Float Tanks: Gateway to Infinite Being

"The sensory deprivation chamber has been the most important tool that I've ever used for developing the mind, for thinking, for evolving..." -Joe Rogan

TehyaFloats
TehyaFloats
Yuba Float
Yuba Float

"The float tank is like a gateway to infinite being" -Michael Hutchison

As far back as my memory stretches, floating on my back in water has been my favorite thing to do. My daughter Mycelia, pictured above, takes after her mama and her grandmama in her desire to be surrounded by water whenever possible. I'm known for my epic bath taking, I've had near orgasmic experiences swimming in the Yuba river, and in my most epic Big Dreams I have been floating on my back in water.

When I was a adolescent I randomly watched the movie Altered States on T.V. It's a really bizarre film and I don't remember much of it, except that the dude turned into a monkey and it featured isolation (or float) tanks. And I was captivated. Since that moment, over 20 years ago, I've deeply desired to experience one. It's so many things I love in one! Water, floating, quiet, going inward. But I'd never heard of one being available to the public, accessible by me, and over the years I let the possibility of it fade from my consciousness. Until recently.

FloatTank
FloatTank

Isolation tanks were invented by John C. Lilly in the 1950s. If you've never heard of John Lilly, allow the second paragraph of his Wikipedia page to blow your mind:

"He was a researcher of human consciousness using mainly isolation tanks, dolphin communication, and psychedelic drugs, sometimes in combination."

As you might imagine, he was a controversial figure, and he did make some ethically questionable choices (like giving LSD to dolphins). But he inspired a whole generation of consciousness explorers and float enthusiasts, and I have been inspired by his work since I first learned about him in my teens.

Let me clarify that the language seems to have shifted in the public discourse from isolation tank to float tank, though both terms are still used and the sensory deprivation is certainly an important aspect of the experience. Lilly developed these tanks in order to answer the question of whether or not consciousness exists without external stimuli, so his intention was to create a space where a person could see no light, hear no sound, and have no gravity pressing on their body. The temperature of the water is kept at the same temperature as human skin (92 degrees, cooler than our internal 98 degree temp) so that changes in temperature aren't even felt. The tanks that remain true to Lilly's vision today keep all of these conditions in place (though you can usually choose to leave the door to the tank open if you think you'll feel fearful or claustrophobic and many tanks have low lighting available inside, and relaxing music is an option at some centers).

Oh and, of course, Lilly succeeded in proving that consciousness exists even without external stimuli. He knew what ancient sages and today's scientists have confirmed- consciousness precedes form and is the primary force of the universe.

So today, as floating is making a strong and much-needed resurgence in the culture at large, people use the tanks more as a place to relax than as a sensory deprivation experiment.

ZeroGravityInstituteFloatTank
ZeroGravityInstituteFloatTank

And relax you do! Floating in hundreds of pounds of Epsom salts allows the body to, for the first time since it was in utero, exist in zero gravity. The salts keep you buoyant so that you can completely relax your body and not have to concentrate on keeping your face above water, while also providing soothing minerals to the body and skin. But it's the zero gravity concept that's most important here- once we are freed from the constraints of the laws of physics that our bodies have been subject to since we first shot out of the interdimensional portal that is our mother's vagina (image and phrasing courtesy of my favorite person ever, Duncan Trussell, mentioned below), our physical systems can relax in a way they've never been able to before.

This state of relaxation allows the body to go into the ever-elusive parasympathetic state, where all deep healing and physical regeneration occurs. We spend most of our busy lives in the go-go-go sympathetic state, Getting Shit Done. I know that I am not alone in feeling like there is never enough time or money, that my to-do list in infinitely long and utterly untackle-able, and that I want nothing more than to feel that state of carefree relaxation I felt as a child. I exist in a constant state of low level anxiety, sometimes upped to high level anxiety, and deal with persistent unexplained pain on the right side of my body, headaches a few times a week, and frequent sleeplessness when all I want/need to do is rest deeply.

blue-mandala
blue-mandala

Most of you are nodding your heads in empathy right now, because you experience the same state of constant stress that our modern way of life creates and perpetuates. You too exist somewhere along this stress spectrum, and you also crave true relaxation. And you deserve it. And there is likely a float tank near you to help you get there.

