Monday, February 18, 2008

Birth-week Celebrations, Feb 2008

33 years on this earth. 33 years of breaths. 33 years of heartbeats. 33 years of dreams.

The so called ‘age of Jesus’:

“I think it is a safe bet that God considers 33 to be the perfect physical age for maturation- anything before that is young, anything after is older. So it's been speculated that, physically at least, all of us will appear to be 33 years old in Heaven.”

33…A powerful numerology number:

“There are 3 double-digit numbers that, while they are rooted in the single-digit numbers, require special emphasis and attention. These are 11, 22, and 33.

They are called Master numbers because they possess more potential than other numbers. They are highly charged, difficult to handle, and require time, maturity, and great effort to integrate into one's personality.

The 11 is the most intuitive of all numbers. It represents illumination; a channel to the subconscious; insight without rational thought; and sensitivity, nervous energy, shyness, and impracticality. It is a dreamer. The 11 has all the aspects of the 2, enhanced and charged with charisma, leadership, and inspiration. It is a number with inborn duality, which creates dynamism, inner conflict, and other catalyses with its mere presence. It is a number that, when not focused on some goal beyond itself, can be turned inward to create fears and phobias. The 11 walks the edge between greatness and self-destruction. Its potential for growth, stability, and personal power lies in its acceptance of intuitive understanding, and of spiritual truths. For the 11, such peace is not found so much in logic, but in faith. It is the psychic's number.

The 22 is the most powerful of all numbers. It is often called the Master Builder. The 22 can turn the most ambitious of dreams into reality. It is potentially the most successful of all numbers. It has many of the inspirational insights of the 11, combined with the practicality and methodical nature of the 4. It is unlimited, yet disciplined. It sees the archetype, and brings it down to earth in some material form. It has big ideas, great plans, idealism, leadership, and enormous self-confidence. If not practical, the 22s waste their potential. Like the 11, the 22 can easily shrink from its own ambition, causing difficult interior pressures. Both the 11 and the 22 experience the pressure-cooker effect very strongly, particularly at an early age. It must work toward the realization of goals that are larger than personal ambition. The 22 serves the world in a practical way.

The 33 is the most influential of all numbers. It is the Master Teacher. The 33 combines the 11 and the 22 and brings their potential to another level. When expressed to the fullest, the 33 lacks all personal ambition, and instead focuses its considerable abilities toward the spiritual uplifting of mankind. What makes the 33 especially impressive, is the high level of sincere devotion. This is shown in its determination to seek understanding and wisdom before preaching to others. The 33 in full force is extremely rare.

Another way to look at the Master numbers:

The Master numbers 11, 22, and 33 represent a triangle. A triangle of Enlightenment.”

I’ve personally got a lot of hope and anticipation for 33. I believe it will be a life altering year. I also think it will be my best year on Earth yet. I’m really excited about the possibilities…

  • Nursing School (I’ll find out in March/April if I’m starting this year).
  • Publishing a Photo Book on Tibet (draft is ready to send out, just need an intro letter)
  • Discover art with avenues other than photography (ceramics mostly)
  • Further developing my life in Portland (making new friends and connections)
  • Continuing to simplify my life (supporting local, less car more bike, sustainability)
  • Adventuring the Pac NW (ocean, rivers, mountains, forest…YES!)
  • Always finding ways to grow closer to myself, my life partner and God
  • Possibly pregnancy???

I could go on about what I’m looking forward to. The list is endless. I’m filled with just an utter and sacred sense of wonder and enthusiasm for life. Things just seem to be happening and I feel I’m learning to surf the roller coaster of this very uniquely human experience in the world like I’m learning to surf the snowy mountain ridges.

I can only hope to maintain this sense of child-like curiosity and unbridled happiness at being alive. But to think that I’ve come so far in 10 years…even less. It was not that long ago that I was in therapy and seriously struggling with tenacious depression…Another time, another place…same roots. That same dark soul is now bright and that storm I weathered makes this joyful and blessed time all the more welcome and strong.

The last few days, my birth-week celebration, as I’m calling was sublime. Whatever is above and beyond perfect…it was that. Wednesday was my birthday proper and Leigh and I woke up to the rare and beautiful February blue skies of Portland (although I have been known to bring the sunshine to Feb wherever I may be). After a delicious treat of homemade cinnamon rolls…divine only begins to describe this fast becoming birthday tradition. Packing a lunch, we loaded into my new-ish Subaru and took her out to the beach for a picnic and some checking in with Mother Ocean. Hitting 33, I need to get some guidance from the waves and wind.

Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call
Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall
You’ve seen it all, you’ve seen it all

Watched the men who rode you switch from sails to steam
And in your belly you hold the treasures few have ever seen
Most of em dream, most of em dream

Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late
The cannons don’t thunder, there’s nothin to plunder
I’m an over-forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late

I’ve done a bit of smugglin, I’ve run my share of grass
I made enough money to buy Miami, but I pissed it away so fast
Never meant to last, never meant to last

And I have been drunk now for over two weeks
I passed out and I rallied and I sprung a few leaks
But I got stop wishin, got to go fishin
Down to rock bottom again
Just a few friends, just a few friends

I go for younger women, lived with several awhile
Though I ran em away, they’d come back one day
Still could manage to smile
Just takes a while, just takes a while

Mother, mother ocean, after all the years I’ve found
My occupational hazard being my occupations just not around
I feel like I’ve drowned, gonna head uptown

We drove across the Columbia over to Washington and then headed west, following the mighty river the whole drive out. It was beautiful. I was constantly reminded of Lewis & Clark exploring this river over 200 years ago (oh how it’s changed!), riding its current on the search for the elusive Northwest Passage. We saw seals (or sea lions or sea otters) in the river 60 miles inland, swimming upstream. Beautiful and a special treat. We drove through all kinds of charming farmland and through the lovely coastal range until we finally hit Cape Disappointment State Park (here).

