Triple Berry Pie
We’ve got the scientific humanitarian, the artist that seeks to heals and her music man to teach, the writing, traveling farmsteader, and her mother, the wise woman DJ. There are the friends that come with-the actor, the sculptor, the bakers, the drag queen, the traveling salesman, and all the other writers, artists, farmers and baristas, and all the other lab rats and sandwich makers and caretakers. You’ll hear about every one. This is the life here at this Rainbow House, the people come in every color, red orange yellow green blue indigo violet. It’s like Gilligan’s Island on a little city farm, one two three four five six seven days a week.
We’ve started this Chakra yoga series, us aspiring yogis, it was Caitlyn’s brilliant idea.
The Sculptor and her flower garden.
She and Nora and I are splitting a membership for a website that is a revelation in our lives, it is amazing, myyogaonline.com. I will admit, I was a total hater at first, I thought I wouldn’t be into anything online, but as it turns out, it is the best thing ever. Today we squeezed four of us into our living room and did the second chakra class, the computer hooked up to the speakers at the head of the room, and there we were for 45 minutes doing the best yoga of our lives. I do miss the ideal of a societal interaction when going to my old yoga classes, but this is too good to not do, at least for me and us.
She’s our favorite teacher, granted she’s the only one we’ve taken but we’re satisfied. Once a week she releases a class on each of the seven Chakras, yoga practices that physically unlock the energy centers within our body that we want to explore for ourselves. Have you ever thought about what moving around in your own body feels like? I experienced that yesterday as we began the second Chakra, the Sacral Chakra, Swadhisthana, orange energy, creativity, sexuality, identity. As we were twisting and moving I realized there were zones within my skin that hadn’t been explored by my physical insides in a while, joints that weren’t used to being bent in a certain direction, organs that aren’t massaged or wrung out enough. I. Love. Yoga. and I feel so much better when I do it, undeniably better all around.
Yesterday was Monday, the root of the new week. I thought all day until the very end that this must be the happiest I have ever been in my life, and I think it all comes down to the reason that I love life. I am aware that the older I get, the more I experience all the caveats of life, good or bad. But up until every new day of my life, if time even exists, I have not achieved as many pieces of the whole puzzle that make my life what it is, and what it will be, until that very moment. I’m reminded of a conversation I had once with an old friend. He told me over the winter that in every moment we are the best us that we have ever been, because we have come that far.
Last week my mom and sister and I all went camping at Turkey Run State Park, just over the border in Indiana, a short hour drive away. We popped the tent and spent the days hiking and kayaking, canoeing and horseback riding. My favorite part was by far riding in a solo kayak and it got me to thinking how much I would love to be some sort of nature guide for a few years of my twenties. I’d love to show people what I’m always reminded, that nature is fucking awesome. I’d love to be by fresh water and mountains, and it’d be nice if the weather was warm all year around. Idea seed.
It was nice spending so much time with the girls of my family, a rarity since my dad died/my sister got engaged…all around the same time. I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again, my sister’s husband and his family are the best thing to happen to my family as a whole since the day they got together five years ago, but it’s still nice to have a few days where the three of us can talk about common memories that we can all smell, and hear, and taste, and laugh about exclusively and endearingly as we clumsily paddle ourselves down a river that runs so shallowly that our hands can stroke the rocks that are sometimes only centimeters from the bottom of our boats. On our final day in the park together we could silently appreciate the aftermath of our lives together and never get too serious because my sister’s horse ceaselessly was farting loudly as my horse rode nose to tail to hers through the woods. My poor, sweaty horse Bullet, but it wasn’t Bucket’s fault.
My also plant-named sister, Heather, decided to stay an extra night and day so we could get into our “comfy-cozies” and fold out on the couch bed and watch the new Star Trek, like a group of girls at a sleep over. I thought the movie was totally awesome and had a bad ass soundtrack. I love a good movie soundtrack, this will now segue into my weekly Sucker Punch plug.