Being freed from the gravitas of gravity and allowing the nervous system to switch from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic state, the body can now focus on regeneration and cellular-level healing. Blood flow is stimulated through all of the organs and tissues, pain relieving natural endorphins are released, and the brain begins to emit the alpha and/or theta waves that are generated during deep states of meditation and relaxation. No matter what your particular physical or emotional or mental issue is, this state is the one you want to be in to begin to heal it. And, in my opinion, floating is the quickest and safest way to get you there.

Which brings me to the story of how I got there.

I am a huge fan of podcasts, and especially love The Tripodcasts put out by Duncan Trussell, Dr. Christopher Ryan (author of Sex At Dawn, which I've posted about elsewhere), and Joe Rogan. Every minute of every one of them has been captivating, enlightening, and funny. All these dudes are consciousness explorers, and lately they've been talking a lot about float tanks. Joe has one in his home (seriously, ultimate life dream) and Chris recently visited the Zero Gravity Institute in Texas and recorded a podcast with owner Kevin Johnson.

I highly recommend listening to that episode to learn a little more about the history of float tanks, including how the misunderstanding of how AIDS was spread in the 80's led to a decline in their use, how his company is working with veterans suffering from PTSD to alleviate their symptoms (which is amazing, since only psychedelics have been found to have such promising results in the treatment of PTSD and basically no other treatment protocols have any effect), and how pregnant women benefit from experiencing a womb-like environment similar to their unborn child's. Chris does an excellent job of addressing the concerns he had about floating before trying it out; if you have similar hangups their discussion will shed some light on the reality of floating versus the common fears and misperceptions people often have.

ZeroGravityInstitute
ZeroGravityInstitute

"You can have very introspective, psychedelic experiences naturally in the tank."-Joe Rogan

So, hearing these podcasts very much reawakened my desire to experience a float tank. I remembered being told by someone I met after Duncan's stand-up set in San Francisco last year that there was a tank in my area. I didn't really believe this since the person didn't live here and I'd never heard of it. But I recently decided to check into it and started asking around. Soon I was given the phone number for Lee at Samadhi Tank in Grass Valley.

But I didn't call. I was too busy y'all! I was Getting Shit Done! And not sleeping and having constant headaches and pain. It wasn't until I rushed down to Bakersfield to be with my dying grandmother last month that I realized it was time to carve out some space for floating. I considered driving to Los Angeles or Fresno to float during those few days, but ended up just calling Lee instead and scheduling an appointment in my own town a few days hence. I was ecstatic when I hung up the phone. Ecstatic.

And that ecstasy turned into profound gratitude and wonder when I went to the Samadhi Tank website and discovered that not only were they the original float tank manufacturers, but that they were 10 minutes from my front door. Which is out in the boonies, completely removed (oftentimes to my dismay) from all of the people and places that are central to my life. For 20 years I had desired to float and felt it was an elusive experience that was beyond me geographically, financially, and logistically, and now here I was realizing that the people who first brought float tanks to the public and are the elders of the movement (since John Lilly has passed) live 10 minutes from my isolated country home!

