The Dancer

Who is this dancing girl?
This girl who craves
Movement
And flip-flops on a sunny
Afternoon
Who reads poetry
While sipping tea
And dreaming of where she’ll live
Next

Who is this girl who questions everything?
Who believes nothing is
Truly simple
And who must assign
Meaning to every
Occurrence
Every sign,
Every mark
Along the way

Who is this girl who is no longer a girl?
Trying to figure out what
Intimacy between friends,
Between lovers,
Between strangers,
Between family
Really is
Hoping that somehow she can figure it all out
Through a poem, or a song or a dance

Who is this girl who loves to create?
A new recipe
A new groove
A new life
Quite possibly for the very act of
Creating
With the dream that
In the end
It will mean something remarkable

This girl, this woman, this lover, this creator is
Me
And there are no labels
Or definitions or confines
Or even a box big enough to contain
My spirit.
It will soar
Simply because
It is meant too.

-Heather Strang
© 2009

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Country Music

These days
The only
Thing
That makes
Me feel
At home
Is
Country music
The twang,
George Strait,
And songs of women and beers
Soothes my soul
Makes me remember
Where I am
From
And who I am.
With no one around
No familiarities to call
My own
I reach
For something,
Some shred of evidence
That I am not alone.

-Heather Strang
© 2009

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Snow Birds

Matching his and her blue striped towels
Camouflage bathing shorts
And tanned, leathered skin

One thing is missing, though
The conversation.

She barely raises an eye
As he passes by
He watches her closely
Careful not to upset her
After all these years.

She studies her book meticulously
And then becomes bored
He is no longer noticing her
Now, she must get his attention
She may be 65, but she isn’t giving up just yet.

So, carefully
Very carefully
She rises from her lawn chair
and saunters
Steadily, in her full piece
zebra stripe bathing suit
This catches his eye
He watches her carefully
She dips a toe in the pool and wades in
Her eyes lift up, gracefully
They make eye contact

The argument is won
The tension is gone
After 35 years,
They’ve still
Got
It.

-Heather Strang
© 2009

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So…here goes!
Feel free to respond with your poetry too. It is National Poetry Month after all.

Alaska

On a pier in
Alaska
You shed a single
tear
And said you wanted to marry
me
We held hands in the darkest night of
nights
And you took my breath
away

With your
insistence
With your
confidence
With your
certainty
That I,
I should be
yours.

I had no answers for you
then
And, I still
don’t.

Just a simple
memory
Of a boy
On a pier in
Alaska.

-Heather Strang
© 2009

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To kick off National Poetry Month (of which I’ll be writing/posting a poem here daily!), I wanted to share a poem I recently came across and absolutely LOVE. It just makes me happy. I hope it will for you too:

The Happiest Day

It was early May, I think
a moment of lilac or dogwood
when so many promises are made
it hardly matters if a few are broken.
My mother and father still hovered
in the background, part of the scenery
like the houses I had grown up in,
and if they would be torn down later
that was something I knew
but didn’t believe. Our children were asleep
or playing, the youngest as new
as the new smell of the lilacs,
and how could I have guessed
their roots were shallow
and would be easily transplanted.
I didn’t even guess that I was happy.
The small irritations that are like salt
on melon were what I dwelt on,
though in truth they simply
made the fruit taste sweeter,
So we sat on the porch
in the cool morning, sipping
hot coffee. Behind the news of the day –
strikes and small wars, a fire somewhere –
I could see the top of your dark head
and thought not of public conflagrations
but of howit would feel on my bare shoulder
If someone could stop the camera then
if someone could only stop the camera
and ask me: are you happy?
perhaps I would have noticed
how the morning shone in the reflected
color of lilac. Yes, I might have said
and offered a steaming cup of coffee.

Linda Pastan

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So this last week I turned another year older. 31.
Wow.

I really dug 30, so I had some resistance in embracing 31.
Although, a week in, I have to say that it’s pretty awesome.
My journey continues on…I finished The Call by Oriah Mountain Dreamer and walked away with some very BIG realizations. In the midst of all of that, I’m reading Rumi – and loving every juicy, delicious minute of it.

This morning I woke up early, read A LOT of Rumi and then proceeded to write 4 poems that I absolutely love. It keeps happening like this. Inspiration and writing, combined with voracious reading. I read some more of Maya Angelou’s work, including a biography written about her. Such an amazing woman.

