Monday, November 9, 2015

latin dance

so, surrounding yourself with positive people.  how does that even work?  when the stuipidass ghosts from the past press in close til there's no room for anyone else, positive, negative, or even this bodymind to be.  and who the hell are these positive people anyway, gleaming and shiny with sweet smelling farts.   how to hold compassion while attempting to not be a complete doormat.  problem is i go from doormat to volcano in 10 second flat.  and then i'm the problem right, the non-positive person from whom to unsurround oneself.  i suspect the core of the issue lies in this gleaming toy that taunts me all day, promising connection and intimacy while instead delivering the treacly sweet and deeply dissatisfying candy of distraction.  not to mention pinched nerves in the gleno-humeral joint on my right side.  shoulder, pelvis, brain.  

thanks day for being grey.  so this is it right, this is the moment when i come face to face with my god-given right as a human to choose something other than this same old tired schlock again.  bitter, whine, complain.  unicorn rainbow poo and whipped cream atop a cow paddy then, perhaps.  ach.  

i guess it really is just a giant spoonful of my own meds getting crammed down the gullet.  tasty.  alright well i'll just keep doing my best to mambo with the madness that rages inside.  

i am alive afterall.  breathing, with hair and teeth.   sledgehammer in the occipitals, you can chill the f out.  just gonna keep cha-chaing as the changes keep flying fast and furious.  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

richmond day 2

--initiated check-ins for our crew, shared concerns re: kitchen and 'bath'
--first round of organizing my stuffs in mah room
--revamped/set up kitchen to be functional, cleaned out entire set of cabinets
--massive grocery shopping at cheap-ass salvage grocery
--met neighbor, potential laundry solution
--black-plasticked poison ivy spots
--located bike lock and key
--set up practice station for fidl
--bath and dinner
--very successful/gratifying 3 hour rehearsal with my son the doctor
--gathering of more potential massage office options
--making new friends
--kept "omfg what have i done" chasm at bay for another day


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

great grate greightful

skipping over the last two months of:

--blackfire band tour to NOLA, Austin etc
--10 day meditation retreat
--adventures in jacksonville, fl and chicago, IL
--mom visit in MI and 7 day backpacking trip on isle royale national park
--whirlwind visit to richmond, walking miles around the city finding a home and bike
--week of amazing balkan music and dance at the balkan music and dance camp in upstate ny
--amazing weekend of blackfire gigs in NYC
--whirlwind twin oaks visit


first day in RVA:

in which i helped build a porch, got groceries, taught and sang macedonian and croation songs in 2 part harmony, went to a planning meeting for extravagant giant puppet events for gallery 5 and halloween, and visited the gorgeous james river at sundown.

so far, all is going according to plan.  

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Yesterday i woke up early and Cody picked me up to work the Alachua farmer's market.  it was really fun to be on the other side of things, selling the beautiful veggies that i've been helping grow.  this market is for serious shoppers--they keep the gates closed until 8:30 then ring a bell and the crowds flood in, armed with wagons and carts.  the last of the lettuces, some nice okra and eggplants and beautiful herbs flew of the tables.  we realized quickly that "heirloom fingerlings" would sell better then "russian banana potato", tried to give away as many giant zukes as we could and snacked on blueberries.

afterward, cody took me out to eat lunch with the fam at the daily green--they do a veggie trade for food there, so i had a delicious squash/bacon soup and a bacon-raddiccio-tomato sandwich on sourdough.  those kids are super cute, especially the badass sofie (4) who went up the counter to wait on line and order herself a grilled cheese.

after an afternoon of decadent lounging and a smoothie, i pulled myself back together for my last solo Fat Tuscan gig.  3 hours of background music at an italian restaurant.  Michele, the owner, is travelling in Asia right now so it feels like mom's away.  all the people there know me now and its a really relaxed vibe.  i set up on the porch and a russian family's little girl twirled and sang along to my songs.  took a break for ceviche-and-pasta salad dinner, played some more tunes, and then enjoyed my coconut-lime cheesecake.

just a little snippet of the sweet things that come my way.

things are looking good for the move.  i think i found  a place to live and a place to train, probably the most important things for my sanity.  still need a bike.  but its all rolling along in good time.

i will really miss the dojo and my Sifu, but... I will be baaack!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

piling on

ach, starting to feel scared and overwhelmed.  need  a place to live, a bike, a job, a place to work, a balkan band, a source of local veggies and other organic foods, friends to do stuff with, stuff to store stuff in.

i've started to find really amazing supports here in gainesville dammit, just as i am on the cusp of leeaaving.  lame.

last night mourning glories opened for the hackensaw boys at the High Dive.  they stuck around to watch our set and the fiddler complemented my fiddling after.  i had post-show high after and couldn't stop chattering.

