Lola Bites Back: And Other Inspirational Tidbits

Location: Bissingen an der Teck, Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany

Laughing all the way...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Elusive Call of Freedom

Often in my musings I've articulated something and then that freedom? "Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves," according to Freidrich Nietzsche. I always appreciated this quote, but only now do I begin to understand why. I finally connected it to Swamiji's words: learn to love yourself.

Seems to me that the will to be responsible to oneself can also be called self-discipline. So freedom is to be found in self-discipline. And what is self-discipline if it's not love? Ahh,'s no wonder that true freedom eludes me as I have not a clue how to self-discipline! And therein lies the crux of the matter; until I learn self-discipline, I am not loving myself and I cannot love others, especially any potential offspring. Good thing I've got the next decade to figure out all this meditation stuff...

Life is still beautiful, and busy, and...well, my mind continues with its wild daydreams. Tunisia is my latest fantasy, but who knows what tomorrow will bring? For now I am trying just to enjoy each day, spending time at the library (French language computer games! So much fun!!) and dreaming up all the possibilities. Next week I begin leading an English language discussion class that meets twice a week.

Gros bisoux pour tout le monde,
Lolita Mariposita

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Everybody Get On the Bus

This last week I changed places again and now I'm situated in a lovely flat north of downtown Montreal.  Only problem is I'm going though serious computer withdrawals!  Those of you with mobile phones have all received text messages to call me on the land line, but some of you have not been as cooperative as I would like...

Yesterday was the full moon and insanity was in the air.  I learned that my offer of employment is no more and if I want to settle into Quebec right and proper I will need to dive right into the selection process for permanent residence, which could take anywhere from 6-12 months.   In the last days I start to feel a little tired of gypsy life.

Nevertheless, the quality of my life is still amazing.  I spend my mornings sipping cafe on the terrasse then jump on my bicycle for my daily adventures.  It's the perfect time of year for picnics in the park and trips to the suburbs to swim and barbeque at Uncle Frank's place.  I also thoroughly enjoy the Grande Bibliotheque, a huge library downtown with hundreds of computers and an incredible music and language collection...

So what's a small problem like no work when life is so quality?  What's a little stress about being perennially homeless?

Last week I painted with Uncle Frank for three days.  Each morning we woke up at 5:30 to suck down breakfast and head out for a full day of painting fun.  On day three we finished in the early afternoon and headed home, stopping at the depanneur (corner store) for some beers (what kind of painter would I be if I didn't appreciate a cold beer when the day is done?).  I ate a huge piece of pizza, drank three beers and passed out, dead to the world at 7:30pm.  

It was great work and hopefully I can get more of it when Frank gets busier in August and September.  In the meantime, I'm struggling with my growing desire to run off to Africa to do humanitarian work.  There are clearly two formidable forces battling it out inside of me; settle down, earn my residence, find work and pursue therapy versus...L'Afrique!   

Now, I am well aware that Africa is not India.  Mother India is my masters degree in how to live quality life and I have at least one year more of study with Mother India in my near future.  But I have also the conviction deep inside that all roads lead to Africa.  That is, whether we get there next year, in ten years, or in ten lives, we are all going back.  So everybody get on the bus.

until next time,
with greatest affection,
Lola la Mariposa 

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Who gonna spread the Looooooove?!

It's 7 am and I'm trolling for a victim, but now that the Swiss Contingent is back in Cali, everyone I call for girl talk lives west of me!  Is it wrong to call your mama at 4 am?

Instead I'll distract myself with a quick update about the Fantabulistic Calexico show last night!!  It was a small venue; hot, smoky, and just the right amount of sweaty fans.  I got right up in front where I could have reached out and touched the lead singer.   They played all my favorites...I screamed, I clapped, I cried and gasped...and walked out of there a sweaty, smiling mess.  I felt drunk, but all I had was tap water.  After cooling off a bit, I went back in and met the lead singer (Joey), chatting with him for about half an hour.  He told me stories about the band and other things...hee hee hee hee ha ha haa haaaa haah hah hah hi hi high!  Does it GET any better than this???

Before I forget, I'd like to acknowledge the irrational exuberance of my posting yesterday.  I understand it can be difficult to appreciate as usually I am a bit much for the western folk.  But sometimes I just cannot contain myself!

Did I mention that I am remarkably well-cared for?  My roomies are amazing people.  Gen wakes up every morning at 5 and makes us fruit salad!!  And leaves us notes to tell us she loves us!  And reminds us to feed the kitty!  I'm so spoiled...who's gonna make my fruit salad when I move on Saturday?

Today after I meet with my therapist I will head off to painting camp.  Uncle Frank will pick me up and drive me to Chateauguay (Indian reservation/suburbs) where I will have three days of daycare.  Paint and sing all day, lounge by the pool at night.  Uncle Frank is finally giving me a chance to impress him with my speed and skill.  I've never painted before but I'm going to give it my all, and if I perform well - and don't drive him nuts with my irrational exuberance - I might have a pretty good source of income for the next months!

La la la, blah blah, blah, blah.  What is the deal with cottage cheese, anyway?

I love you every one,


Lola Maria

PS:   Late response to the comment on my June 9 posting;

"What's so wrong with our family?"

