Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: October 2007
Greetings from the Land of Enchantment
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
There are times when a single woman has to prop herself up. She'll use lots of rhetoric to defend her position. She'll keep a stiff upper lip. She'll be steady on. And most of the time she'll actually believe her own marketing. She'll convince herself that life is good--even though she goes to bed alone every night, even though she sometimes wonders if there's something wrong with her, even though deep down she still whispers I love you to no one at all--Because life is good: The Packers won! Kevin Garnet is now a Celtic! Perfect necklaces exist and I have the money to treat myself to one! I fit into a size 10 again!
But occassionally, the bravado drops away and we're faced with the raw truth. We're alone and the solitary life is sometimes hard. Last night was just that moment for me. I tied my apron on and something inside me deflated. Even though I had a nice time cooking for my friend, something inside me longed to be tying that apron on for my man, my beloved. To be cooking and sharing food and stories of the day in an intimacy that you can only have with your beloved, your husband. Now, I've never been married and I'm sure that my imagination makes that moment much cozier and dreamier than it would be in 'real life'; but still, I confess my longing.
Ah! There's nothing like a Monday Night....You've dreaded going to work but made it through the day and you're coming home looking forward to seeing the veteran Favre play. A girlfriend calls and you spontaneously set up dinner plans. So, the game gets put off, but you have a lovely conversation and because it's always more fun to cook for someone, you make a lovely meal. And even though it's something you've never made before, it turns out delicious. You talk about work and life and movies and books and friendships and disappointments and self-doubt. Everything under the sun. Then have some chocolate and send her on her way. . . .Finally, you get to watch an 82-yard pass in overtime to end the game. Favre definitely still has the stuff. What a Monday night!
I'm not one who typically goes for 'readings into the future.' But every once in a while it's 'a fun' and sometimes it can be quite compelling. I had a reading with Sangeet Kaur from Phoenix yesterday; she works with your birthdate, the lifecycle teachings, and intuition. It was not only confirming but somehow refreshing.
I've been trying to get some perspective on 'the love thing.' The older I get, the more I wonder if that single, intimate relationship is necessary. I mean, it hasn't happened yet--and maybe that's because it's not supposed to. So yesterday's reading was very useful to me, given these questions that have been going round about in my head this year.
I've told friends that "if this one doesn't work out (i.e. the man I'm in love with) then I'm just going to let it go", meaning the search for that intimate connection. And they all, with a resounding cry, say, No, don't give up! But it's not about giving up--and the reading confirmed that for me. I've now been told twice that I don't need to get married; it's not in my karma, arc line, destiny, etc. It's not something I need to do in order to complete anything. But each time I've also been told, "you could if you want to." But it would be a gift, not a burden or a necessity--and that feels good and right.
I shared my ambivalence with some friends last night and they confirmed my position--it's not the end game; the sole purpose of being a woman, which in many ways is the conflict within me. Since I was a child, it has been all that I wanted: love, marriage, family, the whole nine yards. But how much of that was really my desire versus my conditioning? There's the question--especially now. Somehow I believed that an intimate relationship would be the defining factor of my life, when in fact it hasn't even come close. My search for self, my sobriety, my artistry, the ups and downs of my career, my friendships--these are the constants. These are what make up the thread of my life's story.
Do I want this love I feel to manifest? Do I want this devotion, this joy in serving him, my beloved, this coziness, to become real, to become a life together? Yes. But if it doesn't, I can now rest my mind and my heart firmly on this truth: The solitary life isn't so bad.
The weekend of November 10th is White Tantric in Los Angeles and Yoga West has a healing fair and festival following the all-day meditation. They've invited me to perform this year and sign a few CDs.
It's been years since I've been in the LA-area and I look forward to meeting the 3HO sangat in the area.
November in S. California used to be my favorite time of year when I lived there oh so many years ago; there was something about the quality of the light at that time of year. With the recent fires, I may not find it so; but the brightness of seeing old friends and making new ones will surely balance things out.
The thing that's most frustrating to me about being a woman and a yogi is that it's nearly impossible to find someone to watch the games with. Granted, once basketball season rolls around there are few friends of mine that are fans. But rarely do you meet someone like me--someone who just likes to watch the games, especially the big games, even if I don't follow the sport all season long.
It's one of the reasons I've always thought it would be nice to be married. I'd finally have someone to watch sports with! But knowing my luck, I'll meet someone who thinks sports are a waste of time or just not interested. sigh.
For those friends who didn't watch the game with me last night, be glad. It was over in the 5th and I couldn't bear to watch another second. That's the other part about just being a sports fan--and not a rabid 'team' fan--you want to watch a competitive game. These blow outs are just no fun for the likes of us. Now if you're a die hard Red Sox fan? I'm sure last night was a blast.
I'll miss game two. But I hope to see something of the magic that's been reported about these Colorado Rockies before the Big Show is over.
