avia: A dark haired girl sitting without concern in a winter scene, with a large heart next to her feet, surrounded by crows. (eat my heart out)
[personal profile] avia
A lot to write about, a lot to share. I had a very powerful and eventful trip with [personal profile] niya. She was kind enough to take me to San Francisco, so I could see the swans that I have a spiritual longing to be close to.

These are the stories that happened on that trip. Or, some of them. I'm sure I forget some, and, others are stories inside stories, that I will tell on my Tumblr under the writing tag. But this, this is the main story as I remember it.

Before the trip, we had Ace Prom with [personal profile] niya and Lea. (For the people who don't know what Ace Prom is, it was a Tumblr event where asexual, grey-sexual and demisexual people would do things for September 9th, with an asexual theme, and tag it with "ace prom" and post it on Tumblr. We are all some version of asexual or grey-sexual, so, we decided to have it.)

We decide that a fun thing to do for Ace Prom would be to make cake, because, cake is a joke in the asexual community. So, Lea made a lovely purple (symbol of asexuality) cake, that was purple inside and out! The rainbow sprinkles are for diversity. And texture. m(^Д^)

Ace cake

Ace cake

It tasted SO GOOD, too. I still have some in the fridge... I wonder if it is still good now....

We also decide that the crows in the park should be part of our prom, so, we went to feed them some cake, from the faeries. Even though we were sitting a far way away, they didn't want to come and eat when we were there, but, I hope they did enjoy it after we left.

Crow cake

On the next day, Niya and I took the drive to San Francisco, and chatted about Irish death ballads, transhumanism, kami, and many other things. The time went by so fast... I was really surprised, because, the drive is 7.5 hours (and, it ended up more like 9 because we did a lot of stops, and the power was out in some towns where we tried to eat and get gas), and normally, I would be so anti-social and grumpy after so much time... but, we were laughing and having fun the whole time. Usually, I only feel like that with Lea, where I just feel free to talk about completely anything and feel so socially relaxed. I have not spend a lot of time with Niya before and I didn't know how we would get along in person on such a long trip, she visited before but only for two days, but... it was wonderful, I really felt free. She's an amazing friend. ♥

She might be moving down here too... which would be nice, but, I can't believe she wants to leave the cool weather and the swans! ;w; I want to live where she lives. I thought that even before we did the trip, and, I was so happy on the trip that I still feel it. The weather was perfect, cloudy with sun, cool with some warm, and the apartment was just a little bit cold which was so comfortable for sleeping. I could actually curl up in blankets and warm pajamas, and not feel too hot! And I could wear my jackets during the day. I like weather where I can wrap up just a little bit and feel comfortable.

The atmosphere really felt amazing too for some reason. Sometimes, when I am travelling through a place, I have flashes where I see a house in the distance, or the way that the sun lights up the world at just a particular angle, and, I feel like am in the other world I am meant to be in, everything has a filter of magic. It felt like that the whole trip, and, I didn't feel socially stressed hardly at all. So rare for me.

So yes yes, I like San Francisco ♥ And Niya and her amazing room mates, who were so quiet and kind and sweet and give me all the space I could wish for. Even though I was sleeping in the living room, which is their main room of the house, they were so polite and thoughtful about the space! Lovely people.

And now, what you want to see (or, what I would want to see, if it was me... (´・ω・`))

The Palace of Fine Arts

The place where it begins. The Palace of Fine Arts, or, if you are me, you might call it, the Palace of Swans.

I saw them in the distance first... the moment of seeing them from so far away, but, knowing I can be closer, was a shock. Finally, in the distance, they are there. This isn't a very impressive photo, but, it captures the feeling of that moment.

Swan water fountain

Two beautiful mute swans! The first sight that I actually get of them close up, is something like this... They are liking very much to drink from the flowing water pipe. It's like a water fountain for them. It's funny, I like to drink from water fountains too... I prefer to drink from flowing water, it feels better to me. Maybe it's a swan thing. (´・ω・`)

Feathery face

Perfect water drop

Close enough to hold and touch... I didn't get to touch the beautiful feathers, I was hoping that food would bring them close, but, they seemed to be eating well because of all the tourists. They seemed more interested in coming close, then, swimming away with a little tail shake, as if they were trying to say, come on then, swim with us! I wished I could. If I was wearing a swimsuit, I would have simply jumped in the water to follow them, no matter how legal it is. Maybe some day, I will return, and then, I absolutely have to do that.

