March 9, 2012
I love lightning. One of my earliest memories is looking out a window, watching a lighting storm from my mother’s lap.
In Southern California, land of endless sunshine, lightning was rare. The weather was fantastic but boring. So perhaps it’s just the contrast, but one of my favorite things about Buenos Aires is the weather.
Summertime in Buenos Aires means the air gets unbearably hot and heavy with humidity. But some evenings, at the end of one of these smothering days when you just sweat for hours and the skies are motionless, at around 9 or 10 at night, a sudden wind will begin to gust crazily. And within minutes it’ll be pouring rain, lightning forking across the sky.
Here’s some video* I took from the balcony of my last apartment, in December 2011.
“This life of separateness may be compared to a dream, a phantasm, a bubble, a shadow, a drop of dew, a flash of lightning.” – Buddha
“I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand. Why thunder lasts longer than that which causes it, and why immediately on its creation the lightning becomes visible to the eye while thunder requires time to travel. ” – Leonardo da Vinci
“Genius unrefined resembles a flash of lightning, but wisdom is like the sun.” – Franz Grillparzer
“Bring in the bottled lightning, a clean tumbler, and a corkscrew.” – Charles Dickens
“Electricity is really just organized lightning.” – George Carlin
*This video was my first-ever video edited using iMovie! Well, first completed video anyways. I started a Burning Man one, but I really have no idea if I will ever finish it due to the massive amounts of footage and photos I took…
May 5, 2010
Today I saw a rattlesnake. I also saw Ghandi.
I got the day off of work since we didn’t get home from San Francisco until 2am…
(five hours each way…not bad).
So, per my usual, I took full advantage of the day off.
First up was a hike in Pacific Palisades. When you turn off of Sunset, if you go aaaall the way up, there’s a little parking lot & an entrance to the Temescal Hike.
I think Topanga joins around there too…anyways, the trail takes you to these rocks that I love called Skull Rock. Perfect for a bit of rock climbing/bouldering. Me on top of the rock (you can’t tell but there’s a 40 ft drop to my right):
Skull Rock has a little cave in it. After meditating on top of the rock for about 20 minutes, I climbed into the cave and found a notebook.
It contained about two months of people’s notes – one couple got engaged up there. Another girl had recently seen her soul mate die and had moved to LA. Another had missed his flight back to Hong Kong so had gone for a hike with his cousin. I liked this one, written by some hiker on my birthday.
Most people commented on how beautiful and peaceful it was up there – which it was. I saw only one person for the first hour and a half, and they didn’t see me since I was on top of the rock. If I was a mountain lion I totally could’ve pounced on their head and eaten them.
One thing I can assure you of is that we’re not having that missing-bee problem in the Palisades. Part of the hike takes you through a narrow path with tons of bushes and wildflowers on either side. And swarms of buzzing bees. It was a bit disconcerting, and I had to focus on staying calm, cuz I didn’t want the bees to smell my fear or pick up on my vibrations or…whatever it is that bees can do. So that part wasn’t very relaxing. The second thing that wasn’t very relaxing was that I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. I was walking around the backside of Skull Rock, intent on climbing another rock formation, when a fatty lizard, doing push-ups on a rock to my left almost at eye level, made a quick movement that caught my eye. I stopped and looked at him for a second. As I was stepping forward to continue on my way I looked down at the trail ahead of me just as a rattlesnake started buzzing his tail. Luckily he was a foot or two ahead and facing away from me; I froze immediately as he was already slithering away. No more rock climbing for me!!! Back through the bees and to the car!!!
On the way back I found this cool high-tech lookin’ dandelion; each seed had what looked like an airplane propeller on top.
So after the rattlesnake incident, I decided to stop at the Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine to calm down a bit. And to say hi to Gandhi. Apparently he was buddies with Paramahansa Yogananda and a portion of his ashes are interred there.
“Life is an aspiration. Its mission is to strive after perfection, which is self-realization. The ideal must not be lowered because of our weaknesses or imperfections.” – G-dhawg
I love the Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. It’s like Disneyland for meditation. Or spirituality, or whatever. It’s just gorgeous and lush and peaceful. There are deities and shrines for five world religions (Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam). So it doesn’t matter what religion you are, or if you’re any religion at all (which I’m not).
Here’s the Christian rep (Joseph? St. Frances? I dunno who this is):
And Buddha, of course:
Me and some dancing, jazz-flute-playing god (Hindu?):
Some of the biggest mofoin’ koi fish I have ever seen in my life (and swan):
And the Windmill (which doubles as a temple):
After enjoying some more peace and greenery, I went to Ritual Adornments and bought beads for some of the Tibetan Prayer Wheel necklaces I’m making. Then I went to write for the iPhone app project; then grocery shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s before coming home to cook some veggies for dinner. I’m on day 5 of no alcohol, and day 3 of no caffeine or processed foods or refined sugars. Been a bit tired without the caffeine or sugar (and now I’m up late writing this post, so I’ll probably be a bit tired tomorrow), but so far so good!