Tuesday, October 28, 2008

counting sheep

I'm reading one of my favorite blogs ( http://www.yogaforcynics.blogspot.com ) and it gets me thinking about the upcoming election. What am I saying? Everything has me thinking about the election. So here's what I'm pondering in this random moment: sheep.

You know how counting sheep is supposed to help you to fall asleep? It's kind of like singing "one hundred bottles of beer on the wall." The repetition eventually leads to a zone where the only option is to surrender. It's the cynic's meditation.

So here's a twist...What if in the simple act of visualizing and counting sheep, we actually merge with their energy? What if we become the sheep? Okay, stay with me because I'm meandering somewhere that has nothing - or something - to do with pulling the proverbial wool over your eyes.

Once we become the sheep, we enter a sort of sleepwalking state (as opposed to a red or blue state), following in lock step with herd. And how easily we are dogged by, herded by, fear. Not the wars, not global warming, not even the financial crisis jars us awake. The most recent 3 day poll indicates that Obama's lead has dropped to 4 percentage points. Need I say more?

What would it take to wake us up before next week's election? To spring us from the slumber of the docile herd, to raise our voices and pull the lever for O-baaaah-ma?

(On the other hand, if we become the bottles of beer on the wall instead of the sheep, it could be a heady experience)

Here's the point: I shamelessly beg you to vote. Count sheep, count bottles, count calories, count whatever you want. Counting is good, especially when it comes to votes. Make yours count.

(I am Barack Obama and I approved this message)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

pushing through to the second syllable

Have you noticed the praise that infants get for burping? Smiles and laughter and applause even. And then at some point, the baby grows into a kid and burping at the table elicits an entirely different response. When does burping move from adorable to rude and disgusting? Odd, eh?

Sucking follows the same curious path. An infant's sucking reflex is the most critical and primal response because it allows the little guy to take in nourishment. But at some point, to suck takes on a whole new meaning and it's not pretty.

That's why I'm trying to push through to the second syllable - from suck to success. It's not that I don't have gratitude for my health and my loving family; I do. But I've been feeling that my life sucks lately. What will it take to feel that I'm a success?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

sleeping with dolphins

Have you ever gone through your day, waiting for nightfall so that you could climb into bed and rejoin a dream from the night before?

Tonight's the night.

But first, a word about my days. They suck. I'm full of worry about the upcoming election. Will Diebold rig the voting machines? Will the thousands of new voter registrations purged from the rolls be the difference between an Obama win and loss? Are we driving towards a crash or a bounce and what can I do to influence it?

But last night I had the best dream of my life and I can't wait to get back to it. I was swimming in a current and spied a dolphin nearby. Then another. And another. And another, so close I could reach over and feel its rubbery skin. Soon I was surrounded by dolphins and they were swimming beside me, body to body, practically carrying me along. The feeling of effortless movement and connection is blissful. Something I long for. So until I figure out how to recreate that feeling in my waking hours, I will wait for nightfall and invite dolphins into my dreams.

Friday, October 17, 2008


By now, everyone on the planet knows that Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, prooving she has international experience. But I can prove that she really understands what's going on in Russia. Like on a deep level.

Consider this -- Palin and Putin share three letters. They're practically family!

Now stick a p-i-n in me; I'm done.

happy birthday to me

I was raised on fig newtons and fruit cocktail, confusing sugar for a basic food group. Being vegetarian doesn't translate as being healthy. Take this morning, for example. I ate birthday cake for breakfast. Two pieces. Skipped the candles and wish and dug right into buttercream frosting. So despite my 2 mile dog walk and mid day yoga class, I still feel like crap -- not a good thing on your birthday. And yes, it is my birthday.

I'm in my mid-40's, somewhere near what I imagine to be the midpoint of my life, if I'm lucky. And let me be clear; I'm not embracing this image of a hill and at a certain age (is it 30?) being 'over the hill.'

Life's not a straight line either. I mean, there I am in yoga class today, stretching my hamstrings in downward facing dog and then suddenly sitting on a bench at the university art museum, surrounded by Renaissance paintings and immersed in the vibrations of a quartet playing Mozart. I'm both there and can see myself from a distance, 21 years old, dressed in my favorite purple pants, a soft matching sweater, a magenta beret. True story. (and hey, stop judging and accept that style is a personal thing) The bolt of memory was immediate and in such sharp relief that I could fully feel myself there, so much so that I didn't want to return to my achy hips and stiff hamstrings and fear of economic collapse.

Anyway, that proves it's definitely not a straight line. So what shape is it? What is the shape of life? Which begs the question, what shape is my life in? And if I don't like the shape, can I shift it as fluidly as I shift from downward facing dog to child's pose? Does the attitude shift and the life follow? Does the gaze shift and the body follow? Do I even know what it is I'm following?

We can blog and debate the life I'm creating, but this I know -- I'm generating enough hot air to blow out all of my birthday candles.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

spitting like the big boys

Keeping up with the boys was easy in all things but spitting.

At the end of our driveway just before the curb, a sky blue line of paint marked the bus stop. We'd touch our toes to the edge of the line, lean forward and let fly. Greatness was measured by distance.

Even with practice, I was lucky to get the saliva to leave my mouth, clinging to my lower lip like baby drool. Why it came naturally to the boys, I'll never understand. Ricky would snort in and you could almost hear the mucous gather and wad. Then he'd press his lips together and blow out with force, trumpeting a big hunk of yellow hocker into the street. The right arc could take it to the middle of the pavement for a silent landing, our footsteips in quick pursuit. Results were immediate and indisputable. Landing the ultimate hocker can catipult one to greatness. It commands respect and top prize in the pecking order. Conversely, a girl with spittle dangling from her lip is a despicable thing.

I found redemption in watermelon tag. This game was reserved for late summer, played at twilight on a full belly of hotdogs and hamburgers. Mom would slice a watermelon into thick triangle slabs and slide them onto white paper plates. I'd eye the pieces, searching for one loaded with seeds. The more seeds, the better the chance of survival. We'd eat the pink flesh, faces dripping and sticky with juice, and save up the black pile of seed bullets for after. At last! Let the games begin.

With a mouth full of ammunition, we'd unload on each other in the front yard. Calm and deliberate, I'd take aim and, separating each seed with my tongue, shoot rapid fire at moving targets. Once a seed sticks on you, you're eliminated. The last one standing takes all honors.

Watermelon tag was made for me. Queen of spit. Hot as shit.