The Book of Floating
The Book of Floating

Which brings me to a point Lee makes in the foreword she wrote for The Book of Floating, which she generously gifted me after my third float (generous is very much a word that describes this beautiful woman's spirit). She tells the story of how this gorgeously intricate Huichol yarn painting (which I've seen up close and is absolutely exquisite) came to grace the cover of this second edition of the book. The work was done by a Huichol shaman who had floated in John Lilly's tank, and John left it to Lee and Glenn when he passed. They were almost sure they wouldn't be able to obtain the artist's permission to use the piece for the cover, as he lived in an isolated indigenous community deep in the uncharted mountains of Mexico. Lee writes, "You're probably guessing that some amazing coincidence is about to be revealed because first- you've already seen the cover- and next, we're dealing with the flotation tank, Dr. John Lilly's invention, and of course coincidence control is about to take over." I love that phrase- coincidence control- and it so perfectly captures my experience of finding Lee and Glenn and Samadhi Tank! And fits in with a few other stories Lee has told me about the history and evolution of Samadhi too. When people are doing good work and offering true healing to the world, the right people and events find their way to them. And yes, through a series of perfect synchronicities they were able to track the man down at the last possible moment and get his signature, a story I recommend reading in Lee's own words from the book!

I sat down with Lee after my first float and asked her to tell me how she and Glenn came to be doing what they have been doing for the last 40 years. And she told me their story. In 1972, before they had met, Glenn was a computer programmer working for Xerox and suffering from extreme social anxiety. He had a very hard time interacting with co-workers and could not speak to more than one person at a time. That year he attended a workshop held by John Lilly, who by that time was a counterculture hero whose work with consciousness was well known in certain circles.

At that time the only tanks in existence had been made by John and had been experienced only by people he knew or who came to his workshops. Glenn got to float in John's tank at this workshop, and when he emerged John asked him to tell the group about his experience. Glenn started talking and before long realized, with amazement, that he was addressing a group of people easily and without fear. This profound change had come about as the result of his short time in the float tank. By the end of the workshop Glenn knew what he wanted to do from then on and asked John's permission to manufacture and distribute float tanks to the general public. John gave his blessing; he wasn't interested in creating a business out of the tanks but did want more people to have the experience.

Lee came into the picture a few years later and the two of them have made and sold float tanks ever since, first in Los Angeles, where they opened the first ever commercial float center in Beverly Hills, and now in Grass Valley.

Margaret Howe
Margaret Howe

One of the things that has always stayed with me since I first learned about John Lilly many years ago was that, in 1965 during his intensive dolphin research days, his assistant Margaret Howe shared a living space with a  dolphin named Peter and interacted with him daily for 10 weeks. Whales and dolphins have been my spirit animals since before I ever heard that term (in some serious foreshadowing to the amateur researcher, blogger, and aspiring book writer I would become- I used to write reports about them for fun during childhood summer vacations), and I am convinced that cetacean consciousness holds important keys for the development of human consciousness and the preservation of life on earth.

Which is why I was absolutely thrilled to learn that Lee had actually swum with some of Lilly's dolphins back in the early 80s when he was continuing with his cetacean research! To be standing face to face with a woman who had actually had this experience, which I had fantasized about for years, was such an honor. I mean I would love to swim with wild dolphins, but I spent many a youthful hour picturing myself swimming with Lilly's dolphins in their little pools and getting to know them that intimately.

lilly_leary_perry_tank_Feb1996-1
lilly_leary_perry_tank_Feb1996-1

Glenn (right) and Lee also got to spend some time with Timothy Leary (middle) as he was dying in 1996. John Lilly (left) had called them to say that Leary was nearing the transition and in pain and that a tank would be helpful for him, and they happily obliged. You can read that whole story here.

Meeting Lee and Glenn has been an honor and a blessing beyond words. I've gotten teary-eyed a number of times since meeting them. Between them and the many eminent elders in the psychedelic movement whom I met at the Women's Visionary Congress, I am beside myself with how lucky I am to get to know some the people who started the revolution in consciousness that I fancy myself a continuing part of now. Meeting the people I have had serious hero worship for since my teens, or the people who knew them firsthand, is an experience that continues to blow my mind with its gracious blessings.

Lee and Glenn are a testament to the benefits of long term floating- they are centered, present, and loving people who emanate warmth and compassion while serving their fellow humans.

