the sky is partially blue and i can see the snow capped mountains in the distance. with the blue sky i also feel myself climbing out of the hermitage i have been in since being sick. deep hermitage where all i wanna do is be alone, not talk, just meditate, watch, read, and listen to within. i need these times to get in touch with what is inside my own skin. to hear spirit, to feel my essence. this one has been a deep detox too. no restaurant food, no alcohol, only a little bit of caffeine. my body feels cleaned out and my tummy has metabolized the intensity of life…yet again. good timing because i teach tonight, school is in two days, followed by my internship orientation. i was a bit worried but once again, trust shows me to trust. just need my immune system to stay strong. it’s always been so fragile, since i was kid i was catching everything other people got. i need this to transform. my heart was dark during this hermitage too. literally dark. dark like a seed nestled inside soil, blind, eyeless. you need faith to be blind and eyeless. you need to feel life and not rely on the senses that feel cold from being in the cold soil. i am recalling a man that used to stand outside the subway in queens. he was blind. in one hand he held a little radio and in the other he held a hat to collect money. he always seemed content from the outside. you see so many forms of fragile mixed with strong in new york city. i miss that place, the way everyone was together in one cauldron of city insanity. i love the city, i do. i am like a crow or pigeon that chooses city life over the beauty of nature, that chooses to feed off of death and garbage. that sounds so goth. but you know, it’s just true. it just is. i am a weird contradiction because i like to have a lot of solitude but i also like to live smack dab in the middle of the city. if i was alone in nature i would not be content. maybe it’s my brooklyn and queens ancestral bones. god, i miss new york right now, i miss it i miss it i miss it i miss it. the mountains look so majestic this morning, illuminated by the sun, reminding me to stay strong. i doubted myself during this hermitage and watched the doubt pass through like a thick and mellow but persistent storm. i felt the death of those i love and how alone things could get for me. but i always have the city. life is strange in that it continues to be a surprise to the mind, both with pain and pleasure. i don’t suffer anymore. i get sour, i get sad, i get internal, i get moody, but i don’t suffer. i don’t attach to this world like i used to. i see that being michelle alone is the gift. i see that any form of security, be it partnership, family, health, shelter, could be ripped away at any moment. i see that moments of contentment are pepper and the salt is the love that makes all the moments worth it. when i suffered, which was my entire life until about six years ago, it was because i was living in my thoughts and my thoughts were always betraying the sense of peace available to me. this sense of peace has nothing to do with joy, i still struggle with feeling joy. peace is much easier for me. peace is underneath the tumult of every feeling. it’s a stillness and loving watchful eye that feels close to spirit. i have so much faith in spirit and i am learning how to have faith in this life. faith, joy, and positivity, these are my learning edges. peace and non-suffering are strengths. i realize my personality can get quite salty and moody and i am not going to judge myself for it. family of origin blossoms like orange flowers with new opportunities every moment. some only see the flowers. the closer we get, the more safe i feel to show you all of me. yet no matter what, i own my experience. extra cautious to not put my shit on you, to not blame, to not make karma. i keep thinking about krishna das, in his moody judgemental sounding tone, talking about how the mind is a prison that always is like, “me me me me me me” and it sparks up insecurity in how i talk about myself. yet i think examining and knowing the self is so beneficial and rich. self exploration is a treasure in my opinion. but it’s not for everybody. for some it is better to not think of the self and to only give to others. this strikes me as a man/woman thing suddenly. how women have been taught to deny the self and always give, and how i feel the balance is to acknowledge the self. how men have been taught to be self centered and to take, and the balance is to be less self focused and to give. i know that’s a broad generalization, but this is a free flow writing exercise so i say what comes to mind. i get used to being brave about it. i let go in the end. another set of words slithering down the drain….