And I realized that when you are destined for greatness, as Maya was, nothing in the world can keep you from it. Even though her path went in one bumpy direction (early pregnancy, prostitution, drug use, etc.), the Universe made sure the right opportunities came her way so she could be the great force that she is in the world today.

It’s comforting, this realization.
To know that if I’m meant to write a best-selling novel I will. If I’m not, that’s okay – I’ll do something else that will impact the world. And there is nothing I have to do to “make” it happen, except for listen to my heart and follow the direction it points me in.

Right now it’s pointing me in the direction of writing, reading, rest, walking, cooking (my fridge is EXPLODING with vegetarian, delicious food!), coaching, meditating and BEE-ING.

In addition, I had my official composting training and we have what’s called an Earth Machine (see photo above). Now, I’m able to compost effortlessly and easily. It feels good to be eating local, organic food and then taking care of it in a sustainable way.

My birthday ended up being AWESOME. I spent an entire day (the day before my b-day) at the Grand Hyatt spa – I hit up everything: the steam room (infused with eucalyptus!), the sauna, hot tub, pool, cafe, gym, outdoor shower and yummy products. Leaving there, I felt like a million bucks.

Monday, my actual b-day, I worked, but Rich and I went to watch the sunset and then went to dinner at Roy’s. They printed “Happy Birthday Heather” in the menu and served me a chocolate, flourless cake. I had a BLAST!

Today, was 80 and sunny – I spent it doing exactly what I love: sleeping in, reading, writing, cooking, spending time at the beach and in the ocean, going for a walk, talking with my soul sister’s in Portland, watching reality TV (Tough Love is officially my new favorite show) and just relaxing.

So, 31, let’s go!
I’m ready to see where my road leads to next.

Much love,
xoHeather 🙂

Pictures top to bottom:
-Surfers at Shipwrecks beach
-Me at the Taro fields
-The Earth Machine!
-Me & Rich at Roy’s
-Me blowing out my candle 😉
-The menu – everyone made me feel SO welcome there!

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Just because I celebrated my birthday far from all of my family and friends, didn’t mean I would go without cake and a celebration. 🙂

I promptly went to the local health food store and picked up a chocolate cake mix from Bob’s Red Mill. It was DELICIOUS!

Make these adjustments for a yummy cake:
-Use organic eggs
-For milk, use unsweetened almond milk
-Use almond extract instead of vanilla extract
-Bake in 2 round 8″ cake pans
-Instead of frosting (sugar-ville), drizzle sunflower nut butter on top and in between the two cakes.

This cake was SO good, I had to give the rest of it away otherwise I would have eaten the whole thing!

Happy Eating!
Heather 🙂

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“Who would you be if you did not do whatever you do every day?…When we open to this constant call, we remember why we are here and allow this knowledge to create a new and fluid story colored with that knowledge and never mistaken for all of who we are.” The Call by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

In the middle of my realization that I have been identifying who I am with my friends, my work and my environment, I read this chapter, so eloquently written by Oriah. Her words are so lyrical, they are much like a nurturing touch to my soul. They remind me that I am not my story, and that this current opportunity is a chance to awaken to that which I really am – at my core. What are the odds that I would be reading this book during the very time I am experiencing this? Life is magic. This I know.

For me, the blessing of Kauai is the opportunity to be alone in this world, be with myself and create something completely new and different. My life is nothing like what it was before. My days are spent in entirely new ways and I’m being exposed to a pace of life that is totally unfamiliar to me. Yet all of this often comes to me with surprising ease. I do not feel like a foreigner here, I feel…at home. Even when I am clearly not at home. I find that it is easier to slip into mulitple moments of meditation and multiple moments of movement. The pace, in so many ways, suits me.

To give you an idea, below are some of the new ways I am BEING in Kauai:
-belly dancing
-practicing yoga daily
-spending time with the ocean every day
-composting
-eating more veggies than I ever have in my entire life (in fact, I have a lentil soup in the crockpot at this very moment)
-eating foods straight from a local organic farm, and my backyard
-dancing freely
-writing poetry
-wearing zero makeup
-not straightening my hair (there’s no point anyway, the humidity here gives me the biggest hair known to man)
-wearing skirts and shorts and tanktops – every day

Some of these things I could do in an urban environment. But, for some reason, I needed to come here to try on an entirely new type of life. I had asked John of God, as I mentioned previously, for a whole new life. That was 6 months ago. In 6 months I got exactly what I asked for.

