My Story, Yours Too.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

IMAGINING A WOO-FULL WORLD ~ Dedicated to John Lennon

This post is continued from the last, Imagine.
No wooies: Photo taken in Jamaica. This is as close as Mary Jane and I have ever gotten. 

I hope someday you'll join us, And the world will be as one.
I tried to resist it. I really did. The woo-woo culture is so counter to my LA upbringing. But I must admit that I am a transwoo-woo. Yes, I have become one with woo-woodom, though I remain closeted most of the time. Having learned to drive on the LA freeways (Note: I wrote “the” LA freeways. See California Dreamin' for that reference), I will perhaps never be on the extreme end of the woo-woo spectrum; I’ll persist in falling a bit closer to woe than woo. Sadly.

Imagine no possessions. I wonder if you can.
The Bay Area is replete with wonderfully intoxicating mineral baths. These bits of utopia encompass a celebration of woo-woodom. One leaves the computer, cell phone, and even clothes behind. Given my love for warm baths, I set out years ago to visit the hot springs for the first time. Because I was not a woo-woo girl and resisted becoming one, I had packed my bathing suit. While lounging at Harbin in my brightly flowered one-piece, though, I realized that (1) people were staring at me, and (2) people with lots and lots to hide were not hiding anything. So I stripped down too, and I stopped getting stares. I rationalized that this action was simply a matter of perfectly acceptable situational nudity facilitated by peer pressure and the need to brown my blindingly white skin. Note that I had doused my body in sunblock SPF 108 or so.

No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man

While soaking, I learned a lot. For one thing, everything we could ask for is here for us for free and in earthly form. For another, there are woo-woos who take parental love to a whole new level. I met a woman who immediately freely shared that she bought her daughter a badly needed gift as a birthday present. This gift was a kama sutra coach to work with her daughter and son-in-law. Upon receiving the gift card, her daughter asked her what kama sutra meant. Next, the lessons did not take. The couple still doesn't have a sex life. Can you imagine? I mean, not imagining a couple that doesn't have sex. That one's easy. But what a waste of a wonderful gift imparted by a parent.

Imagine all the people Sharing all the world
What I’m warming you and me up to is the harsh reality that woo-woodom is perhaps a really good thing. I can’t hold it in any longer. Sigh. I am a full fledged woo-woo! Phew! I said it. The proof rests in the fact that - are you ready for this? I hugged a tree! It wasn’t planned. It just happened. Nothing about it was harmful. Don’t worry. See, I was at one of those woo-woo retreats on mindfulness meditation. I was there because, um, I was out in the woods looking for a Starbucks. I stopped at the Land of the Meditative Buddha to ask for directions to the nearest Starbucks (Buddhists drink coffee, right?), and they must have hypnotized me and offered me loads of chocolate. I don’t remember the details, but I found myself staying for the weekend. Then, there was this lengthy walking meditative exercise through the woods. I was strongly drawn to one specific huge and attractive pine tree. It oozed power, dignity and purpose.

You may say that I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one

In front of this tree, I had a peaceful, hazy recollection of celebrating Tu’bishvat (the Jewish New Year of the Trees). The leader of that celebratory gathering urged everyone to take time to hug a tree, at some point. His voice echoed through me. Now was my time. What did I have to lose? I mean, no one would see me. They were all in their own little woo-woo worlds. So I gave this staunch, well-rooted tree a loving embrace.

I hope someday you'll join us

When the meditation group reconvened, a woman announced, “I saw Robyn hugging a tree.” Damn b*tch! I could no longer hide my woo-woos. So I’m coming clean in the blogosphere too. Still, I really am more woe than woo. Oy, clearly conflicted between denial and the healing, holistic, therapeutic experience of woofullness, I admit that I’m glad to be part of the group.

Imagine everyone in the world has access to a beautiful sturdy tree. Imagine now that everyone takes the opportunity to give that tree a great big hug. It starts there, and we’d all be better for it.

And the world will live as one.


  1. Please keep your white skin "blinding". Cancer is just not worth the browning.

    Plus, there is nothing like an Ivory White Female Butt....imho.

  2. I find that hugging pine trees can present problems. All that darn pine sap is a booger to remove.

  3. no, don't think i have. i should give that group a try so i'm not living in california in vain.

  4. In some cultures it is not "politically correct" to hug a tree.
    Bowing however, is always acceptable.

  5. My mother always told me that if I was feeling bad, I could hug a tree. We have a legend in Ireland about telling your secrets to a tree. All good until someone makes a harp of it and it tells the world your secrets in its song.

    If we all loved the trees a little more, the world would be a better place. I feel a sequel coming on, featuring my mythological hero, the Oak King.

  6. Wow to woo woo. So you're a Jewish tree hugger. And I'm sure the tree ...never mind. Another blog, another time. Hot baths are great. I did it in Israel a long, long time a go. Ironically I was with my mom too. Though I was single at the time. Whew!

  7. I love this post!!!!!!! I, too join the ranks of Jewish tree huggers:)

  8. I have a cousin who lived in a tree for a while.... From what I remember, he was working for green peace with a bunch of friends, and they built these platforms in the giant trees and lived there for months. They were even shot at! I've got a couple of pictures that he gave me.... Maybe I'll post them.

  9. I don't know how you did the no-bathing suit, but peer pressure seems like an acceptable incentive to me :P No worries about the white skin: I always sunblock mine!!

  10. Blase, thanks for the concern. It's never worth the risk. Thus I'll about about sunblock UV protection factor 1000 or so.xoR

    Ms. A., it's a small price to pay. It all comes out in the wash.

    Stick with me, Sarah. I'll help indoctrinate you. You'll never be the same.

    Pat, a lady might choose to curtsy. But that's so much less fun than a hug. Good thing EVERYTHING is politically correct here.

    Tina, the Irish have it right in terms of chocolate and trees. I really am living in the wrong country. Hugs again, frequently and often.

    CB, what a special place to hug a tree.
    CB and Lisa Marie, a shout out to all the Jewish tree huggers! Go earthly tribe!

    ABAO, I'm very intrigued. Yes, please post the pictures! I know of and saw your cousin and/or his friends. I'm a Cal alum and have been in the campus area lots since I graduated. My thoughts about the tree people are not as all-accepting as this post, but I had no idea they were shot at. It's Bizerkeley, for sure.

    Sarah, it was striking to me to see that people (clearly NOT models) really didn't care about being their naked selves. It wasn't easy to join in, and it actually wasn't until the 2nd or 3rd visit to hot springs. Once I did, I was no big deal and rather freeing. :)

    Woo-woo hugs to you all and to the nearest tree,

  11. Hey girl, take a little trip to my blog. There just might be something for you there!

  12. Tree hugger! You look lovely by the way and I agree about the skin cancer. I'm always working on my tan and will not be around very long :(