- Clinton and I parted ways yesterday. He had wanted to spend time alone out in the wilderness. My time with him was some of the best on my trip, we saw much wilderness, mountains, rain-forests, snow, sheep lands, the sea and more. I had gotten used to being with him, now all alone again.Clinton dropped me off at a hostel, once again, on a lake, checked in and went to my room. This place is more expensive than most I have stayed at, $36 a night. Slept well, yet woke at 3am and jumped on my computer (no, not physically.) I had paid $10 for 24 hours, so I wanted to get my money’s worth. I often wake at that time anyway. A big place with many there, once again, just another place to sleep, nothing special about it at all.
Left this hostel at about noon, I knew there were other hostels in town at a lower price. The first one I went to was sold out. The next had a bed at $26, so I dove in. In here with four Germans, the two girls have a separate room. They are speaking German and English off and on. Yes, just another place to sleep, yet comfortable. When I awoke I had to pee, the room was so dark. Finally made it out and did what I had to, must have been 3 or 4 in the morn. Went back to bed and just stayed there until the sun was up. Here they are–www.kiwi-backpackers.co.nzYesterday I had a scare, could not find my wallet anywhere. When something like this happens my mind does not go into the panic mode. Right away I click in the solution mode. My mind starts searching right away for things I need to do—who to contact about my cards and such. But, I just kept a minimal of stuff in my wallet for the trip. My PA driver license, my debit card (that needs a pin number), my health insurance card and a small amount of cash (I keep the rest in a bag on wheels that goes everywhere with me.) So, as they say here so often, “No worries.” Anyway, today I searched through where I keep the other money and found it—relief. In a way makes me feel like a fool, but, I guess, I don’t care.Seeeeeeeee ya>>>>KitNovember 19, 2011
- November 18, 2011
- 16 Nov, 2011—Drove with Clinton from Dunedin to Invercargill. And, what a brilliant drive it was. Along the way we stopped at a rocky beach and we saw two wild penguins on the rocks. Also, we saw a beach with trees that had been petrified, it was amazing, looked like wood but felt like stone. The sign said fossilized forest, which it was. We went to the furthest south point in NZ, next would be Antarctica. We stopped in one shop by the cliffs and I drank a banana shake, quite tasty. Along the way we passed so many sheep fields, thousands of the white bodies with four legs, saw limited cows, too. Very strange though, they used so much land for sheep, but we saw no one growing crops, just green fields of grass for the sheep. This looks like very fertile land, l am surprised they do not grow any crops.That night I took up in a hostel ($25) and Clinton slept in his rental van. It is set up well as a camper van, just for one person, though. This hostel was just a place to sleep, not nice like I had at The Big Hostel in Sydney or Nikki’s JuggleRest. Woke with the sun coming up, as usual, then it was off to meet Clinton at a local breakfast place.
We continued the drive up to Lake Gunn, way up in the mountains. The sight was amazing when it turned so quickly from green pastures to lush forest. For lunch we cooked up some spaghetti. You know how things taste much better when you cook it up in the mountains, well, it did—delicious–that along with salad and bread, perfect. With thirst I went to drink from the lake, very clean and tasty it was. Then the rain started. You can tell it rains here often with the moss on the trees and ferns on the ground. I wrote before on the Narnia books, this could have easily been a forest in Narnia, as I pictured in my mind what I read from the past. In fact, they are right now filming the hobbit movies in NZ.At a new hostel now typing this, it’s on a lakefront, some good views. But, just another “bed”, not like the two I wrote of before. Many staying here, right now I am in the kitchen area, many cooks all around me. Talked with “Kyle”, who is a fan of Tony Robbins and was impressed that I had lunch with him at his house and went to his first wedding, we had a good talk. People share food at hostels, very friendly. Kyle is working on the set of the new hobbit movie being filmed in New Zealand. I’ve heard about the filming before, very secretive though.Now the next morning, the hostel provided tea, had three cups. Someone offered me a raspberry muffin, so, that was breakfast. Last night was quite cold, but I provided myself with two thick blankets, so warm I was. Sitting out front waiting for Clinton to arrive now, seeing how nice it is here. Sitting directly across from the lake seeing great views, how perfect, a clean fresh smell is in the air. I look out and I see a boat moored up out in the center, as well as a plane that can land on the water. I look to the right