Tuesday, July 29, 2008

along the redwood trail

along the redwood trail
Originally uploaded by ue06
still camping my way back into the city. having a blast!

camped here last night. after driving through redwoods.

i'm so proud of myself for setting up my tent each night! i'm getting to be quite the outdoorswoman!

i keep a few trashy novels with me and read them by lamplight. ha! and this morning i read from "gems of buddhist wisdom," lying back on my sleeping bag with the redwoods and sunny skies as my ceiling. (my tent has a skylight dome with noseeums-proof mesh.)

am eating a HUGE brunch and writing from the greenwood pier inn; it's just breathtakingly beautiful.

just went hiking and fed horses carrots at the elk guesthouse. her horses were grazing all round the house and garden on the bluff above the ocean. they walked right up to me and let me feed them.

the owner is a harried, friendly, messy mom who was happy to share her stories of fixing up the house with me. we laughed about the messes she and her kids had made everywhere. but the view is spectacular!!!!!!!!!!

today is ,my youngest's 18th birthday; she finally called me last weekend after boycotting me all summer for speaking out about the domestic violence of her father, but still refuses to make plans to visit. it's a hard time for me, but i'm finding joy and courage in the journey.

yesterday, in a charming little bookshop in mendocino, i read the memoirs of a woman trapped in a polygamist cult who was battered and whose husband abused her with custody suits and withholding care for the children. so much like my story. i couldn't believe what i was reading.

guess where the founder of the cult moved when it got too "liberal and open minded" for him and his followers in utah? to texASS! spelling emphasized! and just recently, their cult made national headlines when courts in texas overturned the decision to remove children who'd been sexually abused from their abusive environments. the texas courts gave the children back to the abusers and penalized the Childrens' Protective services and trashed the social workers who were trying to save the children!

it was really painful and scary to read this woman's life story since it felt like living mine again, but it made me realize how deeply committed i am to telling my story no matter how much i'm opposed by my kids or my family of origin. what if abused women never told their stories? what if we all waited till we had our children's and family's blessing? i'm beginning to realize that none of our stories would EVER have been told!

it's amazing how deep my brainwashing was around my family. i'm still just coming out from much of it. it helps so much to be in california. when i tell my story here, it's so obvious, i grew up in a cult! when i see the lives of my very good, kind CA relatives (on my father's side) and how different their lives are, not dominated by church of christ dogma, it's so eye opening.

and to be exposed each day to eastern thought and to world views which are so different from my own! it's so heartening!

just now, at this lovely inn/cafe where i'm sitting, there are buddhist statues and eastern influences in the landscaping and decor. this brings me such joy and peace and hope!

even though many of the buddha's views about women represented not much of a departure from the sexism of the brahmins he was trying to elucidate, it's still a lifesaving message for me to follow the buddhist path. and with the LGBTIQ and feminist influence on the dharma in CA, it's even more liberating now.

i think i've been trying so hard to live as a bodhisattva without the proper training or the community. i used my social work and christianity to save others when i couldn't save myself. now i can choose when and how i want to live the bodhisattva life; it's not now.

i want to just take care of myself for now and let others be. trust that someone will come along to save them, but it's not my turn just yet. maybe not in this lifetime.

my buddhist friends would be proud of me: i'm learning to let go and not fight each battle that comes my way.

i'm living minute by minute and in the now much more often. i'm finding peace within myself and within the world even in the midst of hard times.

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