wild peace

March 6, 2016 - Daily Notes

This morning I woke to the sound of a nautical church bell softly clanging in the distance and at the same moment I saw my iPhone screen light up with a text message from my friend Cicely.

"Soak up the wild peace of the island," she wrote.

Wild peace. These two words seem like opposites but when combined they form a radically new understanding, a deeper meaning, a richer reality. That is exactly what this island is. Wildly peaceful. Peacefully wild.

Her words were fitting, too, because I spent yesterday listening to fourteen TEDx talks in a row, live at Orcas Center, and the theme was "Best of Both Worlds : The Potential in Polarity." Among other things, I learned:

  • Creativity is not a function of intelligence or IQ. It is a path that begins with mastering a craft, being willing to surrender preconceptions, and having some technique for looking inward. (Stephan Schwartz)
  • Curiosity didn't kill the cat, it turned him into a panther. (Lily Fangz)
  • The flow of energy through a system acts to organize that system and batteries that are not fully recharged are what drains off-grid solar power systems. (Eric Youngren)
  • In contrast to a leaf, the internet is a toddler's toy. At the cellular level, plants look and act like people and galaxies. When you play back the recorded sound of a caterpillar crunching a leaf, plants literally cringe. (Robert Dash)
  • Music is the space between the notes. (Jake Perrine)
  • Enlightenment is an inherently destructive process; psilocybin and other psychedelic compounds may play an important role in enhancing mental health and creativity. (Katherine McLean)
  • The voice in the Mackelmore Thriftshop chorus, "I'm gonna pop some tags, only got $20 in my pocket," is actually a unicorn. (Mike "The Wanz" Wansley) 
  • "Speak to them from your heart," are the words of advice a native elder gave to a member of the Tulalip, Apache and Yaqui just before she gave her TEDx talk (Deborah Parker)

Today I spent three hours hiking around Mountain Lake, quietly absorbing what I'd learned. I felt my own heart there, in the trees.

After visiting a beautiful property where we may hold a retreat for Lucia in the autumn, I took the turn for Mount Constitution and drove to the lookout where I paused for a moment. I wanted to quietly, soulfully, intentionally honor my birthday. To smile and celebrate being alive, while no one was looking.

We must honor these milestones in life. Even if things don't look the way we expected they would. We must be willing to surrender our preconceived notions, look inward, stay curious, trust nature, listen to the silence, fall apart completely, recharge our batteries fully, know we are unicorns, and speak from our hearts.

I cannot wait to spend another year sharing inspiration and connecting. My birthday candle wishes tonight (thanks to several incredible new women friends here) included an old one and a bold one: world peace and wild peace. We'll see if it all comes true. Thank you for being part of Lucia.


small significance

March 4, 2016 - Daily Notes

There is a big windstorm on Orcas Island tonight. It arrived with me at midday, a fitting metaphor. I watched a crow fly sideways past the iconic red-paint "ORCAS" letters on ferry terminal building and I wondered, "what does it mean?"

I don't know. It is a small thing, a lone black bird facing a strong wind. It is also significant. Everything here is.

Rain pelts my window and the candle I carried from home flickers softly. A flashlight the innkeepers brought stands ready, "In case the power goes out," they said. I forgot my coat at home, but remembered tea lights and the glass candleholder. Small, significant.

I came here to move slowly for a few days and to listen. It's harder to do than we think, you know? Slowing down, tuning inward, I mean. When was the last time you heard your own heartbeat? Soft, powerful. Small, significant.

Darvill's Bookstore here on Orcas Island has the most beautiful view of any bookstore I've ever seen. Better than Shakespeare & Company with its view of Notre Dame. That gorgeous cathedral cannot compare to the majesty of nature here. These islands with their cedars rise up from the waters of the sea like tiny emerald jewels in a pave globe of the world. Small, significant.

I ducked into Darvill's to escape the windstorm and buy coffee at their espresso bar. They serve Batdorf & Bronson, which I'm sure if you're a hipster means something cool, but to the synapses in my brain all that matters is the last time I was here the coffee was so good I've dreamed about it ever since. Small, significant.

I met the owner of the bookstore and showed her Lucia. She was warm. She said, "I heard you were coming." You did? "Yes, a friend told me, I can't remember who...anyway, someone told me you were coming this weekend." She opened Lucia and read a page in the middle. She picked up her phone and called her distributor while I stood there. She placed a standing order for Lucia. Three copies to begin. Just like that. Small, significant.

Tomorrow, I get to attend the TEDx Orcas Island conference. The theme is "Best of Both Worlds : The Potential in Polarity." I look forward to hearing new ideas, meeting people, and gifting my brain with the opportunity to grow a little more for my forty-first birthday.

Like a crow flying sideways in a windstorm, I am not sure exactly why I am here or where I am going. But my wings are spread wide and I'm flying. Small, significant.