and still i keep facing how f-ing thin skinned i am, cry at the drop of a hat.  i got to beat the s%$# out of a punching bag for 15 minutes at the dojo today that felt so great. didn't even realize i was pantingly out of breath as i beat that thing.  sifu was all business today, focussed, clear, efficient.  thank god i didn't have to fight vincent.  its hot.  i'm tired.  this week is a marathon of work and laundry and dojo and rehearsal and shows.  and then the weekend of florida folk fest.

ok, here's some stuff i did this week lest i feel like a useless lump

-passed my tai chi test for part 1 of the form
-opened for the hackensaw boys tuesday
-band practice sunday, monday and tuesday
-got my adrenals working together with my ovaries and thalmus
-gave 2 massages
-worked on monday and wednesday

still to come:
-thursday night 3 hour marathon show
-making food for this weekend

meanwhile, trying to finish all the loose ends of moving and restarting.  keep booking and organizing gigs for the various bands.  finalize tour show and lodging details.  finalize various inter-state travel plans.  

um.....yeah.  the stress is all making sense now.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

catch up

i have been slacking of late, but only on this blog.  after that last post things got to kind of a fever pitch of internal struggling awfulness, and i finally decided i needed to do something.  and that something was.....


yup.  the same dojo where i've been doing Tai Chi twice a week offers daily kung fu training.  just drop in anytime before 12 and 7 and you will get to kick your own butt for the low low price of an additional $20/month.  who could say no that?

its actually been really really awesome. it is definitely the most consistently physically challenging thing i've ever done, and i regularly believe myself to be at my limit and find out that...i'm not!   i realized today that one thing i love about it, even though it regularly destroys me, is that it is the one place in my life where i get to show up, every day (M-F), be welcomed with kind sincerity, be pushed to my limits, and the whole time know exactly what i'm supposed to be doing.  almost everywhere else and everything else i do includes some nagging voice--"you're not working hard/fast enough, your being awkward, you don't know enough, you did that wrong, you should be doing X, Y, Z, not J, K, L."  and on and on.  at the dojo, its super simple  (though not easy).  150 crescent kicks on the bag GO.  and that's it.  and much as i may not want to, all that there is to do in that moment is do those F@#%ing kicks.  and when i feel like i just can't, then pause.  and go right back to them.

its also been awesome to have this physical outlet--because my anger tends to run hot and just under the surface.  its likely pretty old, unresolved stuff that gets triggered.  but i'll tell you what, punching  a bag 1000 times in a day will take all that anger right out.  puts things in perspective.

and, i feel stronger; physically, of course but more importantly, mentally and emotionally.  the same issues are still here.  feeling lonely, isolated, a bit at drift in the world.  self doubt, self-loathing, judgments towards me and everyone.  but its easier to just let them be what they are and not get as thoroughly sucked into their vortex of unsolvable mental and emotional tornadoes.

i even appreciate the physical contact, something i'm not getting all that much of these days.

plus, my teacher is super badass.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

i saw the sign(s)

well, i kept an eye out for signs and i called for's the list of today's signs/moments of grace:

1.  a lovely morning bike ride with my friend lizzi to the prairie.  we spotted some horses.

2. finding out about theology on tap, another opportunity to plug into the best church in town (United Church of Gainesville)

3. i made granola.  i planted my roselle and spread horse poop in my garden.  i ate my first bean and admired the tomatoes that are coming on.  one curly kale has survived.

4.  i randomly stopped at a friends house to pick up my phone charger and they invited me in for sausage and salad while their adorable naked baby romped with her potty book.

5.  playing solo at the fat tuscan again.  yummy fish/couscous dinner.  moving inside when it got buggy, and encountering a Fan who blossomed with surprise and delight upon sighting me with fiddle in hand.

6.  sky setting me straight and telling me how important i am to him and how much he cares about me.

7. biking home with leftover fish and the last piece of blueberry pie.

Friday, April 24, 2015

you matter

yep, time for another sad n' lonely post.  yay!  i am so damned sick of these pathetic self-pitying pieces of schlock, honestly.  but what can you do.

today i had a plan.  with a friend.  for after work.  i was so excited all day about not having to go home to the dark separateness of my solitary apartment.  we were meeting to go see the senior film projects from 2 UF classes, being shown downtown at the Wooly.  It was really nice.  i guess, i just figured, it being artwalk night and the entire town being out that maybe we'd continue hanging out after but alas.


