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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Climate Change for Skeptics or Believers | Sam Harris Interviews Climate Expert Joseph Romm

 

Two hours of attentive listening. Make the Time. It is so well worth it!

This two hour podcast is extremely informative. Sam Harris directs the questions in a very intelligible manner. His guest, Joseph Romm, an author, blogger, physicist and climate expert, is fantastically eloquent and articulate. Each word he uses, each sentence is jam-packed with information; displaying his knowledge about the subject of science, human behavior, economics and the politics of power and persuasion.

Sam Harris podcast, audio interview with Climate Expert, Joseph Romm

Sam Harris podcast audio interview with Climate Expert Joseph Romm

Sam Harris podcast, audio interview with Climate Expert, Joseph Romm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is especially for people who don’t believe that Climate Change is caused through the actions of human beings. Yet is even more persuasive and full of facts for those of you who are already convinced that man’s actions are inextricably linked to Climate Destruction. His guest who wrote the book “What you Need to Know about Climate Change”

LISTEN to inform yourself, regardless of what your opinion is.

 

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz, blogger, currently completing by first eBook, musician and composer, has no income, zero. I spend time communicating these things, reading, researching, writing, conversing, because I am passionately interested in the subjects of in particular, saving the environment and habitats of animals from human greed and destruction. I have the time to ponder and consider these things, because my world is not centralized around an immediate family; I am single, and ready to engage in any task employing my language and communication skills, anywhere presently.

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carol keiter squinting in the Montpellier, France sun

carol keiter blogger card

carol keiter blogger card

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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Factory Outlet by George Monbiot posted in the Guardian | Expeditionary Learning

Mass conformism through propaganda. George Monbiot’s words continue to pierce me with his insights.

http://www.monbiot.com/2017/02/16/factory-outlet/

Posted in the Guardian 16th of February, 2017

He talks of the educational conformism that drains teacher’s and students of creativity, and speaks of several systems that move away from the old model, that was designed to produce workers in the 19th century industrialist cultures we lived in.

One educational model that stood out to me, the Reggio Emilia approach, is only because I happened to visit there when I hitchhiked from Berlin to southern Germany, destination Rome.

It was just today that I took a picture of this Expeditionary Learning description on the wall of an 8th grade bi-lingual school science class here in Santa fe.

Expeditionary Learning, hands-on learning, all senses on

Expeditionary – hands and all senses on – Learning

Reminding me of a blog I wrote, after discovering the concept on a hitchhiking journey in which two teachers coming from a conference picked me up and informed me about it.

Why kids need to move, touch, experience to learn, Expeditionary Learning

Why kids need to move, touch and experience to learn Expeditionary Learning

Carol the blogger, Italians, Reggio Emilia, Italian Hitchabout

Carol the blogger among Italians in Reggio Emilia on Italian Hitchabout


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

Carol the blogger's contact card while residing here in the southwest for the time being.

Carol the blogger’s contact card while residing here in the southwest for the time being.

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

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

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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

“The Lie We Live” | short film by Spencer Cathcart | “Le Mensonge dans lequel nous vivons” | “Die Lüge die wir leben” | “La Mentira En Que Vivimos”

The Lie We Live  short film by Spencer Cathcart

The Lie We Live
short film by Spencer Cathcart

http://www.trueactivist.com/this-video-exposes-the-corrupt-world-were-living-in-but-we-can-change-it/

short film by Spencer Cathcart http://theliewelive.blogspot.com

français

Le mensonge dans lequel nous vivons

Le mensonge dans lequel nous vivons

deutsch
die lüge die wir leben

español
The Lie We Live – La Mentira Que Vivimos

Script for the film

In front of you, you have access to more information than any human in history. But you probably don’t care. That curiosity we once had in the world is gone.

Why is it the older we get, the less questions we ask? Throughout history we’ve always accepted whatever world we were born into. And if anyone tried to question our world, they were ridiculed. It’s only years later we look back and ask ourselves: how could anyone accept that world?

