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It has been unbelievably quiet here. I am not complaining. Mornings begin around dawn and I land my butt on the meditation cushion before the monkey mind gets too busy. Exercise has been mostly swimming and yoga, though I hope my body will like the weight training once again before too long. My body has reflected the break from health and happiness I took this summer. It feels good to be back, present, and ready to rock, as it were.
My personal ashram is coming along nicely. Oppressing myself with ultra strict time constraints has not felt useful. The intention is what’s important, and that is sticking. I am awake hours earlier. I find center. I work with diligence and new shows for 2011 are beginning to get booked, which promotes a sense of accomplishment that keeps an entrepreneur going.
I open up time to clean and organize. It is hard to explain how a freshly polished dresser in the bathroom (“The Amber Lounge,” as I like to call it) that was once my Grandmother’s translates to a mind at ease, but it does just that. Seeing that the basement will soon be ready to receive much-needed repainting is exciting.
I have been eating moderately and well, loving cooking once again. I tend not to cook when I am living in a space that is somehow energetically off. Rediscovering the process and simple enjoyment of making fresh, vegetarian meals is one joy of no-housemates that I had forgotten would re-emerge. In the evenings, I’ve been making sure there is leisure time. I mostly catch up with my friend Brian, and I’ve been reading the brilliant book by Heidi Durrow, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky.” Heidi Durrow along with Fanchen Cox are the hosts of Mixed Chicks Chat, a podcast where I have found an emotional home and sense of cultural identity in so many ways. Lights out has been purposeful and a bit earlier on its own accord. No more falling asleep trying to make one more connection or watch one more thing on You Tube. There is a tomorrow for that.
All this personal ashraming is absolutely positive. I am also aware of it as a state of preparation. The mind is rediscovering focus for the pursuit of spiritual awareness and wisdom. The stability of quiet joy that is emerging will be the bedrock that allows the new songs to come through – the ones that hold all the anger and feelings of loss that I’ve been avoiding. I am preparing for the inevitable birth of those, and the light that comes after.
I am preparing for family. What I said about the wighead knowing more about her family than I do is true. She is certain that she wants the man and the woman who she loves to form a poly triad. I would love such a scenario, though the partners are not evident. For me, three doesn’t have to be the magic number. All need not be lovers. All need not live together. I do believe that my friend Brian is one of us.
The polyamorous family of my dreams has an unequivocal heart connection. We are friends and partners who know in our deepest selves that love and freedom are not incongruent. Queerness and gender fluidity weave a wide swath of our tapestry. We explore the divine, creativity, and intellect. We give each other space. We have each others’ backs.
Last Samhain, a woman who came to my ritual asked me if I wanted a family. I didn’t have a short answer for her, sensing her likely cavalcade of assumptions. Yes, I really do want a family. And today, I am enjoying incredible near silence.
How will I find enough singlehood and enough togetherness? It is one of my lifelong quests to find and stay in this balance. The living room will soon ring with my current favorite sound of OM. Today, I am happy and serene. There is no need to chase after answers.
A few years ago, I noticed that I occasionally had dreams and idle fantasies of throwing things away – nearly violent images of picking up old clothes, old papers, random electronics, and broken stuff—and tossing them all haphazardly and mercilessly out of an open window. Sometimes I’d break the window in the process. It felt great to care less. What a crazy, cathartic forced way to affect clarity, well beyond the fabled “letting go.” The fantasy may be a bit on the extreme side, but it speaks to things that need doing, and perhaps a bit to my Virgo Obsesso nature. My living space has been incongruent with the order that I long for inside and out. I am pleased to say that is changing.
These last two weeks have been the beginning of reclaiming my home as temple. I call my place the Arts Ashram of Atco. I am dedicating my current practice to continuing to move the energies closer in line with the name. This morning in the middle of working peacefully in my room near the main altar, cleaning the kitchen, and in brushing the light layers of snow from the car, I felt the yoga coming back into my home and my being. As of a few days ago, an area that was once jumbled storage space is now “The Yoga Nook.” Next— on to the office. It doesn’t have a clever name yet.
A lot of people seem to think that the best thing about being freelance is that you get to create your own hours. I find that what has actually been most beneficial so far is that I create my own days. If it is time to tour through to Detroit or Sarasota or Kansas City, I can plan the dates, pick up and go. The hours within a day of writing at home can be a lot trickier.
Creating one’s own hours can be a joy provided that it is actually done in a way that promotes order and balance. When I have been good at creating my own hours, I am up at least by 6:30am, meditating by 6:45, in the gym by 7:45, home and hitting the day’s work by 9:30. I think that what some people believe would be so great about creating one’s own hours would be having the liberty to stay in bed ‘til 10, and work most of the day in pajamas. I have sometimes taken that kind of liberty, but when it happens, it usually means that my mood is slipping.
When I’m happiest, I’m up and at ‘em. At the lab where I used to work, I was so much the morning person that I was forbidden to play Uz Jsme Doma, the then #1 on my personal playlist, until everyone else could handle it—usually after noon. I love all kinds of sounds, but right now in my realigning phase, #1 on my chart is The Eternal Om (but there’s always room near the top of the chart for Steely Dan and Gary Wilson).
I resonate with the evenness that a monastic-style schedule creates – there is the potential for quiet joy with little tribulation. Here in my own space once again, I am very much in the midst of the multitasking world, but I have decided to add a lot more structure- to make my own hours for waking, exercising, working, eating, creating, socializing, and sleeping. My friend Tom Limoncelli, activist and time management guru, advocates making your life “boring” through routine. I think it’s a good trick: Get basic life stuff done, time and mental space is available. Life is less worrisome, and in truth, not so boring. I am taking that advice to heart.
I believe in the Arts Ashram of Atco and what it can become, or not, as I choose. After this time of returning to center, I expect to invite in the kirtans, parties, retreats, and other gatherings I’ve wanted to host. Some will be reminiscent of events past and I have many visions of new ones making their way to fruition. So far, these visions don’t involve any SCTV moments, but I remain open-minded.