They did eat out of my hand, though! ( > ω < ) Their beaks were so gentle, not biting at all~ I wish I got a picture, but, silly me, I was holding the camera at the time. (´・ω・`) So, Niya could not take a picture and I didn't have the ability to take it, and feed the swan at the same time. Ehehe.

It was sad to leave them... I want to come here every day. But, eventually we had to go. I feel like the experience was, breathtaking, but, there was so much more that could happen, too. I wanted to swim with them, to touch them and to see them fly. And, I was so shocked just by being near them, that I forgot to even really try to reach to them with my mind. But... I was there with them, and, that will stay in my memory.

We went next to Golden Gate Park, on a rumour that there were swans there, but, didn't see any. ;w; We did see the beautiful Mallard Lake, though (does actually have some mallards):

Golden water of Golden Gate Park

Golden water of Golden Gate Park

Golden water of Golden Gate Park

And, the Stow Lake, which has some nice little doors to other worlds.

Secret portal

Niya decided next to take me to the zoo, for a treat to see this special black swan~~ All ruffles. ( > ω < )

Black swan

This swan, I did keep a control of my thoughts enough to try and reach to this swan in my mind. It seemed that this swan was more busy with preening though. (´・ω・`) The feeling I got, was, "well, if you want to think of your self like a part of our family, that's not a problem with me. *preen preen*" Swans are not very concerned with what people do, I think. Well, it seemed like a natural swan reply, anyway. (´・ω・`)

Black-necked swan

The black necked swans also preferred to simply enjoy their swim. This is not a swan most people know about, but, they are really swans! They give birth to little fuzzy grey cygnets like all other swans. There are two that live in the San Francisco Zoo. No cygnets though. ;w; I want to travel in the season when cygnets are just born... though, I don't know if any of these swans are mated pairs. The two on the lake at the Palace of Fine Arts did seem to be affectionate and close to each other, but, I don't see any cygnets either. Maybe, in such a busy tourist place, they don't think it's safe to have children. They are probably right, sadly. ;w;

After the swan trip, we went to Japantown. And, we went to Daiso, which is THE. MOST. AMAZING Japanese dollar store... I bought all kinds of things because it was so cheap, like a new knife for the kitchen because we needed it, and a cute mug, and some duck stationery, and some lace tape for Lea because, I knew she would become so excited over it (she was!)

We were planning to stop at a Thai place to eat, but then, I saw a sushi menu that DESTROYED MY MIND.

They had... avocado nigiri. Most sushi places where I live only have tamago nigiri and fish types, and, I'm trying to cut down on my fish eating and I don't really like tamago nigiri very much. Avocado nigiri... it's like... GOD strapped to the back of a pad of sushi. And, and, they had ume makizushi, which is also not something I normally see.

Ume roll

So that you know, this is plum on the inside. It tastes exactly amazing as you think.

And then... Niya had to become one better. She had to become God Herself, and create a new kind of roll, which the chef cooked for us. Avocado and cream cheese, deep fried and breaded.

There is not other name for it but... the Niya Roll.

Niya roll

It's holy. Worship it.

Oh, here's a funny sign I saw on the end of that day. Hehe. (´・ω・`)

Dead end

So, that's the first day. The second, we returned to Japantown, with the promise of choco banana taiyaki.

Choco banana taiyaki

I normally have just chocolate. This tastes amazing. ;w;

After that, we went on a hike. I'm not a very strong person, but, I can walk a trail if I take it slow. So, we went to the Muir Woods, which begins with this wonderful poster.


(Sorry that even the large one on Flickr is so small that it's hard to read the text... let me know if you want a larger version. Flickr only lets me upload to 1024 wide on a free account m( _ _)m)

We decided to hike the short trail... though, we become a little faerie lost, and we ended up on the longer trail, 4 miles. A lot of up hill.

