Still Life with Blood Pressure Cuff

This morning I woke up around 4:30 am with my head full of pressure, my mouth dry,  my body stiff and white noise and pulse whooshing away in my left ear. I got up to pee, and my guy in the back bedroom asked me to open a door he’d shut. I did, went back to where I sleep, and got my cell phone, intent on using a stopwatch on it to see what my heart rate was. It beeped, and he shut the door abruptly, saying ” I didn’t know you were going to Beep AGAIN.”

That got my goat big time.  I’ve been suffering from high blood pressure, induced by hypothyroidism for quite some time, and I had a wave of grandiose self pity, anger and fear surge through me, along with several hard edged retorts I managed not to voice.

Maybe I should have a stroke, heart attack or pop an eye anneurism and fulfil your worst fears and projected death wish, MOTHERFUCKER! Would you be happy then?

I fumbled around in the dark, putting  my pants on backwards, mad and scared. I got up and spitefully turned on a bright kitchen light, sat down to put on the blood pressure cuff to take my blood pressure.   I tried about 6 times to get a decent reading, hampered both by the sounds and pressure in my head, unable to see or hear clearly the thumping and jumping of the indicator on the gauge.   My eyes are working but hampered by the pressure.

I drew a sketch of myself Guernica- Picasso style, sitting with the blood pressure cuff on, whacky eyed with heart beat pulses streaming out of my distended ears. It occurred to me then, that my blood pressure, while high, has stayed the same for weeks. What hasn’t is that I have been taking no flush niacin and a blood pressure medication prescribed by a doctor for  more than a week.  What has changed is the pressure in my head, the heat and numbness.

I decided to get out the niacin book and look up cardiovascular effects of taking it. And  under the chapter on Safety of Taking Niacin, page 53,  there it was: ” Macular Edema- The condition is unusual and completely reversible- Such changes are obvious in a standard retinal fundus exam when the patient reports symptoms of a visual deficit.”

No Shit. In english that means I’m hopefully NOT dying today.


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Eternity in the Face of a Cat

Tomorrow we are killing our cat. She is the most beautiful thing that exists on this earth, and we are going to have her “put down” at a vet clinic.  I’m in shock, mostly because me the guy are actually on the same page about it, have made the appointment, agreed on what to do with her body, and are going to do it together, a miracle all by itself. She has been the glue for our relationship, pitiful as that is, and I have no idea what will happen between us when she is gone.

And I’m devastated, in spite of everything. I’ve had almost a whole year of time with her I didn’t deserve.  Her bones are brittle, her hair is ratty,  her clearly decaying  teeth have made it hard for her to eat, and she’s been fighting to exist for some time now.  She’s become incontinent, and though she travels to the cat box, she  pees next to it instead of in it, and this is an improvement. Our kitchen table has been  a raw food cat smorgasbord, but it’s not helping her enough and she’s been drinking tons of water for too long.  This has been coming for a long time now, and I know I will never forget her or try to replace her.

I don’t want to ever let her go, and her loss is going to be one of the biggest of my life. The irony of it all was that I didn’t take that good of care of her, and I feel terribly guilty about it. She’s been deaf for quite a while.  Four months of transdermal hypothyroid and blood pressure medication goo smeared on her ears stabilized her but did not fully relieve her symptoms.  We can’t get her teeth cleaned or fixed, because the anestetic will probably kill her. She now weighs only 4 lbs and spends a great deal of her time passed out. She has a wonderful, melodic voice and a sassy kind of catitude despite her small size and condition.

I am also relieved she has survived being sat on( which me and the guy each did several times), killed and eaten by predators of which there are many out side, or falling, being  crushed or torn up by other cats and dogs. Somehow she is everything and just a cat all at the same time. She has a mixture of  grey, white and a soft, pale orange which make her nondescript but amazingly beautiful at the same time.  I wish I could love her better and more forever. I feel so completely unworthy of her life and presence.

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Welcome to the Nut Neighborhood

This week my guy, who is a journeyman carpenter, built our neighbors across the street a handrail for their porch. Our neighbors, who have been here as long as we have, have been getting notices from the park management for 8 years telling them they need to have a handrail, because it’s against the park rules for them not to have one.

