Category Archives: Music

What is Love?

With Valentine’s Day just around the river bend I have found myself thinking about love. I was feeling like I was shutting down and being bitter about it all, and so I asked myself what would be necessary to keep my heart open and the love flowing freely. I went around in circles until I realized I didn’t know what love actually was. Sure I have felt it, but I’ve never tried to define it. It’s one of those feelings that isn’t exactly easy to pin-point because it varies in degree. However, like any type-A person, I knew I had to try to hash out what love meant to me, and I, of course would do so by making a nice and accessible list.

I wrote “LOVE IS…” and then let the pen flow.  But before I tell you what came up, can someone please cue the Haddaway music?

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Love is ego-less. It doesn’t compare or contrast. It doesn’t need an identity. It is everything and nothing. Love just is.

Love is communication. It speaks from the heart. When the heart feels deeply it shares its sentiments with the world.

Love is spirit. It is the uniting force that threads the universe together. It is an omnipotent energy with the power to create and destroy, to re-create and re-destroy.

Love is vulnerable. It expresses all of its deepest and scariest truths.

Love is intimate. It brings people together physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Love is a kind act. We express love through action. How we treat others is ultimately how we treat ourselves. Through kindness to others, we bestow love on ourselves.

Love is trust. Love knows best. Love knows all. Love sees the bigger picture and it trusts the journey.

Love is reciprocal. Give it. Take it.

Love is real. Love gets real. Love is not a mythical unicorn. We’ve all experienced love’s many truths and lessons.

Love is non-attachment. It doesn’t need to control or be controlled. It allows itself to flow freely in non-resistance.

Love is passion. It is the driving force within us that allows us to create and support life. Love is music, art, food, travel, politics, sports, religion, work.

Love is healthy. When given the proper care, love grows and blossoms like a beautiful flower.

Love is barrier-breaking. Love sees no borders or boundaries. It knows only one language, that of itself. It makes no distinctions of race, class, gender or creed.

Love is soulful. It emanates from the deepest part of our being and seeps from our pores.

Love is unique. It differs from friendship to friendship, family to family, couple to couple.  It is colorful and funky. It wears polka dots and floral, suspenders and bow ties.

Love is you.

YOU are love!

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Notes from the Universe

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If you can get sure in your work, Lizzie, your dance with life, whether it’s in your home or the far flung reaches of the earth, understanding and appreciating your sacred place in eternity for the moment and the unrecoverable time that’s been bequeathed for the task, everything else will take care of itself.

And you can. Oh, Lizzie, you so can.

Tallyho,  The Universe

Yes

Equilibrium; a recipe

It’s been a good 3 months since I’ve sat down to write a blog post. This is mostly because my “ordinary”  life in the U.S. didn’t seem worthy enough to be catalogued in cyberspace along with the rest of my adventures. Upon reflection, however, my ordinary life has proven to be anything but ordinary. In fact, it’s pretty freaking extraordinary! This summer has been hectic, and I’ve been forced to wrestle my type A personality  into a go-with-the-flow rhythm, which has suited me very well these past few months. Striking a balance has been very important to me, as the past two years have had me oscillating between extremes. In SF I was lucky to clock 5 hours of sleep a night, because of my desire to do it all. Whilst this past year in France, my red leather-bound planner was so free from any black ink rendez-vous’s  that I could sleep 12 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Thus, this summer has been all about equilibrium; finding a nice balance between the chaos and relaxation  …and I think, dare I say, I’m succeeding.

Here’s my recipe:

  • 3 parts work
  • 3 parts yoga and meditation
  • 2 parts hiking
  • 3 qts. music
  • 2 cups radical people
  • 3 big doses of gratitude
  • 1 part excellent reading material
  • A touch of wine and a pinch of dark chocolate
  • “Mix it all together and put both feet in!”

 … ET VOILÀ ! 

Not having a car, though initially a royal pain in the butt, has been blessing in disguise. Not only did I get to grease up my bike chain (which reminded me that I LOVE biking), but also made into a morning person! I know, crazy, right? I’ve had to get my booty out of bed early enough so that I can enjoy a sit down breakfast and a cup of coffee with the cows, while still having enough time to pedal to work. I’ve actually become so fond of my morning routine that if I don’t get my heavy dose of caffeine and blue grass music before heading to work I feel ungrounded. “The Traveling Song” by the Avett Brothers has been making regular appearances on my cup o’ joe playlists. In preparation for their upcoming headline with Grace Potter at the Grand Point North Festival, they’ve become a religious part of my morning routine.