Today we call ourselves developed, as if we have nothing left to learn. But in a hundred years, when people look back at our generation, will they too ask themselves: how did anyone accept that world? 

It’s no secret our world is full of problems. We rally, we protest, still the problems only seem to grow. And maybe, because they stem from a much larger problem we fail to see.

Why do we search the universe for new life, when we can’t even coexist with the life on our own planet? It’s as if we expect any life out there to be just like us. As if life can only be human. How is it in a world with millions of species we see ourselves as the only one that thinks, feels, or matters? It’s a reoccurring theme in our history, the belief that some life is inferior to others. We’ve always struggled to accept those unlike ourselves. To recognize because something’s different doesn’t mean it should be treated differently.

When we look at other life, we say our technology makes us more advanced. Yet all we seem to advance is the destruction of the world surrounding us. You look around and there’s little life to be seen. Most animals we know, we’ve only witnessed on screens.

It’s funny how we call them “animals” but ourselves “humans”. As if we’re two different life forms with nothing in common. We see them as beasts and ourselves as people.  Calling their actions barbaric, yet our actions tradition. But while they kill to survive, we kill even as we call ourselves civilized. And we don’t just kill; we raise life to be killed. Not because we need to. Because we like the taste, the look, the feeling. And when you see life as an object of value, it’s hard to see the value in life.

Why is it when some animals are killed it becomes a headline. But when others are murdered, we don’t blink an eye? Why are we enraged at the thought of a culture eating dogs? But laugh when another culture refuses to eat cows?

Our idea of normal may change depending where you are, but our desire to be normal has always been the same. It’s only when the norm changes that we criticize our former ways. Today we live in a nation where it’s normal to get cancer; to become obese; to develop heart disease. Clearly there’s something wrong with this way of life we call normal. But it’s all we’ve ever known.  

For as long as we can remember we’ve eaten animals. Growing up we’re taught meat gives us protein and makes us strong.  Yet so do many foods we don’t need to kill for, but we’re not told that. We hardly hear about the numerous studies showing the diseases associated with meat. Or all the food and land we waste fattening the animals we eat. When you drink the breast milk of another animal your whole life it doesn’t seem odd. It just seems normal. After all, it’s what we’ve always done and we don’t question tradition. We embrace it. But if we never questioned the traditions of our past, we would never evolve.

I’m sick of this politically correct yet morally fucked world. A world where we’re afraid others will be offended by our words, but not that others will be affected by our actions. A world where everybody says they want a solution, but nobody’s willing to admit they’re the problem. The choices we make travel further than we think, but we choose to ignore the impact we have. There was a time I thought we could change. But as I get older I find myself asking, even if we could change, do we want to?

Perhaps this is simply who we are. From the beginning, we’ve been unable to coexist with other life on this planet. And no matter how far we’ve evolved, it’s a theme that lives on. If the story of our planet were a film, up to this point humans would be the villain. And like any great villain, we’ve always refused to see ourselves as the bad guy.

Each generation comes into this world thinking they can make things right, only to be remembered years later for what was wrong. Today we may have more information than any other generation. But what good are answers if we never begin to ask the right questions.

None of us chose to be born into this world. None of us chose who we would be. But all of us have the choice to change what we become.

-Written by Spencer Cathcart

Break Free from Fossil Fuels | 2 week global Wave of Escalated Action > Keep Coal, Oil + Gas In The Ground | Sat. May 14th

Time to Break Free from Fossil Fuels May 4-16th

break free, break free from fossil fuels, actions worldwide

Actions are happening all over the world

Top US Actions Break Free from Fossil Fuels

On Saturday May 14th, all over the world, a coordinated action to break free from fossil fuels will take place. These actions will take place at strategic locations where people can come together. The southwest central hub is Los Angeles, California. People will meet at the City Hall at 1pm, 200 N. Spring St.

