222!

tree-of-life-2
Tree of Life II
2.22.17

14″ goat hide hand drum on wood frame
w/ mallet
$250

Just a few tiny differences really transformed it, I think. I did forget that I meant to make a shape out of the middle branches – oops! – but I love it.

222This is my FIVE YEAR Blogiversary, and I have to say it’s pretty revealing to record one’s thoughts on the same day each year. February must be shitty for me, because I’ve been down more often than not on this day. I’m currently in a big Fibro flare, which doesn’t help.

Nothing suits me better than a trip to Texas to see my best friend! (I am anxious about the flight. Travel isn’t the same since Fibro. Those seats can trigger or worsen a flare, to plague me for months. Luckily, I plan to do little more than sit and laugh. And stretch a little, I suppose.) I leave in the morning for a week, to do nothing at all but be with the family that’s more family than my own.

222 is still my favorite number; truly a magical triple digit for me. So 2.22 remains a beloved day, and I love February because something about leaving January makes me feel like it’s Spring already. I’ll snap out of winter blues soon, I’m sure, so today I recommit to getting up. I trust enthusiasm to infect me again. I am who I am.
blogiversary

Jojo Dancer

My little sister-friend got married and moved to Germany last Fall, so I bought her car 6 months ago today. Here’s the report on my ugly little Hyundai Accent named Jojo Dancer, after her previous owner.

She had 128,001 miles the day I bought her. I’ve added 3,147, averaging 29.6 miles to the gallon. She hasn’t had a hiccup. Or a bath.

I gained 15-20 lbs within months of leaving the bus-n-bike lifestyle. (Until New Years, I only learned my exact weight at doctor’s appointments, but I know where I hover.) Of course, now that I’ve added yoga I’m down 8 lbs, and I’m seeing muscles I never had before. Wee!

Speaking of yoga, and the fresh confrontation with pain I’ve been negotiating this year, I remembered something random the other day. In a Spanish class in college, we had to stand and introduce ourselves: name, age, what I’m like, what I fear.

“Me llamo Christie. Nunca pregunte a mujer su edad. Soy hablante. Tengo miedo de dolor.” I’m Christie. Never ask a lady her age. I’m talkative. I’m afraid of pain.

“Well, yeah,” the professor dismissed me. “Everyone’s afraid of pain.”

“No, like phobic. I have knots in my stomach just thinking about it. I’m not afraid of dying; I just don’t want it to hurt.”

I used to say to my best friend growing up, “At least if I have to cry the tears of the damned, I have a strong body that doesn’t hurt.”

How could I have forgotten that pain was my biggest fear? I’m living my biggest fear! I once went to a psychic who said, “Oh, that’s interesting. You came to see how much you could stand.”

“K?”

“You push everything as far as you can, just to see how much you can take. Start to look at your life that way and see what you find.”

I do! The will I/(probably)won’t I of motherhood. The (non)career/low-income life I’ve chosen. The abusive/devaluing relationships. I thought The Unmarriables were a result of my upbringing, feeling abandoned, unworthy of love, unable to love and be loved. But, being an imaginative mystic myself these days, I follow it further. I think I chose my childhood and family – possibly to see how much I can stand.

I believe in reincarnation. In my last between-life phase I examined what I learned in the life I just left in the context of the lives that came before it, and looked at what I wanted to conquer in the next, to learn and accomplish, to see, to feel.

I think I came here for exactly what I got. I came to discover my strength. In the context of community (i.e. I couldn’t be dropped in the wild and make it), I can do anything. It’s crazy to have such confidence, but nothing can crush me. I’m tough as hell. What’s to fear?

I even think I chose to come up in an extremely religious culture. Those are some serious eternal consequences to contend with! And it isn’t easy to be shunned and shamed.

So much of my time is freed, not scrambling for survival. I get to explore, wonder, play, find, relax, love, dream, laugh.

If I’m honest, I’m kinda bitter to have both the psychological trauma of my childhood and early adulthood and now the physical pain of mid-life and beyond (which terrifies me). However, I would say to my best friend today, “At least if I have to suffer the pains of the damned, I’m not emotionally tortured anymore.”

She say’s I’m a Fucking PollyAnna, always finding the silver-lining, but don’t mess. 🙂
happiness

The Jig Is Up!

The jig is up! I’m staying in Utah! It’s obvious now that I was manipulating an opportunity for my friends to beg me not to go. (None did.) (Bastards.) A year ago on Facebook, I started my LIVE LOVE SLC campaign as a good-bye to the city I’ve loved for 20 years. The result was a year of enriching cultural activities that I always mean to do but say I don’t have enough money when the time comes. Generally, we enjoyed inexpensive things but we splurged on some really worthwhile occasions, as well, and I’m so happy we did. At the end of one year, I have more memories, the same amount of hangovers, and no more or less money than if I’d missed out.