Then the next morning, it all went down. I’m talking about something that for some people, myself included, can be as uncomfortable to talk about as farting—-the negative. Since my dad died of Melanoma almost two years ago, we’ve all gone about our moving on and grieving in different ways. I remember around this time last year Ethan asked me if I thought I had gotten the chance to really grieve yet and I’ve always wondered that for myself. I never really cried that much, or have gotten too overwhelmingly emotional about it. In reality, until that morning my mom and sister and I have never really even allowed ourselves to get too sad about it together and just have a raw, emotional outburst about it, or life and how sometimes it gets us down. We are big believers in positive thinking, but that morning, as the three of us were struggling to wake up to the day, it finally happened. One statement of concern turned into an emotional exchange of frustration, and then a total breakdown of sadness, utter, universal sadness. We cried and cried and let it out, and let it seep into every pore of our bodies until we reabsorbed the tears and cried them out again until finally it didn’t hurt so much. My mom told me that I don’t have to be so positive all the time, I’m allowed to say things aren’t okay.
But that’s hard for me because I always want to try to appreciate everything for what it is, for better or worse. Although I won’t apologize for this sometimes overly zealous optimism, it’s time for me to admit to the world that it doesn’t mean that there isn’t always something lingering inside that is sad, and upset, struggling or uncomfortable, often even. Not just about my dad, but also in regards to the fact that yes, life can totally suck and be hard sometimes, at least in the moment. But in the end, I believe in life and I feel as though I understand the bigger picture, even when nothing else makes sense.
I haven’t been able to pinpoint until maybe even today how exactly I’ve most felt the vacancy of my father. As we were mopping up our tears my sister was telling us how she just feels a piece of her missing since he died, she and him were so much alike, so much of her is him. Although I think I am so much like my dad in so many ways, I am certainly my mother’s child, and perhaps that is why I feel him most missing through her and in our journey ever since. The difficulties and range of emotions I have experienced since my dad died has shown me so much empathy and depth for the human condition, loneliness, exhaustion, irrelevance, lots of pain, and I am better for it. This is life, it’s real and we feel things that hurt and people fart and we can talk about all those things. It’s okay to talk about things that don’t seem okay, chances are, someone else wishes they could let it out too.
So I feel so much better now, as I said, maybe the best I’ve ever felt in my life. I’ve achieved today. A couple days ago I was laying in my new roommate Nora’s bed, looking up at the cloth canopy she constructed out of this jewel patterned sheer fabric. She’s living in Ethan’s old room, which was then Daniel’s room, who moved in when TJ did, who was a glassblower living in my basement over the winter and spring and through which I met Nora. The love of these beloved old roommates still lingers in the house, so so so much love that I can feel it hugging me so tight as I type these words. I bought the role of fabric years and years ago because I wanted to make it into a skirt, but instead it sat in my closet for years and years until last summer when I finally tried to make the skirt. The skirt then turned into a dress and when I went to try it on it fit me all wrong and was too small. So I crumpled up this messed-up, home-made creation and threw it into the garbage, then brought the leftovers to the new house that I was about to be moving into last fall with my best friend, Ethan, and my mom.
It sat it my closet and the fall passed, and then it turned into winter and Ethan moved out and Daniel moved in, the same week as TJ, and Daniel asked if I had anything that he could decorate his room with. I gave him the roll of fabric and together we strung it above his windows like a valence curtain and there it hung for a few months more. But then TJ moved out and Daniel moved out, as people do as their lives unfold, and Nora came back into the picture and moved in, and the two downstairs but we’ll get to them another time. Nora took down the fabric and hung it up again from the ceiling around her bed in which I was laying this time a couple days ago and thinking about all the things that evolve over time, and still come back around.
This life is beautiful, and it’s tragic, and super complicated for everyone, but somehow it all comes together.
The house here is buzzing with a growing garden and 5 laying hens and 5 new people and their friends and cats creating a space in the spirit of a Bohemian rhapsody of our own making.
Wake up with the sun, feed the hens, do yoga, make coffee, write on the porch, water the garden, spend quality time with myself and others, co-host a radio show, bike to work, make coffee, come home to triple berry pie. Happy Tuesday. Be inspired, create beautty, paint, hula hoop, stretch, breathe, grow and love your friends of the world. Namaste.
Here is a song that has been making me feel so great lately, as me and Nora suffer from an ongoing Feist obsession.