares that
ayahuasca is not alone, but part of an ancient worldwide system of targeted, careful, deliberate, responsible alteration of consciousness. Kykeon used in the Eleusinian mysteries of ancient Greece, Soma was a beverage used in the Vedas of India, perhaps a psychoactive fungus, the Amanita muscaria, DMT, the Lotus used by ancient Egyptians in their “Tree of Life” belief system and shamans of indigenous peoples presently use various mind altering substances such as ayahuasca and peyote or psilocybin mushrooms…to create a relationship of what the ancient Egyptians called ‘Ma’at‘, balanced harmony with the universe.

Maat, ancient Egyptian goddess, truth, Maat, Ma'at, ancient Egyptian, truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, justice

Maat ancient Egyptian goddess of truth, Maat or Ma’at was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice

 

I participated in a peyote ceremony while residing in Taos, New Mexico. The sacred ritual took place in a tee pee from dusk to dawn on the reservation of the Taos Pueblo.

peyote ceremony, Teepee - Tipis, lains Indians

the peyote ceremony took place in a Teepee – Tipis are typical of the Plains Indians

I was invited by a young Native American girl whom I had gotten to know. I knew of these ceremonies years earlier, and perhaps was motivated to attend one more for recreational reasons. The opportunity didn’t arrive until after a I experienced being in an automobile accident which dramatically caused me to reassess my life. It was only then that the possibility arose. It is said, you don’t choose the peyote, the peyote chooses you.

When I arrived at the designated time and place, she was not to be found. I was nevertheless accepted. I accompanied a woman to her kitchen while she prepared for the ceremony cutting corn husks which had been blessed. These rectangles were then rolled with tobacco, which were each smoked at the onset of the ceremony, as our individual and collective prayers were carried by the rising curls of smoke. The ceremony was conducted by the Elders, to heal someone in the tribe who had asked for this to take place. We each directed our thoughts – prayers – towards this person’s healing as well as our own.

I talk about this in my blog Burning The Man: A Utopian Requiem describing that the ceremony was steeped in ritual movements. I had been assigned to an individual next to whom I sat in the circle, to ensure that my movements would not alter the Feng Shui deliberacy. Instructed to simply bow forward if I needed to regurgitate, that the fire-keeper would take care of this, as he methodically fed the fire in the center of the human circle for the duration; raking the coals and shaping the burning embers from a thin crescent moon in the beginning, to a full circle by its’ end 12 hours later.

Graham Hancock implores offers that “We have no right to go around the world imposing our version of democracy, while we nourish this rot within the heart of our own society. It may even be that we are denying ourselves in the most vital step in our own consciousness.”

Graham Hancock, War on Consciousness , Tree of Life, Egyptians, DMT

Graham Hancock – The War on Consciousness Tree of Life of Ancient Eqyptians and use of DMT

Hancock mentions that the Amazon is a horrific example of neglect; where the lungs of the planet are being dismantled; clearing the forest to grow soybean to feed cattle, so that we can eat hamburgers. “It’s an insane global state of consciousness, an abomination.”

Graham Hancock - The War on Consciousness Amazon rainforest - the lungs of the earth - cleared to plant industrial soybean to feed cattle to make hamburgers.

Graham Hancock – The War on Consciousness Amazon rainforest – the lungs of the earth – cleared to plant industrial soybean to feed cattle to make hamburgers.

The rot he’s speaking of is witnessed through alienation, separation, a disconnect to nature and other life forms in addition to other humans. As witnessed by gun violence, wars, in a culture in which there are more lawyers, psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies prescribing drugs to tame a whole host of modern so-called psychiatric dis orders, which themselves are as much attributed to the alienation that our society, consumed with material acquisition, competition through material appendages and the material interpretation through the sciences of the world around us. The need for weapons, protection, which the pharmaceutical military industrial complex insights, and the disintegration of relationships and recognition of the interrelatedness of all species and awe and respect of all life, is feeding the ego and enforcing competition rather than cooperation.

Graham Hancock, The War on Consciousness, demonizing, consciousness, deny evolution

Graham Hancock – The War on Consciousness by demonizing areas of consciousness we deny our own evolution

He mentions the slew of drugs that are accepted in this culture, stimulants like teas, coffee and the sloppiness of alcohol, yet visionary plants that have been used in religious ritual for eons and which are part of the emergence of human consciousness, are suspect and illegal.

