Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2010.09.16 — It can be dangerous to help someone — a fushigi

I seem to be on a fushigi blog bender right now. And this one is, I admit very peculiar and obscure. But it amused me a great deal. It begins with a writing exercise 'Make It Up Monday' from the excellent blog 52weeksofwordage.

MIUM#4 began with this very amusing photo:

 The objective? Allow it to inspire my writing creativity. It took me several days before my imagination settled on the following story. This fushigi arose after I posted it to Stef's blog — which will be described following the short writing exercise story, 'The Yoga Lesson':
Let me just say that, well, I'm not sure how to say this. I love my sisters. But... 
Do you have sisters? No? Well, then you probably won't understand how I can write that 'I love my sisters, but...'

Let me start by saying, you can't tell by looking at them, but they're twins. Being twins means that they always seem to have a secret connection. Well, that is annoying enough, but even worse, they love to laugh. They laugh at just about everything. And always they laugh, together, usually just after they look at me and then at each other. I haven't done anything, and they don't say anything, they just laugh at some secret thought. And what really bugs me about that, is that I'm a couple of years older than them. And I keep thinking that that is supposed to be enough to get some respect. Instead, they laugh.

One day, for example, I came home from the library. I had spent the morning reading all about yoga. It is wonderful! I was surprised to learn that not only does it help heal and fix the body, it also creates energy in the mind that improves IQs. When I read that, and saw how simple the exercises were, I knew that I could help my younger sisters. I mean, isn't that what the older sister is supposed to do? Give them help, whether they wanted it or not?

And so, that afternoon, I shared what I had learned with them. Of course I didn't tell them that I was going to make them smarter! That would have just made them mad! I'm not that dumb! I simply told them that if they learned some yoga from me, they would look prettier and feel healthier.

Now, you'd think that they would be happy to let me help them. But no. I had to argue with them! And even after twisting their arms, Alice wouldn't think of putting on exercise cloths. 'I will not go to the park,
in public in exercise cloths! That's just rude. OMG!'


Anyway, in the end I gave up on Alice. I did get Joan to agree to wearing a bathing suit instead of her jeans, but she'd do that only if I wore one too. They know how much I hate that, so of course they both laughed!

And so, there we were in the park. Joan in her ugliest, mom-bought, bathing suit because, 'Why would I wear a nice one to swim in the grass?' she said. Alice in her dress, clutching her ribbon-tied letter paper and note book. She won't go anywhere without it because, as she always says, 'A good writer doesn't let a lack of paper lose a great idea. Anywhere or anytime!' As if!

I started to tell them all about what I'd read. The didn't seem impressed. Their eyes quickly glazed over. And when I told them what to do, they stood still for a moment, then looked at each and laughed!

'Okay!' I snapped. '
Okayyyyyyyyyy. I get it. I'll show you.' So I quickly got myself into the proper form to do a forward bend and stretch. Next,  well, let me just say that it looked easy when I read it, well I lost my balance and fell forward like drunk cheerleader. And, I don't know how it happened, but somehow I wound up with my chin digging into my chest, my arms stuck out like I was some kind of bug. My butt was in the air, and I couldn't move. Alice and Joan laughed.

I tried to say 'This is a serious stretch.' But with my head planted into the grass the way it was, my words came out sort of like 'Iiiisssss sssrrrrsss strrrrrttttch.' And they both looked at my ass, as if I was a butt ventriloquist. I couldn't tell for sure, but I think I could see them look at each before they began to laugh. Alice laughed so hard that she dropped her papers and journal. And as she laughed she rocked back and forth, looking up into the sky and then back again to me. And Joan laughed so hard that she began clapping, which was something until that day no one had seen her do since she was a baby.

After several minutes of them laughing, they stopped in unison as if on a timer. Then they turned and left. 'Hhhlllpppp!' I tried to call out help. 'Hhhlllpppp!' I was scared that they would leave me, stuck in yoga.

But about ten
long minutes later, my mom came with Alice and Joan, After they had all stopped laughing, mom spent the next several  minutes getting me unlocked. She then took me to the hospital, where I was given x-rays, a neck brace and muscle relaxants.

