Saturday, June 27, 2009

Part 2: Life on a mystical goat farm in Washington

When I wake up, my ego is usually in the way. I have to push her off of me, reprimand her and tell her to shut the hell up. Here it was already late in the day, and she was nowhere to be found.

“Bleeeeigh” A kid, yes, in the baby goat sense, greets me as I stumble onto the 3 foot wooden porch outside of my little shack. I’m chuckling as I write this because Mikyla calls it, “Our fake house.” One thing that I love about the summer is that one doesn’t need much to serve as shelter. The air and shade suffices. Our 10x10 feels luxurious. The caretaker of the farm, who I will refer to as GG, which stands for Goat Goddess gives me a warm hug and welcomes me. This woman spills over with compassion for all two and four legged creatures that wander this Earth. This nurturing drive has caused her much pain in her past. I think that for most of us who feel the need to nurture this is a truth, as we do not discriminate who we are driven to heal. When we find that the sores still fester even though we’ve been giving it our all, we should draw back and realize that we are not meant to be the one to heal that person or even that the person is not meant to heal. Instead, we defiantly give more. Not out of a sense of pride but more out of a refusal to give up. Even when slaughtered, we pick up our gashed and bloody parts and offer them up if it would help anyone. When it comes to healing and replenishing ourselves, we are ridden with guilt and feel a bit selfish. At least I used to, now I revel in self nurturing, and do not punish myself for being amazingly selfish at times, like now, taking this trip. I know that my selfish journey of discovering my authentic self will replenish and inspire me to greater acts of healing and creating, as well as help me be a better mother. We cannot teach our children how to self actualize if we do not practice self actualization ourselves. Art and travel are two wonderful paths to self discovery.

I walk to the edge of the precipice that this little farm sits on. 100 feet below, a river of topaz syrup forms rapids over red, gray, green, brown and black stone. I’ve never seen water quite this color or consistency, like melted down emeralds, turquoise, and amethyst. These riches are most precious but not coveted, this is for everyone.

In a hundred years I imagine that the cliff will erode to the point where this farm will become part of the gorge. There are some places, a few places, where the combination of all of the elements come together in perfect harmony, creating a very magickal energy and healing space. This is that kind of place. It is no surprise to me that the four couples who live here full time, plus the many travelers that I’ve seen come and go, as well as the 14 dogs(6 of them just being born) that live here, are able to do so with very little conflict. Synergy is created between the people who are able to be more because of the others. Harmony between many living beings is not easy to create! In this space, it’s effortless. But it’s not just the space, but the time. Nothing is forever in this world.

GG offers me some goat milk and I hesitantly accept, remembering the goat milk of my childhood, I was afraid it would be really gamey and taste the way most goats smell, I was very pleasantly surprised and now drink about a quart of this whole food daily. What will I do when I go back to L.A. and drink the pasteurized poison from the grocery store? Eh, why worry about the future when the present is such a gift?
GG comes into the little shack and lays a pile of green buds and a little cupcake paper full of bubble hash. “Reny and Bell told me that you need this.” I felt a rush of gratitude. Reny and Bell know. I remember how well they took care of me when I went on tour with them last year. It's much better to hang onto the goodtimes and let go of the bad.

“Thank you so much!” I was completely out and still nauseous and headachy from all of the coffee, tequila, and 2o something hours of driving (not in that order so much) of the past two days. The day was a blur, I slept, I smoked, I was fed. I played with 10 baby goats that nibbled and nuzzled me. One ate a huge chunk of my hair. Mikyla ran around in ecstasy from the baby goats to the dogs to the baby chics and back to the goats. Always in the background was the constant roar of the topaz river. I went to bed before the sun, and felt more grounded when I woke up the next morning.

“We’re going on the lake today on a speed boat.” Says Bell cheerily over a cup of French pressed coffee. We packed margaritas, sandwiches, lots of bud and hash, beer, hummus, chips, fruit and water into the cooler and loaded it onto a small speed boat. Chelan Lake is the third deepest lake in the world. Like a serpent, the lakes winds for 55 miles. Where it is shallow, one can see clear to the bottom. The water is blue and green, almost like tropical, but cold. A wonder to behold.

A is a very Adonis like man in his early 20’s, vivid blue eyes and full lips, a sculpted body and windblown hair. Not a bro-ha however. A kind and generous fellow. He works for his uncle renting boats and sea dos and kyaks and so gets to take a boat for free. I see a big intertube and wakeboards attached and I know that this is gonna be phenomenal. As the boat flies through the water, liquid diamonds and emeralds erupt around us. I hold my hand in the spray, dazzled by the sparkling water slapping against my fingers. The air is sweet with the smell of hash. J, who is A’s girlfriend, held a small orange flag up anytime anyone bailed on the wakeboard or intertube. A beautiful, young woman with dark curly hair, mocha skin and big brown eyes, J seems to always be on the verge of tears but smiling at the same time. Her slim and voluptuous body brings a gasp to my lips. But more beautiful than her physical body is the impression that she is one of those who can hold the utmost joy and saddest pain all at the same time. One of the gifts, or maybe better called, responsibilities of the Goddess. Holding that kind of space is the sign of heroism, I knew that although J was young, she had been to Hades and back, and was still climbing.

