Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Back to the Vinyasa

So Nila and I have reached an accord.  She's sitting on the couch a few feet away watching the Berenstein Bears while I rat-tat-tat on my exercise routine over here.

I've been wanting to stream-o' about something I've been experiencing as of late in my yoga.  I could start a few years ago when I went for my training and certification at Shoshoni.  In addition to practicing six hours of yoga a day, we also practiced 2 hours of meditation a day.  Towards the end of my certification, I began to experience this sort of internal 'wa-wa' feeling, as if there were an energetic line inside of me that moved in undulating waves, sometimes forward and backward, sometimes side to side.  I was told by my teachers to pay no attention to it and not be distracted from the meditation.  So several years later, yet several months past I was meditating and had that sensation but it felt much more intense as if my physical body was moving like a metronome and when I cracked open my eyes I was shocked to see that I was, quite physically, and quite extremely moving my upper body like a metronome.  I did a little research and talked to a few people but I really didn't get any answers that felt right, or resonated with me.  Course there was all kind of stuff online about Kundalini yoga, but I don't practice Kundalini yoga, nor do I subscribe to all of those beliefs.  It didn't happen on such an extreme level again so I let it go

Last week, I was doing my own yoga session and just following my instincts when I came out of a wheel pose, shaking and feeling both scared and on the verge of tears.  It wasn't that I'd done anything bad for my body, I didn't over do anything.  So I decided to just lie on my back and breathe into my belly until the sensations passed.  What happened next was even more surprising.  I had what is best described as a flashback.  It was the memory of my 13th birthday when my parents got divorced and I was on our front porch while my mother screamed at my father to leave, not allowing him or my sister to talk to me.  the image of my mother, father and sister was still blurry, but what I saw clearly were the pebbles in the front porch, the dirt in the garden.  I realized that that memory was of a pivotal time, and what I feel is that it is part of a healing process.

On the one hand I want to get to the healing as fast as possible, while internally, I know, that's not how it works.  Yoga can't be used that way.  All of the gifts I have received through yoga were not gifts that could have been sought, but ones that came as a side effect of practice. Since I have the belief that no religion or spirituality on the planet really has everything all figure out, that includes even my beloved yoga, though I actually tend to regard yoga as almost more science.  So I don't altogether understand what is happening or how and it's almost frustrating realizing that I may never have the answers, may not fully understand.  Yet I believe I'll have no problem accepting these mystery gifts, either.

that's it for today.  I don't think I can let Nila sit there watching t.v. anylonger.  The fingers have moved far more rapid than in a normal story construction and that's what needed to happen. This vinayasa is complete.

Verbal Vinyasa

I've found that every now and then I have to dance on this page, and dance without steps or much direction.   If I spend all of my writing time in the construction of a story or working on a project, then it's like building up only the big muscles while letting the smaller, yet vital support muscles atrophy.  I try to use a journal, too, but I've noticed that using only a pen and paper to do stream of consciousness sets me free on paper when I've got writer's block, but then I have to transcribe whatever I wrote onto the computer and that takes something more precious and rare than a good massage:  TIME.  These day's I can't afford extra steps on anything, so I'm bellying back up to the blog bar this afternoon while my sweet angel naps upstairs for quite possibly only another 10 minutes.  So something I've been wanting to stream of consciousness about...unbelievable, she just woke up. Maybe I can play bad parent and plop her in front of a movie.  Those of you without kids shriek, "Not the television as babysitter!"   Those of you with kids sigh, "I hear ya."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Goodbye Jim Goodwin

When I was in college, I shared a house with these five guys, but there were two in particular.  The rest of the characters changed continually over the two years I lived there, but Jim and Ed were fellow constants.  That time in my life was one of frightening instability.  I hadn't yet begun to tap Uncle Sam to help pay my bills while I was going to school and was still trying to pay for everything out of pocket, including tuition, books, etc. and on more than one occasion, I barely had enough money to buy food.  Before moving into this place, I had been living in my car and I didn't want to do that anymore.  There's a long story that goes with this, too, but suffice to say I was suffering wildly from PTSD unchecked, and untreated at the time and I'll go on with my story.  This was the only place I could afford to live, so yea, there I was, the sole female in a house full of guys.  For the most part they were all nice guys, except that one guy that threatened to throw me up against the wall if I put his dirty dishes on his bed again, but Jim and Ed quickly threw him out.