2 things

1.  i got a message today from a friend that i had randomly reached out to recently on email, and they told me that just this weekend they had been having a particularly low ebb and contemplated killing themselves as well as planning how they would carry it out

2.  biking home with the usual rip-in-the-gut of feeling rejected again and utterly alone in the world, i screeched to a stop at an intersection where i didn't have the right of way, right as a car sped around the corner.  as the car slowed down the tiniest bit, the driver called out the window not unkindly, "watch for the sign".

so, as usual, i have a choice.  watch for the dark gloom (which will find me anyway), or watch for the sign.  when i got home, i reached deep to the very bottom of my mailbox, begging it to deliver.  and, lo and behold, a tiny envelope all the way at the bottom:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

in the deep dark

One thing that has been happening this year is that i'm learning more about my (mild) depression and (major) anxiety.   The depression manifests as a kind of paralyzed, catatonic state where i don't want to do anything.  it makes it hard for me to trust my own rhythms of rest and activity.

Anxiety is a physical experience above all else.  its like a cord that runs through my skin is being cinched slowly until i feel overwhelmingly uncomfortable and eventually overwhelmed by pain; crazed, desperate to crawl out of my skin and myself.   the other night it was so bad all i could do was curl up in desperation, crying and frantic.  in those moments there's just nothing.  to do.  usually i hit a peak and then slowly retreat from there.  social interactions tend to make it worse, and can amplify it by ridiculous amounts.  often it feels like twin chords climbing up my back and wrapping around my head.  squeezing my head and choking me simultaneously.  there's little rational thought available in these moments.  like a friend once said, its like you reached up to get your tool box down from the high shelf and it slipped, smalling into your head and you just black out with useless tools scattered around uselessly.

Its taken me along time to admit that this is part of who i am.  because there's no on-the-surface reason for it.  my life is awesome.  i'm super lucky and very privileged.  i shouldn't need anything,  especially from other people.
it can get pretty dark in there

things that help, if i can manage to do them:  exercise, eating, hydrating (sometimes there's a bad cycle that happens where i'm stressed and anxious, and feeding myself becomes an insurmountable chore, which feeds the cycle).  tai chi.  meditating.  playing music.  singing.  dancing.  all these can take the edge off but often the full blown version is still close at hand, ready to climb back to fever pitch at any moment.  physical contact is one thing that cuts through it more quickly and deeply than anything.  i think this is why i have always craved it so much.  it is so grounding and gives me such a sense of peace and solidity.  right now i get very little if any physical contact.  and my anxiety cycles have been running pretty quick on top of each other.

i've been thinking about how many of my teachers have dedicated the majority of their lives and energy to the particular thing that they are teaching me:  tai chi, country fiddle, ortho-bionomy, improvisational music, singing.  And how i am dedicating my life to about 15 different things.  so, maybe i'll never be as good as them at any one of those things.  or maybe i'm just that awesome that i can succeed wildly at anything i put a significant amount of energy too.  But most importantly, each one of those things is a life-line for me when things get dark and horrible in the void of my internal chaos. the more lifelines i have, the better.

Friday, April 17, 2015


work at the chiropractor's has been kind of satisfying of late--there's this crazy new complicated insurance thang and somehow i am the one who understands it the most out of everyone there.  i kind of like geeking out on highly complex, detailed systems.  and shuffling papers.  sometimes i pretend that i'm on West Wing, with piles of thing that need to be dealt with covering my desk, things to fax and file and print....and punctuated by lots of sweet and silly conversations with folks on their way in or out.

Playing at Vine!
mmm, vine happy hour plate
and blackfire played at the Vine tonight; that delightfully cozy bakery cafe that was my first gig in Gainesville, and my first regular gig ever, source of my first regular massage clients, and my go to spot for middle of the day cookies.  i love that place.  it really has been like a home for me. Dean and Theresa, the owners are so sweet--it was Dean's birthday so they were having a rare night off, drinking champaign and listening to our music.   theresa (nearly always slightly stressed and handling 15 different things simultaneously) came over, slightly tipsy, afterward to ask when i'm moving and to say that she wanted to do a special event/send off party/final blackfire show at the Vine before i leave.  ....melt.....

also, it must be spring cuz i am getting crushes right and left.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

worm time

i guess, according to many people, and most particularly, my parents, i am a total failure at life.  i'm not really financially independent, i don't own a house, i can't pay a mortgage.  i don't have a car.  i'm not married and i don't have kids.  i'm 35 years old, often go barefoot and forget to brush my hair.  i'm not on a career track.  i don't have an IRA and i'm not even really sure what that is.  i'm not providing financial support to my parents.

just a human here.  highly sensitive many-membraned human.  just trying daily to figure out what that even means, what this mound of flesh even is, what these zooming thoughts and emotions it seems to be teeming with are.

sometimes even that is asking alot.

yes, i'm drowning in privilege and good fortune. i don't  deserve any of it.  i don't know anything, just fighting to understand everything.  its a slow process.

