Monday, November 29, 2010

apologies for being out of touch

I'm cross-posting this from Facebook, because it applies to my blog buddies, too:

Howdy all,
This is for anyone who's messaged me, posted on my wall, sent me a text or email, or called over the past six (at least) months, and hasn't gotten a response... It's important to me to be a good friend; unfortunately I haven't acted accordingly.

I have no excuse, but here's an attempt to explain:

My friends mean the world to me, so when it comes to correspondence, I want to write something thoughtful. But then I wait until I have enough time to write something thoughtful. And it's like that saying goes: If you wait until you feel you have enough X (in my case, time), you'll never do Y. (And although I have time on my commute, my thumbs lack the fortitude to type anything of consequence on my Blackberry.)

So - I am so incredibly sorry for what may have seemed like a blow-off. I'm going to catch up on correspondence over the coming week. If I don't, feel free to hassle me about being lame and not being in touch - that should elicit a response. :)

Hope you'll hear from me soon!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just a link, but a good one.

How to Know When Yoga is Working for You, via Elephant Journal.

My favorite from the list:
9. You no longer think about what you're cooking for dinner while in Savasana.

What's your favorite way to know the yoga is working for you? It doesn't have to be from this list, either. :)


Friday, November 5, 2010

in which i decide to never blog from a blackberry ever again (oohhh, my achin' thumbs!)

A little follow-up to yesterday's livid post:

So I felt like I was in a pretty good place, after thinking lots about Dorothy's comment and having strategies to deal (or not deal, really) with M.

I even started a book today by Jack Kornfield about Buddhist psychology. Have you ever heard the expression, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"? Well, I've had this book (The Wise Heart) for well over two years; I snagged it from the religion writer at the SLTrib. So I'm on a crazy long flight this morning, learning about nonattachment and science of mind and sensory perception and all kinds of good stuff, all set to attempt to practice lovingkindness toward M when I walk in the house tonight...

So I've been around going on six hours now, and he very deliberately hasn't said a word to me, avoiding any kind of contact at all. He did slam a door in my face, but my honest reaction was a "whatever." Seriously. I heard him telling my mom (I guess she said something, which is so totally not their dynamic!) that we're not friends, which is obviously true. I'm still game to attempt politeness, if he says hi.

Progress? I think so.

Tonight: dinner at home with the folks (I even got to help cook!) and a long walk with my dad that included gelato, noisy bars, and looking at the beach.
Tomorrow: breakfast at 976 with mom and gramma betsy, then beachbeachbeach, then yoga at the teacher training tent with E!!! This trip is shaping up *quite* nicely. :)

Hope you all are doing well, and finding peace with whatever life is throwing at you.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Just a simmer, so far, but I'm not there yet. (edited w/ photo)

As mentioned yesterday, I'm visiting "home" starting tomorrow.

I'm thrilled, really, to have a break: after a few insane months at work, after some too-chilly-for-me weather, after too much feeling like I've been running around, not as present as I aspire to be.

There are ways San Diego, and PB in particular, will always be home. There, at the foot of the rickety Diamond Street stairs, I learned to walk on that sand. There, below Chalcedony Street's curving concrete ramp, I learned to swim in that often-rough water. There, just south of where Reed meets the hostel, I learned not just algebra and Spanish and history, but who I am, fundamentally. And how many times, and with how many boys — and the occasional man, sigh — did I fall in love at the end of PB Drive?

More momentous family occasions than I'd care to remember took place in those couple of square miles: births, deaths, marriages, divorces, more than a few screaming matches, and even a psychotic break (luckily, not mine). Sometimes it seems as though those are what keep me away, now.

But no. New York has an amazing "pull" factor, sucking me in and engaging me in ways that I never thought I'd care about. I think I wrote last year about being surprised by whom I'm identifying with. I'm not a city girl, which is so bizarre to me. I'm not a country girl, either (I don't even know who/what that'd be). But during election cycles, I'm more concerned with "upstate issues," including farming, transportation and education, than I ever thought I'd be. I'm pretty much a bleeding heart liberal. Even in Utah — god, especially when I lived in Utah — that's when the ball got rolling...

Which is a problem when I visit San Diego. My little brother, who at 28 is only 15 months my junior, fancies himself quite the dapper, moneyed, young Alex P. Keaton, just with fewer reasoned positions. My brother, M, just wants to argue and spew invectives about how much he hates liberals, how they (we) destroy everything, and ohyeah, down with the gays and brown people, too. If you so much as attempt to step in with a slight question of his position, he goes off, spouting big words he learned in private university (that he didn't lift a finger to pay for) economics classes and may have read on a conservative's blog. He might even throw some Catholic catechism in there too, for good measure. I have yet to hear an original thought from this kid, seriously. No, seriously.

I'm a firm believer that the life I have lived has shaped my politics. I mean, that's just common sense, to me. There's an inevitable difference between what I have lived, and what he has lived — we're different people. But to me, what he has lived doesn't support what he endorses. Everything about him is aspirational, with no life experience (or wealth) to back it up. And he is so caught up in this current of hatred and superiority that he can't (or won't) see the value of breadth of experiences. This fundamental disconnect in values blows my mind, and I don't know how to deal with it.

When I walk in to my parents' house and see that M has taken over much of it with car paraphernalia and electronics and other accoutrements of a swanky lifestyle, my blood boils. When I learn that my dad has to postpone retirement longer than he'd planned, in order to pay off M's tuition bills, my blood boils. When I catch the occasional Facebook glimpse of an M status update, that reads, "fukkin bitches and thier issues ... oh well beautiful day to enjoy a [insert expensive brand name] cigar and bourbon," my blood boils. (He unfriended me. which had me laughing for days, but my BF is still "friends" with him and sometimes I can't resist checking in... )

(Obviously my parents have some culpability in this, but it's less than it'd seem and like anything family-related, it's complicated. Rawr.)

I went back for Thanksgiving last year and other than making inappropriate plate art at the adults-only-kids'-table with olives, pickles and mini-carrots time spent with family was a downright disaster. M is the power-starved tyrant king of this little world. People do what he wants because it's easier than saying, "No, you're a tool. Go make your own luck." It seems that only people outside the county lines (my sister and other brother and I) recognize this going on. So it is with some trepidation that I head back.

I'd stay at a friend's place, but I really want to spend time with my dad, and he'll be home grading papers. I *will* have a rental car...

Anyway. This post has absolutely nothing to do with yoga at all, but I needed to get my absolute fury with M out of my system (for now). Does anyone have any advice for dealing with the situation, demonstrating the ease and grace that shines in all of your writings? Please?

xoxo :)

Wisdom from Dorothy's comment, written out and Post-It-ed to my boarding pass:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm visiting San Diego this weekend. Besides my immediate family, only a yoga blog–buddy or two knows.

Here's hoping that the warm sand underfoot, and a steamy class at teacher training, and awesome Gramma Betsy, balance me out in ways that I feel I need, but can't quite put into words.

My solar-powered batteries are due for some recharging.