Wednesday, July 30, 2008

how strange it is to be anything at all

I start my internship at Yoga Now today, and I am looking forward to spending a few hours washing their baseboards and listening to new age music. with possible top 40 r&b dance breaks. After that, I am deep cleaning my dear friends' house, which is pretty dank due more to landlord negligence than too much slobbery on their part.

There is something so purifying to spend hours cleaning, especially when you use nothing but peroxide, Citra-solv and peppermint Dr Bronner's. Peppermint's cooling scent soothes my constant summer headache and loosens my asthma-tightened lungs

It's not as effortless for me as it was back in 2002, when I first started doing green cleaning back home. I have to be especially patient because my wrist and hand are still very stiff and can't be used to do more than supporting and guiding of light weights.

My life has a pattern to it now, even if it's just as simple as wake up, go sit by the water and meditate for 25 minutes (I can't say I actually meditate for more than a few seconds at a time, but I sit in easy peace for the whole time) and then see where the day takes me from there.

There are disappointments and obstacles in every day, but I seem to have recovered a steady footing. It's as easy as taking a deep breath and knowing it's not the end of the world.

The urologist put me on an anti-spasmodic, and between that, the Marinol, and the tryptophan, I'm able to actually look forward to things again.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My nurse practitioner at the queer clinic was kind enough to write me a Marinol prescription today. It's prohibitively expensive, but it leveled off the pain within an hour with minimal spaciness and I was finally able to stop crying. As far as cost, even with the fantastic discount I got through the clinic, it's comparable to the Weed Maintenance Program, without the excruciating claustrophobia and mind-on-a-hamster-wheel thinking, but I am hopeful I can find a website that sells it cheaper. it's certainly a better option than going back on Lyrica or Cymbalta. so far as I can tell the only side effect is increased appetite. I dropped down to 117 last week, what I weighed in high school, because I've had such problems with nausea and anxiety about eating, so I'm looking forward to being a little less gaunt.

I went to the temple to do work practice. Sat for a while and was delighted to be greeted mid-sit by the nun's cat, who has snuck out of living quarters. The idea of being able to bring Tachi with me if I one day choose to live in a temple or monastery setting hadn't occurred to me and now I find myself already longing to take up residence there when my lease is up. I somehow doubt my parents would approve, so I'd have to work out a way to pay for my rent, but it's a lovely daydream to have.

Even after just two days of adhering to a regular practice I feel so much more at peace. it was
such a pleasant experience to chant the Heart Sutra (as unfamiliar as it is in Korean) and then to work in the garden for an hour. I learned so much from just weeding.

it's good to have hope again, to have a place to take refuge.
I spent several hours yesterday at the Zen Temple yesterday. The early service was two 25 minute sittings separated by a brief chanting of the three refuges in Korean, followed by a Dharma talk.

I was disconcerted by my complete inability to stop crying. I have been really emotionally worn out these past 24 hours, after overdoing it physically Friday and Saturday. After the service we had tea downstairs. One of the members struck up a conversation with me as we washed out our tecups, and when he noticed my distress he told me I could go sit back upstairs in the temple. I sat up there and sobbed for probably half an hour. Sometimes there is nothing else to do but sit and keep my pain company. I try not to judge it or let it overwhelm me. I sat and looked at the Buddha statue and let the pain flow through me.

I went back later in the day for the afternoon service, which is just one sitting meditation followed by the three refuges, chanting of Ma-um, and a question and answer session.

It has become very clear to be that the only way to take arms against this sea of troubles is by sitting still and doing nothing at all. My mind is over-run by monkeys and my body is falling apart. I can't go on like this.

Poem for Monday, July 28, 2008

The nightingale sings

by Eqrem Basha

Who is that bird singing on a branch alone
And where is its flock
Which is the plaintive song
And which is the season

That bird has a voice adept
At singing on a solitary branch
No friends no family
It has come to earth on its own
With a flute in its beak and anguish
Which is neither a wound
Nor a song

What is that mourning so near which belongs to us
Sing to us nightingale sing

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936 South Cooper
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(901) 278-7484

Friday, July 25, 2008


I've been singing this song to myself a lot lately.

It's taking a lot of energy and even more faith, but I am finally back in the center of my path, back to where can believe it.

I let things slip back, I neglected my heart, I forgot to gather wood for my campfire and the wolves came and surrounded me.

I am done letting the sickness win.

