Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mixed Emotions

RV Blog June 14 2012

Mixed emotions.  Truly mixed emotions.  There is sadness at having to give up five of my beloved cats and to tear apart my garden to give or sell the pieces.  I know the bank won’t care for the garden, and I will feel better knowing that others will still have the plants I have loved and cared for. 

So, I walk around the garden and look at what I have wrought.  The lilac is over ten feet tall.  What once was only open lawn is now a lush jungle of hostas, peonies, flowering perennials, flowering understory trees (American redbud, hawthorn, white dogwood, among others).  I have a wishing well, bird feeders, bird baths, planters, milk cans, old barrels, ladders with climbing vines, an herb garden (overgrown now, but the thought is still there).  This is a National Wildlife Federation certified backyard wildlife habitat.  I shall miss my little yellow cottage on the corner lot, set back from the street and surrounded lovingly with century old oak trees. 

This has been a place of succor, of healing, of safety and recovery, of spirituality and service to community.  Rick and I have made it a home filled with love and life, a sanctuary for children and wildlife and pets and songbirds--and fairies.  And I am saddened now, to think of losing it all.
Backyard Wildlife Habitat
The lilac on the corner

But the house is not going away, I am.  I am going away into my own future, my next level of development, my next spiritual mission. My reward for these next weeks of angst and hard work with packing and sorting and down-sizing will be two years of freedom, and of time spent alone with my husband.  Nothing sounds more fun than traveling with Rick.  His joyful nature and his wide-eyed wonder at seeing new places, faces and things is a wonder to behold.  I have never spent time with anyone who makes me as happy and playful as Rick.  It’s good for a sometimes deadly serious person to learn to relax and have fun.  It not only chases the blues away, it absolutely forbids the anxiety to take root.

So there is the freedom—to have fun, to be free from the troublesome details of home ownership, and bills.  Not that RVing is without its costs, too, but they seem fewer—gas, satellite, cell phone, wifi hotspot—less than $200 according to current estimates (except for the gas, which could be whatever we can afford this week!).  Yes, there is eating and camping fees, and whatever maintenance is required (plus propane), but overall I don’t anticipate a lot of financial anxiety—another treasured freedom. 

Then there is the freedom to have silence.  To be unavailable for the crises of others.  To read.  To think.  To write.  To paint or walk in the woods or just nap near the sound of rushing waters.  To see stars at night, to hear the coyotes and the wind in the trees.  To learn something new.

The freedom to see the places I have always wanted to see. To walk labyrinths all over the country, to see a multitude of sacred places, to worship at a hundred different shrines. 
Our Lady of the Snows Shrine near St. Louis
So I am excited, too.  And I feel proud when I look at Intrepid, at our Ford Honey Class C RV.  I found it and negotiated for it and paid for it and it is ours!  (With the title in my name, I feel territorial—it’s MINE!) But of course, mine is ours.

Then there are the reactions of others—almost all happily envious—how they wish they could do this!  So I am reminded that this opportunity is truly a gift, an opportunity on so many levels.  So there is in the end the feeling of gratitude, of true thankfulness to an abundant Universe that has brought me here, now, has afforded me the chance to achieve my goals of education and publication and love. 

I am gratified at the little planning stuff, too.  Where will this live?  Do I need that?  How can I set up a working office with a minimum of objects?  Challenging and scary at the same time.  Can I do this?  Yes, yes, I think I can.

My cup is indeed full—with all of these feelings and more.  And I honor, express and embrace all of them, for they are the stepping stones to my “next” life.


June 12, 2012

Facing the idea of a two-year self-imposed simplification of my life brings mixed feelings.  The main sense is one of relief and relaxation.  To have less to think about, to worry about, to clean and dust and maintain, is freeing.  The second is one of anticipation—I look forward to having time to read, to think, to write, to be creative without the distractions and demands of modern life. 

These are followed closely by fear/anxiety.  What am I doing?  How will I feel safe?  Will I suffer anxiety all the time if I am rootless?  Or will I simply be able to shed my anxieties and embrace the wonderful world of simply living?

