First Rumbles of Saturn Returning


love-your-saturn-return-astrology-turning-30So I am thinking about the Saturn ReturnThe moment when Saturn returns to the place in the sky where it was at the time of a person’s birth. Usually around age 29, with the effects starting to be felt at age 27 and continuing until the early thirties.  Astrology says this is when a person passes into true adulthood.


This time can be filled with challenges as reality and responsibility hit and show the person what kind of life they’ve been living. In my case my reality check came really early, at about 21, when I traded in a full-time job of pursuing a very bad habit to a life of consistent spiritual work: work I did to get out and beyond the hole I’d dug myself into. I think it’s for this that my first stage of this multi-year shift has been bringing me great gifts with relative ease.


saturnreturnAs lovely as it’s going, my Saturn return did start with a reality check. My own self-imposed illusion in a relationship showed me that there were some serious holes in my foundation around the concept of love and family. Through the temporary pain of this situation I was able to take off my rose-colored sunglasses and see the truth. Life just works like this. We learn through the difficulties.


So here we go, mini-interview on the first rumbles of Saturn. January 4, 2015. Brasilia, Brazil.


What’s going on with you? Really, how’s your heart doing?


Well, I’m in Brazil right now, and when I get back to the United States I’ll be starting a master’s degree in psychology. A career I feel completely suited for, a certainty found only after years of searching. My heart feels really happy. An excited child smiling big inside. Instead of jumping up and down, her cheeks just bubble as she looks across the sound feeling the wind blow through her insides. I wanna ride ferries with my friends and take walks hand in hand with someone good.


Why do you feel excited?


For the first time in my life I really feel excited from the inside out. When I arrived back in Rio this September I was not feeling my best. In light of where I was (and am) going in life I decided to work with a therapist. Through years of meditation, trying to do the right thing, learning, and eventually arriving in a spiritual path that really works for me, I had peeled back a lot of the layers of the onion. I saw that my present-time anger and fear was based in unresolved childhood hurts. What a blessing. I thank God that clarity came at this point in my life. I saw that this stuff was so deeply rooted that I was gonna need a second-hand to really work it out. With the help of my therapist I comforted and re-educated young me. Now I feel I am firmly planted in the driver’s seat of my life.


What does that mean to be in the driver’s seat of your life?


I feel like I’m free, capable, good; not only that my life is my choice, but that I have the strength to get where I’m trying to go. Making a 5-year plan, getting clear on what I want to do professionally, what kind of personal life I want, what kind of health…These things I did last year, but this year I actually gained the capacity to start carrying out my objectives with success. It’s been over a month and a half of a vegan, gluten-free and caffeine-free diet and the degree of self-control that I feel in various aspects of my life is astonishing.


What internal changes are you noticing?


The biggest change is a sense of calm. After the storm of summer passed and I started to feel normal again one thing that didn’t return was my previously highly extroverted nature. I feel a lot more able to listen to people and likewise less compelled to talk. In the moments when I feel really excited there is a little white flag that drops down inside my eyelids reminding me that I want calm. The other change is a sense of true self-confidence. Not in the sense of thinking that I’m great, but in the sense of thinking that I am capable. I know that it’s all gonna be ok. It’s all gonna be ok for me, and for the others too. The sense that everything is coming in time. I don’t need to run like a hamster after the things I want. To conquest the things on my future path I only need to BE on the right path today.





Seaweed Poem


‘Seaweed Poem,’ 18 September 2013, Amber’s Birthday




What if seaweed doesn’t want to be underwater?

Tree tips reach tall,

towards the sun and air

almost big enough to ride,

always coming up short.




Bus doors shut themselves

against a bleak morning street

unheard. The drum beat of your feet

slowing, breaths

painted clouds in the air.


You are seaweed.

Left on the other side

of condensed window-breath.

Enlivened by industrial watts, this rolling 7-11,

a veritable ice-cream truck of take-me-home.


Reaching and going nowhere

you are rooted

under moonlight:

The night-shift, missed-bus moon.


Morning Moon is cold and offers

liberty Evening Moon never can.


To sleep-seeking eyes, he pours his question,

lake water in a wine glass,

“What do you want to see in my presence?”


Plans of a warm twin bed,

a queen sized comforter

goose down

unfolded in a heap.

Privacy of an empty sheet.

Edging toward, down, the dark dock, surrender.




Pick-up and throw a rock

at the seaweed

like a kid;

crack the glass

watch the Moon’s face

break into pieces.


Moon is a movable object

you never touch.

Moon is a rock,

Earth you live on is a rock.

Earth and its Moon are now falling

you threw


a rock

past the green hair brush limbs

towards the soil




soil, water, air. moonlight,

ripples, shadows, transparencies



When roots are rooted in soil are they still?


