The past few months have been rife with an accelerated sense of change in my life; I've been fortunate to move to a new, beautiful locale, travel to New York City and my current destination.
Ringing in the New Year is always a perfect opportunity for personal reflection and I always enjoy writing these sorts of posts, helps to keep tabs on where one has been and where they are going. I keep wondering if the brilliant beauty that seems to be pervading my life is the result of good fortune, good karma, or just plain old luck. Whatever the source, I am so very grateful for each brilliant moment that comes my way, and the incredible new people who have come into my life.
At the beginning of last year, I proclaimed 2014 to be "the year of rock" and in many ways, it certainly has turned out to be so. I cultivated a little syndicated radio show called "The Way Out with Marlie Centawer" and in September, I began my PhD work in Cultural Studies with a focus on popular music studies and youth culture.
It seems to be a fine line between my research and personal interests, which has intersected with travel to some fabulous research destimations, including the Rainbo Club in Wicker Park, Chicago, the John Lennon Imagine/ Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, and the Village Vanguard jazz club in Greenwich Village, New York.
I also saw Eric Burdon of The Animals in concert in Kingston, and Hot Tuna perform at the Beacon Theatre while in NYC. And to boot, I presented a paper at a Love and Rock conference in Montpellier, France and visited Jim Morrison's final resting place in Paris in April.
Year of rock, indeed.
2014 also brought forth more grounding, more inner work, and exploration of the self, my self, in relation to others. Apart from teaching yoga, I've continued to work on my personal practice, and have explored Buddhist teachings in the Kadampa tradition. These have helped to foster more knowing of the self but also expansion of my heart and capacity for and to love, what Ram Dass (one of my spiritual teachers) refers to as simply "being love."
The photos below were taken last night in the Rainbo Club's infamous photo booth, also known as the site where Liz Phair took the album cover image for her debut album Exile in Guyville (Matador 1993) (one of my research interests). For me, photo booth and self-portraiture imagery seems to highlight the exploration of the changing self, in all of its many different poses and incarnations.
Stopping in at the Village Vanguard on a last night in NYC brought forth an incredible performance from Ravi Coltrane. The photo (and the Alexander McQueen spike heels) says it all and captures the beautiful vibrancy of the trip.
All I can possibly attempt to manifest in the new year is a continuation of this same incredible trajectory, and I hope to continue to cultivate the ripening of the seeds of good karma in 2015 not only for myself, but for others. It's important to me that my actions are of benefit and service to others and their happiness in the new year. That also means continuing to share space and time with you here on barefoot and frolicking, and what better way to do so than with a new recipe.
These Cacao-Coconut Haystack Squares are a perfect accompaniment to your good fortune for this and every year. They make a perfect morning breakfast option or snack. What I love about raw vegan bar recipes (and if you follow this blog, you will notice my affinity for them), is that they are incredibly quick and easy to prepare.
This recipe immediacy is perfect for my pace of life these days, where I need just a sweet bite of something to get me through the busy days and nights, all the while keeping a balance.
Cacao-Coconut Haystack Squares
Makes 16 small squares
1 1/2 cup dates
1 cup pecans
1 cup coconut, unsweetened
2 tbsp - 1/4 cup cacao
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut sugar
dash of water
Process pecans in a food processor using the 's' blade until crumbly. Add in the coconut, dates, and rest of ingredients, adding in water if mixture is not 'wet' enough. Process until well-combined. Transfer to glass dish and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
These bars will keep for a week or so in the fridge, or a few weeks in the freezer.
Cacao-Coconut Haystacks, all in a row. Feel free to omit the coconut sugar and increase the chocolate for a richer, taste experience. These bites will add wonders to any New Years Eve or other celebratory get together. Like any raw vegan recipe, they are best when shared with those you love.
What an incredible year it has been, and I hope for you as well. Here's to black tie events, records, feathers, beads, bells, travel, silver necklaces, hugs with good friends, fortune, laughter, smiles, Yaz, sugared pecans, Gibson guitars, Prosecco champagne kisses, fostering good karma and kindness, rock and roll, the good life on Wolfe Island, and love, love, unconditional being love. Thank you to everyone I have crossed paths with this year, you have enriched my life beyond measure.
Happy New Year and blessings to you during this and every season.
May you be in the pursuit of magic as I am in 2015 xo