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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Art Light Spring Home TGr Santa Fe, New Mexico

Here are a collection of photos that I’ve taken both with a Canon Power shot and Coolpad Rogue phone. They are of the things I love. Art Light and Shadows, Blossoming trees, the cat I named TGr who came along with the new residence. Spring in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Art, Light, Spring, Santa Fe, New Mexico_1

Art Light Spring Santa Fe New Mexico

I have visited numerous art galleries, particularly on their Friday evening openings.

Art, Light, Spring, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Art Light Spring Santa Fe New Mexico

I’ve taken a lot of pictures, here’s the link

Art, Light, Spring, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Art Light Spring Santa Fe New Mexico: pics of that which I love and appreciate

Here are a few of the featured artists which I like very much at the Turner Carroll gallery.

Hung Liu, artist, Carroll gallery on, Canyon Rd., Santa Fe, NM

Hung Liu artist featured at Turner Carroll gallery on Canyon Rd. in Santa Fe, NM

Igor Melnikov, Turner Carroll gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Igor Melnikov Turner Carroll gallery Santa Fe, NM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

thanks for looking

Carol Keiter, art, writing, photos, music

doing art, writing, taking photos, music

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ArT WorK and PlaY in Santa fe, New Mexico

It’s sat night and I came back from skiing all day starting with an 8am ski clinic to teach instructors how better to shape their craft. I had worked at an elementary school 5 days last week which I discovered in the online (absence management) substitute teacher coordination and booked it last Sunday. I’m really impressed with a number of their teachers; their skill and devotion. I had a blast, loved the kids, loved learning with them and participating in other activities like PE, music and art classes.

contemporary art, ethnic artifacts, art galleries,Santa fe

contemporary art and ethnic artifacts art galleries in Santa fe


I just checked the online site where I can coordinate work half an hour ago or so and after days of no new opportunities, there were suddenly 2 multi-day jobs. This is what pays my rent, so i’m delighted. I worked out the bike routes and schedule now, because I’m working at the ski area for the 3 day weekend holiday of Martin Luther King day.

I love skiing. I enjoy teaching. Life is good. 

I went to several gallery openings (every Friday typically at least a couple or 4 galleries have ‘open house’. I saw good art, inspiring stuff, new and old, met some nice people and took pics. 

Faber Castell Water Color Pencil paintings Santa Fe area November & December

Here are the several water colors I’ve had time to create in these last two months, here in the Santa Fe National Forest and also at Tent Rocks, in New Mexico

I’ve been taking shots of them as they develop to show the progression

Carol Keiter, water color, Faber Castell, paintings, art, environment

Pictures of the progression of Water Color Paintings done with Faber Castell

I’m actually not yet finished with the last of the three! I’ll post the completed version soon.

nYc hitchabout | City of Continuous Interactive Creativity

It’s not just my current economic situation that propels me to hitch, when I wish to visit a place without being prohibited by my lack of disposable income. It’s the fact that I learn things through the people I get rides with, who more often than not, are people whom I wouldn’t otherwise come into contact with and learn about the area that in some cases, is their hood. I had a nice nYc hitchabout visit to a city which always promises and delivers lots of energy and movement. I happened upon several open air festivals and demonstrations that reveal the creativity and spirit of involvement that all of the different cultures of people congealing in one city demonstrate. Here’s the flickr link to the pictures I took in progression.

New York City, flickr,  pics

New York City flickr link to pics

For a 2.5 hour trip by car, I received three rides to arrive in NY, and three to return home. Each a fairly quick connection; after having used google maps and directions to map out my route. The first gift upon the last ride, was with a man from Guiana, who brought me that last stretch right into Queens, where he introduced me to some local flavor on that Friday evening. A local bar filled with music and laughter of people, mostly men, from Guiana, Trinidad and Jamaica. I’d always heard of the fact that the borough of Queens in Manhattan has the highest concentration of languages of any place in the world, due to the fact that there’s a dense convergence of people of different cultures from all over the world living there.

I discovered barriers set up in the East Village for a Dance Parade which would happen later that day, in which various different cultures participated.

Dance Parade nYc, Village

Dance Parade nYc Village

This was passing from the West Village to the East Village by another event taking place, a Secret Walls Street Art competition at Cooper Sq. in Manhattan. The Secret Walls xnYc is part of the L.I.S.A. project | Little Italy Street Art

Secret Walls, Graffiti,  L.I.S.A project

Secret Walls Graffiti L.I.S.A project

Carol Keiter the bloggers contribution to the Wall

Carol Keiter the bloggers contribution to the Wall

Graffiti competition

Two Team Graffiti competition


Graffiti competition, Secret Walls, L.I.S.A. project, Little Italy Street Art

Graffiti competition Secret Walls L.I.S.A. project Little Italy Street Art

It just so happened that next to the Graffiti competition and interactive for the public to contribute to, were a bunch of chairs set up for people to take their ride, also an interactive event.

NYC X Design, chairs, Cooper Union Sq.

NYC X Design chairs at Cooper Union Sq.

Interactive chairs, NYC X Design

Interactive chairs NYC X Design

NYC X Design, interactive chairs

NYC X Design interactive chairs

The following day I happened upon an AIDS walkathon in Central Park, where I happened upon some live music there to perform for the event with drummers and dancers. Black & Gold Marching Elite band.