i admit, i may have gone about all this backwards.  i guess most people start with the outer world, figuring it out--but i'm just getting to that part.  like i said.  slow progress.  for whatever reason i kind of started on the other end, backwards; inside out.  it just always seemed to me to be the more logical starting place; that the inner world determines the outer world, so why not start there.  instead of pouring my preciously limited life energy into making it out there, and then being left with whatever is remaining for the insides.

but you know what, f&*% that.  i am figuring it out, all of it.  outside and in.  i'll say this much, i almost never get sick.  i eat super healthfully and have many healthy habits.  I am pretty close to earning a living doing things i feel passionately about that contribute something positive and healing to the people around me.

  i'm managing to thrive in the cracks.

but man, nothing like a good dressing down from _____ to leave me feeling like a tiny, worthless, highly squishable piece of worm-poogoo ground into the highway by many giant trucks.

also, apparently time doesn't actually exist.    

Sunday, April 12, 2015

roller coastering on

sigh, day 3 of waking up feeling like a poo-on-a-stick.  headache, everywhere-ache etc.  forced myself to go to church since holing up didn't seem to be helping (ok ok so its only been half-day hole-ups, but still.....)  and it did feel good to sit in that big, beautiful hall with nice, gentle people.

afterward, we went to the seminar, which was about the formation and transformation of UCG in the 70's.  Larry and Sandy, the indomitable ministers emeriti (they just retired last year) who had moved down from Connecticut to take over the flailing experimental congregation in 1974, as well as a couple who had been on the search committee for a new minister in 1973, regaled us with fabulous, hilarious and insightful stories.  I laughed so much at their wonderful recounting of the letters back and forth (from larry: "we're not sure we are ready to leave Connecticut, its almost cider pressing time and the leaves are just beautiful",  from Catherine (UCG member on the search committee) "ah, its december now and we just can't bear to be inside.  the children run around barefoot and its sunny every day").  it felt good to laugh and laugh, started to ease the headache that settled last week for a good long stay.

My Beautiful Church!

Afterward i had a little home-break, wasting time in the ways that i do....and also talking to Bruce Salmon about doing a show with Blackfire in Austin this June!  He was driving across Texas while we spoke; he lives in west texas now but lived in austin for many years before that, grew up in NOLA, mom lives in FL, so he lives in all those places now.  His accordionist friend and bandmate lives in Austin, Santa Cruz and NYC.

Here's a little vid of him + accordion and fiddle.

 managed to get some food in me (grilled bacon/avo/cheese sandwich+salad) and a small nap, then JD and i met up for busking at the spring arts fest.   its about 10 blocks of artist's little booths and many a meanderer.  we didn't play long, but what i enjoyed most were the songs that we are developing.  i am really loving finding my voice, and especially when i get to sing and then play and then sing again within one song.  people were appreciative and we made a good amount of dough.  then we walked up to the thomas center where jd was playing with the klezmer katz and i lay in the grass under a big old live oak, thinking about how lovely the trees are here and how much i'll enjoy coming back here.

headed home when a giant cooling wind kicked up, threatening a mid-afternoon storm.  managed to meditate and get more food in me before jazz bandits practice.

  i was glad to be there, mainly because i love Larry (minister emeritus now for UCG) so much and its great to get to be in a room with him.  i felt pretty good about my playing, as well.  started to have my usual meltdown where solos are assigned and i am somehow left off but i managed to rally enough to advocate for myself and get re-inserted; as usual larry noticed what was happening ("kassia always seems to get left in the corner!) which just makes me love him even more.

we worked on fever, and kali added in a lyric about jd and i; the 2nd time people coupled us today.  A lady at church had asked his name, and then "ah!  a strong name!  a strong partner you picked!" while i blushed and tried to back away and hide.  i guess it just shows when we are more in that mode, and people can't help picking up on it.

Larry gave me a ride home in his braaaand new prius, i told him about moving and coming back in the winters.  something shifted today about that--i had been thinking, well, i WANT to come back, but who knows.  but after today, hearing about those other musicians who are bi-or tri-local; HECK, why not??  So, its real.  its happening.

Its on, gainesville winters.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

oof, a day

today kinda put me through the ringer.

woke up feeling a little off, 2 nights in a row of not enough sleep and a bit of a long day friday....then got an email from a friend that left me in the slightly crazed/manic state of desperately wanting to know that everything's ok and they don't hate me, but having to just deal w/the the fact that i might have inadvertently destroyed a friendship.

made carrot muffins, because when all else fails transforming flour, eggs, honey, and carrots into hot fragrant nuggets of food helps shift the raw materials of my emotional mess into something slightly more palatable and coherent.