and I see snow covered mountains. I look to the left and a see forest that goes on and on. Couldn’t be nicer, wish you were here to share this with me.Today was even nicer. We drove up where we were yesterday, but higher up on the mountain, didn’t have enough gas yesterday. Higher and higher we drove up the mountain, went from sheep farmlands to lush rain forests to rocky and snowy glacier areas up one side of the mountain. Then, driving down the other side we went through what could be a desert type area, then eventually dropped down to sea level as we came upon an inlet. So so many changes today, delightful, a great day being a tourist.Up on top of the snow covered mountain there were these parrot birds, Kea birds. They wanted a hand-out of food. So strange to see these parrots up in the snowy mountains. After dealing with these birds we went through a tunnel, and a long one, perhaps 2 kilometers in length. There was only room for one direction of driving. So, there was a green and then red light you had to follow. We went to a place called “The Chasm.” To get there the pathway went over bridges and around through the rain forest—the best scenery I have seen so far. You could drink any of the mountain streams, which was a delight. There is so much detail to go into about this, it was phenomenal. For the drive we were listening to ZZ Topp, the perfect music for the drive. So, we went from near sea level to above the tree line into glaciers, then back down the other side to snow level again. The memories will always be with me—it was breathtaking (heh, who took my breath?) Along the drive we saw many more sheep farms, and also saw deer farms. I don’t know if there are also wild deer, but to see on a farm was different.Have to apologize. In my last email to you I wrote some thoughts I had about god, or the idea of a god. This was not the correct format for me to state my thoughts toward such a subject, I’m sorry, I’ve just been thinking much about that area. I will stick to just the trip from now on, and, as you know, what a trip this has been. Hope my words did not chase you away.November 16, 2011
- Off to www.circulation.com. Thinking back, I didn’t know how I would get here, where I would sleep or what I would eat, but came anyway. Things worked out great toward that end. There was a shuttle that brought people up that I jumped on. Because I am doing many workshops lodging and meals are provided for me. I never have worries about the future, we always find a way.This is a juggling and manipulation convention that takes place in the mountains outside on Dunedin, a wonderful setting, yet rainy on the day I arrived. Specifically it is atRunning Friday through Tuesday, there are some hundreds of people here enjoying. There is no internet connection up here, kind of strange not to have, but like the old days. They are providing a bed and meals for me, sleeping in one of four rooms in the same building where we eat, on bunks with two others, very comfortable. It’s a nice building, all wood. The meals will be all vegan, a good thing. Ate a curry vegetable mix on rice last night, quite good. This morning it was an organic seed and oat cereal along with an excellent bread and tea, along with much more.Much of this seems kind of like a hippy gathering, seeing long hair, piercings and tattoos often. Most things occur in a big tent, such as shows and many of the workshops. Speaking of workshops I will be presenting many. At one point there was a hula hoop class going on, many participants. I saw one women doing hula hoop who had a baby strapped to her chest, she was breast feeding at times while hooping. Hula hooping is very big over here, I saw much hooping in Australia and New Zealand.On awakening after the first night I heard birds in the trees and saw mist over the valley through the vegetation, a beautiful thing. As usual, I was up with the sun, I slowly and quietly slipped out of the room so I would not wake the two other bunk mates. Was somewhat cold last night, the first night, I will have to find more blankets for tonight. In fact, I’ve been somewhat cold my entire time over here, heaters are seldom used it seems. But, then again, it is now getting into spring so things will start heating up soon.Just had lunch, a very tasty vegetarian meal of rice and assorted vegetables in a delicious sauce, along with beans and a few other things, quite good. After I ate I noticed someone eating alone at a table who was having trouble getting food to his mouth. I thought he had cerebral palsy and went to ask how I could help. Dunkin told me that I could help to feed him. He said that 16 years ago he was involved in an accident that left him in a coma for two and a half months. I told of my similar circumstance, as I showed him my book. He does not have very good control of his muscles and limbs, his left arm does not work so well. His speech was much affected also. After seeing Dunkin I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I