Thank God

Yesterday was stressful- I thoroughly Good Fridayed. I felt like I had a lot of loose ends for an event I was supposed to be planning. I rear-ended someone in the course of running errands (minor-everything was ok), but everything went fine. The event was a blast, and not the miasma of confusion and ruination I projected it would be.

At the end of the day, it was good. Kind of like hiking, when about halfway through you doubt your decision-making faculties and elucidate on all the ways you were sure to die, but at the end, all that doubt and anxiety was really getting your hackles up over nothing, and hiking isn’t the worst thing.

We have three chickens. My favorite is Beyonce. The other two were being all Mean Girls and not letting her hang out. They’d venture across the yard without Bey, and hog the food. I made a point to petting and scratching her as I tucked them in every night for a few weeks. At first she was resistant, and did not appreciate me being in her space. Now she lets me pick her up and carry her around. Bella has started hanging out with Beyonce, and leaves Alice Walker to do her own thing. It’s very interesting, but Beyonce doesn’t need fairweather friends.

My whole family has been sick, and I really hope I don’t get it. I had a cold from November to February. The main reason I don’t want to get sick is because we’re doing a lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) event at jiu jitsu on Monday. We all bought masks. I am really looking forward to it, I know it will be a blast. I’ll take a million pictures.

Speaking of pictures, I watched a documentary on Netflix, Monk With A Camera, about a Buddhist monk who was also a photographer, as the title would suggest. It was more than that he came from a family high fashion, his father was a diplomat, but still, apt title. I enjoyed it, and I am looking forward to a photography class semester after next. The Dalai Lama was in the movie. I’ve seen him in a lot of things, and I’m always taken at his big, genuine laugh, which he is quick to share. He has deep joy and peace, even though he constantly deals with ameliorating intense suffering. His laugh is effective medicine.

The best medicine for me right now is sleep. Adieu.

 

Manic Maundy

I had an interesting assignment in mythology-apply one of the 17 stages of the Monomyth as described by Joseph campbell to my own life. I did 5- it correlated so well with my first year in the military.  It was fun and challenging. I waited so long to start my education because I wanted it to be like Dead Poets Society. Now I’m in my mid-thirties with my highest conferred document a GED. I do like going to school online. It’s more rigorous than I thought it would be, and school is better when I don’t have to worry about being stabbed by Crips.

I helped Selah with her posterboard for her science project about electric guitars. We used pictures of all Black guitarists-Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz, Gary Clark Jr., Bob Marley. It was fun and a bit subversive, because I know her school will be too afraid to say anything about it. Black folk invented rock and roll, and this fact can use some positive reminders now and again.

Maundy Thursday, as I touched on yesterday, is resonating with me this year. For the first time in years, I’m proactively pouring in to new friendships, because I need friends who aren’t just on the internet. Jesus had himself a squad. Jesus sometimes got annoyed with them, and they were impacted by group dynamics, but they were there, for the most part. I need that. I need brothers and sisters (but mostly brothers). I need friends who will teach me things and challenge my ideas, tell me when I’m being foolish and when I’m making wise choices. A good group of friends will be essential as I transition to civilian life-I’ll lose a lot of the sounding boards and people I’ve bonded with over lunch in the break room. I’ll need to remain tethered, and be invested.

Willa, our Goldendoodle, is about 2 years old. She’s finally stopped being a jerk. She curled up next to me as I started typing this post, and I’m typing this article because its comfy and reassuring, and I don’t really want to move. But I have to, because I want to go to bed.

 

Owning my body

I was talking to a dear friend earlier. She’s a makeup artist, and her husband is a tattoo artist. I realized both of them work in helping others own and customize their bodies. I think that’s beautiful.

Prior to that conversation, I managed to do a 25 min pilates routine with Paloma crawling all over me while I had spaghetti going on the stove. When dinner was prepped, I went to jiu jitsu. It was a short class, but one of the most technical, effective sessions I’ve ever had on the mat.  I feel great. I can often be in a rut, waiting for my alarm clock or lunch or sleep. I don’t want to be in stasis until I die. I want to be awake, to be present, to learn, to experience, and move.

I want to feel great all the time, but I know that’s not how life works. Still, I’ve been having a lot of nice days lately.

Things are looking up. Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday. For me, this year, it brings to mind the importance of relationships, specifically friendships. Also,for me, #squadgoals are mostly hoping to join or start a squad.

We caucused yesterday. This was our first time living in a caucusing state. It was disorganized, and they ran out of ballots. Towards the end, the kids were cold and tired, but they made it. Utah seems at times ruled by religious zealots and rednecks. It was encouraging to see a lot of progressives out, of various ages, colors, economic brackets. The enthusiasm was infectious, and it was therapeutic to be with a multitude of people who give a damn. It’s so easy to be cynical and not care- I did this around 2005 as a defense mechanism. I got better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confession

Confession: I don’t want to write today. I’m tired. I just dozed off thinking of a title for this post. Besides, nothing incredibly noteworthy happened today.

This is precisely why I need to write. This is where I’ll stretch and grow.

One thing I saw seemed like a story prompt. I have a neighbor on the corner who isn’t very friendly. They still have Halloween decorations up. I saw the lady taking her garbage bin down the driveway. I thought it was odd- our trash comes on Wednesdays, and you can be fined if it’s out all willy-nilly. She kept walking, and wheeled the can down the street, toward the man boulevard. She was out of sight, and came back about half an hour later, the can’s loud rattling let me know it was mostly empty. My mind started racing, and I almost called out to her. In the end it was more fun to imagine she was smuggling Komodo Dragon blood or attempt to ascertain what potential crime I may have witnissed than to ask what she was up to.

School’s going well, and I got the classes I want for next semester. I’m especially excited for an English class which analyzes contemporary American fiction, but is also a workshop for applying stylistic and structural elements from stories by some of my favorite writers, like Lev Grossman and Karen Russell.

I don’t believe in jinxes, so I don’t believe harm will befall me for celebrating good fortune as of late.

I’m trying to ready my heart for Holy Week, which is somber and contemplative. I haven’t successfully observed Lent. In fact, I never have. It’s not something which was widely adopted in the evangelical churches I attended when I was younger I’d like to be disciplined, mindful, and love sacrificially enough to forego comfort and corporeal delight, but I have not. I think I could, but I didn’t have a good plan this year.

And now, Dear Readers, I plan to rest before hitting the rat race again on Monday. Please let yourselves out.