When these rocks that you’ve thrown,

out of missed-bus free-time,

agile, hit the bottom…


heart beats and breaks, birthdays, first dates, true loves, school diplomas, favorite colors, best friends, old wounds, bad knees, dreams, our parents, mean position of gas gauges, more commonly E or F, insecurities about race and zits, things you never tried, what you believe about God and what you know about God…


before the moon hits the bottom of the lake

a light from behind casts your shadow into the water

turn! run! here comes the bus

you wouldn’t want to be late.


5 Good Things About Being Young



This post started as a list I was making only for personal use. I was remembering a conversation I’d had the night before with a dear friend in Seattle, who is also in her mid-twenties and also navigating the river of life in a boat which seemingly came with no instruction manual and no map. In the words of rapper T.I. “When you’re under 25 staying alive’s hard work.” Well today I’m 26, and it’s not necessarily hard; but it’s a work. And so this morning, with the sun rising in the east like it always does, I write this totally incomplete list for you my friends. Friends who are seeking, and certainly are doing great work on this first adult job. I know you all will “end-up” in places far more beautiful and rich than you imagine. 

5 Good Things About Being Young

…to remember while I’m still young

  1. A gift of being young is the ability to ask for help or advice from others. 

    • No one thinks you have it all figured out yet.
  2. Freedom.

    • You cracked your eggshell only 20 some-odd years ago- and Mama’s nest much less time than that! Close enough still to this magnificent Earthly arrival that you really only need to think about yourself.
    • You don’t have a kid or a mortgage yet. The grind of 3 years ago was school.
    • You don’t have built up “life-stuff” to guide or road-block your path. The highway is relatively free of traffic. Cruise baby! Try something new, the risk is only to you.
  3. You just arrived: “Now, you’re an adult.”

    • You may be an adult now, but this place is still NEW. It’s kinda like being a baby, a kid, a teenager, now you’ve got several years of fresh learning, still, in this new place of adult.
    • The brain is only just arriving. Finding capacity to contemplate spirituality, morals, partnerships, society and your part in it all. There’s serious stuff to think about, however the brain is relatively habit-free. You may have opinions from your parents, but for the first time you’re getting to discover and cultivate YOUR beliefs.
      • Take care with this gift and mission.
  4. You have a life full of friendships.

    • Before you’re married (one main friend) or parental (little dependant friends) you have all your free time to spend with a variety of characters.
      • Again take care with this liberty; you are who you hang out with.
  5. The NEED to learn.

    • OK for some of us it doesn’t feel like a desire, it feels like a drag. Deciding what “to be” in this inevitable aging process; which if all goes well can be called “growing up.”
    • We need to learn what we like. We need to learn what to do professionally. What skills, philosophies, networks, etc. will lead to prosperity. We want to learn who we are.
    • Necessity moves. I need to eat, I need to love, I need to…. and then it is. Want is at the end of the day less powerful than need.
      • This is easily seen with a few moments of reflection on your life or the life of others. “When did you change?” asked the little. “Well, it was when I needed to…” responded the wise one.

A Gratitude Up and Down

Breathe in today’s first breath

from inside a cocoon of covers.

Still water waits on bedside table

the taste of its age inside your mouth.

Pull back a bit the blinds

sunlight is a spotlight

soft on sleep-warmed skin.

Smell of coffee lifts itself

up dark wood stairs.

Bacon cracks, knives slide

smooth through cheese,

OJ fresh with ice in glass cups.

Woman’s laughter and children’s feet

parade a panting patter.

Life rotating like a 33’.

Can guard a little longer up here

in the still darkened room.

No one knows you’ve woke.

Remember God.

Watch with the volume off

a sparrow hop across an asphalt drive.

Rub bare feet on carpet,

till toes touch tile,

wet face,

freshen mouth with minty foam.

Smiling reflection

pleasantly in tune with this life you’ve got.


“It’s a Beautiful Morning”- Carroll Roberson. I wrote this poem on the bus. Near the end of my work, a woman seated near played this song out-loud on her phone. Synchronicity.


Livin’ by the Sea

‘Livin’ by the Sea’

Taste salt like chips in a quickly emptying bowl

sitted uneven legs folded

quilted cangas with amigos

taking turns taking baths


skin a sandy rose gold

smell hints of sweat and

solar interference

a vista blue, in varying shades



walking to the shore

waves wash first knees

welcome like a champagne pop

further then, bubbles on belly-button break

you consider diving in


laid on back, out there

blue above

blue below

watermelon seed under the sun

 .                                                                      peace is when the birds fly over


getting used to letting time drop

didn’t bring extra clothes

getting used to sandy boobs and dirty flip flops as

antique agenda ink runs black in canvas bag






Sem Sempre

Sem Sempre

Na sua ilha

O tempo se move para trás.

