When Words Marry a Melody

When words are married to a melody equally as powerful as they are, things happen. Lyrics change, and where there was once no understanding, sometimes the notes are the answer. They awaken deaf ears, or passions we’ve turned our backs on.

I haven’t been writing as much lately. The rejection got to me. I continually preach how I’ll never stop trying, I’ll always love writing before all else, and I won’t give up my dream of sharing it. However, I did…a little bit. I was angry at my writing. It became like a little gremlin that wouldn’t shut up no matter how tightly I closed my ears. I found myself screaming into pillows and imagining pulling the writer out of my chest to lock it in a box. However, much like the tale-tell heart, it beat so loudly. I let it drive me mad, and busied myself with anything I could to avoid it. I never thought I would see the day…

Then it happened. I heard one of those songs that only come out every couple decades. I heard a new sound that jolted me to life. I heard the melody before the words. It was sultry and grinding. It was folksy and bluesy. It was modern with antiquated traits. It was some place where the ghost of Janis Joplin mingled with Lady Antebellum if such can be imagined. It may only get to be heard…

I closed my eyes and breathed in saw dust from a mill dirty men were working at nearby. I saw a barefoot woman in a second-hand, dirt-washed, floral dress pacing in a barren front yard in front of her shack. I saw a newspaper thrown down beside her declaring World War 2 was over, but was more concerned with the blood stain on her right shoulder. I hadn’t yet decided where it had come from, nor if she is insane or just drunk. I do however know she is thirsty. She’s thirsty to be touched, loved, or just noticed. I think she was probably born cursed and is more earnest than people know. If she is at the point of madness she’s been driven to it. She’s strong, but probably won’t be forever. The daisy in a Dixie cup she picked for herself gives her away. Oh my…Where did this character come to me from? It happened in a flash. I think I can make something of her…was it simply a few bars of a song?

Then I snapped out of it and heard the words,

“Billie Jean is not my lover. She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one. But the kid, is not my son.”

It was drawn out, pushed, like the singer was forcing himself out of a heat stroke on a southern August day in the Carolina sand hills. They had covered a MICHAEL JACKSON song in such a way they showed me Billie Jean herself. I saw her before I heard her name, and now she’s inspired me.

The band, The Civil Wars told me the story of girl with a deep sadness about her who just tries to be a good time. They told me the story of someone who was once beautiful but used and denied to the point she lost herself. They told me something Michael did not. They told me her side.

Now I have to write the rest of the story. I now see the next level, the rawness, the pain. I see the man who did this to her, and I see a gun in another lovers hand. I see a washed up war-time pin-up, and I see bastard child with a curse hanging on her head as plainly as her Mama’s. I hear old southern accents, like the kind my grandparents use bustling about, and I smell moonshine on all their breaths. I think…I think I just might have a novel in spite of my rebellion against it. I think one form of art reached out and stroked another, and I think I am grateful.

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The Night

There’s the strangest thing about the night, and I don’t know what it is.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in bed with your husband, or up with a screaming baby.  It doesn’t matter if you’re driving home from the late shift, or about to sleep off an unforgettable night.  You may be sneaking down the stairs to get a bite of that chocolate bar you can’t get out of your head, or just flipping the pillow from side to side.  An old lover may be haunting you from the inside, or a new one may look like a stranger in your bed.  Maybe a good book is your fancy, or maybe the restless leg syndrome paired with the migraine has flushed the idea of a good read down the toilet. There are so many different things to be doing, but until the sleep actually comes, there is always that feeling…the one not to be explained…the way you feel while it’s all happening.

At night the masks come off and we become something we aren’t during the day.  My guess is that we become that vulnerable person we really are.  Everyone knows the feeling…the one right before we relent and let the nods finally draw our eyes sweetly shut.  It is a feeling almost like loneliness, but not quite.  It is definitely a cousin to anxiety.  I wouldn’t call it fear, although one last run through of all the things that could be harmful occurs at this time.  I wouldn’t say I get nostalgic this time of night, but the reel of memories tempts me to.  Oh that feeling…it isn’t quite happiness is it?

