The Fertile Fields of Our Soul

I’m working today (horror of all horrors) but thought that I would post a new entry while I was here, slaving away at my mother’s desk while the students complete pages of paperwork. Muahahahaha. I love substituting for my mom, since I know exactly what she expects, and she always leaves the students plenty to do (the less I have to hear them speak, the less I have to be discouraged by the current state of our students and society in general).

I spoke of change in my last few blogs, and how I’ve been patiently waiting for Synchronicity. Of course, it’s too early to determine anything, but I feel it finally happening. The wind is shifting, and the light is bursting through the cracks of the doors in my life. I’m blinded by the occasional glimpse of Beauty awaiting me. I’m hopeful, and I’m smiling in the inside… all the time. I can’t sleep at night, because I’m bombarded with Hope and anticipation. When I do sleep, my dreams reflect my hopes, and I wake with the blurriness of pseudo-reality becoming Real.

I’m happy to be alive again.

My last post was a poem – “Meanwhile, You and I.” I still haven’t recovered from this piece; it was formed straight from the fibers of my soul, and I am honored that I was allowed to create art with my words. It had been a while since I had written something new, and I was glad to have the dam finally burst again, upon the page. I never cease to garner great happiness from writing… nothing in the world makes me feel more alive, or to believe I have any truer purpose.

One of my dear friends has been hurting lately, overwhelmed by this life and the realities it offers us. Financial and emotional entanglements are strangling her, holding her back from her purpose. She is beautiful, and filled with such promise and light. I want her to break through the walls that hold her back, and press herself upon the world in a powerful way. She has the power to redefine her reality, and I think she is becoming aware of this. I want to be by her side as she comes alive. I am so proud of all that she is, and I hurt when she hurts.

If only I could ease everyone’s pain, just a little. Perhaps then we could all breathe for a moment, and with that breath offer the world a bit of Peace.

Someone new has come into my life and validated my soul. I wanted to share this, for it has added new wonderment and joy to my life. I feel as though my soul is reflected in another, and this offers me hope for the future, and the knowledge that I am not alone.

When we find this reflection in another, it is a glimpse into the earthen depths of our lives, into the grace that is God, and the gift that is our souls.

I am quite obviously slipping into my “purple prose” for this entry, something I have been critiqued for by every English teacher I have ever had (save one or two). I can only hope that I am slowly stripping myself of cliche, and other such saccharine sweetness, and rather delving in the deliciousness of the soil – the vibrating richness of the world.

For we all need a little poetry in our lives. 

We all need a little randomn love and beauty.

  

San Antonio, Texas

I dropped Mom off at the airport today, hugged her goodbye, and went back to sit in my car. Alone. It felt almost surreal to be all alone again, this time halfway across the country.

It has been a month since I arrived in Eunice, LA, and what ‘a long strange trip it’s been’. 🙂 Furthermore, for the past two weeks, Mom and I have been vacationing essentially by ourselves – first to New Orleans, and then Texas.

Without meaning to sound even remotely insulting to my mother, for I had a great time with her, but the past month has definitely thrown me off. Some of my strength and passion dissipated, and I felt myself being drawn back into that shell… away from the light, not only of the world, but the light within myself. However, after enough moping around and introspective thought today, I came to the conclusion that it was probably good for me, since it reminded me of my original goals, and where I had strayed. It hopefully will assist me in getting back on track, and learning how to be strong – as Kara Emily Krantz. This showed me that there needs to be a balance between the dream of me, and the reality of the world. One can only press oneself so insistently and suddenly upon the world… an imprint needs to be made slowly, and with care.

I had started to get close to an affirming, authentic sense of unshakable self, but apparently it is still very shakeable, for the past few weeks have been rough on me.

But other than that…

Mom and I went to the San Antonio Zoo, which was fantastic, even though it was unbearably hot (as mostly everywhere is here). It’s been really fun to go to all these zoos – as I’ve mentioned before, the zoo has a special place in my heart. The little 5-year-old in me recalls those last fading moments of innocence, when family was a unit and all that mattered was the Panda Bears. 🙂

We also went to The Alamo (wayyyy lame I don’t want to talk about it), Mission San Jose (awesome) where there was a fantastic documentary that simply blew me away. Yesterday… Mom and I went to New Braunfels where the world’s number one water park is located, Schlitterbaun… which basically resulted in a day of HELL. But I’ve never been a big fan of water parks. Haha. Oh man. Quite the day, though.