Faerie forest

But, it was worth it. The forest was full of the most amazing faerie sights. All the time, we talked about the faeries, and, I definitely started to see evidence of them around me.

Bird home

A bird face faerie home.

Faerie mountain

Faerie mountain.

Tree's hand

Tree's hand.

Forest claw

Forest claw.

Faerie fire

In the glow, a faerie maybe is seen? Click the picture to see where I mean (it goes to the page on Flickr where I highlight it with a note).

Faerie home 1

Faerie home 2

Faerie home 3

Faerie houses.

Faerie clothes line

Faerie clothes line.

Faerie stage

Faerie concert stage.

Swan tree

Swan tree. On every trip since I discover my self, I always see a swan. One was a little stick that I still have, that is shaped perfectly as a swan's head. One was a cloud that makes a perfect swan in the sky. And this, was my forest swan sign, a head rising up from the ground. Can you see the beak?

Faerie garland

Faerie garland.

But, this was not the only magic the forest offered me. One time, there was an arch of trees in front of me, and, in that arch, I saw a stag walk from the right side of the trail, into the arch and look at me. But, I know I didn't see it with my eyes. It was not an idea of sight, but, an idea of the mind. I "felt" a stag, the idea of a stag. It was like when I do guided meditation sometimes and, I get the idea that a particular animal comes to me, but, I don't see them, it's more an idea.

Deer are important to me. How they are important, I don't exactly know. I just know that, in certain times, deer have come to me as symbols, but, I don't understand what they mean yet. I just know that deer is close to some part of me, and appears in certain situations.

So, I had an idea of the deer. I thought that I maybe should take a photo of the arch where I saw him, but I didn't... now, I wish I had.

Because, shortly down the trail, this happened.

Deer spirit

A physical deer jumped up in front of us, from the right side of the trail. Niya was looking at me at that time, so, she didn't notice the deer. I said, in my quietest voice, "turn around, very quietly". And, then, we all were watching each other.

The deer watched me for a little time, then, jumped up to the left, and went up into the high cliffs.

I really believe that the deer was a forest spirit, kami. That does not mean that the deer was not also a deer. Kami also can be living creature... any creature that acts to bring wonder in the world is kami. Or, as Motoori Norinaga said famously, a kami is:

any thing or phenomenon that produces the emotions of fear and awe, with no distinction between good and evil.

So, the deer appeared at the time when the spiritual world called her to appear in front of me. But, she is also a creature living her own life. These two are not opposing to each other.

I still don't know what the deer mean to me. But, there is definitely something happening.

And, before I left, the forest had a last, strange piece of magic.

Photograph of the forest

On the forest ground, a photograph. To the forest, it's trash, but, maybe it offered it to me because, it knows I would see it as a beautiful memory of the trip, a physical photo I can hold in my hand, in a world where that is not common any more. At the same time, I can remove it from the forest, and help it to be a cleaner place. "Here, you can do something with this, and, I don't have to have it."

I think I should put it in a scrapbook. A scrapbook that I can begin here, with these wonderful pieces of magic.

And that was my trip. Sorry this was so long, I wanted to include everything important... even then, this is just a small number of things, compared to the whole list of this trip.

I'm going to end this with a song... one that I was listening to on the trip. It's a beautiful sad song about a snow spirit, transformation, and magic.

Young Alexi, proud Alexi
There is magic in the snow!
There is peril in the forest,
Hiding more than you can know!

Date: 2011-09-14 09:45 pm (UTC)
charcoalfeathers: Holo the wolf kami of the harvest, laying on a bed by books, smiling at the camera (Default)
From: [personal profile] charcoalfeathers
That sounds pretty amazing. :) The last forest there reminds me a lot of the forests in this area, too. Surrounded by amazing things. :)

Date: 2011-09-14 09:52 pm (UTC)
charcoalfeathers: Anime girl in red and white, and white wings, flying in bliss (flying)
From: [personal profile] charcoalfeathers
I've tried to bring people into the forests here... they're all amazing. People don't seem to believe me. ;-; It never becomes a priority part of the trip.