can. I noticed that in taking a bite of food he opens his much quite big, I often do the same, not sure why, don’t want to miss the mouth or something. Mary Ellen was much bugged by this when I ate, and by other natural things I do.11-13-11 at 6:33am. I missed 11-11-11 while up here, just seems like a neat date to write, so I just did. The early morning chill is in the air. Very clean air up here, I can tell. Yesterday I sold two books, some surprise sales, made $80. As I think I wrote, I brought 22 books with me on the plane, they sold rather quickly in Australia. I had 20 shipped over (thanks, Abe) and they have been selling. I’m down to two books, so it worked out well.11-15-11 I’ve been busy teaching and working with jugglers, something I enjoy and people seem to get much out of my help—advancement, advancement. This has been quite a splendid event. Hidden away in the mountains in NZ with a bunch a jugglers and manipulators, very nice. I’ve taken many photos, which I will be sending separately.Last night, the last night for circulation, there was a traditional Maori dinner. It was out in the woods with the trees, food was prepared underground on hot rocks where there was a fire earlier. First a hold is dug, rocks put in and a fire brought up very big. Hot coals are developed under the fire, food is put on wrapped in tin foil, and the whole thing is covered in dirt again. The meal and gathering was called Hangi. As usual while here, I ate too much, again. The food that is made is all vegan (no animal products in them at all) and all has tasted excellent. I believe that is a next path for me, a vegan life-style. I’ve just seen such harsh videos of the treatment of the animals we consume. And, even milk products from cows, I saw a documentary about how, in milk, they can’t help but include some cow blood and puss, a terrible thing. Also, I heard that the human body was not evolved to eat meat, we should be on a plant based diet to live best.For the celebration last night there was a huge fire, about three meters across, which kept many people warm. After most people ate the belly dancing started, the best I have ever witnessed. Five percussionists on bongo type drums made a wonderful beat. The three dancers had exact moves that fit with the drumming and looked fabulous. A magnificent end to this wonderful event, already hoping to return next year (and, what about moving and living here, could it be in the cards?)Upon awakening this morning this last day of Circulation there was a cloudless and bright day ahead. After the sun was fully up and in looking out through the trees this area is truly magnificent. I have made many new friends here, it was like a big family get-together. I am looking toward returning next year.THE PAIN—Three days ago the pain in my shoulder started, and so recently after having that other pain. Since it began it is hard to even lift my right arm, let alone juggle. The shoulder that was broken feels at times like it had been broken again. And, even back when I was in jail I was doing push-ups and there was no pain in my shoulder. Also my knee is painful when I walk up stairs. I am told that this pain might be from the cloudy weather, what a terrible thing. Will this tremendous pain come-on on any cloudy day? Not looking forward to that in my life. With this warmer and sunny day, my pain is much better.After Circulation I had been working toward setting up a workshop in Christchurch, but it never came together. Was not sure what I was going to do after this convention ends, which is today, the 15th, until I have a return flight on Nov 30. I found an American, Clinton, who is over here traveling and had bought a van. He is on sabbatical from is work of counseling. Years ago he was a juggler for a living, we have much to talk about. So, I will be joining him to see further south and west from here, places where not a lot of tourists go, something I had wanted to do. We do not even know our route or destinations yet, I like it that way. Details will be included in the next message to you, I think you will like. You might say that god had set these good things to happen this way, or you might not. Seems to me that so many people thank god for setting these good things in life, like how good my trip is turning out, I cannot. These same people forget about where god is when bad things happen. Say, there is an accident and a bus rolled over. Everyone aboard died except for two children. The mother of the survivor gets on her knees and thanks god for letting her son live. She does not even think about all the others who died, who is their mother going to thank. More about god below.Often back home, when I sneeze I hear so many say, “god bless you.” Over here I am not hearing that, good to hear. Seems that most people say it because most everyone else says it, I cannot fall into that mold. The phrase was actually derived from old times when people thought that when you sneeze you are