What is it about the night that does it to us?  Is it that we have nothing left to do but shut down?  Is it that there’s no need for logic to sleep?  Maybe the night strips away whatever it is we hold onto to make it through the day, and we just roam like nomads out of control.  Night is anything but quiet.  It is full of stir and much ado.  However, at night we are meant to leave others undisturbed, so whatever that roller coaster we are on, we ride solo.  I’d say we’re most ourselves somewhere between two and three a.m., but no one will ever know.  We are all busy doing our own things…biting our nails and spitting them into the floor, hugging a toilet, watching Seinfeld on low volume, eating something strange like cold spaghetti, or maybe, for the lucky ones, finally achieving rapid eye movement.  The moon is our sole witness while we all practice solitude.  Whatever those things are we do, though; apparently they get us through the night.

The Turn

I used to have a certain cockiness about me, that I knew I had, wouldn’t admit to having, yet couldn’t wait for others to notice. It’s strange, because in one sense I’ve spent a life being insecure. I was terribly preoccupied with my looks, worried constantly how my body might look as I slink away from a crowd. I was terrified of not being fussed over. I don’t know exactly where it comes from. I’ve blamed it on different things over the years: having beautiful friends, hearing my father talk about how blonde women are unattractive, always being in front of people cheering or dancing, my formative years, adolescence. The truth is, I’m 27 years old now, and it doesn’t matter where it came from anymore. This isn’t really about overcoming that either. This is about the other flaw I developed to over compensate for my fragile ego. I decided to never screw up and to use my wit to flaunt it. I didn’t know what a monster I was about to raise from little monsterhood deep inside of me.

I became good at not screwing up. I had to be the best at whatever I did, if for nothing else to remain in the limelight. It was warm in that light, and I liked it there. In that light, for a moment, inadequacy doesn’t matter. When I was a young cheerleader I demanded the spotlight, always dancing right up front, focused on none other than stealing the show. I had to make the best grades, just to hear my grandparents praise me in front of the whole family. I discovered I was witty, and had to use it to charm anyone I could. I hadn’t found anyone who could rival me either. My secret cockiness was born. The monster was here, and I thought he would slay my short-comings. I would simply refuse to have short-comings. I found solace in this cocoon I’d made.

I must admit though, I did have pure dumb luck on top of the things I’d conjured myself. I could be in a room of a thousand people and win a drawing. I’d play my husband and his buddies in poker, throwing a flush down every time. I’d flash a sultry wink at them, and sweep their chips into my corner with a devilish grin. I’d then say something innocent, and bring up the fact I’m short to temper the sting, while still stirring the charm. I’d have the button on my phone cued to start playing a Bob Seger song I swear he’d written about me in prophesy, forcing everyone to quietly absorb the lyrics, “you always won every time you placed a bet. Still damn good, no one’s gotten to you yet.” I’d giggle, watching the others contemplate whether to smack me or love me. Things like this was how I coped with the world. It felt good at times, but bad more often.

After a random bout of panic attacks knocked me rather cruelly off that horse I’d been riding so pridefully, I needed a change. I needed a goal to feel good again, and I needed a real one. I realized that a man who only does what he is good at by nature, only beats others by default. I wanted to do something hard, that would take guts, and maybe give me some real confidence for once.

I decided to go back to my dancer roots, but do something crazy with it. I would audition to be an NFL cheerleader. This level of competition and intensity would be foreign to me, and I would treat it like a doomed bull at a Texas rodeo. Part of me was scared, but part of me, that cocky part,thought somehow it wouldn’t be possible for me to screw it up. I wasn’t a screw-up.

I trained for months, getting in the best shape of my life. I spent my days dancing, running, spray-tanning, bleaching my teeth, and eating things that look like they should be growing under pontoon boats. My audition dance was perfected, and I’d spent hours working on dance technique. Having come from a cheerleading and hip/hop background, my turns (pirouettes and such) needed work. I overcame my frustration with this, and nailed them in warm-ups. Now I just had to prance out in front of the judges, in an outfit I would normally only sport at the beach, and shine, shine, shine.

I had no idea what I had gotten into. I looked around at a room packed full of incredible dancers, with bodies that would make Megan Fox question herself. Judges were famous choreographers, fresh from Hollywood. The audition platform was featured on huge screens everywhere, and they were herding us in like cattle on Speed. That insecure little girl that I thought that monster had conquered was still alive. I felt like I’d found a ghost that had been living in me for years. I was terrified.

When I got to the audition area I knew I had to bring it…but, for the first time in my life I couldn’t. I was shaking so hard I couldn’t get my registration paperwork unfolded. When I took my mark, and the music started I could feel my convulsing body limiting my motions. I knew I wasn’t executing the moves like I should have. Then it was time for the pirouette I’d been dreading. I knew I had to focus on this because it was my weak point. I went for it, and came out of my turn early, with a bit of a stumble. I’d blown it.

