Gates of Paradise

I've had a recurring dream for the last few nights.  In the dream I am being quizzed (by persons unknown) about the artistic significance of Lorenzo Ghiberti's door panels for the Baptistry in Florence - known as the Gates of Paradise.  And question after question, the only things I can remember about art history pertains to Caravaggio's use of light in The Death of the Virgin.

I have this dream not only every night, but multiple times a night.  I don't get it.  And it's making me crazy.

 This is one of the panels from the Gates of Paradise.

This is Caravaggio's Death of the Virgin.

If you get a chance, take a look at all of the panels of the Gates.  They're breathtaking.


It's All in the Hips

Lately, I have not wanted to go to yoga.  I go, but I have to talk myself into it every day.  I'm avoiding it because I'm getting into my psoas and it's causing a lot of emotional stuff to come out.  And I don't feel like dealing with it right now.

First off, let me say that I don't believe in a lot of things.  The Secret, The Law of Attraction, Chiropractors, hell, I don't put much stock in Doctors, but I do believe in yoga.  And acupuncture.  These are two ancient healing techniques that are tried and true, generation after generation, for thousands of years that I've seen work for me.  But I know it sounds weird that stretching the front of my hips is creating an emotional release.  If I heard someone else talking about it I'd probably think they were, you know - granola-y.  It's happening to me right now, though.

I don't want to do any form of pigeon, camel makes me want to punch it in the nose, wheel makes me want to barf, dragon should fly back to it's mythical past, and splits can suck it.

King pigeon is the worst because of the depth of the stretch.  Camel comes in a close second, though.  Camel is emotional for a lot of people because your chest is open, but throw in a psoas stretch and it's wretched.  On a good day, wheel isn't one of my favorite postures.  I don't like being inside out and backwards, and that's how wheel has always felt to me - just wrong.  Then I got the instruction to straighten my legs and push with my arms.  Holy hell.  I wanted to stand up and hit the teacher I was so mad.  I mean, Jesus Christ on a crutch, dude, why are you trying to torture me?  Dragon is pretty pigeon-like, except that it's a Yin pose so you have to hold it for like five minutes.  FIVE.  It doesn't seem like much now, but while I'm in the positions, I feel like my life is shortening.  Splits are pretty easy to avoid.  Since most people will hurt themselves trying to get into splits, most teachers don't do them unless they know the people in the class.  Still, when they're there, I don't want to.

I've been pretty lucky that most of the time I can walk into a class, throw down my mat and, at some point, find at least a few moments of real blankness.  Acupuncture was better.  As soon as I was all pinned up, I could find an almost unconscious state of nothingness.  Yoga is also good, though.  Except not lately.  All I want is a nice meditative class.  It doesn't have to be easy, but I'd like it if every class wasn't a minor emotional breakdown.  Lately it's a fight.  I'm getting tired.  I guess that's the point, though, right?  I can only fight for so long before I get tired, give up, find my ease, and move on.

Catharsis is such a pain in the ass sometimes.


In the Words of Bill the Cat

Sometimes I have so much to say that I can't find the words fast enough.  Sometimes things well up so fast that I can't identify them.  Sometimes I wish so hard that I could think it onto the page.  This last thing, though, does not work and I've nearly ruptured a blood vessel in my brain trying to make it happen.

It's so frustrating when I'm bursting with words and they fly through my head so fast I can't catch them.  Sigh.


With Affection

A man I know and like very much is losing a battle with cancer.

He is the step-father of my ex-boyfriend.  One night, we were alone together while his wife and my boyfriend were out at a family function.  Hank (that's his name) had just had back surgery and I stayed with him in case he needed help with anything.  

It was the only time we were ever alone for more than about five minutes.  He told me without hesitation that he thought I was unhappy with his step-son.  And I burst into tears.  But we had a long conversation that I know he will keep to himself to the end of his (now seemingly numbered) days in which he told me not to worry about doing what I needed to do to be happy.  That acting out of sincerity, regardless of the immediate consequence (like breaking a heart), was the only course for life.  It was one of the greatest acts of compassion I've ever experienced because he said the thing I had been afraid to say, but that I needed to admit, so that I could get on with my life.

Because of that conversation, I did break off that relationship.  And because I broke off that relationship, I have never seen Hank again.  And it would be inappropriate (for many reasons) for me to contact him now.  And, in truth, Hank and I both knew that that conversation was our goodbye.  I am sad, though, to know that he is losing his fight.  And because of the kind of person he is, he will not overstay his welcome here on earth.  From what I understand, he's come to the point where he's ready to go.

I'm sure his family will have a party to honor his life.  I can only do it here.  So, Hank, I thank you with most sincere affection for the help you gave me.  You've always brightened your corner of the world with your kindness.  My life would definitely have been harder without you.



Now that I've finished pulling a Kerrigan*, I can tell you this:  My name is Dorothy and I'm a bookaholic.  I'm the nerd who has her books in a database.  In LibraryThing (which is the coolest thing ever), my personal collection of books numbers 801 and that doesn't include anything I've acquired in the last year.  So you see I have a problem.

I try not to buy books from the megachains, but I do maintain an Amazon wishlist because it's a really easy way to keep track of the books I want to read.  I only use it for books and I've tried other means of keeping track, but I get all drunk on the smell of paper and binding glue and ink so when I go into a bookstore I blank out.  I'm mesmerized by the pretty colors and covers and all of a sudden $200 later I don't have a single book that I intended to get.  Yeah.  See?  Even writing about it has made me slightly giddy and I sort of forgot where I was going which is:

As of today, my Amazon wishlist contains 1,001 things.  I added the 1,001th (yes, I said oneth) thing this morning.  I've had the same wishlist for a long time, but still...  1,001.  If I read two books a week, didn't add anything new, and only read what's on the list, it would take me the better part of 10 years to finish.  And still, I cannot delete any of them.  Because it might hurt their feelings.  Plus, I can't stop adding things.  That would be unfair, too.


*pulling a Kerrigan:  crying and whining 'why me?' when it's obvious that life is life and sometimes bad shit happens.  Named for whiny bitch extrodinaire Nancy Kerrigan.



So as of about 10 minutes ago, I am caught up.  I'm not leading the race.  Actually, I'm not even mid-pack yet, but I cleared the backlog and I feel pretty good about that.  Just in time to move.  Oh well, I'll burn that bridge when I cross it.

In the mean time, I've been simmering with things that I want to write about and I'll be getting to those soon.  Also, I think I may start a blog that's all memes because they're fun and I love them and they're all over the place.

Although, I should really pace myself.  There are plenty of miles to go...