I wish to join from my current location in Tucson, Arizona, however I don’t have a vehicle or disposable income. It’s a 7.5 hour drive along Interstate 10. I just hitched to San Francisco 10 days ago, and frankly, would prefer to join people in a ride. nomadbeatz@graffiti.net If anyone reads this, perhaps a few vehicles could be coordinated. https://la.breakfree2016.org/transport/

Californians and people of the southwestern states will convene in L.A., home to the nation’s largest urban oil field in the United States—ground zero of California’s climate fight. We will demand that our elected leaders put an end to the oil and gas production that threaten the state’s health, environment and future. If California wants to uphold its legacy as a global climate leader, then we must keep oil and gas in the ground as we work toward establishing a sustainable energy economy.

In my case, I wish to attend the Los Angeles action. If anyone is interested in joining, here’s the link to get involved. https://la.breakfree2016.org/#join

Carol

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

Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea | Stand for Trees | Severn Suzuki | Anjali Appadurai

I just came across these messages which echo in their empathy for the inhabitants of the earth affected by their environment and for the habitat loss of species; it’s about what we can and must do to actively engage in changes.

Dear Future Generations, Sorry, Prince Ea

Dear Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea

Prince Ea describes what a future generation may come across, when the Amazon Rain Forest becomes the Amazon desert…or when a tree is a thing of the past, yet stops himself to beckon the audience that it is not too late.

Dear Future Generations, Sorry, Prince Ea, I am not sorry, error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it

He urges to “look at the root, not at the branches of government…..we must globally warm our hearts….If we don’t all work together to save the environment, we will be equally extinct.”

Dear Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea. If we do nothing, regardless of racism, sexism, inequality... we will be Equally Extinct

Dear Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea. If we do nothing, regardless of racism, sexism, inequality… we will be Equally Extinct

Prince Ea says he was inspired to write this piece after visiting Africa and witnessing the destruction of the rain forest, where animals are losing their habitat at enormous rates.

And with reference to sorry doesn’t cut it, because we still have a chance to act; he brings up Stand For Trees, what he has chosen as an action to offset carbon.

buy Stand For Trees Certificate, forest communities, specific forest, tonne, CO2, earth's atmosphere.

Every time you buy a Stand For Trees Certificate, you help local forest communities around the world keep a specific forest standing and prevent a tonne of CO2 from entering the earth’s atmosphere.

Stand for Trees certificate

Stand for Trees certificate

Stand for Trees How it Works You Buy a Stand for Trees Certificate, offsetting a 'tonne' of CO2, allowing forest to stand

Stand for Trees How it Works You Buy a Stand for Trees Certificate – offsetting a ‘tonne’ of CO2 – allowing forest to stand

This will naturally help communities living within these local forests to protect and honor their trees and want to maintain the forest as well as maintaining the corridor of land for all the species whose habitat is within these forests.

I came across the speeches of two young girls who had the courage to extend their voice to adults meeting in two separate climate summit events.

One features the Words of Wisdom of the 12 year old girl at the time of here speech in 1992, uploaded April, 2008 onto youtube.

Severn Suzuki, Rio De Janeiro, Earth Summit 1992

Severn Suzuki in Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit 1992

Severn Suzuki was the ‘girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes‘.

I am only a child, and yet I know, that if all of the money that is spent on war, was instead spent on environmental policies, Severne Suzuki girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes. She claimed that her father informed her, “You are not what you say, you are what you do.” She was speaking at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro 1992 – United Nation’s Conference on Environment and Development (1992)

Severn said that her father informed her, “You are not what you say, you are what you do.” Investigating, I found that her father is certainly saying and doing things to inspire us. https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/sustainability-david-suzuki-creative-consciousness-same-name-but-different/

At that time, Severn Suzuki was speaking for (ECO) The Environmental Children’s Organization – which she and several 12 and 13 year old friends started to engage with the world to make a difference. She came 5,000 miles from British Columbia to Rio to tell adults how their actions were causing her to lose her future. “I am only a child, and yet I know, that if all of the money that is spent on war, was instead spent on environmental policies.”

Severn Suzuki, Earth Summit Rio 1992, if money were invested in education, solutions to poverty and environmental devastation,  rather than  war

Severn Suzuki speaking at Earth Summit Rio 1992 if all the money spend on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environmental solutions.