After some serious bike riding, and a lot of long talks with myself, my shrink, and my friends, and a couple of days of tryptophan supplements, I can finally see the path again. The shadows are lifting.

Yes, there is pain. There is weariness, loneliness, sometimes even deep sadness. But there is also joy, gratitude, and so much love. All these will arise, and all these will be swept away.

Best Critical Mass ever. Thank you, universe. I am being sent such blessings.

(this video sucks, but it's the only one I could find.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

For over half my life I've been battling serious depression. When I'm depressed my mind tends to fixate on things and I worry at them until I feel raw inside. Yesterday I burned the roof of my mouth on my lunch (Wild Trout roasted with Summer Squash and Carrots in garlic and ginger over brown jasmine rice) and today it's been impossible to stop probing the sore place between two of my teeth with my tongue.

My heart is the same way. I want more than I can have, and always from the wrong person. It's very difficult for me to be happy unless I am busy all the time. I haven't really had a job for about 10 months and my mind is starting to consume itself. I spend way too much time fretting about being alone, about possibilities that never existed and never will exist, about being abandoned by people I need and love right now when I need them most.

I have to constantly stop and talk myself down. I burst into tears several times a day. I'm in so much pain from the lack of exercise and the possible interstitial cystitis that I am really struggling to keep my head above water. My pain is so urgent, so present, and I have little to distract me from it. I agonize about what people think of me because of how I am handling this.

Rationally I know that when school starts in a month my life will change drastically. I had been planning to start volunteering at the queer health clinic's thrift store, but it's become very apparent (especially after the grueling experience I just had this weekend at Pitchfork) to me that I'm not able to spend more than 5 or 10 minutes on my feet without a severe increase in discomfort.

I'm trying hard to find people to spend time with. When I can't do that I read at the lake until the horseflies drive me off. I try to remember to breathe.

I've lost my center. I'm alone and in pain so much of the time and my body stays in panic mode until I wear myself out.

God I miss riding a bike.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

dog bless tudou

Night. Kate and Angel are sitting side by side outside in the garden court of the Hyperion.
Kate: "I feel like such an idiot."
Angel: "A lot of that going around."
Kate: "I just couldn't... - My whole life has been about being a cop. If I'm not part of the force it's like nothing I do means anything."
Angel, still looking pretty beat up: "It doesn't."
Kate: "Doesn't what?"
Angel: "Mean anything. In the greater scheme or the big picture, nothing we do matters. There's no grand plan, no big win."
Kate: "You seem kind of chipper about that."
Angel: "Well, I guess I kinda - worked it out. If there is no great glorious end to all this, if - nothing we do matters, - then all that matters is what we do. 'cause that's all there is. What we do, now, today. - I fought for so long. For redemption, for a reward - finally just to beat the other guy, but... I never got it."
Kate: "And now you do?"
Angel: "Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I wanna help because - I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness - is the greatest thing in the world."
Kate: "Yikes. It sounds like you had an epiphany."
Angel: "I keep saying that. But nobody's listening."
Kate: "Well, I'm pretty much convinced, since I'm alive to be convinced."
Angel: "You know you don't have to be a cop to be..."
Kate: "I'm okay. - Anyway, I'm not headed towards another pillathon. - I'm very grateful. - I never thought you'd come for me, but... I got cut a huge break and I believe... - I don't know what I believe, but I - have - faith. - I think maybe we're not alone in this."
Angel: "Why?"
Kate: "Because I never invited you in."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Poem for Monday, July 14, 2008

So Many Things

by Guy Goffette

All winter you neglected

the strong red umbrella

let its ribs rust in the grass and mud

let the north wind crush the birdhouse

without uttering a word, you gave up

on the rose beds, the apple

that rounded off the earth.

By indigence or distraction you left,

let so many things die off

the only place to set your gaze

is on the draft slicing through your house

and you’re surprised, still, surprised when

cold seizes you from summer’s very arms

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936 South Cooper
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-7484

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mama Said - The Shirelles

it's been a rough couple of weeks since I had my hand repaired, but I just have to make it until September. just 6 more weeks.

I've been in the grips of a panic attack or surrounded by wolves or consumed by dread or whatever you want to call it for about a week straight. boredom and claustrophobia and pain and insomnia. incessant thoughts about self-injuring. trouble breathing. I can't stop crying.

I make myself leave whenever I can. usually I go to the lake. I read, I cry, I go home and pace and go back out. I am on the verge of explosion.

at least I have the internets again.