got a call back from the sis, yay! i almost started crying when she said, "so, just tell whatever you want."  Heard all the crazy stories delivered with wit and hilarious comic timing.  delved a bit into the early history of the arbabi family downfall and my own growing awareness of the Shit i've got inside.
got ready for the wedding.  drove down, super mellow sweet church and we played tunes while people arrived.  and then more tunes as the ceremony was delayed, awaiting a missing relative.  FINALLY, after nearly an hour of tunes the ceremony started.  we nailed all the hits, pachabel's canon, bridal march, etc.  which feels awesome of course.  it was out past Micanopy and there were enormous old oak friends all around.  had to leave before dinner as the wedding couple were staging their motorcycle accident themed wedding photos.

then back home for a quick change and off to swallowtail farm's springfest, supposedly to play a contradance.  by the time we got there, i was over the line tired, stressed, HUNGRY/hangry....and it turned out blah blah blah we weren't on the schedule etc.  Managed to wrangle some food as the food trucks shut down and wax wings played. finally hiked myself out to a hammock off in the dark woods, music filtering through and rocked a good cry out of the swirling intensifying mass of horribleness that had reached fever pitch inside.  felt waves of shit.  i'm never going to succeed at anything, i'll always be alone blah blah blah etc.  Let go of all the outside and just tuned in to the innards.

Rocking felt good.

Emptied slightly, i went back up the hill, feeling the ground under me and needing nothing.  watched the fire eating giant logs.  appreciating being on beautiful land outdoors.  admiring katrina's belly.

and home.  

Anne Lamott's wise words

This is too good not to share, from Anne Lamott

I am going to be 61 years old in 48 hours. Wow. I thought i was only forty-seven, but looking over the paperwork, I see that I was born in 1954. My inside self does not have an age, although can't help mentioning as an aside that it might have been useful had I not followed the Skin Care rules of the sixties, ie to get as much sun as possible, while slathered in baby oil. (My sober friend Paul O said, at eighty, that he felt like a young man who had something wrong with him.). Anyway, I thought I might take the opportunity to write down every single thing I know, as of today.

1. All truth is a paradox. Life is a precious unfathomably beautiful gift; and it is impossible here, on the incarnational side of things. It has been a very bad match for those of us who were born extremely sensitive. It is so hard and weird that we wonder if we are being punked. And it filled with heartbreaking sweetness and beauty, floods and babies and acne and Mozart, all swirled together.

2. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

3. There is almost nothing outside of you that will help in any kind of last way, unless you are waiting for an organ. You can't buy, achieve, or date it. This is the most horrible truth.

4. Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared, even the people who seem to have it more or less together. They are much more like you than you would believe. So try not to compare your insides to their outsides. Also, you can't save, fix or rescue any of them, or get any of them sober. But radical self-care is quantum, and radiates out into the atmosphere, like a little fresh air. It is a huge gift to the world. When people respond by saying, "Well, isn't she full of herself," smile obliquely, like Mona Lisa, and make both of you a nice cup of tea.

5. Chocolate with 70% cacao is not actually a food. It's best use is as bait in snake traps.

6. Writing: shitty first drafts. Butt in chair. Just do it. You own everything that happened to you. You are going to feel like hell if you never write the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves in your heart--your stories, visions, memories, songs: your truth, your version of things, in your voice. That is really all you have to offer us, and it's why you were born

7. Publication and temporary creative successes are something you have to recover from. They kill as many people as not. They will hurt, damage and change you in ways you cannot imagine. The most degraded and sometimes nearly-evil men I have known were all writers who'd had bestsellers. Yet, it is also a miracle to get your work published (see #1.). Just try to bust yourself gently of the fantasy that publication will heal you, will fill the Swiss cheesey holes. It won't, it can't. But writing can. So can singing.

8. Families; hard, hard, hard, no matter how cherished and astonishing they may also be. (See #1 again.) At family gatherings where you suddenly feel homicidal or suicidal, remember that in half of all cases, it's a miracle that this annoying person even lived. Earth is Forgiveness School. You might as well start at the dinner table. That way, you can do this work in comfortable pants. When Blake said that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love, he knew that your family would be an intimate part of this, even as you want to run screaming for your cute little life. But that you are up to it. You can do it, Cinderellie. You will be amazed.

9. Food; try to do a little better.

10. Grace: Spiritual WD-40. Water wings. The mystery of grace is that God loves Dick Cheney and me exactly as much as He or She loves your grandchild. Go figure. The movement of grace is what changes us, heals us and our world. To summon grace, say, "Help!" And then buckle up. Grace won't look like Casper the Friendly Ghost; but the phone will ring, or the mail will come, and then against all odds, you will get your sense of humor about yourself back. Laughter really is carbonated holiness, even if you are sick of me saying it.

11. God; Goodnesss, Love energy, the Divine, a loving animating intelligence, the Cosmic Muffin. You will worship and serve something, so like St. Bob said, you gotta choose. You can play on our side, or Bill Maher's and Franklin Graham's. Emerson said that the happiest person on earth is the one who learns from nature the lessons of worship. So go outside a lot, and look up. My pastor says you can trap bees on the floor of a Mason jar without a lid, because they don't look up. If they did, they could fly to freedom.