releasing demons from your body. I’ve looked carefully; I’ve never seen any demons exiting. It is the “common thing”, and, being one to not be like everyone else, I do not. Same with, dare I saw it, burping. The common thing to say after you do such a thing is, “excuse me”. If someone is listening I say, “whoops”. I won’t even comment on farting, that’s going a little too far. These are all simply basic human emotions and not to be taken too seriously, really.I’ve wanted to write to you on my thoughts about god, yet, such a big subject, I have withheld. So, here are some words, please let me know what you think. In the past I attended church much, each time I try to connect to what they were saying, I could not. My mind just seemed to go into a fuzzy haze while there. It’s like my mind tries to figure out what is being said and trying to analyze it in a logical way; it never made any sense to me and my mind drifts away. I guess I am writing this with atheism on my mind, you see, I have seen and heard nothing that would take me down a different path.Church is a great place for socializing and meeting people, and, overall a good thing, yet, many of these people who attend are not being critical about what is being said. Seems that most people there have not really read the bible, and, according to that book, god has put to death thousands of people, whole cities destroyed, families torn apart. The old testament is full of immoral things, with all the killings and the condoning of slavery and rape, not a book to live by. What about Noah and the big flood, thousands were killed by this so-called, god. He made everything then destroyed it –he said, “whoops, I made a mistake.” Who would want to pray to a god like this?Let’s even go back to Adam and Eve in the first place. They were made with no knowledge of right and wrong, according to the bible. Then god punishes mankind for all of eternity because Adam took a bite from an apple—without Adam knowing right from wrong. Then, how did they raise a family, the kids must have “done it” with siblings. In the bible it is stated not to mix with your family in that way. So, where did all of mankind come from? And, back to Noah and the big flood, Noah’s kids must have gotten together with family members to make families, well, what about that? I’ve read much of the bible, yet so many questions I have about god and the bible, can’t find answers in the bible, can you answer them for me?The new testament also has many corrupt things, along with good advice. People seem to pick and choose the things they like about it and don’t see the bad, and if you read carefully you will see the bad, and much there is.I remember back in Jr. High School I was really into reading sci-fi fantasy books. I loved reading The Seven Chronicles of Narnia. I got so into these books , could not put them down. I believed in my heart in Narnia, in Aslan, in Mordor and all the rest. Yes, I was a believer. It seems this same belief toward the bible is generated in the same way—but at such a large scale—hard to believe. And, without any factual evidence or proof of the existence of any god, so many are following this path and just “believe.”I’ve tried hard to simply “believe”, even trying to fake it until I could, yet, never could. Pastors would try and steer me toward this idea of god, could not find that path. Also, I found that people at church seem to look down on people who do not simply, “believe”, seems kind of mean to me. To me the idea of god is hope, yes, a scary thing to think about, that we will die and not have anything more. The idea of god solves that.I am told that without god people would be bad and just go around raping and killing others, not so. Look at countries without the strong god influence, much safer than the US, a proven fact. And, just look at animals on the planet, they do not have a god, yet they do not go around killing each other and live a good life together. I hear about how without god you won’t have morals. Once again, some of the countries with the least crime and the best “morals”, such as Sweden, have very little “faith” in any kind of god above or below, wherever it might be. Come to think of it, we have searched the entire earth below, no devil there. We have searched the entire sky above, no god there. Where could these characters be hiding? More bad then good, belief in a god has brought on most wars in the world, just think of the attack at the world-trade center, god centered.I am told god gives free choice, to believe and go to heaven or not and go to hell–this is no choice. I feel sorry for these people who live their entire life with this fear of going to hell, must be hard. Many people waste their entire life, the only life we really know, desiring the possibility of a life in heaven. Many seem to live this life with half-effort, thinking they have a “better” life after they die. No, I could never say, “there is no god”, but I want to get the most out of this