Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First annual TIKI WEEK - 2015

There is no such thing as Tiki Week.  You won't find it in any search, there are no Tiki Weeks in Hawaii, or part of any Mid-Century Modern show or sale.  You see, Tiki Week is the offspring of my imagination - and to fill out a week that needs some pizazz.

What do you do during the end of June, early July before the 4th?  Nothing.  There's nothing going on.  My Dad's birthday was June 25.  I wanted to find a festive way to commemorate it, but also to fill that void of time between Summer Solstice and "Yankee Doodle Dandy".  Hence, Tiki Week was born.

What did I do to celebrate it?  Oh, lots of things.  Did it last exactly one calendar week?  Hell, no!  Do I suggest finding ways to personalize if for yourself?  Indubitably.


DRESS: I have a vintage barkcloth Hawaiian dress that is frighteningly similar to this one. So I wore that:

DECOR: Here is my fireplace mantle, tikified (Dollar Tree had the really cool fish netting for a buck!  Bless you all over the place, Dollar Tree!:
SCENTS AND FOODSTUFFS: You want to create ambience.  And you want to consume pineappley-coconutty things.  I burned Paradise Punch-scented Scentsy wax in my burner.  I burned mango incense (you can purchase some here: http://www.koamaster.com/product/TW51294/MANGO-INCENSE-W-CERAMIC-HOLDER---HAWAIIAN-GIFT-BOX-SET.html).  I ate a Mounds bar.  I consumed Dole Whip, home-made by my friend, Michelle.  You can find the mix here: http://www.amazon.com/Dole-Pineapple-Serve-Pound-case/dp/B00CCTE5WQ (I highly recommend this as an alternative to flying out to Disney just for the Dole Whip.  Which, at times, I've really wanted to do)

MUSIC: Then there was the music.  Enter, vintage Hawaiian LPs:

I also played my little ukulele.  I don't play well, but I'm learning.  You can purchase a similar ukulele here: http://www.kalabrand.com/KalaUke.html

THE SHENANIGANS: Next, the hubby and I visited our beloved local tiki bar, the great Hala Kahiki, celebrating 50 years this year! http://www.halakahikilounge.com/

Pink Flamingo Pinata
I watched "Blue Hawaii" with a gaggle of girlfriends (it was part of a "Tiki Salsa Solstice Celebration" a few days after the solstice.  We did a fire ceremony.  We ate mango salsa and drank mai tais.  I filled a pinata shaped like a pink flamingo with airplane bottles of pink and blue Kinky and Rum Chata.  We cracked it open - the bottles popped out - except for those I had to pull out of its bottom like birthing a breach baby)  And then there was this:

Image for Blue Hawaii
Blue Hawaii

We were enthralled with how men's swim trunks fit back in the 1960s.  It was a positive thing.  We all enjoyed the drape of the fabric (sure, we did). We were also enthralled with this:


Oh, and the "houseboy" in the film is called Ping Pong.  Apparently this wasn't a problem back then. Angela Lansbury played Elvis's mother.  She was, in real life, only ten years older than he.
Image result for angela lansbury blue hawaii
From cine-fille.com

What Tiki Week did was inevitably shine a light on the aloha spirit.  I found this beautiful summary of such on huna.org:

The spirit of Aloha was an important lesson taught to the children of the past because it was about the world of which they were a part. One early teaching goes like this:
Aloha is being a part of all, and all being a part of me. When there is pain - it is my pain. When there is joy - it is also mine. I respect all that is as part of the Creator and part of me. I will not willfully harm anyone or anything. When food is needed I will take only my need and explain why it is being taken. The earth, the sky, the sea are mine to care for, to cherish and to protect. This is Hawaiian - this is Aloha!"

 Tiki week was about the pineapple drinks, the grass skirts, and the campy 60s films.  Oh - and the "Brady Bunch" tiki episode (of course).  

But it was also about being in nature, about really taking in light and water and sun and breeze.  It was the warm evening air brushing against my skin. It was about the peace I needed, the tranquility of our backyard waterfall, the sweet little notes I strum on my ukulele ...

and tiki drinks. There are always the tiki drinks  http://www.jamieoliver.com/drinks-tube/recipe/blue-hawaiian/#5u1keS1VFuXWvH4V.97

And yes, there WILL be a Tiki Week 2016.  But it may last a month.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Awaiting the New Moon in Cancer

Sometimes it's hard to find parking near Lake Michigan in Chicago.  Today was no exception.  Actually, I kept getting thwarted from even getting close to the lake.  Pedestrian underpasses were closed, parking fees ridiculous, and parking spaces just too darned far from the water.

