Monday, February 23, 2015

i wrote one

I want to write poems.

I want to write poems,
but not just a series of lines
that weave in syllabic time with each other;
With all do respect to iambic pentameter,
5-7-5 haikus,
and the intelligence behind rhyme,
I want to write with less concern,
and a freer voice.

I want to write poems
that do not give a shit about what the last stanza
the last line
even the last thought
counted for.
I mean literally counted.
1-2-3-4, punctuated pauses
and "sounds like" details can fuck off.

I want to write poems
that count for something
more than rhythm.
That count for thoughts.
Emotions. Tender and raw because they are universal.
Everyone feels something.

I want to write poems
that know that to feel,
to feel (anything at all),
is beautiful--
B.K.S Iyengar.
I want you to feel the freedom to feel.
And then,

I want to write poems
that ask you to feel even more.
That move you to move.
That blast your heart open like a blown
dandelion: seeds scattered everywhere so that what you feel
might touch an infinite number of spaces.

I want to write poems
that do not require a dandelion wish to be made
but a possibility to become a reality.
Poems so that you are not alone.
Poems of humanness.

I want to write poems
that make humans realize they need poetry,
to write or to read;
they need relativity.
They need words to make them run so hard in the direction of nothingness
and trust--TRUST for fuck sakes
that there is never nothing.

I want to write poems
that show how much something there is.
How our emotions are beautiful as they are,
no amount of kerosene can ignite them any further.
That allow us to see, as Ginsberg wanted us to see,
that the only weight we carry is love.

I want to write poems
about love.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

pt deux

Truth: i am not mind blown by this move to France. Perhaps because the seed was planted sometime last summer, and for those of you who know me, when i plant a seed it grows (37 tomato plants later....). In other words, when i get set on an idea, its more likely then anything to happen, and is sometimes bigger than i can handle (so much canning that year....). This time, however, is not one of those too big times. Its the perfect size really. You see, living here is just like living anywhere else: life still basically revolves around food and yoga, i just dont know how to talk to anyone about them. But i trust that i will learn French while i am here, just as i will learn more about me, about my mind, about my heart.

Because although my mind is relatively calm about this transition, my heart has been BLOWN WIDE APART!!!!

Seriously, without the capitals and exclamation points, i dont know that i could communicate, even in my native language, just how much love i am feeling. For D and R to open their Marseille home to me with open arms and full glasses, im.....whoah. boom.

Even before i got here, though, it--my heart that is--was feeling a bit overwhelmed. As Mexico clearly deserves its own write up, i will again only detail simply that what happened there, from two incredible women making it possible for me to come and chef it, to the two weeks of feeling the most present and in agreeance with myself that i have ever felt, totally connected to the food i was cooking in the jungle as it was for our little family there, was pure magic. Then there were the six days at home where while my mind was simultaneously in four places: meditating on Mexi, organizing what needed to be done before the next adventure, thinking all the way ahead to when i would be back again, and trying to remain as present as i had been in the last two weeks for all the goodness in that transition space, and while my body was like: i want chocolate and a nap, my heart was like HOLY F**K there is so much love in my life.

I relaxed a little bit....and understood the limitlessness of my human heart.


That was for you JEL.

There is something for everybody. Because as i live these days out here, there are constantly little reflections, thoughts, moments, foods, sounds, movements, that are connected to each person back home and elsewhere that pushed my hearts capacity. Thank you for that. Thank you for being here. I love you back infinitely.

Truth deux: while yes, in its simplicity, life is still all food and yoga. But food here, in its simplicity, is grand. Belgian endive was the first thing to surprise me: humble bitter salad greens. Impec (which is impeccable in French, loosely--see, learning!). And simply being able to walk a couple blocks for any number of boulangeries and patisseries and fresh produce, butchers, fish right off the boat; i love not having to shop for the week, but instead for the meal. I have already found my favorite grocer, he has terrible teeth but the most amazing smile, and you can buy one egg at a time, laid that morning. D showed me an organic shop, and in between the two a cheese shop that makes me limitless heart skip a beat or six. It is no trouble to eat well here. And we have.

And yoga. Well, i get to move in a room strewn with light from six foot tall windows. And D and i made a video together that basically depicts what yoga here, life here in general, will be like. And i wish there was a way to stretch your shin bones, because ive got splints from walking to get all those groceries and explore this city that after just three short days, has become home.

Home is where the (limitless) heart is.

Only love

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Black and white and French

Yesterday i learned that, in French, the days of the week are named for the planets and Lundi (Monday) the moon. And it blew my mind.

I should be mind blown that i am learning such French things because i am living in Marseille. But i am not. I am actually quite not in shock, quite comfortable, harmonious with this two and a half month little French life i get to live. Such ease has a lot to do with what else i have been learning lately: to be present to the "immediacy of the experience."