Bear in mind these neighbors, clearly not spring chickens, have witnessed at least 10 years of us  yelling at eachother, slamming doors, raging  departures in vehicles, and other mayhem.  At least I can count a year and a half or two when the yelling fights finally ceased, hopefully for good.

The man of said couple actually came over a while back, hung out on my front porch and chatted with me, confessing his need for a handrail and proposing that perhaps the guy could build him one. Part of this tete a tete was no doubt a consequence of the fact I see him now more often at the hot food bar at the pretty good health food store in town. He’s a very down to earth, smart man and I have never bullshitted him about anything. When someone has a ringside seat to your worst problems, it’s easy not to bullshit them after you’ve lost all pretense about  your life predicaments.

I informed my guy, who was on a well paying union gig for a good three months, but then was laid off. To my surprise, he went over there half lit one day, and started the ball rolling to do the handrail. I have no idea why, after all these years, he did that, but he not only built the thing,  but he managed all the negotiations and a very challenging part of the whole deal: contact with the woman of the couple. She is someone who fusses, repeats herself, not listening to any answers or conversation directed her way, while demanding endless attention.  He   handled her by only working for 2-3 hours at a time, avoiding the effect of too much contact.

As for me, I pruned an  obstructive, overgrown rose bush which blocked any and all access to the area needed to be in to build the handrail. This was no minor feat. The rose bush was thick with tangled and twisted barbed vines, and hardened, barbed and dead sticks. I filled at least 5 large trashcans with cut up rose brambles and it took me two days to do it.

Adding further to this situation was the presence of the couple’s next door neighbor, a Mexican building contractor  who has his own fence company. The man of the couple was wanting to ask him to do the job but afraid of what he might charge, and not sure if the contractor would turn him down. He had reason to be unsure because of his wife’s antics: on trash day she puts items of trash in other people’s trash cans, including ours without asking permission.

Essentially he asked us, because he knows we know about his wife; especially her special habit of coming across the street to get their mail and opening all three of the mailboxes there, including ours and closing each one of  them with a bang every time she checks the mail. Because we are as nuts and flawed as she is. Nobody tries to steal from us because we are that crazy, unpredictable couple with all the tools and fancy trucks in the driveway. They are not sure about us, so they steer a wide berth.

My guy got blasted on beer one night and went over and asked the fence contractor guy to back him up  and do the handrail because my guy got a job dispatch from his union he took, only to later turn down when he was sober because he knew he wasn’t clean enough to pass the drug test for the job.  He had a check written to the contractor for a good sum of money, and the amazing thing was they contractor reluctantly agreed to do it. Later my guy went and got the check back, and he did a superb job on the free standing handrail.


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The Cat Barf Awaits

Today I am dressed and the bed is made. The dryer is going. The dishes are in the drainer. The guy had his coffee, oatmeal and supps, made him a mini lunch, and he’s gone to his work. I have managed NOT to go to any of several local cafe’s and buy a croissant and chai or hot chocolate. I have dutifully heated up chicken broth and put gelatin collagen powder in it, and drank the stuff I’m supposed to. I have reflected, I have written down my reflections, perused emails and Facebook.  I have planned the next couple of steps: I know I will go to my car, put videos I must return in it, and get my yoga mat and the new Dustbuster I bought  out to bring inside. Since I have missed my mobility class, I will be doing it now, at home, and after that some yoga. I will be focused I will be disciplined, and I will feel good once I have done it. I will fold the laundry on the bed and put it away.

I will not sit down again until I do the above. I will then face two tasks which feel, and this moment, absolutely undoable:  The pile of mess on the table, and calling the vet. I am declaring this, I am writing it , hearing it, loathing it. For reasons unknown I don’t wanna do any of it. BEGONE, FOUL DWIMMERLAIK!  Eowyn commands you.