After exiting and entering and exiting and entering Lake Shore Drive numerous times, I finally exited at Recreation Drive and, lo! and behold, found free parking within quick walking distance from the lake.

Armed with a fresh cafe au lait, I sauntered over to the lakefront.  Seagulls skipped along the breeze.  Wave crashed - which kept me at a close-yet-far safe distance.  I sat down on a cement embankment - and began my ritual.

I breathed and centered and protected myself.  I invoked my personal angels. I summoned Archangels Gabriel and Camael, both connected with the element of water.  I prayed for the washing away of sorrow (as I'm still mourning my Dad - who incidentally was a Cancer, a Moon child, thus making today's ritual even more poignant and important)), and for a return to a balance of earth and water in my life.  I've felt a need to control and regiment which has put my creativity and sense of play on hold, and essentially eradicated my spiritual connection. I've been very left brain.  I've spent too much time on Facebook, wondering what others are doing rather than feeding my soul.  I've been putting others' agendas first. (And I'm just noticing now that I'm using the word "I" a lot here.  That's actually a good thing).

I asked for a sign from Camael to know when he/she is near and how he/she will communicated.  At that very moment, a rather playful wave crashed up on the walkway (see photo).  It was different from the other stronger, almost aggressive waves. Camael means "one who sees God".  It happened today.  It happened with the waves and the sun and the birds and the sense of peace and calm that washed over me. Camael will help me with my sense of inner peace and play and self-esteem.

And I asked for nurturing from the Universe and myself.  I gave thanks for the beautiful day.  And I did a simple 3-card tarot draw.  The first card was "what's hidden".  It was the 6 of Pentacles.  My interpretation was that benefic forces are at play to help me out of my depression (emotional, spiritual, and economic) - and that this energy will then be gratefully reciprocated by me.  Current situation - 2 of Swords. Blocked emotions, alright.  Been holding so much back, so much pain. And Future?  That would be the 3 of Cups - the card I felt I would pull as I walked to the lakefront minutes before. The beginning of love and peace and friendships - and the ending of a closed-off, sad energy.And when I say friendships, my gut is telling me it's about my friendship with myself.

Note: I'm reminded of the ritual I do every Summer Solstice - having to do with honoring my sense of play, promising the little kid inside me that I'll have a splendid summer.  I always place this little heart I made (with a baby picture of yours truly) on my bulletin board to remind me of how important this self-nurturance is.

I thanked God and the angels.  I soaked up the sun.  I returned to my car and asked my angels (who spoke to me and reminded me that they're always, ALWAYS near and ready to help) to direct me to a great place to have lunch.  It was a froyo place, and the tart yogurt topped with an abundance of berries and slivered almonds was perfect, creamy, juicy, and restorative..

This New Moon is about setting one's sights on new ventures, balancing out emotion, and restoration and renewal.  Today could not have provided a better launch for my Little Boat of Spirit That Could.

Monday, June 29, 2015

It's a new day for The Mid-Century Mystic!

The Mystic abides ...

I know.  I probably shouldn't label a post with such a phrase that seems like I'm setting up myself for failure, or at the very least, for setting myself up for a "less than".  However, when you feel that you're truly ready for a change, for growth and a deepening in a project, sometimes you write such a thing and it really sticks and it's felt deep down.

This is that time.

Folks, it's been quite a past few months.  My Daddy passed in early March.  I threw my whole self in to a musical I was assistant directing.  I rarely had time for spiritual work, or Mid-Century reveling, or both - which is what this blog is all about.  Recently, I attended a conference.  It sparked things that were lying dormant for nearly a year.  It helped crystallize other things.  Here is the skinny, and what you can expect from this blog in the near future:

1.  A rebranding and refocusing, to delve deeply into the connection between Mid-Century aesthetics and spirituality.

2.  A chance for you to contact me for readings, coaching, lectures, workshops, and more.  Including swag.  Cuz that's how I roll.

3.  A richer blog experience.  And more cross-pollination with similar bloggers.

Keep posted.  Keep in touch.  We're rolling into a Full Moon on Wednesday.

