dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

my first three days

First day we walked through Las Vegas. I cried on The Strip. I was having problems with the excess. Also, I was having problems with gender. I was upset by the portrayal of naked women as commodities. It made me feel vulnerable / violated. So I cried and cried as we peacewalked. It was painful but okay. I think my reaction was sane, a sane reaction to an insane place. Have you been there? The lights, the sounds, everything larger than life, billboards that are like huge tvs.

Then at night a new friend helped me. She invited me to her bedroom at Nevada Desert Experience and I sat on her bed while we talked about my feelings, and then we did a grounding exercise. It felt good to breathe. Then she smudged me with sage, and I smudged her with sage (my first time doing that). I was grateful.

Oh, also I was crying that first day because I was in a lot of physical pain too. My shins were hurting and tight, pain with every step.

Second day my right leg stopped hurting, so I was in pain every-other step. Sorry I'm complaining a lot. I want to tell you what's beautiful.

First morning out in the desert, I was elated despite the pain. I told a new friend, "This is what I signed up for!" The desert is beautiful. Creosote, joshua trees, gorgeous mountains, and huge expanses of glorious open space.

Today was more of the same. New friends walked with me by the roadside. We talked about religious experience, radical mental health, Hanuman. I'm peace signing all the vehicles that pass, which is my blessing. Some drivers flip me off, most ignore or seem to ignore, and many wave, honk, or flash peace signs back.

I got sunburnt despite sunscreen and overly socialized and wasn't too functional at lunch, and people noticed, which was embarrassing. I was encouraged to drink Gatorade. It was orange.

I walked less today than yesterday. I estimate I only got about five miles today? I enjoyed singing Nanya Spriha and Sarvamangala to myself over and over again.


  • At April 03, 2012 8:43 PM, Anonymous Jen H. said…

    Oh my gosh, LM! You're doing great!
    Las Vegas made me feel the same way. I was there with my family when I was around 14 and I remember being overstimulated and grossed out.
    MC and I used to get horrible shin pain like you had too!
    The only thing you can do I think is to put ice on them at night.
    I think I would also have a really HARD time being with other people all day. I definitely NEED my personal time to feel normal.
    Keep going though!!!
    Wonderful job!

  • At April 03, 2012 8:55 PM, Anonymous MC said…

    Orange is a good breakfast gatorade. The cheapest (by the ounce) that I have found is with a Double Gulp refill cup at 7-11. They usually have orange but sometimes red or yellow. They call them fruit punch and lemon lime but I call them red and yellow. Orange is orange.

    I guess the electric lights (electrolytes) in the gatorade are good.

    Poweraid has B vitamins.

    I love the desert. Love it! I feel more alive there.

    When I am spinning a sign next to traffic, which is one of my odd jobs, mostly for real estate companies, I get overwhelmed sometimes. I find the headphones with music to help me feel more isolated. It isn't true isolation, but it helps me feel disconnected from all the people in cars I entertain.

    That probably isn't helpful but I care. Glad you are finding the good. Safe journey!

  • At April 04, 2012 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Las Vegas also made me feel terrible when I was there. The portrayal of women & the preponderance of pornographic images was a lot. Which is not to say that I am anti-porn, but I am anti being forced to look at it without your consent. The culture it cultivates was devastating to me. I was also very upset by the groups of Mexican immigrant workers walking around passing out cards for prostitutes. It was very depressing. I never want to go to LV again! I'm glad you got through it & found support & comfort there.

  • At April 19, 2012 9:29 PM, Blogger Laura-Marie said…

    Thanks for your comments, friends. Thanks for your kind words.


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