 

Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author. He proposes that “everything depends on evolving habits, not on fixed laws. His hypothesis of ‘Morphic Resonance’, is that everything in nature has a collective memory; resonances are based on similarity – even crystals have a collective memory.”

Rupert Sheldrake, Morphic Resonance, self-organizing systems, inherit memory

Rupert Sheldrake on Morphic Resonance – Self-organizing systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems

He elaborates on the reasoning behind this lack of comprehension, talking about the The Science Delusion. Sheldrake approaches the subject by questioning the authority of the tenets of science, turning the basic scientific materialism-based dogmas into questions.

He proposes that this is the default worldview worldwide, of educated people….and proceeds to demonstrate how utterly non-factual these rules are.

…revealing in his TED talk that in fact the opposite is true, to what is proposed, that:

1. nature is mechanical and machine like – nature, animals & plants are like machines, brains are genetically programmed computers

2. matter is unconscious- no consciousness in stars, galaxies, animals and plants

3. the laws of nature and constants of nature are fixed; they will be the same forever

4. the total amount of matter and energy is always the same – it never changes in quantity – the big bang, everything sprang up out of nothing

5. nature is purposeless; there are no purposes in nature and the evolutionary process is completely purposeless

6. biological heredity is material; everything is inherited form the genes

7. memories are stored in side your brain as material traces; everything you remember is in your brain, modified proteins

8. your mind is inside your head; all consciousness is the activity of your brain and nothing more

9. psychic phenomena like telepathy are impossible; your thoughts and intentions can not have any effect at a distance because everything is inside your head. therefore, all psychic phenomena is illusory; people are deceived by coincidences or wishful thinking

10.mechanistic medicine is the only kind that works; complimentary and alternative therapies can’t possibly work (due to the placebo effect)

In my digesthis blog, presently I write about food sovereignty.

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz ~ As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off with my eBook to complete it and and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously and unabashedly to please donate, if you are able. !-))

Clearly Unclear Place > Trust Mentors’ Inspiring Words

Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra I am here to serve, inspire and live my truth.

I have come to a place where I am indeed stuck, hence the title, clearly unclear. I had catapulted myself, with ease actually, out of Pennsylvania, with several hours of creating a profile and investigating a work-exchange site, specifically a WWOOF position. The host needed someone immediately, and then I miraculously found an automobile to transport across the country, that also was so urgent, that the owners tossed in an extra 100 dollars to entice someone to drive it. So I reduced what I’d take with me to two bags and was off. It was with ease that I also found my way back from the west coast destination for the automobile, back to my host in rural Arizona. I would make it work, the idea was to be isolated with electricity and internet access, to complete my eBook and start composing music again, while writing my blogs. It was a choice just beyond homelessness, and closest to an artist residency. And then I learned that I was the only worker there, that unlike other work-exchange operations, that this was not 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, but every day, and pretty soon I discovered that there was way more work to do than could be easily snipped off at a 5 hour point. Then personality differences ensued. After delicately communicating expectations against the reality and letting reproachful comments slide, one morning the tension fractured, and I was asked to leave immediately. I had just enough time to wash the alfalfa hay and dust out of my hair and pack. When I had the audacity to finally make a statement about the current situation and express my own opinion while being driven from the remote farm to the next town, the tires screeched to a halt and I scrambled to make sure that I could get my valuables, now three bags, out of the vehicle before it sped away.

Eckhart Tolle, Life, experience necessary

Eckhart Tolle Life will give you the experience necessary

I felt more of a sense of relief, than panic. I had been maintaining a meditation practice and had scooped out a bit more time through my own demands to at least do a little bit of my own work in between sleeping and working on the ranch. The animals I loved, the people were angry and overworked. I still remained calm as I stood on this dusty road in the middle of nowhere hitchhiking. A woman of the church finally stopped, she brought me to a place where I was able to approach a man sitting with his iPhone and laptop, to ask if it would be possible for me to poach some of his internet waves in order to send a message to my cousin, who I was pretty sure lived in Phoenix.

