Hummingbird.

An afternoon, not too long ago…. I was meditating, hoping to relax my brain enough so that, perhaps I could fall asleep. Right as I was beginning to cross the threshold of consciousness into perhaps of restful slumber something flew into my bus. I heard the buzz of wigs and NutMeg beginning to get riled up.

I went to the front windshield where I encountered a beautiful hummingbird trying desperately to get out only to find itself trapped. I moved some books out of the way that were disabling the hummingbirds full range of motion. Upon moving the books, the wings fluttered, and again, this little bird kept bumping against the glass. I tried to encourage it with words. “All you have to do is fly through this  open window less than eight inches away, it’s right here!”

It stopped moving seemingly calmed by my presence. We locked eyes. There I saw this bird, a symbol of joy and happiness, afraid— stuck. I watched it’s breathing, it’s heart beat, which is generally quite fast, begin to slow. This little bird and I gazed into each others eyes. Soon, it started fluttering again hitting the window, repeatedly unable to break through to get to where it was meant to be. It kept trying to go one way, over and over again without any success.

I had the idea to block it’s vision of the glass. I grabbed a piece of paper and slid it over the windshield where the hummingbird was trying to fly. Immediately, it turned and flew out the open window eight inches away.

How often we are that little bird— we see so clearly what we want, but we are blindsided by how to get there. We try the same thing over and over again, with little to no success. But, if when we find a way to free ourselves from how it should go, into how it’s going, we actually open ourselves to finding the way of getting there.

An afternoon, not too long ago, I saw a hummingbird, the essence of joy, admit that it was afraid. And I too, must stop sometimes and acknowledge the fear I feel.

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Hummingbird.

Do you know who I am? Do I even know? Hailey to Heema to who?

For those who would like a typical update, this is for you.

-Yes, I am in Nepal. Contrary to what it seems the world news portrays, not all Nepal has crumbled. I am ‘safe’. I felt the earthquake, and continue to feel many of the aftershocks, and have found them to be a unique beautiful force of nature. I am as thrilled by earthquakes as I am by thunderstorms!

Overall, the village is pretty laid back about the whole earthquake situation. Those who watch a lot of news get worked up (really sad or fearful). But, mostly people are chilled out.

– The last couple days, I have spent a great deal of time writing and connecting deep into a stream of thoughts and perspective about the response I’ve received and have seen regarding the recent Earthquake action in Nepal. It’ll be a chapter of the book, but feels more timely now. You can find my full earthquake story titled ‘The Earthquake Shake: The Latest Dance Craze of the Himalayas’ at thehaileyjones.wordpress.com.

– If you’re looking at a map of Nepal, I am a couple of hours outside of Pokhara. I don’t know if there is a map, the primary village I’m in is called Damdame. That puts me like 80 miles from Kathmandu, the place in Nepal you’ve been seeing on the news.

– These villages are amazing, self-sustaining, abundant. Farming culture, using what the land gives culture. These small hamlets care for each other, helping each other out whenever possible.

My village family looks out for me just as much as their own. Everyone always makes sure that you have eaten. “Heema! COME!” I don’t want to even eat, but I am forced so frequently. It’s possible they’re fattening me up for their full moon sacrifice.

The baba (crazy old man) of the family… I think he’s my Grandpa Jones. Same style, similar laugh. Two lives. Ama (wise woman) is like the perfect fusion of all of my grandmas. I have an auntie next door who also calls me daughter. She’s like the elder crazy aunt, she spooned me to sleep the night of the village campout. That was an odd and kind experience.

– My name has fully been changed to Heema Gurung (pronounced hee-mah, goo rung). It actually is strange to even think of myself as Hailey anymore. Although I have been told many times that it’s a good idea to marry a Nepali man, I have not gotten myself into a marriage situation here. Lesson learned in India. My name changed naturally, that’s kind of cool!

– Today, I went to a community meeting. The principle asked me to come to school. Every time I’ve gone there, the kids are just sitting in circles chatting or playing volleyball. I thought he wanted me to come teach. Instead, the whole village showed up for a community meeting. I sat there in the audience, then was asked to move to the front of the room. Where I sat for two hours, trying to entertain the children with just my curious eyes. I’m not sure why I was asked to be there. I have no idea what was said in the meeting nor was I presented or asked to share anything. So… what?

-The call to come back to the USA is getting stronger.
However it still feels like I’m not coming back…
Sometimes this village feels like the midwest.
Recently, a bunch of Nepali Christian Missionaries showed up.
Then a couple from Chicago arrived.
There was a villager wearing a hat that said ‘Kansas’.
Another is a USA hoodie.
A USA flag bumper sticker drove by.
Then I crossed paths with a super wonderful gal from Colorado.