Severn Suzuki grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In her speech she said, “In my country we make so much waste, we buy and throw away, buy and throw away, and yet northern countries will not share with the needy. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to lose some of our wealth, afraid to share…

If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!”

Here is the full text of Severn Suzuki’s speech at the Earth Summit Conference in Rio, 1992.

She is since married with two children, intent still in making a difference through her education and activism. Think Global Green, listing Facts and Solutions about the environment.

19 years later, another young articulate and bold young woman spoke to a different climate conference, this time the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa in 2011. As a representative of the College of the Atlantic representing the Youth Delegation, Anjali Appadurai urged the dignitaries attending the UN summit for climate justice, demanding them to “Get It Done”!

Anjali Appadurai, Youth Delegation, College of the Atlantic, United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban, South Africa 2011, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now

Anjali Appadurai, representing the Youth Delegation of the College of the Atlantic speaking to United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa 2011, covered by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now

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. !-))

Carol Keiter the blogger with Tibetan prayer flags, Native American dream catchers and green plants

Carol Keiter the blogger with Tibetan prayer flags, Native American dream catchers and green plants

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Transformation | Presents of Presence | Asking the Right Questions

I suddenly have very limited time. Nothing like time constraints to force one into action! In fact, the underlying current of this blog is about constraints put on from the outside, which have actually been blessings because they have been lighting the flames to blaze my path. I’ve fortunately welcomed these, as I have wished to set into motion my path and cast a net of wider options. Aiming for excellence as opposed to perfection, I’m striving to accomplish projects as efficiently as possible and simply ‘get them out there’.

I’m presently living on a ranch on the dusty outskirts of Florence, Arizona in the Sonoran desert.

Entrance, Ranch, Florence, Arizona

Entrance and front porch to my living quarters on Ranch near Florence, Arizona

A town I had never heard of and a place I hadn’t fathomed living in several weeks ago. A month ago I shoveled two and a half feet of snow

2.5 feet, snow, Pennsylvania

2.5 feet of snow in Pennsylvania

in Pennsylvania, the largest snowfall in a decade, despite 2015 being the warmest year globally, on record. Here are some pics of my 1st WWOOF experience on Veteran’s Ranch off the town of Florence, Arizona in the Sonoran desert.

Here are some pics of my 1st WWOOF, Veteran’s Ranch, Florence, Arizona, Sonoran desert.

Here are some pics of my 1st WWOOF experience on Veteran’s Ranch off the town of Florence, Arizona in the Sonoran desert.

Back in midsummer I was suddenly pushed to move out of my ‘childhood’ home, where I had been residing once again after moving back from Berlin, Germany. I anticipated having to leave this residence, eventually, yet had – from my perspective – an enormous task ahead of me. I needed to ‘go through’ a large closet packed with my possessions that had been stored there while I lived on the East and West coasts of the US and several European countries. The beginning of tackling this was through the serendipitously timed message of an online coworking coach, regarding approaching large tasks much more easily, by setting oneself very small goals: ‘mini habits’. This invoked me to begin stretching, meditating and eventually to begin ‘going through’ one, then another box, in un-intimidating doses. The task felt enormous, because rather than dealing with large pieces of furniture, it was with minute pieces of paper – boxes upon boxes of journals, sketches, letters – which I would eventually sift through and decide what to recycle and what to photograph and digitize, along with creating folders and a methodology of cataloguing so that I could easily retrieve this mass of media.

When I was forced to leave the home with a very short notice, my first response was not to panic and scramble looking for where to immediately go, but to pour my heart and mind into the intent of where I would ultimately love to go. I put out this notice https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/posting-a-jobhomecommunity-relocation-info-ad-for-myself/

The timing of it triggered me to go through my stuff, while awaiting an opening at a workaway position in Brooklyn, New York on a Ferry Boat – another deadline. I fortunately was offered a temporary residence which gave me the space to accomplish this task. A friend of my housing host repeatedly asked me “Aren’t you excited about moving to Brooklyn?”, to which I responded that I wasn’t in the least bit thinking about it, as I was focused in the present; doing the best job that I could in sorting through and digitizing a huge glutton of my past.