I haven't done yoga since then because
doing it is very definitely bad for my health.

Now for the fushigi. Very shortly after posting the above into the comment section of 52weeksofwordage — and by that I mean within 45 minutes — I turned to the interesting and amusing little book my friend RT lent me, and that I'd started the previous night:  
Palo Alto, CA.: The Seed Center, 1974.

I read a couple of pages before smiling at the following:
If you offer people spiritual solutions — or solutions of any kind for anything, for that matter — you are asking them to give up  what makes them feel active, alive , defined — their ego structure.  Be careful — it's dangerous! (p.52)
And so, I smiled! My MIUM short story exercise described how a so-called helpful person, who was supposedly trying to help her sisters by teaching them through pontificated yoga, hurts herself while helping them. Like I said, not a great fushigi, but I consider it interesting and amusing enough to blog it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2010.09.08 — "... I've been thinking I've been thinking too much."

Here is another nice little fushigi. It began with my composing a response to the query posed by blog master Stef at her 52weeksofwordage about the existence or non-existence of a 'perfect mate'.

Unfortunately for her and those readers who stumbled onto my comment, I was feeling particularly philosophical and verbose. I wrote the following:
Stef, at first thought I found the contrast between you studying to be an opera singer in order to emote lives lived and lost to dreams of perfect love with your blunt dismissal of romantic dreams of perfection to be très amusant!
But my second thought brought the realization that the 'perfect' opera singer cannot be taken-in by the romantic dreams of her characters if she wants to make them live on the stage!
Now for my thoughts on the perfect, 'soul' mate? Hmmm. My thinking has been contaminated by Chuang-Tzu, C.G. Jung, and the Dog Whisperer: I have come to the conclusion that the universe provides us with what we need much more willingly than it provides us with what we think we want. Unfortunately in our age of over abundant everything we are normally incapable of distinguishing between these two states of being. In this nearly perpetual state of confusion we are oblivious to not really needing romantic notions of seamless oneness and bliss. This does not mean that we do not need, sometimes, to be hugged and made to feel safe in arms we trust; but nor does it overlook the need our creative selves have sometimes to be challenged with overcoming our fears on our own two feet, even when that means breaking-up with someone.
I suspect that the perfect mate is that person able to provide the hugs when needed, but who gives with exuberance the space to walk alone when needed. And such perfection is not likely to be a journey of eternal bliss and peace. Does this mean that the perfect mate does or does not exist? Well, s/he may exist, but only by broadening our understanding of perfection to include life's apparent annoyances and grotesqueries.
And so it would appear that I have cheated your query, Stef, by suggesting that the perfect mate does exist, but only if we deform the meaning of perfection to include the breadth of life's complexity, a complexity that seems to include a molecular imperative from whatever comprises the universe for capital 'L' Life to grow physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
Argh! That has come out sounding so corny despite my straining to make it not so! Why is it so easy for words to impede our ability to convey an idea? At least the sun will continue to shine, regardless, and the earth to spin, too, and life to carry on blissfully oblivious to our ideas and beliefs good, bad or indifferent! I do confess that it is a great relief to know that the truly important things in life do not rely on our words for their existence!

And thus there arose another nice little fushigi. It began with my composing the above response to the query posed by blog master Stef at her 52weeksofwordage about the existence or non-existence of a 'perfect mate'. After such a gassy response, I found myself particularly amused when, as I was editing the last paragraph, Vonda Shephard's song "Maryland' came into my ears randomly from iTunes DJ.
Here are the opening lyrics:
I've been thinking
I've been thinking I've been thinking too much
I just want to live now for a little while
And cast my dreams to the wind.

Yup, that told me in no uncertain times to stop ... thinking! And writing, too! Well, that inference has, as you have seen, had little effect on me!

Here's a snapshot of my iTunes playlist showing the song.

Then, while putting this blog together, my iTunes DJ continued to play, and there came into my ears only two songs later, the song 'Music of the Wind ' from the album Sun•Moon. And, given what I wrote, I found that to be an even more amusing fushigi.

And to give you a better sense of just how peculiar are the odds of these songs showing up when they did, here's a snap shot of my iTunes showing number of songs in it: