05 January, 2008

Happy 2008

What have I been up to?

Well the end of the year flew by in a whirlwind of writing and researching and then re-writing. I spent the holidays mainly alone, but not lonely. Being out here in seclusion from “real life” is affecting me. It has been a long time since I received the award as the “most enthusiastic and social” when I was on a paddling team in Hawaii. My social “party girl” image left me (thankfully) sometime in my early thirties. I have slowly withdrawn from being “in the know” and now have trouble even caring. This refers to extremities that otherwise do not concern my life…like who is dating, sleeping with, cheating on, or mad at who – real or fictional characters. I do revel in stories from family and friends and although I have not lately kept up with my blog, I am thankful that others have. The important things in life are family relationships 

and friendships. 

I know I am the most blessed person in the world to have such amazing support from those that love me. Those that understand that I am not tramping all over God knows where for pure enjoyment. I am following some crazy path that contains all kinds of detours, road blocks and forks throw about here and there and only I can decide which way to go. The faith that I will choose the right direction is strong; it is what I have unknowingly been preparing for during my life.

My new year was spent working. We had a group here of about 15 people who went into the sweat 

lodge around 10:00 pm and emerged at midnight. We served them delicious hot chocolate as the steam from the beverage mixed with the steam exuding from their sweaty naked bodies…oh yeah, naked, welcome to Europe. 

That is one thing that I continue to try to get used to, the acceptable nudity. I was pouring the hot chocolate and handing the cups to Karin who handed to the people as they crawled out from the lodge one after another, dazed and exhilarated to be in the cold snowy air. I was pouring intently consent rating on not overflowing the cups while holding my little flashlight in my mouth. When Karin finally said, that’s enough, I looked up and in the glow of the large bonfire, I saw all the naked people. I had to stiffel my laughter; not at them, but at the idea of where I was and what was happening.

Going into the sweat lodge is an experience in and of itself. I have gone in twice coming away with a different experience each time. Burning hot large rocks are brought in until the lodge is hotter than the hottest sauna and you chant, sing, yell, pray, or whatever you or your religious beliefs dictate. It is so hot that when you finally emerge, you are so thankful just to be out of the place, that it could be 10 degrees out and snowing and it wouldn’t faze you. That is how these people felt and then they shot arrows they had made earlier in the day into the Inn river. The tips of the arrows were lit on fire and they shot all the things they want to leave behind from 2007. Of course that was even more dumbfounding to me, naked people standing in the snow shooting a bow and arrow. I guess they weren’t the only “unusual” characters this evening. Karin, Melanie and I were all in costume too, dressed as Kachina’s (spirits of the invisible life forces).

I had on a red cape which made me feel really evil, and I kept swirling it around myself and over my face, only showing my eyes and exuding a devilish laugh…until I was told that I am ruining the energy of the cachina costume, so I physically stopped (but not in my mind). So while standing there in my red cape and mask, the people started giving each other happy new year hugs. This guy came up to me and then a lady to wish me the best as well. Karin and I then had to head back to the house to prepare the massive meal to be served at 2 AM.

While walking back, I mentioned that the year 2008 is bound to be exciting for me considering I am dressed like an earth spirit, felt like a devil and not only did I hug a naked man, I also hugged a naked woman!

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