Lost In Cyberspace On The Search For Free Wifi

Lost In Cyberspace On The Search For Free Wifi

It is 10 p.m. Friday night and with a spirit of adventure, I sit alone at a crowded place called  The Caffebene Cafe & Bakery. I am in Palisades Park, NJ,  just across the bridge from New York City.  One time known for its Famous Amusement Park Attraction, this area now serves as the largest and fastest growing ethnic Korean enclave outside of Korea. My search for a much needed cup of tea and free wifi while I am traveling  has led me to this well lit happening place. A posh cafe with seating for at least 80 to one 100 people, there are only a few empty chairs upon my arrival.  Even though I have been here during the daytime hours, and am somewhat acquainted with this place, the vibe during the night hours takes on a much different flavor. The sign on the wall tells me that they will be open until 11:30 , so I plan on being here for awhile. I spot a table against the wall, a perfect location for me to plug my laptop in to be recharged.   After ordering a large tea, I take a quick look around the room to get a feel for it all.  It is noticablly different.  During the day it serves as more of a business meeting place, and in evening hours, "it appears" as more for local Korean Community gathering place. I am not sure how often this occurs, or if  this the 'norm' for a Friday night?   On this evening, it is much friendlier,  notably more interactive with families and their children, and people dressed up after an evening out on the town. Twenty minutes have passed since I entered the cafe. The long hours of the day have caught up with me by now and I am just about ready to call it a night.  I decided to finish up my tea and  tune into what is happening around me for a little while. For the first time since I arrived, I realized that not one but all of the people within my earshot were speaking Korean.  For someone like myself who is a photographer and highly sensitive normally to all my senses, I find this fascinating yet alarming that I had not even noticed before now.  The more I listened,  the higher the decimal rate of the voices seems to sound.   As I survey each table to see what was happening I can see that   conversations are loud but gracious and filled with charm. People everywhere are harmonious.  It is clear that some 7000 miles from their homeland, this Koreans community share in tradition bonds & values. What a different feeling there is now compared to during the day, when it can be as quiet as a library, when practically everyone is on their cell phones, ipads, or laptops.  Here on this evening I feel as though I am a welcome guest at a huge house party!  I feel slightly embarrassed by my public rudeness as I looked up from my computer. Everyone is so engaged with one another and I on this evening am acting only as an onlooker. Across the isle sits two Korean families, ten in total. There are six small children with their four adult parents. I find it hard to believe now nearly 11 p.m. that these well loved children are as well behaved as only you can image them to be.   I  caught the eyes of a Father sitting at this particular table.  He smiled with a warm glow and then returned to his conversation.  I have stumbled into one of the politest of communities in Bergen County, NJ and the more I look around, the more happy smiles I see.  Five  young business men impeccably dressed just came in the front door.  They look as if they just walked off a Fashion Show’s Runway Floor. They use a traditional greeting of a bow and handshake before taking off their jackets and settling in for a short while.   I am glad I found my way here this evening before calling in a night. I am leaving here with a renewed sense of gratitude for the beauty of these people, their culture and my overall experience.   For more about: Caffe Bene:  http://www.caffebeneusa.com
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The Story Of The Boots

The Story Of The Boots

Don't come undone when I tell you the story of the boots. 

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The other night I noticed these boots  as I was leaving Wellness Rocks in Clinton, NJ.  Wellness Rocks is a Holistic Health & Wellness Center where I was attending a class with Perry Kroeger.  

 

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                                  My friend Perry has been an important part of the international art scene for over 30 and I was elated to join in on one of his classes.    Back to "The Boots"......   I wanted to know more about the boots..... Where had they been? Who did they belong too? Why would someone buy a pair of boots that were made to look worn and old?   I was taken by the style. Everyone that saw the boots love them. A few of us joked that if we could have, we would have found a way out the door with one boot under each arm. Why all this fuss over a pair of boots? They are real boots...scuffed, creased, floppy and spotted.....  
Dorothy Salvatori, a.k.a. "Raw Chef Dosa"

Dorothy Salvatori, a.k.a. "Raw Chef Dosa"

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The Veil Between Heaven & Earth

The Veil Between Heaven & Earth

The veil between heaven & earth gets pretty thin when a person is connected to their source. I learned this life lesson the hard  way, and yet, ... I am so thankful and grateful for it all. 