But, before I do any of all that, several slimy black globs of thrown up cat hairballs are calling. They are sitting in a puke puddle of saliva at the base of my front porch. They are most probably Mr. Green’s. Mr. Green is black  has yellow eyes but they look green at night when he is hanging out on the porch yowling for some dinner at night. I know I can’t leave the car barf there, because I know my Feng Shui: whatever you have at your front door in the “Sea of Chi” is what you will attract into your home  and life.  A local Feng Shui teacher I know says whatever is on the front porch is what greets people when they come to the house.  Mine has spilled cat kibble  on it and a dirty coating, because the front porch is basically a large , unofficial cat scratching post and cat restaurant. I think some changes need to be made, because Cat Barf is nasty and definitely NOT  what I want to attract.

Ok, cleaned up the hairballs. They were disgusting but not as copious  as previously feared. Now the house smells like  smoke because I managed to set the papers and  what all mess on the Rose table on fire while lighting a candle and smudging previously wet contents of the guy’s wallet which mistakenly ended up in the washing machine this morning.  That was weird, but the fire is out, but here is it almost Noon! Holy Shit, where did the time go?

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Dear Occupant: I Am Not Good Today

Yes, You, and you know who you are.  I’m not good in regard to matters concerning you this morning. I’m not good with you getting up and coming into the kitchen to bitch me out about there not being tuna juice for the cat and nagging me to medicate her while I am making your lunch and breakfast. I’m not good with you smoking cigarettes and dope and drinking beer every moment you are not working, with me having to inhale your secondhand smoke and endure the vibrational  haze of you covertly doing porn or WTF on your I-phone.  I’m not good once again for the zillionth time of  being put in the position of NOT BEING ABLE to say a word about the fact that you are slipping off the deep end AGAIN with your substance abuse, because of what you will do if I do.

I don’t understand how you exist  at all, but here’s the thing that I am not good with for real and forever: You are not OK. You are never really OK.

You seem like you are OK for periods of time. You THINK you are OK for periods of time. You even act like you are OK now for months, but it never really lasts. You can do so many extraordinary things, are a paragon of talent and skill, you can work, are now actually MAKING SOME MONEY, pull a rabbit out of a hat, you can walk and stand and talk and be, BUTTTT, when the cows have finally come home, the chickens to roost, YOU ARE STILL NOT OK.

I’m not good with the imminent and ever present, never to be ended threat  of you hitting the Legion and going blackout on booze like you did twice this year, you texting your crank dealer again and telling her you still want her, that that may never change. I’m not good with you buying a gun on the internet when you are drunk, exhorting me not to hide or get rid of it, of forcing me to  come down to threatening you with a call to the police to make you get rid of it. I’m not good with you giving said unregistered weapon to someone whom you have spent years actively  hating, who is and has always been emotionally  unstable, and telling me what friends you are with that person. I’m not good with you being obsessed with motorcycles, making payments on them when you still have not paid off your bills on the injuries you have caused yourself on them.  I’m not good with your anal reactions to gazillions of things that I’ve said which are completely not what you think they are  and your harsh criticism of everything you depend on, in particular me and the home I’ve given everything to create and maintain without your help.

I’m sick of your endless distress, you loneliness, your hate and your wish to end your life. I don’t know who you really are, but worse, it’s become clear you don’t know who you are, though you think you do, and you have this cocksure bastard part that, when let out, wreaks havoc on your life and everything around you, which would be me.  You can’t feel because you are blocked by grief so early, big  and  so dense that a part of you is certain you will die if you ever feel a second of it ever again. And you are willing to do anything never to even be aware of the thing you must feel to know who you are.

I feel as though the real you is an embryo buried in a stone vault underneath a massive slab of concrete at the bottom of some ocean.  You are the mystery of all mysteries, an enigma so perfectly self sustaining, that there is never any   escape for either of us. I can’t trust anything about you, particularly when you say anything loving to me, or do anything decent, like pay for your share of the bills.

I dream of caverns, long mysterious journeys and places where you can not escape your inner work, the work that will eventually free you and allow you  to become who you really are.  I’m not good with this whole shootin’ match.