Life Lesson: You can have whatever you ask for. Want something? Ask God/Spirit/The Universe, etc. for it – and it will come into your life – as long as you are willing to flow with what life presents to you. It’s freaking amazing!

So, here I am – in the middle of “the call”.
While it may sound rather lovely all of the time, it’s also quite disconcerting. I burst into tears today when multiple things did not go the way I needed them too – because I live in a small, island town. I cannot live my life in the way I have in the past. Pushing/forcing/demanding life to cooperate does not work. I suppose it never did, but in the space I’m in now, it seems all the more obvious.

My dreams are ridiculously vivid, synchronistic and sometimes prophetic. I keep having a very similar dream over and over again – so if you know anything about dream analysis – please reach out – I would love to get some feedback on what is coming up for me. The poetry is pouring out of me and I’m reading such rich poetry and work by one of my favorite authors/poets – Maya Angelou. Another poet that is bringing me much inspiration is Portland’s own Sage Cohen. If you don’t have Like the Heart, The World – pick it up today. It’s absolutely delicious.

Above are some pictures from my recent trip to Hanalei.
As I near my 31st year, I am amazed and surprised by myself. I am so much more than I thought I could ever be. I love it when that happens!

I’ll be spa-ing it up tomorrow (when I typically write this blog) ALL day, as I received a day at the spa as a birthday present and I am oh so grateful.

Missing and loving you all!
xoxHeather

Pictures from top to bottom:
-Surfers at Poipu Beach
-Ocean at Hanalei
-Me at the Kilauea Lighthouse in Hanalei
-Taro farm – grass hut
-Taro plantation
-Ocean at Hanalei
-Flowers on the North Shore
-Tourists playing football at sunset at Shipwrecks beach
-Shipwrecks beach near sunset
-Hoku Foods (my savior!)
-Most amazing church in Hanalei – built in 1835 – the energy was reminiscent of the churches in Brazil!
-Cliff by Kilauea Lighthouse
-Caves in Hanalei – any idea why the people in the lower left hand corner are all whited out? No flash was on. When Rich took pictures of me there – my face was totally whited out. Bizarro. Some crazy spiritual energy over there!

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I LOVE hummus. Back when I lived in Portland, Ore., I would nosh on one Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus every week. I’m not playing around. When your diet is as limited as mine (and right now I’m on a vegetarian kick!), you hang on to what you love.

In Kauai, there is no such thing as Trader Joe’s. Heck, I’m lucky to have an awesome health food store (Hoku Whole Foods in case you were wondering) 20 minutes from where I live. So, I’ve decided that this is merely an opportunity to make the foods I no longer have easy access too – all by myself.

I came up with a killer hummus recipe and had to share:

-1 can garbonzo beans
-1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
-Juice of 1 whole lemon
-4 T tahini
-2 T paprika (or other spice blend)

Put all of the ingredients above into a food processor or blender. Note: DO NOT drain the garbonzo beans. Top with additional paprika or spices and serve.

Right now I’m toasting an Ezekiel bread muffin (only $7 for a pkg. in Kauai) and topping it with my homemade hummus, sliced cherry tomatoes and avocados (from my backyard!). See picture above.

How do you like to eat your hummus?
Leave your comments here.

Happy Eating!
Heather 🙂

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Commentary to come (I’m sure you’re all waiting on the edge of your seats)… 🙂 What I will tell you is that I keep waking up with this Cat Stevens song in my head. Synchronistically it’s a song I was introduced to while journeying in Brazil. Oh, and Brazil has wild chickens running around, just like Kauai. Life is so magical…Did I mention that I asked for a whole new life when I was in Brazil visiting John of God? Um, pretty sure I got it…

“Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
cause theres a million things to be
You know that there are

And if you want to live high, live high
And if you want to live low, live low
cause theres a million ways to go
You know that there are

Chorus:
You can do what you want
The opportunitys on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo
You see ah ah ah
Its easy ah ah ah
You only need to know

Well if you want to say yes, say yes
And if you want to say no, say no
cause theres a million ways to go
You know that there are

And if you want to be me, be me
And if you want to be you, be you
cause theres a million things to do
You know that there are

Chorus

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
cause theres a million things to be
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are”
If you want to sing out – Cat Stevens

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