Sunday, December 19, 2010
December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?
Huh. I guess it's kind of funny that this is the prompt today because I am sitting here with a kleenex stuffed up my nose and a split lip from too much mouthbreathing. Not a beautiful sight. So? What healed me this year?
Adrenaline, mostly. I got a wisdom tooth pulled while I watched and spent the rest of the day spitting blood while debating the nature of dissent. I muscled through three days of exam hell, wrote two conference papers, and finished up three whole term papers without getting sick or losing my mind. I just kept typing.
I tried to make 2010 my bravest year ever and I think I definitely succeeded. I watched a DVD of butoh dancing when I had no Saturday plans and did not feel bad about it. I went to the desert and when Adam locked my car keys in the trunk I didn't whine or scream. We climbed rocks and sang. It was great. I went on blind dates. I joined ukulele club. I picked up the phone.
So thank you, hyperactive autoimmune responses, for providing me with these amazing moments of heart-pounding, time-slowing clarity. I guess my body knows how to take care of itself best when it is standing up to fight or running like hell-- which is how I have spent the last several months.
In 2011, I want that yoga-studio cool, an aware patience not because of looming panic but just because. If this kind of kickass devil-may-care attitude can become part of my personality and not just a way to fight off the specters at the gate, maybe in 2011 I will take the most terrifying risk of all: letting them in.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)
REVERB 10 is kind of awesome: i love to look back and forward (bad buddhist, fortunately i am not one) so any kind of writing exercise that encourages me to do so is kind of awesome. Also I am so over writing about Adorno... and its been 12 hours. 20 more hours, 10 more pages. So excuse the diversion.
Seems only fitting to talk about not the parties that blew me out of left field-- the art car saloons at Burning Man that zipped around the desert in a blur of vodka and endorphins, leaving only the zigzag trace of purple lights against the night like a photograph of fireworks. No: this party was someone else living through all my expectations and longings about what summer in New York is or could be or should be--like a picture postcard and allowed me to laugh at myself and be myself at the same time. Beautiful.
I crashed a stranger's birthday party this summer. She was one of these just-so people and it reminded me that while my fantasies-- in which I wear party dresses and demand RSVPs and curate experiences-- usually cause me stress, anxiety, and frustration, they could actually be real. Sometimes experiences really are just-so. And so this girl wore a big structured poofy dress and a summer hat and drank sangria from a bag in Brooklyn Bridge Park, it was a joy to watch. After dreaming about Pimms Cups in San Diego for months and months, we trekked through the heat to a liquor store in Park Slope with handwritten notes beside particularly exotic cordials and bought Pimms and made pasta salad. We got there late, as the sun was setting and the grass was getting wet and I ate most of the pasta salad that we had made with my hands, picking out salty chunks of feta and olives and leaving the cucumbers and tomatoes. Because who cares.
The lights on the bridge twinkled, ivy-league fops wore boat shoes, someone handed me a crazystraw and I realized-- hey! sometimes life really is as magical as you want it to be. If only you stop wanting it to be.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I do this thing where I am a total baby-- whatever emotion I am experiencing I assume this is how it's always been and how it will always be. So now the term ends and I am a mess of emotions, cloudy memories are fuzzing around my head with nary a brilliant idea to be seen, my desk is covered with dishes that remind me that not only do I sit and eat at my desk, but I have been putting the most remarkable crap into my body-- white russians, premade sandwiches, stuffing. And I try to remind myself that I haven't been this hollow for the last ten weeks.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
In between the scribbled affirmations, naps, old seasons of Parks and Recreation, stolen cigarettes, crumpled to-do lists, and stacks of library books, there have been moments of real joy... more of them than I even let myself remember. Like starting to make pickles. They're easy!
(so far I have pickled parsnips, carrots, and cucumbers: all delicious)
--1 lb produce
--1 cup water
--1 cup (apple cider) vinegar
--a couple tablespoons each of sugar, salt, dill, and garlic, to taste. Here is a good starting ratio
... 1/4 c sugar
... 1.5 T salt
... 1.5 T dill or dill seed or mustard seed or fennel seed
... 2 cloves garlic
+ Boil all that stuff into a brine. Try not to get a whiff of the boiling vinegar unless you want to feel really awake.
+ Throw in the vegetables (cut into sticks or chips, I should add) if you aren't using cucumbers, cook for about 5 minutes.
+ Arrange your pickles-to-be in clean jars, cover with brine and throw in the fridge. They will be pickled after a day and stay good for about a month, as far as I can tell from the internet. Mine haven't made it that long.
PS my camera died again hence blog death PPS sepia for vintage hipster homemaker appeal!