When I started this blog last year, my intention was to use it as a place to talk about things I’m interested in like art, digital culture, food, teaching, theater, wine, and philosophy. My plan, like many bloggers, was to keep it active by posting at least once or twice a week; for a long time that worked out just fine.
I’ve been a bit of an absent parent to this website.
If anyone is reading…sorry for being absent. I’m going to try to be more active now that I’m starting to get settled in my new (old) home and at my new (old) job.
For most of the past two months I’ve either been on an airplane (I’m in one now), in meetings, or in a hotel room by myself. This wasn’t exactly what I expected when I decided to come back, although I knew that I’d be traveling some and I expected that there would be a certain level of intensity based on the volume of changes happening all at once, both work and personal. Now that I’m living this new (old) life, though, I’m discovering all the things that I didn’t anticipate and I’m trying to figure out how to be me again in my changed environment. I don’t know if that sounds like a straight-forward, easy proposition but as it turns out, it isn’t. I’ve always embraced change and am generally pretty excited about the possibilities for renewal that come with an unexpected challenge. But lately I have been feeling a bit at sea and I need to find some strategies for getting the support I need at work so that I feel more able to adapt with a positive energy. And I need to set some boundaries so that I have more time for living. That was one of the points of this move, so I need to make it happen.
Rather than ramble here in a self-pitying way, instead I’m going to post something I wrote back in 2004 when I was in Amsterdam. It was about a month after I turned 30 and I was living there as a student in the MA at DasArts. I had just met Brian a few months earlier and had left New York (and Brian) to live in Europe. In the end, I came back because I wanted to pursue my relationship with Brian and because the program wasn’t right for me. Something about the time I am in now feels like an echo of then: maybe it is the sense of change, uncertainty and reflection, all of which is exacerbated by my upcoming birthday (39th). I am edging past the half way point, I think. Something about now led me to go back and read all the emails I sent out during my time in Amsterdam (I saved them in a word file). In amongst them was this piece that I sent out with one of my updates to friends and families. For whatever reason it captures something I’m feeling now that I can’t express in more explicit language. [Some of you might recognize the themes in this and some of the exact lines that have made their way into some of my later theater work]
At night, a long fog wipes over the field
Bringing moist, clean air
Bringing deep sleep
And something like silence
Under the haze of night
Like a shade
Into the air
As fog, transform
Shift molecules and ascend
Listen to the echoing air and hear your name whispered back
What does it say
In what language is it speaking
(I hear nothing
from where I sit it is only silence
not a thing)
Drift with the air
And make a road map for transcendence
Make a plan for erasing yourself:
Burn your birth certificate
De-magnetize your bank card
Peel your fingerprints away
Delete your memory
Forget your name
Fabricate your past
Walk through walls and fall through floors
We are wiped clean
Marked by nothing
Footprints that dissolve
Handwriting in invisible ink
No one to see you
No where to hide
No credit cards to trace your path
No wind where you walk
No one to notice you
No compass to chart your path
In the cracks and in between haze and light
Invisible like we will always be
I’ve been attracted to readings on zen and meditation recently – perhaps because though I don’t feel overly stressed in my life right now, my muscles have been suggesting otherwise. One of the things that makes me think perhaps I should give meditation a try again (it hasn’t stuck in the past) is that the philosophy behind it is so accepting. You just have to try to do it, acknowledging that your mind will wander and focus on things. But you just keep trying to let go and slowly, second by second, be more comfortable just being. You have to be kind to yourself and accept that failing is inevitable, but that trying again is the real triumph. Perhaps in some ways, these musings are the photo negative of your old email. Instead of from the world to invisibility, from the (chaotic) world to concentrated presence (that still holds some of the absence of invisibility).
It’s funny that you mention meditation Allie because I’ve been thinking about trying it again lately. I need to get back to yoga as well to help me stay in my body and keep connected with the reality of being here now. It is a strange, but not bad, time and I think some space, silence and reflection are well over due.