-Whenever someone comes through with any sort of English I gradually unload buckets of stories and ponderings upon them. The great thing about many of the Nepali backpackers you meet in the hills is that they are also pretty spiritual people.

– I met such a lovely gal last night. We talked about the beauty of the world and our  current observations of it. I also got to share my safety sue episodes with them and it felt so great to hear the laughter they can evoke.

– I’ve been so quiet and learning so much from every little exchange to have someone who can understand my words and stories is such a treat. I am grateful when I hear from you all. Of how my experience is affecting your experience. Of your own personal growth. It’s beautiful and moving, and I am excited for each of you. I apologize for not directly answering your emails always. Most of my internet is limited to my phone (except when I post these big entries). And phone emails are a bit of a headache sometimes. Know that I feel each of you so strongly, and I just want to give you a hug.

– I have so many stories and am very much looking forward to sharing them as they appear to be relevant back home. I keep having a bit of a crisis in writing the book. I am writing it to express the adventure I’ve had for more to be inspired. But, then even knowing that’s my intent it feels very ego driven to write a book about your adventures. Why would this perspective be helpful? Can I even communicate what I’m trying to express? And if I don’t get validation from others, why am I even doing it? There are so many people in the world.

Those are probably normal thoughts in creating something. I’m having a wonderful time and am finding so much beauty in every moment. At times I feel sadness, but it’s not of a sad sense. It’s just recognizing another part of how things can be. But not feeling sad myself, just being moved by the poetry of it all…

Occasionally I travel down the spiral of thoughts relating trip into a deep curiosity of the future. I very mindful of this because in the past, this form of thinking has been very destructive to my relationship with the present. But, I am curious to how this trip meshes with the bigger picture of this existence? Will I really come back? Will this become my true home? Will my roots be ever expanding, never locking me into a official home?

– I have been developing a very clear relationship to cravings and attachments. My cravings for food or activity. Working to discipline myself to release all need of anything but what is. When it’s time to shift, I do. I recognize that what I want isn’t always what I need.

– For those of you who are interested in karma, past lives, and the nature of human existence… I’ve had some really neat breakthrough thoughts about these lately. The world of meditation keeps taking me to really nice places about the nature of existence. If you’re curious, let’s talk about it sometime.

– I have become very famous in these villages for being a great dancer. “HEEMA, DANCE!” I’m often told. I have a dance to a hindi song called ‘Pani Pani’ that everyone likes a lot. Then I also have the earthquake dance, it’s a fusion of storytelling and my joy of movement. I feel like the Billy Elliot of the Himalayas. Considering my physical (and sometimes emotional) resistance in dance, it’s quite surreal still when someone identifies me as a ‘dancer

– My year at Dell’Arte was the most useful ‘formal’ education I’ve ever received. It’s the most useful education I ever received. Lately, I’ve kind of deconstructed the importance of the traditional education… And now am understanding my early resistance to learning math, reading, and science. I’m glad that I know how to write and read, but when you are in a village, you see that those things aren’t really that important. My understanding of how a rainbow is formed, doesn’t alter or really add to my experience of seeing a rainbow and sharing that experience with others.

– Bryan once told me he thought my last words would be ‘thank god for clown training’. I still feel this is true, as it’s how I know how to release my body from feeling physical pain (or getting hurt when I fall). That moment makes me giggle cause it it happened right after I fell out of a hammock.

– There was a man the other day who kept repeating all these ‘problems’ he was having. When someone can speak english and goes on a tangent about problems, I get a bit less than zen.

NO PROBLEMS, no discomfort— your choice, you are not helpless.

The next day, he began again, ‘I have problem. There is no hair on my head.’ I say, ‘You have hat, so no problem. No hat, cold head, problem.’… He replies, ‘It is my personal thinking that it is still a problem.’ … WELL SAID! Who am I to say what’s a problem and what’s not. I can suggest an alternative thinking, but many people like having problems.

– I moved my home stay up the mountain a bit (where I strangely a stronger connection. The woman named Durga says to me while making dinner, “Tomorrow dancing. Today Heema come. Me very happy.” … This morning she woke me up to get ready for the wedding together like a kid on Christmas morning.(Oddly enough her husband’s name is Santa, describing that to them was complicated since they don’t even know Christmas). All of this was a nice reminder of how simple pure happiness can be.

– I swear I try to keep these short. But, I have so many thoughts that I just feel are useful to share. And as thankful as I am to be having this solo journey, also I enjoy sharing it with you all— in a way that hopefully makes you feel as if you’re sitting beside me in this barn loft filled with giant, beautiful spiders. :0)

– I am feeling a call to go to Kathmandu, my plane is scheduled to leave there on the 11th of May. I might need to walk there as I’m not sure if buses are coming or going from there yet. It’s only about eighty miles from me. I know things are rough there, that the city is almost apocalyptic… but I feel that I could bring much needed light to the streets.

