29.10.10

Map-making

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I don't believe in destiny. I don't believe in soul mates or "meant to be". I also don't believe that everything happens for a reason. I think it's crap. I think we believe in all of this kind of goo because we, as self-centered human beings, can't actually believe that the Universe doesn't actually give a shit about us. We need to impose order and so we talk about fate and reason, but that seems limited to me.

We make choices, sometimes actively, somtimes passively and those choices haven't been overseen by some great force. Some people make consistently good choices and some people can't get out of their own way - ever. Most of us muck it out with a little good and a little bad and a lot of in-between.

The funny part of it all, is that we most often run to these trite little words of encouragement or comfort when something has gone wrong. Or when
We perceive something has gone wrong.

While we were looking at houses, we found a house we really loved on a quiet street in a cute neighborhood. We put an offer on the house and the offer was accepted. But then the house didn't appraise anywhere near the asking price and the seller wouldn't come down so we cancelled the deal. The first thing a lot of people said is, "Everything happens for a reason."

But what if we'd decided that we would pay the difference? Would I have been unhappy in that house? Would anyone have said those five, trite words?

I truly believe we make our way as best we can with what we have. And the choices we make shape us as we go. We learn and change our strategies. Or we don't.

I often wonder what I would be like if I'd lived in the same place my whole life.

I've moved a lot. A lot of dwellings, a lot of schools, a lot of cities. Sometimes the moves were my choice, sometimes not, but collectively they've shaped who I am. Is this who I'm meant to be? No. It's just who I am right now. Right now.

Not that I don't feel like I'm not living up to my potential, but who doesn't want to believe in their own untapped greatness? Yet some of us have to play the supporting parts, be the unnamed extras.

I never thought I'd live in Vegas, but I do. I made that choice for a reason. So far, it's sound. Do I want to end my days here? No, but maybe I'll come to love it if I choose to.

We pick our paths. And we have only ourselves to blame when those paths lead somewhere deep and dark and we don't turn around or find a new path.

I could have returned to old places, reconnected with old friends. But that always seemed like the wrong direction. Not that back is necessarily wrong, but I always moved on for a reason, so returning to what I left behind was never where I felt like I shoud go.

I've always found the new routes to be the best way for me. I can make my own trail - however I like it. I admit, I like a paved trail the best, but I can hack through brush and jungle when necessary.

I am about to change direction again. I've come as far as I can on this stretch of road. My turn is ahead. It's kind of a blind corner and I'm a lot concerned with how I'm going to navigate the next several miles. My GPS doesn't have a map for this. But the worst that can happen is that I get lost. The good thing about being lost is that, no matter how lost you get, you'll eventually find something you recognize to lead you in the right direction. Or you can stop and ask someone for help.

It's all up to me. This is who I am right now.

27.10.10

New Nemesis

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Go ahead, pop the champagne and throw the streamers because after almost three years of yoga, I finally got standing bow/dancer's pose. I know. I won't let it go to my head, though.

Actually, my body sees to it that the victories never outweigh the struggles. Standing bow already has a replacement in the archnemesis department. Moriarty is replaced by Blofeld. That's how I think of binds.

I can't do a full bind. Even though my shoulders are a lot looser than they used to be, I still lack range of motion behind my back. Partly from swimming competitively for so many years and partly because my thoracic spine is curved and less flexible than either my cervical or lumbar spine, I can't get twisted enough to get my arm around back. I find it most vexing.

I've recently started practicing binds with a strap so I have some leverage to gain flexibility, but it isn't very fun. Actually, right now, I fucking hate binds. Bound side angle or spine twist is usually how I practice. Sometimes I go with a bound half lotus. All variations are equally difficult for me to get into, though, and it irks me.

The thing is, I want Bird of Paradise. A really lot. It looks so fun. I can do it with a strap, but I want to go strapless. Let's whip off those training wheels, already! I mean, sure, I'll probably fall on my ass, but I'm short so the fall won't be far.

