Too many blogs! Or the perfect amount! Yay!
Too many blogs! Or the perfect amount! Yay!
This September I had a really amazing birthday. It was more of a weekend than a day really. On Friday I helped with the Frosh (kinda like University Orientation, fun games for first years to meet people etc) for my program at school and then went to Gorilla Food with my veggie friend Kyla. Then we got scalper tickets to the Ke$ha concert and had a glittery good time (my highlight was the giant inflatable zebra that LMFAO passed around… and the people behind me commenting on how “sleezy” the “get sleezy” tour was haha). On Saturday (my actual birthday) I helped with Frosh again and then got to see some awesome girls I haven’t seen much since High School. Sunday was a day of rest. I hung out downtown and then went for dinner with my Mom at my favorite raw vegan restaurant, Organic Lives. Then…
On September 12th I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend and fellow Super Forester Jesse Carmichael before his concert in Abbotsford, BC, Canada.
I was first in contact with Jesse when I stayed at Zero One in Hawaii. Jesse is a founding member of Maroon 5, and a gift to the planet.
It was actually so funny because just as I was finishing dinner with my Mom, Jesse and his Yoga Teacher showed up at the restaurant. It turns out he had e-mailed me inviting me to meet them but I had been out all day and didn’t get the message (maybe it’s time to get an Phone? haha). Magic!
Jesse is really awesome and knew about so many awesome things. After the interview we went for a walk in the parking lot and sat by some trees where he told me about a bunch of awesome things. For example, I learned about this awesome TED Talk on the power of Mushrooms. Fungi is amazing!
I also was inspired to participate in the 9/11 Intention Experiment (people from all around the world focused their intentions on bringing peace to a very specific region of the Middle East and they are going to track the results).
Special Thanks to Trini Nguyen-Don and Diana Luong for filming/driving/being awesome and SuperForest.org for making this come together!
AMAZING! SO grateful! What an awesome experience and what amazing people I am blessed to know.
PS: Recently this totally come full circle when my friend Jeka played “This Love” and was able to raise a bunch of money for some leadership opportunities she wants to take advantage of.
Communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.
The thing I love most about the phase BE LOVE is that I continue to understand it on deeper and deeper levels.
I think i’ve seen this about 10 times and I STILL get stuff out of it. MAGICAL. Seriously. We create each other, so make us beautiful.
This insight also came out of a three day workshop I am completing and book I read called Clear Leadership. Good stuff.
So, what do you want to be acknowledged for?
So for a while i’ve been pondering this vision i’ve been having. Picture this. It is Christmas but instead of being inside around a dead tree you are outside (in a forest? a SuperForest?) and you sit around the tree (maybe in it?) exchanging handmade gifts and sharing each other’s company. You have decorated the tree with flowers perhaps? I feel like someone is tapping the sleigh bells. There is no wasted wrapping or mess, just love and nature.
Can you see it?
This amazing site is the reason I want to Hawaii this summer and have learned about so many amazing and wonderful things! If you like happy awesome things you will love it. Also, it is worth noting that this video totally MADE MY DAY!
And if you already love superforest you might enjoy this interview with SuperForest Jackson that I haven’t posted yet. Happy Birthday!
And in case you missed it here is the edited version and my personal tribute to my time in Kauai.
LOVE AND PEACE AND JOY AND JOYNESS!
“My life will be one of work, poverty, bad food… living in a grass hut surrounded by filth and savages” – Misguided dude from the movie Hawaii
I had the pleasure of visiting the magical wonderland known as Zero One in Kauai, Hawaii where I got to meet SuperForest Jackson and experience all kinds of beautiful and lovely things. If you haven’t done so please visit the SuperForest site, I guarantee smiles and inspiration will ensue. In short Zero One is an evolving permaculture teaching centre in Kauai. You can see all my photos here!
The sound scape here is so rich and full of life. Even at night, the crickets chirp, the roosters crow (If the roosters crow do the crows rooster?), the rain pours (and when I say pours not like northern downpours but like HARDCORE Hawiian Downpours), a strange creature makes a buzzing noise… I had an abundance of crazy dreams that I have forgotten not because they vanished as dreams often do, but because of the sheer volume I had to process.