11. Faith: Paul Tillich said the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. If I could say one thing to our little Tea Party friends, it would be this. Fundamentalism, in all its forms, is 90% of the reason the world is so terrifying. 3% is the existence of snakes. The love of our incredible dogs and cats is the closest most of us will come, on this side of eternity, to knowing the direct love of God; although cats can be so bitter, which is not the god part: the crazy Love is. Also, "Figure it out" is not a good slogan.

She knows what's up
12. Jesus; Jesus would have even loved horrible, mealy-mouth self-obsessed you, as if you were the only person on earth. But He would hope that you would perhaps pull yourself together just the tiniest, tiniest bit--maybe have a little something to eat, and a nap.
13. Exercise: If you want to have a good life after you have grown a little less young, you must walk almost every day. There is no way around this. If you are in a wheelchair, you must do chair exercises. Every single doctor on earth will tell you this, so don't go by what I say.

14. Death; wow. So f-ing hard to bear, when the few people you cannot live without die. You will never get over these losses, and are not supposed to. We Christians like to think death is a major change of address, but in any case, the person will live fully again in your heart, at some point, and make you smile at the MOST inappropriate times. But their absence will also be a lifelong nightmare of homesickness for you. All truth is a paradox. Grief, friends, time and tears will heal you. Tears will bathe and baptize and hydrate you and the ground on which you walk. The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know.
I think that's it, everything I know.

I wish I had shoe-horned in what E.L. Doctorow said about writing: "It's like driving at night with the headlights on. You can only see a little aways ahead of you, but you can make the whole journey that way." I love that, because it's teue about everything we tey. I wish I had slipped in what Ram Das said, that when all is said and done, we're just all walking each other home. Oh, well, another time. God bless you all good.
Kassia Arbabi

Friday, April 10, 2015

love that mic

I woke up early to a squawking bird this morning, and remembered that i planned to meditate on my lunch break and go straight from work to contra dance gig SO, food needed to be packed!  Got together a ridiculous amount:  salad with avo, cheese, arugula etc, broc and peas, a salmon salad sandwich on banana millet bread, dolmas, apples, cashews....and chocolate.

work was neverending today and i felt trapped all afternoon.  sometimes all the stuff i'm supposed to do when the anxiety contorts my body into a melted piece of pain just doesn't work or i can't focus long enough and i just want to strip off my skin and flee my body.   jeff did an adjustment that involved pinging his little hammer on my anterior coccyx to get rid of my pounding headache.  thank goodness, it worked.

BUT after work tony and katrina picked me up for the pretty drive out to melrose where the Mourning Glories played a contra dance.  it was in a sweet old church with a nice wood floor.  I wish we added new rep at a faster rate, and the first few tunes felt somewhat monotonous.  But then i got to call a dance.  This is my second time trying my hand at calling and i love it!  My inner leo just adores having a mic to talk into, and its a fun and interesting challenge to line up the timing of the calling, the music, people dancing and make it all work together seamlessly.  its a real nice break from playing, as well. and, i'm starting to feel more freed-up with tune playing, to improvise or wander from the melody, alter the tone or dynamics etc.  i fell into a couple of good zones on some of the tunes.  This band from the weekend contra event last month really inspire me.

The weather is still real nice, warm but mostly not too searing--springy and lovely for biking around in.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

plugging away, day by day

We worked on footwork in Tai Chi this morning--with fancy chinese names.  i did my best and it made sense mostly, but when he comes by to check i have the feeling that i actually have no idea what i'm doing.  keep coming back to:  i need to just keep showing up, and it will make sense eventually.  but its also frustrating being the new kid on the block.

i stopped at my garden plot on the way home--someone had a brought a fresh load of horse manure, so now all my veggies are mulched in and top-dressed and weeded.  there's already a tiny tomato fruit on one of the plants.  the kale is coming along, and the beans are starting to vine up the fence.

came home for wedding rehearsal this afternoon with JD and bryan, all those classic favorites--pachelbel's canon, here comes the bride, etc.  I'm glad to be learning them and man!  it is tricky trying to sound like a classical musician again! i've some imprecise habits, especially around intonation.

