24 October, 2012

What's the story, morning glory? What's the word, hummingbird?

I continue on with my struggle against the busyness of work/school/life.  Sadly, my current schedule keeps me from doing many of the things that bring me simple joy, such as taking walks with friends, taking myself to the movies, and writing blog entries.  When I find myself getting melancholy at this acknowledgement I just remember the medicine of Hawk:  Fly up higher to see the bigger picture.  When I remind myself why I decided to go back to school, and, more to the point, that it’s only a ten month gig, I can breathe a little more easily in the confines of my claustrophobic schedule.  I play this game with my Self pretty much every day, but at least it’s still working … sort of. 

I have been hearing the whisper of Change on the air, though, so I know it’s coming soon.  I’m getting so restless.

I’ve had a pretty eventful past few weeks.  I’ve been wanting to post about these happenings individually and in depth for some time, but, well, the aforementioned time bind means that these little blurbs will have to do.  I at least have to get the gist of what’s happening recorded for posterity’s sake.  One day, I imagine, it will be amusing for me to read back over the events of my life. 

I’m still having struggles with my health – physical, yes, but also emotional and spiritual.  In case you are wondering, there is no cause for alarm.  From a public perspective, I still appear quite healthy.  And, to be fair, I am in many ways.  Mostly I’m dealing with extreme mold and mildew in my home, and the physical, mental and emotional repercussions that such a toxic state entails.  It’s been even worse with all the rain we’ve been having lately.  I’m doing my best to maintain.  But this disease lurking deep within me makes things a bit of a challenge sometimes.  I find that I have little energy for anything.  I push through school and work .. and do alright there since I’m out of the house.  But once I’m home I’m just so tired that I can do little but curl up on the couch or go to bed.  It’s exhausting and frustrating.  But, since I haven’t the time nor the energy to try to break my lease and find a new place to live, I am just trying to manage it until May.

During this down time, I have been trying to remain open to hearing the stories of my Self and of the world around me.  I am in a place of unknowing at present, and despite my appreciation of the infinite possibility and adventure that lives in this space, it is a very uncomfortable space for me.  I suppose part of that discomfort lies in the very base awareness that I am uncomfortable here.  (Chicken?  Egg?)   I feel a sense of weakness, I suppose, at my cowering in the face of what could be (and likely is) a most exciting new beginning.  It’s hard to get excited about anything when my health is in such a lousy state.   But the idea of change on its way is what keeps me pushing through this current discomfort.

So, on to other news …

The biggest bit of news is that I got a car.  I know, I know, I wasn’t going to do that.  I wrote about how wonderful it is to be able to walk around town and really see the nooks and crannies of the place in which I live.  I touted the benefits that walking everywhere has on my health.  I recounted how nice it is to not have to worry about traffic jams, or the price of gas, or finding a parking space in a college town in September.  And all those things still ring true, I promise.  However … yes, there’s a “however”.  However … once school began, new layers of experience around the not-having-a-car situation developed.  First of all, Durham’s bus system, though adequate, is not great.  They are continually making improvements, but it is still not absolutely reliable.  And while there are some really wonderful, interesting and diverse folks who ride the bus, there are also some really … well, let’s say less than pleasant folks who ride it, too.  Some are very rude, some (though few) potentially dangerous, and some with some really poor hygiene habits.  Buses are small, enclosed spaces containing tightly packed groups of people with recycled heat or A/C and little or no fresh air ventilation.  This makes for some potentially very unpleasant transport experiences.  Finally, the bus route that goes to my campus is being canceled come January, so I will no longer have a way to get to school in the new year.  All of these factors played a role in my decision to finally get another car.  And I feel really good about it. 

