Friday, October 10, 2008

Got water?

Yesterday my daughter calls me from the driveway and says, "Come out here and look at this." I go outside and there's a huge oddly-colored cloud hovering over the area. I agreed that it did not look normal, but we couldn't figure out what it was by osmosis, so I went back inside.

As I walked in, I noticed the sunlight streaming in through the glass doors onto my white papasan chair was literally RED. Since when does natural sunlight look like something from a Steven King movie? Nothing freaky or eerie about that at all! I mean seriously, the sun is always the color of blood, right? WTF?

I was a little freaked at this so I went to the window to verify that our fireball in the sky had not collapsed into supernova or that aliens had not replaced our primary lightbulb with some kind of solar compact florescent. I noted that the cloud from the front of the house actually extended all the way over and across the back of the complex, then funneled down to a V on the horizon over by Camp Pendleton Marine Base. The brain latched onto the only answer: smoke. LOTS. TONS. Again, WTF?

Having witnessed the World Trade Center's demise firsthand, I have to admit this brought my heart up to my throat a little more quickly than most people probably would've reacted. (Funny how I keep thinking that event didn't affect me much.) My brain immediately panicked, listing off things such as nuclear attack, air raids, bombs, etc., and I wondered if I should even continue breathing.

Since I have no tv service (because I choose not to), I had to rely on the internet for information. I called Katy back as I tripped up the stairs to find out what was going on.

CNN had a small banner at the top announcing a brush fire at Camp Pendleton. Not much further information, but at least it gave me some keywords to search with. According to local news sources, the fire started only an hour and a half before, and was covering several acres, but was not in an area that threatened any homes or people. Still... wow. My logical brain pointed out if there was that much smoke from one small fire, do the math for the San Diego fires that made national news last year! Holy crap!

I watched a news video online taken from a helicopter. At first they give you the wide shot, then zoom in a bit. I'm thinking, hey, that doesn't look TOO bad. I mean, how big of an area is that? Probably not that large. The Marines surely have enough trucks to cover it.

Then they show another helicopter below them coming in to drop water (or something) on the fire. It looks about the size of a gnat against a field of flames. Perspective is an awesome thing.

I kept tabs on the news through the rest of the afternoon and evening because it was only about 10 miles from our house, and I remembered hearing how fast the flames traveled in 2007. Fortunately, there didn't seem to be much to report.

That evening I had a date in Oceanside. I took 76 due West. It was after dark. As I rounded one of the corners, my eyes caught the enormous orange unnatural glow beneath a heavy ceiling of clouds. I've never in my life seen such a thing. It was both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

My poor date called about this time and I spewed my incredulity over the cell phone to him (way to make a first impression!), trying to explain in between gasps and babbling that this was my first fire season here in San Diego and I'd never seen a brush fire before. I don't blame him for laughing at me.

I so wanted to stop and take pictures because I had my camera in my purse, but I was already late so I managed to restrain myself. However, on my way back a few hours later I definitely took the opportunity to drive up to a place where I could get a good look at the goings on. Even from a couple miles away you could see the movement of flames licking the air in a frenzied dance down the hillside. I called Katy and told her to get dressed because I was bringing her back out to see this since I prayed it was the ONLY time EVER that we would get to witness a wildfire so close to our house.

By the time I retrieved her and we made it back to a good spot to view the damage, the fire had made it almost to the bottom of the hill. I read later that the wind actually shifted and helped the firefighters contain the blaze. Thank goodness, because it was definitely headed for the nearest community.

Katy and I tried to get pics, but they were mostly blurry. I found the following on and they are a much better representation of what we saw. God bless professional photographers. May I someday join their ranks. It was just so amazing and mesmerizing, and at the same time I hope I never see that again.

So in my four short months as a SoCal resident, I've already experienced an earthquake and a brush fire. I feel like I am no longer a California Virgin. Perhaps these are the hazing rituals of the Cosmos... or maybe Mother Nature is trying to make up for us missing the autumn colors up North right now. I'd much rather She contain it to beautiful but harmless leaves. The front row seat to Hell's Concert of the Year would not be my first choice of venue.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Social Distortion

Warning: this could be a very uncomfortable and strange entry for any family members or close friends to read, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I met some of the most interesting people last night at a party I wasn’t sure I wanted to attend, but now I’m glad I did. That’s what I get for having expectations. When will I learn? At least this twist of my presumptions was on the positive side.