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Self Defense for Women

Whenever you see the words “Self Defense for Women”, get ready for bullshit. Get ready for the same old, worn out, ignorant, stupid, lazy, steriotypical  affirmation of Prey conditioning we American women have embraced and affirmed for centuries.  It’s always a dumbed down, patronizing, worthless bunch of Mind Fuck that allows women to stay in their comfortable hypnotized mindset  of denial about their failure to claim their own actual power in this world.   And I am not blaming the men and women instructors of any kind of martial arts or types of training that innocently, with the best of intentions, put on classes and workshops with this title. They are only following the prevailing social mindset, and cannot be faulted for it.

What is wrong with this picture ARE the real  implications in the  mindset.  That specific mindset, un-examined, broadcasts the following covert, but distinct messages: 1) Women are separate from men and the world at large (2) They are “special”, meaning different, NOT IN A GOOD WAY. (3) Women need “special” help( because they are ______weaker, not trained enough, fill in the blank with whatever euphemistic term of inferiority).  It confirms the deep down  cultural belief that Women are just plain inferior PERIOD, which, though it is a lie, is a long held,  structurally supported,  and DEPENDED UPON idea.  We all DEPEND upon this supposition. It makes our world easy to navigate.  The real truth about this whole situation is that WOMEN ARE UNPROTECTED because they/we  are a product of this belief.

And what do we offer Women about this? Well, we do offer/allow  them martial arts opportunities, gyms, fitness options that in previous generations were totally unavailable if not completely  forbidden to women.  I can’t say I’m unhappy about that.  There are women now who are instructors, trainers, and fighters.  Actual  women fighter roles  are  a new plot commodity in TV and films, be still my heart! Think Black Swallow of “The Forbidden City” , Michelle Yeoh and the Chinese courtesan in the current Netflix Marco Polo series. Even Quentin Tarantino has embraced this woman warrior genre and outdone all previous extremes with   “Kill Bill”. I’m sure there are now much higher numbers of women in boxing gyms, mixed martial arts, and all fighting skills.  Hooray for these dedicated women who find the money and time, have the guts to pursue such things.

Hooray for Gina Carano, and Ronda Rousey, the  mixed martial arts blond  champion who has tagged most women as  “Do Nothing Bitches”.  As misogynistic and disrespectful to women that statement is, she is right in a very specific way and is only using the prevailing attitude towards women for publicity..  She’s putting that phrase on personalized gear she sells, because we women continue to collude with that attitude, and reward it with our silence.  And one of the reasons we women are SO silent is that we know, instinctively, that, unless we can effectively and conclusively defend ourselves,  prove it over and over again, speaking up about the qazillions of times we are disrespected is a risk we often can’t afford to take. What is needed is the establishment of a standard for women  by women to meet to defend themselves, and it needs to become  global.

However, this leaves the majority of other women AND girls  in the world still up the proverbial shit creek without a paddle. CIA approved militias and terrorist groups continue to kidnap, torture, rape, enslave and murder large amounts of women and children all over the world.  And the once in a blue moon “Self Defense for Women” workshop does not begin to dissolve the PREY mindset  most women carry and perpetrate in unconsciousness.  Core beliefs are not something that can be overcome by will or even full awareness. They have to be experientially rewired, which takes a lot of critical mass and time to accomplish. There are some rare  few exceptions to this, to be sure.  One of them is Model Mugging, and another is Target Focus Training.  I’m sure there are more that I haven’t heard about. There are many boys and men in our world who are also unprotected, but they do not have to justify themselves or be arrested if they pursue  and use  combat training or weaponry in their own defense. Their self preservation is considered a given, whereas womens’ are not. Women are used to living and being pawns and prey, no matter what their pedigree, education, or wealth. It’s a hard pattern to change.

And let’s get this straight: Women are unprotected, NOT because of men, or the misogyny still rampant in our world and culture, women are unprotected because of a complete failure of our culture at large to rethink gender, class, and race roles that are so antique they stink. I saw a video from Finland that teaches kids to deal with bullies using games and education. And I say again, this is something that is up to WOMEN and no one else. Women  are responsible  for this state of affairs, and only Women can solve it for good. If nothing else, Women owe it to their children, whether those children are boys or girls to be able to protect them and teach them the mindset and standard of self protection as well.

