Thursday, September 29, 2011

the possible meaning of 42

Thanks, Chuck.

"There are three totally different kinds of humans on the Earth, meaning that they perceive the One reality in three different ways, interpreted differently. The first kind of human has a chromosome composition of 42+2. They comprise a unity consciousness that does not see anything outside themselves as being separate from themselves. To them, there is only one energy - one life, one beingness that moves everywhere. Anything happening anywhere is within them, as well. They are like cells in the body. They are all connected to a single consciousness that moves through all of them. These are the aboriginals in Australia. There might be a few African tribes left like this. Then, there is our level, comprising 44+2 chromosomes. We are a disharmonic level of consciousness that is used as a steppingstone from the 42+2 level to the next level, 46+2 ... These two additional chromosomes change everything... The main change will be a shift to the "unity consciousness". Every cell in your body has its own consciousness and memory. You, the higher being that occupies your body, make the millions of different consciousnesses in your body work together as one being ... Think of yourself as a cell and the grid as the higher being. We will still have individual consciousness, but will be united in the form of a higher being in order to work as one entity." - Drunvalo Melchizadek

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the number 42 is haunting me

I see it everywhere/all the time here recently. I look at the clock at exactly :42. It's (seemingly) randomly included in Facebook comments directed at me without the commenter's knowledge of my relationship with this number. It pops up on website error messages, in flight itineraries, in phone numbers. What does it mean? Also, I just learned this last week. Weird.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

fall beginnings: a mood board

I wrote this in my journal in 2009, way before I ever did yoga.

these boots are my soulmates.

I’ve learned to ask myself one question when I’m trying to decide whether or not I should take a role. Because I’ve come to learn that the decisions that I sweat over, that I labor over, and that I ask everybody’s opinions and I make lists, positive and negative - the answer in that situation should always be no. I’ve learned to make a decision by asking myself one question: What does my heart yearn for? It’s simplified my life in a way I can’t describe. I think that’s the single best piece of advice I’ve ever had in my life. Because your head can be your own worst enemy.

Monday, September 26, 2011

on yoga

The big thing with me lately is that the past is present as I'm working to manifest my future. I've always thought of the past as the past and the present as the present and the future as the future, but I'm learning that things aren't often as simple as that. This straight line of chronology through which we all think we move is not so straight at times - it bouncily doubles over on itself like a seat in a movie theater, it loops around and sometimes it pauses in a space that feels like it's outside of time altogether. I suppose I've always "known" my past experiences are part of my present, because they've led me to this moment - but never in my life has my past been such a tangible presence.  Never has my own understanding confused me so much.

It seems that my yoga studio - or, more likely, the yoga itself - is a wormhole to the past. Near the end of my training as a teacher, with my heart as wide open as it had been since before I moved to New York, I thought about A, in passing. (Remember?) It was a Saturday evening. I was walking from the studio in the East Village to meet a friend for drinks in the West Village. I thought, "I wonder what I would do if I ran into A in the city." I watched myself have the thought, wistfully interested in why I was thinking about this man who (I thought) broke my heart, and whom I had not even passively considered in more than a year's time. I also asked myself why I was thinking that thought specifically, when (at least as far as I knew) he doesn't live in New York. Piggybacking on that thought, more thoughts bubbled to the surface, and memories from the time we shared together, and then I found myself thrashing at my covers, trying to shake him out, wondering why the fuck all these images still live within me when I so unequivocally banished them.

A sort of bizarre sequence of events led to us having a conversation, A and I. He told me he had been in the city the day I thought of him. I had no way of knowing he was here that day, nor did I have a reason to think what I thought. He also told me he thought the same thing about me when he was here, what he would do if he ran into me. Synchronicity. Since that conversation there has been a revolution in my heart, a sort of open-chest surgery I'm performing on myself, blindfolded.

Then the other day, I taught class at the studio. After class a student approached me. She said I looked very familiar to her and asked me where I'm from. I told her Birmingham, Alabama. She said her too. She asked me my name. I told her, and as my name escaped my lips, I recognized in her a glimmer of a young face I once knew. I said her name as she told it to me. She went to my middle and high school. She was a grade above me,  and we were never close friends, but I remember her because she was always performing and singing at school concerts and plays. We talked for a while and she told me she moved to the city just two days after me, on Jan. 1, 2009, to pursue a career in theater. She told me she had also just done a show down in Virginia. I befriended her on the book of faces, and learned that she is friends with another actor friend of mine who I just visited in Virginia last weekend. And so the past folds in on itself, and that fold folds in on itself again, like one of those wooden Chinese toys where you hold the end of a chain of blocks that tumble over each other repeatedly in an irrational way, clink clink clink clink clink.

For the past year or so my actions have largely been fueled by the belief that a higher power is guiding me to a destiny of its design, but lately I'm considering the possibility that I was born, that we are all born, to find and courageously follow our own hearts - that our hearts are our destinies. For me, yoga is a portal to my heart. Everything that comes along with that - past, present, and future - all present themselves to me, in ways I never conceived. Yoga helps me harness the power to transform all three, however I see fit.

