Monday, November 06, 2006

Up and Away

Sometimes you have those days when you just bum around and do nothing.

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Then sometimes you have a day when you look at the clock and shoot! It’s 6:01 and you were supposed to be in the lobby at 6AM for your drive to the hot air ballooning launch site, so you’re late but you make it anyway, and then you go up on the balloon and it’s lovely down there and the morning mist is drifting over the farmland, and then when you land you have mimosas and you get pushed on the swing on a nearby jungle gym so you sail very high and then get your sandals all muddy when you try to stop yourself with your feet to slow down, and then you get in a Jeep and drive through the country to a cattle round up where you see calves being immunized and cows being branded, smoke coming off their seared skin and hair. Then you tour a citrus processing plant, and wander around the orchards, and then it’s only 9 AM and you’re kind of ready for bed, but then it’s back in the car to tour another hotel, the restaurant at which supplies you with a skim latte and that helps a little bit. Then you’ve got 45 minutes to shower and check out of the hotel before lunch, where you eat so much because you’re so hungry that the effect is very soporific, and you didn’t really need that since it’s only 2 PM and you already feel like you’ve been up for a month, and plus you didn’t get any sleep the night before on account of one delayed flight, one overactive brain, one bedmate who snores, and the knowledge you had to wake up at 5:30 for the balloon flight, which you didn’t manage to do quite. So then after lunch you view a lovely craftsman-style hotel room with a Tempurpedic bed and a rocking chair and an ocean view that makes you never want to leave, but you have to keep moving, and you go to a museum with a cowboy exhibit, and then you wander around a nearby street fair, and a tangle of local antique shops and then you’re so tired the whole thing is extra surreal, and on the walk back to the car you stop and stare at the pier and the majesty of the Pacific Ocean as the waves roll in along the coast.
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Finally somehow you drag yourself to the car and you’re not seven miles into the drive home when you decide to stop at the Wagon Wheel bowling alley you’d spotted on the way into town and it just looks so folksy that it draws you in and makes you want to bowl a game for the first time in maybe eight years, when you bowled at Albany Bowl in the East Bay, where they served Bud in pin-shaped bottles in the Spare Room. (You bowl a 79, which you think is OK for your first try in ages; your partner gets a turkey in the second through fourth frames, and you’re impressed.) Now you’re really tired, so it’s back in the car, but it’s only a few more miles before you see the outlet mall and its Barneys, Betsey, and Restoration call to you from the highway, so you have to stop and you try on a Marc Jacobs coat, which you can’t justify since you live in Los Angeles now, so you let it go, and get back in a car to listen to Cal versus UCLA on AM 570. You pick up some tofu and get home in time to watch the last 10 minutes on TV, and your team is victorious, and that’s great, and then since it’s only 8 PM you make jokes about changing clothes and going to a rave in Hollywood, but instead you sit down to watch a movie and are fast asleep within seconds, and then you turn off the movie and try to watch CSI: Miami instead, but the only scene you see is the investigator popping a bloated corpse so it doesn’t blow up on its own in the van when it’s being transmitted to the morgue, and that’s really gross, and then you finally force yourself to go upstairs to bed and you sleep like a log and wonder how many days in a girl’s life she’ll ever spend like that.

City Search

November 6, 2006

Living Streets
The Energy Of Cities

The cities we reside in have souls. Our cities consume, create, evolve, and breathe much in the same way Mother Nature does. Each city is unique, defined not only by the individuals who call it home but also by the energy it exudes. Some cities are suffused by an aura of unshakable calm while others seem continually frenetic, even during the early morning hours. Many inspire creativity within us or arouse our curiosity. A city's energy is dependent on many factors, including the geography, the people, the industry, and the culture. Residing in a city full of warehouses and factories feels very different than one living in one populated by artists and museums. Some cities elevate the soul while others seem to squash it, and fate may lead us to either.

If the urban center you presently call home feels oppressive or robs you of your vitality, consider relocating to a locale that is more nurturing. You may find that leaving your city is an impossibility, however, if circumstances in your life compel you to remain or the universe has plans for you that involve your staying put. To cope with the stress of working and playing in an environment you have an aversion to, first ask yourself how the city you live in makes you feel. Then take steps to cleanse your home, your work spaces, and your life of the energy that is dragging you down. Try smudging your personal and professional spaces with sage or sweetgrass to dispel negativity. Keeping a quartz crystal on or near your person can ensure that there is always positive, loving energy nearby that you can draw from when you feel affected by your city. And you can do your part to promote widespread good energy by sending love and white light from your heart out into the city each morning and night.

As you become increasingly aware of the way your city makes you feel, you can refine your cleansing efforts to meet your individual needs. If you seek out others who feel driven to purify your city's energy flow, your combined efforts can become a larger movement that promotes healing and goodwill. You may find that, after a time, you are gradually drawn to those aspects of your locale that energize you, helping you come back into balance.