After getting cut, I knew what it was like to not make a team. In an instant I knew what it was like to work towards something for months, then crack under pressure. I knew what it was like to fail after giving all I had. The strange part, was I was still proud. I used to looked at people who were proud of themselves “just for trying” like they were morons. However, I was wrong. I learned so much about guts, blood, sweat, and tears, while training for that. I learned about having to fight, and not necessarily winning that fight. Sometimes we have to give all we have for disappointment. The bull threw me off his back, but I truly wouldn’t have missed that right for anything. The greatest lesson, was probably the humility. I accepted it of myself. I realized that the whole time, this process was so personal, and more about facing parts of me I’ve muted…and realizing she isn’t half bad. Blowing that turn in my routine was a gift I never thought I wanted. It ended up being my turn…for the better.

Talking About My Generation

It’s no secret at all that I like to write period pieces.  I’ll dabble a bit in the high 1800s, but it’s the twentieth century I like to tap dance all over.  The dash between 1900 and 2000 fascinates me, and I never thought about why until last night when I had one of my famous random thoughts.

I’ve been watching Cold Case reruns religiously for about a month now.  Each show focuses on a crime that’s gone cold, and they touch on about every decade from the last century.  I find it scintillating.  I’ve gotten to watch a timeline of how these decades developed and eras came to be…and it isn’t just a collection of random fads.  There’s something scientific behind poodle skirts, or big hair, or peace signs, or air Jordans.

  Each era is not only distinct because of the clothes worn or music played…those things are just a product of mindsets.  They reflect what human beings were ready for at the time.  They reflect new ideas being formed into things we listen to or put on our body.  A war, an athlete, or a beverage could have sparked it…it could have been anything that caused a reaction. A lot of times it was many things, and revolutions started without people knowing they were starting them.  However, they could not be rushed.

Time came about organically, and I’ve realized is just an illustration of a growing human being.  Seeing as how I always write character-driven pieces, with the era as much as character as people, I’ve had a “eureka” kind of moment.  We are the times…I just focus on a different part of the human psyche depending on which era I’m engrossed in.  I’m just now realizing why. Different decades represent newness, naivety, rebellion, discovery, and rebirth.  We go through all of these emotions in our lifetimes, but we tend to live in an age focused on one of them, and the crazy part is we really have no way of knowing which until we’re just a memory. 

Almost everyone could have been considered liberal or conservative at what time or another considering what the mind and body was ready for in relation to what experience was available at the time.  Society grew as naturally as it could, and looking back, resembled two teenagers groping around at each other in the dark (I also often write about adolescence…go figure).  The reason?  We are always that person we were when we asked the question “why” for the first time, discovering our egos.  We are always in the age of enlightenment or confusion.  One man’s light is another’s dark.  That’s why there is a liberal out there for every conservative, and a no for every yes.  We aren’t all necessarily on the same path, but we’re on the same timeline.  We’re on the earth when we’re on the earth.  We’re discovering the same things from different views and trying to figure out how to do it together in a common time…and just like that, a culture is born.  It has a heartbeat, a personality, and a tone, that in later years will define it.   People will sing about it, and write about it, and draw about it for years to come.  A few of us have that stir to document it, and I thank God I’m one of them. 

By writing what I write, I’m reflecting on what’s happened, and paving the way, for myself at least, for what’s to come.  When I reflect upon it, when I am confused, and when I’m flailing…that’s when I’m writing about today.  Maybe there are other writers out there doing the same, and we will one day be the anthems of our own generations.  However, there’s no way to know that yet.  That’s for someone after my time to look back on and unveil.  It’s delicious to me to think what age is it?  The one I don’t even know I’m a part of…

Wishful Thinking

I think maybe I actually like this time of year. I am constantly complaining about the cold, wet weather, or lack of sunshine. I am in despair over the lack of coconut scents trailing about me. I’m bored to tears watching the world from behind glass. I look down at my white legs, and immediately contact a spray tan specialist. I’m miserable…

However, I don’t know if I ever long more than in the heart of January. I don’t know that I fantasize, daydream, and wish more than in January. I find myself buying tropical air fresheners, googling sunsets on the Charleston harbor, picking out bathing suits on Victoria’s Secret’s website, and maybe even shaving my legs for spite. I keep going because I know I have something magical to look forward to. I suppose if it were always summer, that would be as good as it gets. What would I have to pine for?

