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If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.

John Lennon

~~~~@~~~~

Earlier this month, I received a special gift from a fellow yogi: a full 60-minute playlist of Beatles love songs to use in our Valentine’s Day class. This gift inspired a contest – whoever guessed the number of times the word “love” occurred in the lyrics during the class won a prize. It was SO much fun!

In appreciation for the playlist, I compiled a list of Beatles lyrics and quotes in the spirit of yoga wisdom. Each quote went down on a little decorated card and was placed inside a repurposed Altoids Tin.

when he brings you a bouquet of wildflowers and a hungry bee.

flowers and bee

 

@~~’~,~~~

 


 

Spring1

“The daffodils are blooming!” Kiki announced in a lilting voice as she breezed in the door.

The granddaughter, who didn’t know the difference between a daffodil and a geranium – and who didn’t much care, sat in the kitchen playing Donkey Kong on Colecovision. Her eyes were nearly glassed over from staring for so long into the screen and her thumb muscles ached from over use.

This would not do.

“Come outside and see!”

The glassy eyes slid her direction for a moment, then back to the screen, where the jumpman had just cleared another barrel.

“Come on, Valley.”

A barrel hit the jumpman. The child groaned. So much for saving the princess. She sighed, turned off the little TV, and stood up to get this over with.

Outside, the daffodils were indeed blooming.  Not just blooming – they looked like they were singing.  Trumpeting nearly.

“Heralding spring,”  Kiki said.

They looked like fairy princess dresses – perhaps the princess was saved afterall.

She most certainly will not be getting out of bed to get dressed for school, thankyouverymuch.

From the kitchen Momma has hollered for her to “GET UP!”  and with an edge in her voice added, “…and that’s the last time!”

This happens to be the second of Momma’s “last time” warnings. The warnings started after an entire series of ineffectual attempts to get her out of bed.  Momma went so far as to pick out an outfit and physically  try to force her into it. This was a grave offense.  She is six and a half years old and can dress herself. A lot of screaming and wrestling went into that fiasco before Momma abruptly aborted the mission to try out a new tactic: cooking breakfast.

But all the clothes and breakfasts in the world will not make a bit of difference.  She’s not budging. It is so cold in her bedroom it hurts to breathe. To protect herself from the temperature, she has ducked her head under the blanket to breathe her own body-warmed air. Her feet are pulled up beneath her flannel gown.  She has folded herself into a little ball to preserve heat.  She has gathered all the loose edges of the sheets and blankets and tucked them under herself to keep the mean air from biting her.   So Momma can threaten spankings all she wants. There are worse things than Momma’s spankings – like being attacked by the cold air outside the semi-warm cocoon she’s created beneath her covers.

It’s not just the cold terrorizing her, it’s also the snakes. Daddy killed one in his bedroom just the other night.  He chased it around the room hitting it over and over with his guitar until it was dead. She didn’t actually see it happen, but she did hear the accompanying soundtrack.  The oddly musical killing featured forceful, pounding rhythms and vibrating, jangly strings that reverberated inside the instrument’s hollow body with each blow. It was definitely not a song usually played in Daddy’s repertoire. She was horrified when she found out the cause behind Daddy’s improvisation. Now she imagines the coiling and roiling pit of snakes that surely resides under her bed. Daddy, the Slayer of Serpents and her Champion Defender, has already left for work.  So no ma’am, she will not be getting out of bed today.

Momma’s footsteps now creak down the hallway and stop at her room.  Uh-0h.

“Come on and get up. I made biscuits and it’s warm in the kitchen.  The oven door’s open.” Momma says sweetly.

The brat beneath the blankets cries, “Nooooo, it’s too cold! And biscuits are so yucky. They’re mushy and gross. And there are snakes!”

“There are no snakes. And I’ll toast the biscuits.  You like them like that, remember?”

Momma steps closer. Under the covers the child braces herself in anticipation of the coming struggle.  When it doesn’t come, she realizes Momma’s footsteps are fading down the hallway. She hears rustling and softly percussive kitchen sounds. The oven door creaks then snaps shut.

She hugs her knees in and shivers.