Question: DO CROWS LIVE IN CAWAI?
The grass here is so different. It has such a complex texture of things. I enjoy skipping on it.
Even here it hard not to feel a little out of place. Some girls came by and needed to vent so they talked about how “crazy” and strict this raw vegan lady is where they are staying. This woman won’t give her kids white sugar or anything. I can see how extreme that can be but on the other hand, if you made a baby, I personally would want to do as much as possible to ensure that no poisons enter its body. Why would you want to give bad things to something so small and innocent? I guess it was a gentle reminder to stay fun loving and light hearted, not letting beliefs and rules consume your life. Today I wrote a song.
Everything breaks… down eventually.
There is no permanence in history.
The surf can splash
And plates: they crash
That’s that way it is means to be.
Breaks, the dawn
breaks, the tide
breaks, the heart
breaks, the dish
What does it take?
What it all takes…
Everything breaks… down eventually.
There is no permanence in history.
But for everything that can break
There’s something we make
a new spray
a new wave
a new day
The day began with a cup of tea (one of three hehe). We observed the Zero One landscape. So much is going on but yet nothing at all. I had a quality conversation with Mr.Jackson and learned about this CRAZY magician Derren Brown. HOLY %$#&. Check it out. Later I was introduced to the compost toilet and we made friends. New friend Melanie came by and took us on an adventure. She took us to a mysterious man named Henriques’s beautiful property. He makes his own fertilizer and has some awesome plans for his little parcel of paradise. We went walking and saw a waterfall and ate so many different fruits. I tried starfruit and mangosteen (which turned my fingers and teeth yellow… baking soda to the rescue!). It was pleasurable for all of my senses. On the way back we went to the post office and also the healthy hut. While Melanie shopped Jackson and I scavenged a truckload of cardboard from the recycling for future use.
Project AM was to repaired the Zero One compost bin. First I put a layer of mulch on top of the cardboard and food waste inside the bin. Then we nailed some wood to the sides or rather I attempted to nail and in the end Jackson screwed (haha). One day manual labour and I will be friends. Then I learned to chop a coconut with a machete (WAAAA!) (mmmmm). It is hard work! I found that pretending to be a ninja and keeping that knee-bent-pre-jump stance is helpful. Jackson has so much patience, it was pretty sad how long it took, but it can only go up from here : D
Jackson saw this stray dog that was REALLY skinny and obviously recently pregnant. He gave her food and water and named her Yogurt. When he was feeding yogurt to Yogurt it reminded me so much of that scene in AirBud when the boy gives the dog pudding from his backpack. Jackson tried to have a nap but it failed because the dog was vocalizing. Jackson made Avocado sandwiches.They were delicious. Then we began the process of digging a hole in regular permaculture style… by waiting until tomorrow. The dog became Houdini and disappeared (oh nose!) but she was quickly found. Jackson started splitting bamboo chopping for an improved chicken coupe we are going to build. Then the dog got really loud so we changed locations and went inside to eat purple sweet potato (with Braggs, my new condiment BFF). Some people Jackson sort of knew named Nate and Tim showed up at the door with this crazy adventure story. A friend of their’s disappeared in a kayak, didn’t meet back up at the planned time… they met a dude who was on the wrong path from Germany. He drove them to Zero One and they asked to borrow Jackson’s car to go search for their friend and his kayak. They traded our new German friend for the car. The German ended up leaving to start his hike at night (less sun equals less hot equals less sweat equals more water for later) but not until after we introduced him to DOUBLE RAINBOW. So now the car is gone… and the German is gone. and the dog is quiet… for now.
