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Posts Tagged ‘Thoreau’

Axial Tilt! Time for “No”; “No” for time.

In Meditations with Marcus, my charmed life, NYFA journals, Restart on December 21, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Psychedelic Buddha

To honour the rebirth of the Sun, I did my sun salutations on the rooftop today. I’m so glad the building was considerate enough to put up this sign, so that my meditations with Marcus could remain uninterrupted.

IMG_2887It seems ludicrous to be bound by so many conventions. No? I’m not the only one breaking the rule. Today’s meditations are joined by psychedelic Buddha and D.H. Thoreau. Together, on this shortest day of the year, we’re saying that if you don’t have time? It’s time to say “no”. Saying “no” is the only way to reclaim your life, and your time. Trust me, I did it for pretty much all of November. I upset a lot of people. I’m not sorry.

Axial tilt is the reason for the season… a literal call for the reconsideration of your “YES” and “NO” lists.

Get out of your head. You have two hands – one hand to stop and say NO; the other to remain open and say YES.

Three Septembers ago, I moved to NY, in order to

“…give up the life [I] planned in order to have the life that is waiting for [me].”

Well… everything in moderation. Even Joseph Campbell, whose mindwaves were coloured by mythology. Mythology.
Repeat: “mythology”.
Repeat until something changes.
Repeat for three years and then some.

Acting school, notably, my wonderful improv coaches, have drilled me to say YES to almost anything. “…and then a DINOSAUR jumped out of the woods” – “YES!” Crazier narratives have unfolded, and ever the poster student, I took this rule, and applied it to everything – dangerously without discrimination. The prolific results became, of course, fertile grounds of material for Meisner classes, as well as overwhelming fortification of my monstrous tear-ducts. Everything just feeds into one another.

“Repeat until something changes.

Ever late to the party, it was only a couple months ago, did I realize that while saying YES – the way we’re trained as actors, make us terrific partners under imaginary circumstances, in the real world, we just become:
A) gophers who would take shit from those whom we mistakenly allow into our lives, and
B) bitches who would do anything.

The intention to be open to the world, without due diligent attention to where and whom we are giving our life, could derail us, destroy us. Saying YES could become self-sabotaging. Everything in moderation.

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” — Henry David Thoreau

The holiday season assaults us with commercialism on steroids. Markets operate on dollars, but we operate on life. You can’t price-tag value… you can’t buy worthiness. Worth doesn’t go on sale. The most valuable present is your time and presence.

So, here are my two cents worth of notes to self, to share:

1) Listen, because you have double the listening faculties as you do with speaking. Listen to yourself; listen to your thoughts; listen to your closest ones; listen to what’s hard to hear… Don’t believe in the praise; don’t believe in the sweet talk; don’t dwell on a liar’s promise.

2) Create in the imagined world, far, far away from and beyond the Starbucks world, in which you live. Yet beauty remains in the options and pursuit of better beans. *cough Counter Culture, *cough Intelligentsia, *cough Stumptown.

3) Say no, because the above already adds to two-hands full.

Happy Winter Solstice. Celebrate with a glass of grapes, caffeinated beans, and something sharp with raw ginger. Celebrate over music and prayer… the kind of embrace of a Scholar, Emperor, and Military Leader. J.Campbell, your myths don’t burn me anymore.

Sunday, you’ll forgive me that my “No” hand is out for the rest of the day, while my “YES” hand will be carrying my favourite bottle of grapes, and open to the company of my choosing. If you need me, send carrier pigeons. I yoga daily on my rooftop.




Return to the Wild; Echoes of my rather Charmed Life.

In my charmed life, reflections on December 6, 2014 at 9:19 am

lexpress3:55 am, a stroll in the night rain led me to check-in at L’Express, my overnight spot to write, to caffeinate, to dream impossible dreams, and believe in impossible things – as many as 6, all before breakfast.

Just in time for last call. Un amour d’hiver; un amour de cognac. I love this café because it reminds me of my days in Paris, my breaks in between courses of “rélations internationales” and “Musique et Politique”, ever tangled between the arts and politics. The world is asleep, the café is lit, and I’m luxuriously alone. Well, alone in the company of Thoreau and Lewis.

The three of us frequently join together to dream impossible dreams, and believe in impossible things. Individually, Lewis goes down rabbit-holes, Thoreau adventures into the woods, and I would spend significant amounts of time in solitary by the water or on rooftops all over the world. By water, because it’s closer to mermaids; on rooftops, because it’s closer to the stars.

Into the wild, whatever version of “wild” this meant, to “live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.” Into the wild, our quests have propelled us. This time, we are returning to the wild with Chris McCandless.

Return to the wild

The story is chilling, haunting, terrifying, beautiful, harsh, inspiring…everything a dreamer of impossible dreams would know, and everything those of us who’ve struggled with turmoil could feel. At some points of our lives, we’ve all went into the woods, and survival is of the fittest. Driven by intrinsic human desire to see if we could not learn what life had to teach, and not, when we came to die, discover that we had not lived.

Live before you die” – Chris shared that drive. Chris also shared a life misunderstood, a life of turmoil, when “by all appearances, they led a charmed life.” This chilled me to the bones. The resonance is multi-layered. Coming from the same voice who said to me, only a week ago, claiming that I, too, live a rather “charmed life“. Same words, same voice, same violence, how deeply misunderstood. I understand Chris at a level that’s too close to comfort, too close to home. The voice doesn’t understand me, didn’t, and probably won’t. Returning to the wild is a return to the violent echoes of my rather charmed life, the lowest points of my sinusoidal life curve, and that’s a gift, as I now have learned. Through turmoil, through my charmed life, I’ve learned to distill zen from chaos. So back into the wild I go.

Sleep isn’t happening much these days, and when it does, happens under the most inconvenient/astonishing circumstances, expanding my depths of experiences, filed under “unbelievable”. The Facts and The Dreams of a Fragile State.

Big dreams attract big people, all I can say is that it’s true.
So go ahead, dream impossible dreams, reach the unreachable star.
Dream in flavours of winterspice, reach for that delicious pain au chocolat.