That poses another question. Is wishing for something better than actually getting it? I don’t know if a wish is better than the actual moment a dream comes true, but it might be better than the continuation of it. There’s nothing more great than having possibilities. There’s nothing sweeter than feeling like you’re almost there. Maybe that second right before you know the best is coming, but you’re sure of it, is the best. That is quite a small second too.

Much like summer, moments in life like this are quick to pass us by. That’s why it’s important to work towards goals, and let yourself yearn insatiably. It hurts in a way to just have a yen for something that may be an impossible dream. However, it’s far worse to want for nothing at all. Therefore, we need the winter, because we need things to make us squirm. When we squirm we move, and when we move, we do. I will keep close to me, the apple’s of my eye. I can brush their fingertips now, and it’s just enough to keep me hungry.

Drama and Charm

I’ve decided that so many writers come out of the South, not only because of the charm, but because of the drama.  The drama may even be the charm.  Oh, how dramatic we are, bless our sweet hearts!  We are all dramatic because our mothers’ are dramatic, as were their own.  I think it is because we are from the land of Scarlet O’Haras.  This woman rocked the world of literature, cinema, and married men everywhere, but she’s just the embodiment of the land.  The South tried it’s little hardest to tear an entire COUNTRY apart.  I picture the two sides of the Mason-Dixon line having a tea party when the lower side decides to take it’s dainty white gloves home and throw it’s own (not caring the upper side owned the teacups).

 The South throws us curve balls all the time:  a hot day in January, a hurricane that reaches all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains, a random earthquake once in a hot blue moon, a couple swing states in the world of politics.  The atmosphere and the people alike love to keep ’em all guessing. I know I do…

These absurdities that The South is are the reasons for the tall tales we hear on the front porch every summer.  Everyone knows the kind I’m talking about; the kind your grandmother tells over and over that get more unbelievable every time. We chuckle while we listen, memorizing those precious wrinkles on their faces all the while.  What we don’t realize, is that we do it too.  We’re dramatic by nature.  While we’re sitting there enjoying Mamaw’s sweet tea, we’re thinking of who we’re going to tell next, and in what yummy fashion we’ll relay it.

I came to these conclusions by noting the widespread panic caused by the weather forecast today.  I’m guilty; I’ve always reacted to snowy conditions like a cat reacts to water.  I just don’t do it.  I don’t like it, I don’t know how to drive in it, and I don’t leave my house when it comes.  I do however, enjoy it slightly one time per year, as long as it only lasts a day(which it only does), and I have access to a sled (that I use in the one inch we get).  Other than that, I’ll take summer please.

What I did like today was the pandemonium I got to experience with my fellow southern comrades.  I was chuckling looking at people post their pictures of bread and milk on Facebook.  However, I did get a little nervous when I realized I had not yet been to the store.  Being unprepared does not set well with a type “A” personality such as mine.

Nevertheless, I’m looking out the window , watching the foretelling clouds roll in the like blankets of Crisco on Thanksgiving, and I’m smiling.  I’m smiling because I am scrambling around with my soul mates, the ones who made me a writer, who do not know how many stories they’ve written.  I am scurrying through the grocery store aisles with old men who believe we are about to encounter the storm of the century, and old women who are crying over not making it to the beauty parlor today.  Then, I will get in my 4-wheel drive SUV (even though nothing has stuck yet), and nag my husband to be more careful the whole way home.  We will probably arrive safely, but I guarantee, I’ll make an adventure of it…because I’m dramatic, of course.  And you readers, you’re charmed.

 

“I can shoot straight, just as long as I don’t have to shoot far.” -Scarlet O’Hara ~

 

 

The End of a Mid-Winter Night’s Dream

The holidays are a whirlwind.  I can’t decide if I forget who I really am, or find who I really am during that period of time.  It’s a foggy place.  In one sense, I never feel more like myself from that slumber from the real world that occurs every December.  I get to just be Lorna Caye, around only my closest friends and family.  I go back to the basics, and just become the girl I was growing up.  I get to live in some sort of yester-year.