AIDS Walk Central Park NYC

AIDS Walk Central Park NYC


AIDS Walk, Central Park NYC

Approaching AIDS Walk Central Park NYC


Black & Gold Marching Elite band

Black & Gold Marching Elite band

That was after my friends who I had gone to meet up with and visit in the first place informed me of how fantastic the current Chinese Textile and Design exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – “Through the Looking Glass” is. When they informed me that one can “Pay What You Can” to enter, I was sold on going there to investigate. The exhibit was indeed splendid with its visual, texture and sound multimedia; beautifully created by the curators in which they use frames of metal and glass to reflect even more dramatically the color and intricate designs of traditional Chinese Royal Robes through the centuries juxtaposed next to modern Western designers works of this last century. One of the friendly workers in the museum suggested that I check out the roof top, which I’m glad I did, after trekking to the other end of the museum to catch the elevator up. There were lots of tourists, in fact, I heard so much French from passersby as I walked the streets of Manhattan that I approached one family and asked them. I told them that I’m hearing sooooo much French among people in the streets, do you live here? what is going on? They mentioned smiling that they’re on vacation, as is and eighth of the population of France 🙂 I also got to practice my German, taking a photograph of a family group on the MET rooftop, who were surprised and pretty stoked when I spoke to them in colloquial German, explaining that I’d lived in Berlin. Encountering all of the different cultures of people from around the world is certainly what makes New York so dynamic and engaging.

Through the Looking Glass, Chinese Textile and Design, MET Metropolitan Museum of Art

Through the Looking Glass Chinese Textile and Design exhibit MET Metropolitan Museum of Art


Through the Looking Glass, Chinese Textile and Design exhibit, MET, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Through the Looking Glass Chinese Textile and Design exhibit MET Metropolitan Museum of Art

After happening upon the demonstration after the Museum following discovering a mid-town street fair in the process of being set up, I made my way down to SoHo, to Canal street, where there was already a solid wall of cars on Sunday late afternoon inching their way towards the Holland Tunnel to exit the city going West. There, after seeing mostly New Jersey license plates, yet with my sign that said on one side Route # 78 and the other PA Pennsylvania, a car of a Mother and her two daughters were driving back from there to a town within 17 miles of where I’m presently residing in PA. The one daughter just celebrated her Associates degree of Art at the Pratt Institute of Art. Because of the recent commuter train wreck in Philadelphia, there were no trains, and the airlines’ gracious response was to jack up the fairs 200% or so.

It was a wonderful trip visiting my Native New Mexico family of friends, a Mother and her two daughters, Dana, Aria and Colette whom I know from Taos, New Mexico when I worked for Dana at ‘Caffe Tazza’. There meeting in NY is what brought me to visit the city in the first place, while the three converged there for the weekend.

Dana and her daughters Aria and Colette Manhattan

Dana and her daughters Aria and Colette Manhattan

I was fortunate to join them and their friends for a meal at a Ukrainian and Polish restaurant Veselka in the East Village, after which we went to an Italian place for coffee and desert.

carol_aria_dana_colette_caroline_vera_nyc_2015_2

carol_aria_dana_colette_caroline_vera_nyc_2015_2

Synchronicity experiences within ‘delight’ of | Deepak Chopra’s Seven Principles of SynchroDestiny |

I dedicate this blog to Jason Sneed, a self-declared chameleon. Jason SneedA California Bay Area native whom I met when I lived in San Francisco.  I met him at a cafe one afternoon in North Beach, the Italian neighborhood. He was handsome and sophisticated, chiseled features and a broad smile framed by a wide-brimmed hat. His eyes had a perpetual gleam of amusement. We talked for hours. He was carrying a laptop in his backpack, which I would later discover, he did relentlessly. His fluid creativity lapped waves of insight onto me.

I believe that one reason that I haven’t ‘finished’ and uploaded this blog, for months, is that the synchronistic events keep happening, and affecting the outcome, with their new twists in the evolution of the subject of this article.

When I’d started, prior to my earlier laptop computer ‘blacking out and ceasing’ on the morning of the SOPA/PIPA internet blackout, when I’d been furiously blogging about it and sending out alerts, I was still hung up, so to speak, on the reasons why I’d fled from Berlin in the first place.  Now, as new synchronicities literally have been tumbling into my life to introduce my consciousness to ever new fresh perspectives, the content of the blog have correspondingly evolved.  Just as spring has displayed new life peeping out from beneath old leaves and sticks brushed away from the winter debris, so have new clarities pierced my view, and displayed fresh insights.

In fact, these synchronicities have been occurring at ever increasing rates.  This tells me that I’m on the right track.  In the last 24 hours, I read an article in “The Economist” describing the laborious, dense clutter of too much legislation in the American political system “Over-regulated America”, which causes the new regulations, to be buried under too much debris.   “When regulators try to write an all-purpose instruction manual, the truly important dos and don’t are lost in an ocean of verbiage.”  I realized that often my own style of writing is similar; the delicate points are cumbersomely buried pages into the essay, where many people won’t find them because they don’t have the time or patience to read that far.