We stayed in a beautiful hotel resort, where I am tonight by myself (Mom gave me the last night), and we walked down the Riverwalk (which contrary to Joshua’s opinion I found to be beautiful and wonderful), and walked through the shops in La Villita, and had a great steak dinner (and some horrible tex-mex). We met up with Joshua twice, and my mom actually liked him (which is shocking- she’s not a fan of the opposite sex, especially if they’re talking to ME). She even dreamed about him last night, but I didn’t tell him that. He’ll have to find that out when he reads this, haha. 😛

But now Mom is gone, and I’m here alone. Went through a melancholy, emo stage for a while where I crawled into bed and pouted, but a few friends rallied for me, and I knocked myself out of it. Walked down the Riverwalk by myself, took some pictures, packed up the car, and I’m basically all better. Just trying to get up the energy to keep working on my cocoon, and hopefully, eventually become that butterfly. Like I said, there’s been some serious setbacks these past few weeks, but it’s all right. God doesn’t give us anything that we can’t handle, and I’m starting to think that nothing happens that isn’t meant to occur at a given time – to assist us or confront us along this winding, often dirt-trodden path.

2-month anniversary!

So yes, today marks my two months on the road. In a way, I find that hard to believe, yet at the same time, I feel like this has been my life forever now. When I think about my life before I left, it feels like another person, living that way.

And I never want to go back.

I don’t mean that I’m not willing to return to my home, in Massachusetts. But I never want to go back to life the way I knew it.

A week ago, my dad told me over the phone that he hoped that I could “come back home and return to reality.” This statement stuck in my craw then, and it has embedded itself like a sliver. At the time, I merely asked him whose reality he wanted me to return to – because my priorities and goals had changed. However, the more I thought about it, the more my mind expanded around the subject. There are a million ways to live – on this trip alone, I have met dozens of people who have taken me into their lives and showed me different ways to look at the world. I haven’t gone around fully embracing everybody else’s beliefs and ideas, but I certainly respect them. I listen to them, I learn from them, and I take what applies to me, and what helps make me become a better person. I embrace the concepts and beliefs that bring me closer to the person I want to be, every day of my life.

I told my mother today that out of all the people I’ve met so far, my cousin Lisa (whom I had never really known before this trip) has been the most influential for me. She has also been the most grounded, the most accepting, and the most spiritual of everyone I’ve met. She embraces each moment individually, and out of everyone I’ve met so far, lives with the least judgment in her heart and the least anxiety in her life. I truly believe that I will be able to use her as a model for the type of life I wish to lead – one that is peaceful, yet successful – selfless, and yet maintaining a beautiful balance of personal care of the soul.

Anyways, the point of that digression was not only to highlight Lisa, but also to highlight the fact that there are so many ways to live that can still lead me to not only live well, but also to fully thrive as a soulful human being. Never again do I want to allow myself to get caught up in the “daily grind” of materialistic, egocentric ways. Back home, it was as though everyone was merely trying to keep up with what society told them they should do and be – and I was beginning to fall for it. Beginning to believe that all that mattered was my education, and my paycheck, and the way I looked, not only physically, but also on paper.

What really matters is that when people look into my eyes, I want them to see my soul – and I want it to bring them peace, and offer them the inspiration to follow the clandestine, beautiful dreams in their heart, as well. This life is far too short for us to believe, for even a second, that power and money and possessions really plays even the most minuscule of parts. True, they allow us to survive and they allow us to move about in our society, but when they replace the parts of the soul that make us whole and authentic and beautiful, then it is not a worthwhile trade.

Anyways, the point of this entry is to herald in the third month of my trip. I have been on the road for 62 days now, and they have been 62 days that will have forever changed my life, whether or not I fully realize their impact now.


River Majesty, Ellijay, GA

I really can’t complain about my present situation. I’m on my private deck, panda cheerfully (as cheerful as she can be) by my side, about a hundred-fifty feet above the river’s edge. I’m listening to doo-wop, with the background music of rippling water, and slowly consuming strawberry mentos.