This is what real forests are supposed to be like. Some of ours have the bonus of being high up on cliffs... it makes me really wish I had wings here.

Date: 2011-09-14 10:21 pm (UTC)
whatawaytoburn: ([Misc] In the night)
From: [personal profile] whatawaytoburn
I want to curl up here, oh gods. That all sounds absolutely amazing and I am soso glad you had a good time!

Date: 2011-09-14 10:35 pm (UTC)
feralkiss: Clouded leopard walking up to the viewer, intense look and tongue licking its lips. (blueraven)
From: [personal profile] feralkiss
What a beautiful forest.

Date: 2011-09-14 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] aethyriek
The Palace of Fine Arts, I thought at first it was flooded, then noticed the gardens at the back of the pond. It looks like great architecture, rising from the water, from a marsh. Built by another people, in another time, where water is of such importance as to live among it, or where water has come to reclaim what it once had. Quite breath taking.

Date: 2011-09-15 01:52 pm (UTC)
rubyprism: Pale pink heeled shoes and a grey crochet bag. (going forth cutely)
From: [personal profile] rubyprism
We also decide that the crows in the park should be part of our prom,

Which is kind of funny, because we don't know if the crows were ace or not. =D

Swans are not very concerned with what people do, I think. Well, it seemed like a natural swan reply, anyway. (´・ω・`)

Yeah. Like, the swan doesn't care how you identify. And really, I think humans are the only people who make a big fuss over what others are "allowed to be". Animals are like, "Why should it be my job to classify everybody else?"

Well, there is that story in the Bible about its being Adam's job to name all the animals. And I'm not normally a Bible person, but it does seem that humans ended up being the only species that fusses over taxonomy, wanting everything to fit in a neat little group with others of its kind. Animals just couldn't care less what kind of hybrid varied creature someone else happens to be. So, they really aren't very fussy about who wants to join their in-group, as long as it doesn't mess up their territory or whatevs.

Avocado nigiri... it's like... GOD strapped to the back of a pad of sushi.

The god of stomachaches... It's avocado nigiri that I ate the last time I ingested avocado by accident, in an airport...

Yet the Niya Roll without avocado, now that could be eaten safely. It does sound tasty.

I really believe that the deer was a forest spirit, kami. That does not mean that the deer was not also a deer.

...yeah, there is a very strong false dichotomy (in the West?) that seems to make people confused how you can say something is magic when it's clearly explainable by natural laws, and it utterly misses the point. I like your interpretation better.

Date: 2011-09-15 04:58 pm (UTC)
rubyprism: A woman with messy hair has her arms wrapped around her, shirt pulled half up haphazardly. (get it off me)
From: [personal profile] rubyprism
I wonder, how do you eat avocado nigiri by accident? It has huge pieces of avocado strapped to its back! (´・ω・`)

It had huge pieces of cucumber concealing it, and I thought that was all it was.. =D

Hmm, I guess you could make a varied Niya Roll with carrots. Or, plum and cream cheese, now, that sounds delightful.

Ooooh, yes yes yes. Yes.

Date: 2011-09-15 05:18 pm (UTC)
rubyprism: Her bloodied hands reach towards you pleadingly. (reaching desperately)
From: [personal profile] rubyprism
icy smile roll....

I- I would eat that.

Date: 2011-09-15 03:07 pm (UTC)
tragedy_virus: girl with an interesting/strange hat (reaching with wings)
From: [personal profile] tragedy_virus
Looks like you had a wonderful time... and I don't blame you! Ahhh, that forest!~ It makes me wish there were any half-way decent forests here. I miss BC - the forests there are gorgeous. <3

Date: 2011-09-16 01:16 pm (UTC)
tragedy_virus: girl with an interesting/strange hat (reaching with wings)
From: [personal profile] tragedy_virus
Hehe yes, many places in Canada are good for that. :)
Makes me wanna save up so I can go on a trip to BC, though. I'd mostly just visit different gatherings of trees, though, feeling the differences in their energies~


avia: (Default)
little swan child

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