I’d planned to save massive amounts of money on rent near family in Idaho, and travel travel travel. I could get any old job. I’ve always had any old job. Instead, I accidentally fell into a temp position that was clearly the perfect fit for my office and for me, and they offered it to me right away, permanently. I took my time to commit, until I could secure a situation here that will meet my needs and goals. And now I have. I can drive a couple of hours to see my kin, cuz the last of my 3 best girlfriends is leaving Salt Lake (for Germany!) and I’m buying her car.

I hoped to take the bus-and-bike lifestyle to a decade, but I’m satisfied with 9 years. I’m pleased with my contribution to less congestion in the air and on the ground. I’m excited to visit my grandma, who just turned 89, and my new baby nephews – only a year apart! – back home. I’m excited for road trips and music festivals. I’m excited to hike! I’m excited for freedom and convenience, and I hope I don’t get fat. I lost 20 lbs 9 years ago, by accident of peddling.

I’m excited to stay. I thought the presence of Idaho State University would give Pocatello the community education opportunities I so love about Salt Lake City, but there was nothing. It’s too bad. Could be a charming town.

I get to continue djembe! Since African has become too demanding for my body to sustain with Fibromyalgia, I’ll switch to belly dance, and keep the beat for SLC African Drum and Dance Corp instead.

And even with all 3 of my best girlfriends moved and gone, I still have my Chosen Family, a beautiful band of artists and weirdos who love to laugh, love fun, love each other, and love me for being loud and lovely and strange and obnoxious when drunk, or sober. Sometimes I look around at my people and think, “How did I get so lucky?” Sometimes I look around and think, “What the hell is wrong with me?”

I get everything I want!

****

Ha! My neighbor just told me I dashed his plans. “We were going to have coffee-colored babies.”

“With cream,” I added.

“Yeah,” he said. “I figured it would take me about a year and a half to get you to fall in love with me.”

“I don’t have that kind of time!”

Guess that’s as close as I get to the begging I was hoping for from my  jerks, er, friends. 😉

Interesting Conversation

My friend and I went to brunch Sunday (after failing to win lotto tix to Book of Mormon Musical), and an interesting conversation ensued. Or maybe not so interesting. Rather ordinary, really, but my mind is ablaze with a new idea.

The conversation began when this friend confessed his fear of dying, which I don’t share. (Fear of pain, most definitely.) I’m excited to see what’s there and be able to fly. 🙂 I like it here so I want to stay as long as I can and take in the beauty, adventure and learning, but I’m so into perfect, pure love that Afterlife represents to me, I can’t wait to swim in it. I mean, fly.

As an Atheist, my friend is frightened of the Nothing after leaving our bodies. I said that, having considered that possibility, I’ve found myself still to be unafraid of death. Without consciousness, I won’t notice I’m not around anymore. What’s to regret? “But I can’t imagine it,” I went on to say. “Energy doesn’t end. E=mc2. It becomes mass and vice versa. Mass proves my existence as energy. I couldn’t end if I wanted to. I’ve been organized in some way around a fiery ball. I can’t stop being, with or without a body.”

“Yes,” he replied, “but energy doesn’t have to have consciousness when organized in other ways.” To him that’s terrifying. To me, it’s not. In fact, it’s quite exciting. It bolsters the idea that we’re all connected, to each other, the trees, the stars.

I hope I’m still sentient. If not, what’s to miss?

That got me to this: Manifestation (Law of Attraction, “The Secret,” if you must) … Do you have to have an after-life belief system in order to participate? The simple answer is no, of course, but synchronicity and intuition are so closely tied to my angels that I can’t imagine those gifts coming from nothing, existing purely as a byproduct of my resonance as a breathing thing. In fact, they feel like a very real hug from a crew of loving cheerleaders who celebrate every time I get the message.

I understand that the way I interpret my experience doesn’t apply to anyone but me. I like to say I’m Christian, because my orthodoxy bears my name. 🙂 I don’t need anyone else to believe it, and it benefits me whether it’s real or imagined. But… Interesting!

I hoped my friend could make peace with the finality of death and no longer be burdened by the worry of it in life, and added, “but I still can’t imagine it.”

Funny, ego.

