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Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Year one was still incapable of comprehension. Year 10 seemed like an oddity. Year 20 was peaceful, if detached. Year 30 is a flick of the eyebrows: wow, some long time, eh? But we remember on. Joan, you were a good one.
Monday, June 28, 2010
A greatly beloved friend of mine was the victim of a random attack, pushed from behind into heavy traffic by a deranged man. My friend (acushla, life's blood, mainstay) is in superb shape, but even so he was lucky to sustain only bruised ribs, pulled muscles and a concussion. The attack came out of nowhere -- my friend says he doesn't feel paranoid about walking in the city again, since how can anyone be prepared for the totally unexpected? One can't. And I can't prepare for the loss of such a beloved friend, which is probably why I always insist that "I get to go first." I congratulated my pal on being unkillable, and encouraged him to continue. Days later, my pulse still jumps when I think about this incident. Don't be being dead, friend. You are loved.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Forty-seven years after I was yanked ass-first into this confusing world, I have done the birthday goat-milking, the birthday poo-raking, the birthday dog-hollering, the birthday bikram yoga class AND the birthday bikram posture clinic . . . what have I forgotten? Oh, didn't beg the free birthday coffee from the local Starborgs . . . but there's still time. Perhaps a birthday duck-lockup first.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
When you are in pain, it is understandable that you want the pain to stop. It doesn't matter whether you caused it or not. All that matters is that you want it gone. So I understand why I've been making fantasy plans that involve lengths of rubber hose and tanks of helium, carefully worded notes and tidy resolutions. I catch these plans as early as I can now, reminding myself of that beautiful James Richardson aphorism: "Time heals. By taking even more." Reminding myself that just as I have the power to hurt people with words, I have the power to help people with words. Remembering the threefer: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? Pledging to use these questions especially when I'm judging myself.
Karma gets me again. I keep thinking about that day, the day I fucked up so stupidly and royally. On that day in question, where I was stunned with shame and remorse, I headed out of the house and went in a haze to yoga. Peter, the instructor, was sunning himself in the parking lot as I walked up. He smiled and held out his arms to hug me. I was so roiled with the inescapable truth of the pain I'd caused my friends that Pete's hug took me by surprise -- who could hug such a person? Inside the studio, I heard my name called, and Chloe, my original karma friend, came over and hugged me in greeting, too. That did it -- I had to go and mop my eyes. I took Pete's class and struggled with tears in every savasana (corpse) pose. I kept saying, I don't deserve this kindness, karma! What is this telling me? What indeed. That there is kindness even for the undeserving, I see. Amazing. Now pass it on, why don't you, to the un and deserving alike?
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Being mindful no doubt involves paying attention. Ah.
Look in the goddamn mirror once in a while, will ya? The orange goo that I frosted over my torso and arms will indeed transfer itself when I do a few yoga poses while waiting the 10 minutes for the goo to do its thing on the batty hide. I was working on the Half Moon Pose, my biceps pressed to my ears. I remember this when, an hour later, I look in a mirror at the yoga studio and see orange splotches on each side of my head.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
The last time this happened, I was stunned that old friends would think I would purposely be so obnoxious, when in fact what had happened was that something I said was misinterpreted by a listener. I had thought my remark merely conversational, on topic. Suddenly I was the antichrist, and all before breakfast, too.
This time is a tad different: I was showing off, trying to be funny, and as a result oblivious to the effect of what I wrote. So what had been a sunny, fun and lovely day has become a concentric ring of Hell -- and while I did not write those words with intentional malice, that doesn't matter. Much damage has been done.
I hope all the reading I'm doing about Buddhist practices, e.g., being mindful, exhibiting loving kindness and compassion, sinks in a little deeper from now on. Incidentally? Crying on your back in a hot yoga studio? Just stuffs your nose up and makes for very laboured intake (mouth breathing not permitted, you see). My karma friends, not knowing of my colossal fuckup, hugged me in greeting. Karma is going to kill me, I know it.