Ah, so living and learning and accepting criticism, I’ll spill the fruits into the beginning ’-))
I no longer have to dig up the unpleasantries of a relationship that wreaked of the dance of the codependent-narcissist.  I am finally cutting the chords, and no longer need to bother to look for a response from someone not capable of delivering it.  http://www.narcissismdailymirror.com/2011/01/narcissism-and-perfect-affair.html  Whew!  and I will only gently remind you of my posts on happiness and oxytocin, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin of which I’m sure I’ll be writing more about, since a new local colloquium will be on the subject at a nearby college. This was the post in which I talked a bit about this topic. http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/happyness-making-the-best-of-what-you-have/ Those with the inability to secrete oxytocin, have the inability to feel empathy; therefore, it is linked to sociopathy, psychopathy, narcissism and general manipulativeness.  Another hint sprung up to illustrate perhaps why this narcissistic ex-partner sedated and distracted himself perpetually; with alcohol, weed, television, computer gaming … and why he rarely was able to give much more than grief. I tiptoed in his world, and he became more disengaged with me, as his annoyance level rose.  It was finally through the suggestion of a British acquaintance of mine in Berlin whose opinion I respect, who told me (as many people had) to extract this person completely from my consciousness.  He warned that if I didn’t do this, I will never truly be able to focus all of my creative projects or focus on my self, to blossom.  He also re minded me, that if I don’t follow my intuition and return to spend quality time with my parents, I will regret it forever.   His words resonated so perceptively, that I knew that I must do as he suggested, to leave the latitude and longitude where I hovered, waiting in vain. By moving away from the place (physically but mostly emotionally I was clinging to) I extracted myself from all my distractions, endlessly going out in a city that doesn’t sleep, and have returned to this place of deep nurturing and coming to the inside – full stop.  The rest is history.

I’ve always been interested in consciousness, and was drawn to Carl Jung‘s concept of synchronicity, after having a number of experiences which played into my real life.  I had introduced the concept several years ago in one of my first accounts of a hitchabout – a hitchhiking adventure – in Europe.

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/the-missing-link-quantum-consciousness/

And wrote about the concept again, in which I elaborated on earlier synchronicity experiences which took place while living in Washington D.C. in the United States.

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/holograms-of-meaning-consciousness-frequency-shift/  Ironically, that’s where I went to visit just weeks ago, where new tintillating synchronistic experiences ushered new realizations my way, in a way introducing to me on another level, the healing that was part of my current trek, inwards.  My friend who is a certified kundalini yoga instructor, re-introduced to me what I needed, to step away from being dominated by too much thinking, and stretching and expanding my body and consciousness to a level beyond thought.

Ironically, I recently came upon this again, now borrowed and re-defined by Deepak Chopra, in his term “synchrodestiny”.  Chopra describes his seven principles of synchrodestiny, and writes that we really underestimate the extent to which we literally create the world around us.

I mention more synchronistic experiences in this blog as well.   https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/spring-soltice-11-hitchabout-there-are-no-accidents/ And after having skimmed through this, I realized that I mentioned someone in the text whom I just read something about days earlier, seemingly randomly, Wayne Dyer, not talking this time about ‘intention’, but about ‘manifesting’.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Wellness/2003/10/Coincidences-Clues-From-The-Universe-By-Deepak-Chopra.aspx

http://www.crystallotus.com/Synchronicity/01.htm

Deepak Chopra elucidates that “There are messages everywhere around you to guide you, if you’re open and willing to move in the direction of understanding and growth, and listen to them. Some things in my life, are completely conscious and planned out, whereas others are intuitive, coming from an awareness that isn’t exactly stamped out and demarcated.”

Chopra says, “When a coincidence arises, don’t ignore it.  Ask yourself, What is the message here? What is the significance of this?  He says that you don’t need to go digging for the answers, because simply by asking the question, the answers will emerge. They may arrive as a sudden insight, or something very different. Perhaps you will meet a person who is somehow related to the coincidence that occurred.  It may be an encounter, a relationship, a chance meeting, a situation, a circumstance – that will immediately give you a clue to its meaning. …  The key is to pay attention and inquire.”

http://www.allaboutprosperity.com/articles/dchopra-synchrodestiny.htm

He describes in this preceding link seven principles of SynchroDestiny.

1)  The existence of a Conscious Energy Field; the underlying intelligence that gives rise to my body and yours and the universe as a whole.
2)  Understanding how human relationships operate in terms of Creating Cosmic Connections; in that the ability to create positive human relationships is fundamental.
3)  Mastering your Inner Dialogue, and recognizing the fact that it is the heart and mind that control external reality; if there is something that you can not find/achieve, it is because there is something within you that is preventing you from finding what you want or need.
4)  Penetrating the Conspiracy of Improbabilities means learning to recognize meaningful coincidences and seeing them as opportunities.
5)  Once we understand that external reality can’t be separated from internal reality, and that the universe is our extended body, it is clear that it’s necessary for each of us to Harness Emotional Turbulence, in order to transform negative energy into a higher level of awareness.
6)  Learning to Use the Infinite Organizing Power of Intention, which requires letting go of the idea that the universe is an inert machine, and realizing that the force within ourselves such as intention, is just as real as that of gravity or electromagnetism.
7)  Celebrating the Cosmic Dance is about synchronizing the series of experiences that emerge from your Conscious Energy Field with the universe.  Finding the connection between how we live our lives and the way that the universe works, so that we’re living in harmony with that connection.

I personally have been having a flood of experiences and connections with new insights that continue to guide me and perk up my attention to new ways of seeing, and am confident that all of this will unfold and reveal to me my path.  I simply need to listen to what surfaces – these details will make sense and enlighten me personally, as those which come into your life will reveal insights to you.

The French say, bon courage, which translates as ‘good luck’.  Yet, it is not merely stating this. Literally, it is saying have courage, have faith, as this trusting-the-voice-within, is infinitely more powerful than luck!  As many of my friends say, “There are no accidents!”