Pode ouvir o tambor que está batendo dentro?

Relógio antinatural.


Aqui na minha ilha,

Quando meus pés deixam marcas na areia,

Imagino os seus

Lavados no oceano.


Tempo aí, onde você vive,

continua se movimentando.


Seus olhos vêem os meus através da água.

Estou sempre a crescer, e você Amor

Sempre não.


Um navio vai ao horizonte.


Quem irá embora primeiro?

Meu tempo desconhecido,

Muito menos sua pele.


Por nós sermos sempre um mar de tempo separados.

O sol que nos circunda

Sem toque material.



How to Save Money to Travel



Money, dough, cash, dinero, argent, grama, pengar, geld, soldi, деньги, お金,錢…

Money: to go anywhere is the world you need it. Saving money isn’t easy. Often we don’t grow up talking about money or practicing healthy spending habits, so when the day comes that we want something expensive it’s a skill to cultivate.

So let’s get started:

1. Want it:

The spark to save money has to come from a desire to travel. A desire bigger than the daily want, because for most of us young people, who don’t have lots of extra cash and often have very full social lives, it requires sacrifice.

 The Scales becomes a powerful tool in the path to saving money. Looks like this “I want to go eat Sunday brunch with my buddies, but I also wanna go to China…” put these wants on The Scales and the scale tips to travel.

Deciding where you want to go early is important. Projected destination tells you how much you need to save, and having a concrete plan aids the desire and discipline you need to arrive there. Ask yourself: “What do I want from this trip?”…To learn a new language? Understand a new culture? See beautiful buildings or landscapes? Meet sexy people that look and speak different than me? (*Wink*)

Now research. There are bazillions of great blogs. One of my favorites is Leave Your Daily Hell. You’ll probably have the opportunity to get everything you want anywhere you go, but making the list will help cultivate desire and also provide the next step- direction.

2: Design it:

So now you know where you want to go; how the heavens are you gonna get there? (probably on an airplane). Ok how are you gonna get there financially? I can tell you now it’s gonna be some form of expensive. Whether it’s South East Asia for 6 weeks, Europe for the summer, or Brazil for as long as you can work it-you’re gonna spend at a minimum $3,000.

 To Calculate the estimated cost of your trip take into account airline tickets, visas, transportation, lodging, food, activities, emergencies, and things you’ll forget…because there is no way to plan for it all, remember it all, or know it all before you get there. Again research these numbers on blogs, travel, or government websites. You can talk with people who have traveled to these places and visit a travel agent, etc. …Then overestimate the total.

 I’ve found that people exaggerate the cheapness of their trips, and I can’t stress enough that the unexpected will come up. Sometimes you’ll be tired or lost and end up taking a cab when you budgeted for a bus, etc.

 When forming your goal there are 2 ways to calculate:

  1. You can say, “OK I have to go for 3 months” then calculate for 3 months.
  2. You can say, “one day in X country will cost me $x.xx” and then multiple that number until you reach the dollar amount you are planning to save.

Side note: When I started saving to come to Brazil, (well technically at that point I was saving to go to China-case in point THINGS WILL CHANGE, EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED)…I set out to save what I thought I could manage. Working towards it one-step at a time. By the time I left Seattle this September I had doubled my original goal.  Dedication and a really strong desire to live abroad made saving natural and in a way fun.

 3. Do it:

Now you have your number!- Take the total amount that you are planning to save and break it into manageable chunks. I like to think of these chunks as bills. For example You are aiming to save $10,000 and want to leave in 1 year; so you take $10,000 divide it by 12 and you get a chunk of $833. Just like paying rent, you pay $833 to your savings account every month and keep it there- no exceptions!!! If it’s a big number it will require extra work, just remember what you’re working for.

 You need firmness or the money doesn’t stack right. This is where desire is essential. Wanting and faith can accomplish the unimaginable. There were times when I thought no-way was I gonna make my monthly marker, but then swoosh something happened and it worked out.

There were times when I was buying coffee with nickels and dimes.

 4. Enjoy it:

Fast-forward- Confetti is flying at your going-away party, you’re scared and excited and proud of yourself. Someone you love drives you to the airport and you fly for hours and hours. Land, make your way to your first foreign bed, maybe learn the word for “bed,” or at least for “thank-you” and have a nice long sleep. When you wake up, jet-lagged, you’ll begin the second (smaller) phase of the budgeting.  Adjusting the plan to reality on the ground. You’ll see your first month or so what you’re actually gonna be spending. Take this number and again break your savings into chunks so you can have a realistic daily budget.

 Good luck, and bon voyage!