Never Have To
Hollywood, CA
August 22, 2008
I've done it; I don't have to do anything anymore.

I said it a lot before. "I have to do this," "I have to do that." But I never had to do anything. I always chose to. So I must always want to for even unconscious reasons.

So now I say "I want to do this," "I want to do that." And like magick, I've discovered that I want to do everything I am doing.

And I don't have to do anything anymore.

Face To Earth / Back To Sky
Elephant Nature Park, Thailand
August 18, 2008

My favorite thing about volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand’s village countryside was nite time.

My room was a hut and it was made of bamboo. Surely volunteers like myself had built it no more than two years ago. I know because we volunteers were replacing fence constructed of the same bamboo as part of our work/stay. The monsoon season, which we all surrendered sloppily into, really speeds up the life process. Things never dry out and the spider that considered my hut his (and was probably right), was larger than my outstretched hand and housed uncomfortably close no matter where in the room.

My hut was the best. It stood on poles to slow the floor’s rot on the always-wet ground. It had two windows (rather than the other rooms' one) - neither of which had screens or anything factory-made or expensive like that.

So it was me, Arachno-dude, and within 50 feet, just outside of my two windows; eleven elephants all nite long.

What does an elephant do at nite? They chomp big time on the corn stalks we cut in the fields for 5 hours a day (face to the earth / back to the sky). They chomp three at a time for hours, sounding like boards snapping and bones cracking, but no ... they are vegetarian like me. Wait ... they are raw vegan like me. Elephants eat 300 pounds of raw vegan food every day. I wonder where they get their protein from?

Elephant calves play at nite. They hug and tug one another. They practice gentle sparring. And sometimes they get startled by the unseen, like any baby would - maybe a mouse runs behind their feet or something - and they chirp like big birds, kinda squawking and causing a nervous commotion. Until the auntie blasts one resounding trumpet. And they shut up real quick like. When an elephant momma speaks ...

You can't see elephants at nite. I don't know how they do it, but the largest land mammal on earth really can just disappear kinda become invisible. Like a shadow - no, a black hole. Any light that would be in the area of a nite elephant is sucked in towards it with no hope of escaping. The elephant is Whatisdark and the only way you know an elephant is there is a kind of vibration in the air and a few gentle sounds. I listened to them all nite long.

Now, in Hollywood, I close my windows and turn on the fan and sometimes even wear ear plugs I'm not kidding because if the smallest change in air pressure doesn't wake this insomnia-inclined light-sleeper up, then the Hollywood helicopters will.

But I didn't wear ear plugs here. I didn't cover my ears with anything more than a mosquito net. Instead, the sounds of the elephants no matter what they were tasking lulled me into an in between world. They drop the grass on the ground, I fall to the ground. They sigh, I am exhaled as moisture into the air. They snore, one long, everlasting lung full of air and I believe I can hear the earth sleeping. Yes, even elephants sleep. I know they do.

Unless one was inclined to listen all nite, one may never know. For only 4 hours every nite, the sleeping sounds do inebriate. And I was alone, lulled and listening one nite, and I had to see it to prove it. So I wandered without flashlight as close as I could - maybe ten feet away - and I saw what I needed to see: elephants really do lie down to sleep when they feel safe.

And they snore an elephant's snore - the sound of everything all right in the world.

Gravitational Pull
Bangkok, Thailand
August 04, 2008

I'm a changed woman.  

I mean, I am always changing, but some changes are more meaningful than others.  

Life changing.  Perspective changing.  Spirit changing.  Soul changing.  The elephants can't help it.  

Without even seeing them, you sense them.  6 tons of isolated consciousness, breathing, focusing, feeling ... on the grandest scale of all.  Elephants exert a gravitational pull they are so massive.  Like little Earths on Earth.  Even sleeping over 100 yards away, their presence comforts.  A forced meditation for all that surround them.  A lesson in patience just to contemplate them.  A lesson in gentle relations.  A lesson in finely directed intelligence.  

To be near an elephant, these things are unavoidable.   They change anyone who comes into close, compassionate contact with them.  They change the world we walk on.  Even children whom have never seen an elephant in real life, I am convinced, are affected by elephants living somewhere on this Earth.  It is my goal to make sure this endangered species exists in this world. 

This world is a better place with elephants in it.