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25 May 2011 @ 01:23 pm
After checking out the North West and deciding for sure it wasnt the place for me, I returned to dancing rabbit for a few weeks and then made my move to Asheville NC. Its felt mostly good to leave DR, although I do occasionally have dreams where I return and no one there knows me. Its a fact of life though; the new people and all the people who visit DR will have no idea who I am or that they are in a place that was my home for almost 4 years.

Asheville has been treating me mostly well. Lots of new people, lots of dancing, lots of dumpsters, lots of biking, lots of new to me plants. On the less good side... lots of crap food, lots of people I dont like so much, lots of way spiritual stuff, lots of traffic.

Three months in Asheville. I have been finding my place and finding a few of "my people." But its def not as easy as living in community. I have to make much more of an effort to see people. I have too bike 2-5 miles to see a friend. There isnt a good pond, river, or swimmin-hole right around the corner. But things have been going mostly well. I live in a house with some good people and abundant gardens, and a poop bucket (my quality of life goes up when I dont have to flush a toilet).

When I first got here I had no interest in checking out the farms and intentional communities in the area; I needed a break from that life. But now my mind realizing that perhaps thats where I want/need to be. I spent the day at a river and on a farm a few days ago and it felt so much more grounding than a day in my house or biking on the blacktop.

I leave for summer camp in one week. I will be living a life so completely opposite from what I have been doing these past few months. Going from very few responsibilities and obligations to full time schedule and people counting on me. It will be good. I want to be experiencing something different, something more.

If anyone is inspired to write me a letter while I am at camp, I can be reached at...
Talisman- Liat Silverman
64 Gap Creek Rd.
Zirconia, NC. 28790

My family; Florida April 2011.
08 December 2010 @ 03:50 pm
Learn a little patience and good things will come! Last week I was ready to grab my bag and take off. I was sad about a few things and wanted to not be here. The problem was I didnt know where to go. I stayed put and things worked themselves out. Using ones words is so powerful. Telling people what is going on for me and asking for what I need. Probably also helped that the sun shone through the clouds for a few days. Take that portland clouds! Anyways... I have now been in Portland for three and 1/2 weeks. I am getting grounded. I have met good people and seen great things. I can hop on the bike I've been using and find my way around this crazy city w/o getting too lost. I can entertain myself, find lots of food in the dumpsters, and make friends with strangers. Happy day. Happy me. "its getting better all the time..."
Oh, and the "tiny room" I am staying in is 4ft x 3.5ft (it was the game closet). HA. I cant spread out my legs when I lay down, but its great. I am living with 8-10 great people in a house that is filled with life, smiles, chickens, gardens, grey water, humanure, and hugs.
till next time...
25 November 2010 @ 10:50 am
What am I doing? I dont know any more than you do. I am looking and searching. For what I am not always clear. I want to find "my people." But they are good at keeping themselves concealed. I wonder where it is I should be living, but I am realizing more and more its the people, not the place that make somewhere feel like home.

I left Dancing Rabbit over 2 weeks ago. It felt a bit odd to not be clear on what "leaving" really meant. Was it my typical farewell, in which I will be back within the next 2-4 months? Was it the big farewell in which I no longer really live there? I couldnt give answers because I dont have them.

I made it west. First stop Boulder. Then a few days later out to Portland. Been staying with friends, people I know who have come through Dancing Rabbit. Its winter. Cold and dreary, which means I am less motivated to go out and explore. I am feeling less independent than my typical self. Sort of relying on people I know to do things and let me tag along. I dont like this dynamic and am trying to figure out what to do to change it.

One thing that has been coming up for me more and more in the past months is self doubt. My mind plays this game where I wonder and doubt if people actually enjoy my company. I decide that people are "putting up with me," they dont really want me around, but are too nice to say anything. I know its bullshit most of the time because I receive so much positive feedback from people around me. But where does this come from? I am staying in this great house with people I enjoy and a warm body to sleep next to. And I keep feeling the need to check in about me being over too much. When I have "checked in" about my concerns, I am met by lovely responses. Where do these feelings come from and how do I move past them??? Thinking back to my childhood, the earliest memory that this might be associated with is from 3rd grade. Anyone want to help me counsel through this?

Been reading books and playing guitar often. Happy that I brought my guitar with me. Writing more songs. Entertaining myself and possibly others.

