Friday, August 8, 2008

Through the Eye of the Needle

I was born in Great Falls, Montana on December 1, 1972. It was a tumultuous time. Women were fighting for equal rights. The U.N. Conference was fighting for the environment. American soldiers were in Vietnam fighting against communism. Meanwhile, Watergate exposed the widespread scandal in the Nixon administration.

When I was seven days old, The Blue Marble photo of the earth was taken.
“Apollo 17 was the last manned lunar mission. No humans since have been at a range where taking a whole-Earth photograph such as The Blue Marble would be possible.
The Blue Marble was the first clear image of an illuminated face of Earth. Released during a surge in environmental activism during the 1970s, the image was seen by many as a depiction of Earth's frailty, vulnerability, and isolation amid the expanse of space.”
"The Blue Marble." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 29 Jul 2008, 18:19 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 9 Aug 2008 <>.

When I was a kid, I cherished my Native American heritage. I went to pow wows and rendevous and longed for a life more connected to the earth. I daydreamed about growing up and living in a beautiful place where I could live off the land. I imagined being cradled by mountains and trees and the wild. I pictured a waterwheel next to a sparkling year-round creek. I could use the water for bathing, drinking and my garden. I envisioned teaching part-time at a nearby school. I knew that Mother Earth would provide if I lived respectfully with her.

We moved to California when I was in junior high. And, as I approached college-age and started thinking about a career, my vision changed to journalism and then to music performance. In college, I switched from music to English.

I dropped out of college. Although I veered from my vision, I have no regrets. I travelled and yearned to learn from life. I did a lot of soul-searching. I made radical choices—good and bad. However, some of my choices led me into my darkest hour. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t recognize myself. I thought there was nothing left—that I’d lost my soul. My mom always said that everything happens for a reason, but it took me many years to decipher why I needed to go through that.

No matter how authentic we believe we are living our lives, there are survival mechanisms to filter our experience and protect us. The downside is that these mechanisms also cloud our true nature. We collect personnae and all manner of accoutrements as we go. But eventually, something’s got to give. This true nature yearns to be expressed and danced. And when that happens, to some degree or other, we all encounter our personal hell. We go through the eye of the needle. It makes us face what is essential and strips away the monsters we’ve been carrying around.

I sincerely felt that this was it. I was done. I’d experienced my midlife crisis in my early twenties. I fell in love. I was on the road to health. Everything was uphill from there! I never wanted a tattoo, but I always thought that if I did get one, it would be The Blue Marble. This image has gotten me through many subsequent needle eyes.

After my daughter was born, I found a career in business administration and became intrigued with Organizational Leadership and Management. However, my original vision never evaporated completely, and I found myself spellbound by it. I got my degree in Elementary Waldorf Education. And I serendipitously found myself drawn to homeschooling and finally back to living sustainably.

I want to share my quirky, perfectly imperfect experience. I want to encourage people to face their monsters and unabashedly dance their dance—whatever that is. My wish is that we can find communion with our original nature, each other and this remarkable life on this remarkable planet—Earth.