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Tax Day and the West Coast Swing

Mailed off my check to the government yesterday.  Don’t spend it in one place Uncle Sam…

Last night after school, yoga teacher training, and Modern Family…I headed out to Lenora’s for some west coast swing.  My inaugural night into the WCS scene.  I have had two lessons so far of my four week beginner series.  The first week was hard..this dance requires one to, dare I day it, …..DANCE!

Okay, I know I’ve been dancing tango for almost five ears now; but tango is a very lead/follow dance.  Yes it’s improvisational…but still..it’s lead dependent.  The west coast swing…completely different language.  With the lead an arm’s length away, there is a lot of wiggle room..pun intended.  What I do with myself is really up to me!  In the close embrace of Argentine Tango I am physically restrained (in a very pleasant way) from moving too far.  In the WCS…I am free.  Very cool and very terrifying.

Last night I was lucky…my very first two dances were with two guys who were fabulous..really good and experienced dancers.  I did warn them of my very low skill level.  A great dancer can really teach a beginner a thing or two or a thousand. I also was very fortunate and danced with Heath, a fellow student in my class…he’s actually not a beginner, but is learning how to follow this time around.  He was patient and fun; and he even taught me a few new moves. How cool is that?

The Argentine Tango world could learn a few things from this crowd.  The generosity of an advanced dancer to dance with a beginner says a lot about a community.  I found a lot of generosity last night.  So thank you all you gracious and beautiful dancers who shared the floor with me…

an inevitable course of events

Fate

Nietzsche said, “My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”

Love what is necessary.

What is necessary Nietsche?

my likely incomplete list of necessary…in no particular order

-good yarn and knitting needles

-art…making and viewing

-Luka

-walks through the neighbor

-talks with my kids, texts will do

-good food

-potato chips..any kind

-coffee(trying to make it not necessary, but have yet to succeed)

-dancing

-a good friend

-love…simple, honest, truly unconditional..

-laughing

-water…all kinds, but especially the kind that you can swim in

-quiet…

This is probably not what Nietsche had in mind, but I struggle with word “necessary” used in conjunction with the idea of “fate.”  I think of fate as “what is.”  When I think of the word “necessary” what comes to mind is the idea of something being needed likely for the attainment of something else.  I need air, in order to live. I need to get a good job so I can pay my bills. I need to accept fate in order to be at peace…I can live with that.  To say that I must love what is necessary, what I need, …it’s not the same thing.

What is the need?  Life..living..the human experience?  And here…here is the question that is always asked…why is this life, this human experience needed?  To what end?  Last year, I might have answered “to die well..” Today I answer “to no other end but now, so to do so, living, as peacefully as possible.”

page one

A weekend of yoga school and I am left feeling both that I learned so much and that I am back to square one knowing nothing at all. We spent the better part of the weekend observing each other and making adjustments based upon those observations.  What I took away from the weekend was the realization that my own practice needs an overhaul.

I have been guilty of “hanging out” in many poses, accommodating my weaknesses, highlighting my strengths, neglecting my core, and struggling with my breathe instead of accepting it.  AAAAHHH….I am back to day one all over again.

This is how it is with many ventures though. I learn enough to get by…to not make a fool of myself..to feel successful.  Then I get a glimpse in the mirror and realize what I’m seeing is not at all what I believed I was doing. So I reexamine, pick up the pieces, and start, as always, wherever I am.

It’s frustrating and exciting both.  I learned some new things about my body and breathe, and I am eager to explore them in new ways.  I feel hope in ways I had not earlier.  I can change my body. I will open my hips, and breathe deeply.  I will discover ways of moving and freedom in my personal geography.  There is a brand new world out there…I am both the explorer and discovery…the seeker and the sought after. How cool is that.

What I have learned…

Yoga is a practice of observing yourself without judgement. If we do not pay attention to ourselves in our practice, then we cannot call it yoga.”…Desikachar

I am

what I believe…

let me only

believe the beautiful

“One must still have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star”

“I say to you: you still have chaos in you.” Zarathustra …..In Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra

What hope and beauty is found in this..

Marx

We’re flying through the “critical thinkers” in my art theory class…today is Marx.   I must admit, I am a communist at heart… Marx’s communism, not Stalin’s and Mao’s, but pure good old fashioned communism.  I like the idea of not having any personal property (except maybe my tango shoes and my favorite boots…surely there is an exception for footwear). Like many things though, communism looks good on paper, but in life…it never has worked out so well. Marx was great at pointing out the downfalls of capitalism, but when it came to organizing people….he didn’t do as well.

People are unpredictable.  We don’t act like we’re “supposed to.”  We surprise ourselves often..in horrible ways and in beautiful ways.  We’re human…Humaness is not easily defined..not easily organized and understood. The ideal is a non-existent subjective goal ….it’s  unattainable.  And yet it seems that time and again man has tried to understand and organize himself and others…unsuccessfully. We are consistently inconsistent.

Yesterday as I was reading up on Marx and Hegel (God help me with Hegel)…I asked myself this question…”Is is possible to really understand something you don’t believe in?”  Before you answer ,really think about it.   Then ask yourself this, “Is it truly possible to understand something that you do ‘believe’ in?”  I’m still pondering both of these…right now I believe I can understand nothing at all. Seems I keep coming to that conclusion.

sleep

is elusive these days..

I’m in a constant state of twilight

never fully awake,

never fully asleep

I dream of dreaming

last night I counted minutes into hours into morning

never once losing the pull of mind and awakeness

Pasithea, the goddess of hallucination, keeps me company..

while Hypnos keeps his distance

one day..

one night…

the two shall share my company

I saw the strangest thing today

I’m still wondering if it wasn’t some elaborate joke…

So I enter the women’s restroom on the second floor of Neuberger Hall today.  It’s a three staller…the middle stall was taken. A woman’s voice, speaking an unrecognizable Asian language, yelling really, fills the room.  I always think it’s odd and gross when someone talks on the phone and uses the restroom at the same time…really? You couldn’t wait?

This is not the oddest of odd yet…there is a computer, resting in the floor in front of the toilet.  I can see it clearly from my own stall.  It’s open and on the screen is page filled with the characters of that same unknown Asian language.  What’s odd is, there are no feet in the stall.  Nothing is dangling from the seat.  Nothing at all. In fact, the wall separating the stall is a good 15 inches off the ground…and I can see no feet.  It is as if this woman is either legless or squatting on the toilet.  I can’t tell, but guess it is the latter, as there is no wheelchair, or crutches…It’s odd, the whole thing is off.  I wanted to peer through the crack of the stall and see just what was happening,  but I couldn’t…I didn’t..It seemed that stall was occupied by a computer and a voice…nothing else.

I guess I’ll never know.

Nietzsche was a Yes man

What if a demon were to creep after you one night, in your loneliest loneliness, and say, ‘This life which you live must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned and you with it, dust of the dust!’ Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer, ‘Never have I heard anything more divine’?

Nietzsche would have answered the above with the latter response.   I would like to live in a way in which I would too. I haven’t quite figured out how that is exactly possible.  In moments…it has happened.  I just need to extend those moments and discover how to live in the waiting  peacefully.

I have waited a lot in my life.  Years of waiting even.  It was in the waiting that I taught myself how to knit..learned to meditate..and made some of my biggest life decisions.   Waiting can be remarkable and meaningful; and never really waiting.

in a parallel universe

my UConn Huskies are in the finals of the NCAA tournamnet

and Duke doesn’t even exist