Tuesday, May 1, 2012

100 Things I Never Thought I'd Tell You.

Self as Subject & 100 Things I Never Thought I'd Tell You. Coming up...a post about all the self-portraiture and the journey of embracing my beauty.

1. Like Keri Smith implies in this beautiful letter, anger and excitement are two sides to the same powerful coin of deep desire.
2. To tell you the things that anger me and excite me, I'd have to toss all the rules of blogging and self-employment out the window.
3. As if those "rules" are the key to what makes me lovable--what makes me marketable.
4. Now that's something I'm angry about--that in this world, to do what I love, I'm expected to come across as marketable and follow these made up rules about what sells. I Am Not A Commodity.
5. I'm a human with a passion for connecting to other humans.
6. I also love to paint.
7. I also love sex.
8. I also love sitting hand in hand with another breathing body and soaking in their physical presence.
9. I also dream of smashing my laptop one day. It's one of my biggest Mondo Beyondo's of all time.
10. But to tell you that is almost as risky as to tell you that I Think I'm Beautiful.
11. So beautiful that I can use myself as a source of inspiration when no one else is around.
12. So beautiful that I can take 100 pictures of myself in one day and not think it conceited or self-indulgent to do so.
13. I've grown less and less afraid of other people's judgements.
14. Knowing that most of our reactions to others (good and bad) are simply projections of ourselves, undercover.
15. And simply noticing when we get stirred up by someone else's way of being, is the first step to understanding how full and divine we really are.
16. I have absurdly expansive beliefs about loss and brutality that it makes it hard for me to commit to "changing the world".
17. By which I mean, I believe, in a cosmic sense, that murder is necessary--that terrors are necessary--so that the remaining lot of the human family must learn to join together and rise up through healing and solidarity.
18. I suffer when terrible things happen. And at the same time, I do not back down.
19. Everything has a breaking point.
20. Everything eventually surrenders.
21. I've found that the best way of dealing with this truth is by surrendering myself--consciously deciding to participate in the breaking, instead of fighting and resisting.
22. That said--there are times when the breaking can be postponed, or the way it expresses can look differently through resistance and fight back.
23. I'm in favor of this sort of resistance when it truly speaks to me.
24. Like resisting the breaking of my marriage, when a small change could restore it to good health.
25. Like resisting the breaking of ____ (I'm too tired to think of another example. Hello, keepin' it real.)
26. And sometimes I think that our nihilism gets so lofty that we forget that truly--we could each contribute small acts of defiance to resist the breaking of our natural world and restore it to good health.
27. But it's hard to know, collectively, if it's worth the fight--if the promise of good global health is already too far gone.
28. In those cases, may we make music, may we feast together, and may we brush each other's hair as the world crumbles around us.
29. May we at least learn love.
30. And forgiveness.
31. And how to be with the terrible reality that everything eventually breaks.
32. And that we are part of the breaking.
33. And at this point in history, we could not save ourselves.
33. We didn't have it in us.
34. It was just too much.
35. And that's okay.
36. Are you with me on this?
37. Does this sound so ridiculous?
38. Maybe my work in the world is about surrendering after it's already too late.
39. Grief.
40. After all, there is so much loss and so little we can do to stop it.
41. But so much we can do to tend to our hearts and our spirits and our bodies when we're amidst it.
42. Like write blessings.
43. Like pay for a stranger's groceries.
44. Like give someone your full attention and tell them you don't blame them for all their faults and fuck ups.
45. Who's perfect?
46. Maybe our imperfections--our breaking points and bastardization of health--is the master plan, after all.
47. Nature would have us believe it so.
48. Ah, but we've never been that great at listening to nature, learning from the greatest classroom of all.
49. We get caught up in our minds, in our homes, in our cubicles, in our screens.
50. We think these squares are smart and wise.
51. But our bodies don't trust them.
52. Even when our minds are hypnotized, our bodies still do their protesting.
53. They get sick, sore, tight, tired.
54. They beg for our attention, an emancipation from inertia or perpetual motion--pick your poison.
55. They scream out as a last ditch effort for freedom.
56. Wisdom is listening to your body.
57. Wisdom is hearing the call to lay yourself down in overgrown grass and watch the clouds dance in the sky.
58. Wisdom is ... pausing.
59. Breathing.
60. Closing your eyes and slowing down.
61. Right here.
62. Right now.
63. Even though your mind says, "keep reading."
64. Your body knows what it's truly seeking.
65. Stop for a moment, and listen.

