Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Room with a View

January 26, 2007
A little after three in the afternoon.

Well, here I sit, by myself in the Best Western Motel at the beach. I whined and cried and growled enough for the last week that everyone decided it was time for me to have a break. I feel a bit of a decadent thrill coming on, mixed with a degree or two of guilt, a pinch of sadness and a giant scoop of loneliness. I’ve only been here for 10 minutes.

My oceanfront room is nothing fancy, two queen beds – one for tonight and one for tomorrow. I’ve got the door open to my 3 foot by 3 foot balcony, where the ocean does what it does best. The repetitiveness of the waves breaking on the shore, lulls me into a sweet place. Breathe in, breathe out. In with the guiding light that brought me to this place. Out with the negative energy that has held me captive. (Question: Is it me who clings to the negative instead of the other way around.)

Upon arrival, like any little kid who needs to check out her new surroundings, I peed. (Okay, Carolyn, settle down.) Then I opened the door and turned off the AC. I set up an altar of things I brought with me. On the way to the motel I stopped at a store I’d seen advertised last week. Peaceful Journey, how’s that for a name? Is it coincidence that it’s only a few blocks shy of where I’m staying? Before I even crossed the threshold, the aromatherapy was working.

I loved the store from the get go. Good smells, good tschotchkes, good karma. When asked “how I was,” I uncharacteristically answered honestly by saying, “in transition – maybe a little scared.” I wandered around the small store but zeroed in on some stones that seemed to speak to me and had the right healing energy for my weekend. Funny, I wasn’t even aware that rocks had healing energy but I was drawn to them. It became clear to me that this time away was going to be a learning experience.

The first rock I picked up was agate. Its description reads: overcomes bitterness of the heart and eliminates inner anger. (How’s that for the universe knowing what we need and providing the cure?) Agate fosters love, opening the way for positive relationships. It is a first and forth charka healer by assisting in grounding and relieving anxieties or stomach tension. Golden lace agate helps lift depression. (Why didn’t I know this before? Where has agate been all my life?)
The second stone I picked was aquamarine - the stone of courage. It evokes tranquility and serenity. It assists in light-heartedness, creativity, communication, self-awareness, confidence and purpose. It is a 5th charka healer and affects the throat, spleen lymphs, thymus, mouth and ears. (Be gone lichen planus!)

And finally, I picked Blue Kyanite. It connects you with youthful zest and optimism. It encourages you to speak from the heart with trust and experience the joy of life. It is used in meditation with calming, clearing effects, as a gentle guide. It is a 5th and 6th charka healer due to its assistance in communication and foresight in solving issues.

I also made an appointment for a Tibetan Bowl massage. I know it sounds kind of woo-woo but the clerk, Bella, said I wouldn't have to take my clothes off and it would be perfect for to help me get centered for the weekend. Bring those bowls on!

I’m wondering if I should close up my computer as it is a link of sorts with the outside world. Or should I keep writing as it is my form of journaling. I think that’s kind of an excuse not to be alone with my thoughts right now, so I’ll just write a little more then enter the silence.

My reading matter of choice for the last year or so has been various books with the “retreat from the world and get to know yourself” theme. The author(s) go off to some rural setting (usually an old farmhouse in New England), reconnect with nature, bond with livestock of some kind, find meaning in every day experiences that seem more profound than their daily tasks in the “real world,” then, to top it all off, write and publish a book about their insights. In The Dogs of Bedlam Farm, John Katz bought sheep so he could train his border collie. In Fifty Acres and a Poodle, Jeanne Marie Laskas writes of her (mis)adventures living with, among other things, a Standard poodle and a donkey. Joan Anderson swam naked with seals off the coast of Cape Cod; Sy Montgomery raised a gigantic pig named Christopher Hogsworth; and Catherine Goldhammer fell in with a brood of chickens.

Even though there are vast differences in the authors’ reasons for the change of landscape (both inward and outward), the writing is always good, the animals loveable, and the desire to write about the experience an inspiration to me. I think, although no one has really ever told me this, that in order to get through a midlife crisis, one needs to step out of the daily grind, get in touch with some form of nature to renew one’s spiritual connection, share the experience with at least one non-human, and take good notes.

So here I am ready to put question to the test. I have no livestock with me but I’ve already been moved by the site of a chubby brown puppy and picked up the sound of sea birds outside my balcony. For now that seems to be enough.

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