So... what am I doing? how long will I be around? When will I be back at DR? When will I be visiting family in FL? Am I still planning on moving to Asheville in the Spring? What am I doing today? These are the questions I am asked daily by myself and by others. I want answers but I dont have them. I will wait for the answers to come, because I know at some point they will present themselves; they always do.
22 October 2010 @ 09:44 pm
Here I am. The moon is full. The train is whistling. And the Coyote are howling. I am back in MO.
I have been here for almost 2 months now. I had decided back in April that I was going to give DR 6 more months, and then I would probably be done. Now here I am. Six months later. I have been away traveling for 6 out of the past 11 months and have decided that yes, I need a change. There are things I want in life that I cant get/experience here. This summer while I was traveling I had decided that I was 100% done with DR. I was planning on "visiting" DR for 2-3 weeks in order to pack my stuff and say farewell. I got rid of over 1/2 of the things I had collected and then realized I was happy. Now, 2 weeks has become 2 months. I am enjoying DR more than I have in 2 years. There are so many options in life. I have built a home and life in Missouri, but now what. Why shouldnt I go off and do other things? I only get to live once and I might as well do what I want otherwise, whats the point? I guess there really isnt much point to our existence, but as long as I am here I might as well try to be happy and stay interested. Now I am rambling. As far as an "update" goes... I am not dropping membership, BUT... I am taking a sabbatical and will be away for at least a year. Right now I think I will be going to Asheville NC, I have already been accepted to herbalism school and applied for a job and while I was out there began looking at housing. WEIRD! Liat moving to a city???! But its true. Perhaps only for a year. Perhaps longer. And I am looking at moving there in March and who knows what will happen between now and then. I could stumble upon a dirt, mulch, or gravel path that I have failed to see up until now and decide to follow it. I cant be certain about much and dont want to plan too much. Keep it fluid and allow for change.

Ah, and for those who have been reading my journal and suspect that I am/was experiencing depression... I am in a pretty positive place nowadays. I am enjoying myself. And realizing that I have many great qualities. I like me a lot more when I am happy- YAY! Keeping my eye out for the next adventure.
-Liat Batshira
28 August 2010 @ 12:21 pm
you can not plan for the journey. you can go into it with ideas to help guide you, but in order to receive the most truth, you must surrender to life. accept what is sent your way. experience joy and pain. you may learn more about youself, others, and the world when you allow your self to feel the full spectrum of emotions. let go of stories you tell yourself and observe the roles you have been playing. the person with the emotions is often the person with the power to change the situation. look at life with your eyes clossed. observe the big beautiful tree an also look at the insect that you will only see if you get down on its level among the "weeds". realize that "weeds" are all beneficial plants offering food, shelter, medicine, and aesthetics to the worlds. let go of expectations. allow your body and soul to be swept up by life. only then will you be able to experience the full journey that is waiting for you.
28th Aug 2010
09 June 2010 @ 05:43 pm
3 months. Many locations. Many smiles. Many sorrows.
While in Cali I found a community that for over a week I thought I might choose as my new/future home. After digging into their true reality I decided that Dancing Rabbit actually meets more of my needs than they did and that I wouldnt be happy there long term. I found that in cali my voice and mind were inspired to called out and sing. At the ocean and high up in in the redwood trees I verbalized beauty and awe that written human languages simply cant put into words. But, alas, the time came where I felt like I should return to my established life DR.

Home. DR. Friends. Hugs. Smiles. Loneliness. Happy by day. Sad and lost by night. I tried for a while to jump back into the Wabi-sabi gang. I was frustrated and unhappy trying to get my needs met there. Finally I let go of the idea of having a close sub-community at DR. I am digging up a new path for myself. I want to be happy and do the things that make me happy. A friend asked a few weeks ago what those things were and what I came up with were spending time in nature, spending time with friends, traveling, and playing music. For about a month I was doing well and following this plan, but I realize that the past 2 weeks have been a bit rough for me and I havent been following my plan. I have been feeling bad about not "being productive," not "having a big project," not really knowing what I am doing. Need to change my mindset back to "live and enjoy." I am not sure about the travel thing. I want to go out but I dont have the motivation to plan a trip and decide where to go.

The evenings are the hardest for me. I dont like going home alone. I've been doing it for years now and it sucks. I get sad and I hurt. A few of my friends have been really great and let me sleep with them when I am having a really tough night, I want to live somewhere where sleeping is a social scene. This was one of the biggest perks of CRIChouse for me. Sleep almost anywhere you want and there was an abundance of bodies to sleep next to.

