I left California and arrived here (rode on the subway to the airport, got to the airport, went through the airport control, waited for the plane, boarded the plane, flew here and landed here and found my uncle outside in his car waiting to pick me up) with the same serene winds that I was able to engulf in when I was in California. I finished Buddha's Book of Meditation here in Scottsdale in the backyard of my uncle's house, sitting on a chair under an olive tree, in the warm desert air. I finished the book and walked back inside, only to be summoned by my weakness towards pop culture and by my lack of other occupations and, well... sat down and watched TV... Some of the TV shows here in America are just mind-rot material, in my humble opinion. So that was pretty bad. The amounts of money wasted on some of these mindless shows is s little tragic.
But anyway, meditation... I like trying to live in mindfulness meditation. It's hard because the winds in me change fast. My energies are positive and negative within minutes of each other... And in a way, I don't want to give up the anxiety, because I've come to know it so well and have it all figured out. But I want to let go of it, in spite of it being my pretend friend, because I want to give way to new attitudes, which will be able to bloom only when I rid the pessimism.
If I want to believe that I can be free and happy no matter what (which I am positive I can), that can only happen when I meditate freedom and happiness instead of imprisonment and bewilderment.
I stayed at my uncle's house for a few days, and then "moved" to my grandparents' house when they arrived here from their other home in Illinois.
At my uncle's I got to sleep at night with a cat curled up beside me (sometimes two, sometimes two cats and a dog), I got to sit out back in the large yard, I ate vegan food Meryl so kindly bought for me, saw Sedona again and went on a mini-hike there with them and their friends, I went to an art fair with Perry and Meryl, which was wonderful for the eyes and the heart, I went to a "hot yoga" class with Mari, I peeked in some "Indian" stores in downtown Scottsdale (I put ["] there because sometimes they aren't really authentically Indian anymore), got some ideas from those stores for things I'd like in my own house (like place mats, like the kind Ben&Steph have), and bought a little "Arizona" shot glass (which is something I like getting in different places I visit) with the Indian figure called Kokopelli, which I like. It's a flute player, known as a fertility god, a healer and a story-teller.
There are many myths of the famous Kokopelli. One of which is that he traveled from village to village bringing the changing of winter to spring; melting the snow and bringing about rain for a successful harvest. It is also said that the hunch on his back depicted the sacks of seeds and songs he carried. Legend also has it that the flute playing also symbolized the transition of winter to spring. Kokopelli’s flute is said to be heard in the spring’s breeze, while bringing warmth. It is also said that he was the source of human conception. Legend has it, everyone in the village would sing and dance throughout the night when they heard Kokopelli play his flute. The next morning, every maiden in the village would be with child.
Meryl and Perry are very hospitable. They welcomed me so warmly and insisted, "feel at home." My first evening in Arizona felt to me a little stumbly on my part, because it's hard for me to be good at speaking when I first come in contact with someone. I am verbally inept sometimes, and only when I get to know someone better or feel more comfortable around them, my brain is able to process my thoughts into more solid, audible and smart sentences. So that happened, already by the second day. But the first evening was a little word-mazed for me.
I've been with my grandparents for a few days now. I love their house. The high ceilings, white walls, large wall-length windows that allow the house to be filled with a soft light. And I love the landscape in Arizona... The desert mountains and also the flat terrains with cacti scattered sporadically. The sky is blue, against the orange terrain and architecture. The architecture is also something I like here.
When I was in Berkeley I went with Ben on a motorcycle ride up the hills, and we saw some homes that to me seemed like Greek architecture. Ben said that it's true that there are some Mediterranean-style homes here because apparently the climate is similar to the Mediterranean one. And I was trying to figure out what made the houses look Greek (or Mediterranean) versus houses that were "American". I walked around Berkeley the next day and understood some of the differences. And I think again of those differences here, where the architecture is not the typical "American" architecture:
American homes usually have panels, and the doors, windows and all edges are bordered. The windows are square and usually centered to each half of the house. The roofs are triangled and paneled as well. The ones that looked Greek, and some of the ones I see down here in Arizona (or at least in Scottsdale), are more like what mud-houses look like (which I love): They don't have borders, their edges just round around to the next side. The roofs are flat, look just the walls. And here the tones of the houses are all earth colors, which I also love, and the homes are low, one-floor large houses.
I'm reading a lot here, which is absolutely wonderful for me, as I LOVE acquiring knowledge but usually don't have the patience to sit at home and read books. So now I'm taking this opportunity to do just that. I read Khalil Gibran's "Prophet", I read "The Unbearable Lightness of Being", "The Kite Runner", "A Thousand Splendid Suns", "Buddha's Book of Meditation", (and during the trail- a booklet with texts by R' Kook, and the book "The Road Less Traveled", and before the trail- "Wild") and today I got three books on environmental issues from the library.
I've got 27 days left before I get on the plane back home.
I'm eager to get back home already, but since I'm here, I'm trying to enjoy Here.
Every moment is a moment of splendor.