I had an unusual relationship with Jim and Ed.  You'll notice I don't mention either of their names individually so far but always as a pair, and that's because in large part that's how they were and how everybody thought of them.  They were inseparable.  Neither of them seemed to work and I assumed they were like many in Durango whose parents funneled money to them in the hopes that they were using it for school related expenses.  But these guys lived frugal and used any excess expenses seizing every day.  They were constantly off on ridiculously cool trips, off rafting the Colorado or backpacking in the Weminuche.  They even sublet their rooms a couple of times so they could go jungle trekking, I think. Meanwhile, there was I, desperately clawing my way through college to what I hoped was a better life and sometimes I definitely envied those guys.

Very often, I would be the only person in that house of six that had a job and commitments...and I kept those commitments.  Occasionally, we'd have some Foreign renters, guys who were studying flight at Durango Air Service and this house had made it on the map of cheap lodgings while studying, so sometimes I had company studying at the kitchen table, but always there was Jim and Ed, rolling in at 3 am, bringing half of Oreo's Bar with them, shouting and cheering, positively giddy with how much fun they were having and just as often they'd pop on some music for the party-goers to enjoy and I'd be woken up in the middle of the night and lie in bed seething until I just couldn't take it anymore and I'd run out there and scream like a wild banshee til everybody left.  My jaw clinches even now thinking about it.

Despite all this, we three remained friends.  After a party event like that we wouldn't speak, or rather i wouldn't speak, for days.  Then one night, someone would come out of their room and turn on the T.V. and the theme music for the Simpsons would echo through the paper thin walls and drawing everyone in the house to the living room to watch the Simpsons.  And we'd bond.  We'd share jokes and laughter.  Sometimes we'd stay up for awhile talking after the Simpsons were over.  Jim and I both smoked so we were often on the front porch together smoking and talking.  Man that guy could make me laugh!  Occasionally I went out partying with them.  It's really a strange thing to think about those days and remember such strong mixtures of anger and friendship. Under different circumstances, this would have been such a fun situation for me.  In truth, I was almost more like them than I was different and it would have been so easy just to give in and join the party that was their lives, but I'd been doing that more or less since I was 16 and I wanted my degree and something told me that was more important than anything at the that time.

It was living in this house that convinced me to take out student loans to get through school.  I needed other housing options.  It was time for me to move out of the playhouse.  When I was moving out, Ed asked me why and I said, "So I don't kill you some night."  Those guys drove me absolutely crazy sometimes.  They were messy, sloppy--basically everything you don't want in a roommate, they were.  But they were also kind, giving and generous and they lived in a way so many of us want to live:  Absolutely Free.  At all times that I could see, they did what they wanted to do and the only speed bump in their otherwise completely trouble free lives was me.  I was the only obstacle to party's at the house all the time.  I was the only voice that screeched for them to pick up after themselves and take sponge to kitchen counter from time to time.  But they never seemed to hold resentments about any of that.  They treated me like a sister, or maybe a cousin.  If majority rules, I was always odd man out, but they often complied out of what I later felt was something akin to brotherly affection.  Somehow, I was part of their tribe and they looked after their tribe.