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Rediscovering the Sustain Pedal on the Piano

I have been practicing piano steadily now for almost 6 months.  And while doing that, to build basic reading and playing skills, I have taken the advice of (Dr.) Corey Hall of Bachscholar, who has extensive videos playing the music I am learning, to not use the pedals at all. When I was younger I didn’t understand that building foundational skill and techniques in the beginning pays off later, and it’s easy to form bad habits, such as depending on the soft or sustain pedal too much instead of building the strength, flexibility of pace, timing and focus needed to play long and well.

Today I was playing Scott Joplin’s Crush Collision March. It’s a lilting and wonderfully dramatic musical account of a famous deliberate train wreck that killed a bunch of people in the 1800’s, complete with railroad whistle and crash sounds.  I’m getting better at it, though I need more continuity and smoothness.  It has a waltz part that is one of my favorites, and while I was stumbling a bit through it, it occurred to me I might try using the sustain pedal on the right  to see if I could smooth it out a little. I have been working with out the pedals for 6 months, and I believe I have built some basic strength and skill.

I tried it, and OMG! It felt and sounded  good.  Bachsholar plays it with great panache, using tremolo on the second batch of the waltz, and he clearly is using the sustain pedal. I have learned from John Santos that if you want to master something, you play it at different paces, slow slow, slow, medium, faster, fast fast. But the  idea is not to hurry and play stuff super fast because it loses so much of the emotional flavor and passion. I have used going really fast on classical pieces because I used to get bored playing slow, didn’t feel as though I was advancing, and didn’ t have the patience to spend much time on anything. In essence, I have done what I call trampling the piece, and it’s not the worst thing to do, but it’s a bad habit, because then I tend to trample it because it’s familiar and makes me feel powerful without having enough skill to play it at an unhurried yet distinct pace.

Mainly I have learned there has to be enough practice in the first place so attention can be put over time on different things to improve. I have learned that I was brave and bold enough to find written music, read it, play it, memorize it, and make it better as a young and untrained player, which was and is a miracle.  But I remember how I used to see what I was doing, especially ragtime, as this high wire, impossible feat of will, endurance and strength, work way too hard to attain it, hurry, push too hard, make my fingers hurt. Now I practice to make ease of doing whatever my hands must to play a piece correctly, and if I have to create finger techniques to fit my short fingers, I do so without making it into this huge superhuman deal in my mind.

I now hold in my heart and mind the idea that it’s OK for me to be in relation to many different variables of playing piano without having to mentally grasp them and be perfect at anything, that I’m engaged in something my mind is part of, but is not in control of at all. I believe that there are many other parts of me, some quite mysterious and uncontrollable, which play the music through me, though I apply myself from time to time harder to specific things. I cultivate relaxation in toto even as I work harder here and there. And my internal piano playing self is a whole different country than the one I had before. I am so much happier and more able to keep doing the things which make playing piano satisfying.



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The Final Frontier for Women

Today I ran across a Facebook News post about a young woman in Kentucky  who was beaten up in public by a man because he  thought she looked “too masculine, like a dyke”.  There was a picture of  what I hope was actually her with cuts and bruises on her face. He also  told her people like her  were   the reason why he hated the world. I had to dig to find out that he was arrested.  What I find interesting was that she expected the bystanders watching her getting beaten to intervene. They should have, but I’m not surprised they didn’t. She said she tried to fight back, but he was bigger and stronger than her.

It has finally dawned on me we women are to blame for the state of the world in a way we have completely missed, due the long period of time we have been brainwashed to believe we are inferior and must sacrifice ourselves to the roles set out for us by the societies we live in, the biggest one being that of perpetual victim.  We  now have so much more choice, and the choices we now have were roundly fought for by those who came before us not that long ago.  We women now most  certainly have education and opportunity far beyond the scope of our mothers, grandmothers, and so on, but we squander it.