I know this:  the more I pack and the less stuff I am surrounded by, the better I am feeling.  This is a spiritual journey above all and no spiritual journey was ever without its contradictions and paradoxes.  In fact the journey is about making your peace with all that.  And learning it experientially, because knowing something in your head and truly knowing it are two different things.

I look forward to a chance to remember how to be me, just me, my original self. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Iowa Metaphysical Fair

Fabulous fair weekend in Des Moines.  Lots of great customers, many readings, uplifting energy.  Awesome.  Will be happy to do this fair again.  Some quick pix.

Psycards USA booth

Rick communing with the crystal skulls of Oshram.

I love the new black and red Celtic cloth I bought to layout readings.

Everything we need--brochures, cards, books, sets, business cards, and magazine ads.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Preparing to Prepare: the earliest stages

A Writer Becomes a Gypsy:  Transitioning to an RV lifestyle

March 23, 2012

Facing foreclosure, my husband and I have decided that this provides us with an opportunity to do what we have only ever dreamed of doing—buying an RV and going on the road for a year.

After nearly two years of grieving over the loss of our home—which for me meant safety and security—I am beginning to embrace the idea of becoming a gypsy. 

The timing seems to be appropriate for the following reasons:

  • I am about to complete my MFA in Fiction (May 2012).
  • I have completed a novel and am now shopping it to agents.
  • I have been physically unable to hold a “real” job, but this has freed me to be simply myself and to be the writer I really am.
  • My daughter and grandson, who have been living with us, are about to reconcile with Kyle’s dad.
  • Upkeep on the house is a lot of physical work that neither my husband nor I am able to do regularly.
  • This provides an opportunity for my husband and I to spend time alone together while we are still young enough and healthy enough to do so.  (Or at least not too old nor too sick.)
  • I have published a book and re-established a role (more later) that requires promotion.  Traveling to bookstores around the country is the best way to do that.
  • My youngest daughter has just bought the home of her dreams and can provide a “home base.”

There are other things that have happened while we have been here the last thirteen years, that require lengthy explanation.  I will list them so that I can come back to them later.

  • I have fulfilled my dream of community service.
  • I have fulfilled my dream of playing an important role in disaster response.
  • I have fulfilled my dream of finally returning to college and obtaining my degree(s).  (Read:  A.A., B.A., M.A., M.F.A.—all in English).
  • I have fulfilled my dream of once again owning a home of my own.
  • I have made my peace with the trauma I experienced during the homeless years.
  • The Universe has brought  much restoration to my life:  the Psycards, Kris, Luke, Mary Ellen, Sarah, Kip.  All these relationships have now been healed and can be put in their proper places.
  • I have had the opportunity to deeply love and help raise a grandchild.
  • I have rediscovered who I am at so many levels.
  • I feel ready to go out into the world and share my mission.
  • This is an opportunity to practice radical faith; to really master the idea of Trust in the Divine.
  • It is time to stop living with fear.
  • I can use this year of planned travel to open new writing opportunities, including this blog.

There are, of course, many challenges involved. 
  • Sorting, organizing, thinning, storing, packing everything I own.
  • Deciding what is important to keep and what is not.
  • Dismantling my garden and gifting its contents to others who will love them.
  • Deciding which of the beloved seven cats to take with us and which to find homes for.
  • Working out logistic details like mailing address, telephone, storage, etc.
  • Talking myself into the idea of living without my favorite treasures, my thousands of books, my paintings, my animals, my garden, etc.

Now, ideally, I dreamed of being able to do this with some sense of security:  a home to come back to, money in the bank, a healthy income.  But we have none of that.  What my husband and I do have is a terrific relationship.  He is my best friend.  He is warm and funny and rarely ever afraid of anything.  He has taught me by example more about faith than any religion or book or other person ever could.  He is a lot of fun to travel with because he takes a child-like delight in new experiences.  He makes friends easily.  He has a way of finding or discovering or having someone gift him with exactly what we need when we need it.  He (unlike me) does not worry.  He is my Buddha.