One fourth of July, I had been out partying with some other friends and had taken off on my own to go watch the fireworks down by the river on the rocks.  I ran into Jim and Ed and a slew of their friends and hung out with them.  We did a little smoking of the great ganja (sp?).  I rarely smoked pot, but i was very, very drunk and so was more open.  One of the reasons that I didn't smoke pot, besides the fact that most of the time I actually preferred sobriety, is because a couple of times when I smoked, I passed out and rolled down stairs or something.  This time, I passed out and apparently went into convulsions, bouncing around on a bed of jagged rocks, cutting and scraping myself all over the place.  Somehow, they managed to carry me out of the there, got me home, cleaned me up, bandaged me and took turns sitting beside my bed all night to make sure I was breathing and had a good pulse.  Somebody even managed to find my car downtown and brought it home for me.  I woke up early the next morning to see their friend, Eddie, asleep in a chair beside my bed, with  a wet washcloth in his hand.  Apparently, they also took it in shifts to wipe the vomit from my face and make sure i didn't drown in it as i basically threw up periodically all night.  It would be years before I would even think of touching the great gange again.  But that's not the point.

The point was that, Jim and Ed, looked out for me, on more than one occasion.  Our friendship, given the vast differences in our lifestyles, goals, and yet close proximity, was always tenuous, but it was there and I learned a lot from them.  I saw a lot in them that I wanted to emulate and I respected, even while I envied, their ability to be such free spirits.

I didn't know what happened to either of them until yesterday, though I often wondered and wished the best for them.  I got a facebook suggestion to "friend" Eddy Chacon and I sent a request, looking forward to filling in the blanks and reconnecting with friends from times gone by.  I'm glad to hear from Ed and hear he is doing well, living in New Orleans.  Ed told me about Jim.  Jim fought brain cancer for 2.5 years, before succumbing in 2009.  A strange aside, is that I kind of knew something had happened to Jim after initially connecting with Ed, like reconnecting with Ed hooked up this circuit where important information like that is relayed and I had two strange, strong impressions.  One was that Jim was dead.  I even spent a few minutes yesterday looking online for an Obit that confirmed my suspicion.  I didn't find anything.  Then I got Ed's message this morning.    The second impression was that Ed needs to paint.  Don't know what to do with that, except i suppose maybe pass that impression on to Ed and let the universe take it's course. To Jim, thank you for sharing so many interesting and different perspectives, broadening my own life experience and for all the laughter.  Rest in Peace and fly free, far and wide, my brother.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Money Rant

Today I painted Nila and I's fingernails and while I painted, we watched the BBC news while waiting for Arthur to come on.  I usually don't watch the news and here's why:  I just get infuriated.  It doesn't make any sense to me.  Of the few items I saw, one was about the condition of Haiti, one year after the earthquake and the other was about the diminishing coral reefs, essential for a healthy ocean, and how one of the contributing causes was the use of explosives to kill all the fish and get a good catch.  In Haiti, not only are they still clearing rubble and uncovering the bodies of lost one, but there is a cholera epidemic spreading.  Neither of these two news items make sense to me.  In both cases, money was the reason for both.  In Haiti, it was a lack of funds and resources, which strikes me as unbelievable given the wealth of so much of the world.  Images of a home I recently visited where thousands of dollars had been spent on tons of useless crap stacked all around the house, and much more rumored to sit in storage units, themselves a useless expense...and that's just one house of millions.  Why don't folks like that spend their disposable incomes making the world a better place????  I'm not even saying all of it...just some.  For Christ's sake.  On the coral reefs, the use of explosives is tolerated because it assures a good catch and makes good (short term) economic sense, though in a rather frightening way, dooms the world.  They talked about how they are trying to push conservation efforts by flouting the efforts as making economic sense.  the health of the oceans, and therefore the planet, has to make economic sense.  I don't get it.  I simply don't get it and that's why I don't watch the news.  It makes me think the world is crazy.  To add to the ludicrocity (a word I just made up on the spot) most of the world claim to be Christian.  I want to ask them, modest proposal style, what their relationship is worth...monetarily, and if it makes economic sense to continue to worship a God that they don't really seem to believe in.  Or they do believe and for some reason think God is behind them all the way, despite all his harping against gluttony.  So that's all for now.  I need a glass of wine.