On the other hand, I feel like I lose something over the holidays.  Things around me vanish, and though I get a break from the grind, I don’t feel quite normal.  It’s almost like going into another place, like Shakespeare takes his characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where everything is dancing in a twilight zone.  Is it the past, the present?  The holidays are a little bit surreal, by making me think of people I never think about, or by going to places I never go.  It brings the dead back to life, and rehashes fires burned out long ago.  However, this fantasy world we fall into, decorated in tinsel, and smelling of cinnamon and sausage balls, might be our parallel universe where we can get some peace for a moment.  A strange, mostly happy peace.

We can’t stay there, though.  In the long run, I don’t think we’d even want to.  It’s the place that is so comfortable we don’t hunger, and here on Earth, while we still wear skin for dress, hunger is something we like.  Eleven months out of the year we like to search and scramble for the things that make us who we cannot help but be.  This month that occurs, that is the most wonderful time of the year, leaves behind a bit of flailing.  What was that world we were a part of prior to Thanksgiving?

I think I returned to Lornaland, meaning the one I dance in from January to November sometime yesterday morning.  I suddenly shook the snow out of my eyelashes, and stood up out of my makeshift bed of holly.  My mind went to my blog again, thinking of all the things I needed to share with the world.  I was grumbling again from somewhere inside.  Over the holidays, I hate to admit, the writer in me shut up.  It packed up it’s fountain pen and watched me from afar while I went to the land of colored ribbon, and candy canes.

I started feeling myself come back yesterday morning when I heard the song, “Wicked Games,” by Chris Isaaks.  That song always makes me breathe in phantom coconut oil, and transports me to a beach where people dance half-naked in the nearby crowded streets.  I start sweating immediately, and go Scarlet O’Hara dramatic.  I throw myself on my couch, searching the t.v. for something that can bring me closer to my fantasy.  I start praying to God the movie Cocktail is on somewhere.

The writer re-enters with a raised eyebrow, “there you are, you desperate thing…desperate for the perfect atmosphere, the perfect story.” .

“Don’t patronize me,”  I reply, pretending to sip a rum-runner that’s actually a bottled water with orange Mio added in.

“I have some new stuff for you about that Jenna Lee Ravenel character you thought up a month ago.  You’re gonna love it.  She’s more sultry than ever,”  the writer teases.

“Ok, let’s rock n’ roll,”  I reply, “I’m back.”

As Shakespeare says in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “though she be but little, she is fierce”.  With a pen, that I am.

imagesCA2NRDZU

“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.”

Oh, the Possibilities

I’m a big fan of possibilities.  I love games of chance, dare-to-be-great situations, and prospects of new beginnings.  I love to watch it all unfold, and admire in an awestruck fashion, how it all came together.  Because of this, I’m always hungry.  I feel like a shark, combing the waters for something better than plankton.  I want a new fish to fry, one that gives me different meaning for a season.  It keeps me sane, or maybe insane, the possibilities.  I’m certainly not too rational to live my life this way…

I’m a cheerleader for making resolutions.  I think everyone should do it. It’s an excuse to examine the parts of your life that feel empty of purpose, and give it some.  Our purpose validates our existence, and the options are endless.  I love feeding off the buzz of others, knowing everyone is setting their goals for the coming year.  I like to be part of the hustle and bustle.  I want that energy, that purposefulness.  I need goals, and lots of ’em.

This part of my personality can make me appear wishy-washy to some…maybe I’m a bit of a shiny object chaser.  I don’t know, but it works.  It’s not wrong to be a nomad, as long as you’re a healthy one.  We don’t want to be standing on the side of the roads holding signs, but we also don’t want to be standing inside our own prisons that are painted beige and smell like printer paper either. 

I just see so many colors, flavors, assortments, and I want those things in the moment.  I don’t really care if my pursuits are illogical.  That’s what makes life great, and I spent too long of a time fearing the bright things.  If we came into this world knowing what everyday would be, where would the purpose exist?  We would be robots.  However, there is this great thing, a feisty thing, that makes us search for new stars to reach all the time.  Some of that time will inevitably be spent groping around in the dark.