Locals: Call them! Meet them! Float! 530-477-1319

www.SamadhiTank.com

I cannot wait to get more floats under my belt, as I see and hear and read so clearly that there really is a cumulative effect to the practice. Thus far my experience has been one of profound physical relaxation, but my mind has yet to quiet and go into the meditative state that I have experience in brief glimpses in the past. I can't even imagine who I will become and how my life will change in the coming years as I continue to make floating a priority and a consistent and sacred ritual.

Samadhi Tanks Grass Valley CA
Samadhi Tanks Grass Valley CA

One of, if not the, biggest things that has come out of all of this for me is that, in the weeks since I first started working on this post, Lee & Glenn offered me a job writing for Samadhi Tank! And we have gotten some good work done. The first time I pulled into their dirt road driveway and saw the painting on the side of a building shown above (elephants being the other big animal energy in my life), I had a subtle but strong feeling that my future would be bound up in this place. As soon as I stepped into the float room a few minutes later that feeling strengthened, but I had no idea how that would happen or if it even really would. It has been my dream to make money writing since I was a tiny child, and I still can't believe that I get to combine floating & writing- two childhood dreams- into AN ACTUAL JOB. This came about partly because they read this here blog & liked what they saw, but also partly because amazing things happen when you start floating. While I can't say that I have had any life-changing epiphanies inside the tank, just about everything that wasn't flowing in my life has started to flow almost effortlessly since I've been floating. Spending that time in the tank has influenced everything that's happened outside the tank.

The tank is a magnifier, a clarifier, and an activator.

TheWellOfRemembrance
TheWellOfRemembrance

Delving deep into the Well of Remembrance- floating has reactivated my deepest soul longings and brought my dreams into reality.

Floating brings you quickly and deeply into Presence, into pure Beingness. With time and practice, rumination over the past and worry over the future begin to fall away. This is why John Lilly bequeathed the name Samadhi onto Lee & Glenn's fledgling tank company. Samadhi, in ancient yogic philosophy, is the purest level of consciousness.

Physically, I find that floating effects me in different ways on different days. There is a lot of information out there about the seemingly endless ways floating will benefit your life, but the truth is that works different ways for different people at different times. Sometimes I walk out of the tank in a dreamlike daze, shaking off a relaxation so deep I have to wait a few minutes before I'm able to drive. Sometimes I pop out like a cork and find myself in an incredibly clear and energized state of mind with ideas pouring out of me faster than I can do something useful with them! The Book of Floating will give you a very thorough idea of the physical benefits possible with floating, but you'll have to find out for yourself how it effects your mind & spirit :-)

Oh! And I am going to the Float Conference in Portland with Lee & Glenn the second weekend in August!!!

SirensInTraining
SirensInTraining

I encourage you to find a float center near you, get in & go inward, and see what gestates & is birthed anew!

▲ Top photo is of Tehya in a cosmic surrender ▼

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A Good Death

Today I said goodbye to my first Hospice patient. She would have been 100 in December. They work hard to match up volunteers with patients, and they did a fantastic job with us. We bonded quickly and talked about everything, from how short Tom Cruise is to how worried her five-year-old self was that her father would have to leave the family to go fight in WWI. She talked about "the tremendous progress of the female" over the century of her life (she was especially sympathetic with all the hardship the pioneer women endured), and she often told me that I don't need a man and, in fact, better keep 'em away from my hard-earned assets!

She was also extremely encouraging of, well, just me. My life, my path, my business, my motherhood. She thought I was truly amazing, and melted my heart to tears a number of times with her loving praise. A lot of people love me and encourage me on, but there was something about her words and her expression and conviction that went right to my heart and made me believe that just maybe she was right. She really saw that I had different opportunities than she had, and was proud of me for working toward what I want and feel called to.

She was also feisty and funny and raw, even as she struggled with the challenges of very old age. The last time I saw her she looked at me and said, "My advice to you kid is- die young!"