“Everything in life is only for now” – Avenue Q
Pun of the day (intended for Sheamus): “Are you bamboozled?” (via Jenni to Jackson as he split bamboo)
The dudes who took the truck came back after having located their missing friend. The whole dynamic and situation reminded me so much of the Hawaiian version of “The Hangover”. They started washing the car and that became the next project of the day. Jackson wanted to make (and I wanted to eat) avocado sandwiches so we went looking for an avocado outside and managed to find one on the ground in the back ally. Only in Hawaii. After we ate we took the nice clean truck across the street to that huge abandoned area, the agland. Someone had left some plastic pallet type things and we went to grab them for future use. While we were getting them we saw this big ass fish head. It was HUGE. I thought it was a wooden sculpture at first but then I saw the vertebrae in the soil. In this wilderness there was also a spot with a ton of dead computer monitors and parts. Talk about nature meets technology. We kept going and found this old dead truck with broken windows just sitting there. I think we are going to go back for the hood in the future, a big metal sheet could be really useful for something. Then we went for dinner at Jackson’s Mom’s house where I met his brother’s girlfriend… and her brother… and his girlfriend. Wow. Confusing in words but simple in life. It was a really cool experience, they have a very creative family. It has inspired me to experiment more with making things. I kept reading “Food Not Lawns” when we came home and then we to sleep. So tired.
I had this dream that I feel is continued from another dream where I took out my heart (the organ) and dissected it. SO WEIRD. I think it stemmed from a conversation we had about composting after death hahaha.
Movies to see: Fear and loathing in Las Vegas, Brazil
Book to read: Fear and loathing in Las Vegas
Today I woke up from that strange dream very confused. I took a shower outside (so nice! and fast! wonderful!) and then kept working on our lychee tree hole.
Shannon, her bother Sean and his girlfriend Jessica from last night came by to see Zero One and go on an adventure. We finished planting the lychee tree (named Gus or Sug depending on if it is backwards or forwards) and then had some coconut (which I enjoyed putting soy sauce on).
Then the five of us set out to see Kilawea Falls, the waterfall that is super close to Zero One. GORGEOUS. We swam across to the waterfall and then rubbed red mud all over ourselves, which we in turn washed off IN THE WATERFALL. So amazing! When I came out at the base of the waterfall all I could see was this huge rainbow clouding my vision. On of those moments you need to just be there to experience.
After the seeing the magical waterfall we walked back to Zero One. Jackson’s mom was distressed about their dog not feeling well so we quickly got lunch and then people went to various places to try and remedy the situation. We stayed and waited at Zero One, eating our HUGE sandwich (this thing had a whole avocado in it) and waited for this play group of 2 – 3 year old to arrive. They didn’t show but friend Chelsea did (who was going to assist with the kids). We sat and talked for a while but the kids did not show up. Jackson went to help with the dog situation and I stayed behind and got some small projects done. Then we went to go pick up Maya and Augustine from the airport, who also live at Zero One. We went out for dinner to this Thai restaurant. So. much. food. When we got back Jackson created some mint grapefruit tea. We talked for a while then I went outside with Jackson to look at things in the dark. It started to get cold and windy so we moved the chicks from their “Wizard Hat” back to their bucket inside for the night.
I woke up feeling really sick but that didn’t stop us from transplanting some pigeon peas and spreading sweet potato love all over the garden patches. We had purple sweet potato oatmeal and I continued reading “Food Not Lawns”. I am determined to finish that book before leaving. We improved the covering on the chick house with some canvas that Jackson found at the thrift shop. I took a nap on the porch and was really immersed in the environment around me. Jackson made a “Jenni Burger” with a sweet potato patty and several other yummy things (avocado, balsamic vinegar, mustard, peanut butter, cucumber, tomato, thai basil, olive oil, salt, pepper, and spouts that we spouted ourselves).
We went into “The Agland” to try and retrieve the hood of this abandoned car but it wouldn’t come off with the tools we brought. A few mosquito bites later we returned to Zero One for a snack and to get ready to go to the Ocean. Maya, Augustine, Jackson and I went to Rock Quarry beach and I had my first surfing experience. The salt water fills you up and cleanses everything! When I came out there were so many fluids coming out of my head it was amazing haha! Of my attempt Jackson said it was, “Highly encouraging. You took to it like a proverbial duck to water.” I went to sit in the river where the water is warm to rest and then Chelsea, who I met yesterday walked by. Small world. We came home and Jackson baked a pumpkin squash which was delicious. Augustine put on this peaceful japanese music and it started to rain. Jackson checked the chickens. They were okay. I went to bed and had really intense sensory overload while trying to fall asleep. I was still surfing : )
The Monday Night
The glow of a lamp
just an orb of light
silhouette of someone
the chirp of crickets
warm summer breeze
right where you should be
Sky so bright
night like tonight
you could tell me anything
and i’d believe you
You gots to go through the icy icy
to get right into the nicy nicy
but when the water is cold
how do you know
till the temperature gets real hot?
