A quick recap of a 4 day hippie-fest called Wanderlust held in Squaw Valley, CA:

Ameri-Yogi-Corps: From left – Tony, Kelly, V, Ray (front)

The Olympic bodies sporting sexy spandex paraded around Olympic Village with their yoga mats and coconut water, oozing a zen demeanor that comes naturally after contorting your body for hours and saying ‘namaste’ at least 4 times a day. The beautiful people with bodies worthy of the cover of Fitness magazine and fresh skin that must come from gallons of decaf herbal tea filled the yoga studios by day and got their prana flow on at night during great music performances.

Ray slack lining, guess what happened next?

Tony, Kelly, Gavin, Ray and I wandered and lusted after the plethora of free samples: All you can eat Ben and Jerry’s (go for the blueberry graham cracker crumble), veggie burger samplers, Luna bars, and, of course, chai tea. Most of us volunteered as part of the Timberland sponsored Green team, directing folks where to throw their compostable sample cups and recyclable acai juice cartons. We were given free hiking boots to sport while “on the clock,” during which time I got my hair braided, hula hooped, learned to slack line and danced a couple nights away to cirque du soleil-esque performances, a rapper named MC Yogi and Ziggy Marley. Not a bad deal instead of a $400 ticket.

View from the top

The yoga classes were wonderful! One in particular, taught at the top of the gondola at High Camp encouraged me to be more grounded. I couldn’t stop smiling as we held mountain pose at 8,000 feet looking out over the Toiyabe Wilderness and a glittering Lake Tahoe.

Pool party at 8,000 ft.

On the final day we finished our last yoga class and joined a pool party at High Camp. Imagine Cancun Spring Break with ski chairs and acro yogis splashing into the crystalline water.

The long weekend was an interesting blend of dreads and designer yoga attire, low-income nomads and wealthy eco-chics, yet despite the differences inevitable with any group of 5,000 people I never once heard even a whisper of a fight. Maybe next year it will be Yoga-topia?

Not a bad place for a girl to be

Who is John Galt?

The spell is broke, the drought has lifted – my words have returned to their rightful place on this page. The lack of attention that has been paid to my fledgling journal indicates that my mind has been ensconced in the 1000+ pg. summation of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Atlas Shrugged. What billions of people have spent their lives wondering about, debating about and dying about she has answered with confident and precise prose. She would never be classified as concise, but the underlying premise of her book (and human existence) is “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”

This summation of her philosophy comes at the end of a 2 inch thick, size 8 font, fraying at the edges, missing a cover and ruthlessly dog-eared and underlined love affair. Her ability to SHOW her ideas, not just tell them is now the living example of what many English teachers tried to teach me and what only one successfully accomplished.

Her assured style of writing, her clear characters, her life (which are really all the same thing) makes me question my own truths. What rule do I live by? And if I can’t easily define it, then who is defining it? Do I want to live by someone else’s values?

The answer is no. And now the task befallen to me and to every fellow human being born with a consciousness is What is my axiom?

A recent couch surfer named Gary and I stayed up until 3am last Wednesday debating this very topic. His dogma is “Do as thou wilt, harm none” but I think he sacrificed details and runs the risk of his own ambiguity for the perceived pride of catchy-ness.

One thing I agree with from this book is the mind-body connection. I cannot sleep with someone I don’t respect because my body is an extension of my mind and I will not compromise either piece of myself.

In a true double entendre metaphor like that which compromises much of the meat of my writing, I need to digest these delicious thoughts. It’s good to be back.