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23 June 2012 @ 12:12 am
Notes from the Punchbowl  

I'm often lost or on my way to getting lost. I've been lost in some pretty cool places, but today's blundering about was round and round the ring of the punchbowl, aka the Diamond Head crater. I was looking for a particular yoga studio, and it just seemed completely wrong to stress out about it. This is one of the reasons that Jill doesn't like me to drive when she is in the car. I never have a real route in mind, just a general sense of where I hope to land. Maybe that is a better way to frame it-- I'm not really lost, just circling before I land. But since I'm in a totally new space I have been using my iPhone Map App which has the very annoying habit of telling me to head "southeast" or "northwest." What???? How am I possibly to know what that means. I have a compass on my iPhone but if I try to use it, I lose my place and have to start all over with the Map app. Greatly annoying. Better to wing it, and hope the yoga gods will draw me to them. Which they did and I had a most excellent class with a young guy named Mark with a beard long enough to be a table runner. But very, very sweet and during Shivasana, he softly played his ukelele and chanted. It all had a very happy ending and all is well until I get in the car tomorrow and try to find the Outrigger Club so I can swim. 

I have felt similarly lost on my writing path for a while now. I am not exactly sure where I am headed. I've watched friends and writing buddies pick up their pace, veer off on other exits, or I've lost sight of them completely. Sometimes I wonder if I'm done. Did I tell the story I needed to tell already? Is there more? Or am I just tired? Is it just too hard to try to do it all? The thing I do best right now seems to be foregoing self-care. I rule at that! Next best is taking care of a loved one in Assisted Living, then being a government employee, and falling into near last place is being a strong partner to Jill. I'm not getting any gold, silver or even a tin medal for that these days. And, I am flunking balance. I've known that in my head, but today in yoga, I felt it and saw it. I am officially and certifiably unyoked. Yipee, skippy, I am yoke-free! Mind, body and spirit all operating independent of one another. My left foot doesn't know or care what my right foot is doing. Each is its own boss. No concert, no collaboration. It is a wonder I can ambulate a straight line at all. 

With maddening frequency, the Universe conspires to remind me of the literal and metaphorical truth that in case of a loss in cabin pressure, when the oxygen masks drop down, I am supposed to put the mask on myself first. I try to imagine doing that, I really do! It just seems so wrong somehow. What feels most natural is me holding my breath like some kind of anaerobic superhero, rushing about to mask all the children, caged pets and frail elderly.I see the wisdom of masking up first, but I don't think I've got full buy-in from the girls in the basement yet. 

I have days and days here in this exquisite space-- a gift I can't still quite believe. Time to regain my footing, reconcile yin with yang, time to be silent, time to write, rewrite. Time to let other writers feed me, like Dorothy Allison continues to do since I heard her speak a couple of weeks ago. She reminds me that every writing path is different-- some write slow, some do need great swaths of time. Some even need the security of a government job. She and Kafka both worked at the Social Security Administration. And I need to be true to my voice, even if I don't think it is as cool or interesting as another writer's voice. I long to be as clever as YA author John Green and have witty, brilliant, characters espousing all manner of politics, great literature, serious issues. But I'll be a much better writer if I just hone and cure my own neurotic voice. It's all I've got and it's my best shot at writing my truth.

I imagine I will circle the punchbowl a few more times this week and the next, wondering perhaps if that, for me, lost is the new found. 

Love, peace and plumeria,

P.S. Random thought-- I've finally had time in the last 72 hours to catch up on a number of women's magazines, and there is much talk of the "eleven" that us older chicks are sporting. You know, the two indentations, or furrows between our brows. There are a number of truly horrific and scary things being done and proposed to rid yourself of it. There are injections, acids, caulking and surgical options. I think we should simply be-dazzle the thing and flaunt it for god's sake. Or pierce it. Tattoo it. Hang a teeny, tiny moosehead from it! Who's with me on this? 
Current Mood: refreshedrefreshed
writerjenn on June 24th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
If God puts an eleven on my face, it will jolly well sit there, uncaulked and uninjected. Along with the other wrinkles and lines. Perhaps we should gild our wrinkles!

There has to be more to life than chasing down every line, blotch, mole, spot, and hair on our bodies in some unattainable quest for outward perfection.

maryhershey on June 24th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
And to that I can only add AMEN! :- ) Thanks, Jenn.
beckylevine on June 24th, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
Okay, first, on the driving thing, I have to agree with Jill. I have a husband who does the rambly, circling thing...and I am SO not in balance when that's happening. And you so need to get a different map/gps thingy-mine talks all in rights and lefts, no compassy directions at all!

On the discombobulation, here's what I harken (hearken? some totally different verb?) it to. You know when you decide it's time to clean out a room or closet. And you get to it, and for the first X number of hours (or days), it all looks like a worse mess than it was before you started? I think life change has to be like that. How can we transition neatly and smoothly from one place to another, when it's all about digging up old patterns, tossing them around, and then trying to pick and choose which pieces you want to keep and which you should really be letting go? So it sounds to me like, as painful as it, you're actually in a "good" place, one that is going to lead you to something ever more powerful and right for you. Big Hug!

And I'm with you and Jenn. At least on the 11. Honestly, I'm more concerned with the V on my chest! But, okay, I'll just sprinkle it with glitter and go happily on. :)
maryhershey on June 25th, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC)
Becky, thank you for the most apt metaphor about change. It's exactly like that!!!! Gosh, wish we lived in the same town and we could set up a ridesharing thing where you carpool everywhere with Jill and I ride with your husband.

And DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN!!!! What is the "V" on the chest. Something else coming my way?

beckylevine on June 25th, 2012 11:40 pm (UTC)
You know that Jill and I would always GET where we were going, while you and David...not so much! :)

The V--it's something to do with cleavange and wearing v-neck t-shirts a lot. I assume. Who really knows?!
(Anonymous) on June 30th, 2012 05:36 am (UTC)
Thank the goddesses, Mary!
It's a relief to know that I'm not the only one who is direction-challenged. I get lost going to places I've been to a million times. And, I have to take the routes I know, even if they're longer. Why can't directions just say things like, "Turn right at the Starbucks?" I once read somewhere, though, that people who are bad at directions actually have more important things in their brain instead.

From one smarty(pants)to another,


maryhershey on July 5th, 2012 06:11 am (UTC)
Re: Thank the goddesses, Mary!
Dear Smarty Pants,

:- ) Thanks for the nice reframing of this. God, yes, much important stuff going on-- who can worry about the "where" when there is so much "what?"

rllafevers on July 8th, 2012 03:15 am (UTC)
Whenever I read one of your blog posts I always feel like I just had a great session with the best therapist in the world.

Miss you, but SO GLAD you are finding such peace and stillness!