Can it be ego alone that sees me as too important and vast for my consciousness to end? Well, yeah, it can! But if my ego can be wiped away in 80 yrs, then so can my ancestors, and I have one among my angels. I can’t be convinced that she’s a figment of my imagination, because genealogical records prove her existence. She started all of this for me. I had no idea what was happening, except that I was on fire! (Burning in the Bosom, Mormons call it.) My angels are not winged warm fuzzies. Abigail Smith Abbott (b. 1806) introduced herself to me when I was ten. “Hello, Daughter. We’re here.”

I know they’re real. I’m willing to be honest, though. I believe they are. Huh. That made something very clear for me. That is definitively what differentiates me from the flock I left. Mormons have to know, and declare it. “I bear my testimony.” they say. I can’t.

Happily for me, I don’t care. I don’t need sureties in order to enjoy the rich relationship I have with my angels and a loving Universe, which very much responds to the energy and thoughts I choose. I expect to arrive in 40+ years at another between-life phase. I imagine a whole lot of, “Oh yeah! I can’t believe I forgot that! Oh wow, I learned exactly what I chose Christie for. I rocked that round! Next I’d like to learn…” But I don’t know, and I love it that way. “I bear my testimony that not knowing is true.”

I dance in the Question Mark!

(Oh, and I got a ticket to the show at the evening lotto. “I get everything I want!” Manifest!)B of M Capitol resizeeverything is energyThe laws of physics apply to Atheists, too! I can’t believe I had to think so hard to “allow” that, haha!

222

I confess I find myself in a malaise this 3rd WordPress anniversary.

I’m struck by thoughts of “Too late, ” “What’s the point?” and, generally, “Meh.” I catch myself in fantasies of my 20s, thinking what I might have done if I knew then what I know now. It’s such a useless enterprise, and yet I find myself perpetually there. I think, “Well, start now!” See above.

This “blah” has been sitting on me all year. I was waiting to get depressed. When that didn’t happen, I waited to snap out of it. Neither so far.

I’ve tried 3 times now to write something meaningful or interesting in any particular on this blogiversary. The truth will have to suffice.

Having said that, I am looking forward to Hottie Hoop Camp next month. I thrive in the classroom, and I’m excited about the possibility of unlocking this brainfreeze I’ve been stuck in (for years) with my hooping. I’m so ready for a lengthy visit with my best friend. She moved last summer, and I really feel the lack of her in this blasé phasé.

The End
222

Bikram

I love conquering fears!

I avoided Bikram for years, because I’m afraid of heat. Silly, it seems, since I conquered the fear of the sweat lodge 5 years ago. You’d think I’d know I can handle it. But I’ve never had to exert myself there. In sweat lodge – and even at Burning Man – all you have to do is sit and focus on being okay with discomfort until it passes.

10 days ago, my friend Amber bought me a 10-day introductory pass to Bikram Sugarhouse here in Salt Lake. Like a total slacker, I wasted it until the last 2 days – but I did return and that’s a victory in itself.

If my first session had been like the second, I wouldn’t have gone back. Yesterday, I fainted the whole time and ended up accepting that apparently I just needed a detox that day. I was able to lie down before going lights out, but it was in my ears and teeth. Perhaps you don’t have a relationship with fainting, as I do, but that’s as bad as it gets without losing consciousness. For the next 45 minutes I couldn’t sit without fainting again! I decided to get over the humiliation and enjoy the cleanse. Finally, I sat up through the last half of class and tried to join pranayama at the end, but there was to be no heavy breathing for me! I was shaky on my feet and dizzy afterwards but I made it through my shower, got some food, and walked out the door for drum class.

Today was another exercise in conquering fear, and I did! I went back. I got faint even earlier than I had yesterday. I just about sat down, but I’m used to concentrating through that first threat of tunnel vision. I still feared that today might be a repeat of yesterday, or worse, but I stuck with it. I carefully measured my breathing and I beat it!

I was better hydrated and nourished today, but I was scared. And I did it!

My body feels really good; My heart feels even better. I’m so lucky. Amber’s a new friend. I invited her to a free lecture and she bought me Bikram. I’m just so blessed. Yay!

Happy Haunting!

I had the best, almost sacred Halloween! I entertained at my house after a very small group of friends and I enjoyed a haunted Salt Lake City bus tour. I served home-made rum cider and an appetizer of local, organic apples and home-canned plum habañero sauce on a baguette w/ morbier cheese and spring greens. (And Halloween candy.) We spent late evening each telling our ghosts’ stories – I mean the stories of the spirits of our ancestors and lost children and friends and brothers. And laughed our asses off. And really had… just a lovely time together. I’m so blessed.

(“The universe is conspiring to benefit me!”)

(“I’m rich with pocket magic!”)

(Oh, and my Grandpa came by. No, really, he did. Hi, Grandpa! I love you. Thank you.)