 

Halloween in Berlin | A deliriously decadant costume party at White Trash |

Okay, I don’t know about you, but when I catch the clock repeatedly at 11:11, or like I have in the last weeks, again and again at the hour on the hour, 00:00, 9:00, 15:00, 21:00… I begin to question why? I don’t know why this keeps repeatedly happening, with such frequency. It’s not like I’m always looking at the clock or have this self-fulfilling need to weave meaning into it, I’m just saying that’s it’s been happening A LOT, several times a day, for the last weeks. I find it peculiarly poignant. I usually try to be aware of what I happen to be doing at that moment – often I’m on the computer – and then flash on what I’m researching, pondering, what information I’m accessing, executing…on my laptop at that moment, and reflect that I guess I’m doing the right thing.

With that said, it was with the aim to go to the American owned club in Berlin “White Trash Fast Food”, to see my friends playing in their band Mamasweed, http://www.myspace.com/mamasweed on Halloween night. This venue was what I was looking forward to. I love Halloween, as do many Americans, and the myriad costumes pouring out into the sidewalk last night gave the natives something to gawk at.

Several days earlier I happened to check out, as I have been with more frequency in the last year, Rob Brezsny’s San Francisco based astrology column. I was familiar with it through local papers where it had been printed when I lived there. I was happy to see that it is also online, under the guise of http://www.freewillastrology.com. Having had my astrological chart ‘done’ by several amateur astrologers in the past – using the exact place and moment of my birth – I recognized an uncanny and resoundingly accurate reflection of who I appear to be, so lately I’ve been looking somewhat routinely at his often witty insights.

Because I happen to have a concentration of all of the planets in three houses, I pull information from all three of them. My Sun and rising sign are in the house that it rules Capricorn. And a group of 3 planets occupy both the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius. It was viewing Scorpio last week – where my moon is – in which Brezsny associated this period with being blissed out, delighted and ecstatic, and suggested googling the Chinese character “double happiness”. I did just that on Halloween day – in which google employees created the occasion to carve giant pumpkins with the google name.

Upon looking at the character on the 31st

I made the impromptu decision, to incorporate this symbol into my costume, somehow. Then I decided that it needed to be painted prominently on my face ;-))

I happened to notice that the couchsurfing weekly language exchange meeting group mentioned that people come in costume; sporting the color orange was encouraged. That lead to me to discovering my very orange items in my closet. So, I frolicked by the CS party on my way to White Trash. Here’s a photo of me and the organizer’s of this meeting, Alex and Sarah.

Ironically, the first person I spoke with at “White Trash”, was a musician who said that the theme there that night was ‘double’ something or other, that was before I told him that the character written on my face was “double happiness”.

Upon arriving at the vicinity of the front door, the sidewalk was packed with people stumbling onto the sidewalk. Specifically for that evening, there were poles set up behind two front windows, with mangled women doing their pole dances. However, the first thing I saw was this man dressed in a cotton schwab, kindof puffy white mummy suit doing a pole dance – who later in the evening pulled off the outer layer and was doused on stage with fake blood, in costume as a tampon. His antics were his clowning attempts to pole dance, unable to really execute any moves, sliding, falling and fumbling all over it, slapstick style. It was in fact, hilarious. Then he appeared on the sidewalk and continued to fitfully throw himself around, and then crawled like a snake on the sidewalk back to the door. Pretty hysterical.

Once inside the club, the ferocious mob of people was daunting. Just so many people to negotiate moving through! There were in-house body painters equipped with everything imaginable. And judging by the people walking around, they did a dazzling and quite professional caliber of work; there were a lot of very, very scary people; zippered faces, bullet wounds, scars and blood oozing out all of the orifices… One after another slick costume. It was a delirious, crazy, debaucherous and raucous crowd from the beginning, and this pace continued all night. There were mostly rock band performances downstairs and the drag theatrical performances upstairs. I didn’t get so many pictures, because there would have been just too, too many to take.

I was on the final day of 11 in which I hadn’t had a dime, which I’ll be writing about shortly – regarding how I was able to survive and have quite an excellent – productive and social – time, which levied for two weekends – in Berlin, with absolutely no money. Something that I have survived gracefully and cheerfully, yet don’t particularly want to make this test on a sustained bases. On Halloween night, I was on the guest list through Mamasweed, and once I sat down at one free chair to scope out the place soon after arriving, I was waived over by a group of people at a table, half of them Croatian friends. They asked me to join them, and had flowing pitchers of beer the whole night and into the morning. Lucky me! Fortunately, one person in the group spoke English and German quite well, so he was the translator. “White Trash Fast Food” pulled off quite a gala Halloween event, the place decorated full-on and the staff working there in fantastic, Hollywood set lavish make-up and costume that was by no means amateur.

In the meantime on the right coast of the United States, there were also extravagant Halloween partiers, in the House of Horrors. On my other blog, I give a standing ovation to theDanger, an outstandingly eloquent party promoter who has contributed to many a New Yorker’s scintillating days and evenings out on the town! http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/laud-to-the-end-of-thedanger-the-most-eloquent-underground-events-nyc-has-scene-d

Here are the White Trash Berlin Halloween 2011 pics.

a Splash of ColoR to lighten up my blog & tribute to Steve Jobs !-))

You can read some interactive highlights about the life of Steve Jobs in the Guardian and The New York Times.

In the New York Times interactive feature, there’s a speech that Jobs gave to the graduating class of Stanford University, in CA, which has some very fun and inspiring points. He gave this commencement address on June 12th, 2005 (in the time line, where you can watch the video). He talks about doing what you love, and not settling for less. Following your heart, and never letting yourself become complacent; but always staying on the edge/remaining hungry for new things and keeping a foolish streak! He also talked about a (Carlos Castenada style) of awareness of death, so that if you are to ask yourself each day when you wake up and look in the mirror “is what I’m going to be doing today something that makes me happy and is satisfying, and is this what I would like to do (potentially) on the last day of my life”…that if you find yourself not satisfied with your answer, then make the necessary changes!!

