one foot in front of another

Well it's been over a month since my announcement, and what can I say, it worked.
I am so thrilled.
I get lots and lots of emails from lots and lots of amazing people, and I've been trying to answer them ALL!
And then what...
Where to put my foot next?
I can see the start date far in the future, like a mountain peak looming and beckoning, but how do I get there.
I have no set path, I am walking blindly towards my goal. Where will I miss step? Will I know? Will I be able to make myself and all of you lovelies happy?
What is the true definition of this trip? It seems to change and manifest itself differently each day, a mythical Nagual perhaps.
I struggle constantly with this challenge, perhaps it is my dance, if it was a dance it would certainly be capoirea, myself and struggle never firmly in each others grasp but fluidly seamlessly making a balancing act of it.

So please keep me in mind, I am going in blind.
One foot slowly in front of the other, eyes on the lofty heights above and my heart full of love for the dream.
Don't lose hope, keep your belief in me, an above all keep your belief in the dance.


nights like tonight

nights like tonight break my heart.
they are the smooth elixir of life, perfectly blended.

they make my eyes sting with the thought of leaving.
the comfort of home, the closeness of family that I've found, the tenderness of kindred souls.
on nights like tonight it clearly comes into focus the amazing life that I inhabit, and there is nothing like an allotted amount of hours to make one mourn the slipping by of a single one.


layers of the onion

I have been obsessing over things.

What is this thing, why is it here, where did it come from, do I need it?
Mostly the things I have I don't need.
So I have been pulling them out, breaking the ties, and moving them along.
It isn't an immediate process, some things I fret over and cling to and  once out of my death grip I could care less about them.
They are gone and I am free.

I had my first garage sale,  one of what will be many to come, and it was a success!
There was sun and friends and coffee and a really lovely day out in the hood. Thanks to all that made it out!


the best fruit is on the furthest limb

ok just out of the shower from my first two dives in Monterey Bay CA.


like wow, and not in the "I'm so F%$@% happy I did this" sort of way but more the "I can't believe I F$%!$#@ did this to myself" sort of way.

I'm not gonna lie, that was hard, and scary, and I'm just happy to be half way through the certification, and that I survived it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I did it, I don't regret it, I enjoyed it in a fatalistic survivor way,  and I wouldn't trade this experience in for anything, but... it was hard.

In my defense at the end of the day our instructor told us it was really bad conditions, 3 foot visibility, lots of surging swells, and a strong current under the surface and if it was just him he would have turned around and gone home.

I always thought that learning to dive in the Monterey Bay is akin to learning to drive in San Francisco, a challenge but you would be better off for it sort of way. Well I know how to drive in SF  and now I feel like learning to dive in Monterey is a little bit more like learning how to drive in Cairo Egypt.
But I digress let me begin at the beginning.

The pool, I loved the pool, it was awesome.

Then yesterday finding the right wet suit combination...ah jeeze it was like playing vertical twister with my doppelgangers thick skin. Perhaps this is what a soul has to do before it is granted a body, tricky tiring business at best. At last a decent combination was found and the adventure begins.

So I would like to say I am not a panicker, not normally. In fact I can't recall any occasion in which I've panicked.
But here we are, geared up, thick wet suit (2 layers) a swim cap, a hood, thick gloves, thick boots then the heavy stuff weight belt, BCD, tank, everything. It's all piled on, I feel strapped down, trapped under the weight, I cannot walk properly with so much, all I can do is simply waddle to the shoreline.
I now have deep sympathy for the sea turtle, or any poor creature carrying it's home on it's back. I will never dream of riding a giant tortoise again, poor dear.
We waddle down to the water, flippers in hand so we can walk in past the break water, float on our backs and pop those flippers on! Simple right.
Yeah it sounds so simple so lovely until you are being beaten and battered by the under tow. People are knocked over like bowling pins tossed upon the sand banks to flounder in the shallows trapped below their scuba gear and it is every man for himself.
I take my fate clearly to the front of my brain and concentrate, it goes something like this "don't fall, don't fall, don't fall, float, float, fuck, fuck, float, float can't get my $%#^%&^$*#%$##%#@!^#$&%$*%^$*&(^$& flippers on".
This continues on for some time as I struggle but I persevere. Once said flippers were on and I was buoyant then things really started to fall apart.