Someone posted this awesome Ann Lamot piece on FB, much of it struck me but of particular note of late, this bit:

Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared, even the people who seem to have it more or less together. They are much more like you than you would believe. So try not to compare your insides to their outsides. Also, you can't save, fix or rescue any of them, or get any of them sober. But radical self-care is quantum, and radiates out into the atmosphere, like a little fresh air. It is a huge gift to the world. When people respond by saying, "Well, isn't she full of herself," smile obliquely, like Mona Lisa, and make both of you a nice cup of tea.

kept thinking throughout the day how much i compare my insides to other people's outsides.  and some people's outsides are pretty damned good looking.  

gave a massage at the beautiful office today for the first time in awhile--i think i did a better job of staying in communication throughout so as to give the client what they were wanting....oof its such a process and i am not putting enough time/energy into that area of my life....i guess because i'm still intimidated.  powerhouse zumba 1/2 hour on the way home.

My massage office....I'm so lucky!

We had a very awesome blackfire rehearsal tonight.  i'm starting to feel heartbroken about breaking up another freakin awesome band.  wondering about my decision.  we sound so so good.  we worked out a tight, hard rockin arrangement for rustemul--zach and jd are so good at coming up with creative arrangement ideas for beginnings and endings, and that tune just rocks so hard anyway.  worked on loli phabay as well, an awesome arrangement and i got to sing it a bunch w/the mic, which is good practice.  i just love how that song feels in my mouth--it just fits into my body so comfortably.  late night but last night i slept so much and was still tired so i guess i'm going in the other direction tonight.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

outer surbarbia, the 8th ring

i woke up this morning energized and happy, for the first time in months.  was it because of the orthobionomy session w/kalpesh? the intense hour long zumba class?  the intensive tai chi? 5 tibetan rites (i had dropped them but just started again 2 days ago)?  i'll never know.  but it was nice.  continued the tour booking frenzy as well as doing the 5 tibetan rites, the 8 brocades (chi gung), the tai chi form and the new chi gung exercises kalpesh gave me yesterday.  meditating was super agitating for some reason, my whole right side was just tensing grrrrr.

made a strawberry/banana/blueberry/coconut milk/hemp milk/orange juice/coconut/sunflowerseed/vanilla smoothie.....and...........

for practice time worked on "now's the time" for jazz rep.  i still get so frustrated with that jazz stuff.  trying to be original and inventive while using interesting tones within ever shifting  weirdass scales...but i just keep plugging away, hopeing someday i will stop feeling like i'm trying to paint monet with my feet.  sigh.  Rustemul is getting better, i hear it so clearly in my head from having danced it and heard it for my whole childhood.  it is such a rush to play it.  oof!

had my fancy pants lunch (salad with arugula, cilantro, goat cheese and honey mustard dressing, grouper and roasted potatoes, dolma) then jd picked me up for our voice lesson.  our vocal teacher is a total weirdo, in a pretty awesome way.  she had us do some warm-up sirens, then octaves, and finally diphthongs---saying one vowel with the throat and a different one with the mouth.  it opens up the whole neck in a crazy way with all this wild overtones.  i sang loly paphbay for her, for feedback and of course and its the same thing; i'm all stuck up in my nasal cavity and need to draw the sound down.  crazy, its the exact same stuff that kalpesh was working on with me.  i get all anxious and all this crazy stuff just sits like a lump in my chest and neck.  he was working with me to develop the ability to move it around and eventually draw it down to my legs and feet.

as usual, jd and i have opposite but complimentary patterns and habits.  i tend to have a too-bright, nasally sound, and he's stuck stiffly staying down low.  so our homeworks are to basically to do the opposite.

post lesson i convinced jd to go to archer road hell, where all the huge box stores are.  looking for little swing dance sneakers took awhile, but in the end was successful.  then we got sucked into michael's--jd needed velcro for his cello strap, but its hard to leave michael's once your in there.  .....Wait, i think i need some tiny sparkly flowers.  and body glitter.  and striped clothespins....Then since we were already so deeply entrenched in box store hell we figured we'd just submit and go to trader joe's.  somehow we ended up searching endlessly for mochi ice cream.  Trader Joe's: 1 Humanity: 0.  But i was happy to find cheapass organic banana's to beef up my smoothie stores.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

3 in one

well hot damn.  i was just inspired to re-read the beginnings of this here wee blog, and holy canoli i was quite a dedicated little writer back in the day! if you haven't read it, i hereby humbly recommend that you take a gander over there to those 2006 entries.  quite entertaining stuff it is!

and my, my, i was so prolific and detailed. brings to light how remiss i've been in my writings for....oh, years now. longer!  i hereby silence you, o fears of solipsistic narcissism, or at least give you a fierce hushing.

i am getting closer to having a good pung in tai chi...or rather having one at all.  pung is the uprooting energy.  simple.  but to get it right requires a complex coordination of basically every part of your body--creating a nice bow in the pelvis/low back, connecting the arm into shoulder into the root into the ground, holding that frame and moving it as a whole, connected piece.  oof!  i was working with the Sifu and one of the advanced students, straining with my whole being and wanting so badly to move his damned arm....and utterly failing!  it feels good though to enlist my entire body and being in a task to fullest of my ability, and after i (arm shaking, body straining) utterly failed to move Keiren's arm all i could do was laugh.