Be it  times of great grief,  joy or even madness, seeing the sacred in everyday life can feel surreal. Once that veil is lifted (if only for a moment) , we are never the transformed, and it becomes incomprehensible to act in the same way as before. 

For as long as I can remember, health challenges had ruled my world, and I had so much denial.  

 I had three babies, and my middle one died. .... I got brutally angry at God, and said "fuck why?" I kept my head in the sand and as a way of acting out, I became as rebellious as a child.

You would think that gestational diabetes, and  grand mal seizures would get me attention (as they are part of my story too,) and  yet I walked around blindly in life most of the time.  

 My idea of God was childlike, and I had no coping tools.  My conversations with God, looked more like  foxhole prayers.  I was feeling so v

The day came when I got  very , very, sick. I spent the next ten years in fox hole prayer.  I was living a personal hell the day buckets of blood erupted out of every end of me. All my sorrows and sadness remained trapped  inside me. I was a shell of a person riddled with vulnerability, feeling  frightened and  ashamed..... 

I got to experience the gentler sweeter side of life when people who have lived within reach of the veil came to be my side. They nurtured me back to sanity and health, and that my friends is worth more then any amount of wealth you can imagine.

They taught me importance of practicing self care and compassion.  I learn how to pay if forward in the same fashion.....and practice this spirit to the best of my ab ability each and every day... 

 I AM 2 years post surgery, stable and living a full life.  I am free to love and live a very full and grateful life. 

I learned the true meaning of acceptance and of unconditional love, and know in my heart of hearts that  I am never truly alone....

 

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The Drunk Girl Called Me “Soda”

The Drunk Girl Called Me “Soda”

I am 53 years old, and with that being said, I have been around the block a few times.   I recently joined a women's group  called "The Ladies of Hunterdon County", which happens to be the county that I have lived in with my husband and two sons for some thirty years. With the amount of traveling that I do, and with both my sons now all grown, I was beginning to feel disconnected from the bonds that form from being a part of a community.   I'll come back to telling you more about this part of the story in a bit....

10 a.m. yesterday morning, I made a commitment to get my first blog post written and posted. The topic that I chose  was "human consciousness."  With a degree in mass communications, psychology & art,  I was like a kid in a candy store exploring all aspects of this topic to the point of exhaustion the entire day.

 By 3:46p.m.,  I felt like someone had punched me in both eyes....( note to self...no more long hours of gazing at the computer screen).   I had written only a few lines, and had a gaggle is disjointed notes staring back at me.  There were  three cups of tea (still half full) cloistering the orange peel remnants of my lunch and popcorn that had found it's way to the floor surrounding where I was in my seat.  Frustrated and feeling a bit unnerved that I was attempting to write about "consciousness" when I myself  was in a heavy fog, I decided to call it a day. I jumped into the shower, ran to the gym. and then headed off to the  Group's meeting. I was on information overload from the topic of  consciousness, and was still trying to take it all in.  I was having such a hard time expressing in my own words, my opinions and beliefs on the topic.  Not because I did not understand the topic mind you, it was quite the opposite...You see,  for the past 27 years I have been on a journey of outwardly seeking spirituality. Just about 7 years ago,  I believe I had what mystics and masters call "samadhi", or an enlighten spiritual experience. From that day forward, I have been much easier on myself and others, letting go of situations and relationships that were harmful to my spirit, and have come to understand for myself the meaning and true essences of being alive and at one with the Divine.   During this time,  I also knew that there would come a day that I would  (on a global level) be writing on my experience, and writing many books that have to do with self love and  awakening,  What I did not know until now, was that my photography would assist me with in this process, or, that becoming a Holistic Chef only a few years ago would also come into play.   I find this all particularly amusing since  I  can be a deeply troubled individual at times, being a pretty deep thinker, and rebel to the core.  Some days I feel like it would be  easier to  pull a nail out of concrete with my teeth then to expose my heart felt vulnerabilities  in  writing with any  cohesiveness or style. Yet, these facts remain, and to date I have even gained an International Award for my work as an Educator of Plant Based Foods.    