Mikyla was very scared at first and didn’t even want to board the boat, but once she felt the thrill of going 60 while doing a 360 she was squeeling in delight. Soon it was Bell’s and my turn, and bell sat on my lap in the intertube. When the boat started going, the weight of my ass compared to the lightness of my feet put us in a perpendicular position to the lake, my head grazing the water and ours toes pointing to the sky. My fists held onto the handles of the intertube like vices and I screamed. My screams turned into the hardest belly laugh I’ve had in a long time. They swung us around, not satisfied until we were dumped into the lake. That shit was more fun than any rollercoaster I have ever been on. Too bad Mikyla was too scared to go on. However, I trust that she knows what kind of thrills she’s ready for, and I’m a little relieved that she is not an adrenaline junky.

The sun, the dazzling lake of precious jewels and mystery (Chelan Lake even has it's own legend of a creature much like the Loc Ness Monster), the margaritas and hash, was all so intoxicating that I felt like I was in a dream. We came back to the farm with a dinner of sweet potatoes, bok choi cabbage and wild asparagus that had been freshly gathered with some rice. Eating healthy is so easy when someone else is cooking for you.

The rest of the week went much the same way. Waves of fun, conversation, hash smoking and relaxing was the theme. I milked a goat named Brigita. Not getting much into the bucket but plenty on myself and the poor goat, it was a bit harder than I thought. It’s a process. On Friday I prepared to leave for two days as I was going to see my beautiful, ultra witchy sister at her mom’s house on the Colville Native Reservation. As I drove through the landscape on highway 97, I thought how awesome it would be seeing Emily again and meeting her mom, who is a wonderful artist and her mom's girlfriend, who is a blue haired, Native American.

For a while now, my witchy fantasy has been to do an intense vision quest alone in the wild. Little did I know, that I would achieve this spiritual goal and that the questions I had been imploring of the universe for the past year would get answered in a most spectacular and psychedelic way.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Life on the road Part 1

I grabbed Mikyla and left the shiny streets of Venice, CA at 4 in the morning. Wanting to get to Mount Shasta by early afternoon, I put the cruise control on 80mph and began the 9 hour trip to find myself. Why do I need to travel so far to find myself? Why am I not right here? I don’t know why but desire to go north drives me. Witchy Poo, the psychic, told me I would go on a trip this summer and it would be too expensive but I would go anyway. Back then I thought, no way, I’ll be more responsible this time. I’ll do what I’m supposed to. I’ll do what a mother is supposed to do. I’ll save money, I’ll sling lattes at Starbucks, I’ll put Mikyla in daycare so that I can make my measly 8 bucks an hour. I’ll jog, I’ll quit smoking, I’ll be what I’m supposed to be.

Then I realized that I am only capable of what I am capable of. That is following my passion. Whatever I’m passionate about seems to get done. Why do I keep trying to be “normal”? I’ll never be that person. I need to get away so that I can strip and peel all of those layers, layers of “you should be…” and “why can’t I be…” and “this is what is supposed to be important.” I needed to find what lies beneath, that would be authentic. That would be me. And then I could ask myself what it is that I’m supposed to be.

Purple clouds dripped rain as Mikyla and I walked up the path to see Castle Craggs rock at Mount Shasta. Suddenly, the rocks came into view and I sucked in a deep breath. The cinematography from Lord of the rings had nothing on this. I felt the first layer slide off of me into the wet soil.

I made dinner and drank a bottle of now, 3 buck chuck, I slipped on mud and slid on my butt the whole way down a small gorge, Mikyla squealed and laughed and so did I. Another layer came off. I folded down the back seats of the car and Mikyla, Yahoo and I slept inside, listening to the rain hit the foggy windows. I thought about the writers whose blogs I frequent. Hobo Stripper, Davka, and Carrot Quinn. They are travelers and seekers too. Of course, they are much more hardcore and brave than I am. My traveling is maybe a bit tamer and more domesticated, with my mom’s car and my savings account at my service. Even though I have my daughter with me, I feel proud that this is really the first time I am road tripping alone. Mikyla is grown not only of my flesh but of my soul as well and so being, she is part of me. She is the purest parts of me manifested into the outside world and put in my charge. I owe it to myself to teach her what is important to me.

The next day was an even longer drive. My destination was Chelan, WA, but I was meeting Sidestreet Reny in Yakima and then following them the rest of the way. An hour after leaving Mt. Shasta, I realized that I had forgotten a very important piece of luggage with all of my prescription medications for asthma and whatnot back at the camp site. I was already in Dorris, Oregon, before I reluctantly turned around and went back to retrieve it. Damn, over two hours was wasted on that.

I arrived in Yakima at 9 pm. The owners of the bar let me bring Mikyla in, they said it was okay until 11. We got to see the show and the music filled me up. Goddess, I miss their shows!

At about 2 am, we began our 3 hour treck to a little goat farm that lies on the edge of a gorge in Chelan, WA. The sun was already rising by the time we got there and I felt like I was seeing angels sitting on the car. I was very tired. I fell into a soft bed in a 10x10 shack. This would be our home for 2 weeks. Listening to the distant roaring of rapids and the morning crowing of roosters, my eyes closed. In my dreams, speckaled baby goats licked a thick coating of rasberry jam off of my neck and face.