Sometimes those with the deepest understanding of the world around them are the most paralyzed about how to make use of that knowledge. At times Ann Bulla revealed a profound wisdom which ecstatically mixed eastern spirituality, anti-civilization thought, traveling drop-out culture and synchronistic intuition. Through this understanding, Ann led the people around her on adventures which changed and enriched our lives, while she often remained unaltered and unimpressed, still seeking an experience that was deeper and more intense.
Ann was a mystery to most who met her or saw her around — perhaps because she demanded that her few long term interpersonal relationships be so intense that they became a torturous journey to the heights of ecstasy and the depths of despair.
Ann explored a vast range of life styles. She spent time at Twin Oaks, East Wind and Ganas intentional communities, followed Rainbow Gatherings, and rambled with a band of spiritual freaks dedicated to traveling without money in search of God on a journey that led her across North America twice, including a stint living in a cave in the desert outside Moab, Utah. She bottom lined with East Bay Food Not Bombs, lived at S.P.A.Z. collective, sang with the Eastern-influenced experimental band “Co” and traveled to both Mexico and India because of dreams and premonitions of enlightenment, direction and healing.
In the end Ann was a mystery even to herself. She never quite knew if the jarring depersonalization, torturous anxiety, and deep depression which plagued her were caused by repressed memories of molestation, biochemical imbalances, energy problems in her chakras, black magic, or demonic possession — at times she hypothesized all of these.
The world could have destroyed Ann: she could have become a Prozac popping drone, a lobotomized prisoner of the state’s psyche wards, or a lost soul wandering the streets in an angry babbling daze. She saw these imminent possibilities and told me in the last couple months of her life that she just wanted to get out now, before things became a whole lot worse. Despite all the ideas that her friends and family inundated her with about how to become healthy again, it was the option of taking autonomous power over her own life and death which ultimately drew Ann most intensely. Perhaps she was in a muddled suicidal trance, or perhaps she saw more clearly than all the optimistic people who loved her so much that they couldn’t let go.
Ann’s final hours were her last great adventure: she stole a car, took it out into a wild area of fields and woods, hiked up into hills full of deer, turkey and butterflies, and lay down as the sun was setting and the stars coming out, to set off on her final, deepest and most intense experience of all.