Peace, Pam

Friday, February 27, 2015

Day 29 of my Month of Groovy Geekery: Spirituality

This past month of Facebook, I've been making daily posts about the things that I geek out over (here's a link to my initial post on the subject: http://mid-centurymystic.blogspot.com/2015/01/my-month-of-groovy-geekery-what-does.html ).  It's been a lot of fun, challenging at times (like when we were away on a FREE trip to New Mexico and I didn't have the best Internet connection.  Maybe it was the extraterrestrials near Taos??), but I did it and am now embarking on my next-to-last day of the thirty.  These are the things I wish to bring along into my NEXT 52 years on this lovely blue marble.

My Geekery spans many worlds and disciplines - that's what makes me (and YOU) a unique individual.  I've posted missives and video links and photos about a wide range of topics, from Monty Python to Barbies, Mid-Century Modernism to Beagles - and the Beatles.  And let us not forget Disneyland and vintage clothing and Pee Wee Herman.  But now as I begin to wind down the list, I'm coming upon that which really matters.  Really, REALLY matters.

Day 29 of my Month of Groovy Geekery is spirituality.  My own particular brand of spirituality.  I call it Christlakotapaganamasteism.

You got that?

I've been a spiritual seeker all my life (and am working on a book about my experiences), but in the last few years, certain belief systems have decided to stick onto my soul  and find a restful place. Pay close attention to the following:

I am a Christian.  I follow Jesus's teachings about love and compassion.
I subscribe to many of the philosophies of the Lakota Sioux, who believe we are All One, and that all living things on Mother Earth matter.
I practice Neo-Pagan principles of positive magic, gratitude, giving, and loving esoteric ways.
I meditate using a Primordial Sound mantra which I've received by studying with Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Center (where I will receive my certification in meditation instruction later this year).

Seems like quite a soup, huh?  Might look like it, but when I re-read my declaration, what came up for me was that it can be crystallized into one word: LOVE.  My spiritual practice is about love.  Under that umbrella are all positive, life-affirming things, like gratitude and gentleness and acceptance and giving.  All else is fear-based and have no place in my philosophy.

Serena agrees with belief system.  And says, "Namaste, baby!"

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Clearing, cleaning, enlightening: all hail the Mighty Closet Purge of 2015!

If the other mystics are right and clearing things out allows for wonderful things to flow in, I'll be winning the Powerball jackpot of at least 2 Million Dollars tonight ...

For approximately 2 full hours today, I plowed through my closet and parted with three boxes of clothes plus one huge plastic tub of shoes.

This has been a long time coming, folks.  I've had a pile of sweaters on a top shelf of my closet that were so ponderously unwieldy, they kept falling on my head every time I went to get a big sweater.  I had so many sweaters piled upon sweaters, that I forgot I had about 30% of them.  Long neglected sweaters saw the light of day today, some for the first time in years.

And clothes got thrown in the boxes.  Worn-out clothes, some clothes that are rather new but not very well made.  They did not fair so well with simple washing - they are now a mere memory.

Some poignant moments were had.  I realized that a good chunk of beautiful vintage short cardigans had been neglected by me fora long while because of my weight gain.  Now that I'm well on my way to my perfect weight again, I'm unearthing these beauties.  I'm also having "come to Jesus" moments about certain sweaters that were always too small, but were bought on Ebay from sellers with "no return" policies.  These lovelies are now in my office, waiting to have their very own Ebay sale ... this time from THIS Ebay seller who DOES allow returns.

I feel lighter, happier, cleaner.  I welcome all the good energy to come streaming in.  I acknowledge the fact that, by turning 52, I' am pressing a reset button by Maya standards, and I gratefully allow myself to cast off that which no longer serves me or makes me shine.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Month of Groovy Geekery!! (what does being a geek mean to YOU?)

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.  Brown paper packages tied up with strings.  These are a few of my favorite things." - "My Favorite Things" from "the Sound of Music"

Favorite things are what light you up on a gloomy day.  Things that jazz you, get you excited about being a sentient being on this big, blue marble.

Favorite things get you goosey.  They can also make you a geek if they become heightened and taken into your soul.

No, not the "biting the heads of chickens" kind of geekery.  I'm talking about when people really delve into a topic so thoroughly they can taste it.  Things that make you a little bit of a freak.  I'm talking full absorption into a certain thing that ignites, inspires, and makes a day a journey into creativity and play, rather than a walk through the doldrums.  Things that actually redefine "favorite".  Things that become necessities.

Last week, I asked some Facebook friends to define geekery for me.  Some of the responses:

  • "Generally a geek is considered as someone that has excessive knowledge and enthusiasm towards a specialized subject / activity. "
  • "Geek, real geek, to me, has always been people who think outside the norm in everything but sports (because they have their own lingo). Who's creativity in their chosen interest is unlimited."
    "Geek: one who has a deep and abiding passion and completist level of knowledge about some subject be it theatre, SFF, a particular tv show, knitting, etc..."
  • "Geekiness is beyond fandom. It's total immersion in a subject matter, to the extent that you want to know as much about it as you can. You form passionate opinions about the topic. Your tribe becomes your fellow geeks."