– The journey continues and I’ll go where I am called. At least a few more days here in the mountains… I could spend so much more time in Nepal. The nature here, the people, all of it so grounded, so connected… This is true for all the earth, as we all are, regardless of where or how.

– I know many of you are thinking about me a lot lately. You are worried about my safety. I can feel you all so deeply, your concern, your loving thoughts, and prayers. My heart expands back to you and I am so thankful for the warm fuzzies.

Heightened situations call for heightened thoughts, which connect us all together greater spiritually. It’s really neat to be feeling you all so strongly in that meditative space! It’s also helped me check into the more gentle moments of my life and the ones I’ve shared it with.

Anyway, thank you. And, yes, I love you too.
And am glad to have shared a time in my life with you.

Do you know who I am? Do I even know? Hailey to Heema to who?

Storm Clouds of the Soul and/or Spirit and/or Whatever (attempted failed edit)

I write when I look up and suddenly a storm cloud unleashes a flood upon my head. The words move through my mind, through my fingertips, flowing flowing. The past week or so has contained many storm clouds, but with little chance of rain. I’ve written, but it reads like vomit. When I write from the flood, it’s just better, last update was a flood. This one is more separate sprinkles all somehow tied to a maybe someday bigger storm.

Time has had little to no meaning for me the past week or so. I’m not entirely sure when I wrote last or who I wrote to or if I even wrote at all. I have no days, no sense of season, and little to no understanding of the time difference. I’m lost in a sea of me and india and bullshit and a lot of just not knowing much of what’s up or down. And I never understood left or right (thanks dislexia)… so uh, hi there.

Been generating bits for
“Safety Sue’s International Adventure”. Other bits of word vomit, resting mostly a mumble jumble of intense feelings, “shattered realities”, and general down in the duldrums kind of shit.

I’m in a place of feeling real grim about my addition to the world. I don’t feel bright enough to even share my current issues and pondering… So, here is just a list of food for thought–written this way as an attempt to not post a blog of word salad.

– There are some things science can’t measure yet, like inspiration. If science has found ways to see some of the unseen… Who is to say the other unseen haven’t found a way to be seen?
– If Bluetooth is a creation of humankind, than wouldn’t there be an aspect of human kind of that’s already subconsciously doing that (aka signals we put at that connects us to what we’re trying to connect to?)
– The new age movement, it’s not a religion, right? It’s a bunch of people having a subjective experience and showing compassion for each other in that. The problem is when some leaders project their truth as THE TRUTH, and that’s where the lies begin.
– I was thinking of seemingly wild cows in the mountains. Everyday, they walk about grazing, but are EXTREMELY vulnerable. At any minute a lion, tiger, or bear could pounce upon them. Do cows live in constant fear of being eaten or do they just simply enjoy what they are eatin’? Do they have a choice to what they are thinking? Can we make the choice between constantly live in fear knowing we too could die at any moment? Or… Exist in peace knowing that any moment could be your last?
– Does consciousness exist beyond the human mind?
– Are people who are CONSTANTLY quoting others too unoriginal to develop their own words of wisdom?
– Is Santa Claus real? I was told no, but I still have my doubts.
– Does marriage, do weddings actually mean anything? Seeing multiple celebrations, many of which contained traditions and people participating without any knowledge of why things were done this way (it’s just what grandma wanted). When did we start taking action without knowing the purpose?
– There are so many different traditions and religions… that it seems silly to me to follow a practice beyond your own discovery.
– To capture the emotion of the moment is all in the essence of being a good storyteller. The knowing that the subjective. The evolution of the person is what captures the brightest of transformation. I don’t know what that’s about. But I wrote it and it seems important.

To avoid more philosophical word salad, we now move to the segment containing stories and discoveries!