Today I practiced yoga and the woman next to me in class had a tattoo on her forearm that read, "You have everything you need." And I think it's true.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

on my heart

The thing about the human heart is that, like the earth, it is much deeper than most of us immediately give it credit for. Sometimes we plant seeds in its soil, and the stems grow, and the flowers blossom for a time, and then the winter freeze rolls in and we know that those tender petals we once caressed to life are dead and gone. We imagine them reabsorbed into our very being to be re-distributed for another use, another season, galvanizing us against the next winter, whenever it may come. And then a strange turn of events can reveal to us, still swaying in the wind and reaching for the sun, the garden we long took for dead.

The discovery can be so shocking that it casts a new light on everything that’s happened in our lives since we first thought we laid our garden to rest. Maybe everything we’ve done since that moment has led us to this singular re-discovery. Maybe all the work, all the growth, all the choices, the mistakes - maybe it was all some cosmic plan to till the soil of our hearts, to ready us for the season of harvest. It's been said that an insight the size of a mustard seed can bring down a mountain-sized illusion that's holding our lives together. It’s at this point that maybe the anger comes, the protest - we thought we knew ourselves so well. We thought we had sufficiently healed the heartbreak that came when we turned our backs on those blooms, casting them in a shadow to ensure their demise. How dare they continue to thrive in the darkness, and how dare they reveal themselves to us again, now.

It’s not like we’ve been miserable. We’ve been the opposite of miserable - we’ve discovered levels of joy and exhilaration beyond what we believed possible. We’ve gotten to know ourselves better than ever before, we’ve grown to love ourselves more than we ever considered permissible. We’ve been so happy we cried and cried so much we laughed. We’ve gotten healthier, we’ve gotten stronger, we've gained understanding. We’ve learned, we've loved. Which is why this discovery is all the more unsettling. How could we,
in our happiness, have been so unaware of the truth? Where was our secret garden this whole time?

So the problem becomes what we do with what we’ve found.
Do we simply sit and observe for a while?  Do we pick the buds and string them purposefully through our hair as it grows long? Do we water them, thereby encouraging them to grow taller? Do we one-by-one yank them out by their roots, painstakingly making room for some new breed to grow in their place? The whole venture becomes increasingly absurd and unreasonable - we begin to legitimately question our sanity, and we feel so painfully alone, as if we're sure that no one else in the history of the world has ever felt this way - it's too foreign, too strange. None of it makes any sense. We might ask ourselves, we might ask the universe, we might ask God: what is this trickery? What is going on? We feel like an old piece of rock being polished - run through a spinning buffer and then tossed around in a river with no banks in sight. But why? What is this strange alchemy?

The answer, of course, is Love. The answer is always Love. And if Love isn’t the answer, we’re probably not asking the right questions. Love isn’t black and white, it isn’t linear. It doesn’t fit inside any
chronological framework we’ve created to interpret the events of our lives. It doesn’t adhere to the rules we’ve written for ourselves, nor does it acknowledge the density of the walls we've built. It doesn’t implore us to focus on the bad times, only on the good. Or, rather, it humbly turns our attention to all times equally. Winter, spring, summer, and fall are all the same in the eyes of Love. A field of flowers is the same as a field blanketed in the thickest snow.

Someone planted in me the seeds of Love long ago, and it took learning this lesson for me to finally see them begin to mature: in loving others,
I am actually loving parts of my own heart, a perennial garden of buds only beginning to break through the ice of a long and stealthy frost. The polishing continues.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the original you and i

What June did for me was post signs along the way, lift me when I was weak, encourage me when I was discouraged, and love me when I was alone and felt unlovable. She is the greatest woman I have ever known. Nobody else, except my mother, comes close. June said she knew me – knew the kernel of me, deep inside, beneath the drugs and deceit and despair and anger and selfishness, and knew my loneliness. She said she could help me. She said we were soulmates, she and I, and that she would fight for me with all her might, however she could. She did that by being my companion, friend, and lover, and by praying for me. June is a prayer warrior like none I’ve known.

We connect somewhere between here and heaven.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

in memoriam

I walked from the East Village to Bryant Park today, where A Tribute 9/11 has been set up for the past few days. There are 2,753 empty chairs on the lawn, one to represent each person killed on 9/11. It is quite eerie and beautiful.

An interactive public art project called Collective Memory included a pool of typists set up at a table each day from 12:30 to 2:30, recording people's responses to the question, What would you like the world to remember about 9/11? I didn't get to the park until around 4 today, so I missed the typists, but there was one lone typewriter still there, and I sat down to write. Someone is collecting the writings and will eventually display some of them at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. You can also see them here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

on 91st street

All the leaves said,
"Just wait."
I felt you push the wind 
through them 
as they trembled.

So I will wait
under their gentle cover,
allowing the sun to warm my skin
and the rain to bathe it,
season after season,
until the snow comes.