I made it through this material, while continuing to eat healthy foods, stretching daily and practicing heart-rhthym meditations. Then another synchronisitic event occurred. Aware that the Paris Climate Talks were approaching, as someone who blogs consistently about corpocrisy, animal rights, environmental, political and economic topics, I now happened upon the concept from the textbook of the ‘iamheart School of Heart Rhythm meditations‘ about directing a question during the meditation exercise. Some of the letters which kept surfacing while sifting through my stuff, connected with a discovery that emerged during and within hours of this meditation. A week later I was on a flight on my way to Paris within days of the beginning of the COP21. I joined a crew of 600 others to participate in the learning and transformative activist and journalism movement of Place to B, a gathering of people involved in actively engaging and transforming our relationship to the world ecologically.

Within the first minute of getting into my seat of the WOW airlines flight from Baltimore Washington to Reykjavik Airport, connecting to a flight to Paris; Kadi and I introduced ourselves and discovered that we were each headed to the same destination, Paris, for the COP21. We high-fived! I was heading to PlacetoB whereas she had a pass to enter the floor of dignitaries of the COP.

Carol Keiter, USA, Kadi Kenk, Estonia, WOW airlines, Paris COP21, Climate Talks

Carol Keiter from the USA and Kadi Kenk from Estonia sitting next to one another on the WOW airlines flight from Baltimore Washington to Reykjavik Airport, connecting to a flight to Paris; Each going to the Paris COP21 Climate Talks

She mentioned an Estonian designer who recognized the enormity of waste in the design industry of unused fabric, who started a ‘trash to trend’ movement. The ‘Reet Aus’ label means ‘up made’.

Trash to Trend, Estonian, Upcycled, Clothing Design

‘Trash to Trend’ Estonian 100% Upcycled Clothing Design Line

It implies all of the leftover fabric that is used instead of being thrown away. The designer works not with recycled, but 100% upcycled clothing line. As we talked, Kadi mentioned that she’s a lawyer in tax law. She had started to volunteer at letsdoitworld a World Cleanup Day designated for 2018. Once she finished her position and realized she had no limitations, she began to open up to see things that were always there, but that she hadn’t noticed before: not just opportunities, but a completely different way of living one’s life.

She mentioned that things open up for people who are willing to open themselves to seeing things in a new way.

By going with the flow and trusting in one’s intuition, this allows one to be able to now see things, even though they were always there, but which one wasn’t able to see.

Let's do It, World Cleanup Day 2018

Let’s do It World Cleanup Day 2018

One of the first distinctions I realized upon sitting in my first day seminar at the PlacetoB, was a palatable spiritual essence within the presentations. Here were people who gathered because of their longing to make positive changes in the world. Changemakers, innovators, creatives and media professionals here in Paris to explore solutions to sustainable living, with the intent to share stories and seed their own media in ways to help create change. People with ideals they believe in, and the incentive and intent act on their creative instincts in whatever ways they conceptualized. I would say that one common denominator is that all think outside of the box; going with their hearts to manifest what they believe in. It was no accident that my heart meditations brought me there. On my first day there attending a seminar at PlacetoB, the host of the Transformational Media Summit, Jeremy Wickremer’s message reverberated with me. He spoke of the importance of asking the right questions. More important than driving towards answers, is asking questions, as this already is less limiting, and opening oneself up to a field of creativity. Wickremer prompted zealously emphasizing that “The quality of our questions affects the quality of our lives. It affects where we focus our efforts and what we achieve.”

I am daily asking questions within my meditations of how best I can serve, doing what I love to do and what I feel passionately about. Trusting in this, with the steady stream of various messages that have helped to guide and nudge me into a secure space, despite having subsequently moved to this workaway Ferry boat gig in Brooklyn, New York days following my return from Paris and told that it wasn’t going to work. And then moving back to the place which was my temporary refuge while I sifted through my stuff, and was told that this as well was not going to work, I felt that each was a gift, to push me to move on towards what will be the better way for me to manifest my dreams and use my skills best.