I thanked her today for initiating me into this work and for her endless encouragement. In her courageous spirit, I will be beginning to speak publicly (something that I absolutely hate doing and have avoided for many years) around issues of death and dying in and around our community in the next few months, along with my friends in the Full Circle Living & Dying Collective.

I am so grateful for my youth, health, passion, and supportive community.

Onward 'till the end!

(Stay tuned! I'll be hosting Nevada County's first Death Cafe next month and it'll be a rockin' good time. If you're interested but not local, check their website to see if this ever-expanding movement is headed to your town soon!)

What Is Past Is Prologue: Five Years of Violet Folklore

Today is Violet Folklore's 5th anniversary! It was on September 19th, 2008 that Sasha and I, after weeks of talking about how we'd work it all out, plunged forward and set up our Etsy account. We had met at a local herb class the previous year; I remember noticing Sasha right away on the first day of class because of the beautiful prairie dress she was wearing. What a sweet sign of what was to come! Violet Folklore

This was our first attempt at taking an Official Marketing Photo. It was a very serious endeavor. (And apparently we were twelve years old).

Sasha went on to found her own Etsy vintage shop called Astral Boutique. She has carried her wild-eyed, golden-hued, flowers-in-her-hair vision forward with her and has been very successful with her shop, even being Etsy's Featured Seller back in July! Sasha is responsible for many of the early photos featured below.

I thought I'd celebrate today by posting a retrospective of some of my favorite vintage pieces, shot on a dozen different cameras over the years in some of the most beautiful locations in and around Nevada City and worn by (almost) every model Violet Folklore has ever featured. **I have deleted tens of thousands of photos off my computer over the years, so I know there are a few girls missing from this post. I'm sorry ladies, and I love ye dearly and thank ye endlessly!**

Carabeth

Carabeth modeled the first piece we ever sold. We felt triumphant!

Sarah

Sarah has been killing it with every pose all throughout these five years.

Cynthia

Cynthia is now Sasha's bandmate in Mt. Whateverest. CHECK THEM AND THEIR AMAZING OUTFITS OUT.

Sethy

Sethicus was VF's one and only male model. All the ladies swooned.

Alela

 Alela wore a Daughter of the Sun necklace on the Winter Solstice.

Maria

Maria was red hot.

Lucia

Lucia channeled Eve.

Bette

Bette channelled Little Red Riding Hood.

Candace

Candace modelled one of the prettiest Gunnies ever.

Sasha

Along with the one Sasha modeled in this self-photographed moment of crystalline sweet pea reverie.

Toni

Toni (of Moonchild Vintage) struck a pose at one of the many local Gold Rush historical sites- Empire Mine State Park in Grass Valley.

Amber

I breathed in the big sky in Nevada (the actual state).

Lily

Lily managed to remain earthbound.

Suuzi

Suuzi looked down, smiled, and created one of my favorite photos ever.

JenJen

Jen offered her beauty & grace to the world.

Mycelia

Mycelia brought the kid's vintage to adorable new heights.

Annie

Annie's playfulness was perfectly captured by Simon Weller's photographs in the Little Town of Washington (he took the following five pictures as well...)

Ariella

Ariella didn't even have to pretend to be a magical woodland nymph.

Kate

Kate embodied a ghostly miner's widow at Malakoff Diggins.

Alli

Alli lounged in between rounds of Bloody Mary's at the famous Willo Steakhouse.

Chia

Chia (of Out of the Mystic) was the Golden Queen of the Summer Solstice.

Erin

And Erin radiated her calm beauty out into the sunlit pines of the Sierra foothills...

LadyPower

I'll leave you with yet another early Official Marketing Photo attempt. I'm pretty sure we were going for a Lady Power! vibe with this shoot- you can use power tools, be a mother, and rock out all while wearing pretty vintage! And you know I've learned in these past five years- IT'S TRUE.