I've never had a panic attack before, but I have been informed that this is what befell me.
I was buoyant, barely, my regulator in (it lets you breath under water) and the whole world started to shut down with its fingers locking around my throat.
It felt as if my wet suit shrank, I swear to God it did,  to about 10 sizes too small and no matter how much I tried to inhale there was no air. Oh air moved in and out of my lungs but it did no good, my brain was convinced that there was nothing. I tried to slow down my breathing, long deep inhales, long strong exhales, I tried to calm myself and it just wouldn't work.
I found myself hovering in water 40 feet from the shore unable to breath, unable to float very well and trying to convince myself that it was all ok.
Tom one of the dive masters there to help us asked if I was ok. Perhaps the look of terror was apparent on my face, I'm sure as a dive master and instructor you grow accustom to seeing this look.
I found myself treading water wanting to say "yes" while my mind was screaming "NO" and my body was getting all fuzzy like it wanted nothing to do with me. Instead the words out of my mouth were...honestly I don't remember what they were, something noncommittal as I tried to buy time and pull myself together refusing to have a melt down in the cold choppy water.
I was fooling no one.
The other students were making their way to the float, my scuba buddy and good friend Tasha hovered near by with Tom both of them looking at me with concern, and then I found myself saying it.
"I don't like this I want to go back"
As soon as the damn was broken the words wouldn't stop. A litany of "I don't like this I want to go back" erupted and repeated.
Tom checked in with Tasha if she could make it out to the others or not, there was consent and she headed out and I headed back to shore.

I am a believer in doing things that frighten me, that challenge me, but I am not used to things being stronger than me.
I don't remember the swim back to the shore.
I had Tom and he took good care of me.
I sat on a rock next to him, all my gear off watching the waves.

Tom asked why I want to dive, and I told him about all of you amazing dancers and that I was going on this amazing adventure to amazing lands to meet my extended family and that I wanted to be ready, just in case I wanted to go diving.
He asked me if I was afraid to travel, and I said no, there was no need to be afraid because I have a global family.
I became so calm on the shore, and so happy thinking of my life and the all the amazing people like you I will soon be spending time with.
It gave me strength and courage thinking about all of you, and then I was ready to swim out and try it again.

So Tom and I went back out. The Bay tried to intimidate me, it pushed me and pulled me and threatened me with its mighty strength, and I was afraid, I humbly bowed my head to its superior power but I didn't give up. I had help from Tom to get my flippers on, and he encouraged me like a good loving teacher, talking me through the torrent, reminding me that I could breath. Oh he also took 10lbs out of my weight belt so I could actually float and not sink like a rock like I was doing before.

As we neared the float marker out in the bay the other students were done with their first test and began to pop up at the surface, Tasha popped up to my right not 5 feet away from me. I turned nervously towards the familiar face and was surprised when a quick moving sleek sea dog dashed through the space between us. It was an otter!
It rolled over on its back and paused as it reached me, it was so close I could have touched it. It looked at me with its magical little face full of curiosity and a mischievous sort of glee, and it reminded me that the best fruits in life are sometimes out on the farthest limbs of a tree.

I made my descent to the bottom of the bay with Tom, feeling very serene under the surface of the water. I was rewarded with the beauty of fantastical creatures, very up close and personal, with 3 foot visibility how could it be otherwise.

After 2 days and 4 dives in the harsh and beautiful Monterey Bay I am a certified scuba diver. It sure as hell wasn't easy, and I almost quit, but I'm so glad I didn't. However it wouldn't have been possible without the love and support of my teachers and my friend Tasha Hudick, and the thought of all of you out there.




Ever since the creation of my heart it has held a dream.
Encased in its depths.
Whispering to me so softly, so sweetly.
A fortune encased in a cookie.