Pick Up Line: On google, you’d be my number one result.
In the morning we went to the dump to find treasure. We got a bunch of rocks, some sheet metal, old bicycles, and all kinds of strange stuff. We brought everything back to Zero One and unloaded it. Jackson made oatmeal with the baked pumpkin from last night. Yum.
I made a path out of the rocks we got from the dump earlier, or rather, I grew the path up to the house that was already in existence. Jackson wanted to know what I eat as I hadn’t cooked anything yet on the trip. I made a raw eggplant lasagna. We went to town to get groceries and so I could see the Akamai Backyard. Felicia wasn’t home but we still got to look around the yard and see everything. One of her chicks was missing an eye which was quite disturbing. Her son Matthew was just heading out but I got to meet him. You know when different people with the same name look and act the same? Definitely got that feeling here. We continued on to the healthy hut for food. They didn’t have any ripe avocados but on the way back we passed a house selling perfectly ripe avocados for 50 cents. Wonderful how life unfolds. When we got back I finished making the eggplant lasagna and some whipped up some avocado chocolate. I then learned that Maya and Augustine are exploring raw eating which was very exciting. I may be the only 18 year old I know with an interest in raw food but I am finding friends. Yayyyy! We packed up the food and went to a place called “Secrets Beach” to watch the sunset. It was a bit of a hike down but totally worth it. I felt like I was in Inception. The beach was so massive and expansive compared to us. We found a spot and made a fire to sit around. The lasagna was really good, no more failed cooked lasagna for me, this is the way to go! We didn’t get to the avocado chocolate, the lasagna was really filling. It started to rain and so we put the towel over our heads. I had such good conversation and imagery. It was a night out with the full moon. Before we left everyone started toning (sound making) kind of centered around the baby. It was really cool and also disorientating. What a magical night. When we got home Jackson went to check on the chickens. He saw this big black shape dart away, which he thinks is a cat, and I am calling “the beast”. One of the chicks disappeared and another one had been horribly mashed. RIP Cleopatra. Jackson put her in the compost. We brought the others inside for safety for the night.
Vegan Blog Post:
Today I had the always imminent discussion about being vegan with Jackson. No matter where I am it is always bound to come up. I guess that comes with the territory. I welcome these opportunities to debate and open my mind to new ideas. He shared some quote with me from some wise figure about how greatest held beliefs are gone in an instant or something (worded much more eloquently). He told me about how he likes to live with no rules and restrictions. I can totally see how positivity is always the better path. Rules and restrictions are negative. Maybe instead of listing things I don’t eat I should be promoting how I eat a “plant based diet” but that misses a big part of veganism. In North American culture a large part of being vegan is negative. Saying a big &$%# you to factory farming and cruelty is huge. And not positive, but neither is eating dead flesh and killing. Personally I think sometimes you need to raise your voice. Say no to cruelty. In doing so, focusing on the positive would certainly help though. I think the way I came to chose this path and the way others will is to get them thinking and open minds, which doesn’t happen through anger or negativity. Jackson was asking me about eating meat if I was stuck on a dessert island. The need to survive… I don’t think I’d do it. I think in life the only rule is treat others as you want to be treated. Treat plants and animals and people as you would have them treat you. Be respectful and kind to them. Just as I wouldn’t want anything to kill me I should not kill. Sure, sometimes cruelty is unavoidable. Stepping on blades of grass could be considered cruelty. I think as long as your intentions are good and pure all will be forgiven. I don’t consciously want to hurt anything so I feel all things will treat me the same way. No one is prefect, people make mistakes. Lightening strikes. People die. I think I would be accepting and forgiving of any accidents that were to happen upon me. At least, i would do my best. When you live in balance and harmony with everything there is no need for “survival of the fittest”. Treat everything as you wish to be treated and it will do the same. I feel like that methodology is at the core of my being. The thought of suffering really hurts me to consider and I would never want to consciously encourage it. In times of trouble or panic there is always a choice and a lesson to be learned. The fact remains that I do not live on a desert island. I live in a world of abundance with so many choices and options that veganism has allowed me to see. Why worry? The earth has everything we need to be nourished and happy : )