In The Luthier's Shop

As I have briefly mentioned before, Mycelia and I have been taking fiddle lessons for a while now. My fine fiddlin' friend Artemas Rex (who you may remember from here and here) recently took me to a hidden little luthier's shop aways outside of town called Wolf Note Studio. Owned and operated by local musician Luke Wilson, it is located in a small building right next to the house he shares with his wife and long time band mate Maggie McKaig.

I was completely mesmerized by the beautiful instruments, fine craftsmanship, and rusty history the place evoked. Last week Luke and his partner Jon allowed me to come back, take photographs, and ask them some questions.

One question you may have is "what is a luthier?" Unless you play a stringed instrument you may have never heard the word. I first came across the term in a fiddle book (okay, I admit it, it was The Total Idiot's Guide to Playing the Fiddle) only days before Artemas mentioned the shop to me. Upon reading about what a luthier does, I was aching to meet one in person and see what wonders such a shop would hold. So I was thrilled when Artemas told me Luke was a good friend of his and that he had set up a time for us to go out there.

A luthier is, quite simply, someone who makes and/or repairs stringed instruments. As you might guess, this is a whole subculture within itself, steeped in intricate handiwork, fascinating folklore, and a deep love of music.

I ended up renting a late 19th century German fiddle from Luke that first day, which replaced the slightly-less-awesome fiddle that my wonderful teacher (and Luke's old time pal) Rick Toles (aka Alkali- Last of the 49ers) had lent me for free. Luke's beautifully restored fiddle had come to him by way of the dump- a long time employee there used to salvage old instruments and pass them on to Luke. I am proud to be in possession of such a piece :-)

Luke's grandfather had apprenticed as a woodworker at 14 years of age in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. It was through this work that he eventually became a luthier in the late 1800s. He made this woodworking tool. A creek going by outside his window turned the lathe that created the power necessary to create such an implement out of Birdseye Maple. Luke uses it in his shop over a hundred years later.

His grandfather also made this:

Luke's father (born to the luthier grandfather) was a classical piano player turned industrial chemist, and his mother also played piano. She never received classical training and just played by ear. This is the way Luke has always learned music as well. He says "If you hear twelve notes a few times and can't play it back, what kind of a musician are you?"

Here's the man himself, holding a Hawaiian guitar from the 1920s.

And here's Luke in his younger days, on an album he and a friend recorded in Europe in the 70s. Luke spent this time in his life between there and Canada, working with violin and guitar makers, spending time at Folklore Centers, and learning from banjo historian Pete Stanley. And playing music and honing his craft and falling in love and starting a family all the while.

One of the first things Luke showed me on my visit was the beautifully carved abalone inlay he put into this guitar. "I think you'll like this" he said as he brought it out.

I'm quite certain there was no esoteric intuition involved and that he knew nothing of my love for the whale folk (and just thought that I'd find it beautiful, because it is) but it sure did make my little heart sing to behold such a special, painstakingly crafted instrument bearing the image of my most beloved ocean dwellers.

Can you guess what this is?

Horse hair, for fiddle bows.

The shop is full of this kind of thing- crazy looking instruments that you've never seen anything like before but can tell have a long history behind them and have travelled far and wide. Here we have (from left to right)- a coconut shell ukulele made by a World War II Marine, a Moroccan three string land tortoise shell instrument, and a Chilean one string top cello made from an armadillo.

This is Jon Wondergem, who started out as Luke's apprentice many years ago and now works beside him as a junior partner, at work in his corner of the shop. Jon grew up in the area and now lives with his wife on a piece of land much farther out of town where they tend goats and fruit trees and other crops, calling their operation by a moniker just as charming as his last name- Peaches & Cream Farm. Here is Jon's beloved Epiphone Broadway guitar:

He told me that he loves doing this kind of work because of the infinite variety of options available to him when crafting an instrument. He feels as though he enters a different kind of time and space when he is working on a piece. Which, it seems to me, is proof that he is engaged in his heart's true work.