Once again rather than panicking about having shelter, my first instinct was to follow through with a blog I was putting together, that suddenly erupted into yet another synchronistic series of connections; the fact that in my research I happened upon the same organization that I later discovered was what had also been sent to me by one of my PlacetoB comrades. I delved first into contacting an organization with an introduction to myself and defining what I would love to do with them, using a set of skills from illustration to writing, conceptualizing to marketing their service abroad with my language skills. I then prompted myself to put out another pair of blogs as a christening of the job application. My approaching deadline of potential homelessness now serendipitously called me to consider paring down to what I could carry on my back, as in Paris, just two backpacks. Now my Facebook groups emerged with concepts of hitchhiking South (having just shoveled two and a half feet of snow in PA days earlier). Now I was looking at posts in the hitchhiking group about ways to travel and sleep for free, several of which I had already been acquainted with. In this process of investigation into now the possibility of simply beginning to travel South, with the idea of contacting and interviewing successful agroforestry farmers in Central and South America, I learned of a Frenchman born in 1937 who basically hitchhiked and traveled more extensively than anyone, André Antoine Brugiroux, who between 1955 and 2005, visited every country and territory in the world.

Having not heard back from the Center for Ecoliteracy organization in Berkeley, California where I created my own position which I presented to them, and having little savings and an ever increasing credit card debt, I now was inspired to begin hitching, however then the Zika virus scare erupted into the news. I then aimed towards the idea of searching for workaways in Europe, where ultimately I would love to reside, to ever expand my language skills. From Sicily to France, the idea of learning ecological practices from the pros, those with their own farms to then communicate in writing, this was now my pursuit. I went as far as investigating universities in France to combine studying French as a foreign language with ecological studies, yet the timing was not quite right, the semester was just starting and I had yet to acquire a student VISA. A sister of mine then reminded me of the WWOOFing concept which I new of vaguely. Within days of joining and creating yet another online profile about what I can offer and lots of investigation, I received an answer. Within minutes I remembered autodriveaway as possibility of transporting myself as I had use previously when driving back to the East coast from California with the car packed with my own stuff. This time there were only two autos on their entire list – in February – that needed to be transported. I opted for the one from the East to the West coast. The person who had been lined up to transport this car backed out at the last minute and now it was urgent. I had just enough money with more cc debt to manage the deposit, and now my plan was coalescing. I coordinated what I’d need to be a Ranch hand (hiking boots, sturdy clothes to get mucked up and gloves, sunscreen) and hitched to the location to pick up the car. My first ride within minutes of standing by the road in central PA with a sign to the next highway, was a guy who was listening while he drove to ‘The Secret‘ on his laptop in his van, and decided that there was ‘a reason for picking me up’. He drove me most of the way, having no specific jobs of urgency that morning. As he pulled into a gas station for us to find out where we were in relation to Washington D.C., he had just gotten a text about a job that sprung up, and I saw a well dressed man in his hat walking to his car. Something told me to launch out, leaving my luggage to approach this man and ask if he was driving towards D.C. He was my ride to one of the outer metro stops that would bring me from the northern tip of the Washington District of Columbia metropolitan subway transit system to where I needed to go on the southern end in Alexandria, Virginia to pick up the car. The woman working for the transit system was my third hitch, she gave me a pass to show upon arrival at my station stop.

I drove a Honda Civic (same automobile that I was driving of my mother) across the country. Leaving behind as a gift, the magnets a friend handcrafted in Taos, New Mexico – signifying to me the spiritual essence of life’s path.

Magical Magnets handcrafted by Betsy Pierce

Magical Magnets handcrafted by Betsy Pierce

and was off

the last sunset shot in Pennsylvania

the last sunset shot in Pennsylvania

And having taken a photo of the last sunset I saw in central Pennsylvania, I met my new host after climbing into her truck to take a lovely sunset photo here in my new environment, the Arizona desert.