On a high note: b major?
– Went to a wonderful wedding in two parts, one Catholic and the other Hindu. Such a wonderful, loving, playful family. It was so nice to be around people who appreciated my dancing, sense of humor, and storytelling. I appreciated theirs! It was nice to be around smart, bright, beautiful women, as I’ve been missing the empowered female perspective.
– Meeting an Australian, “the aussiest aussie I’ve ever met” (as Raj stated, and he’s lived in Australia!). This friendly chap, came right up and introduced himself “Hi there name’s Greg” and then walked off. Later to come back, “Oh, you’re from America, I’m from Australia” .. (again this is a time you have to read in the accent otherwise it’s not as funny as it could be.). He was a total character, I could’ve watched him all the time. He used phrases like “oh bugger me that.” It was too much for me at times.
– Dancing to some great Indian music, and dancing to some American music. It felt so freeing to just be able to be in and move my body. “Where’d you learn to dance like that?” …. I used to be so insecure about dancing–but when you’re able to move your body freely… Man it just feels good. It’s funny and freeing. Also, exposure to different cultures of movement–more to draw from as your move. It’s also interesting that certain movement just asks for you to move a certain way.
– Flew to Mumbai. Met up with a Dell’Arte Alumni, Katheryn. Man. It was so nice to chat with her and eat real MEXICAN FOOD (chips and salsa thank you Jesus). We dropped right back in as if she’s always known me. She offered some truly wonderful wisdom, helped drop me into some perspective about my journey and this country, and a lot of other things.
– Saw an American play “Chinese Coffee” that had been altered into Indian culture. It was…. odd. Plays in general are odd, just the whole fourth wall thing, I can’t come to be with it anymore. It was also sooooo much talking and no realm moving plot. The actors were both great, one had some great physical humor. It was nice to be inside of a theatre, it felt like a warm hug from an old friend. Theatre is theatre where ever you go.
– The restaurant next to the theatre had waffles! Something I’d been craving for weeks. So, so good.
– A small cafe near the theatre had thai curry. I can’t get behind the oil and salt content of Indian curry– also I’m pretty sure it’s making me a little chubby. So eating coconut curry was a dream come true. Also you can’t get tired of coconut curry so many ways to make it!
– I got a hair cut, I like it.

Other things to note: a flat.
– I ate at a taco bell, at a food court in the mall. It felt healthier than most of the oily indian food I’ve been eating and better for you than eating fast food back at home. It’s been a good five, six years since I’ve eaten at such a place. I also ate some Subway. Comfort foods of home. At home, I wouldn’t eat an oreo, here I’m like OMG oreos. Connecting to the comfort of what’s ‘home’.
– There is a bit excuse culture here. People getting defensive versus just saying “okay”. I guess that happens anywhere, I’ve just got some bullshit excuses and I hate that shit. Just be present, no one is upset, just asking for awareness.
– I’m on a train to Chennai right now. Someone is listening to “my heart will go on”…. That’s taking it back.
– Also on the train, a man is watching Hollywood movies. One about a man who gave up sex for forty days. Most of the women in the movie were over sexed, fulfilling some weird (created) male fantasy. If that’s the movies that Indian men are watching, and thinking that white women are like… No wonder my presence in this country is a part of their wet dream that might come to fruition. There for Hollywood holds some responsibility for the danger for foreign lady travelers in this country. Take responsibility for your creations, create something that adds to the growth of humanity, not that brings it down.
– I’m thankful having someone to share the venture with. After Sophie and I’s journey out west last spring, I really wanted a human companion to explore the world with. However, about ninety percent of the time, my mate is really abrasive is sharing his perspective. “In my humble opinion, which is logically sound”… Logic kills creativity, I’m feeling that intensely. I’m having a tough time rising above it. I don’t feel heard or appreciated. His sense of play is more of a bully, and their is a difference. And maybe it’s me taking things too seriously, but mostly I’ve always felt that I am pretty accepting of people’s experience. Maybe it’s not balanced by a language of love I know how to understand/recieve. Maybe it’s cause British influenced accents sound smart and arrogant to me. Maybe it’s cause American accents sounds dumb to him. Maybe it’s cause we are the things we sound like. Maybe we are not.

I think of the past when I would get in debates with religious people. My views are my own, where you are following someone else. Usually that’s my problem. I want people to find belief in their own existence and perspective. In college, I had a friend who was a great person, except he always spoke out against gay people. Why can’t we all just be people, believe what we want, and not PROJECT on to others. That’s the hard part, not projecting and just sharing.

Even now as I write (and I have written at least three rant entries before this one)… I question my ability to communicate my perspective. Am I clear? Do I sound like an asshole? I’ve never felt like an intellectual, although often felt like a philosopher. Am I offering anything new? Do people feel expanded by my perspective, cause if they don’t why would I share? I feel stifled by the logical, scientific perspective. I feel stupid.

I’m in a deep place of self-doubt right now. As I begin to need to apply to fringe festivals around the country I question my ability to even create a show that’ll make people laugh and expand them. I refuse to be simply an entertainer, but how do I stay out of being too dense in my comedy? Can I really share my solo creation around the world and have it contain universal truths that’ll resonate with those who venture into the space I share?

I’m real in my head cause I’ve been needing to block my heart. Kathryn said what I keep repeating to myself “There are a lot people in the world like your travel friend, there are a lot less people like you.” We’re all individuals, but I wonder if it’s harder to believe in the unknown, or if it’s just easier to accept what is known.

.I am in a full state of being deeply, intensely, often abrasively challenged. And I don’t like it. It’s another ego death, just like the summer of 2013. Or maybe it’s just another unbalanced relationship of sorts. Urgh

Storm Clouds of the Soul and/or Spirit and/or Whatever (attempted failed edit)