Not bad for a Wednesday afternoon.

It’s also pretty cool when you can look out the kitchen window and see a deer, looking back at you. I was able to grab a rotting apple, cut it up in front of her, and throw her pieces. It’s crazy to have her little doe eyes watching me, much like a puppy, waiting for her treats. Beside her was a chubby little squirrel, happily munching on the kernels of corn I had thrown out there earlier this morning. We were a happy little family, and I understood how Lisa can stand out there for hours, feeding her animals.

Yesterday afternoon, there was a light rain, and afterwards, around 5:30, I decided to take a walk around the area. I was in absolute heaven, for the rain had inspired everything to glisten, and the light was respledently laying upon every little leaf and stone. My camera got a workout, as did I, and I fell asleep last evening, content that I had captured pieces of beauty in a box.

I found out today that there are pandas at the Atlanta Zoo… so… um… HOLY FREAKIN’ YES! 🙂 I plan on making a day of driving down there, sitting with Panda beside her family’s exhibit, and leaving when they force us out (panda kicking and screaming, I’m sure).

Beyond that, not too much to divulge. I’ve been finally able to relax a little more (relaxation is an art form) and I’m sure by the time I get it mastered, it will be time to move on. But alas, this time in Georgia is definitely a beautiful way to rejuvenate and prepare for the next leg of my journey.

I had a terrible dream last night. I dreamed that I was back home, no longer on the road. It was the strangest feeling; I didn’t understand why I was home, in my bed, and I started to panic. I couldn’t move, I was too tired, but all I could think was “No! I have to get on the road! I had already gone so far; why am I back here?” The dream brought up a lot of different emotions for me, but it gave me the ability to perceive my current travels as one would a memory, rather than a present experience. I guess it is crucial to see the bigger picture sometimes; and in this case, I was able to realize that forty years from now, when I look back on my life, this roadtrip will have been the turning point. I will be able to say “so then I packed my car, and drove away.”

And that was when my life began.

the sound of water


I fell in love with the sound of water. As a little girl, with my bright blue summer dress and pigtails in my hair, tripping over myself, collapsing into the homemade sandbox by the garden. I was in Vermont, at our summer camp, with its tin roof that made hollow melodies when it rained, its brown paint, and its innate ability to blend into the woods and become part of the forest. I was no more than five, no less than ancient, and my grandma would take my hand and lead me down the dirt road away from the camp. There, a little stream trickled through the trees. I could stand there for hours, tossing pebbles into the water, watching them ripple, hearing them ker-plunk.

There is a steep path of steps leading from our camp down to the water’s edge. When I was very young, the steps were made from pieces of logs and trees, cracked and housing hordes of tiny bug families. It would take my little five-year-old feet what seemed an eternity to reach all the way down to that water, but I would insistently take this journey at least a few times a day. One step at a time, little feet reaching down to the next ledge, sometimes slipping, sometimes falling, always terrified. And it was always worth the effort. Our handmade dock would be swaying and pitching in the water, and it would take me a good minute to become brave enough to step from solid earth to swaying pieces of wood. Then I would lay myself down upon that dock and touch my fingers to the water, fingertips dancing beneath the surface, feelings its coolness, its promise. After a while, I would search deeper, overturning rocks and unearthing crayfish. Every now and then I would be brave enough to touch one, and then squeal with fear and delight.

The water held secrets, and it held pieces of my soul. I still listen to the way it caresses the shoreline, gently lapping against the earth’s edge. On stormier days, the water’s embrace is harsher, more insistent. Yet always it holds pieces of grace, and something close to forgiveness.

The water is rhythmic and reminds me of all the things my soul has been trying to tell me for years. I am far from my five-year-old self, and yet I sense her still here, drawn to the water’s edge. I still descend those steps to the water; I am no longer afraid of the journey, and yet the distance to the dock seems just as far. For even when I reach it, I am still so far away. There is no end to the descent, as there was when I was little Karabelle. For when the little girl arrived, she breathed a sigh, flopped down onto her belly, and giggled with her fingers in the lake.