I like to imagine that exact moment of creation. In the warm darkness of the womb, what is yet to be living coiled about itself, secretive and small. Where fiber was binding itself together into matter or matter into fiber, twisting and weaving the most important muscle of my being. Right then the wind blew and left a tiny parcel of itself trapped within the valves of my essence. Restlessness pushing ever so slightly against convention and mutating the  thawamp thawamp, thawamp thawamp of existence into a mutinous muscle of desire.

I do not try to own the idea of Wanderlust, it is a pull as old as time itself. I can't pretend that I discovered it in books read by others and found it so in vogue that it compelled me to keep up with the fashion.It has simply always been a part of me.

I view Wanderlust more as an invisible friend. A companion that is always pushing me out the door, goading me when I balk, comforting me when I am lonely and keeping me safe when I cry. It has no language and needs none to consul my heart, because it is my heart, it is me, and I have only two choices, refute it and live with a depth of sadness that never leaves, or embrace it.

It's clear to me now that my entire life has been culminating to this moment, this realization of a dream, this sojourn of sorts where I take my thoughts and my dreams and the talent that lives within this flesh and bone construct for my soul and I marry it all together.

So here we go, together, on this adventure.

I leave in less than 1 year.

Some of you may call me fearless, a complement I warm to but know to be entirely untrue. I think it was put best by Ralph Waldo Emerson "Do what you are afraid to do”.

Thank you all for your love and support, for your belief in dreams, in dance, in travel, and in me.





did you hear from me? Well why not!

ok i just wrote back to everyone!
i love you guys you know i do, how could i not, you're just way to awesome not to love.
but i wanted to say that if you wrote to me, and you haven't heard from me, write me again. please.
things can get a little disorganized.AND if you tried to contact me any other way than my business email:
i didn't get it so write to me again and remember you can reach me at:

besos! xoxox


my house

I find that every waking moment has turned into a measuring moment.
In my house I pit one item against another, what will stay, what will go, and what determines the victor.

Should my Great Grandmothers old dish towel trump the story I wrote when I was 8?

A death match of memories and emotions in which only the tenderest survive. Those objects stored away that I can't bear to look at, to bring into the light of day, the old love letters mummified in the writers undershirt, no longer smelling of the body they came from.
A note in my mothers hand writing, a wrinkled page full of pre-pubescent girl scrawl, me and my best friend as we predicted the boy we would married and there for practiced what our new last names would be.

The house is full of it. Memories, ideas, emotions, reminders.


renounce and enjoy

I just got back from a lovely time in Milwaukee WI where I traveled and performed with the lovely FCBD™ ladies at the invitation of Tamarind Tribal Belly Dance. It was such a lovely whirlwind time, and Jennifer Nolan really knows how to make us feel at home! Harley rides with Beth and home cookin' by Kate, I didn't think the weekend could get better than that, but it did!

It was really great to meet my FB friends both new an old and reconnect and drink and laugh and talk about the upcoming ATS global tour!
There were so so many of you that shared your love and excitement I can't thank enough for the love and support!

While there I chatted quite a lot about the upcoming adventure and what exactly it entails.

What do I have to do to get ready? How do I change my life so that I can set out on the road and be gone for years? I have this amazing apartment, a great roommate, a great job, a car, money, Fluevogs, and stuff, I've got a lot of really cool stuff.
Anita Lalwani, my beautiful troupe mate offered me up a very apropos story about Ghandi, and it is this:
'Toward the end of his life, he was asked: “Can you tell me the secret of your life in three words?” Gandhi chuckled and answered: “Yes! Renounce and enjoy.” He was quoting from the Isa Upanishad
(“Leaving the transient, find joy in the Eternal”). It means that in order to enjoy life, we cannot be selfishly attached to anything—money, possessions, power or prestige, even family or friends—even life itself.'

Renounce and enjoy...
That's a tall order but with 354 days to go I'll give it my best try.

About Me

My photo

I study and teach ATS style belly dance with FatChanceBellyDance.

I am about to embark on a world tour: