Sunday, September 22, 2013

kick your butt

did my first kickboxing class today, 75 minutes of what is akin to modern day torture. it was tough, i was exhausted, and all i could think about was milkshakes, onion rings, and a cobb salad. en route to the diner after, the milkshake gave way to a sensible cup of hot tea, but the onion rings were ordered as an appetizer, and while they taste good with zesty sauce, thousand island is really good on them too. and blue cheese. the table was covered with little dishes running over with different dressings and fatty foods. it was sheer heaven.
ah, the boxing, well, i didn't blow out my fists or my knees, so that is good. i went for the two pound weights, since i knew i'd be gasping, especially since there is a jogging component to this class, as if plank push ups and X pushups weren't torture enough. at a certain point, i just put my head on the mat and laughed. it was too much. i didn't want to blow out my shoulder either.
i will definitely go back, i figure, it can't hurt to practice punching and kicking, although my punches toward the end were more like a kitten batting a cloud, but hey, i didn't keel over and i made it the whole way. holding boat pose, or a big V with your torso slightly reclined and your legs up in the air for a whole minute is just cruel. i dropped out after about twenty seconds i'm sure. it was brutal. but definitely fun.
and the feast afterward, mmmmmmmm.

Friday, September 20, 2013

burning ayes

i made it through the week, at least i have that in my favor. i did not honor my silent time and that was not good. i'm due to take my cold meds now, but have to drive, so i must delay it for a while. it would be nice to be allowed to rest. but i guess, i have to first, allow myself to rest. if i don't do that, it will never get done.
maybe tomorrow. will try again.

Friday, September 13, 2013

exercises in silence

it started back in 2003, i'm not exactly sure when, but i had read the artist's way, and i was reading a lot of merton then. i did my deprivation, per julia cameron, but it wasn't enough, not reading, so i took it a step further. i stopped talking, i stopped listening to music, watching tv, all of it. a total technology and sound blackout.
i remember that first night like it just happened yesterday. sitting awake all night in a glider, rocking back and forth while my mind was lit up and buzzing like times square. that was probably the longest night of my life. i wasn't prepared for detoxing from technology.
when that week ended, i spoke with another artist, a poet whom i knew from the dallas poetry circuit and told him,
i couldn't believe the fear. it was unprecedented.
he had recently completed the way with a group and he said he went directly to the movie theatre after the group meeting and the deprivation ended. it's hard, being deprived of comfort thus.
though now, i employ eis to another end.
the impending stuff that is filling up my calendar, mind you all of it worthwhile, and stuff i want to be doing. nothing i would not willingly do, am not willingly doing. but it's a lot. a psychic drain, if you will.
so i am allowing my life to fall into a cadence, and i realized, if i don't protect my headspace, who will. i need to carve out some space for me to ground. i know what to do, i know how to do it. it is just making it and myself a priority enough to honor the need in me for some quiet time.
mind you, i am very zen in that i believe anything can serve as meditation. so, i left yoga last week knowing i would do an eis from 9-12 today, and if i cleaned the house, so be it. if i sat there and stared at a wall, fine. whatever i needed to do, i would do.
i got up earlier than i wanted to, started the laundry, and made breakfast for my baby.
when nine am rolled around, i shut off everything. at one point i even shut off the fan since it was making a whirring sound. i did everything on my list, and then some.
in silence.
it wasn't that i was doing that much different. it was just a clear space for me to hear myself think. or not to think, as the case may be.
i thought a lot. but i don't stop myself, i try to focus on the positive, but i let the negative come and go, like the waves on the shore, and when they roll out, i marvel at all that has been uncovered. there is so much, so very much in the recesses of the mind, and when given time and space to be, nothing but good can happen.
and so, nearing the end of my three hours, my cat met me on the porch. i served him a meal. i had a meal and mindfully ate. rejoicing in every bite, the hot enchiladas and the cold pico de gallo. it was all so good.
and at three pm, as i reached for the familiar remote, to block out the silence, i set it back down. content.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

ah yes

i remember now. and begin to understand why artists let their art go in favor of teaching. though my hope is that i can maintain both. at the moment i am more scholar than poet, but i hope that will right itself anon. teaching is it's own peculiar joy, and i am most joyous at the moments when i can see the clap of enlightenment. hear the true utterance.
i make myself too available, perhaps, but i cannot teach in any other way. i don't know how. but i am finding that my style is evolving, solidifying in the classroom. that i am finding my footing. my aim is clear, and i trust it will be well.
and so it shall.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

my toes ache

went to a hatha yoga class, impromptu on sunday. the instructor had a sub and we got a woman who was very, immensely comfortable in her role. we moved through the hour and a half class with minimal moaning and groaning, as the class seemed to really flow. when instructors move you through class to a certain rhythm, somehow, it makes things easier. at least it does for me.
when we left class, after ten zillion down dogs and cobras, my friend commented on her derrier aching, and as i stepped up to the indian buffet door (yum!), i could feel my arse start to chime in. but we felt strong and hungry. so we proceeded.
when i woke up monday morning, everything down to my toes ached. i lumbered around like a geriatric gone to alaska, and t'wern't pretty. i muddled through some yoga to help stretch out the aching bits, but the bits continued to ache. every bit of me. even as i prepared to sleep monday night, i still felt sore.
the thing about it is, i didn't even feel like i had pushed beyond my limits on sunday. i just moved with the instructor, felt strong in my body and confident in the poses. i even did some standing balance moves where the leg is outstretched and the arm has the big toe in a yoga lock. it felt good, i felt strong. but boy, did i pay.
while my arse no longer aches, i know i need to get back into a regular yoga routine. as i lay on the mat, not my own, mind you, that's how impromptu this venture was, i remembered a vision i had which wants to become a poem. that vision is fresh in my mind even now but the poem has not yet come. i trust it will. perhaps in december after the rush and hurry of this fall semester is grinding to a halt, and my master's semester is well underway, perhaps then, this poem will emerge, fully formed like venus herself.
that is my hope.