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Sonoma Valley Fire Diaries: 10/16/17 (Rain)

It is interesting to note that although water and fire seem like opposite elements, they have two major feats in common: PURIFICATION and DESTRUCTION. They can either provide calm and balance or take away and destroy. For instance, water is used to baptize to wash away sin or sadness, boil to be rid of germs and bathe to feel clean again. It can be seen at its strongest in tsunamis and floods. Fire can be used to burn wood piles for waste reduction, barbecue tasty bacteria-free food, and refine gold to banish impurities. Northern California (and now Southern California) has seen fire blaze thousands of acres. As humans, we tend to personify objects to make them easier to understand. Water and fire carry neither good nor bad qualities yet we search for blame within destructive events. It is my hope that our community can find peace and acceptance and perhaps even opportunities of growth from the Sonoma Valley Fires.

How do you use fire/water to purify? Do you use either of these in personal ceremonies (fire pits for cookouts or gatherings, candles during meditation, water/tea for cleanses, bubble baths, etc.)? Even though it can be tough, can you think of times when you looked to blame someone or something for a situation that had no fault? Is it possible to begin to find acceptance?


Monday, October 16, 2017


I was now in Santa Rosa with good friends. My dog Nilla was safe and the fire and smoke in Sonoma were starting to dissipate. There was promise of rain which would only be another blessing to stop the devastation of the fires. Even though things seemed to be calming, I didn't want to go home. My apartment would only feel tiny and cold since I left my belongings in an upheaval. I remembered I took down all of my curtains and blankets and threw them in the dryer to decrease burning should the fire get down to the bottom of my hill. I had week-old dirty dishes and I could just imagine my food spoiled.

I had posted (below) that I was returning home, but something told me to stay another day. I wasn't ready to face my studio or figure out how to get back into a routine. I felt a little lost and afraid. I felt guilty and overcome with shame. I knew there were so many people who lost everything and had NOTHING to call home anymore, yet my home still stood. I stayed that night in Santa Rosa to work through my inner struggle practicing self-acceptance and remembering that change is an ever constant theme of life, more constant than stability! I fell asleep praying for rain to bring comfort to the earth.

I'm grateful for RAIN.



DAY 8!

Evac lifted! Going home today but will be cautious about smoke 🙏🏼

Praying for rain on Thursday and continued containment of fires! 🙏🏼 It’s been a very long week...

Keep staying safe and healthy everyone 🙏🏼

Sonoma Index-Tribune TIPS for safety in smoky environments and for when you reenter your house:

1.) Wear "the right kind" of mask or stay indoors. Inhaling the toxins now carried in the smoke causes COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary dysfunction), which will last forever and only get worse. Surgical masks are not enough! Get a proper respirator. Walgreens has them. Other stores in SF are nearly sold out. Alternatively, ask a friend who goes to Burning Man properly supplied. In the end, my mom needed oxygen just to breathe. When you search, look for the labels ‘NIOSH-approved,’ ‘N95,’ or ‘N100.’ 2.) Before you drink, rinse your mouth and spit. If there’s ash or grit in your mouth, do NOT swallow it! Swallowing heavy metals and other toxins means they will live forever in your gut. After 9/11, doctors deemed the second-worst consequence of 9/11 illness to be chronic, *undiagnosable* gut disorders that later in life cause tremendous pain. My mother couldn’t eat in the end because her gut hurt so badly from having swallowed all those heavy metals and incinerated toxins. She weighed 65 pounds at death. Rinse and spit. 3.) Wash fruit and vegetables or anything that’s been sitting on your counter before consuming. Don’t eat anything from the farmers market without first thoroughly rinsing it. 4.) Remove your shoes before entering your living space. 5.) Vacuum often - all surfaces! - ideally with a HEPA-filter machine. Dusting is insufficient. 6.) Shower and wash your hair before bed to keep ash-dust out of your sheets. 7.) Obtain an air purifier and change the filter as recommended by the manufacturer.

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