Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tranquil energy

It is just now 10 a.m. I have no fiction to share this week, and even though I should be working, I feel compelled to post about my day so far.

I did something that I wasn't sure I could do this morning--I meditated for 2 straight hours. It was a group meditation that began at 4:30 a.m. and ended with grounding in the form of tea and cookies after 6:30 a.m. I have never meditated longer than 30 minutes, and usually I only do so for about 10 minutes. It's funny, but I could have sworn the 2 hours went by quickly. When we were done, I thought there was an hour to go. I suppose maybe I lost time somewhere inside my mind. Though my legs fell asleep and I had to readjust a few times, I believe I was never that uncomfortable.

If you know me, staying still for a movie or show is hard enough. When I started meditating, I had quite a bit of trouble with it, and I don't make a habit of meditating in groups. I've always felt it a personal thing. But, it was really nourishing today. When meditating this long, it seems similar to sleep. To me, it was almost as though I were in REM sleep only able to monitor it, watch it happen. I have a sizable question on my mind right now, and I found myself thinking that through without agonizing over it. I am still unsure about my answer, but I don't feel the anxiety surrounding it as much. To sum up, I recommend meditating for 2 straight hours. I doubt I'll do it again for a while, but sometimes during transitional periods, I can see it being almost necessary in my life.

So, my life being the comedy it is, my stoicism was later tested. As I walked my puppy around the 2.2 mile loop near our apartment, I felt fantastic. I felt energetic and calm, and the weather was perfect. Just as we were nearing the end of the loop, however, a large naked man caught my eye. There is a trail that divides the park so that if you only want to walk a mile or mile and a half, you can cut through. It was just as I was looking down that path that I saw the man. I happened to be speaking to my mother when I saw him, so I said, "Mom, there's a naked man in the park." I added that I'd have to call her back. The naked man bent down and slowly grabbed  his clothes after another person walked by. We shook our head back and forth as we passed each other. The naked man walked off, in the general direction of my apartment, so I asked my husband to come out. It is not due to meditation that I was not very upset by the sight of a naked man--nakedness is no big deal to me--but it did kind of bring me back to reality in a way I doubt much else could.

When I see people who have these sorts of obsessions/compulsions (which usually are not violent or correlated with rape), I feel really badly for them as well as the younger people who happen upon the sight of them. When I was studying psychology, I learned that sexual deviance is one of the easiest things to treat with talk therapy--it's a pretty straightforward reprogramming that needs done--but sadly, people rarely seek help unless forced into it. I am reporting this guy because I know there have been previous sightings in our neighborhood of him, and I do hope he gets help. I guess this is compassion.

I plan to write, if only for 20 minutes or so, after this blog. And as I began to reflect on my meditation, I realized just how much it is like writing and writing is like meditation. Writing is about examining the questions, such as: why do people do what they do? Here's to finding out and being comfortable with what I don't need to know... Here's to wishing that others figure it out, too...

Have a great week, all. Stay clothed.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Forward momentum

When my classes start, especially Spring Term, I tend to miss a blog or two. These first few weeks were insanely busy, but I have a strong group of students this go-round. I know I probably always say that I have a strong group, but this group is a collective force. Not a single student dropped below the max limit, and they're truly giving their all to the assignments so far. I hope this sustains because though a larger class means more hours of grading, I find this a beautiful way to spend my time.

I'll keep the post short, but I do have writing news. I had a publication this week: "Like Water," originally published in Flash Frontier, is up at Germ Magazine. I will be publishing more with Germ, and I think it's an amazing ePub, as reference, as inspiration, and as a literary hub.

Finally, I have two readings coming up at AWP: The Pillow Talk reading at the Roosevelt and the Festival of Language at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery. More info is HERE. After AWP, I will be reading and having a release party for my forthcoming chapbook, Don't Tease the Elephants at San Antonio College (more on all this soon).

I hope you have a fantastic week. If you need me, I'll be, um, working. :)

Observations: Dublin Vacation

Dublin seemed the obvious destination. We would be close to various restaurants and tourist attractions. It would be easy to call a cab or...