Just a few picks from the event last weekend. Me and two students from the Minneapolis area. The group of teachers and presenters at the Friday evening welcoming meditation; and finally, me performing Saturday night with local drummers Nath and Joseph on tabla and djembe, respectively.
So on my flight from Minneapolis back home to take care of my mom after her fall, I got really triggered. Toward the end of the flight, an elderly man was trying to return to his seat from the restroom. There was some pretty severe turbulance and I realized he wasn't going to make it. The stewards weren't doing anything--so I stepped out of my seat and called out to him to take mine.
I even struggled to get to his seat--so I know he wouldn't have made it. Later at baggage claim a few people came up and thanked me. One couple said that they had heard the flight attendents in the back laughing and saying, "I hope he falls." I was outraged. But then later, something in me broke. I began to sob and sob. I think in large part because my own parents health is failing and so I'm very sensitive to the frailty of elderly people. But in part, too, becasue of my own vulnerability. As much as I acknowledged and was grateful that I'm strong and capable and able to come to someone's aid, there was an equal and opposite part of me that mourned the fact that I had had to do it. No man had come to help. And I realized that I was mourning the fact that no man had come to help--and that perhaps no man would ever come to my aid.
Now, I am a strong, independent woman and in many ways, I've never allowed anyone to help me. So, I am culpable for my own 'aloneness' but still a part of me was tremendously shook. Shook by the casual cruelty of the stewards/flight attendents. Shook by my own parents frailty and my own sensitivity. Shook by my grief in longing for a world in which men would be like my father--courageous, kind, compassionate, leaders. A world where a woman like me wouldn't have to be the only one to reach out her hand to help.
Since then, I've recognized that chivalry isn't dead (in fact, the previous post was only possible because of the generosity, time and skill of a friend of mine, who is also a man--a chivalrous man); but that people are instead afraid. Men are afraid of women; women are afraid of men. People are afraid to reach out, even though they long to.
This trip taught me that reaching out is the only way I can reach myself within. Connecting is the only way I can connect to the one.
May we never be afraid to lend a helping hand
May the seeds of ill will and fear burn in the furnace of love and compassion
May kindness rule the day
May women be women and may men be men and may we learn to bridge the difference with love
This week is Guru Ram Das' Birthday. In celebration, my friend is helping me to post a live version of the mantra guru guru wahe guru today. Please feel free to download and enjoy! May your prayers be answered and may your wishes come true.
Well, for all my anxiety, the concert came off well--even though the drummer was late and the harmonium didn't show up until 2-3 songs in! Yikes! But I managed to maintain my grace (okay I steamed a little!) and 'the show must go on' as they say.
Minneapolis is a great city and has the most amazing modern art museum I've ever been to--The Walker Art Center. Thrilling.
The downtown is beautiful and Midtown, where the event was happening, is an up-and-coming little area. The market reminded me a lot of the Seattle Public Market, which was my favorite area of Seattle for years.
I ran into someone I met this summer--Luci aka Guru Narayan Kaur--and we had a nice visit and also met some great people who had come in for the event. There was lots of Yoruba influences among several of the teachers, which was fun to be a part of, and the Ethiopian food was amazing.
Sunder Kaur aka Gaia has promised to make me famous--we shall see. But for my first professional gig, it had its bumps in the road, and was great fun.
A friend loaned me Cheri Huber's Book on Fear in light of my recent panic attacks. . . .one thing that really struck me was her exhortation: when it's really scary is when it's getting good--keep going! There is so much I'm looking at in my own life--my own fears, attachment, aversion, etc. Eating myself alive--literally and figuratively. The weight continues to drop off without effort even as I consciously look at my mind and make effort to eat it alive--catch it while it's still ripe with wrong-thinking. Because if I catch it then, it's less likely to come back around and kick me in the a___.
I have a mild form of agoraphobia, which is another way of saying I don't like to leave home. As a friend put it years ago, "Your world is soooo small." I used to believe that I made up for it with an eclectic and creative interior world; but no longer. The world is calling and I must answer. My friend looked at me today and said, "Your letting this one thing in your life that isn't even real ruin the opportunity and experience you're actually having! You've been given the opportunity to sing--the thing you've longed for your entire life--and you're wasting it with regret and anxiety and worry over something you have no control over. Snap out of it! Let it go!"
So I'm saying goodbye. Goodbye to things I can't control. Goodbye to fear. Goodbye to attachment and it's brother-in-arms aversion. Goodbye to my own ego which creates this whole mess in the first place. Of course, this will have to be a daily goodbye--the ego won't give up so easily, which means a daily hello to surrender, to the opportunities the world affords me, and the friendships proffered. So it's hello and goodbye.
hello and goodbye my love
hello to a new day a new way to be in the world the breath the in and the out-- along with the ins and outs
hello to a new place a new space to be on the earth walking one step and another along with those two steps forward and the many steps back
goodbye to desiring goodbye to fighting goodbye to staying full of fear
hello to loving hello to dying hello to flying free from fear