Jon and I talked about the palpable history, subtle and almost ghostly, that lingers around the instruments and pulses through the shop. He told me a story about a man, both cellist and exorcist (totally amazing career combo), who came into the shop once. Luke told him about a strange, uneasy feeling he'd been having lately while working, which made it difficult to concentrate properly on the task at hand, and the man offered a suggestion. He had Luke pick up the piece of material on his workbench upon which he lays the instrument he is currently working on, take it outside, and throw it into the air. When he did this, Luke saw a flash of light come out of the material. Things improved after that and, it seems, whatever ill spirit was lingering around the place disappeared. It makes me wonder what other energies and reminiscences are housed in these relics.

A better look at Jon's workspace, as he shows me a piece of abalone inlay in a beautiful wave pattern that he put into the neck of this instrument.

Speaking of, here is Luke's workbench. Quite a lovely, rolling-green-hillside-and-oaks, view. Which is sometimes also filled with their horse Belle, any number of the deer who graze their land, and maybe a dog or cat or two.

This is a guitar from 1901 that was built by an Italian immigrant living in New York City. He was a part of a whole community of Italian craftspeople working there at the turn of the century.

This beautiful East Indian single stringed instrument, with a goat-like animal head, is made of solid rosewood, and was probably used to accompany chanting.

This guitar was made by Mario Maccaferri, who is better known as the man who created Django Reinhardt's famous and innovative guitar.

Do you notice how the bridge on these guitars is shaped like an airplane? Well, it's actually a very specific airplane. In the late 1920s, after Charles Lindbergh successfully made the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris in his small single engine plane, luthiers all over the country scrambled to incorporate images of his famous aircraft The Spirit of St. Louis onto their instruments.

This simple one string cello was popular with country folk and was used to accompany singers at church and other gatherings.

This is a late 19th century harp guitar of the sort that was peddled door to door at farms across America. I would like to meet one of those peddlers.

Luke calls this a "guilute".

A late 19th century mandolin with gorgeous abalone inlay.

I can't tell you how happy it made me to be there that day, a feeling that lingers as I go over these photos and stories now. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I have suddenly gone from being someone who had never picked up an instrument to someone who can (kinda) play a song or two on the fiddle! One of my favorite parts in one of my favorite books, Cold Mountain, is when a 15 year old girl asks Stobrod "What kind of a fiddler are you?" He answers "Bum and shoddy". That's me, for now. But being around Luke and John and Rick and going to see shows like the one I did last weekend just serve to further embed into my heart the desire to keep at it. To steep myself in the folklore and craftsmanship and love that emanates from all the beautiful stringed instruments in the world. To continue to stomp my feet and twirl my skirt and smile to the music, and to maybe someday be the orchestrator of that experience for someone else through my own playing.

You can check out Luke and Maggie's band Beaucoup Chapeaux here. And for all you locals- they play at the Nevada City Classic Cafe every Friday night at 6pm (acoustic set! children welcome!) and will be having a CD release party at The Miner's Foundry on May 6th, details here.

In Town, In Brief

Last week. About town. Breakfast at Ike's with an adorable baby. Wearing this dress again (and at least 3 times since...)

Mixing florals. Lace and leather. The tights I've worn every day this winter.

Downtown Nevada City. Solstice buy/sell/trade new/vintage/costumes. If you come here, you gotta go there.

Next door- Toad Hall Book Shop.

One of my five favorite used book stores in GV/NC, definitely the one with the sweetest kid's corner (actually the only one with a kid's corner).

We got the Little House on the Prairie series, which they had been holding for me. I gave up on trying to thrift all the books, and decided that it was well worth supporting this awesome shop and making an investment into hours and years of future reading delight.

Always with the flower picking.

And the new outfit creations.

Here's the spot mentioned a few posts ago. Tiny hillside and path covered in spring flowers running between the Salvo and the library in downtown Grass Valley. Always with the flower picking.

Cheers!