I am talented, creative, volatile, emotional, passionate.  I am a do-er.  I have learned to use anger as a fuel source for positive change.  He is patient and always lets me know that I am loved, even when I am the bitchiest person on the planet. 

We share a joy in adventure.  We share a yearning to see and experience new things.  We share a sensible approach to these things; no need for “extreme” anything for us.  We can take our pleasures and joys in even small doses and be happy and grateful.  No bungee-jumping for us.  (Sorry, if you need a true adventure blog, you’ll have to go somewhere else!)

We also share a spiritual sensitivity and awareness—no dogma, no organized religion, no specific ritualized relationship with the Divine—just a deep and real sense of the beauty, love, and power of the Universe.  Together, we can travel to sacred spaces, especially little known sacred spaces.  Sedona is nice, but way too over-promoted.  I’ve been to Sedona.  I did psychic readings in Sedona in ’89, during the Harmonic Convergence.  I’ve been there, done that. 

But I know that there is wisdom and spiritual renewal in this land, in many places and in many ways.  And more and more, the lure of that, the excitement and anticipation of going and doing and being, together, is overwhelming any fear, doubt, or worry that might hold me back. 

So, this blog is about the process, the transition, and later, the experiences we will have in our year of travel.  We don’t yet know the day that travel begins and the “year” may be less or longer.  We shall strive to remain flexible.  I welcome readers who wish to share our journey.

March 24, 2012

I am hoping that this blog will be many things to both us and to our readers. 

I hope that this blog will help others gain practical information on switching to an RV lifestyle.  We are complete novices at this and will have to fumble our way to knowledge.  Always good to share that knowledge, if it will help others have an easier time of it.

I hope this blog will be a place to share our spiritual experiences and growth.  We are outside of any mainstream religion and yet we have a deep spiritual connection to the Divine.  It is my desire to help others feel OK about their personal relationship with God, and to be unafraid to move away from dogma and what they are taught by society and church and family and friends to believe and discover what they really believe and what their own deepest selves know to be true.

I hope this blog will be fun to read and provide information about interesting people, places and things across North America.

I hope this blog will be a showcase for the beauty of the natural world in which we live and to highlight the problems and (more importantly) the solutions in our environment.

Honestly, I hope this blog will also help produce some income to support us in our journey.

America, be on notice, my husband says, prepare yourselves, we are coming to visit!

March 28, 2012

Today was interesting.  Rick wanted to look at RVs, so we went to the local dealership.  I don’t know what I expected, exactly—something like a parking lot with used RVs that we could wander through and price…

Anyway, what we got (or what I got) was a discouraging introduction to the terrible costs of RVs.  The used RVs we saw were like from 2004 or 2006—to me, not “used” in the way I’m thinking.  Price?  $39,900.  Used.  And they looked like mobile homes on wheels—huge, even the small ones seemed huge.  10-cylinder engines.  Really? 10 cylinders?  Who the hell needs that?  I’m concerned about carbon footprint, about cost and practicality.  When the salesperson started to point out that this one was better than that one because it had full-body paint, instead of just decals, I thought, “Who the hell cares about crap like that?”  I have no desire to become a member of some tribe that thinks the trivial difference between “paint” and “decals” has any meaning at all!

So, this visit to the RV store made me want to cry, though I couldn’t tell anyone why.  I’m not sure I can explain it now.  I just know that on the ride home, I wept, sobbed nearly, feeling so discouraged and rejected and oppressed.  Later I realized that what I had seen there gave me feedback that said, “you don’t belong,” “you can’t do this,”  “you’re irrelevant, invisible, unimportant, unworthy.” 

As I  sat with these feelings (still without words) through the rest of the day, I finally found my words.  I was frustrated that Rick seemed so unrealistically optimistic that he seemed to think we could actually buy one of these monsters!  (I will never, ever, ever, drive a 10-cylinder, petroleum-burning engine—it’s just wrong.)

