Rhyme of Another Summer

This is adapted from an exercise we’re doing in Crash, which was adapted from my friend Theresa’s brother-in-law’s classroom. Each week, one of us posts a song, and then we have a few minute’s writing meditation. This week’s selection was made by my friend Brent, and it was Yann Tiersen’s “Comptine D’un Autre Eté”. He described it as “short and heartbreaking and beautiful,” and shared it because it “peels back the layers in slow motion.”

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I think the only word I’d add to Brent’s adjectives is wistful; that’s how I feel after listening to it. I want the song to keep playing over and over, slowing time down to where I notice each breath I’m taking, each pulse of my heart. I know the song will be over all too soon, and then? It’s back to the grindstone.

Why is it so hard to carve time for one’s self? Sometimes, in the midst of chaos I thrust myself into an existential mindset that leaves my inner-self clamoring to have the right to choose each moment in a way that feels best for me. I can intuit what is right for me, but there is no path easily available that leads there. (Apart, say, from winning a MacArthur grant and having the freedom to direct my energies as I see fit. Wouldn’t that be just lovely?!?)

At times, I feel out of place. Like I’m an artist-in-residence in a suit-and-tie world. If you look at my cube compared to those of my colleagues, it could serve to highlight that fact. And though it’d be lovely to just do as I want to do, I understand that in order to provide for myself, I must do the work that others ask me to do, in order to be rewarded with the opportunities to do the work I’m called to do. I am glad that the work that I’m doing in the CU Movement holds meaning for me, and that the people I’m working alongside are ones who brighten and enrich my life in so many ways – but am I just being ungrateful for what I am fortunate to have? (It feels a little like that.)

I wonder what it would have been like to be a nomad, before the Age of Industry, before the Renaissance and the Dark Ages. I’ve no doubt I would have minded my duties with great care – gathering food as I walked the beautiful and bountiful landscape around me. Undoubtedly tending to members of my tribe in the ways that I feel called to do even in the here and now, though there’s so much more that’s… different… with technology.

Last night I walked through the neighborhoods around my house, and there were people I wanted to say Hello to, except that they were absorbed in the devices they carried with them. And there were others I did greet, andwe made that brief connection with surprise, like it came out of nowhere. We shared space for a few seconds and acknowledged one another, and I think that’s all that we’re really put here to do, anyway.

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If you can’t take the heat…

One of our delightful new(ish) hires talked me back into hot yoga. I’d tried it a few months ago and really loved it, but the death of my car soon got in the way. Plus, it seems the only way I’m able to commit to getting out to exercise after work is if I have an accountability buddy. So when Shannon and I had another yoga conversation (I was sharing how much I loved the yoga class we have on-site at lunch on Wednesdays) she suggested (again) that I join her at hot yoga. I explained why I couldn’t go (transport), she offered me a ride both ways– how could I say no? It was everything I needed to do something that I wanted.

[Plus, we have a fitness subsidy at work, so I could offset the membership I paid for, making this easier in my newfound budget-consciousness.] Since my department processes the claims, I had fun with the claim.

Subject: If you can’t take the heat… lie down in “Corpse Pose”
Health-Related Program: I pay to be contorted in a hot room, almost to the point of passing out. Thank you for reimbursing me for this, I appreciate the Fitness Subsidy benefit.

My boss wrote back, “I have serious questions about any activity that involves a corpse pose as a safety precaution. Serious questions indeed.”

I was going to respond with a mere smiley face… but found myself writing more. My response is one I wanted to share:

“I know, right? When I first heard it on my way into my first class, I wondered what I was getting myself into. But then I think about how yoga was originally a Buddhist activity, and that the Dalai Lama (Buddhist!) has a great sense of humor… and I find myself believing it was all just one big joke for the ancient yogis. And so when a particular pose is too tough for me and the heat is too much, I lie down in corpse pose and in my head these ancient yogis crowd around me giggling, “You look like a corpse!”, “That last pose was killer, huh?” and it makes me giggle inside too, and I smile and my breath flows easier and I realize I’m alive and I am ready to get up and keep going. So I agree, it is a dreadful name… but like anything, it all depends on how you choose to look at it. :)”

3k.words/cause I love you

Dear Readers,

A picture is worth a thousand words. I’ll share a few shots from a recent walk around my neighborhood, and hope that will equate to three-thosand words letting you know that I am quite happy and look forward to seeing you soon.

xoxo,

Sasha

Such a cheerful daffodil. As a child, the daffodil's apparent pride in its petals reminded me of lions with their manes. This causes me to sometimes refer to them as "Dandy Lions", which can be confusing in absent-minded conversation with others.

This pump is at the top of a terraced community garden. A charming discovery a few blocks from my house.