This lesson is courtesy of Pema Chodron and her book When Things Fall Apart--it's not something i was reading because i was in a crises, but rather something to read in order to learn to embrace crisis. Other wisdom bits include asking how willing we are to loosen our grip and how honest we want to be with ourselves; with curiosity, what might seem like a problem becomes a source of wisdom; that we ought to relax and touch the limitless space of the human heart (my God, dont you just love that?! LIMITLESSNESS of the HEART!); Pema says that "we use our emotions. We use them. In their essence they are simply part of the goodness of being alive [but] instead of letting them be, we throw kerosene on our emotions so that they might feel more real;"(her language in this next bit, as in the latter, is what touches my nerves) when you fall in love, you should recognize the impermanence of it, and let that intensify the preciousness;  by looking into our own hearts we find the completely unclouded and awakened experience of how things really are--experience being our ultimate teacher because our personal experience is the only true experience we have and we must totally commit to this experience so that we might totally commit to an unconditional relationship with reality. So wise.

I want all of these words, particularly the first bits (i love the intensity of the word immediacy with experience), and the last: commit to an unconditional relationship with reality, tattooed on my body. And i am only half kidding. Actually i am not kidding at all, i am just trying to decide what i want scripted on my left arm so that i do not forget what i have learned. It is one thing to learn such things though, another to put them into practice.

The thing with practicing presence, though, is that it cannot really be taught. I feel we are all at one time or another, in fluctuations throughout our days, present and totally gone; it is a human struggle to be immediate, to be not planning, or thinking of anything other than what we are currently a part of. And really, there is nothing wrong with that. You see, what i have found is that our daydreams and reflections are as much an integral part of our present being, equally shaping our reactions and opinions and permeate our sense of self so that we may be less black and white. Less "now here" vs "no where." We cannot be told which one to be, or even which one we are, but we can notice, when we are here or entirely somewhere else just how grand our connection feels.

That, to me, is the greatest way to learn about presence: to truly allow oneself to feel connected. To notice flow, ease, the un-blown-ness of the mind.  For me personally, it is when i don't feel the need to rush, when i don't create an agenda, instead allow the day to take me somewhere in and amoungst or completely free of routine. I love routine. I love finding a rhythm to move to, a clean line to my day. But i also love when that line zig zags or the rhythm changes to a heavier, jazzier beat, and i can stay with it--presently.

For example, today was my first day alone in Marseille. After a short but the absolute sweetest reunion with my soul brother D (who, p.s. recently accused me of being too present moment....), it is just my English speaking self to hang out with. And down the rain comes. Literally. It poured until about 2:30 this afternoon. This was no trouble for my sleepy, jet lagged self, as it provided a good excuse to stay inside, pants free, with wine, and words to write. When it did let up, i left to get more wine (for just 3 euros i should note...and a chocolate bar that cost three times as much), and managed to find, seamlessly, all of the places that D and i hit yesterday. This is a grand feat for someone who is notoriously lost, and one of the signs to me that i am exactly where i need to be.

This ability to navigate in somewhere unfamiliar has only happened to me twice before: in Sanfrancisco some odd years ago, and more recently (as in two weeks ago-ish) in Yelapa Mexico. There is so much, so so much i could write about Mexico (and have already written so so much on SF), but if i could say one thing that i took home from there was living the lessons of being in the immediacy of the experience, and loving, unconditionally, my reality. I found that balance between planning or expectation (ive also wrote alot about expectation) to motivate my days, and simply allowing what was offered to happen. I found a balance between the black of control and the white of simply going with the flow by being present for each experience, seeing how i was behaving/feeling/sharing in such moments and letting myself learn about, well, myself. In that way i began to see that it wasnt black or white at all, just as it is not yin or yan. It is yin and yan, the same sides of a mountain, with the sun casting light on one but not the other, but the same rock form all the same. It was all just me. And that was mind blowing.

You want to blow your own mind? Spend some time with you. Notice your habits. Notice your routines and whether you like them or not. Notice what rocks you and what lulls you. Drink wine in the middle of the day. Or dont. Wear pants. Or dont. Meditate. Talk out loud in whatever language you wish or wish to know. Create something, even if it is just a piece of yourself you want to know more intimately. Pema says to point to your own heart, see your fears, and discover what is true. The source of wisdom happens directly in the moment, when we stop to experience each moment as new and stand with pride and recognize its sacredness; i say that in doing so you become more comfortable with the present, less on either end of a dramatic spectrum and more in harmony with you.

So i hope you didnt expect to learn about my time here in Marseille through this post. I mean really, not alot mind blowing has happened: i have grocery shopped, yoga'd, drank, and danced, alone and with some beloved company. Just another Samedi--Saturnday. Just another stream of thoughts, some pictures to follow, and stay tuned for more moments, including what i choose for that tattoo...

only love