I know it will eventually happen. One day I'll reach and my other hand will be there. And I know that practice is the key. Practice to become flexible and practice to stay flexibe -- in all things, really. Ah, well. And there's another yoga lesson. Damn it.


21.10.10

Let it Come

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Fall has crept back again. Sort of, anyway.  It's cooled off some, but the 70s isn't exactly fall, and with my whole back yard in bloom, maybe it's more a wish than a reality.

Yet soon the temperatures will cool. And this is what I look forward to with hot anticipation:  the short, cool days followed by dark, cold (enough) nights.

I can't wait to curl into the front of the evening that descends at 4:30 with a book and a throw covering my besocked feet. Or taking up the unfinished knitting projects that I have left from spring when it got too hot to have a pile of wool on my lap.

I have several soup recipes already chosen for the chilly evenings to come. And the Thanksgiving menu is in production again.

When I was younger and lived in colder climes, the arrival of the Canadian geese to the pond near my house signaled the beginning of fall.  Every year the first flock would arrive and I would get excited.  They meant that the leaf piles would soon begin to accumulate and the honey days of autumn would be upon us.

There will be no geese here in desert, and not many leaves that turn anything but brown, but the days will have that color and I can't wait for the first night I can see my breath or when I need a jacket coming out of the yoga studio.  I have the cocoa at the ready.  It's going to be great. 

20.10.10

Raining Nostalgia

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Fall has arrived here in Vegas.  I know because it's been raining.  I love the rain.  And I love the fall.  Even though fall in Vegas isn't what I'd call a true fall because it's still 75 degrees and my back yard is still in bloom.  But the days are getting shorter and the evenings are becoming crisp.

But the rain is what makes me nostalgic.  I can't quite figure out what it is about it, but rainy fall days are the days that I think about making out with my boyfriend in the park at lunchtime.  I think about the smell of the coffee house where, as a teenager, I spent the bulk of my time.  I think about the sounds of the kitchens of my friends.  I wonder about those people I used to know - even the ones I don't really like.  I have bits of conversations come trickling into my head.  From nowhere, I hear the laughs of my friends, past and present.  I remember pumpkin carving parties and homecoming dances.  I remember movie-going with friends - coats and scarves taking almost as much room as we did.  I think about trying to use the windshield wipers to get the wet leaves off before giving up and getting out to do it for real.  I used to bundle up and take an umbrella and a towel and walk the deserted beach  until my calves ached and the rain penetrated my skin.  Then I would walk the way back to the car, throw off the top layer of clothes and crank up the heat and drive home.

There are some many lovely things to remember.  And yet, it's a good thing the rain here is rare, because there are so many lovely things still to do.

19.10.10

A Couple of the (Many Thousands of Things) I Don't Understand

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There are books full of things I don't now, nor will I ever, understand. Calculus. Meteorology (although, in fairness to myself, I think the weather forecasts prove even meteorologists don't really understand it). Physics. Any form of economics.

The stuff in the books doesn't bother me so much, though, because it is, with effort comprehensible. To at least someone.

The things that no one writes books about (or at least not books with explanations) are the things I'd like to really understand. Things more related to human nature than esoterica.

Things like: Why is it that most men can watch any James Bond movie everytime it's on TV? In my experience, women don't switch over to Never Say Never Again every time it shows up in the guide. But pretty much every man I know is right there. And they'll watch it again later that same day. And it's not even one of the good ones.

I doliscovered this fact in it's fullest form only recently. Encore apparently made a sweet deal with MGM to play all of the Sean Connery and Roger Moore Bond movies over and over again on all of it's channels. So not a day has gone by since the beginning of August that there hasn't been at least one Bond movie on one of those channels.

At first, I thought it was just Matt. He can also watch Casino and The Godfather every time they're on TV, too. Even when they're on commercial TV. But then, as time has gone on and Encore keeps cycling through the Bond movies, I've heard every other man I have been in contact with (and who also has Encore) that they're also watching Moonraker twice a week.