The point is: make goals.  Challenge yourself to do something you want.  It is the greatest therapy.  Take up tap dancing, quit your job to make/sell rocking chairs, grow that mangy beard, see that island you never want to spend the money on…do it.  Track it like a lion, with planning and perserverence…then DO IT!  On January 1st, the calendar gives you a place to start in case you couldn’t find one.  Whatever that thing is, business or pleasure, if it’s knocking at your door from the inside, let it out.  The possibilities are endless.:)

The Yoga World Findings

We hear things all the time like, “there are only two kinds of people in the world,” or, “there are only eight personality types.”  Blah. blah, blah.  There’s usually some truth to it too, that people fit certain archetypes.  These categories of people are usually observed when groups get together from all walks of life to do the same activity.  How they act, respond, communicate and such reveal them.  The best venue for this I’ve discovered…yoga. 

In a yoga class, particularly in the southern hippie town of Asheville, that’s become quite the cultural sampling, everyone wears their true selves like a new outfit to flaunt.  It cannot be helped…we are doing the same exercises, in the same hundred degree room, fighting something, whether it be the heat, the hard postures, or the honey-baked ham we cannot resist.  It’s impossible for so many people to be doing the same thing, at the same time, without showing vastly different personalities.  It’s evident in the places struggle occurs for each individual, the facial expressions one makes, or most of all, during the meditation portion. 

The teacher instructs us all to close our eyes, not look around, and meditate on whatever we feel we should be…it’s to be a very personal time.  Though, I’ve found it’s hard to have a truly personal moment in any group setting because we’re still aware of everyone else’s presence, even in the most legit yoga class.   

     My writer inside started whispering to me, “Lorna, open your eyes against the rules, and check out what everyone’s doing,”  it said in its instigative tone that gets me every time.

     “No,”  I respond, “I am going to meditate on things that are plaguing me, and not bother with others.”

    “But, Lorna, you’re a people watcher.  This is the thing plaguing you…what great writing it will make…”  the impish presence whispered again.

It had me, and my eyes popped opened.  I was now the one that likes to look at and dissect others.  I am the curious one.  I am the one struggling through my own posture, while hating myself for critiquing others for my own pleasures.  I am the girl who put on make-up to attend yoga, who is secretly angry she isn’t the best, looking for an ego boost and writing material at once.  I am the one proud of myself for being there, but a bit insecure all the while.  I am the one knowing it is impolite to look, but without the will-power to fight the urge.  I am hungry and a little too self-serving for my own approval.  I am an honest person though, and will not peek slyly.  I will just spit at the rules and look, even if it reveals who I am.

First I notice the smug girl across the room from me.  She has all the extras:  yoga toes, a spray bottle to avoid slippage, and the name-brand yoga pants.  However, she wears her hair in the strategically placed new-age fashion.  It’s just unkept enough, and she’d die a painful death if anyone new she’d washed it salon-grade shampoo.  She fights herself, the one she wants to be and one she is.  She is not the best either, there is one woman better than her, and she NEVER looks at her.  Instead she looks at the ones who aren’t as practiced as she, and she smirks, before pretending she notices nothing.  She is passive-aggressive, and musters confidence by faking snobby behavior.  I don’t find her interesting.  She’s a dime a dozen, but very good at yoga.  If she would stop thinking of the woman she can’t look at, she’d be much happier.  I am most displeased by this girl’s presence.  She is to me, what’s wrong with society, and I can’t describe to the uttermost why that is.  I hate myself for hammering her so hard, for I am not perfect…but, I write what I see.

Then there is the woman the smug girl cannot look at.  She is in impressive shape for a woman in her late fifties, and has obviously practiced for many years.  She can bend into ways the rest of us can’t fathom while we pretend not to notice…except for me who gawks a bit.  She is not smug, and perhaps the most secure of all of us.  She does it because it challenges her every time, and I’m guessing helped her through a tough time in life.  It is a passion for her, something she is in a decades-long love affair with.  She is proud to show us what she’s done, but not conceited.  I like her.

One of my favorites to peruse is the younger man who does not fit.  His spirit reminds me slightly of my husband.  He’s very athletic, but a fish out of water in the yoga world.  He tries so hard, and is beginning to succeed.  Yoga started for him as a bull to ride, and to conquer.  However, he’s realized he’s playing a game to never be won, and he respects it.  He is a true yoga practicer now, though he is surprised himself.  He is still delightfully awkward, and no threat to anyone.

The young girl who sits beside me is pretty, but does not threaten me by her attractiveness.  She is both my ally, and my advisary.  We are about the same  level…extremely flexible, angry we are not the best, doing this to push ourselves, but challenged by its brutality.  We are halfway comfortable, and kind of want to be friends, though we don’t know how to start.  She makes me feel more comfortable, and I don’t watch her as much.  I get her, and I also don’t want to make her uncomfortable.  Why do I not care about gazing at the others?

