Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: blogging

Finding Purpose

I’ve been looking for purpose in things, both on a small and large scale.

One of those things is this blog.  It’s a funny thing, blogging– putting your thoughts out into the world, to both known and unknown individuals (although I guess that could be controlled– setting a password on the blog so it’s not totally public or not sharing the url with friends and family so it’s pretty anonymous.)  I’ve chosen to share the blog with family and friends and leave the blog public, so I’m left in this limbo of the blogosphere where I don’t share my innermost thoughts and musings on things as I might in a journal and I also aim to have the writing be a little more generally accessible.

And I seem to be finding that being in limbo is a challenging place to be.  Am I trying to be a little bit of something for everyone and in the process being nothing for no one?

So to get back on track, I’m working on finding purpose for this blog.  I’ve mused on this before, but I’ve strayed from that original purpose.

For a time, this was a travel blog, which was wonderful.  A documenting of my travels through New Zealand, Bali, and Malaysia.  But now I’m settled again (although itchy to travel, as always!).

It strikes me that I should write about what I love, know about, and care about.

  • Food
  • Social issues
  • Life journeys

So I’ll see how that goes.  Next blog: my attempts at using a sourdough starter!

Rainy Day = Thinking Time

It's been pouring and windy all day on my last full day in Kerikeri. All timed well– it was supposed to be a day off for me anyway plus it's a weekend. So it's a nice day to curl up in a cozy chair, watching the rain streak by and the palms and ferns and plants bear the strong winds. Only thing is my laundry is outside in the shed trying to dry. Oh well, it's not the end of the world.

Days off can be a mixed bag of relaxing, catching up on things I haven't been able to tend to combined with having too much time to think and dwell on things that I might have been avoiding during the working days. The workaholic in me needs to always be doing something– working, baking, cleaning, surfing the web… And in this case, I've resorted to blogging when I could be “relaxing.”

A few thoughts that have been running through my mind lately:

I've been thinking about the name of my next “project” or venture or career or job or whatever, and I've been wanting to incorporate the word “Blackbird” into the name somehow.

I love the Beatles' song “Blackbird.” It was a song I grew up with, and I've even learned how to pick it out on the guitar– the only song that I know the picking for. Otherwise, I have no patience for guitar tabs. Today I was researching the background of the song and found that Paul McCartney once talked about how it's related to the struggles and uprising of the black community during the late 60s with the Civil Rights Movement and urban riots. This gives me a newfound appreciation and even deeper love for the song.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly

Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly

Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

I've been seeing blackbirds all over New Zealand in my travels and WWOOFing, and it's probably the only bird I can recognize right away because it's black (duh) and it has a bright orange beak. And it's often hopping around on the ground looking for food and also flying low, looking for (because it's spring here) twig and grasses to build a nest. They're quite hard workers.

I also did a bit of additional research on blackbirds and have found some meanings related to it that I've found quite interesting:

  • Birds robed in black do not give up their secrets easily. The bird is symbolic of life in the heavens (higher ideals, higher path of knowing) and the color black is symbolic of pure potential. (http://www.whats-your-sign.com/symbolic-meaning-of-blackbirds.html)
  • Their singing puts the listener into a sleep or a trance which enables him or her to travel to the otherworld. It was said to impart mystic secrets. Blackbirds are timid and prefer their own company over the company of others. Blackbirds are timid and prefer their own company over the company of others. The male's distinctive song during breeding season is loud and melodious with flute like qualities. Males often sing from high perches and both sexes produce a variety of sounds which include mimicking other birds. Blackbirds spend much of their time on the ground. Its locomotion includes walking, climbing and hopping forward and backwards. They forage for food in open spaces although cover is always near by. The blackbirds flights are low, short and undulating but fast and direct over open country. They move with determination and focus and can teach us how to do the same. When blackbird flies into your life your connection with nature and the forces of creation increase. The magic of the underworld surfaces in your life. Awareness is heightened and change on a cellular level begins. The blackbird teaches you how to acknowledge your power and use it to its fullest. (http://mara-gamiel.blogspot.co.nz/2009/01/blackbird-symbolism.html)
  • Blackbirds are quite different from crows and ravens (which I don't like). Those two are related to each other and are more like pests with a crow or caw. Blackbirds' song is actually quite tuneful and lyrical. They're related to orioles (which is cool because I'm from the Baltimore area, where the baseball team we grew up with was the Baltimore Oriole!).

