Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glowing in Motherhood

This is to all my beautiful baby mamas! It is so amazing to watch my lovely friends turn into amazing mothers!

When I was growing up my mother had a very uptight friend. (She is not anyone you would know or remember or anyone who would be reading this blog so don’t start trying to guess who it is.) Her house was always perfectly arranged, beautiful yet unlivable and uncomfortable. I could never breathe sitting on her designer couches and trying not to accidently break anything, or get anything dirty.

She was always dressed immaculately. Her belt matched her shoes, matched her handbag. Her earrings matched her necklace, matched her bracelet. She looked like she walked right out of a store window, perfectly coifed and as lifeless as a mannequin. She freaked me out.

Then she had a baby.

We went over to visit her and her newborn. Interestingly enough, I don’t remember a man. If she had a husband or not…actually the more I think about it I do remember her having a husband, but he was more like a decorative mantle piece than a person.

We walked into WWIII. Ok, it wasn’t that bad actually. It looked like my bedroom usually looks, with piles of clothes on the floor and an unmade bed, but the contrast to pre-baby house and post-baby house was that dramatic. My mom’s friend was a complete mess. Unruly hair, which had not been washed, let alone combed in days and, most shockingly, my mom’s friend was still in her pajamas…AT TWO IN THE AFTERNOON!

At first I thought, wow she’s really let herself go. I almost began to feel sorry for her.

Looking back now though, I wonder if she felt some sense of relief, as if it was finally ok to stay in her pajamas all day and not get dressed. As if her baby put life into perspective. In truth, the baby matters way more than the little things…what’s a little bright orange carrot puree stain on the sofa matter when you are holding the child you birthed in your arms? I’d like to think this way, but knowing my mom’s friend she was probably about eight seconds away from a panic attack and a full anxiety break down because her bathrobe didn’t match her bath slippers…that’s funny but not true. She did actually seem more relaxed. And approachable…and for the first time I thought of her as beautiful. It didn’t matter what label was on her clothes or pajamas, she was glowing in motherhood.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Little Somethin' Somethin'

Her fingers furiously raged down on the keys as Ralph opened the package. It was wrapped in brown paper, like goods from a traditional European shop, and bound on all four sides by cord. There were no markings on it, no addresses—neither to, nor from. Ralph stood on the front porch examining the sleepy street. He slowly turned his head to the left glancing up Micheltorena street toward the Riviera. The sun was barely over the ridge and just beginning to creep down the hillside to wake up the town with gentle hues of pink and orange. He brought his head back to center and fumbled with the package, back and forth in his hands. He turned slowly, this time to his right, down Micheltorena towards the Mesa where the ocean waited for the sun to announce the new day. There was no one out yet, where did this package come from?

This was the first time he had seen a story in manuscript form. It was not a book. A book is binding and backbone and ribbing. It is sturdy and strong and protects the story it carriers around the world. A manuscript is a loose and dangerous thing. Its pages are not bound to anything and can be whisked off in a gust of wind and lost forever. A book is permanent. A manuscript is full of hope and potential. A book is in retirement. Its achievements catalogued and recorded and praised.

He read the first sentence. Ralph B Sipper Bookseller, who would be controlled by no woman. Well, that is the name and title on the sign outside, he thought to himself. Anyone walking by could have written this. But he also thought about his marriage. His former wife was largely frustrated with his immobility, his inability to act or alter his intentions to accommodate or even include her. Suddenly, he realized the precariousness of his situation, standing on his porch holding in his hands his life, typed on leaves of paper that could be haphazardly drawn from his hands and lost forever. He backed up into his door. With his right hand tightly holding the package closed he reached behind him and pushed the door handle down. He leaned his backside into the door and eased back into his house as if he did not want to turn his back on the world while retreating from it.

Her fingers furiously raged down on the keys, striking them like spring hail on unsuspecting pedestrians. Her fingers struggled to translate the images in her mind as rapidly as they were racing through it. Finishing the first page, Ralph placed it face down in a new pile next to the tall stack he was reading through. He picked up the second page, there was only one sentence written across the top. And then suddenly, a second appeared. Ralph shook his head. Closed his eyes and felt the lids smooth down over his eyeballs. Surely, they were playing a trick on him. When he opened his eyes again two more lines appeared.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Too Hot Yoga

Holy sweaty balls...well, I don't have balls but if I did, they would be sweating right now. I know this for certain because everything is sweating, teeth, boobs, knee caps, and even my Achilles tendon...the actual tendon underneath my skin is sweating in between bones and joints. My entire body is lathered in sweat.

In down dog, instead of focusing on pressing my chest towards my thigh, I am watching the sweat roll down my arms, bead up at the peak of my elbow, and drip slowly onto my purple mat. My hands are sweating too. I am not talking first date nervous palm sweat. I've got full blown, guilty suspect in a police interogation hand sweat. Even my finger nails are sweating. My form is slipping, literally. Finger nails aren't an intergal part of my down dog but my palms are, and they are so sweaty they keep slipping out from under me and really throwing my dog off. This is my first attempt at Hot Yoga in the 16 years I have been practicing. The intent of my practice has never been to sculpt lean and toned bodies like Madonna and Gywneth, but hey, if that happens on my way to inner peace, balance, love, light, and spiritual awakening I will be grateful for all of the Universe's gifts.

I have never walked out of a yoga class before. I am a firm believer that each moment is speaking to you, teaching you something you need to learn, no matter how much it feels like your hamstring is about to snap or your shoulder is going to dislocate. (On a side note: you should listen to your body and don't actually let those things happen.) But this morning, as I struggled to breathe, even in childs pose, I thought the unthinkable. Walk Away. Ironically, or not so ironically depending on whether or not you are one of those people who thinks everything happens for a reason , I have been thinking that about a lot of things in my life lately. Walk Away. As my labored breathing made me light headed and dizzy, nausea rose from deep in my belly where the breath could no longer get to. I realized my efforts were no longer serving my purpose. I had to walk away before I passed out.

It felt good to walk into the cool waiting room, plus the black spots disappeared from the corners of my vision. My temperature returned to normal, my body stopped struggling to cool itself, and I could breath again. Hot yoga taught me its ok to walk away, and try something different tomorrow, after you've washed your sweaty yoga clothes.