Archive for March 2008

My Handstand Feature in Yoga Journal

March 21st, 2008 — 8:06pm

The piece I wrote on my fear of kicking into Handstand is coming out in the April/May issue of Yoga Journal any day. I found the subject matter tough. Not the Handstand part, but how I felt about my body within the context of this pose. Writing this piece forced me to confront my negative body image — one that I had been trying to hide under black blazers and sweaters. As I wrote this piece, I started finding fewer places to hide from myself– a process that continues, and one that is interesting, valuable and discomfiting.

I was thrilled that the model they chose to illustrate this piece is, like me, in her mid-forties, and, like me, curvy (though less so). The layout and model choice felt like a gift to me. I hugged the art director when he showed me the spreads. Just the mere image of a curvy woman in a national magazine is a gift.

If you get a chance to read it, write me and let me know what you think.

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Berkeley at Dusk

March 14th, 2008 — 7:42pm

There is something about dusk that snaps me awake. As if all the world is fully alive one more time before it goes to sleep.

I took a walk around my neighborhood in the Berkeley Hills. There’s still magic here. The spring air is softly sweet, and though my Ipod was cranking up one of my favorite bands, The New Pornographers, I could still sense the music outside my head phones. I turned them off, and sure enough, the wind was whipping through the hills. I think a storm might be coming in. And the wind, as it sometimes does, plays notes.

I walked on, and, feeling adventurous, did what I’ve been meaning to do for five years — I plucked two oranges from a tree on the next street over. They felt heavy and ripe. Intermittent rain started to splatter my face. I walked home. I cut into the oranges, imagining them perfect, ripe, dripping with juice. Instead they were sour, and slightly wild.

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Silda Wall Spitzer

March 12th, 2008 — 8:03pm

Now that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has resigned, the pundits are having a field day with the post-mortem. I find the commentary on his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, fascinating. She looked like a wreck, standing next to her husband, first as he made a public apology and then, two days later, when he resigned. I’ve read everything from, “how could she stand by him” to “I would have stabbed him with an axe if asked me to support him” to “of course she should show support to him in pubic,” (though usually that’s a career salvaging move. In this case, it’s hard to figure out what to salvage, unless he goes to Hollywood and sells the movie rights).

The truth is, nobody can ever see inside other people’s marriages. No marriage is transparent, especially not one that involves smart people spanning twenty years. That’s a lot of love, a lot of anger, a lot of joy and a lot of grief. She stood there because of all those things. Now leave her alone.

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The Really Terrible Orchestra

March 9th, 2008 — 9:34pm

I read a fabulous piece in the New York Times today by Alexander McCall Smith about his Really Terrible Orchestra.

“WHY should real musicians — the ones who can actually play their instruments — have all the fun?” he writes.

I couldn’t agree more. Years ago in college, my roomate Margo and I listened to the Portsmouth Sinfonia’s, um, interpretation of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. It was truly, really, awful. So awful that I couldn’t stop laughing. But I wasn’t laughing at them, but with them. And I was moved by how deep the calling is to play music, regardless of what you sound like. Beauty takes on many forms and one of them is the compulsion of the human soul to reach for and be swept away by music.

Whether you sound like Beethoven, or the Really Terrible Orchestra.

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The Mountain Goats

March 2nd, 2008 — 9:16pm

Scott and I went to hear The Mountain Goats today at The Bottom of the Hill in SF. Scott’s loved them for years, and though I’ve been a casual listener of their music, what I heard I liked, and sometimes loved.

I loved this show. John Darnielle’s lyrics are literate and complex but unpretentious. He is an extremely generous performer. He shows up for real and gives his all. His music can range from soft and lyrical to rocking and raucous—his lyrics can range from telling stories of being beaten up by his step-father to licking strawberries off of a lover’s body, and in all these songs, he is authentic, powerful, and real.

I went up to their bass player afterwards and told him my husband is in love with their music (and I never use that word lightly when it comes to my husband), and that hearing his band made me understand my husband just a little bit better. That’s the power of great music – it digs deep and connects souls.

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