Nature, Photos

Shades of Gray

Long Island, 2014.

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Life Musings, Nature, Photos

Tulip Festival

Tulips make me happy.

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Have you ever seen anything so perfect?  So effortlessly beautiful?


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The colors . . . the textures.  Have you ever touched a tulip?  Caressed its petals?  Communed with its spirit?

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Wait. Scroll back up.  Did you see that yellow?  I mean . . . Lord.  Have mercy.

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To imagine: the Big Bang banged Itself into a tulip.  A million tulips.  And it also banged Itself into you and me.   How awesome is that.

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I love how bad-ass tulips are with their beauty.  They jut out the earth, crowned in all their glory on some: “Yeah, I’m gorgeous and amazing.  What?”

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Dispatches

Photo Apr 16, 4 57 37 PMLet’s see, what’s new, what’s new, what’s new?

The end of the semester is upon us.  Things are very busy – lots of meetings, events, commitments, deadlines. One more week of teaching and then it’s grading, grading, grading.

Lots going on.  The weather is starting to be all lovely and warmish, which means I’m coming out of hibernation, starting to get out and go places again. It’s all dresses and sandals and the occasional low cut blouse over here. The flowers are out in full effect.  Have been hanging out with more of my friends, which is a joy.  Joined a discount program for teachers that gives great deals on cultural events in the city, so I look forward to checking out more live music, theatre and events. Already got tickets to a jazz event and a contemporary dance performance.. looking forward to that!

Went to a tulip festival today. It was GORGEOUS.  Pictures coming soon.  What else . . . I started hot yoga classes, fulfilling a life long dream.  Okay, it wasn’t a life long dream, but it was something I wanted to do but always felt too intimidated to try.  Well, I’ve survived the first two 90 minute classes.  Today the teacher put the temp up to 120 degrees.  I’ve never sweated so much in my life.  Very intense.  But I surprised myself with the amount of progress I made since the first class, when I had to lay down for a good 30 minutes.  The instructor told me that the most important thing is to try and stay in the room.  Well, I stayed in the room.  And I also did a better job of staying on top of my breathing and having a bit more discipline with the poses.

What else is going on . . . I’m getting into photography again – a side hobby.  I’m also contemplating getting rid of my “smart” phone & contract in favor of a Tracphone.  There are two reasons that such a switch is attractive to me: 1) saving money & 2) being more present. I feel like I pay a ridiculous amount of money each month simply to use my phone for texting and tweeting.  I reserve most of my longer phone conversations for my house phone.  So, saving that money would be great – a bit could go toward my retirement, some could go toward my emergency fund and the rest to other expenses, including debts as well as things that would actually improve my quality of life — like hot yoga and travel.

Speaking of travel, I’m excited for my summer destinations. June will have me in the Netherlands to present my work at the Council for European Studies conference in Amsterdam.  I plan on doing a 1 day stop-over in Iceland on the way back, to check out the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa.  God willing, I will probably also travel to D.C., Philadelphia and certainly New England, with stops to visit friends and family in Connecticut, Newton Highlands/Boston/Cambridge/Cape Cod/MV and Portland, Maine.

What else?  Still cooking up a vegan storm.  Recently added a little fish back into my diet, so I guess that makes me pescetarian, but that sounds too much like Presbyterian and I prefer waving the vegan banner.  Still mostly gluten free.  Still loving my hair.  Recently rocked a fro-hawk for the first time. Found a new massage therapist. She was incredible.  Did a reflexology foot treatment for the first time.. hooked now.  Currently rocking this incredible teal and pink gelish manicure.  It’s so beautiful, so perfect for the summer.  Picked up a few lovely thrifted items, including a gorgeous $2 suit and a really fantastic vintage floral Jones NY jacket.  Pics coming sooner or later, when I find the time.

In other news, I finally got Zora a scratching post she is willing to use, bringing an end to 18 months of furious battles between us.  Well, we’re still battling.  Right now we get into it daily because she is trying to eat my favorite plant. No matter what I do — spray bottle, raising my voice, cursing — she gravitates toward the plant with a single-minded impulse to destroy it.  The plant used to reside in my room, and I took great joy in waking up each morning to the site of it.  Now I put it in my guest room, and lock the door.  But this situation won’t do.  Something has to give.  I am not sure what the solution is, but I recently met a master pet trainer, so I will run the situation past her and see what she says.

Had two speaking engagements recently.  One was with a group of middle school and high school students, encouraging them to consider a college education.  That was the most fun and fulfilling thing I’ve done in a hot minute.  Also exciting was the “keynote address” I gave for Black Womyn’s Weekend, a cultural celebration that’s been happening at my university for 35 years.  I advise the undergraduate black women’s association that runs it and having a chance to attend the events and get to know the students better was very cool indeed.

Matrix moments keep happening in quick succession.  I don’t have the time or energy to get into all the details right now, but one of these days I will do a post explaining these incredible synchronicities.

Followed the live stream of a satsang with Mooji today in Portugal.  I’ve been on a Ben Smythe binge (love him), but my heart will always have room for Mooji’s sharp wisdom.

Finally, the last few days have had me struggling with some unexpected fears and stressors.  I’ve tried to stay present with it, but found myself engulfed in anxiety.  Nonetheless, I am welcoming this tsunami of energy, with the intention of washing away all that I am not and grounding my awareness ever more deeply in the one universal, unchanging Self.

That’s it for now.  How’ve you been?  Let me know what’s going on with you, Dear Reader.

Love,

Crystal