Shifting gears back to where I was headed, I was on my way to the Group when I realized that I was really dog tired and was thinking of turning my car around and going home. I had only been to the group twice before, each time was different and great. The group has a Facebook membership of over 1000 members, so I never really know who was going to show up or why?  Sarah, The young woman who admins the group is the daughter of one of my friends, and the manager of the restaurant where we met.  I  just love going to support her vision and had just told her I was on my way. I was also hoping to see Maryann,  a friend (from 30 years ago)  and  who had also come to the last two events.  

 Glazed over, and needing to eat, I parked my car and headed into the place.  The volume level from the laughing and mingling was deafening.  There is a BYOB policy, and although I do not drink, I was thrilled that others would be. I figured that with each passing bottle of  wine, my  exhaustion level would be less apparent, and I could fade into the woodwork.  

The room was filled with women. I walked in, grabbed myself a name tag. I wrote on it  "DOSA or Dorothy."  DOSA is a shorten version of my full name that some friends gave me as a  nickname.  Some love it, and others prefer to call me Dorothy. I answer to both, and many more...... Anyway, I introduced myself ONLY to a few women who approached me, as I passed though the crowded room. Two group members had brought there wears, and were demonstrating some jewelry and stage setup for  photography services. Many of the women were trying on the jewelry and than having their photographs taken. They were having a a blast.   I tracked down the server and ordered myself a meal. Next, I found my friend Maryann, and like a child hanging on their Mother's leg, I hung with her so I did not have to go through the formalities of introducing myself to new people given the state of my ability at that moment in time.  She looked me over and asked me if I had gotten myself a seat. She... being a good friend, understood where I was at and needed only little explanation, to be empathetic.   She gathered me up and took me over to her table where it was "quieter" and where there were many open seats. We enjoyed our meal together. When I was done eating , all I wanted to do was lay my head on the table and fall into a deep sleep. Just then, two women (that I had introduced myself too when I came in the door,) sat down next to with us. They were bubbly and best friends. They were sweet and they were kind....and they were drinking a wee bit too much and were slurring their words with giddiness, warm hearts and delight. "The drunk girl sitting next to me", turned to me kindly and asked in  as serious a voice as she could muster:  "what did you say your name was again...."Soda?" Now I know I was "feeling out of it", but I did a double take, and asked myself: did my  ears just hear what she had to say? Did she called me Soda????   Soda? Now this was an all time new name for me...I busted out laughing as she moved my hair off my shoulder in search of my name tag to see if she had remembered my name correctly. We laughed and laughed , and spent the next few hours  to my amazement ( given everyones state of "consciousness"), in very intimate and explorative conversation.  They were two young angels that shared very personal and poignant aspects of their lives. They were  educated and insightful. I started talking to them about what I had been writing about though out the day. In that moment, I realized that there, right before my eyes was a reflection of what I was trying to say all day.  When the group was over, I went on to another place to "debrief" with my friend Maryann. We needed some quite time alone to pick up where we left off in our conversation. We went to another place to eat...and of course, I had something more to eat!! I ran into another friend there and we made some plans for the next week. I came home and opened up my computer and haven't stopped typing since....... I believe that "Human consciousness." is an ever shifting and evolving state of being. I know that I am not the same person that I was in my 20's, 30's, & 40's, nor will I be the same person I am today as I approach the future decades of my years. I have come to realize, that I see what I want to see, hear what I want to hear....and take into my mind only what my heart can absorb openly and freely without fear. I need to honor and accept all parts of my being in order to escape my own limitations. A special thanks and shout out to the Drunk Girl sitting next to me who  called Me "Soda...." ~Soda

aka ~Dosa

   

 

 

 

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