And also that I had counted on him to give me hope, to make things seem possible, not impossible.  I needed to find a way to BELIEVE that this whole plan could be made manifest, could be come a reality. 

Well, my magic man redeemed himself.  After watching me cry and hearing my objections (after I finally found my words), he found a 1974 RV on craigslist.  We went to see it, and it seems perfect!  A standard Chevy 350 engine (any grease-monkey in the country can work on this engine!), which give us mileage similar to any full-size van.  (Not the 4 miles per gallon the 10-cylinder ones promised.)  The interior had been completely rebuilt by one of its owners—built with love and care and real wood and practicality.  It has character, personality.  It is small enough to drive anywhere, but big enough to live in with careful planning.  It’s not beautiful, but it’s not ugly, either.  It is a one-of-a-kind unit—very much in keeping with our energies and our intentions.  And it is only $4K.  30K miles.  Excellent condition.  Worst issue?  Needs A/C for when you are driving (it has A/C when you are parked).  Solution?  Generator.  Next worse issue?  A little rust.  Who cares?  I love it. 

The couple who own it seem as though they aren’t in a big hurry to get rid of it.  Like they’ll wait for us to get our money in June. Very nice, real people.  And this viewing renewed my vision of our coming excursion, renewed my belief in its possibility, renewed my sense of pride in what we are about to accomplish on a shoestring budget.  It also stimulated my intuitive vision of the people we will meet—people who are self-sufficient, who are kind and neighborly and have skills and believe in family and aren’t afraid to eschew the SOP of our culture. 

I dream tonight of campfires outside our RV.  Of afternoons on the road, writing at the table, of nights filled with the sounds of crickets and coyotes, nestled up against my husband in our bed over the driver’s compartment. 

Rick and I, together, have always been able to make something out of nothing.  We bought a house when everyone (I mean EVERYone) told us we couldn’t buy a house. We got a mortgage when even I thought we couldn’t get a mortgage.  Together, we have gone from homeless to living in a van that didn’t run and didn’t belong to us to where we are now.  We left Tempe, Arizona one day in 1997 with literally eleven cents and no idea of where we would go or what we would do and found a way.  We were gifted with a mobile home for the meager down payment of $300—from an ad that was misprinted and even the phone number was missing.  But somehow the Universe got the right connection to us or us to the right connection.  Together, we think outside the box and believe in solutions. 

You can’t solve a problem that you don’t believe can be solved.  You can’t put a gift into a closed fist.  If you believe it is impossible, then it certainly is.

And that is why I need to avoid experiences that awaken the fear, doubt, worry, etc., in me.  Because sometimes when these feeling are awakened, I can’t stop the cascading effect that I know leads to depression and discouragement.  Experiences like visiting some fancy new RV dealership whose purpose is to make you think you MUST have this latest, newest, most fashionable thing at some outrageous price at some awful cost to the planet.

Can’t go there.

So, thank you to the Universe for the lessons learned today and the results we obtained.  Faith is confirmed and validated.

April 23, 2012

This vision of the RV lifestyle and the changes to my life and career is beginning to crystallize more clearly in my mind.  This blog isn’t just about going on the road.  It is about a psychic vision of America.  It is about writing the novels that carry the spirit messages I hope to impart—not in a crazy, woo-woo, way, but subtly, inspiring through beautiful passages and deep exploration of the human psyche.

It is about Psycards, yes, but it is also about me as the expert on Psycards.  It is about my psychic gifts and talents and how it now time to bring them out from under my bushel. 

I have a vision of two non-fiction books:  A Psychic View of the American Landscape, and The Woo-Woo World:  Understanding Paranormal and Psi Phenomena.  It is about  becoming who I really am, about branding myself, about “celebretizing” my talents and tossing the old chrysalis aside.

But, of course, I am just emerging, and my wings are not yet dry.  Soon, soon.