life we are living now, the only life we truly know is real (but, then again, maybe it’s not real and we are just living a dream, or a nightmare, your choice.)They say that he (or she, I think a women god would make a better god) is merciful and a just god, does not seem that way to me. Who made this rule about how you “must” believe in the first place? Is this not an “all-knowing” god? So, if god made the rule and god is all knowing, and they say he knows the beginning from the end, he knows it will take more than mere faith for me—so it is god who is sending me to hell if that’s where I’m headin. A choice, this is not a choice. It is like he is holding a gun to my head and tells me, “believe or die”. In fact, many more intellectuals and good thinkers do not believe. I would rather be in hell with them then up in heaven singing my phrases to this god for all eternity (I don’t have a good singing voice anyway, just ask my daughters.)What I am saying is not to take god for granted. Question everything. In fact, question what I am writing now. You have intelligence, use it, do what is right, don’t just follow the normal, or common path. If you have ideas for me on the contrary, please send word to straighten me out.Bye for now>>>>KitNovember 12, 2011
In my last email I wrote you of developing the passion for writing. I am compiling words daily, I promise you. I read once that if you are a writer you have to make it happen daily, so the habit begins now. I also know that editing is the key to good writing, so much editing I have been doing. Also, it is best to use the briefest amount of words that you can to get the words across, I’ve tried to be exact and brief with it, but what I compiled is lengthy. In the above sentence I used the word “it”, I should not have. I remember back in fifth grade I had an excellent teacher named Mr. Muradian, the best teacher I remember ever having. He taught that you should not use the word “it”, ever, that you can always find better words to describe what you are trying to get across. He also said never to start a letter with “I”. I have held on to these writing techniques and some others from him since fifth grade and they have helped.As you know, I am loving traveling the world. I’ve been dreading returning to the US on November 30—out of springtime here and back to the winter and the violence and the crime in America–a wonderful thing. The weather has been fantastic here, as I wrote before, I will be going from very nice springtime here to the beginnings of winter in the US. Would be so nice to travel following summer around the world, perhaps one day . . .After I return I will be driving up to Portland, seeing people along the way. My sister, Kaylaa, is moving from Sante Fe to Bend, Oregon. I will leave my van and fly from Portland to Albuquerque to meet up with her to help her drive her stuff up to her new home. I’ve also been trying to set up a workshop in Portland, not sure if will come together, I’ll let you know.Just left Nikki’s paradise in hosteling, what wonderful memories have been generated from my time in Picton and staying at Nikki’s Juggler’s Rest. Nikki was at then juggling event I am at now and will be writing of later. Nikki is such a lovely lady, I would have loved to spend more time with you.On to new memories and discoveries I go. Right now I’m on the bus driving south down to Christchurch from Picton, a smooth drive along the ocean. Looking to my left I see a rocky scenic shoreline. To my right I see mountains rising toward the sky. And, what’s that white stuff I see on top? New Zealand is just coming out of winter, so, of course, it’s snow I see, to my surprise.For the trip from Picton to Dunedin I did it two days, with a night in Christchurch. Had a tour of the city, still much devastation from the earthquake, many buildings have fallen apart and businesses not running. Pretty bad now, must have been a big mess previously.I had been in contact with someone in Christchurch who was helping to set up a workshop there (which never came together.) I was going to spend two weeks staying at her house before I departed to back to the states (my plans have since changed.) This person said I could spend the night at her house while on my way down to Dunedin, which was good, she lives there with her 13 year old son.I’ve stayed at many different places on my trip so far and seen different ways people live. Many are neat and organized in their home and life-style, the person I stayed with was not. You’ve heard of people who hoard things, this person was that. She blamed it on the earthquake and that things just did not get together yet, but the earthquake was months ago and I can tell that she is just a disorganized life-style. I don’t want to talk bad, and I hope I’m not, I just could not believe the house. Every place to put something, tables and shelves and other places, was packed with “stuff” on top, and much of the floors were, in the kitchen it was stacked 4 