Charles Eisenstein, Interbeings

Charles Eisenstein We are Interbeings Anything happening in the world happens to us


It turned out that in the very small allotted time that I sat there with WiFi through this guy whom I had some nice conversation with, that my cousin had returned my email with his contact information. I figured I’d start hitching to Phoenix, and discovered that my cousin lives in Tucson, the other direction. I found rides to take me there also effortlessly.
Charles Eisenstein, Trust Intuition, guided by Love

Charles Eisenstein Trust you Intuition be guided by Love


I have been here a little over a week. I have not had a clue of where to go. I have never warmed up to Los Angeles. I like to discover a city through having the option to walk around narrow streets and bicycle. I like to be in a place where I don’t HAVE to have a car, but can easily find the local ultimate frisbee pickup games, tennis courts, having a place to swim nearby is also lovely…and being among people who are artists and musicians with full hearts and open minds.
Wayne Dyer, karma

Wayne Dyer How you react is your karma


Suddenly it occurred to me that Tucson is this progressive place, particularly since it has a university, that is like an oasis in the desert of massive business chain entities that line several of the wide 4 lane highway streets that cut through the city. You know, the massive chains that are everywhere in the United States, as soon as you get out of the ‘old town’ or central quaint neighborhoods, you are confronted with these massive familiar businesses that are like flavors of ice cream, their brand names are so familiar to everyone.
Carlos Castaneda, Perception Changes

Carlos Castaneda Your Perception Changes

So I decided, yes, I’ll look for work here, and housing, and then I had an experience one day that said, no, this is not what I want. And then I had another day that gently encouraged me to go with this new plan – do the duty, pay the price – and then the following day I was again feeling discouragement. As I communicated in a letter yesterday, perhaps I shouldn’t have come across and listened to, most of my adult life, the words and messages of Carl Jung, Carlos Castaneda, Joseph Campbell, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Charles Eisenstein, Wayne Dyer…

i.e. Tolle “Awakening to your Life’s Purpose”, Campbell “Follow your Bliss”, Jung “synchronicity” “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”, Chopra ‘I am the creator of my best life”, Castaneda ‘the teachings of the shaman Don Juan”, Charles Eisenstein “We are all here to contribute our gifts toward something greater than ourselves, and will never be content unless we are.”

Carlos Castaneda, path with Heart

Carlos Castaneda Does the path have a Heart

And in my confusion, I’m delighted to have opened up this to read today.

http://charleseisenstein.net/books/the-more-beautiful-world-our-hearts-know-is-possible/nondoing/

“If we are stuck and do not choose to visit the empty place, eventually we will end up there anyway. You may be familiar with this process on a personal level. The old world falls apart, but the new has not emerged. Everything that once seemed permanent and real is revealed as a kind of hallucination. You don’t know what to think, what to do; you don’t know what anything means anymore. The life trajectory you had plotted out seems absurd, and you can’t imagine another one. Everything is uncertain. Your time frame shrinks from years to this month, this week, today, maybe even to the present moment. Without the mirages of order that once seemed to protect you and filter reality, you feel naked and vulnerable, but also a kind of freedom. Possibilities that didn’t even exist in the old story lie before you, even if you have no idea how to get there. The challenge in our culture is to allow yourself to be in that space, to trust that the next story will emerge when the time in between has ended, and that you will recognize it. Our culture wants us to move on, to do. The old story we leave behind, which is usually part of the consensus Story of the People, releases us with great reluctance. So please, if you are in the sacred space between stories, allow yourself to be there. It is frightening to lose the old structures of security, but you will find that even as you might lose things that were unthinkable to lose, you will be okay. There is a kind of grace that protects us in the space between stories. It is not that you won’t lose your marriage, your money, your job, or your health. In fact, it is very likely that you will lose one of these things. It is that you will discover that even having lost that, you are still okay. You will find yourself in closer contact to something much more precious, something that fires cannot burn and thieves cannot steal, something that no one can take and cannot be lost. We might lose sight of it sometimes, but it is always there waiting for us. This is the resting place we return to when the old story falls apart. Clear of its fog, we can now receive a true vision of the next world, the next story, the next phase of life. From the marriage of this vision and this emptiness, a great power is born.”

Alas, as I take in information with my brain and heart, and also stop and allow new messages to come in, I must trust that I’ll find my way.

Charles Eisenstein, organic intelligence, answer will find you.

Charles Eisenstein message to his Self of the Past The organic intelligence will become visible, the answer will find you.

Dalai Lama, War, military establishments greatest source of violence

Dalai Lama War and military establishments the greatest source of violence in the world.

I’m still looking for that artist residency and community….

Carol Keiter, blogger

Carol Keiter the blogger