He has offered through his life, a love and devotion to technology and creative design, which has resulted in affecting millions of peoples’ lives for the better!! I and many people were shocked to hear this news this morning!

Featured is some kid’s art I discovered on a bridge in Berlin and some paintings I did in a gallery on the street of my previous residence.

I happened to go onto the sidewalk of this bridge I’ve bicycled over many times, and for the first time, checked out all these painted cylinders. A project instigated by a grade school; Neumar Grund Schule. It’s fun & playful artwork. Most are done by kids, whereas a few appear to be too intricate to be just child’s play !-)

At the end are some paintings I did in “Galerie Ardes”, Willmanndamm Strasse 16, 10827 Berlin. They hosted an ‘open canvas’ weekend long party. They offered blocks of paper on two easel’s and acrylic paints/pastels, for anyone to join in the interactive experience of painting. At the end of the process they held an auction. It was very fun!

By the way, on this same street on Friday evening, a painting school was holding their 2nd year Anniversary. At one point as the evening was winding down, a hedge hog appeared, waddling it’s way under the parked cars. It was adorable, and seemed to be oblivious to myself and another girl, giggling as we followed it and watched it disappearing and reappearing under the cars. I’ve seen red and blond foxes in the middle of Berlin a number of times, finding myself astonished to see them literally in the middle of the city. Berlin has an enormous amount of green; trees in many of the streets and loads of parks. It’s one of the most green cities, if not THE most green city in Europe. Apparently there are a lot of wild boars surrounding the city too! pretty cool!

I just moved to a new hood, and have much more to show and tell, coming up!

Oh yeah, the Bareback Karaoke in Mauer park was another fun filled entertaining event this last Sunday, in which the park was as usual, packed with people. The karaoke as well as the Sunday flea market draw in the crowds.

the crowd at Bareback Karaoke in Mauer Park, Sunday afternoon in Berlin


Mauer Park is one packed park with people, especially on Sunny Sundays!

If you want to see some great art, check this out. I’ve attended a few Italian art gallery openings, among which http://www.emilianobaiocchi.com/index.html Emiliano was featured. He told me recently that he made a commitment to himself to post a new picture daily on his Facebook page, which is a great way to discipline oneself to keep kranking out new work!! Here’s his website which shows his lovely works.

Tuesday night I went to see my friends in their band, “Jah of York” perform among some other musicians, hosted at http://www.tausendberlin.com/.

Jaheed and his band also perform regularly at the Friday Neo-nights jam sessions, (which he hosts). The stage opens up to anyone who wishes to play music, throughout the evening. I play bass guitar there pretty regularly. http://www.facebook.com/n3onite

Wednesday evening I headed over to the http://www.king-kong-klub.de/ to check out a few English speaking poets I’m acquainted with, doing their thing at the Beatstreet poetry night.

And Thursday I’m going to hang out with some French folks drinking some French wine in the Mitte district, should be delightful !-))

By the way, the one cylindrical ball that was merely tagged with this “Monsanto Stinkt zum Himmel / stinks to the sky”.

I’ve written about and referred to this greedy multinational corporation with its dubious practices, as well as Halliburton previously. I was therefore happy to see this ‘politically accurate’ forecast!

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/repercussions-of-monsanto/
http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/the-future-of-food-ouch-halliburtons-globalization-chess-game/

Fundamental is mental | no matter where it is brewed | July 25th Day Out of Time

Sorry that I’m using derogatory slang, but you get the drift, and it rhymes. I don’t have time at the moment to write more on this subject, because I have to continue doing my writing project of “Business English” preparing MBA students for their interviews as wannabe consultants, through which I currently pay my rent. Set aside contemplating, playing bass guitar, singing, playing piano, composing music, writing in my blogs, continuing with the writing of the children’s book that’s on hold……….because I have to do this ‘work’, and toss the arts aside.

I think that this in itself is ‘mental’ – art, thinking and contemplating life, put on the back-burner – but we don’t live in a sane world. We live in an insane world dominated by greed driven economics, and fear driven beliefs in some sort of savior, somehow explaining the fact that we’re all gonna die.

It doesn’t matter where it’s roots are, if it’s blood soaked Christians or Muslims who are the targets; fundamental religious beliefs are mental.

Fundamentalists – whether representing Islam or Christianity – demonstrate holding onto one’s beliefs and being incapable of seeing what is real and breathing, beyond the dogma one is repeatedly stamping and recycling ad infinitum into one’s thoughts and hence consciousness.

It’s the same with gun toting defenders of the ‘right’ to bear arms, which ultimately, makes the annihilation of a life, so absurdly easy, that it’s a cosmic joke.

With respect to 9.11, to all of the anti-Christian attacks, to the myriad of people around the world slaughtering their neighbors in the name of ethnic or religious identity… and now this Christian right-wing dude in Norway who slaughtered the left leaning labor party youths due to his anti-Islam fanaticism and xenophobia.

I just say it again, any fundamental clinging to a religious or political party or whatever identification with a group, which then isolates it and casts another group into the category of an ‘enemy’, is mental…full-on insane.

how can a person remain sane, when the world is insane? well, I guess it’s all a matter of balance, and making every moment a precious attempt to reach for love and unity, and to look for peace and beauty around you.

Oh yeah, today, July 25th, is the Day Out of Time, here’s some information about it, I’ve posted on my other blog.

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/

Happy Day of Contemplation!