I am so grateful that these neighbors opted for a carport. It frames a beautiful shot of the Olympics.

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Belonging, and Sasha 101.

So, I just finished reading Penelope Trunk’s latest post. This is not going to be a fan letter to her (though I’m a big fan — I love her honesty and openness), but this posting of mine is sparked by her post titled <<Tsotchke, chazzerai, schmate>>, so I want to be sure to send people over to see her. While there, you should buy her book. I am eagerly awaiting my copy, and can tell you already that I’ll love it, and it is worth the cost.

Her post struck me in particular, because right now, I’m feeling a little lonely. Which is ridiculous because I have this lovely cat who will meow incessantly at my back door, or try to sit in my lap as I type, and with so much meowing you’d think I’d prefer to be alone. That cat can sure meow.

The other week, as I was moving stuff out of the place I shared with Josh, he looked wistfully at Daphne and mentioned how he’d miss her, because cats bring manageable portions of chaos to life. He told me about a weekend in which he’d cleaned the place thoroughly, like, an hour (or more?) of deep cleaning. Mere minutes after he’d finished that effort, Daphne came along and vomited right on the clean floor.

It reminded him a bit of life — there is chaos everywhere, and no matter how much one may try to evade it, or seek to control it, chaos will still end up vomiting on your nice, clean floor moments after you’ve complimented yourself on a job well-done. Yep, I’d have to agree.

I’ve been doing a lot lately — working at a great job, fostering my sense of belonging to something bigger <<[crash.coop]>>, spending time with friends and family, moving, and getting settled. Though it feels really good to be moving into this next stage of my life, I can’t help but notice there’s not enough time for flat-out loving. Of life, the universe, and everything. Of really sharing time with people I love, doing things we love.

It’s okay, really — I know that being conscious of what is important to me will help me to prioritize. And some of the things that have been absorbing the bulk of my free time and focus will soon be complete (moving, painting). Plus, I’m working on my discipline, which I’m hoping will translate into more effective use of my time on projects I care about, as well as an improved ability to say No and protect some quality time in which I can dedicate myself to playing and adventures with my loved ones.

When I spend time with the people I love, doing things I love, it helps me to feel connected, it helps me to feel as though I belong. But one of the things that I’m recognizing in life is that the more I focus on the here and now, the more I feel as though I belong to each moment — that where I’m at is exactly where I need to be. That what I’m doing, is exactly what I need to do.

I’ll leave you today with an interesting tidbit. I moved into my new place, and realized that my house number (4121) is what I use to remember how to write my name in Sanskrit, as the characters look similar to those numbers. With my particular unit (101), I now think of my new home as Sasha 101, like it’s a college course. I suspect I’ll be learning a lot about myself over the coming year, and bring a studiousness that I only wish I’d had in college. 🙂

With that, I leave you with love. Take care!

Belated Introductions

My brother gave me my name. At 2 and half, he tried to say ‘sister’ and said ‘sasha’. My parents gave me a legal name, but called me Sasha, figuring that if I didn’t like it I could use another derivative of my legal name.

This has probably helped me in a few ways. For instance, I got used to introducing myself in front of others. Every first day of school or substitute teacher, my legal name would be called out, and I’d speak up about my preferred name.

It also helped to know that I had a choice. If I didn’t like my name, or felt more like something else, I knew I had some options. It’s just none of the options fit the way that “Sasha” does.

Anyway. Hi, nice to meet you. This is my blog. I’m always happy to share, but sometimes I do put passwords on postings. If you’d like to read a password-protected post, let me know! This is a blog in which I explore different things that bring me joy, or simply my perspective on life as I learn and grow in life.

Love you, even if I don’t know you.

How does he do it?

From Rob Brezny’s Free Will Astrology:

Verticle Oracle card

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
“Dear Rob: All my life I’ve been passionate about the big picture — learning how the universe works, meditating on why things are the way they are, and probing the invisible forces working behind the scenes. Too often, though, I’m so enamored of these expansive concepts that I neglect to pay enough humble attention to myself. It’s embarrassing. Loving the infinite, I scrimp on taking care of the finite. Any advice? – Larger Than Life Sagittarian.” Dear Larger: You’re in luck! Members of the Sagittarian tribe have entered a phase when they can make up for their previous neglect of life-nourishing details. In the coming weeks, I bet you’ll find it as fun and interesting to attend to your own little needs as you normally do to understanding the mysteries of the cosmos.

~*~

The opening letter could have been written by me. And I find Rob’s advice rather timely as I’m coming off of a busy week, and headed into another busy week too. I have a to-do list, but included on there is a reminder to relax and read for a little while. And maybe go for a walk in my neighborhood, ah. Sounds good.