layers deep in some places. I wanted to help to organize the house completely, yet that would take days. Also, I could tell, this was not a disorganization from the earthquake, this was a life-style. She says she is under much stress in her life, and I can see why.On the drive down from Christchurch to Dunedin I saw much gorgeous rocky ocean. Along the way I saw much farming country, sheep and cow mostly. You’ve heard of the wool products from New Zealand I’m sure, now I know where all the wool comes from, saw many sheep.Arrival in Dunedin, a fabulous place, almost as nice as Brisbane, glad I’m here. Kind of reminds me of some of the small European cities I’ve been to. This town is supremely clean, immaculate lawns, brick side-walks (with no gum every few steps as I usually see in the US), wooden benches to sit, no graffiti, a nice town. Miguel, who is a juggler, took a little time off from work to meet me at the bus station and gather me up. He left me in the central town to meet him again at five. He had to get back to work, so he left me off. With three hours to spend, I was off to see Dunedin (here pronounced da-neee-din.) When I left Miguel I forgot to keep with me my computer and camera to work on writing to you and taking pictures while I was out. Didn’t have my computer to record my finds, or my camera for you to view my experiences, almost feel like I let you down. Having to do it the old fashioned way, with pen and paper. Growing up in San Diego the only “Miguel’s” I knew were Mexican (I believe Miguel is Spanish for Michael.) I was surprised to see this Miguel when we first met, a tall actor looking fellow. Miguel will be in my workshop here in Dunedin. Of course, staying with him I saw ways there, too, that things could be organized and better in the house. He lives there with another guy, a very guy place to live. They did not seem to like to wash dishes, so I did a few different times.While walking through Dunedin I saw a sign saying “public toilet” and had to, so in I went. Talk about perfection—clean clean clean. You went to the stall¸ pushed an electronic button, the door to the stall slide open, then another button inside to close the door. After, the sink in the stall was automatic. When you pushed the button to depart the toilet would automatically flush–a nice experience. In the US the word “toilet” seems to be a bad word, no one uses this word, I do. In a store, instead of saying, “where is the bathroom?” I say, “where is the toilet?” you see, I don’t want to take a bath. People avoid this subject so much, and it’s so much a part of life, at least 3 or 4 times a day. Instead of saying, “I have to pee” or “I have to poop”, I hear, “I have to go the bathroom.” We use the toilet so often, why is it we have made the word so bad to use. How about you, is it time?Trying to separate my time in Australia and my time in New Zealand in my mind, it is difficult to, everything sort of merges together. Also, I know there are distinct accents that are used by speakers in Australia, New Zealand and England, yet I cannot differentiate between them, knowing each is unique.This daily writing of words feels good, a new habit is in the making. Perhaps even these scribbling’s will go toward that book I want to author. That’s all it will take, a daily effort on my part, in the works now. I guess you would call this a blog, not sure. Should I put these words into blog form? (whatever that would be) Please, make me more knowledgeable about this topic.Last night a group of us went to see www.thebutlershow.com, and a good show it was, quite enjoyable. Included in the show was some unicycling and juggling, my sort of thing.The workshop in Dunedin went great over the last two days. Only three jugglers to work with, but all commented on how much it benefitted them. Here are comments I received in writing:====“Kit Summers has given me more in two days then I have had in a year towards improving as a juggler and performer. I now have the tools to guide my abilities to the next level. I could not recommend his workshop higher”—Miguel Nitis, B_27@hotmail.com====“I have learned a lot to make improvements to my work, show and ability to sell myself and succeed. Kit is relaxed, friendly and genuinely helpful with a wealth of knowledge to share.” Jay Glubb, email@example.com====“Kit has told me a lot about things you need to think about making it in the performance/entertainment business, and about the positive mindset one needs to make their audiences happy.” KGB Juggler, k.g.b.purple@gmail.
comPresenting a juggling workshop is quite limiting in getting people there, not a lot of jugglers in the world. I really should put together a “Life Workshop” and ‘help people on their way toward a better future. The fee is $100 for my two day, 10 hour juggling workshop. I was thinking, I could charge $30 for a three hour workshop on life advancement ideas and do well, I believe. Any thoughts for me about this?Adios>>>KitNovember 8, 2011