28 July 2011

on purpose. in time.

Those two title phrases are just a couple more of those cute little things that I hear and say "yeah! ON purpose. Totally on it." or "I was so IN TIME that I ended up being late..." or even "just in time" because that's really true... it will be just... in time. I love it when new bits of a word come to light and it makes the idea that comes with the word (theorists what is this? the sign? or the signifier? the signifier is the word itself? how did I ever pass Literary Theory in grad school... I know how. I stuck to post-colonial theory and deconstruction. The rest... pfft) even richer. Like "compassion." I'm obsessed with the idea of compassion, but then also love that it means "feeling with." You have compassion for a person or being not because you're on the outside or superior or inferior; you're equals. You are able to feel compassionate because you are opening up and stepping in to feeling with. Anyhoot.

Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

Hrm. What counts? I make Selah's lunch and dinner every day, as well as my own most days (I am enjoying my dad's cooking these days. I'd cook more if he wasn't such a [blessed, appreciated, loved] culinary tyrant. I could have worse problems). I also made a bunch of bread for a gathering that I'm having this weekend. But the Tyrant said I didn't do it right, which I knew anyway. I'm sure it will still be enjoyed and eaten right up. He said that He's Sure He Can Do Something With It. Thanks, Dad.

On the first lunar eclipse last month I started to put together my own little meditation shrine out of a cardboard box to which I began gluing images of the Buddha cut from my Tricycle magazines. I haven't opened it pretty much since then, though it sits purposefully on the dresser in our bedroom. I made it a box to open and close because at the time the kitten was still sleeping with us every night and he would spend the hours of 2-5 am or so systematically destroying anything on a surface or on the wall. Poor Jesus had his rosaries knocked from his crucifix several times. Jesus is hung (lord forgive me if I used that verb wrong... but "hanged" is not really exactly accurate either) on the wall right next to a framed photo of baseball great Luis Tiant. I mean I guess he was great? He played golf with the Tyrant a few times and gave him a signed 8 1/2" x 11" that reads "Dear [Dad's Name], Good Luck. Luis" So yeah. Selah and I sleep right across from the wall of fame. Jesus is up a few inches higher than Luis, though.

So now every morning I wake up and see different versions of the Buddha instead of staring at Luis Tiant. I figure, why does this altar have to be a precious thing? It is made of cardboard and glue, ephemeral. There are many different images of the Buddha (oh and Kuan Yin or Kannon because she rocks), because there are many different ways that Buddha nature expresses, and no one way is necessarily "right." There are even cartoon images of monkeys dressed as monks, because why shouldn't there be? I have been craving a spiritual gathering place that is kind of dirty, a little run down, but warm and welcoming to lots of different people and their children. I would like a life-sized version of my cardboard altar. All these other silent, tidy, breakable places make me feel too uptight to just let my spirit hang out. I want it to be a combination of my favorite yoga studio in New York, The Shala [holy sh!t they opened in Fort Greene!! I've got to move back. AND the owner will be teaching on the Vineyard the week that I'm there. SCORE] and the Tyrant's kitchen on a Sunday afternoon: all garlicky and full of love and noise and potential. Is that too much to ask for? No. Where's my angel investor who will rent or purchase for me a place like The Shala with gigantic ceilings and hardwood floors and charming, sometimes-chipped colors on the walls and an attached apartment where Selah and I can live? And who would come to meditate or practice yoga or share a community-prepared meal while their children play together? I've been having fantasies lately.

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