Jackson made us tea and we sat on the lanai (Hawaiian for porch/veranda) and talked. I interviewed him for my little Zero One documentary. Then Felicia from Akamai Backyard came over with her dogs and son Ian to talk with Jackson about Zero One and practicality on the island. I helped Augustine shred cardboard for his compost pile and then we took this big tree cutting tool and collected a bunch of avocados and limes. Then I went with Jackson and Felicia and Ian. We walked down to this gigantic 13 acre property that is for sale nearby. When we got back I went to make a piña colada, but like a real one from a fresh coconut and pineapple. It took me so much time and was really messy but totally worth it. It gave me something to focus my energy at. Right as I started attempting to open the coconut I was really upset about leaving and coming back to a world that makes trash, and watches lots of TV and has lots of pain and suffering to sustain an unhealthy lifestyle. Here I am on the brink of tears trying to open this @$#%ing coconut hahah. What a moment. We went into town and I got my Mom a REALLY expensive shirt. I don’t think i’m meant to make people happy by buying things. I spend too much or not enough and everything goes wrong. I’m at a point in life where I don’t want things. I don’t want to buy them or own them. That doesn’t sound too positive… gah. Anyway… on the way back Jackson stopped at the hardware store and then SuperForester Jesse called him on the phone. I think during this trip I’ve learned how much of an eavesdropper I have been in my life. I went to the opposite side of the store so they could talk without me listening. While I was wandering the aisles “Children will listen” from Into The Woods started playing. WEIRD. I don’t know what sort of a sign it is but something on my mind has been deciding weather or not to be in Into The Woods with Theatrix next year. Doing the show would be fun but there is also stress and interpersonal drama that seems to come with being involved. I was left pleasantly confused, as I often am. What are the odds of a really obscure old musical song playing in a local hardware store in Hawaii?
We came back to Zero One and I heated up some oatmeal and ate it with avocado and peanut butter the way Jackson had recommended when I first arrived. Chelsea came over to help with the toddler playgroup. When I found them there was a little boy sitting inside the chicken coop. TOO CUTE. Ian from the Akamai Backyard came by to see what the tykes were up to. Later on the little boy helped me water the garden. He didn’t really understand the part about getting the water on the plants but he is learning! Yayyyy! When the boy and his family left, Jackson took me to Rock Quarry Beach for one last try at surfing. I stood up once! Mind you the board plowed into the ground and Jackson was pretty much pushing me out and positioning me but hey, i’m not picky haha. We found this cool barrel in the river just sitting there and grabbed it.
When we got back from surfing I took a walk around the property and sort of said a goodbye to the land. I sat on the swing and hugged the tree we climbed on my first day here. I kind of had a little moment where I realized coming back here might not be the best idea. Living here is living in someone else’s paradise. Someone else’s dream. I don’t really know where my path is yet. I am so young and have so much I want to learn about. I think I need to rethink my course choices for the fall. I think I need to make a trip to Oregon. I think I need to explore California. I want to learn about Permaculture and raw food and nutrition and cognitive thinking and sacred geometry and astrology and all these wonderful alternative things. I think I am but a tiny tadpole in the big sea of goodness with a whole future to explore.
When I came inside Augustine shared a cucumber with me for dinner. Then I ate some avocado chocolate dipped with baked pumpkin, papaya and pineapple. I sat with Jackson, Maya and Augustine and we all “talked story”. Augustine put some of his amazing music on a flash drive for me. Maya went to bed and the remaining three musketeers did set one of the “Feldenkrais exercises”. It was really interesting and I look forward to exploring this training cool program further. Then Jackson and Augustine started toning (making sounds) and it evolved into this inspiring creative jam with a guitar and a bongo. Then we heard the chicks peeping and Jackson booked it outside. The silence that followed was filled with melancholy. One of the remaining three chicks had been attacked. Maybe it’s the vegan in me but I can’t help but think keeping them caged up wasn’t right. Think of how much work and food went into raising them, just to make some eggs. Is it really worth all those resources (food and time) to make some “protein”? And what of the chicks? It was a sad moment.
