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Below is a video of another dance from the show Philomena’s Dream.  This medley is a collaboration of two dances across three different dance groups in Memphis: IDA, Jasmine’s Jewels, and Mystic River Dance.

The  choreographer of the candle dance is Isidora Hart. The song is Pachyderm Picnic by Brent Lewis.

Jasmine (of Dance with Jasmine) choreographed the second dance.  The song is Misirlou by Mosava.

Oct 2014 Ocean Springs 001

 

Before leaving shore we were instructed, “When you get to the island, just do whatever comes naturally.”

For me, these words triggered an automatic response of anxiety:

Ok, so ‘act natural.’ What does that mean? Ohmygod! What am I gonna do?! I don’t know how to be natural on command…

With that thought came a hyper-awareness of everything I was doing. The simple act of standing upright became a test of memory.  Is this how I stand? What is my face doing? Is this natural? Then suddenly I was responding to people in a British accent because even my mouth had grown confused about how it normally worked.

By the time I set foot on the island I was functioning as a parody of myself. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for Nature, in the form of hunger, to rectify the situation.  For awhile El-D and I walked side-by-side feeding the emaciated mosquitos as I unwrapped a sandwich to feed myself.

We had all brought different types of baggage to the island. I’m not sure where we thought we were going needing that much stuff.  Along the way we came to a tree that was strung with the possessions of those who had passed before us.  El-D and I paused here to marvel at what was left behind and to add our own unnecessary things to the collection.  We each left carrying only what was deemed absolutely necessary: for him, his guitar and phone; for me, my yoga mat and phone.

We wound up on the other side of the island. I picked up a shell and was suprised and mildly horrified to find it housed a creature.  I found another shell and discovered someone living in it too.  El-D picked up a third shell.  Larger than the other two,  it contained yet another being. He brought it over to me and then knocked on its shell.  A little guy popped out – all hairy legs with eyes on stalks. The three of us spent a moment looking at each other in awkward silence.

Then I remembered my phone and I decided to take the little hermit’s picture.  But before I could, he ducked back in his shell as if to say, “I don’t think so Paparazzi.”

Oct 2014 Ocean Springs 011

El-D handed me the creature and walked down to the water’s edge to sit with his guitar and do what comes naturally:  compose the soundtrack of our lives.

Meanwhile, I took the hermit to my mat so we could chat for a bit. We are kindred spirits, this hermit crab and me.  I put him in the sand and began tracing runes around him. Eventually he came out of his shell to co-create.

And soon we were all just being who we are without having to think about it at all.  The video below is the love song and scenes from Dear Island,

 

 

 

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

Title: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Author: Sheryl Sandberg

Synopsis:  Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, gives women career advice. She also discusses the problems women face in getting leadership roles and how to overcome them.

Why I Read It: Someone at a convention raved about the book during a talk.

Full Disclosure: My opinions may be biased by my dislike of her employer. I don’t do Facebook; the whole phenomenon seems at best a waste of mental resources, and at worst a dismaying invasion of privacy.  All that said, I read the book because Sandberg is an accomplished woman writing on a topic, women in leadership, which is interesting and relevant being that I’m a woman and all.

Highlights: It was a quick, easy, well-organized read. Every chapter is concentrated into its one sentence essence (so tidy!!), which made the content memorable. There were a couple of these that stood out:

  •  Don’t Leave before You Leave, in which she discusses the problem of being focused on some future event rather than on your present job, and
  •  It’s a Jungle Gym Not a Ladder, in which she discusses the trajectory of a career and how it’s ok to move laterally and all around instead of constantly climbing up, up, up.  I appreciate the playfulness of this metaphor.

Lowlights: I had a hard time relating to Sandberg. First off, I am drawn to work that is academic and not corporate. My fields are already dominated by women. I’ve been mentored by women, promoted by women.  Likewise, I teach women and promote them.  As a result, sometimes the issues she wrote about seemed remote.  Secondly, her writing style was safe and overly-processed….a little too polished.

Recommended to: 1.) Men – every last one of you should read it.  2.) Working women with children. 3.) Ambitious women just beginning their careers.


If You Liked This Book You Might Also Like: Leadership by Rudy Giuliani, which I reviewed (very briefly) here, and which I found equally as helpful and more compelling.

Best Quote:

“It’s not about biology, but about consciousness”

–Gloria Steinem

If you want to learn more here’s a Ted Talk she gave on the topic.

Dearest Readers,

If you have been around this blog for a few years, then you may think I sometimes get a little too preoccupied with toilet technology.   While I would have to disagree, I do appreciate you enduring these episodes if you find them uncouth.