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-
Mahatma Ghandi:

Keep your thoughts positive, because they become your words.
Keep your words positive, because they become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive, because it becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because they become your values.
Keep your values positive, because they become your destiny.

¡ Another history lesson in a hitchabout !

I once again enjoyed a fun and informative hitchabout, crossing most of Germany; from Berlin in the northeast to south of Tübingen, a few hours from the Swiss border, ’bout 695 km. I had last summer gone from this same destination on to Zürich, which was a very brief trek in comparison.

This time I left on Friday the 25th of February and returned on Monday the 28th. I had prepared a bit the evening before my departure, yet only really was sure that I’d be making the trip as of 8am that morning. Spontaneity, when you can get away with it, is a wondrous thing! The last time I had waited at this same departure spot, at the entrance to the autobahn in Berlin in pouring rain for hours with no luck; when my cardboard signs literally disintegrated in my hands from moisture. This time it was once again a bit tough to get a ride (not much chance for people to make a decision when they have only 30 seconds to assess the situation) however, I believe that part of hitching is being assured, knowing, that the right person will come along eventually, and that with patience, these are the rides to wait for!!

Funny thing, is that about when I was really questioning if I was going to get a ride at all, suddenly a van pulled over, prominently stopping next to me on the road that normally is streaming with traffic, many of the people already speeding up in anticipation of getting on the highway. The van was full of people, I thought, okay, so at least they feel ‘safe’ having me as a passenger, when I’m quite outnumbered. It turns out, that Manfred was driving a group of 5 individuals, all of whom were connected via http://www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de (an organized ride service, which in the last years has become completely online-connecting drivers and passengers in Germany) to be dropped off at various places en route to Stuttgart, near to his destination. He said to me immediately, if he had not seen my sign (Nürnberg on one side, Stuttgart on the other), he would not have stopped. Ah, so I was prepared and fortunate!

Most of the passengers were 20 somethings, sleeping during most of the 5 hour or so trip. I was really fortunate, since this ride would take me across Germany, 9/10th of my trip, to within an hour and a bit of my destination. One guy sitting next to me, preparing for potentially taking a civilian job working in either Central America or India, had printed out a bunch of wikipedia text about India the night before. I wound up reading this, in German, the bulk of the trip, and realized pages into the text, that I was beginning to learn the meanings of words, just by virtue of seeing them several times in context.

It was after most of the people had departed in Würzberg, that I sat in the middle seats, close enough to chat with the driver as well as another girl passenger, who just joined via the ride link, on her way to Stuttgart. We conversed cheerfully. He dropped me off at a gas station, along a smaller highway en route to my destination.

I was still in the southern edge of Stuttgart, it was dark already, and most of the people were not traveling far. I was surprised when after approaching about 15 driver’s of cars at this small gas station, when a woman passenger actually didn’t abruptly shake her head “no”, but gestured that the driver was inside. Then the driver whom I approached, answered without hesitation, sure, he could give me a ride. I was rather astounded, after all of the other people were smiling, but shaking their heads no, as most of them were just returning home after work. It turns out that these two were Russians, both born in Kazakhstan. Alexander was 10 when he arrived with his family to Germany, and identifies with being a German native. Julia, had been here 9 years, and wasn’t sure what the future would bring, but seemed to be content to presently settle in Germany. They were not a couple, which is another reason that they did offer me the ride.

Alexander drove very fast in his Audi, with a brightly lit paneled dashboard. He works in finance, real estate, and appears to work a lot, in various different parts of mostly southern Germany. He wound up actually using his GPS unit to plug in the exact address I was going to, and dropped me off in front of the door of my destination. That was after I had feared being stranded in Stuttgart, 45 minutes or so from where I was traveling to. Julia had said something to Alexander in Russian, and I asked, what did she say? Neither of them spoke English. He translated into German, she said, “you’re going to get a halo, because you’re such an angel”. So, he must be frequently going out of his way to do nice things for people. I hugged them both as I was leaving. I was so happy and relieved to be there, and delighted to meet them!

On my return trip, Monday morning, it was a guy in a “smart car” who works for a theater in Stuttgart, who picked me up for my first ride. He builds sets. He dropped me off at a corner in Tübingen, realizing that there was no appropriate place to drop me off in Stuttgart, without dragging me into the center of town, which would be completely the wrong place to be stuck. So, I stood at this traffic light, along a place where people could see me and pull onto a side street, waiting in the sunshine…and minutes later, a car pulled over in front of me. Out hopped, unbelievably, the same guy who had given me the ride 3 days before, Alexander, from Kazakhstan. I thought that this was absolutely amazing, that the synchronicity of this was pretty astounding. He was pretty surprised as well. He lives near Ingolstadt, a city between Munich and Nürnberg, famous because they manufacture Audi’s. Normally Alexander returns on Sunday evenings, but this time was only leaving Monday morning, and was already running behind schedule. Wow, my angel had returned, and he drove like the devil ‘-)

He was on his way to several appointments. Turns out he’s 28 years old. Seems to be very busy with his career, working a lot. He was going to be driving across the south to a town along the A9, a north-south highway going to Berlin. So I had a couple hours to ride with him, from Baden-Würrtermberg (an area with many Swäbish specialties, of which Stuttgart is a part) to Bavaria (and we all know that much of what Bavaria is about is beer). Had a number of phone calls he made connecting his iPhone to his GPS, conveying and retrieving information. We talked when he wasn’t on the phone. He left me with a German saying that says something to the effect of “Don’t hold tight onto that which you can’t hold on to”. “Halt nicht fest was man nicht fest halten kann.” Excuse my imperfect German representation! He said he had gotten married and had a baby at 20 years old, and had to grow up very fast. He’s already taking care of both parents to an extent. He also firmly believes, with an obvious extreme amount of confidence in himself, that “a person can achieve whatever it is that they want, they merely must want it”. I got his card this time around, and will email him to tell him thanks.