Later I had a kind of final conversation with Jackson. I decided to stay up as I had the energy to and I got to work editing my Zero One experience into an internet ready video. I packed up my stuff. I peed outside one last time. I set my alarm (for the first time on this trip) for 5:00AM, the same time I got up when this whole adventure began last Wednesday. Full circle. I went to go try to use the composting toilet for the last time and then this really intense downpour began. I went inside. Jackson made us tea, but togo this time and we drove to the airport.
Lessons from Zero One:
If I was able to kill other beings to make horcruxes i’d leave a part of my soul in Kauai. But i’m not that badass. So what have I left behind?
Movie to see: Alive
Listen to: Dancer with bruised knees by Kate & Anna McGarrigle
I was sad about leaving yesterday. I wanted to grow roots and become a part of the earth. Today, however I think it feels right to go. It’s like a magnet is pulling me forward through life and taking me to everywhere I go. All I have to do is let it guide me. When I got up the Spice Girls song “Viva Forever” was playing in my head. A suitable goodbye. Jackson drove me to the airport and we had tea on the way. I am uncomfortable caffeinated and pleasantly peaceful. The man sitting next to me at the gate was listening to handlebars by Flobots. Funny. I laughed. Out loud. And off I go to keep riding the wave… away from Hawaii and onward. To infinity and beyond.
Jenni’s GOING TO HAWAII?
I booked my flight on Sunday. The plan is to greyhound to Seattle and then fly from Seattle to Lihue Airport in Kauai, Hawaii. I leave on August 18 and return on August 26,( just in time for SFU Orientation Leader training).
I am going for two reasons. Reason One: to visit Zero One and take part in the permaculture miracles that are happening there. I envision it will be like going to the real life Super Forest. Reason Two: Surfing. That was one of my goals for the summer, although I figured i’d be going to Tofino not FREAKING HAWAII : D
This is so crazy! How did this even happen? Oh right. So at the beginning of the summer I was very lucky to have Superforest Jackson be a guest speaker at the Summer Camp I am working at currently. At the end of his talk I went to thank him for taking part and then he asked me “So, when are you coming to Hawaii?”. My initial reaction in my mind was that I’m not going to Hawaii. I don’t have the time or the money to go to Hawaii. Hawaii is not part of the plan. Then I actually started to consider it though. I do have that free week in August… I am working now and have some extra money. “It’s off season so flight are cheap” Jackson tells me.
I love how opportunities like this come along and push my boundaries and challenge me to live fuller and have grander adventures. It is so exciting.
This whole situation is still so crazy though. Why are you going to Hawaii Jenni? To stay with this dude I met off the internet and be part of his permaculture community. That’s perfectly normal right?
Maybe this situation isn’t that unusual, I mean people take trips all the time right? People go places by themselves, tons of tourists go to Hawaii every year… For me though this is pretty FREAKIN AMAZING!
As I was leaving home yesterday I got the Blends Apparel T-Shirt that I won through SuperForest’s challenge: How am I living SuperForest. I received (or transceived SHIRT PUN!) the eLOVEator (womens) shirt and am very happy with it. Even the packaging was eco-friendly!
I hadn’t seen SuperForest Mickie’s contest entry until today but I was surprised to see that we have had similar experiences in life. I sometimes feel as though Jason Mraz’s blog has led me to all good things in life or that all good things in life led me to Jason Mraz’s blog… either way it has been an important and wonderful part of my journey. Smiling and making conversation are important skills that I am very grateful to have developed and it was nice to read that someone else also values those things. I found my own entry to be a bit cheesy but I hope it was helpful for someone else, even if it makes me cringe a little haha!
I was pleasantly surprised that my package also came with a note…