18 July 2010

giving birth to a dancing star

One must have chaos in oneself in order
to give birth to a dancing star.
[Friedrich Nietzsche]

Learning permaculture protocols for designing human settlements is broad and all-encompassing, and simple as well. I'm unlearning a lot of my old favorite gardening techniques that have created visual peace and order, and embracing more natural patterns and techniques that actually open up more productive time and space. It's a new take on Zen.

I haven't even fully unpacked from last weekend in Costa Mesa and have had two more seriously mind-expanding experiences this week.

A circle of nine women traveled out to Lake Henshaw for a day on the Double "J" Ranch on Wednesday. In a gazebo overlooking the lake, surrounded by free ranging horses, goats, chickens and dogs we connected and sent our deepest wishes for harmony with the natural world, for clear energy, and for open hearts. We trekked through the woods for a shared lunch under the oaks, and walked the perimeter of the nine-pointed Earth Star labyrinth. The silence and beauty at the base of Palomar Mountain is powerful, and the silence and beauty within each of my Sophia Sisters is positively glowing! Many thanks to Amanda and to our guide Jana, for facilitating the birth of dancing stars.

Yesterday I journeyed to the Tijuana Estuary in Imperial Beach via lovely Coronado Island to hear a talk by UCSD's Teddy Cruz. With the eye of an artist, he had a wonderful way of using provocative headlines and visual images to explore the flows and relationships between San Diego and Tijuana, through the "forensics of urbanism". Walking us along the border fence (with various maps and photos) observing the informal structures of Tijuana, he suggested that Density could be a measure of social exchange or level of collaboration, and that informal energies could be translated into economic value. We could view each parcel (each human settlement) as a small socio-economic system, where Democracy is redefined as the ability and willingness to coexist with others.

What if the border fence makes San Diego the largest gated community in existence? Does this philosophy of separation achieve highest good?

06 July 2010

DIY shampoo

Aveda products have been a beauty and aromatherapy staple for me since my days at Deja Shoe. Our two companies were often at the same environmental events, and when I had a staggering fourteen Earth Day events under my umbrella in 1994, the Aveda people eased me into life back home with a few days of retreat at their wonderful spa in Osceola, Wisconsin. The nostalgic scent of "shampure" transports me to that retreat vibe - sleeping under fluffy organic linens, drinking filtered lemon water, sharing simple food, and feeling peace. Natalie Merchant (who has been a great source of inspiration) was there too, but that's a story for another day.

Lately, I've been migrating toward putting on my skin only things I can eat... aloe vera, avocado, coconut oil. With one spin through the little video below, I've become a huge fan of simple shampoo. Because my hair is big, like Janis Joplin big, after the shower, I'm so pleased with the way baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar rinse leave my hair fresh and clean, and remarkably sleek!

If you ever visit grist.org, you might find Umbra as charming as I do. Click on this link to see how to make your own baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar rinse combo.