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