    •  "It means different things different people and each group feels they have it right. I have to agree with the nerdest definition. It means really loving something and pursuing it with passion. You can be a movie geek, computer geek, sports geek,etc"
  •  "Everyone is a geek."

As you can see, the question elicited a lot of responses.  And, you know, they're all right, really.

What do I geek out about?  Oh, colorful, whimsical, beautiful things.  Like Disney, beagles, England, Monty Python, vintage clothing, tarot ... the list goes on for quite a while.

The list goes on for at least a month.  So that's what I'll do with that period of time: relish something I geek over each day for the entire month of February.  I challenge you to do something similar.  After all, it's a cold, short month.  Why not give it a little love?

Truth be told, I'm already two days in, with little Facebook posts about 80s pop music and videos, and "Downton Abbey".  I won't be doing a blog post for each thing because, frankly, I don't have the emotional bandwidth for it these days, especially with what I'm dealing with with Daddy.  But I CAN, at the very least, publicly acknowledge those things on Facebook I get grooved about in a sticky, gooey, "all in" sort of way. It's a form of gratitude work.  It's thanking God for giving me those connections with places, people and things that make my heart sing.  I think it's a healthy way to check in, especially near your birthday.  And especially when you're going to be celebrating a 52nd birthday, when you supposedly press a "reset button".  It's my way of claiming, "These things make me the me I wish to keep around for the next 52 years."

These are the things that stay.  These are the things that matter.

What I geek out about the most?  This guy.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Maya and Mercury and Meeting of Minds.

In a scant two weeks' time, I'll be turning 52.  At first, I was like, "Meh, who cares?  What sort of birthday is 52?  It's not a big milestone ending in a zero or five, it's not a prime number, it's just ho-hum and what it is.  Bah for 52".

But then I went to Mexico.

Ben and I took a cruise back in November and one of our ports of call was Cozymel.  We had a day trip that included such tomfoolery as a tequila tasting (hosted by a gent who, for all intents and purposes, was a wacky Fred Armisen character) and a stop for lunch that offered unlimited burritos and fresh guacamole.  We also had the great fortune to visit the Instituto Nacional De Anthropologia E Historia and visit some Maya holy places. Our tour guide was amazing and took great pride in his heritage and history; embarrassingly, I learned more about Mexican culture in that short 4-hour day trip than I had in almost 52 years on this planet, embarrassing because last time I looked, Mexico is our southern neighbor.

But what stayed with me the most about that afternoon was the lesson on the Maya calendar - and the significance of the number 52.

You see, 52 is quite an auspicious number for the Maya.The calendar takes 52 years to cycle around.  So when you hit 52 years, the cycle begins again.  It is a time of rebirth, renewal, and hitting the "reset button".

Which brings me to me right now, with my Dad in hospice.  I know the end is coming closer for him and I know that a certain part of me will fall away once he does.  I had a horoscope reading with a dear friend last week; she pointed out that our rising signs are the same (Leo, a positive boon for actors), and that there are various conjunctions which signify a karmic connection. My friend said, "When you lose the parent your closest to, it's like a part of your soul gets ripped out."

In the next few weeks, I'm going to be doing some self-inquiry.  About what losing Daddy means.  About what "setting the reset button" means for me on many levels.

Ah, but if you've been paying attention, you'll also notice that Mercury plays a part.  Seems as though Mercury is in Aquarius, my Sun Sign, from January 4th through March 12th.  It brings great inspiration, of finding new awareness, of peeling back facades, of tapping into your own brand of genius.

It also speaks of new worlds that can be created by the meeting of minds.  Much is on my plate that could very well bloom into creative work that, with all due humility, could touch upon genius.  Mozart was credited as saying that genius is the product of love and passion and conviction in what you do, when you're willing to take the leap into the unknown.  Sounds like a good thing to try when one comes upon their 52nd birthday.

I feel a beautiful shift occurring at the soul level.  Some sadness is certain, but also a tremendous amount of love, exploration, gratitude, and alchemy.

My daily question: "What's the alchemy of the day? What is created anew?"

I'll be sharing my discoveries of the next month or so.  I feel blessed to have this venue to be able to fill you all in on my findings.