He left me off at this place that was not very far away from Ingolstadt. I waited at this turn off point that was not exactly the entrance to the autobahn, but from where I could see the traffic on the highway streaming along a few km. away. Many people passing by me were local cars, with local license plates. In Germany, the cars are not identified and distinguished from the States they are from, but the towns. With a single letter indicating the first letter of the larger cities, and the more letters coupled with the first, demonstrating the size of the towns, in a hierarchy of diminishing size. Finally, a man who has worked at this military airport nearby, picked me up. He clarified why I’d seen a number of vehicles with Y on their license plates, with people inside wearing army camouflage clothing. He explained that there’s a military airport nearby. He was pleasant, and brought me to a much better place, this time within yards of the entrance to the autobahn. His name was Fritz. I saw a new feature in the landscape in this area. As opposed to the tiered rows of grapes planted on steep, hilly vineyards in what I’m perhaps erroneously calling “Swabiland”, here were these netted string like apparatus, that Fritz explained are for drying hops, for the more beer oriented Bavarian region.

Okay, well, there was another person in the mix for a short ride, which I can’t remember where it was, he was Rami, originally from Syria. He was as well a pleasant person, with whom I conversed, though briefly.

I was standing at a gas station somewhere I believe outside of Ingolstadt, wondering who I was going to get a ride with, often glancing at people’s license plates to get an indication of what direction they were going. I had been inside the service station to look at a map and thought that I had heard English, but hadn’t turned around to give it much notice. Then, out walked a guy in his 30’s with a wool hat on, returning to his car packed with stuff, and a license plate I hadn’t recognized. I rather unceremoniously held up my sign, expecting him to be going elsewhere, and was almost startled when he said, “bis du alein?” “are you alone”. Suddenly responsive, I nodded hopefully, yes. I wasn’t sure if I was holding the Nürnberg or Berlin side of my sign up. Amazingly, he was a Polish guy, driving all the way back to Poland, via Berlin. Wow! I really couldn’t quite believe this, because this was a significant trek, like over 500 km, taking me all of the way back.

This easy going, pleasant guy named Szyman, from Warsaw, Poland explained that he’s done a lot of hitch hiking, so naturally he didn’t hesitate to return the favor. We conversed the entire time (this time in English 😉 with mostly him talking, in response to my continuous questions, probes and comments. I was keenly interested in the subject matter and taking notes 🙂 The 5 hour journey, covering about 513 km, seemed to just fly by. I was completely attuned and inspired much of the time with the content of our conversation.

Before entering the car, I immediately saw ski boots tucked in between several plastic containers loaded with things. He was clearing out the front passenger seat and floor, where I saw Dolomite ski brochures. I quickly learned that he was returning from a ski camp he organizes for kids from Poland, with the car packed with teaching equipment. This had taken place in Italy. The kids were returning on a bus to Poland, and he had taken some extra days to ski at some new potential locations. I told him that I’d been a ski instructor for kids at Taos, in New Mexico among other places, and that there, one guy (shout out to Laef) had opened up a pizza place called “Dolomite Pizza”, which had put the Italian Dolomite mountains on the map for me! He said that most of the places that he scouts, are located in Italy, along branches of the Alps, because it’s considerably more mild for holding a ski camp for kids there, as opposed to the typical harsher weather conditions in Austria and Switzerland.

He researches the locations, scouts them out, skis the terrain, books the resorts, organizes the kids groups – some Kindergarten age and others teenagers – and teaches skiing. He said that he had done this part-time for years, going on week stints to teach kids skiing in the past several years, then started this past summer full time for this group. At this point, he’s realizing that he’s getting a bit burned out from it, because he puts an enormous amount of time into it and has a lot of responsibility, with not such a great financial reward. I told him that this past winter I had been considering getting a job in a Swiss resort I randomly picked, Verbier. That I’d applied to 40 or 50 jobs, and that they mostly asked if I had a EU passport; which weeded out the positive responses. I mentioned that it was September when I’d applied, to which he said that really, the time to apply for the coming winter season is in June. I mentioned that I was quite excited and enthused about the prospect of working for this kids “ski – sports and language camp” with one of their bases in Verbier. This camp brings together my love of skiing, sports, languages and communication with people, into one bundle. Anyway, I realize now that if I really want to try to make this happen in the future, that I will have to apply in mid-summer.

Szyman’s spoke pretty much flawless English, and it was great hearing stories about this job. He had worked at Whistler Peak for a year, several hours from Vancouver in Canada, which I knew about from the ski pipeline back in Taos, as being an excellent mountain with a lot of vertical. He said that if he would ever consider living abroad as an expatriate, he would consider Vancouver. But pointed out that because of the language difference, stemming from the nuances of understanding and shared experience about an area that people who have grown up in the same culture take for granted, that he wasn’t so sure that he’d want to live in another culture, where one is estranged from the nuances in humor, and so forth.

He said that now he’s thinking about what other work he may like to do, and because he always tinkered with things with his hands as a kid, he’s thinking that he might like to shape his own skis. After a several year period, he’s created his first pair of home made skis. Mentioned that in the US., in Colorado for example, there are a number of little shops who build their own custom skis. His intention wouldn’t be to mass market them, but would be content to make maybe 50 pairs a year or something. That sounds like a lot! I said that “hey, you are fortunate to have the luxury to “choose” changing careers and so forth.” and he agreed. yeah, many people in the world don’t have such fortune!