Now I stare at my feet and see how far away they are from my head, and my fingers tingle, but never touch the water.

I am slowly relearning the strength it takes to bend my knees and reach the ground; to allow myself that surrender to the land around me. The sound of the water is no less palpable, less strong, than it has ever been. From a hundred feet above shore, I can still feel its pull upon my heart, as though tugging upon the cobwebs and releasing forgotten dreams. The river is ancient, and therefore stirs up ancient awareness in me.

Aware of my infinite possibilities, I search for that place where the air meets the water, and hope bubbles up in the form of joy. Eventually, fingertips will once again break the boundary, and I will know what it means to be immersed within the world

Years later, I would walk that dirt road and realize the stream had dried up. To this day, I stand in the same spot I stood as a child, and imagine the water still flowing, wondering how something so alive could fade so easily away. There are other streams nearby, larger streams, prettier streams – but this stream had been mine while Grandma held my hand and passed me pebbles.

Wanderlust

I’ve wanted to see America for a long time now. Our history, albeit brief, is still colorful and sensuous. I long to feel it in the lands around me. However, the most I ever seem to manage are little blips across the map; nothing ever substantial, nothing that could leave a deep impression. Vermont is the only place away from home that has managed to nestle it’s way into my heart. Summer after summer I spend there, each time glimpsing pieces of myself, each time falling more in love with the landscape and the earth.

Yet there is so much more out there that I wish to see.

That is why, starting Wednesday, April 30th, 2008… I will finally get to experience a little more.

My wanderlust has been settling in slowly, like maple syrup across tree bark. I received a flash of freedom here, a glimpse of going away there, but now that wanderlust has settled in for good, I am overwhelmed with the desire to leave. It is more than merely an impulse to get out of Dodge (or in this case, Sturbridge, Massachusetts). What I really need is to experience another place. I don’t mean I need a vacation, or to go to a day spa – what I need is to follow the curves of the land, and sift my fingers through the soil.

I need to believe that there is something beyond the everyday.

To believe in more than I currently do, for the last few years have been a painful crawling descent into disillusionment.

Melodramatic? Perhaps. Morbid? A bit. Nevertheless, it is true. Due to some conglomeration of my excessive anxiety, unwavering trust, hopeful naivete, and over-analytical nature… I have fallen apart. The sum of my parts has resulted in a breakdown of all the pieces. I care too much, I feel too acutely, I try too hard, I hurt too deeply, and it all results in the slow loss of Self, and eventually… disillusionment.

So there I was, disillusioned and weary, wondering what step to take next. Suicide was an option, but I have not the stomach for blood and gore…and lack the vanity to complete the act. Complacency was considered, but I would rather the slow death of having my cells burned off one by one. Insanity was brushed upon (even visited briefly) but was found to be an inadequate harbor for my pain.

I strongly believe that when the soul is weak, and the heart disillusioned, that great changes are needed in order to thrive. Great changes are not easy; in fact, they are terrifying, and often appear impossible. However, all great change requires is imagination, a surge of strength, and that tiny voice inside your head that peeps “fuck it”. Neither the strength (nor the voice) even need to be sincere – they can be a completely bullshit effort at appearing strong and fucking it. As long as they fulfill the requirement of making a change, then they have served their purpose, and true strength will eventually be derived by this. The change within may come slower than the tangible changes around you, but at least the wheels have been set in motion.

My big “fuck it” moment never really happened. Instead, there appeared to be an excessive amount of “what the fuck?” moments that eventually led to a breakdown.

Whatever works.

What I’m trying to tell you is that I’m leaving in three days to see the country. Who knows how long I’ll last. Perhaps I’ll make it a solid week, and then come running back home to Pugsly’s lopsided grin and ridiculously lame bark. Or perhaps I’ll make it a couple months, as planned, and get to meet new people and alter a few of my skewed perceptions on the world. Then there is that fancy possibility that I shall never return, and my heart will carve out a home in a piece of a mountain somewhere, where I will live off the land and write epic-worthy poetry.

Or live in a decrepit trailer with a cowboy who calls me “twinkie,” pisses on the pink flamingos in the yard, and passes out drunk while making love.

Whatever works.