Part of me really appreciates DR and all the freedom and opportunity I have here. But some things simply done jive with me, I wont find another home unless I look but the thought of leaving this place also makes me sad. Imagining someone else living in the house I built and eating from the over 100 fruit and nut trees that I planted this year. How the buildings will pop up w/o me watching. And the children will all get taller than me. Many more members will move here and will pretty much only know of the person with my name who called this place home at one time. One more misplaced face on the walls of the common house.

The positive. I live in a freaking awesome place. The people around me are all choosing to live "sustainably" (define as you wish). I can live off of aprox $150 a month which covers ALL of my expenses. Making this small amount gives me much time to do as a please. I dont have to "work" and when I do work I dont need to get paid. I can give gifts of my time and feel like my labor is a labor of love. I have the time to learn about plants and how my friends are doing. I can swim daily in our pond. I can go weeks/months without needing to visit any stores. I have access to a motorized vehicle IF I need it, but pay nothing for it if I choose not to use it. I have a few really close friends that live right next door. I can cry in public and not have people crowd around me. I can be naked in public and dont feel like my body is being judged or looked at through creepy eyes. I can wear the same thing for weeks and no one will question. I can be myself and most people will happily accept me the way I am. I can interact with children and not ever feel like I need to have my own. I CAN. And perhaps that says it all. BC so many in this world are hindered from living a life they want. I can choose.

But then I wonder if there is another place that I might fit in better. If you know of a place where people work together but feel able to spend a day relaxing and not feeling bad about not contributing to the group. Where people share more of their lives and physical possessions with each other. Where touch is a norm. And people express themselves with song, dance, yelling, art, silence. Where I would find others that I can learn from and and with. Where simplicity matters and is taken to heart. Where smile and laughter and hugs are abundant and tears are held by friends. Let me know where this place is. Because I am looking for it and perhaps it is looking for me.
12 March 2010 @ 07:06 am
Sometimes I dont think I travel all that often, but I am doubting that nowadays. I was home (at DR) for 20 days before taking off again. I had a nice 20 days. I arrived home to many birthday celebrations, snowball fights, sledding, a 15+ ft snow creature, and friends. I learned to cross country ski. I made fires to warm my house. I laughed and cried with friends. I had a quiet birthday. And then I headed out to the west coast.

I have been in Cali for a few weeks. I have never really enjoyed cities, but people told me that SanFran, Berkeley, Oakland, and PaloAlto were different. It is true that there is a lot of cool stuff going on, BUT, they are still cities. I found myself wandering in the woods on the perimeter of the city my last few days there. There was contra dancing and farmers markets and many communal houses though which was nice. I spent 3 days at a community called Emerald Earth (http://www.emeraldearth.org/) which brightened up my city weary days. They have beautiful earthen buildings, lovely prosperous winter gardens, are off grid, are surrounded by large trees, and the people there have similar thoughts and values to myself. Ah, it almost felt like home.

I am currently visiting other communities and friends in Cali. Uncertain of what direction I will go in a few weeks. I may go north to Oregon, I may head home, I may find another path. For now I am enjoying the freedom of traveling with open ended plans.

I am no brilliant song writer, but I have found myself writing songs the past few months. I notice that they often pull out my thoughts/feelings even when I dont fully realize it in the moment. The most recent completed song is written for the Uke.

WHEN I TODAY (17 Feb 2010) chorus Am-F-?(made up chord) verse C-G-F

When I wake up I wonder I wonder - When I wake up I hunger again
Where am I going? What am I doing? What is my destiny today?
Will I go out and laugh with a friend? Will I be alone today?

(chorus) Sometimes - Uncertainty - Takes a-hold of me

When I go out I wander I wander - When I go out, I open my eyes again
Where am I going? What am I doing? Which path shall I take today?
Will I go out and get myself lost? Will I make it home today?

When I'm with you, I smile, I smile. When I'm with you I'm happy again.
Where are we going? What are we doing? I'm happy you are here today.
Will we go out for the last time? Will you be leaving me today?

When I'm alone I question, I question. When I'm alone I'm on my own again.
Where am I going? What am I doing? How will I spend the day today?
Will I go out and entertain myself? Will I enjoy myself today?

When I lay down, I tire, I tire. When I lay down I close my eyes again.
Where am I going? What am I doing? Will I sleep the day away?
Will I go out or will I stay in bed? Is it worth getting up today?
22 January 2010 @ 07:00 pm
Sunshine, friends, touch, music, and biking = me being in a better place (mentally).
Thank you to those of you who have sent me messages with support. My posts recently have been downers so I figured it would be nice to write a positive update. I've been on such an emotional roller coaster the past 1/2 a year and I tend to need to write more when I am in a tough space.