It’s fascinating to me how I always oscillate between extremes in my life.  Just a couple years ago I was beginning to shed all my belongings, setting out to live a much more sparse existence.  More and more these days I find myself longing for more stuff.  I am craving a better living environment, super excited about having a car again, wanting to go shopping (sometimes just for the sake of going shopping).  I’ve even caught myself daydreaming over owning a mobile phone again.  Crazy!  Whether my rediscovered appreciation for the convenience of a mobile phone will win out over my intense distrust and abhorrence of the mobile phone service provider industry is yet to be determined.  Still, I cannot overlook the fact that I have a life pattern of swinging from one extreme to the other.  I suppose it is this very pattern that drives my desperate search for balance.  Hmmm … I digress …

In other news, I attended my 20-year high school reunion earlier this month.  I must own that I was feeling pretty trepidatious about it.  It’s been a long time (20 years!) since I’ve seen most of these people, and I have changed so dramatically in that time span.  I am sure that everyone else has undergone their own changes, as well.  I still have a very wounded relationship with my past self, and was just feeling really unsure about how I was going to feel revisiting those old relationships.  I almost didn’t go. I didn’t go to my 10-year reunion.  But I felt like I just needed to do it and deal with it.  So with my Sister and a bottle of bourbon in tow, for support and courage, respectively, I went. 

It wasn’t so bad.  In fact, it was kinda fun.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately, I’m not sure which) there was a very low turnout.  But it was nice seeing the people who did attend.  My only complaint was that I didn’t really get to talk much with anyone beyond the quick “what are you doing now?” updates.  That was partially my fault, as we had a heck of a time finding the place in the dark, so were late arriving.  And we had to leave a little early.  (More on that in a bit.)  But, too, this event, on the whole, wasn’t very conducive to in-depth conversing.  (Or at least not for someone like me, who is not a natural conversationalist.)  Mostly we ate and danced.  Now I kind of feel like I am left with the unfinished business of visiting my past without making any reparations while there.  I take full responsibility for not being better at really talking with my old classmates.  As I mentioned already, I’m a very uncomfortable conversationalist, in general.  So, if anyone from the reunion happens to be reading this, I hope you’ll forgive me for not talking with you more.  It was fun to see you.  I’m glad I went.  I’m glad you went, too.

The reason Sister and I left the reunion a little early was to drive up to Asheville for the night.  We thought it’d be a good opportunity to visit Sister’s friend and to become more acquainted with the town.  We visited several spas, including the famed Grove Park Inn Spa, and picked up the local rag (comparable to The Independent here in Durham) to get an idea of town happenings, job openings and housing possibilities.  It was a good trip, when all was said and done, despite its brevity.  Thanks to Sister for being my brave and accommodating companion!

This brings us to my final bit of news:  A couple of weeks ago I found myself running late for school.  In my groggy, early morning fog I managed to misread my clock.  When I realized what time it actually was, I threw on my clothes, scooped up my bags, and bolted out the door.  I really didn’t want to miss the bus.  If I miss any of the three buses that take me to campus, I have to wait a whole hour to catch the next round.  No good.  So, I’m running to the first bus stop, which is about 10 minutes from my house on foot.  A couple blocks from the stop, it happened.  I tripped on I don’t know what.  Next thing I know I’m airborne.  I began to experience the inevitable slowing of time as I realized I was falling.  After a split-second infinity my left hip hit asphalt, followed shortly thereafter by my left shoulder.  Luckily my head did not hit the ground as it ricocheted with the force of the fall.  Lucky, too, was the fact that it was so early in the morning that there were no cars on the road (I fell smack in the middle of it), and it was too dark for anyone to witness my spill.  I managed to get myself up and hobble to the bus stop with even a few minutes to spare, so it all worked out that morning.  Unfortunately my body has been jacked up ever since.  I have managed to schedule one bodywork session, but this is apparently going to take a few more to get me back to normal … whatever that is.  The really funny part of it was that during that slow-motion descent all I could think was:  I don’t fall!  I’m a yoga teacher!  I’m a massage therapist!  What is happening here?  I DO NOT fall!!  Oh well … I guess we all fall sometimes. 

So that’s the nutshell version of this life of late.  It’s been a roller coaster ride of ups, downs, twirls and whirls.  I’m still hanging on, though, and, most of the time, having fun.

What have you been up to?

While you prepare your answers, I’ll leave you with this little pearl from Rumi.  Hope you enjoy it!

I am smiling at myself today
There's no wish left in this heart
Or perhaps there is no heart left
Free from all desire
I sit quietly like Earth
My silent cry echoes like thunder
Throughout the universe
I am not worried about it
I know it will be heard by no one
Except me.

~ Rumi

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