I get why men like Bond. Tits and guns being the top three reasons for many men. But the cool gadgets and continuous ability to get out of anything are also appealing.

I'm not saying I don't like Bond. It's just that mostly I don't care. And I'd rather have my teeth drilled than watch The Spy Who Loved Me twice in the same decade. So, yeah, this puzzles me and none of the men I ask have a real answer aside from,"it's Bond." I don't get it.

Another thing that I don't understand is how traffic lights know when I'm in a hurry. They know when you're late, too. It's maddening. The minute I get in my car with the thought that I need to rush, every red light between where I am and where I'm going is red. And not just red, newly red. It turns when you're just close enough to think you might get through it.

Conversely, when you need a red light to try to tie a shoe, apply lipstick, blot the drink you spilled, it's nothing but smooth sailing. I once made it from the top of the strip to the bottom without a single red light because I wanted to put on powder before I arrived at the valet. I mean seriously, how do they know?



13.10.10

New and Fun

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So I've decided to do the meme blog.  It's up and running here.

I'm thinking it'll be a weekly thing.  One new meme per week should be plenty.  And though I have spent some time stockpiling/writing memes, I'm always looking for new ones, so if you have one you like, please send it to me.

8.10.10

Dreams of Flight

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I have always envied birds their ability to fly - even on the windiest days, even as they look as though they might lose the battle with the forces that are hurling themselves against them - because they're flying. I am fascinated by their ability to fly through almost anything and their apparent swooping fun almost always.

I haven't dreamed of flying for a long time. I used to dream of floating off windowsills in high winds only to discover I could stay aloft indefinitely. In my dreams, it never surprised me that I could fly. I knew if I stepped off the ledge, I wouldn't fall. I loved those dreams.

As I said, though, I haven't had one of those dreams for a long while. I feel like it represents a change in me. It's a change I don't like. And it's fed by a person I love.

So my very dramatic post of yesterday culminates in this: I have to say goodbye to someone. Someone I've commiserated with and cried with, who has listened to my fears and hopes for many years.

I realized the other day, after several hours of yoga, as I lay sodden and spent on my mat, that as much as I love her, her contribution has always been a negative one. Too often she confirms my fears and dismantles my dreams. She tells me not to get my hopes up. She makes it easier for me to give up.

I've thought about this pattern. I've contributed to it by asking to hear these things. I have called on her too many times to hear that it's okay not to do, say, want things.

I have addressed the pattern with her. Possibly she doesn't see it. Possibly she doesn't want to see it. I can't say. What I can say is that it won't change. It can't change. We've entrenched ourselves in these roles.

I've tried to add new lines of dialogue, but she comes back to the same scene over and over - even when what she says doesn't make sense. She only knows the one play and she can't improvise.

So I have to let her go. It breaks my heart. Not only because I'm sad to lose her, but because I see the effect her unwillingness to change the pattern has on her. She is becoming afraid and bitter. But she and I can do each other no more good, it seems.

I took a day to wallow - to look at our elementary school pictures, read our old letters, remember the fun - and to cry. I almost can't remember my life without her in it.

She is my oldest friend. She knows more about me than anyone. She knows things no one else will ever know and understands me in ways no one else ever will. And I still have to give her up. Because as much as I love her, I love me more.

I need to dream of flying again.


7.10.10

Breaking

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Sometimes we need to break habits.  And sometimes to break habits, we must break hearts.  And sometimes the heart we must break is our own.

With even pressure and a careful toss, we can break it in such a way that it isn't irreparable.  But it still hurts.  It hurts worse than when someone else does it.

I do believe you can die of heartbreak, but I think in order for that to occur, you must be willing to die of heartbreak.  I am not.  I'd rather pick up the splinters.  Because a healed heart, like a bone, is stronger than before.