Currently I am staying with a friend in Gainesville. Its nice. For me its a stress free environment. I wake up and get to decide if I want to go on a bike ride, dumpster dive, play music (I am teaching myself ukulele), stay in bed, spend the day kayaking on the river, and so on. This is not my real reality. This is "vacation," but why? I recall a time not long ago that I felt this way at DR. I know that this feeling should return in a few months when I can explore the woods, swim in the pond, stomp some mud with friends... Perhaps I simply need to move with the seasons. Many native cultures migrated with nature, this is why their housing was so temporary. If only I could convince a few of my friends to move with me as the seasons change. But then again; if I left home every winter I would miss the beauty of the crystalized ice world and the joy of running ontop of the pond.

I have made no decisions about the coming year. So many possibilities. Reunite with Wabi-sabi (the sub community I am/was in) and build our shared structure, team up with Jennifer to create a 3 season village at DR, travel and search for my happiness, take on no projects and simply live day to day. I am in a good space currently and dont feel like I need to figure it out just yet.

One month from today I will be 25. What have I done in these 25 years? I have become an independent human. I have followed my dreams. I have succeeded in escaping norm of a 9-5 office job. I have learned to provide food and shelter for myself. I have chosen a path where I can skip barefoot and stop to touch the trees and munch on the wildlife. I have found smiles and I have found sadness.
13 January 2010 @ 07:34 am
Been traveling for 3 weeks and I dont fully comprehend how I have traveled to so many places in that amount of time. So far, my travel has been through rides found on craigslist and people I have run across who are headed in the same direction. First stop StLouis. My friends I stayed with had a bucket for pooping which made city life way more do-able for me. Made my way to Denver and stayed with people I met at EastWind. Then played in Boulder for a week. I walked many miles daily. Visited a meadery, the celestial seasoning tea factory, an IC. Then 3 days in a car with craigslist people staying with couchsurfing folks. Made it to tampa just in time for my 4th contra dance of the 3 week tour (its great to find dances while traveling). Now I am in Fl. Last year I basked in the glory of dumpstered food. This year I bring home the harvest from the oh so many fruit trees droping delicious edibles on the ground. Today while biking I found orange, grapefruit, kumquat, lemon, and clementine trees; big boost of vitamin C. I am looking for a ride to take me to gainesvile fl next week and then I plan on spending some time in Va. At that point I will probably head home.

What is home? For me, sometimes home is the place I feel valued and appreciated. Where I can walk into a room and smiles will be projected in my direction. Home is also a place that sometimes I need to escape from. Where I dont feel the support that I need; where my needs arent being met. Currently I think of DR as the place my stuff is. Not the place that I belong. I want to be there to support my friends, but I dont have a desire to be there for myself. Searching for happiness. On my travels I have thought about visiting other communities as I have in the past; but something has stoped me from exploring the unknown. Part of my fear is that I might find something that I am looking for. The other part of me fears that I wont find what I am looking for and then I will feel even more lost.

In reality I know people like me. I have received messages from DR folk saying they miss me and want me home. Why do I not internalise this? When am I going to get over this hump of self doubt? Perhaps things will change when the suns rays thaw out the frozen ground.
11 December 2009 @ 10:28 pm
things are going a bit better for me then the last time I posted. The weather has finally decided to act like winter (a month late). There is snow and temperatures have not been above 32degrees in a few days. I am enjoying the feel of winter. I have taken on projects such as crocheting hats and weaving rag rugs. I have been zipping through books and am trying to re-gain motivation to go on walks, do yoga, aerobics, pilates, dance, and so on. I played my first game of Broom-Ball this week which was lots of fun. 2 teams running on the frozen pond trying to push/pass a ball/puck to the goal. My house gets cold if I dont have a fire. The past 2 nights it has ducked under freezing. The greenhouse is working well though, this morning it was 30degrees in my house when I work up (not bad being that is was single digits outside) and after a few hours of sun my house had warmed up to 60inside with just passive solar heating! Also, I decided to move my jarred goods from my root cellar into a pantry yesterday. The temp was in the low teens outside and when I opened the barrels it was still 40 inside!!! Damn. I need more confidence in my work and in passive systems.

Oh- and for those of you who do/may write to me I have a new address. If you write to my old address I will still get it, but this is my direct mailbox now...
10 Dancing Rabbit Lane
Rutledge, Mo. 63563

I dont usually ask for gifts; and this is NOT me asking for gifts, BUT... if you have a book you think I would learn something from or enjoy reading AND you are done with it and ready to pass it on, I am happy to have used books come into my life.