I told Sifu that i'd be leaving in July, and plan to search for a similar dojo in Richmond.  he said that though he has gotten invites from film-heads to move to NY or california, neither one was appealing:  NY because everything is smaller than it looks in the movies, and California because everything is too far apart.

When i finally got home, after a bit of messing about i set down for my new practice routine for daily violining:  1 jazz tune, 1 old time tune, new blackfire tunes, csardas, and etudes.  i have such a short attention span that it works best if i have 7 different things to work on, the idea being that if i keep it up every day they will all get better bit-by-bit.

My Kalpesh Orthobionomy session this afternoon was good and interesting--we talked about my tendencies towards depression/anxiety and manicness--he said it was normal, that basically i need to learn how to translate all that Stuff downward to the soles of my feet, and also learn how to move it around in my body instead of letting it get stuck and immobile.  He showed me some exercises--but most importantly, said that my consciousness is operating at a muscular and emotional level that is still quite surface and i have not yet taken responsibility for/connected with the deeper stuff in my body underneath that level.

at the end, he was just dealing with the headache of the moment.  when i lay down and he held my neck very gently, i kept thinking "dont go away, dont let go of my neck"  and then "fear and loss, fear and loss, fear and loss" and then finally connected to how deeply tired of feeling alone and lonely i am.

after, i biked (w/all the damned groceries still, from pre-kalpesh visit to ward's) to zumba w/brandon, the flashdance flamer.  i was dragging but pushed myself to get that crazy full body high of explosive movement.  its such a constant struggle trying to figure out how to meet my needs.  excercise? rest? meat? raw? hydrate? meditate (well, the answer to that one is yes always!)?  socialize? hibernate?  kalpesh said i'm on the right track, i guess mostly i just need to get over the idea that any of it really matters or is of such epic importance.

While cooking and eating dinner (baked grouper, red quinoa, roasted potatoes and carrots, salad), i spoke on the phone with this woman who passed through twin oaks ages ago, now she's a journalist living in mexico city, interested in writing about twin oaks or community, possibly for this american life.  she asked me all sorts of questions and i ended up tracing back my whole path from twin oaks, cville, prisa lenta, twin oaks round II, gainesville, and everything that went down w/sky and roma.  and thinking forward, where things may go from here.  that's what brought me back to the beginnings of my blog, and to this prolific entry.

and for today, that is all.

half for you, half for me

Also, learning this song:

Andro verdan drukos nane
man pirani shukar nane
loli phabay precinava
hop hop hop
yek pash tuke, yek pash mange
hop hop hop

In the caravan there is no floor
i have no sweet lover
i will cut this red apple
half for you, half for me

....yup, pretty much sums up my life.....

just a tuesday

ach, ach, ach.

so many older men in my life advising me.  i guess i am somehow inviting it.  felt good in tai chi today to give my complete and full effort and still fail.  every tuesday and thursday morning i wake up feeling glad that i have a place to go where i will be welcomed and pushed and hopefully have my a#$ kicked as well.

today is sunny and feels like summer.  my roselle is putting out a new leaf.  there are blueberries in the freezer waiting to be a smoothie.  its a free afternoon, til my ortho session with kalpesh and zumba.

i've been really enjoying the size of gainesville, how easy it is to get everywhere i need to go and how pleasant the ride is to get there.  stayed after class today to get some more form and chatting with Sifu, i discovered that he took a year off recently to build a house.  using google and youtube.  learned every part of it--wiring, plumbing etc.

learning this song now

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

back at it

Entering the endzone here in gainesville--seems like a good time to restart this here bloggy.

i really enjoy the final months of a place before moving; its so easy to sink into the moment and appreciate all the little experiences in a super-tender way.

This morning was Tai Chi, i'm moving pretty fast through the form--committed to getting the whole durn thang before leaving town.  its getting easier, like learning dance moves that become increasingly familiar.

final got to some cooking time this afternoon after the famine of the last weeks.  made some grits--locally grown and all, big ole chunky things.  made it into a chive-sprinkled polenta loaf. + beans.  greens from Siembra with onions and mushrooms.

a  puttery-laundry-cleaning sort of day, welcome after the busyness of the last weeks.

went to the gym later, trying to get back into the weights and did a half zumba class with the inestimable brandon, flaming dancing queen extraordinaire.

in a bit of a slump but then aren't i always, unless i'm manically preparing for 10 things.  the weather was cooler and grey.

finished off the day with Blackfire rehearsal--we are sounding so awesome, its just another reminder of how tragically transient bands are.  wish there were a way to make it work, its so amazing to create something that is so uniformly awesome.  so so satisfying.  

Have been enjoying this :