Our captivity is so comfortable and familiar to us that we continue to create and enforce it within and without ourselves.  We continue allowing the world at large to treat us, our children, loved ones, friends and tribe like slaves and property to be robbed, raped, maimed, tortured and killed at will. In America, we white women are privileged slaves, but slaves nonetheless.  In significant numbers, we  women continue to allow patriarchal power elites to act out our suppressed rage and pain on other countries and peoples  around the world. We live in  well denied fear of our partners, all men, all authority figures,  our police and the covert anger of women all around us at the outrage we perpetrate.   We refuse to step up to taking our rightful  power as human beings who are responsible for the imbalance of power on every level of human affairs: politically, emotionally, physically, economically, and spiritually.  What we need to do is stop that craven bullshit and end our dependence on  the cooked up, false myths around female power on this earth.

What is missing the most in this debacle of irresponsibility is the ignorance around the physical capacity of women. We have women warriors in the movies and on TV, but they are fantasy figures, and considered flukes at best.  Women have been effective warriors for centuries, but the actual history around their effectiveness has been deliberately erased, scattered, and obscured. Then there is the inner collective memory of women being burned at the stake by the thousands which tends to obscure any feeling we women should stand up for anything, especially not our power.   That punishment for women being warriors, tribal  leaders and healers  continues to reverberate. It happened because there were men who understood human memory is by far  the most powerful weapon of all  in shaping reality   and decided to unseat women from power for good. They certainly succeeded  but it can’t go on forever.

There are ways to fight both with bare hands and with weaponry or ordinary objects that permeate our material world which have existed for centuries.   Many of these ways reduce or even eliminate  the weight and brute strength differential that exists between men and women.  Many, if studied long enough and applied correctly, make lightness and leverage far more effective than mass and brute strength: aikido, jujitsu, kung fu and many more with new forms being created every day.   But we women continue on  fully  believing not only that we can’t fight, but that we MUST NOT. And in believing that, we continue to betray ourselves and each other, stay in an amnesiac form of denial leaving us open to any predator that comes down the pike on all levels of existence.

The stake women were burned at continues on within all modern women, for we continue to sacrifice ourselves to be women at all.  Good or bad, Whore or Mother, we can never sacrifice ourselves enough to make up for our actual sin of FORGETTING who we really were and are.  We are our own oppressors, and in staying there in our slavery we are perpetuating the insanity which is destroying our planet.

The so called Violence against women is NEVER GOING TO STOP until WE WOMEN STOP IT.  No amount of V day dances, battering shelters and rape hotlines, marches, protests, legislations regarding gender, privileges or lack of, is going to change that.  All children, male and female, of all classes, should be trained from birth to effectively defend themselves. This should as mandatory as going to school or brushing our teeth.  And that training should include an emotional component which deeply embeds the idea and belief that every person on this planet is a person of worth enough to take out any assailant that comes along.  And I believe, that, when girls and women of a critical mass   begin to stop that insanity on that literal level, they will stop colluding with and enduring  all kinds of other lies and nonsense that is keeping this world and every society in bondage. We can no longer look to anyone or anything else for deliverance. Men are not to blame for this. They need for  us to step up as much as we do.

I am quite aware of the fact humans, ( and that includes me) absolutely HATE and resist change with every inch of their being, no matter how much it is needed and right. It’s going to take a very long time to end the mindset of women’s total inferiority. We  Women have, after  all, made   excellent slaves. There will be outcrys, backlash, murders and turmoil for decades to come at the minimum over this change. But it is a necessary one, long overdue.  When the day comes that no one contemplates robbery, abduction, rape, torture and murder without having an automatic trepidation they might not only not succeed, but have the crap beaten out of them, or die, this evolution will have taken root. And we will all forget the effort it took to change a stupid, horribly destructive, and wrong idea that has brought suffering to millions for far too long.

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The Lil Somethin-Somethin Daily Practice

Today is day 2 of my Lil Somethin Somethin Practice. I call it that and spell it that way because, after wanting to have and do  a daily practice for forever, I have finally found out what is gonna work for  me. The Practice is “thin” because it is not very long.  It is “Lil”, an abbreviation of  LITTLE because it is NOT BIG, as in weighty, too hard to do, a hassle, a problem, etc, etc and etc!   My mind needs to regard this daily event to be about as weighty as confetti thrown up into the air, or it will load the proverbial camel up with shit until the poor thing collapses and dies  in the sand.