If you are just joining this party, welcome to the fold.  And just let me say  I think “preoccupied” is really too strong of a word for what goes on here.  You may want to consider it more like an occasional recurring theme. Rest assured, whatever label you want to put on it, this too shall pass, and we will soon resume our regularly scheduled programming.

And if you’re only here to get the bruise status update, well today it features a pink crescent moon entrapped within a fushia hexagon from which a cloud of navy smoke billows.  May you sleep better knowing.

So my interest in toilet technology began a couple years ago with a TedxTokyo Talk called Toilet Talks, which opened my eyes to how far we Americans lag behind the Japanese in lavatory engineering. Still reeling from that revelation, a couple weeks later I encountered another disturbing sign in a university bathroom stall indicating America’s ineptitude in latrine design and the lengths those in the ivory tower will go to enshroud this truth with their propaganda. The problem was made personal with some unfortunate business that occurred on I-40 in a snowstorm.  Then that summer I learned that Japan is not the only country wildly ahead of us when I learned of Ayurvedic medicinal herbs and I tried the Poo-Poo Tea at the ashram.

Today I discovered a video that provided a ray of hope. Other minds are acknowledging the errors of our ways. Mark my words: innovation is coming.

El Diablo has lost over 30 pounds in the last 10 months. He blames moving and farm life. I attribute it to the fabulous yoga classes he attends twice a week. He insists it’s because he’s making healthier decisions about what to eat and drink.

It’s the yoga I tell you!

And soon he will discover the latest turn in my sinister yoga plot…

Found this video today on the blog RMK Yoga (check it out!)….

Enjoy!

…and the precursor

These are my bloggin’ panties and I’m not afraid to use them.

Secrets can take many forms — they can be shocking, or silly, or soulful….[They] can remind us of the countless human dramas, of frailty and heroism playing out silently in the lives of people all around us.

–Frank Warren

~~@~~

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to offer a preview of coming attractions.    “Ashram Lessons” shall resume after this brief message about Life in the Luny Bin…

~~*~~

The Devil and I have had a very busy three weeks.  We’ve sold a house, “bought the farm,” moved in, and have started making it home.

Pupskins (aka Nilla Bean) “helping”

Moving is such a simple word to describe the mayhem involved in dismantling a life.

We have spent countless hours critically examining the value of every possession we have collected over the last 18 years and purging what is no longer needed.   We passed through the phase of organizing, labeling, and boxing, boxing, boxing stuff until we finally just started throwing things  willy-nilly into boxes and bags at the last minute (oh the violence!).   Then came the phase of unboxing followed by another round of purging.  We wondered where all this stuff came from, then decided to purge some more. Some of our stuff was dropped and broken. Some of our stuff was crushed and broken by still other stuff. Some stuff was water damaged in “The Great Flood.” We’re still trying to figure out where some stuff goes, while some stuff just went missing.

I have spent so much time looking for ‘that thing I put in that one box’ that this has become my new theme song:

 

….and the craziest part? We’re still not done moving! I have a whole life in another state left to dismantle!  Wash, rinse, repeat.

There are so many stories on this end to share about it all, but they will come later….Today’s post is on secrets.

In the midst of the chaos the rare opportunity arose to meet a friend I’ve had for years.  This friend has lived in Japan for the duration of our acquaintance, so we’ve never met face-to-face.  His was a short, but intensely fun visit. It’s strange what you learn about yourself when entertaining house guests. Things you normally find invisible about your life are brought into focus through the lens of another’s eye.

“Tofu and flax seed…” he said.

At my confused expression he added, “That’s what’s on the top shelf in your fridge.”

Who knew? I open the fridge everyday and don’t see this.

The Indentured Servant told him a secret of mine, “She burps the President’s name all the time —- ‘BAAAAARRRRAAAACCCK!'”

Disgusting, but true.  Not something I was planning to share, but what can I say? I’m a proud supporter.

The whole experience got me thinking about the everyday secrets we keep in our underwear drawers, in our fridges, in our digestive expulsions. This train of thought led to Frank Warren’s collection of half a million secrets. Frank is a blogger who began his blog after handing out self-addressed postcards and soliciting secrets from people on the street in Washington. He posts them anonymously on his blog postsecret.com.  His Ted Talk is worth watching!

So now that you know a few of my everyday secrets, do you have one to share? Feel free.

 

“Just add puppy, instant lunatic.”

–The Devil

~~@~~

This morning before work I was so fully engaged in “Puppy Time” that I transformed into a cartoon character.   Thanks to the Indentured Servant for pointing out my resemblance to  this video…. 

I had no idea.

At least I don’t turn into Krusty the Clown, like SOME people…

 

 

Anything that makes you completely lose your dignity?

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