Well, my friend (family?), I'll share the best conclusion I've got so far: our family is mean.  We say things to hurt each other, we focus on differences, we judge, we blame, we resent.   There's no respect and it's clearly no fun for anyone.  Don't people just want to be loved?  What's so hard about showing some simple affection?  

But I, at least, am quite certain that each of us did the best we could, and, well, the past is the past.  We don't choose our family, so I love them beyond words anyway...especially my amazingly hilarious and insane brother.

I love you, T-Bone!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Everybody Get Ready for the Caravan of Love!

"The fear of death follows from the fear of life.  A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."   - Mark Twain

Today's installment of Lola Bites Back is filled with plenty of inspirational tidbits, so everybody get ready!

It's another Monday, another beautiful morning in Montreal, another chance to seize the day.  The adventure that is my life continues unabated.  Still homeless and jobless, I should be scraping the bottom of the barrel, no?  But exuberance is a powerful force...

I simply cannot stop appreciating the open, non-judgmental, multicultural, peaceful environment here.  I have my own bicycle now, which I use to transport myself all over the city.  From the Grand Bibliotheque, to the Parc La Fontaine, to the chic neighborhood called Mile End and the Gay Village, me and my wheels are unstoppable!

Free, free, freedom!  I coast the bike paths with a smile and a song.  What's not to love?  I listen to the complaints of others with half-hearted concern; there's too much racism here?  Racism is everywhere.  The government is taking advantage of you?  Try living in the Congo.  

Why do we waste our breath on such immutables when we could be celebrating great friendships, sharing in culinary delights and a bottle of wine, or just reeling in the vast array of opportunities life has to offer?  I know my words are annoying for some, but attitude shapes experience.  If your experience is not what you want it to be, well, you know what the problem might be?

Stop poisoning your life and start counting your blessings!  I am here to prove that yes, you can dig yourself out of that hole.  It's no small feat, but it's definitely not impossible.  And God does indeed help those who help themselves.

La la la, blah blah blah.  I could go on but I'm even beginning to annoy myself.  Seems more difficult to throw the G-word around here in the west, but I have no doubt that God, The Universe, Mother Nature, or That Which Cannot Be Named plays the lead role in my life.

Life is a divine play, and we are all the actors.  If you can embrace this philosophy, you understand the highest teaching in Vedic tradition known as Vedanta.  At each and every moment we have the opportunity to choose our actions, our reactions and our attitudes.  Let's have fun with it!  A simple smile goes a long way, and you never know what treasure awaits you at the next turn.  What if your eyes are closed and you miss it?

Darkness is part of the light.  The depths of despair make possible the heights of love and appreciation.

Black Fly season fast approaches - I call it a plague but others have taken issue with that characterization.  Now, I won't go so far as to say I appreciate black flies, but when they are here, I assure you I will be appreciating the relative lack of black flies in Sunny San Diego, a place I lived for many years.  I couldn't appreciate it then, but I definitely do now!

Western therapy is no easy hurdle.  I'm not sure my new therapist is "the one" (You are GREATLY missed, Jenny!!), but I don't see any harm in continuing to see him at the moment.  I'm sure I've got all the pieces, its just a matter of putting them in the right order.  The day will come, I am sure, when someone finally says the magic words and  - click! - things will finally fall into place.  I'm just so close...

Eastern therapy is another beast entirely.  I look forward to the day when I can return to Rishikesh and continue my practice of meditation under Swamiji's guidance.  Swamiji has been and continues to be a huge signpost in my desert; his words ringing always in my ears:

"Wanting to be loved is the greatest sickness.  Learn to love yourself."

Yes.  Learn to love myself.  Loving myself means sleeping at a humane hour, stretching the tensions out of my body in the morning, eating healthy foods, keeping active, surrounding myself with positive peoples.  Love can be found in the little things.  We should not wait to start loving ourselves more.

The gritty update: That thing growing on my eye has reared it's ugly head once again, the corner of my mouth has cracked open, I slid off the bicycle in my first crash the other day and am covered in hideous scratches and bruises, BUT - are you ready for the silver lining? - my giardia has gone into remission!  Whoo hoo!

What else?  Oh, yes; I am going to a concert tonight!  Calexico is coming to town and I have never had the opportunity to see them live.  Part of me wonders what right I have to treat myself to a concert when I have no gainful employment, but then the other part says carpe diem!   We only live once, and tix were cheap :).

And one last note for the most important relationship in my life (you know who you are):  I love your style, your humour, your wit and quirky observations (worried about the anonymity of a lizard?!).  We belong together and together we are stronger than everything and everyone else!  I love you more than words can express and I simply refuse to let anything or anyone sabotage our bond.  There is no going back now..

Thank you to all, and especially my invaluable teachers Jenny, Swamiji and George.  You have and continue to inspire me at each and every turn.

As always,

with greatest affection,

Lola Maria

PS  One more thank you to my mama for tolerating my silliness with good humour!  I love you!

PPS I forgot to mention that I do actually have some gainful employment; I'm cleaning houses..and tomorrow I finally head out to the suburbs for my first painting contract.  If I have any skill, I may be hired again, so wish me luck..!

Here's to good, honest, hard labor!