We grabbed our bags and blanket and hit the windswept expanse of sand and surf to relish the delicious delicacies that Leigh prepared for us – falafel, hummus, fresh tomatoes & lettuce, yogurt sauce…YUM! It got better. She just kept pulling all these wonderful things out of her bag of tricks – organic root beer, a smoked porter, blackberry soda. And that was before dessert. She is truly too good to me. I am very lucky to have found her.

After the goodies, we took a short walk on the beach, examining the crazy designs the surf and sand create, the awesome views up and down the coast and in both directions seeing lighthouses. We got to watching the little ‘squirrels of the beach’, the sandpipers run so fast up and down the beach avoiding the foamy waters that they’re legs became little cartoonish blurs. Admiring the grace of the seagulls alternatively fighting and playing in the strong breezes.

From the beach we took a short drive to the stop of the Cape to look out from the lighthouse where the mighty Columbia River meets the mightier Pacific. The maelstrom of currents created there has been the graveyard of ships for centuries. In the last 200 years, there have been more than 2,000 shipwrecks recorded along this section of coast! No wonder it’s called Cape Disappointment. From our high perspective, we saw three dolphins playing in the waves below and watched the Coast Guard drop their divers in training into the churning waters for training. Cold, cold, unforgiving waters!

We didn’t get as much time at the beach as we wished and had to head back after the lighthouse view, but we still enjoyed our ride back. It was such a special day, a magic day no doubt, that we saw 3 different rainbows. 3 rainbows! Are you kidding me? So incredibly special. One was so close to us that I swear I saw the leprechaun dancing with his pot of gold. A beautiful and perfect birthday if there ever was one!

The next day (Thursday, Cupid Day) I hit Mount Hood from the best day of snowboarding I think I have ever experienced. It was another blue sky, crystal clear warm-ish day with no wind at all (which is just totally unheard of to get all three to line up like this…notice the 3 theme happening?). The day was perfect in every way – the lift ticket was free (I’m volunteering for a non-profit group called Chill – here - , a Burton Snowboard off shoot that brings inner city and at risk youth up to the mtn and teaches them how to snowboard), the weather was perfect and there was absolutely NO ONE on the mtn with me…it was like my own personal snow park. I boarded hard, through trees, down really fast slopes, carving up any powder I could find…and there was lots!

After lunch, I met my Chill group coming up and worked with the 30 or so kids form inner Portland and working with other volunteers and the resort’s instructors helped coach many of them to staying up on their boards within an hour or two. For many of these kids it was the first time they had done anything like this at all. To see their faces light up with joy, accomplishment, confidence…and see to them cheer and encourage each other on was inspiring and fulfilling. Almost better than the boarding that morning…almost, but not quite.

Saturday, another ridiculously beautiful Oregon day, we celebrated with a bunch of our Portland friends by going hiking in the Columbia River Gorge on a trail leading up to Angel’s Rest, the most spectacular view of the river I’ve ever seen. We hiked to the top with a group of 7. It was a great hike – waterfalls, forest, breathtaking views, rocky cliffs and an unbelievable sunset.

We all then met up another couple friends at a fun McMenamin’s place called Edgefield – here - on the way back into town.

“It is a world of relaxation that seamlessly blends Oregon's natural beauty with McMenamins' signature whimsy: historic buildings of all sizes artfully restored and rich with cozy interiors, tranquil ponds and dazzling gardens, great food and drink, plentiful entertainment and surprising recreations. Encompassing a lush 38-acre parcel of farmland at the mouth of the spectacular Columbia River Gorge, Edgefield is a 15-minute car ride to or from the center of downtown Portland.

The stately main Edgefield building (circa 1911), with over 100 European-style guestrooms and hostel accommodations, is a national historic landmark. Each spacious room is furnished in charming turn-of-the-century decor. There are no televisions or telephones in the rooms, encouraging tranquility as surely as do the rocking chairs on our verandas. In the morning, join us in the Black Rabbit Restaurant for breakfast.

On the grounds, you will find a plethora of diversions. Enjoy our fine-dining restaurant, classic pub, numerous small bars and colorful summertime grill. For liquid refreshment you will enjoy handcrafted ales, wines, spirits and aromatic house roasted coffees created by McMenamins.”

I am amazed at how quickly Leigh and I have found our ‘niche’ here in Portland. We have amazing friends who love us and are totally inspiring. It’s like we landed into open arms. Portland has truly embraced us and I am so grateful.

Sunday was a special day for just Leigh and me. We made reservations at a place called Urban Fondue in the chi-chi part of NW Portland – here. We had the three course set dinner which included a cheese fondue with bread and fruit to start, our meats in our chicken cilantro basil broth and for dessert we got the Black Forest chocolate fondue with vanilla crème and cherries. This culinary treat was served with a plate of cut up doughnuts, pound cake, cheesecake and chocolate chip cookie dough…holy decadence Batman! Uh, yeah…

So that was my ridiculously decadent, wonderful, sublime, incredible, beautiful, fun perfect birth-week celebration. What a beginning to 33! I can only hope it’s an auspicious start to the rest of the year and another 33 years of full life experience.

With light.

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