He mentioned that he’ll be traveling to Vietnam for the first time in the spring, and already booked a quite cheap ticket from Warsaw to Hong Kong with a Russian airline. And also mentioned the few places he would like to ski in his lifetime, among them, on the island of Hokkaido Japan, at a resort called Niseko.

Though Szyman seemed to be quite knowledgeable about a lot of things, having studied International Relations, he particularly knew a lot about the different tribes and territories that were later embraced by the Russian Empire. I believe that this was mostly the area he had concentrated on in his studies. He’d visited the Balkans and had lived for a year in Kazakhstan. He’s quite familiar with the various Turkic states in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Armenia…and the Caucuses; of which Cechnya, Georgia and Azerbaijan are a part. He mentioned that the Caucuses have predominantly three religious groups; the Muslims, Greek Orthodox (perhaps) and Christian. The Caucuses had been a region of war during the Ottoman Empire, which had reigned for 6 centuries, from 1299 to 1922, and spread over three continents.

He talked of the Silk Road which passed through the Caucuses area, explaining that it wasn’t just one road, but in fact a number of trades routes that passed through the area coming from Southeast Asia, China and India, often through an area of the Caucuses.

With more wars in the area later, during the Austrian Hungarian Empire.

At one point Szyman spoke of Tito’s Yugoslavia, and the Serbian Croatian war, mentioning how things changed when NATO becoming involved in the conflict.

We discussed and denounced government oppression, those who deprive their citizens of freedom of information. Poland, which since the end of World War II, also created a citizenry of people who had for years been dominated by fear and disinformation; sharing the Eastern Bloc mentality of not having the ‘spirit’ to create something new. They have for so long not had the privilege to choose or right to think for themselves…that eventually the entrepreneurial spirit and motivation to create, is sucked out of the populace. After years living in a centralized government system, in which most of one’s basic needs are taken care of and wherein a person doesn’t really having to compete or struggle to create something new, inspiration somewhat vanishes. We also conversed about the various nobility in different regions and city states of Europe, and how often very harsh and violent the relationships were, even within the families themselves. He mentioned a good Russian movie from the 1940’s that described how bloody the history of “Ivan the Terrible”. The movie “Ivan” seemed to quite accurately depict this.

“His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic state spanning almost one billion acres, approximately 4,046,856 km2 (1,562,500 sq mi). Ivan oversaw numerous changes in the transition from a medieval nation state to an empire and emerging regional power, and became the first Tsar of a new and more powerful nation.”

Hey, this was a long ride as a passenger, covering subjects I’m interested in, yet obviously a neophyte in terms of my own knowledge! Somewhere within our conversation we talked about the differences between the French and German languages. French having more words that express things in refined detail; maybe because it was the nobility and privileged class that already had more education and exposure to the finer, more detailed things in life…..as French was once the diplomatic language.

Among the many topics we discussed, we meandered into the those of film and books…He suggested the book written by Norman Davies “Europe: A History” as very worthwhile, to gain information on the subjects we’d been discussing. Somehow this music group, Porcupine Tree, that created an album called “Fear of a Blank Planet”.

We also got into the subject of the psyberpunk genre of writers. He mentioned the writer William Gibson

Here’s a short blurb by Timothy Leary, describing the cyber punks of different ages.

When I asked what his girlfriend does, he said that she had previously worked for the foundation that her mother created, which provides a healthy space for wholesome activities, during the period of time after school and before the parents get home from work. At this location, less fortunate, impoverished kids who maybe have emotional or family problems and not such great role models, can learn new things and new perspectives. His girlfriend has since learned ART, and focused on being a teacher in this. ART, which he mentioned is an acronym for “Aggression Replacement Training“, actually has nothing to do with art nor music therapy, nor theoretical psychology which digs into a person’s past. It’s instead a “hands on”, pragmatic and practical approach to helping people cope, with alternatives other than violence, which perhaps they’re more accustomed to. With new tools and insights, these youths and adults can learn to change their aggressive behavior. Giving people a different way to cope, rather than their tendencies and habits of responding with violence and aggression. According to wikipedia, a program with three components: introducing people to social skills, anger control training and moral reasoning.

My last ride, literally within walking distance of Berlin (around 20 miles) from the highway on the periphery of the city, was from the gas station where Szymon left me off as he headed East to Poland. The first person I asked before I even got my bag out of the car, upon seeing a B on the license plate, was an African man. I asked if I could catch a ride back to Berlin from there, the last leg of my journey. I hadn’t seen that he had a wife and baby in the car when I’d asked him. He was going inside to pay, and I assumed that this would be a No-Go. However, when he returned to the car, he actually leaned in and mentioned something to his girlfriend/wife, and she promptly responded by getting out of the passenger seat to let me in the back seat, next to their sleeping toddler of 3 years or something. They spoke German and English. She was German, born in Berlin. He was from Monrovia, in Liberia. Founded in 1882, Monrovia, the capital, was named after the US. President, James Monroe he told me. I read later, because he was a supporter of the colonization of Liberia.

He informed me that it was a German immigrant, John Roebling, who was the engineer who built the Brooklyn Bridge among several other suspension bridges, and that his wife was a self taught engineer, who helped finish the construction of one of the bridges, when her husband died before it was completed.

My rambling from one, to another subject (as this is often how conversations evolve) and event, is now at the end!

And coming up in the next blog, looking into ‘a causal’ and ‘non locality’ principles and some other mysterious things that occur in the breadth of consciousness…a quantum leap into being!