Friday, April 23, 2010
ah, how can this lady, with whom i've enjoyed many cocktails and crazy nights in college, almost have a little girl? does that mean we are all growing up? yes yes and its only going to get more apparent.
it's sunny outside now and i've been feeling pretty stable these past few days and understanding something new about the role of practice in my life. i have a few practices...i have my cup of orange juice and teaspoon of peanut butter taken on my kitchen radiator (either in silence or with morning edition in the background) each morning practice, my 3-4 times weekly yoga practice, my napping practice (no routine here but i know when i need it), my nightly headstand practice, and most importantly, i think, i have my writing it all down each morning practice.
i started my morning free writing when i was in college and doing the artists way. i would wake up each morning and spill everything out onto the page, for three pages and then put the notebooks under my bed and have never looked at them again. the author of the book called it "brain drain" and assured her readers that it was supposed to be whiny, repetitive, insecure. this was a time in my life that i felt buoyant and honest and made art each day and i didn't really connect it to doing my morning pages, as the artist way lady called them.
my life is learned through trial and error. because i forget its importance, i start and stop my morning writing when i get too busy or want to sleep later. i miss a morning and then another and then i'm not doing it anymore and it doesn't seem like that big of a deal at the time. but with my perfect hindsight, i can look back now and see how much easier the chunks of time are when i am writing. its not that i don't suffer during my writing times but its just that the suffering moves through me a lot quicker and things fall into place a lot easier. writing each morning helps with my flow, which to me is everything. it's the kind of yoga i teach, it's when i am happiest, it gives me faith in life, it makes me feel like i am not the only force responsible for holding my life together.
i am back at it now with a new enthusiasm and so believe in this process of saying it all, no matter if it doesn't make sense or i come off like an angry person. some mornings i'm totally bored by myself and other mornings i cry and cry but i always do feel a kind of shift, a settling back into my humaness with a new compassion for it.
i think that is why a practice is so important. the human mind is so egotistical and negative by nature and it will take me in circles if i let it control me. a practice, however--one that i know makes me feel better--will take me past my mind and into a place of easier, more joyful being. i can trust it to make me feel better when i feel like i can't trust anything else to do that.
to finish i wanted to write about all the reasons why i write but then i remember that orhan pamuk said it much better in a new yorker article from 2006:
"The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write. I write because I can’t do normal work as other people do. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. I write because I want others, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I write because I am afraid of being forgotten. I write because I like the glory and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at everyone. I write because I like to be read. I write because once I have begun a novel, an essay, a page I want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all life’s beauties and riches into words. I write not to tell a story but to compose a story. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a place I must go but—as in a dream—can’t quite get to. I write because I have never managed to be happy. I write to be happy.also a few things i've been enjoying lately:
"i killed my mother," a movie that was part of the dc film festival that has near-perfect details of why our parents annoy us and beautiful gay men.
this beautiful, inspiring vegetarian healthy foods cooking blog. i've made the poppy seed pancakes and the sparkling ginger cookies and both were fabulous.
the honesty and bravery of my femsex classmates. they inspire me.
the new gorillaz album (thanks for the recommendation matsimela), especially snoop dog's track.
the sunday drum circle at merdian hill park. i like to do the acroyoga but there is a little something for every free soul there.
karma kitchen in dupont. this yummy indian food sunday brunch is free. you pay what you like for the next person who eat there.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
deva primal and her thick german accent and beautiful sacred chants at the bethesda theater were she played with krishna das. my favorite moment was when her partner was prompting her to tell a story about india and she was hesitant because she thought she had told the story before and she didn't like to repeat herself. then she started laughing when she realized that by singing these same chants over and over that all she ever does is repeat herself. our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses.
also, below is the original lovers manifesto that i wrote at the pick-up, drop-off zone of the miami aiport, in the middle of my three years of living in peru. it gave a name to the kinds of people i had been meeting and our inspiring interactions during my travels through south america
"we are lovers and dreamers because we become like the water in the constant pursuit of moving and shaking what the universe has bestowed upon us in its perfect diction of saturday afternoon picnics. we refuse to stagnate, withdraw, give-up, escape for more than a few hours at a time. we see life for the process and have always loved happiness for its sexy elusiveness. in turn, we have learned to love her twin sister of heartbreak and how it comes to leave us a different person, knowing more about beauty and kindness than we thought possible. we believe in: dancing as prayer, chewing slowing, asking questions and listening to the answers, impromptu morning mass on deserted mountain tops, delirious gratitude, homemade bread, riveting conversation, and cups of tea when the moment requires rest. we are not afraid of change, our bodies, getting older, technology, confusion, bursts of anger, or the elusiveness of everything we seek. we have learned to sit still to see that which reaches beyond us and connects every single part of this world. by seeing the connection, we finally know there is no more need to fight. we are fed by each other, lessons learned, children´s sticky faces, treetops waving in the breeze, and above all, the love that loves to love us. we tough it out, we change, and we will change this world through consideration, compost piles of ideas, and a willingness to laugh in the face of anything that seems too big, too closed, or too difficult. we make loving look good..."
Saturday, April 3, 2010
also check out the black prairie "feast of the hunters moon" album on npr's first listen. really pretty muted, bluegrassy music. i had it on in the kitchen yesterday afternoon after teaching my last of 9 yoga classes this week. i love teaching but demonstrating all day long, biking all over the city and keeping up my own practice can get to be too much for my faithful, abiding body. i've been a little sleep-deprived from the early morning classes and have had some knee pain i have been trying to figure out.
so the music was on and i had the door back open and a warm breeze was coming through the kitchen and out of random ingredients i made inspired tempeh salad sandwiches with a coconut-milk, miso, ginger dressing, chopped carrots, and toasted sesame seeds (sadly i did not photograph them but will repeat this recipe.) then a nap, then restorative yoga and then spa world with friends i haven't seen in a while. after sleep full of dreams, i report my knee is better and actually everything just feels better. slowly i am learning, even that it goes against everything i have been taught--the more relaxation i give myself, the less problems i need to solve.
also, a necessary business expense i am happy to write off.