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Sunday, November 13, 2005



i haven't written in a while. i haven't been taking care of myself. it's like a downward spiral: skip one yoga class and then i'm off yoga, sleeping through my writing time in the morning...of course being who i am, the spiral pretty much ends there, no binge drinking (although i do like me some beer), nothing dark. the security guard in my office lobby still says i look cheerful every morning. but the older i get the more aware i am of how much i avoid the things that make me feel better. and how instead of practicing yoga, or writing, or taking a bath, or walking my dog, i'll stew in my head over to-do lists and resolutions.

(i am sitting on my porch right now and i keep hearing a cat meow and it is very unsettling b/c i can't see said cat.)(also, i prefer dogs.)

this week i was in palm springs for work (i know - poor me) and as i drove in from the san diego airport i passed mountains (now the meowing's more insistent, like the cat is injured, or very sad, but i think that's just the sound cats make), and some of them looked like camels, with bumpy barren backs, the occasional spiky hair. i don't know if i'd ever get used to seeing palm trees every day. the starbucks there creeped me out - no matter how obvious it is i can't help getting freaked out by the experience of being in a chain store all the way across the country and having the sensation that i could literally be anywhere in the world and it would look exactly the same. and the fact that according to starbucks it's time for christmas - the one down the block, the one in the airport, the one in palm springs, all have the same red and white garland up, the same christmas-themed cups. someone told me that mcdonalds aspires to have their french fries taste the same whether you're in tokyo or topeka - it's an obvious observation but so depressing to think of how disconnected we are from the land, from nature, from ourselves.

(ok, i found the cat, at our neighbor's front door, & knocked on the door and asked, disingenuously, "is this your cat?", and it was, and now the meowing has stopped. ahhh.)

and tonight i had improv rehearsal and the moon is almost full and yesterday i made kahlua brownies. this is what happens when i don't write, it spills out in pools of incoherent passion. it's how i am as an improv player sometimes, all energy and commitment but it's all non-specific. and therefore not very good. but better than nothing.

but i'm too hard on myself. i do that when i'm starved for play, for art, for something beyond this everyday physical world, and schedules, and the part of my brain that knows how to study for a test, to solve a problem, to calculate how much wine to buy for a party. i just want to drink the wine. skip the test. oversleep. but this is hackneyed. i marvel thinking about the expansive unruly incoherent passion inside all of us contained in our corporeal form - life as an absurd parade of characters saying all the wrong lines, or not saying anything at all, all wrong, so far from everything it could be, people coasting past beauty, finding excuses not to be who they are, not to do what they want to do. why are we trained to hide inside ourselves like this.

chinese food is coming. szechuan eggplant with its sweet greasy soft - and brown rice - and hot dumplings dipped in sour sauce - so many flavors, sometimes it's overwhelming, appealing to seal yourself off. like when i get scared by all the books on my bookshelves, too many ideas to absorb, too intimidating to think of all the lives and all the fears and all the longings....and how is it important, anyway, when all that really matters is the air on my face right now and the beatles on the stereo and my contact lens, slightly dry, against my eyeball. i am so self-absorbed.

earlier today i left old books and clothes on the sidewalk in front of our house. as i came out tonight a woman said, holding up a big green silk shirt, "oh, it's a large - my guy's small." and i said, "mine is too, now." we laughed. a strange exchange.

there are a million reasons not to write. too tired. my dog needs me. need to clean. need to get to work early. but then there are a million reasons TO write: for my sanity. to honor this day. to honor this world. my dog's soft fur. emmylou harris on the stereo. faint headache, smooth beer. the moment of losing yourself in an improv scene. a feeling of everything all here, right in this moment.

you my friend
i will defend
and if you change, well,
i'll love you anyway
--"no excuses," alice in chains

i apply this to my friendships. it's time i apply it to myself.

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