Anyways, all this has gone to make the blackbird more solidly a symbol or totem that I hope to carry in my next venture. I like the multiple meanings that it holds for my life.

I've been alluding to this “next venture” a bit, and what I'll share for now is that I think it's going to be a small business. Something that I start. Involving food for body, mind, and spirit in all the forms that I have discovered I am passionate about: yoga, community, homecooking, gardens, sustainable living, education… It's starting to take form in my head… And I don't want it to be dependent on government funding, rich people-funding, or any kind of “others.” I want it to be dependent on “us,” whoever that “us” becomes. And I want that “us” to be bigger than just me, or me and another person. But I'll leave it at that for now!

 

Final Day of the Road Trip

We decided to make this the final day of the road trip. One of the ideas had been to drive down from Santa Fe through Albuquerque down to White Sands National Monument, but that would have put an extra several hundred miles and an extra day into our travels. And I was really starting to feel the bone-weariness of being in a car, driving for hundreds of miles each day. So we decided to head to Globe, where my parents live. Just a day's drive.

Itinerary: Santa Fe, NM to Globe, AZ by way of Albuquerque, NM
Miles driven: ~400 miles, which at this point feels like a breeze. “What, just 400 miles? That's just 7-8 hours away by car!
Food eaten: some treats from the farmers' market, breakfast in Albuquerque, and finished with a meal of greens, rice, and kimchee at home. The best way to end a long trip.

Before heading out on our journey, my friend and her husband took us to the Santa Fe Farmers' Market which was beautiful! We ended up spending about an hour there with my mom buying things left and right to take home and cook. I love farmers' markets.

Roasting Hatch peppers-- a common sight in the Southwest

The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of this farmers' market were breathtaking. I really wanted to buy up everything I saw, too. But I restrained myself. Fresh produce and me are good friends.

Beautiful purple flowers of the artichoke plant

Who knew there were different colored cauliflower?!

Love all the colors of the rainbow you can see in a farmers' market in peak season

So after tearing ourselves away from the farmer's market with considerably less money in my mom's wallet, we drove to Albuquerque, about an hour away, to meet up for breakfast with another old friend from Boston. It was great to see him and also good to hear that he might be moving back to Boston!

Other than those exciting moments, we took the rest of the drive back to Globe, meandering through the mountainous roads and ending up here:

Strangely, it was cool, almost cold, in New Mexico and in Globe, too. Rainy, cloudy, cold. Not like the Southwest I often hear about. And the summer is just finishing up. But no complaints here.

So final tallies:

  • Total miles driven: ~3000 miles plus some extra for driving around when I got lost
  • Total driving companions: two– my friend S from Boston and my mom
  • Total great meals: too many to count. Highlights would have to be Zingerman's Reuben in Ann Arbor, egg sandwich at M. Henry in Chicago, ribs at Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis, and that bag of Hot Fries that I consumed somewhere between Chicago and Centennial, CO.
  • Final reflections: I did it! No small feat. And thanks so much to all those along the way who helped make it so enjoyable with the mini-reunions and tips on delicious eats. Thanks, especially, to my amazing car that held up through it all. Honda Accord 2000. Do they still make them as good as they used to?

So now time to rest up, pack, buy the last things I need for my “REAL” trip and figure out really how this blogging thing works for real on my iPad.

Side note: Part of why I started blogging before my trip was because I wanted to get used to this medium of journalling. It's public and requires some consistency if I want to maintain readership. More on that issue for another post. But if you've been reading along, you may notice that my formatting has been kind of wonky. I finally read up on blogging with my iPad and found Blogsy, what a great app to help me blog more easily! Blogsy + Picasa + wireless connection + a wireless keyboard + photo-taking on my iPhone + Instagram (for photo editing) make the winning combination! So enjoy, hopefully with more consistent formatting as I get used to using my iPad and not my laptop for the rest of my journey!

 

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