Arizona sunset at the pickup point off Interstate 10.

Arizona sunset at the pickup point off Interstate 10.

Besides the changing landscapes that evolved from the thick moist air of the Washington D.C. area to then the hills of Tennessee and then the obvious encroaching desert of Oklahoma, were the accompanying radio stations which were now broadcasting more Christian radio shows and Christian rock, the further south and west I drove. By the time I was in the Pan Handle of Texas, there was a preacher-like radio caster who denounced Planned Parenthood as something to be handcuffed, and that the applauded birth-rate drop while it was still in existence, was to him, nothing to boast about. I guess he doesn’t notice the global problems due to overpopulation…

I managed to pull a 17 hour day drive so that I could arrive in Albuquerque NM the following day at a reasonable hour to meet up with my friend since the days when I lived in Taos. The timing was perfect, non-calculated yet having driven with the incentive to have some spare time.

The down sleeping bag that the former captain of my Berlin Ultimate Frisbee team gifted to me.

Glad I had the down sleeping bag that my former captain of my Berlin Ultimate Frisbee team “Yeehaw” gifted to me, as the windshield upon waking was sketched with crystals of ice.

I stopped at the Ranch to drop off my two backpacks and to become introduced to what I was about to commit to. I wasn’t yet sure how I’d return to Arizona from Los Angeles once I delivered the car. However after investigating Greyhound, then put some ads in the LA craigslist rideshare, and even scouted out local public and private Los Angeles airports with the idea of hitching a plan, I sent out a message to a friend who lives there. We had lived in San Francisco at the same time, then met up randomly at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah and then became housemates in Santa Fe, New Mexico and he tipped me to get a job working at the Santa Fe Ski Basin. We then were for a period both living in Berlin, Germany at the same time and now each back in the States. It turned out that though numerous people answered my craigslist ad looking for a ride, my friend Paul was just returning from a day’s ski trip and was leaving in another day and a half to drive to Tucson, Arizona to attend the Gem and Jam music festival which he had purchased tickets for in advance. It just so happened that he’d be driving on Interstate 10, which is the route I took to CA from AZ, and where I could be picked up by the Rancher. Yep, another rather scintillating example of synchronistic timing! Here are pics of the road trip

flickr pics of my East to West autodriveaway trip transporting a Honda Civic (I love these cars) and of some scenes in Los Angeles

flickr pics of my East to West autodriveaway trip transporting a Honda Civic (I love these cars) and of some scenes in Los Angeles

and also of some interesting Los Angeles scenes.

Now I’m working rather long hours and doing physically harder work than I’ve ever done in my life, yet with absolute love for the animals I’m helping to take care of for a rancher who is a tremendously hard worker. She is teaching me efficiency, as she juggles multiple tasks; a job, milking goats with a machine, raising chickens, turkeys, two pot-bellied pigs and making lotions and soap with the goat milk base. She is also part of a volunteer Search & Rescue team who must ride horses for their operation; the most efficacious way to search for a lost person in the desert is not with an automobile, but by horse. Her husband tends to the horses and cattle. They have 6 dogs, three of which are ‘working dogs’ yet completely lovable pets, and all of which are at least 80 pounds a piece. WWOOFing is excellent for the hosts, who as farmers and ranchers typically have endless chores and work to maintain their operations, and great for people like myself who can step into a completely new environment, and learn continuously about aspects of farming etc. that are new; offering one’s physical help in exchange for room and board. I specified in my search that I needed internet access. Voila! In this solitude, living in the middle of nowhere in the sonoran desert with no vehicle (except for my thumb), I opted to bring a folder of all of my Paris paraphernalia and my digital camera and laptop; to continue to spread all that I learned during the two weeks in Paris and to complete my book and start composing more music. It is a purposeful isolation, and really quite unique. As someone who has still not marketed myself nor find an artist residency, nor a publisher willing to gamble on an unpublished writer, nor any grants or funds from a foundation to assist, this seemed to be the best option – specifically since the whole theme of the Paris COP21 and PlacetoB is about transforming all of our habits towards ecologically healthy ones for humans and all inhabitants of the planet, for a better world.