The Green Mountains have also been a key ingredient to my repose. Whether I’m admiring their majesty from the base or the summit, I feel so incredibly grateful to call these mountains my home. I’ve never been more appreciative of these hills in my entire life. I feel like I’ve been scooped up and hugged by the scenery here. Having taken Vermont for granted in the past, coming back to my roots after 5 years has provided me with a renewed love for the great outdoors and all of God’s creatures… especially Woody and Charles… my two woodchuck friends living in the backyard.

Mount Hunger Summit. Killer on the glutes, but SO worth it!

At any rate, I am leaving home again…. sooner than soon. I am off to Rabat, Morocco (just bought my plane ticket today!) on September 20th. The reality is setting in, as is the excitement. With one month left to enjoy Vermont, I plan on getting in a few more big hikes (a Mansfield over night at Taft Lodge and Camel’s Hump are on the agenda). I’m also anticipating the GPN Festival, which will be my big send off !  Of course, a big thank you  is necessary to the 802  for providing me with a safe green haven to relax and find my balance. I’m hoping to carry forth the spirit of equilibrium and gratitude into my upcoming Moroccan adventures.

Gros bisous,

Menu du Jour

Time has slipped away from me and as the days grow longer here in the South of France, my time here is inevitably is getting shorter. I want so badly to fill you all in on the happenings of my life since my last blog post, but that seems like an impossible feat as I’ve also let my posts fall by the wayside.  Here’s a quick update:

February passed quickly, as I returned home on a last minute whim to visit with my aunt who was living out her final days here on this earth.  I made the right decision to come home when I did. I saw her on an upswing and we thought that maybe she would have a few more months in her, but sadly she passed away last week. I spent most of this month traveling between New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont. I was happy to catch up with friends and family and it was a much-welcomed time to reboot my system after a dull and freezing January here in Sete. The winter blues and the fact that you could see your breath in our apartment had gotten the best of me, thus the beautiful and unseasonably warm weather on the East Coast was perfect for my mental health.

I’m happy to say that my rejuvenation period did me well, and I’m quite content to be back here in Sete. I’ve had visitors for almost 3 weeks straight now, and it is quite fun to play tour guide around my town. The sixth month mark here was a huge turning point for me. The language is now under my belt. I have enough control over it now to feel as though I can manipulate my words in order show some semblance of my personality that kept getting lost in translation.

I realized how at ease I felt with French when I traveled to Barcelona this past weekend. Let’s face it; being mute has never been something I’ve been good at. Alas, that is how I felt the whole time. Not only do Barcelonan’s not speak French, they don’t even really speak Spanish. Catalan, with its lispy sounds and different vocabulary is a far cry from the south of the border Mexican Spanish we are so accustomed to. I could conjure up only a few useless phrases such as “una cerveza por favor,” and “dame mas gasolina”   ….  before defaulting to some bastardized form of English or French that tumbled around in my head and stuttered off my tongue. Nonetheless, Emily, my partner in crime, and I had a ridiculously good time in Barca. Though the language was unavailable to us, we knew well enough to try and immerse ourselves into the Spanish culture, so we ate 10pm dinners and partied til 6:30 in the morning. We dragged our tired bodies around the most architecturally ridiculous city (!) and marveled at Gaudi’s masterpiece, la Sagrada Familia. Then we took a siesta to ward off the fatigue and hangover from the night before and had easy second night, stuffing ourselves full with paella, listening to some great Spanish music and hitting the sack at the early 3:30 mark.

Tonight I am going to try my hand at some typical Setoise Cuisine. For the sake of my dining partners, let’s hope that these muscles cooked in a white wine and heavy cream sauce turn out well. If not, well, we’ll just drink the wine. Either way it’s a win/win.

All my love,

Ps. check out these awesome French DJ’s I saw live in Montpellier last night!

Mal de mer

Quelle belle chanson de Rupa & the April Fishes.

Citizen of the Planet

Ok…so yes, I know it’s a totally cliché first post, but I really love this song.

Get a load of these lyrics:
“And so, the next few years are blurry, the next decade’s a flurry of smells and tastes unknown. Threads sewn straight through this fabric through fields of every color, one culture to another.”

Ehh so maybe it’s not lyrical genius, but geez Alanis, you get me. I mean, you REALLY get me. This song is about pushing personal boundaries, exchanging cultures, and respecting the sanctity of all beings. So of course I love it.

I am definitely adding this to my travel playlist. Stay tuned.

Xo, Liz$