A few minutes later, the oven door creaks open, then Momma is standing by her bed again, working loose a corner of the sheets.  Delicious warmth touches her skin. Her clothes! In her blanket cocoon, she dresses in her oven-baked shirt, warm pants, and toasted socks, then she emerges a new creature.  She jumps off the bed and runs out of her room before the snakes can get her.  She follows the scent of toasted bicuits to the warm kitchen. For the rest of the day the scent of biscuits and love lingers all around her.

~~*~~

ReminisScent I

The Devil

The Devil

“Why do you call your husband that?” It’s usually the folks that don’t know him doing the asking.

People in the know make him identity bracelets with “The Devil” spelled out in beads.

He’s also been lovingly refered to as “Squidward” by a self-identified “Patrick” who dubbed me “Spongebob.” If, like me, you need a reference point for these accusations, I give you two:

The Devil can be grumpy for sure. Naturally, he’s a bit of a Grinch about Christmas.  This year in a rare moment when he wasn’t complaining about how ridiculous the holiday is, and how stupid all the shoppers are clogging up the traffic home, he asked for “kill shirts.”  Kill shirts, as in the shirts TV serial killer, Dexter, wears. It was a sincere request.  Not that he’s going to kill anything; the Devil is a vegetarian.

He’s the kind of guy who listens to Heavy Metal, Death Metal, and who watches the Vegan Black Metal Chef.

His lounge-wear reveals his devilishness clearly:

EL-D

He often conceals his dark nature behind various disguises.  When we make public appearances (because, you know, we’re rockstars), it’s customary to see each other on the way out the door and wonder aloud who exactly the other is supposed to be in regard to the costuming, then to promptly answer our own posed question.  It goes like this:

I’ll say, “Who are you going as tonight, a literature professor?”

He’ll say, “What are you supposed to be, a woodland fairy?”

We tend to create the most unlikely pairings: country gentleman and baglady, serial killer and Sporty Spice.

We are always so different, even when we’re exactly the same.  When I morph into Lilith he suddenly becomes Michael the Archangel.

In our relationship’s default settings, I lean towards a chirpy sort of joy while he does all the moody brooding.  We remind me a lot of these two:

But somehow underlying it all is just this…

Tulsa October 026

Christmas Goaty Goodness

whatmatters

First, thank you, thank you to last week’s yogis.  Donations went to the Red Cross for disaster relief in the Philippines.

There will be two more Thursday night yoga classes this year before I head into the depths of the cave for hibernation.  See dates and details below.

 Thursday, November 21 @ 7:00 p.m. This is a pay-what-you-can donations class with 100% of the proceeds going to the Memphis Union Mission.  $50.10 will provide 30 Thanksgiving meals for those seeking food and shelter at the mission.  If you have gently used coats to spare, donate those too as they are currently having a coat drive.

Thursday, December 5 @ 7:00 p.m.  This is a pay-what-you-can donations class with 100% of the proceeds going to Church Health Center.

Both classes are in my cave, fireside.  Expect a slow, restorative practice focused on relaxation

For more information e-mail valetar@aol.com

They Called It Puppy Love

They Called It Puppy Love

Dedicated to El-D…

(I love you, you know.)

Tulsa October 026

The Lotus

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying,
and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my
dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to
me that it was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this
perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.

—Rabindranath Tagore

May 13 2013 017

How I would love to tell you that life has been all roses and frolicking this week.

That is but a fraction of the story.May 13 2013 019

In the last couple days alone the farm has seen accidents, injuries, delusion, anger, bloodshed, exile, and multiple deaths of various creatures.  If it sounds like Lord of the Flies, it has been to some extent. In fact I believe one creature’s tailless corpse may still be wedged between two bricks in the sunroom now that I think about it. Yip, Moon Pie, and Nickel are savages in their play.

Still, we haven chosen to celebrate in spite of these things.

The voices of three generations rose up to sing gospel hymns and children’s songs.

We honored mothers.May 13 2013 021

We created new things from old things.

We fixed broken things.

We marveled.

We broke things that really needed fixing.

We recoiled in horror.

We stared too long at train-wrecks.

We cried.May 13 2013 023

We simultaneously understood and didn’t understand.

We accepted that this is all part of the giant whirlygig.

…and then we went back to the roses and frolicking.

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