The 150th Post

We are in Rochester for the weekend. G wanted to check out a catcher, and I tagged along.

I really had no idea what recruiting involved, but now I do, and it’s pretty deadly. And boring. And today, hot and humid. We watched half a game and G said we could go. She had seen what she came to see.

Now we are resting at the Double Tree before dinner. After dinner we are going to the movies to see Trainwreck with Amy Shumer.

Jennifer said I should celebrate and this seems fitting.

Now I have to shower, meditate and figure out what kind of food I want to eat. There are so many choices here! I think some quality tequila may be going down, too.

Yeah. It feels like a Patron kind of day. image

Be back Monday.

 

#brynneandjesse

Dear Brynne and Jesse,

G and I wish for you what we have:

Someone who sees us as we wish to be seen  and not necessarily who we are…yet.

Someone who sees our best self, the self we are cultivating, the self we are striving to be.

Someone who forgives our shortcomings knowing that we all mess up, fail, and are stupid. But even when we fall short of our own, and the world’s expectations of us, they still love us.

This evening I watched my beautiful friend Brynne marry her soulmate. I wept as she walked down the aisle in her backyard, on the arm of her father, in a dress her mother stitched with love.

I remembered her as a little 7th grader in my English class that I wished I could spirit out of there and say, “Look. This is a complete mess and you don’t belong here. I wish there was some way we could just get out of here, go somewhere and talk about books. I could teach you a lot if I didn’t have to put up with this ridiculous school.”

I remembered her coming to my early morning yoga classes before the school day. Her father dropping her off.

I remember her teaching the most amazing yoga class in my studio. Brilliant,  inspired yoga.

And now, she is partnered. And I love her partner. He is worthy of her, and she of him. Today they vowed to live respectful of each other’s differences and to live a life of excitement and adventure.

I danced to “Uptown Funk” with her and her friends. I hugged her mother.

I feel so good tonight. This is a happy day. I can’t wait to see what this partnership grows into.

Namaste, darling Brynne.  I love you. I respect you. I honor your path.

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Date Night: The New Wednesday Ritual

We’ve decided that since I don’t teach on Wednesdays in the summer, that Wednesday will be “date night.”

G recruits every weekend, so Saturdays and Sundays will find her in a sack chair with a clipboard watching terrible high school softball, while I sit home and binge watch Property Brothers.

So we’ve decided that every Wednesday we will take turns planning “Date Night.”

Today was the first one. Her date to plan.

The morning started off with us training together with Vince. Then we stopped at Night and Day for a coffee, and then it was home to our separate work.

I holed up for 3 hours with the book. She mowed and did other housework.

At 3 we took off for Corning. First stop: Driving Range.

I have not swung a golf club in YEARS. How many years? 6? 7? 8?

So we took drivers and split a bucket of balls. Her drives were things of beauty: straight and high and long. (She is a really good golfer.)

My first few drives almost beaned the cars parked in the lot behind me. But then I settled in and a few went straight. Not far, but the balls started to have a nice arc.

My form isn’t bad:

IMG_5077Head down, arm straight. Could use some more turn on the backswing.

Then, after we warmed up on the range, it was on to the main event: The blood sport of Mini Golf.

The greens were lightning fast on some holes, and super slow on others. A bunch of boys and their babysitter let us play through, but not before telling us that if we got a hole in one on the last hole, we got a free ice cream.

I told them we were playing for beer. The babysitter gave me a look.

It was neck and neck for awhile, but in the end, she won. I took it very seriously, though.

IMG_5079After golf, it was off to dinner. Tried a place we’ve never tried before in Corning called Hand and Foot (which I always want to call Hoof and Mouth, but that is a disease, right?)

It was fine. Nice ambiance, weird, but not bad little menu. They need to invest in proper stemware, though.  G’s IPA came in this:

IMG_1842Now the pressure is on for me to beat this next Wednesday.

Any ideas would be welcome.

Tending Things

We tend gardens. And children. And some of us tend to the sick.

Today I tended to my bills, my accounts, my business. I watered the plants, switched the pictures around on the walls, dusted the sills, folded all the blankets and lined them up neatly on the rack.

I tended my meditation practice, and my yoga practice.

I tended my students, and then, afterwards, my friendships.

To tend things is to watch over them, to protect them (when possible), to keep them from harm.

To tend is to pay attention, to mind, to watch.

To tend is to be human, and kind, and appreciative.

Today I tended things.

“Have You Always Been This Way?”

I assumed (and hoped) he meant friendly, open, interested, and together.

He stopped me as I was walking Boomer on campus. He wanted to know how big this place was.