For anyone who has read this far, I can say that this is giving me a taste of what it is like to be a prisoner. I am the only worker here, so all of the load is falling on me, and it is sort of endless and presently a bit overwhelming. I have no days off, must be up at 6am every day, and rarely are the hours contained to the typical WWOOF schedule of 5 hours/day, totaling 30 hours a week. I have felt at times like what it must be like to be an indentured servant; for example a Pakistani immigrant worker in Saudi Arabia, working for ‘masters’ who may not be very gracious or kind. I feel like I am consistently fighting to keep the hours per day to a reasonable workload so that I can have time to work on my own projects, and it has been a continued struggle. Now I am wondering what it is that I can do, where to go, as I am earning no money whatsoever. It sounded like a reasonable way to accomplish things and this place seemed ideal in my minds eye; to put myself into solitude where I would just work on my projects. Up front it was stated that no smoking, drinking or drugs would be tolerated. I typically have a glass of red wine with my dinner, a smoke once in a while and yet certainly I am demonstrating that I’m not addicted to any of these because I can carry on fine without. Yet I feel like I hardly have any time. I am now questioning why it is that I somehow can not manage to find work that employs my skills; illustrating, writing, conversational German, French and Spanish and administrative skills and plenty of creative and conceptual ideas. I’m also a very social person who presently is sort of marooned in an area so rural with no vehicle or bicycle, so that I can’t go out at all. In fact, I feel that I am not being treated with much dignity or respect, and wondering why I have come to this place? What was it in the stars that compelled me to idealize this one, and launch myself here? Perhaps the lesson is that I have not worked on completing my book or composing any new music. I am not sure what the ‘universe’ is telling me? Perhaps it is that the joke is on me for not having had the courage or belief in myself to really dive into crafting my own skills and putting this out there. Therefore, I am definitely on a transition, and I’m not sure to where? Hmmm, within an hour of writing this paragraph and perusing Facebook while eating my dinner, I came across this post which my sister shared. It seems to hold the key!

self-sabotage, limiting beliefs

Within an Hour of adding this previous paragraph, I discovered this post which my sister had shared on her Facebook Wall | Are you Blocking your own Success

In retrospect, though the message is essentially solid, once I checked out this woman’s video I got a little annoyed with the typical selling strategy: buy now or you’ll lose out, and with this offer, you’ll get such and such for free, only while it lasts!!!! I just don’t go for these gimmicks and sales techniques, they turn me off. Funny, when I first tuned in to get my free counseling video, suddenly my computer decided to ‘update my safari browser’ and then the whole ‘streaming’ was glitchy using another browser. I do appreciate the information; about the ways that a person can be self-sabotaging through subconscious thoughts and ‘limiting beliefs’ that were imprinted into the unconscious during childhood when a person is operating mostly on ‘Theta Brainwaves’. And her points about repetition of empowering and positive thoughts envisioned and surrounding oneself with positive and supportive people who take action and make creative changes in their lives….yet I think that one can tap into this through meditation, opening up a channel to the ‘intelligence of the universe’ or whatever you wish to call IT.

Here I am,

carol_keiter_blogger_wwoof_res_feb20

carol_keiter_blogger_wwoof_res_feb20

the blogger in my ‘moose lake lodge’ in the Sonoran desert where I’m participating in my first WWOOF experience on the Veteran’s Ranch, a means of avoiding homelessness while at the same time being very interested in learning about farming techniques from the pros – the people who run the farms and ranches – and I absolutely love and adore animals of every type.

 

When I’m not working with the animals or on my own projects, I’m taking pictures of the sunsets, which have been gorgeous lately.

the sunset from all angles on this Sonoran desert feb 19th evening

the sunset from all angles on this Sonoran desert feb 19th evening

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 to please donate, if you are able. !-))

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