66. My body is a looming thunderstorm today.
67. It has no judgement.
68. It's just waiting for something release, wild and wet and a tad bit frightening.
69. And then, a balmy quiet.
70. Rest.
71. With the rest of my life, I'd like to make peace.
72. The kind of peace that expresses itself freely, like a painting or a song that has no clue where it's going before it gets there, but feels totally alive in the process.

73. Ze Frank is a genius. For beginners, start here. For people craving comfort, start here. All guaranteed to make you laugh, maybe cry.
74. Honestly, I just want to live in a straw bail house with a room full of paints and a river near by.
75. I want an electric blue moped that I can ride 10 minutes into town where everyone knows my name, and I know theirs.
76. I want a low-maintenance healing center where a pool of awesome people run their practices and chip-in on rent and space beautification. Music at night. Coffee and wine on tap.
77. I want to see my grandmothers way more often.
78. And go home once a week to watch crappy pop TV with my parents.
79. And play dorky board games with my brother while drinking high percentage beer.
80. And smoke weed with Brian and fuck like animals.
81. And did I mention, paint? Until the sun comes up in the morning?
82. And sing my heart out with Brian on guitar?
83. And visit Jodi in Portland every 6 months?
84. And make videos that make you laugh and cry?
85. And lay down in the grass, watching the clouds dance, daily? <--This one starts today.
85.5 And when everything falls apart (because things always do) hold each other in the bed until we feel a little less terrible.
86. What happens when we declare what we really really want?
87. When we stop trying to want what we think we should want?
88. What happens when we surrender to our deepest desires?
89. When we let the rules be damned, and let our intuition and clear sight guide the way?
90. If I can raise a happy family and embrace imperfection, forgiveness and surrender, my biggest dreams will be fulfilled.
91. If I can laugh and sing and dance and paint and stretch my body in all the best ways, what more could I want?
92. Maybe I don't care about the world as much as I had hoped.
93. Or maybe my biggest gift to the world is my own fulfillment and joy.
94. That part of me that breaks free, and invites you to do the same.
95. Even though it's an uphill battle in a world with few support mechanisms for the brave-hearted and self-expressed.
96. Even though I don't blame you if it feels like too much of a trap or too impossible a feat.
97. I love you just the way you are.
98. And I--I cannot conform.
99. I must lay down in the grass and watch the birds make love.
100. I must do this without knowing the cost, the gift, or the payoff--but only the unspeakable relief of letting my body's wisdom guide my life.


Anonymous said...


Daniel Collinsworth said...

Absolute gorgeousness.

#76... I'm so in!

Joey A said...

Just awesome Rachel. Very entertaining and thought-provoking

Julia Aspinwall said...

#14 really resonates!

Every time one of us breaks the mold it inspires the rest of us to reach for the next level of showing all of who we are.

Thank you!!!

kabod said...

I know that #97 is true.
#18 is also on my list.
And I'm working on #21.
Thanks for the list and for being the loving example you are.

Sandra said...

I think it would be the biggest feat for me to be able to let someone else brush my hair (and other things of a similar nature) without wanting to be more beautiful for them in some way. For my body to be relaxed and to not want to hurry anywhere to do something else in any sense. That's actually my life's ambition, and I'm trying to have hope for it.

Sunni said...

ThIs is so gorgeous!! I love your courage, your reality and your surrender with a capital L. Thank you for your transparency, your truth telling, your raw and beautiful truth! Mad love from my heart to yours. Xo

Kate said...

This isn't a blog post--it's poetry. You are beautiful. Thank you for your truth.

pauline said...

the most beautiful and honest list i've ever seen.
I am so with you on #74...
thank you for sharing. You've made my day. xoxo

IAM Always Thinking said...

Amazing list...so fresh, raw, honest! I love your style. Thanks for sharing.