Lastly, there is the teacher.  She is a yoga master, but unlike the other instructors, in that she isn’t in perfect shape.  She’s much thicker than the typical yoga guru.  I’m convinced she has a sweet tooth, and I’m thinking it’s a chocolate addiction.  She is amazingly agile, graceful, and controlled.  This is the thing that keeps her sane.  However, the way she dresses in layers and darks reveals her acknowledgement to her body.  She is only slightly overweight, but she knows it’s taboo among her peers.  She offsets this insecurity by being quirky, and playing exciting music in her classes instead of middle-eastern mantras.  She covers her thickness in rebellion.  I like her fine; mostly indifferent.

I loved writing about this, but I hated it too.  Maybe other writers will understand I am not picking these people apart, but picking the human condition in general apart.  I have to observe, because that is my nature.  I hate that it probably made someone horribly uncomfortable, and now I’m the one in class they can’t stand.  However, I have to do it.  I don’t know how many kinds of people there are in the world, if it’s two or eight, or seventy-three…I just know they were all in that class.  They were who they were based on both their individualities and presence of others.  All the secrets and all the science about what makes us who we are was right in front of me, and as a writer, I was obligated to look.  At least, that is how my soul says to justify it.  At the end of the day, I respect them all, even the smug girl.  In some way I don’t know, they make me make sense to myself, and some sense of the world.  We really are all standing on one big yoga mat all the time, fighting something like hell, in a world we are sharing.  I just chose a scale-model locale to watch it go down.

 

The Roar

A friend of Mine on facebook posted this, and I love it,

“spirituality is rebellion; religiousness is orthodoxy. spirituality is individuality; religiousness is just remaining part of the crowd psychology. religiousness keeps you a sheep; spirituality is a lion’s roar.”

God. Good. Evil. Light. Dark. Origin. Life.  Meaning. Death. Heaven. Hell.

How much time do we spend refusing to contemplate these ideas, or believing we are contemplating them through some kind of actions or methods?  We all have our beliefs about it, often decided out of convenience, I might add.  Some believe, some don’t.  Almost always though, whatever we do is based off what we find palatable, and almost everyone has some practice that helps them mark a box on a checklist. 

However, I find true spirituality a rarity.  It is a natural part of us that rumbles down in there, like lava under the Earth’s Core.  It should spew out on its own, but instead we cap it, and decide to let it out when it looks like the thing we think it should.  We becomes apes, and start to mimic someone with faith, without actually knowing what faith feels like in our own stirring bones.

I’m a Christian, meaning I believe there is one God, who sent his son, Jesus, to deliver a race made in His image…mankind.  I believe in worshiping him, and experiencing him, as directed in the Bible.  However, lately I’ve realized that worship is not a practice.  It is not an acquired habit.  It’s just experiencing God through the vessels in which he reveals himself to you.  If we aren’t all the same, why would we expect our attitudes of prayer would be? 

Often times, church is the only place we’re expected to act as everyone else instead of the individuals we are.  I don’t care if it is a traditional Church, doting beloved hymns, or a charismatic room of shouters.  People tend to look to each other for advice on how to worship instead of to the creator, who is in them already.  I would say every prayer experience is unique; that like a snowflake, no two are alike.  However, instead of being those snow flakes, we tend to get lost in rules and regulations that have nothing to do with actually learning our maker.  We tend to have group relationships with God, but not so much personal.

When I read the quote today, that sparked all of this, one thing gripped me most, “spirituality is a lion’s roar.”  That is the answer.  Spirituality, a sense of merging beings, with something so far higher than we are will make tantric look like child’s play.  When true spirituality exists, we can break religious molds, destroy legalism, and laugh in the face of the laws that bind us.  We will be free in a new sense that is so wild it will keep us from making other mischief.  We won’t need it. Spirituality will become our religion, but an involuntary one, completely out of our comfort zones.  This small quote dropped but a taste onto my tongue, and already, my mind is on fire.  I feel like I’m feeling a little more God today, and it feels great.  And I’m not even feeling it on purpose…it’s completely out of character.  I’m starting to hear what a roaring lion really sounds like, and it wasn’t what I thought I’d heard with my feeble human ears.  This roar doesn’t awaken man…it awakens the spirit.  It is the roar of the spirit..the only roar that seems real anymore.