My hands have that tingling going on as I’m trying to sort out my thoughts and type this. It’s the weirdest sensation – I usually only feel it in the center of my palms, but once in awhile an area around the middle of my chest gets involved (some would probably call it a chakra, blah blah – those new agey terms are so abused I’m loathe to use them). It’s not an itch but an intense sort of tension, like a forced awareness of every individual nerve ending. Sometimes it’s so strong it’s almost painful. I’ve tried every keyword I can think of to search out answers for why it happens, but no luck, so I have to chalk it up to dimensional energy I don’t understand yet. The hands are channels after all. I take it to be a good thing. But I digress.

A couple of the people I met inadvertently got me thinking about tantra (no, nothing funky was going on at this party – it’s just my own train of thoughts that led me here) so I spent a lot of time cruising the net reading up on it today. When I first met Mark 11 years ago he introduced me to the concept but we never really followed through (or so I thought), then after awhile circumstances in our relationship caused me to totally lose interest in all related things and it was shoved roughly a light year away, to a distant back burner galaxy in my brain. Funny how these things snap back - like a cosmic rubberband - at the speed of light, swatting your third eye hard enough to wake you from unawareness.

The more I read, the more I’m wondering if I’ve ever experienced anything NOT tantric when playing in that particular arena. (Not that I presume to know rituals and techniques, having never been taught, but from what I’ve read, I would be a quick study I’ll bet.) Most things they describe on the net I already do instinctively, and it’s not like I know anything special or read much about it, I’ve just always done it that way because it seemed like that’s how it should be.

My first time out I distinctly remember telling the guy to slow down, stop, let me feel this for a minute. He was like, “You want me to do what? Why?!” I didn’t know why other than it was just what I liked. At least he complied. I felt like I was directing a movie trying to tell him what to do and when (like I even knew what I was saying!) and observe what I felt all at once. Overall it was a good experience with someone I cared a lot about and I’m grateful for that. Everyone’s first time should be like that. Perhaps his patience and indulgence was an even greater benefit than I knew because ever since I’ve never been afraid to express what I like, and certainly I can’t recall any bad results.

But reading all this leaves me wondering: If that’s not the norm, then what is? Something that resembles porn? Gods, I hope not. Where is the love in that? Maybe this is why I’ve never understood people’s fascination with adult videos. I can’t imagine ever wanting to do it like that (with a few off-the-hook-hormone exceptions). I don’t care what noises the people are making, I can tell you most of it is fake, and it doesn’t even look like it feels good. (The bad acting is another story all together.)

One thing I don’t understand about tantra is the ritualistic nature of it. All this lighting of sage and preparing this and breathing like that before you even touch each other… seems a little hokey. (Except I see where breathing certain ways at certain times can improve feeling, but sitting across from each other, staring at each other trying to breathe in sync without yawning? Sounds totally boring to me. What is the purpose of that?) I probably don’t know what I’m talking about, having only read what I found online. Or it could be I’m just too impatient, which is probably something they insist you master to “do it right.” Discipline has never been my strong point, but if you ask me, discipline in this area sounds more like work than fun. I dunno. Like I said, I’m no expert, but some things they describe just sound like common sense, and if that’s not how everyone does it, well that explains a lot.

Maybe I’m just a hands-on kinda gal. By all means, set a mood with candles and music and whatever, and there’s a lot to be said for flirting and teasing and building the tension, but I always thought things were more enjoyable when you’re so in touch with your partner’s thoughts and emotions that when you get down to it, you’re wanting to do the same things at the same time anyway and there’s very little need for speaking or “rituals” like I was reading about. Then again, Mark has been the only one in that part of my life for so long, maybe I’m remembering prior experiences incorrectly. Who knows.

Maybe I’m just resisting anything remotely related to a religion that tells me “it must be done this way or else you’re not doing it right.” That’s never sat well with me. There are infinite threads of truth that weave our existence.

OMG – the Cosmos is so damn funny. My email just dinged so I check it and it’s a monthly new agey type ezine I get (unsolicited I might add) called SpiritSide. On the front page is “A Healthy Approach to Shameless Intimacy – Tantra!” I love when the Gods flirt with me.

Well anyway, this is not a subject I want to blog about in depth, but it’s what I was thinking about today. For anyone that doesn’t know what tantra is, please do yourself a favor and at least Google it or buy a book to investigate the general principles.

It could be the answer you’re looking for. ;)