The way that I am making it possible for me to do this is to get up out of bed and say to myself:  “DON’T SIT DOWN until  you do your practice.”  This way, the computer and it’s huge yawning  mouth of information, just waiting to swallow me up, can’t get me.

“Somethin-Somethin” also is about it not having to have really complicated and perfect content. My mobility/yoga teacher Courtney has told me her pre-asana stuff that she teaches weekly can be done in 12 minutes. And my other yoga teacher Meg says do the sun salutes, a sitting posture, twist, inversion and short shivasana, and boom! you are done.

I’ve finally realized doing ANYTHING at all daily, is a win. I have the focus of a mashed potato in this madly tech-y, way too many choices daily circus. And I would probably live most happily without a computer if the ding danged thing didn’t have Facebook and a lot of stuff I got to use it for to get along.  Youtube is far too useful for the study of music as well.

Part of my practice is now to look in the mirror and be with what is there.  And I’ve been amused by how the universe has tested my resolve right off the bat. There was an important phone call which my tape machine took while I was in shivasana yesterday. Today it was my beautiful cat Daisy coming round twice for mashing.  She’s the sweetest thing and irresistibly mashable unless you are a mouse.

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That Cut to the Quick Timeless Moment

Last Thursday I was sitting in a drum class trying not to let my yet-to-be diagnosed and treated thyroid condition take me out of consciousness. I started to slide into fatigue, my eyes were closing, and when I realized it was happening, I sat up and took some breaths. I really like  that  drum class, and the teacher is one of the best I’ve ever had.  My energy wasn’t the best, but I managed to wake up and stay waked up.

When the break came, the teacher drifted around to hob nob with some clusters of other students. He’s been nothing but good and real human being  to me, but because of my lack of energy, I kept to myself,  fooled with my drum and notebook.  I have gained weight, and have been dragging ass  even before the symptoms got stronger in the last 2 months.  He came over to some people near me to share something, and though I had chosen not to engage, I had a sudden flash of feeling left out, even though I knew perfectly well it wasn’t actually true, either with the other people of this class or the teacher.

The flash became a tidal wave of hurt, deep shame and sorrow, swept over me and suddenly I was back sitting on that  bed  in a hot hotel room post grope,  clutching a top sheet to my chest,  in my little twenty something  braids, watching my father lying on his bed in his underwear, drunkenly apologizing and crying himself to sleep.  As the break ended and the teacher stepped up to resume teaching, I could feel my face crumpling and tears  welling up. I tried not to shut down completely or bolt.

It was like being swept out into a vast, stormy sea of grief, barely able to tread water. For breathless  seconds which seemed like an eternity, I felt the incomprehensibly horrific  feeling of being contaminated, somehow to blame for what had happened, exposed as an evil, disgusting , sexually out of control , monstrous piece of shit. The bone deep shame a person, once experiencing it, never wants to feel ever again, and will do anything to avoid, bury and hide forever from self, others and the world at large.

I also felt the immense abyss of internal isolation this has created, all the affection, touch, love, passion and joy it has prevented me from experiencing, because I am this  contaminated being,  a huge life toll for that ONE incident.  I know how lucky I am there was only one, but I also know it was never about  just that one “incident”. It was never just about what he did that day. It is about how our society is  blind to the fact  emotional and sexual violation  is  deeply woven into the fabric of acceptable parenting, allows  it to go on and on and on.  I love that clinical word  “incident,”  because it reduces a whole body of ignorant and cruel collective beliefs  into a  THING.  When you can reduce something into a THING, it implies you can find a way to control it. But this is another lie, because a THING that requires you feel it to be aware of it, which you never want to feel is not a THING you can deal with but a THING controlling you without your consent or awareness.

That THING that makes me believe  I can never trust myself or my body, never be safely  sexual, never actually feel love or get it from anyone else.  I turned my face to my music stand and notes, wiped my tears away three times, and let the waves of grief subside into an ache over the life of meaning and love I have lost and may never be able to have. The final thought that there must be something I can do about it for me and others trickled in.   And then I  resumed  drumming.

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