He said he had been lured off the highway to come and explore. He just couldn’t get over how beautiful this area was.

He was driving from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg. He stopped in Bath to ride his bike for a few hours. He wasn’t in a big hurry. He was listening to Eckhart Tolle CDs as he drove.

He asked me what I did here (in Mansfield) and I told him. We talked about a whole number of things, he sitting in his car, me, dealing with Boomer who wanted to WALK, GODDAMIT!

The conversation was simple and easy and light and friendly. I felt a real sympatico connection with this fellow just passing through, stopping to check out this crazy little college in the middle of nowhere.

Earlier in the evening I had the polar opposite experience. I found myself trying to find some common ground with an extremely tense person who thoughts boinged  from thing to thing like a pinball.

I wondered to myself: Have you always been this way? meaning: tense, overly talkative, guarded and defensive?

 

When the “accidental tourist” man asked me if I have always been this way we had just had 20 minutes of an easy-breezy, open-hearted, back and forth dialogue about the environment and yoga and his children and mine and India and travel.

It was fun, and both of us said so as we said goodbye.

I think a lot about “vibe” and I am supersensitive to the vibe of all the beings I encounter in a day. I always hope my vibe comes across clear and strong and positive and amped.

To his question, “No, I haven’t always been this way.”

But I’ve been this way for quite a while, at least as long, or longer than I’ve been any other way.

And that thought made me feel happy tonight as Boomer and I traversed the rest of campus on our walk this gentle May evening.

Namaste, Brian. I really enjoyed our conversation.

 

The Bed Is Bigger Than The Kitchen

 The first day in a new place. 

Where to get food? 

How to organize time? 

What to do first? 

Who are these others? 

How to fit in?

Mostly, how to fit into this kitchen. Holy closet! (I am writing in the WordPress app for Ipad and I am having a little fit with inserting pics, so if they are huge or microscopic –sorry.)

This is G’s elbow to elbow wingspan in the kitchen.

  
Fun, right?

The bed is huge, though. What doees this say about where to spend time?

  
The day is hot and soft and quiet. The water is bathtub temperature, shallow and clear. Shells everywhere.

We went for groceries, and for breakfast.

Florida is weird.  By weird I don’t mean “bad” just not my tribe. But I wasn’t expecting that. It’s not a hip, vibrant, exciting place. It has a decidedly “Grandma” vibe. We didn’t come here for the vibe, though, we came here to be soft and quiet and warm and contemplative. And to drink gin and tonics (me) and beer (her).

We came here to rest and re-set, to get back to some deep, warm, elemental place. We came here to talk and read and nap and sup and walk and ride bikes everywhere. 

We came here to notice things, both exotic, and ordinary. 

At the entrance to the grocery store there were these huge cages scattered under towering palms,  each one housed an exotic colorful bird. The bird at the entrance said “Hello!” to everyone who passed his cage. Another one wolf-whistled when you walked by. 

We brought lots of books, and very little work. I kept my FaceTime appointment with Jennifer, and then I started a new book and then we went for lunch, and then we took naps, and now it’s time for dinner, and then a drive out to Bowman Beach to watch the sunset.

  
  

Blessing the Space

There has been a frost warning the last 2 nights. I wore a jacket into the studio this morning and felt happy that I didn’t have any plans to go fishing today with G and her father. (Brrrrr….)

(As it turned out it was a beautiful day for fishing and they caught 5 trout.)

The studio was so warm and cozy this morning. And filled with sun. I took my spot under the skylight and did lots and lots of backbends. Not because I like backbends, or need backbends, but because I was entranced with the light raining on me from above.

Filtered light. Blue sky light. Early May light. The skylight is framed in white painted wood. The windows framed a perfect blue sky. It always reminds me of a lifeguard chair.

My mind suddenly flashed on a line from a John O’Donohue poem about “postponing dreams no longer” so when I’d had quite enough of backbending, I went and found it and copied it onto my mat:

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I haven’t made my Divine Contract yet, but each day as I sit in meditation, I get closer to envisioning who might be waiting for my offering.

Back at home, alone, I set to cleaning and organizing my bedroom, with a heavy emphasis on culling my clothing. My guiding thoughts were: Am I going to look forward to seeing this thing when I pull it out next fall?  And, Kath, You wear 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time. Just keep the 20 percent you wear.

I culled ruthlessly. So proud of myself.

I also changed my bedding from the heavy velvet quilt, to the light, fluffy Zen-inspired duvet. I feel ready now. Ready for lilacs and viburnums and reading on the sunny deck.

Yeah, and I’ll bet money those trout will taste great done in foil on the grill.